DIY Ground Box Thread
Nov 27, 2023 at 2:03 AM Post #1,201 of 1,589
Progression notes with Rochelle salt hack recommended by @cdacosta

First few days I tried it behind AC wall faceplates. Initially I had mixed results, until shifting some things around. Trying it behind two auxiliary AC power cord faceplates on 2 other walls of the room (lamp, space heater and modem). I followed Chris (CDA)'s recipe down to the letter. Although being without a scale I got the same recommended salt and multi-pack of bags, used the same amounts, and eyeballed to compare to his photos in this post several times and I can say with certainty this is around 95% identical to his recommended amounts and precise placements he used behind the AC faceplates.

My system went from highly resolving and extended though somewhat bright - to even more resolving and with hyper extended highs that were just too fatiguing. After letting it settle for a day, still no change so I removed the larger bags from both of the "hot" line which is on the right when facing towards the faceplates, leaving only the bags installed in front of "ground" filtering behind the faceplates. One may surmise this hack with AC faceplates is like "HOT = TREBLE; GROUND = BASS", to some extent. At this point my system sounded better than the initial attempt, but something was off. It came down to my unique setup having multi-stage AC power filtering with a series of both Flux-50 knockoff from Aliexpress + iFi Audio Ground Defender before my multi-thousand $$ Furman central AC power conditioner PLUS the full recommended AC faceplate tweak from Chris was turning my system into a detail monster. So after removing both AC filters with just the very esteemed 15-core Valhalla AC cable into my power conditioner and already removing the taller hot side Rochelle filtering behind both AC faceplates leaving only the smaller Rochelle filtering the ground side on the left of the AC faceplate - this was the magic ticket. I also added Rochelle salt bags behind the main AC faceplate powering the main system (on both sides IIRC). Now sounding more neutral, analog and natural than before I started! :k701smile:
I would say this tweak is system-dependent - especially if you already have hefty / multi-stage AC power filtering, go easy on the larger bag on the "hot" / right side if any.

Today onto the ground box cable component side. Initially it was hard to notice a difference, but after installing at least 3, things started to sound even more lifelike and with more relaxed highs Most of my GB cables use 2 wire runs in parallel so each GB got 2 salt bags on the opposite end. Now with 10 medium-small bags wrapped like short cigarettes then wrapped parallel to the recommended copper ground box cables on various component sides - things are sounding quite stunning indeed! That along with a few small bags on top of various wall-warts in the system and one more and on the hot side of another ancillary AC faceplate (on the front only due to it being inaccessible for removal in tight quarters) - what I am hearing now friends, is making my (+/-) $7K sound system best most any other system I've heard under $20K at any CanJam I've been to! Quite unbeatable and enough to make your hair stand up! :o2smile::beyersmile::o2smile: I'd describe it as that X-factor or 6th element. 4D sound, impressive detail, FR & resolution, uncanny realism and an unquantifiable factor. A lot of this amazing sound is also thanks to the Lhy OCK-2 external clock and my special mesh faraday fabric shielding I have on the walls around the desk of my system (mainly), and also iFi DC blocker & Flux-50 into the DI-20 DDC and various iFi DC blockers, not to mention the 4x custom +1 premade ground boxes I'm using so far. So good I'm overwhelmed and will let this sit before adding any more to the system.
I am glad what you have tried has improved your system and you like it. I am also glad you experienced it the way you did and posted it. Lets try and improve on it...

The pics I provided are deceiving. How much you use makes a big difference as you already experienced. Sounds kind of almost not believable a small amount of Rochelle salt or anything away from the system attached in the middle of 1000'+ of wiring would do anything. But it does as you have experienced, even at only 2 or few locations. This is going to sound absurd, but what you are hearing is only part of what is available to you. There is still several or more levels of noise that is masking information still available to you. To the extent will lift your system beyond what you think is possible on good recordings.

So lets recap what we are trying to accomplish with absorbing EMI from the AC wiring. Should not matter what your AC line filtration or conditioning is or have. Your AC wiring in your home is picking up high frequency noise/EMI and accumulating it. This high frequency noise masks information that is available in the recording, which is limiting the amount of information your system has to decode. The less high frequency noise that reaches your system, the more information your system has to decode. Basically the more noise you remove, the more you hear, this is especially true of ultra fine detail.

