A few months ago we launched our new Yushan cable risers. For those who have not already heard about them, they are a set of 100mm wooden cubes that raise your cables and hold them secure with a clamp on the top. The inside of each cube is packed with an acoustic labyrinth to break down vibrations, and our EMI absorption compounds too.

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The results under mains leads and speaker leads are excellent. The sound stage opens out considerably, the performance is tighter, faster and cleaner, with lots of extra detail.

But one of our dealers has many customers with big complex digital systems. You know, streamers, clocks, hard drives, active speakers with digital inputs (inbuilt DACs) and so-on. So of course, in systems like these there are lots of digital leads taking data between the boxes. Well, one or two sets of Yushans (six in a set) used under those digital leads has brought truly astonishing results in some of these systems.

One system, that’s based on a well known streamer solution, uses a connection to a router for control of the streamer over wifi. There were good improvements using the Yushans under the digital signal leads, but astonishingly (yet not surprisingly really), by far the biggest single improvement was a Yushan block under the lead to the router! Clearly there was significant unwanted interaction down this control line that was affecting the performance of the streamer all the time. Bass response from the system was the most alarming improvement straight away – the lower bass gained a depth and transparency that was shocking, losing what was clearly a very artificial thump and bump sound. Upper midband transparency improved markedly too, and treble gained extra transparency and air.

The other example was a digital system using a hard drive in a different room to the main system, and large digital speakers. Here there was a good step up in performance every time a Yushan was added (8 in the end). Finally, when their positions were optimised, the customer was absolutely staggered by the sound quality gains. The system was already good, with quite a lot of other Vertex products already in place, but the addition of the Yushans unleashed a whole new level of performance. The speed, power and realism of large orchestral pieces in particular was shocking in its improvement.

These examples are yet more clear-cut cases highlighting the potential pitfalls of digital systems. Clearly the transmission and reception circuitry in digital components are very prone to carrying around a lot more than they were intended to carry. Too many equipment designers think of the digital systems in audio as if they were telecoms, or a network that might be controlling the lights and heating in your home. Clearly (very clearly!) this is just not good enough for high-end audio. This lack of attention to such important detail can cripple the sound of a high-end system. I am confident that the Yushans prove that.

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