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Doorstop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…

  • “Stop me, oh, stop me
    Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
    Stop me, oh, stop me
    Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
    Nothing’s changed
    I still love you, oh, I still love you
    …Only
    Slightly, only slightly less
    Than I used to, my love”

    — The Smiths


    Microphony: where electronic devices turn (airborne) mechanical vibrations into electrical noise. Tube amplifier owners and guitar amp rockers know the effects all too well. As do Wavelength Audio’s Gordon Rankin and Innuos’ Nuno Vitorino who sing from the same book of personal discoveries: that electrical noise can disturb, among other things, a DAC’s sensitive clocks to inflict a minor hit to sound quality.

    Direct experience with the Schiit Modi 3 DAC (review here and here) during October and November confirmed both the microphonic theory and Vitorino’s / Rankin’s thoughts. A 1kg doorstop placed atop the Modi 3’s chassis reduces vibrations to bring forth ever-so-slightly better image focus.

    That this doorstop landed at my door for a mere €9 (with discounts for 4 packs) means anyone, even armchair detractors, can try it for themselves before attempting to refute the science of microphonics and the findings of the aforementioned digital audio engineers. In other words, vibration control for the frugalphile.

    Direct experience also tells us that results can vary. The same doorstop makes not a jot of difference to sound quality when placed on top of the ALLO DigiOne Signature streamer (review here) or a Lacie hard drive attached to an Ethernet-lassoed Roon Nucleus.

    It didn’t start this way. The rubber-ribbed doorstops were initially applied to prevent smaller/lighter devices succumbing to the rearward pull of digital and analogue interconnects (with a side-effect of added visual interest).

    This, in turn, piqued the curiosity of Darko.Audio YouTube watchers and social media followers to such an extent that I felt compelled to make a video about, of all things, a €9 doorstop:

    Further information: Amazon.de

     

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile. John used to live in Sydney. Now he lives in Berlin.

    Follow John on YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter

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