What you experienced is exactly what I experienced when first experimented with this tweak. The Hot side in the AC wiring is the key for bringing out more, and more, and more detail until ultra fine nuances are heard. The ground is to control the weight or body of the presentation and balance out the overall tonal presentation. Ground side does remove some of the EMI but is a small fraction compared to the Hot side. As noted in my original DIY post, if leans to much toward neutral or bright, cut back on the amount of Rochelle salt on Hot side. If system presentation is too warm cut back on the salt in the ground wrap. If I were to guess, instead of 1 gram you used closer to 3 grams. When eyeballing, looks close to the same amount in a small zip lock bag. Trust me on this, I have spent many hours experimenting with this.

On those same outlets try 1/2 of what you were using, then listen. If still leaning toward neutral, back off a tad more until system tonally is the same. Precision scale obviously is handy for this. Key to this tweak and tuning is to install both wraps at a junction, then listen to your system. If you did install the 1 gram at Hot and .5 on ground there should not be a tonal shift. Or at best so slight you are not sure if there was a shift. So you can understand, install at a light switch plate or outlet not used by your system. This will be easy to test before and after by just placing the wall plate on or taking it off. The wall plate will stay in place without it being screwed in. Once you understand how well/effective the Rochelle salt is, you will understand less is better. Once you get the amount to use in wraps down, you will feel comfortable and want to treat "all" junctions along your AC wiring in the home. Because as you treat more junctions, your system becomes more and more resolving. You will hear the changes in your system with even junctions along the AC wiring in breaker circuits other than your systems.

The purpose of this post is to hopefully explain more clearly, or in a different way how to tune and go about judging installs. The performance gains from 2-4 partial installs is just a little taste of what is available to you.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 2:36 AM Post #1,202 of 1,589
3 partial AC faceplate installs + 10 ground box cables on the component side made a big difference. Next would be inside components, on AC cables (wall plug side, right?), and on more wall-wart bricks. I rent a room and asking the apartment owner to let me touch the main AC route would be a major no-no.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 2:46 AM Post #1,203 of 1,589
In my case, your complete AC faceplate Rochelle tweak when combined with 2-stage inline AC powering filtering into my hefty AC power conditioner shifted the sound to incredibly detailed and hot on top (though also with good bass), so it sounds better to me with only the smaller ground side filtered, as it stands anyway.

Forgot to mention the instrument separation and BASS definition is absolutely divine with my current setup.

Also for anyone who hasn't noticed, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to try my tweak of using mesh conductive faraday shielding on the walls surrounding your hi-fi rig. I held mine up with some blu-tac and didn't even have to use tacks, and I put it mostly out of sight since under the table made the biggest difference. It was like a GOOD 20% upgrade in all areas of sound. I initially posted more about it a few months ago on the Aliexpress Cables thread here, and now I swear by this concept! I can't speculate on the how / why, but the sound improvement was obvious!

81uq5Q6X1FL._AC_SL1000_.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075WS8D7R (the one I got but there are others)
 
Last edited:
Nov 27, 2023 at 4:05 AM Post #1,204 of 1,589
Rochelle salt by LED lights within system...

LED lights emit EMI/EMF. Easy to test for reaction, just place a small bag by LED lights and listen. If you hear a positive reaction or audible change, this is a place to install. Those two places in the pics (iPower X and modem/router) added air. At the iPowerX the wrap has about 1.5 grams. In the DAC that is more like 5 grams in a ABS open enclosure. You can over damp so will have to install then listen. For an example of over damping, at the modem/router 1 gram would cause a bit of ultra fine micro detail loss. Lowered to 1/2 gram and ultra fine micro detail came back and offered up a bit more air. The effects are immediate.
 

Attachments

  • Rochelle salt by LED lights - 1.jpg
    Rochelle salt by LED lights - 1.jpg
    33.5 KB · Views: 0
  • Rochelle salt by LED lights - 2.jpg
    Rochelle salt by LED lights - 2.jpg
    55 KB · Views: 0
  • Rochelle salt by LED lights - 3.jpg
    Rochelle salt by LED lights - 3.jpg
    46.6 KB · Views: 0
Nov 27, 2023 at 4:47 AM Post #1,205 of 1,589
I finally got around trying the rochelle salt on my ac line. I have this kind of light switches where H and N are on top and the ground (in the back of the hole) is directly connected to the lamp.
DF54AEC6-AB2C-4E64-91C9-649378D8EE72.jpeg

