Received direct 2 March 2016

Grammy award winning record producer James Mallinson has recently started using a Vertex AQ passive headphone conditioner whilst monitoring live recordings of the LSO strings. Here are his comments:

I am currently using the conditioner on a recording for LSO Live of the LSO Strings for release later in the year (2016). It’s a good test project as strings produce complex waveforms that can easily be disturbed. There is no doubt the conditioner has an effect. Exactly what effect is hard to define. The best definition is probably that it gives the listener a clearer and more precise contact with the source. Professionally that is very helpful as what I need is the truest representation of the microphone mix. We record at a very high bit rate using exceptionally clean A/D converters so the rest of the monitoring chain needs to reflect this. The conditioner is a really good piece of kit and I shall continue to use it when the job calls for headphones.

Regards, James Mallinson

We are of course delighted with James’ comments and are very pleased that one of our conditioners will benefit such a prestigious recording company. You can find out more about James Mallinson on Wikipedia and Linkedin, and more about LSO Live here

Received direct 23 October 2015

Andrew B recently received a HiRez Balanced Taga (HRBT). He is using the 2/3-way version with 2x13A output sockets and 1×1.0m captive output lead, all outputs balanced. Here’s his testimonial, or should we say ‘mini-review’. Thanks for the detailed feedback Andrew!

I am using the HRBT in my Meridian digital/active speaker set-up at the music streamer end. It is supplying balanced power to the streamer using the captive output lead, and a Teddy Pardo dual 12V power supply (with one of the HRBT 13A sockets) feeding the network switch and wifi extender (thus eliminating their stock wall-wart SMPSs).

I already have a full Vertex AQ cable loom with picos, Jayas etc in effective locations, and LeadingEdge racks supporting the major components.

First impressions count and as I expected, the HRBT had a very positive impact within my system from the off. The first thing I noticed was a pleasant refinement and grip to the overall sound and within this, improved control of timing, speed, presence and such a beautiful fluidity to the flow of the music.

Following several music listening sessions for a significant number of hours, I made some notes on what I discovered, and even removed the HRBT to double check the effect. Drilling down and listening to the detail within the music, many improvements can be heard. I’ll just list them, it’s simpler and also, while I think about it, there are no negatives:-

1. Control and grip of bass, LH piano notes become better defined
2. Speed and attack where it should be.
3. Beautiful flow and effortless presentation.
4. A smoothness and presence from an inky black silence – sounds as though high-frequency hash has been removed.
6. Vocals project further into the room.
7. Subtle delicate notes have presence that are not lost within the music but exist in their own ‘space’.
8. Soundstage: Better left/right and front/back separation and increased height.
9. Better unravelling of the musical structure and separation of instruments.
10. Instruments gain more tangible substance with better texture – their characteristics becoming more recognisable & realistic.
11. Listener involvement and emotional submersion are improved, there is greater atmosphere and ambience.

The HRBT is an exhibitionist, a bit of a show-off – ‘look what I can do for your system’, but in an oh so very refined and sophisticated way. It enabled me to transform a high end system into a truly remarkable system. The HRBT is all about refinement – in many, many areas. There is a tangible sonic beauty about the presentation of the music once the balanced power supply is added, providing immense grip on rhythm and bass whilst the music flows with effortless refinement. The soundstage separates in 3 dimensions gaining width, depth and height. Scale and presence become apparent in the presentation. Vocals project beautifully into the room with added texture and timbre to them. Notes from treble through to bass benefit, becoming better defined. Emotional connection to the music is heightened, as it demonstrates more emotional content as the musicians and artists performed.

The HRBT is an absolute gem that’s for sure. My thanks again to Steve and John at Vertex AQ – great work, amazing product.

Find out more about all our mains distribution blocks here.

Received direct 22 June 2015

This customer in Poland purchased the Aneto DC blocker because he was having trouble with a buzzing mains transformer in his Krell amplifier.


I must say that after two days of testing, results are surprising.

1. The Aneto DC blocker works very well. The Aneto is plugged directly into the Krell power path and noise and heating of the transformer have almost completely disappeared.
2. The Jaya shunt filter operation surprises also, with improvement in resolution and wide stage. Unfortunately it does not improve poorly recorded CDs!

To be exact, my configuration is:
TEAC VRDS-25X as a transport;
NAD M-51 as a digital preamplifier;
KRELL S-300i as a power amplifier;
+ 2x ELAC BS 204.2 + Audioquest GO4.

Best regards
Wojciech E.