About the Vertex AQ Jaya Mains Filters

The Vertex AQ shunt mains filters are named Jaya. They come in three performance levels, Standard, Silver and HiRez.

The Jayas are a deceptively simple looking product. They comprise a high quality extruded aluminium box, with a single captive lead and a mains plug on the end. There is no output socket.

HR Jaya full medHiRez Jaya

Often customers get a little confused because of that lack of output socket. It may seem strange that a mains conditioner is not in line with the power supply to your equipment. Many types of mains conditioning can be in line and the Aletheia balanced PSUs that we make are such devices. But the Jayas are ‘shunt’ filters, which means they don’t sit in line with the power to your system, they work when plugged into another socket near your system.

But why should you need a shunt filter? What’s the problem we are trying to deal with? Well, it’s RFI noise, which looks like little high frequency waves on the live, neutral and Earth lines of your mains. Some of them at specific frequencies and some of them random. They come from systems in your house, mobile phone networks and wi-fi, and even some parts of the hi-fi system itself. When this noise gets into your system it can degrade the performance of digital processing, and intermodulates with analogue processing. In essence it distorts all the signals.

Killing The Noise

just imagine for a moment the progress of your valuable signal from one end of your system to another (in a vinyl setup for example). If it gets distorted by a little bit of noise in the input stage of your phono amp, maybe that wouldn’t make much difference, but then it gets distorted again by the noise at the output stage of your phono amp. It’s distorted a little bit again by noise in the input stage of your pre-amp, then again by the noise in the output stage of the pre-amp. It then goes on to the power amp input stage, more distortion added, then the power output stage, more distortion added by noise again. Can you see how there are multiple points through your system where a little bit of power is being used to boost or pass on the signal – and add noise too. The same applies all through the chain where an earth point forms part of the circuit.

The shunt filter circuit allows each one of those high frequency signals and spikes that might be on any one of the live, neutral and Earth lines to be shared across all three. It doesn’t do this with the power signal because the circuitry inside the Jaya only takes effect well above the 50Hz frequency of the mains power. By sharing that noise across all three lines we achieve two very useful outcomes:

  1. Noise on the live now sees the Earth line, and the neutral line. The Earth and neutral line are of course grounded (neutral grounded somewhere back in a sub-station probably), so that noise now sees two paths back to ground.
  2. Any residual noise that still remains is also now seen on both sides of the power supply components in your system’s boxes, and any noise that is the same on either side (live and neutral) is termed ‘common’ and it has no net effect on the power supply. This is called common mode noise rejection.

Dealing With Filter Microphony

A very important performance issue with any filter circuit is that they are quite microphonic. They simply don’t sound so good if the circuit is not protected from microphony problems. So, in the jaya, the circuit and components are built directly onto their own acoustic labyrinth structure. This is in essence just the same as putting one of your components onto a good support platform, it enables vibration to be drained away from the circuits, improving the performance.

improved Jaya diagram feb 2015 v2.0 croppedSchematic of a Jaya – click to enlarge

Using Jayas

The Jaya filters, and how they should be used, is one of the core elements of the Systematic Approach. Using one or more Jayas around a system will produce what we call a ‘quiet bubble’ that significantly improves the operating conditions for a hi-fi, and consequently it’s performance. If you are not aware of the systematic approach, we strongly suggest you study it from the start here. If you want to jump to the part of the process specific to using Jayas, see here.

Of course, at the end of the day all we want is performance. Well, the Jaya has an exemplary track record over many years for delivering significant improvements in sound quality in reviews, and for a great many very happy customers. They are incredibly robust and reliable and you will find they always remain an essential element as you grow your system. Read more from the right hand menu for details of each Jaya model.