As recommended by @cdacosta I attached the bags with velcro to the wires themselves. I use small 4x4cm bags to fit inside easier. They weigh 0,30 gram on their own. Because the bags are so close to the wires 1 and 0,5 gram gave to much damping. I gradually decreased salt amount to 0,10 and 0,05 gram. So the total weight (bag+salt) for H is 0,40 gram and for ground 0,35 gram. This gave the best transparancy without losing bass slam or HF detail.
Can someone confirm? Does anyone here use these same light swithes (brand Niko)?
I’m amazed what kind of improvement treating only one light switch delivers! In the mean time, on to the next…
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 5:14 AM Post #1,206 of 1,589
I finally got around trying the rochelle salt on my ac line. I have this kind of light switches where H and N are on top and the ground (in the back of the hole) is directly connected to the lamp.
DF54AEC6-AB2C-4E64-91C9-649378D8EE72.jpeg
As recommended by @cdacosta I attached the bags with velcro to the wires themselves. I use small 4x4cm bags to fit inside easier. They weigh 0,30 gram on their own. Because the bags are so close to the wires 1 and 0,5 gram gave to much damping. I gradually decreased salt amount to 0,10 and 0,05 gram. So the total weight (bag+salt) for H is 0,40 gram and for ground 0,35 gram. This gave the best transparancy without losing bass slam or HF detail.
Can someone confirm? Does anyone here use these same light swithes (brand Niko)?
I’m amazed what kind of improvement treating only one light switch delivers! In the mean time, on to the next…
Excellent! This is what I am referring to, just adjust the amount of Rochelle salt used by what you hear using the guidelines I have been offering. The Rochelle salt is very efficient in this application. Now imagine the performance increase you got at one junction times 30-50+ junctions across the AC wiring? Just test for tonal balance after every 1-2 installs. This is important since the bags are so close to the wiring. Will make final tuning easy when you are done with all the junctions in the home.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 11:17 AM Post #1,207 of 1,589
Just making 0.5 and 1gram bags first. l have 15 mains outlets and 2 light switches, so that's a lot of bags, and that dosent even included the 9 psu ,so l thought it would make sense to have plenty to had, in regards too how much ,l am following your method, Hot Live side 1grams, Earth 0.5grams.
Hopefully this is tomorrow's task
How are you placing Rochelle salt on uk double sockets and light switches? As uk sockets are unlike US sockets. Would be grateful for a photo.
I just bought a Streamer (Eversolo Master A6), when connected with a TP link switch on the cable from the router the sound became very thin and bright, loss of body and mid bass. Rochelle bags with approx 1 gm on the smps for the switch and on the RG 59 cable to the Naim server and the Eversolo Streamer helped a bit, but nothing sounds like before the TP Link switch. I have ordered an English Electric audiophile switch but it was nearly half the price of the Streamer. Any suggestions from anyone who has solved the smps problem would be appreciated. my router is on a different breaker in another room and I am running a cat6 cable to the sitting room but the switch is located on the breaker that supplies the audio components.
thanks.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 11:37 AM Post #1,208 of 1,589
How are you placing Rochelle salt on uk double sockets and light switches? As uk sockets are unlike US sockets. Would be grateful for a photo.
I just bought a Streamer (Eversolo Master A6), when connected with a TP link switch on the cable from the router the sound became very thin and bright, loss of body and mid bass. Rochelle bags with approx 1 gm on the smps for the switch and on the RG 59 cable to the Naim server and the Eversolo Streamer helped a bit, but nothing sounds like before the TP Link switch. I have ordered an English Electric audiophile switch but it was nearly half the price of the Streamer. Any suggestions from anyone who has solved the smps problem would be appreciated. my router is on a different breaker in another room and I am running a cat6 cable to the sitting room but the switch is located on the breaker that supplies the audio components.
thanks.
Can you post a picture of your switches and sockets? Inside and out?
Does the streamer still need burning in?
In my opinion, for streaming hi-res audio, a dedicated audio switch is a must. What you also could try is feed the tp-link switch with a good lps.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 11:57 AM Post #1,209 of 1,589
How are you placing Rochelle salt on uk double sockets and light switches? As uk sockets are unlike US sockets. Would be grateful for a photo.
I just bought a Streamer (Eversolo Master A6), when connected with a TP link switch on the cable from the router the sound became very thin and bright, loss of body and mid bass. Rochelle bags with approx 1 gm on the smps for the switch and on the RG 59 cable to the Naim server and the Eversolo Streamer helped a bit, but nothing sounds like before the TP Link switch. I have ordered an English Electric audiophile switch but it was nearly half the price of the Streamer. Any suggestions from anyone who has solved the smps problem would be appreciated. my router is on a different breaker in another room and I am running a cat6 cable to the sitting room but the switch is located on the breaker that supplies the audio components.
thanks.
That's a lot of questions, l am based in the UK.
Here's a photo of one of my double sockets.
For placement, l decided to use the backplate, so l place 1g to the left for the Brown Live, and 0.5g for the earth,placed in the centre.
Due to the way the wires are installed and the cable, it's hard not to influence the Blue Neutral cable, hence way l placed to the left and centre of the sockets. l will share my view,shortly..which are very positive.
Lastly, l ditched my TP link switch, and swapped it for a Netgear GS108E, l would highly recommend getting a good psu for it, you won't go wrong with a ifi power x.
20231127_114532.jpg
 
