Some Audio Quality considerations
A single Zapperator costs above £50. A snubber suitable for industrial arc suppression can cost the same, or many times more, or just £5 (all figures are for illustration only). Although both can be simplistically represented as similar electrical assemblies, there are a number of vital differences.
An industrial snubber part is just a zobel, and never a Zapperator. High grade industrial snubbers (costing over £100) are designed for not catching fire with very high currents, and repetitive use. Audio requirements aren’t on the list. Quite apart from whether it has the right values and dimensions - there’s little choice or subtelty with industrial snubbing components.The same applies to low cost snubbers. Quite apart from the harmonic distortion that the dielectric construction (if polyester alias PETP alias Mylar) will add, such a snubber (where of low cost) will come with solid copper leads only if you are lucky. More likely, they will be solid steel leads, with a thin coat of copper 'sprayed on'. After a few bendings, the metal is fatigued, and eventually breaks.The item becomes unusable scrap. But before it does so, it may do more harm than good. For, when copper (or steel) wires are flexed a lot, the metal work- hardens, hence the metal becomes more crystalline, hence more diodic, hence the component may create noise, by detecting AM content in the incident RF energy. Note! Even FM signals and digital signals can have AM content. In this way, a wire connection with fatigue (which can be quite hidden) may add or cause more 'noise', than it suppresses.
Not only are the internals quite different from an industrial snubber, Zapperators benefit from a highly flexible audiograde wire having measurably low directionality6, as well as low fatigue.Thus the tails (the flexible connecting wires) won't degrade audio quality in time - as an embrittled steel or even ordinary stranded copper wire would. Or break, even after hundreds of flexings. In turn, sonic experiments can be carried out by users, without worries as to the Zapperator wires gathering fatigue. Such might otherwise deter a user from discovering the sonic benefits of the optimum placement/s.
The very flexible leads fitted to the Zapperator are also designed to damp vibration from speaker cabinets and equipment mains transformers. Holistic design extends to the encapsulation which absorbs incident RF energy and also acoustically damps and deadens the internal components.
© November 2009 Ben Duncan Research - UK & Russ Andrews Accessories Ltd
Russ Andrews Accessories Ltd, 2b Moreland Court, Westmorland Business Park, Shap Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6NS, UK. Call UK Local Rate 0845 345 1550 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, from abroad +44 1539 797300 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.russandrews.com