Last edited:
Nov 27, 2023 at 12:08 PM Post #1,210 of 1,589
So after treating 15 sockets
I have also treated some light switches, and my Zero Zone and ifi psu's. To be honest,that's a lot of taking things apart, so it nearly broke me. l am Happy to report, this has yet again cleaned things up to a stupid level,additional air ,and a more controlled bass, that still retains the slam and pratt. I played Dire Straits Love Over Gold,and it's never sounded so good, you can really hear into the depths of the recording...Fantastic. Another test track l use is from Danny Wilson first Album, the 1st track called "Davy" has lots of things going on, l noticed that instruments where better defined,sometimes a instrument can smoother another instrument, this was dramatically reduced, and instead of a small micro detail, merging with another sound, l could now hear it along side, not crystal clear,but have remember it had disappeared previously,now its detectable. It's looks like cdacosta theory holds out, by using small amounts, it does indeed absorb any mains dirt on your AC feed.

Damien
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 12:13 PM Post #1,211 of 1,589
That's a lot of questions, l am based in the UK.
Here's a photo of one of my double sockets.
For placement, l decided to use the backplate, so l place 1g to the left for the Brown Live, and 0.5g for the earth,placed in the centre.
Due to the way the wires are installed and the cable, it's hard not to influence the Blue Neutral cable, hence way l placed to the left and centre of the sockets. l will share my view,shortly..which are very positive.
Lastly, l ditched my TP link switch, and swapped it for a Netgear GS108E, l would highly recommend getting a good psu for it, you won't go wrong with a ifi power x.
20231127_114532.jpg
Thanks a lot. I will try to open a few of my sockets, I am also in the UK. The last time I changed one socket with an audiophile socket I had a huge problem screwing it back as the retainer for the screw was dodgy.
yes the TP link I got from Amazon yesterday seems to be a total waste of money. I will wait for the EE switch which is on order.
thanks again.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 12:30 PM Post #1,212 of 1,589
Can you post a picture of your switches and sockets? Inside and out?
Does the streamer still need burning in?
In my opinion, for streaming hi-res audio, a dedicated audio switch is a must. What you also could try is feed the tp-link switch with a good lps.
Here are the photos of the mains sockets and light switches. I haven’t opened them yet as it is evening here and my eyesight is not great at night.
the streamer is new approx 24 hours burn in so far. I am waiting for an audiophile switch.
i did try Rochelle salt on the outside of the sockets and switches but got wildly inconsistent results. Maybe I need to go back to sq one and salt one place at a time?
thanks
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1514.jpeg
    IMG_1514.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_1515.jpeg
    IMG_1515.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_1516.jpeg
    IMG_1516.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_1517.jpeg
    IMG_1517.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
Nov 27, 2023 at 12:53 PM Post #1,213 of 1,589
Here are the photos of the mains sockets and light switches. I haven’t opened them yet as it is evening here and my eyesight is not great at night.
the streamer is new approx 24 hours burn in so far. I am waiting for an audiophile switch.
i did try Rochelle salt on the outside of the sockets and switches but got wildly inconsistent results. Maybe I need to go back to sq one and salt one place at a time?
thanks
BBB7C8B7-6031-44C5-BAE7-0E07E8ECEC6F.gif

You would really need to open the sockets and switches to see how the wires are running and place rochelle salt accordingly.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 1:53 PM Post #1,214 of 1,589
Here are the photos of the mains sockets and light switches. I haven’t opened them yet as it is evening here and my eyesight is not great at night.
the streamer is new approx 24 hours burn in so far. I am waiting for an audiophile switch.
i did try Rochelle salt on the outside of the sockets and switches but got wildly inconsistent results. Maybe I need to go back to sq one and salt one place at a time?
thanks
It can be tricky with UK wiring,as it's all in close proximity, but by following cdacosta method, and using small amounts, it can work wonders.
l know l mentioned it, but adding a low noise psu,will transform your router or switch. And without going on a completely different tangent, you should consider going to FMC, pretty cheap to do so, and a worthwhile upgrade in my view.
lf it helps, l started with RC at my electric breaker board, by adding 14grams in front on the trip switches, the reality is our houses are full of noise.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 2:11 PM Post #1,215 of 1,589
So after treating 15 sockets
I have also treated some light switches, and my Zero Zone and ifi psu's. To be honest,that's a lot of taking things apart, so it nearly broke me. l am Happy to report, this has yet again cleaned things up to a stupid level,additional air ,and a more controlled bass, that still retains the slam and pratt. I played Dire Straits Love Over Gold,and it's never sounded so good, you can really hear into the depths of the recording...Fantastic. Another test track l use is from Danny Wilson first Album, the 1st track called "Davy" has lots of things going on, l noticed that instruments where better defined,sometimes a instrument can smoother another instrument, this was dramatically reduced, and instead of a small micro detail, merging with another sound, l could now hear it along side, not crystal clear,but have remember it had disappeared previously,now its detectable. It's looks like cdacosta theory holds out, by using small amounts, it does indeed absorb any mains dirt on your AC feed.

Damien
This is good. Audiophiles experiencing what systematically removing EMI from AC home wiring does for our beloved audio systems. It is obvious to me now that in US this tweak is easier to install compared to other parts of the world with different junction configurations. So lets dig into the tuning a little more. Also what to expect as more of the EMI noise is absorbed across AC wiring in the home.

More on Tuning:
When this tweak is experienced, no matter which junction along the AC wiring is treated, you can hear how it effects the audio system. It is not obvious, but this is an opportunity to tune your system's presentation. What can be tuned is tonal balance (how warm or neutral the overall sonic presentation is), bass slam and overall body weight of presentation. How this is accomplished is after each install, listen to your system. Since effects of the tweak are immediate, it is easier to hear. The first thing you would want to do is make sure tonal balance is correct...

Tuning for Tonal balance:
* If system is too bright or is leaning toward neutral: use less Rochelle salt on the Hot side.
* If system is a bit lean or you want more presentation body or bass slam add a bit more Rochelle salt to ground side. Moving/installing the wrap a bit further away from the ground wiring will also give a "similar" effect. Once you hear what moving the wrap closer or further away from the ground wiring does you will understand.
* Goal is after each junction install to have the system's overall tonal balance the way you like it.

NOTE: When I mention "use less" or "add a bit more" I mean tiny amounts at a time. Rochelle salt is highly effective in this application, tiny amounts will effect what is heard even when the junction you are treating is hundreds of feet of wiring away from your audio system. Seems illogical, just try it and you will understand the cause and effect.

What to expect as more of the EMI noise is absorbed across AC wiring in the home:
As more junctions across the AC wiring are treated, more information is heard from your system. The system becomes more, and more, and more resolving. You will first start to hear micro detail that was not available to you before. Then sound separation and air improve. Then vocal clarity and precision and more micro detail emerge. PRaT improves. Then spatial and staging of all sounds improve. This all keeps getting better and better in many areas sonically until you start to hear really fine nuances that you never knew existed in the recordings. As you hear all these improvements emerge, depending on how resolving your system is "capable of" it just gets better and better as more junctions are treated. This will all be obvious to you as you treat/absorb EMI from the AC wiring.

As more of the EMI or noise is removed, the system's performance improvements are cumulative. And will get refined. Really cool to experience and hear it happen. Very eye opening as to how sensitive our systems are to high frequency noise.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top