Thursday, March 30, 2017

NEW TWEAK ALERT: Bybee internal Quantum Signal Enhancers

Jack B. continues his creative streak with his latest product, the iQSE

iQSE's. What are they?

The Bybee Internal Quantum Signal Enhancer (iQSE) is a small 4" w x 2" d x 1/2" h passive device housed in wood. The units that were sent to me were prototypes, and not quite as pretty, they were plastic. They are meant to be installed inside the chassis of an audio component bringing it closer to the energy fields generated by the internal circuitry. There is no soldering, or any type of electrical connection required. It adheres to the inside of the component via double sided tape.  Since it is passive, it works on any range of voltages, and in any component where it can fit.
The prototype iQSE installed on the underside of my DAC lid.

How Do they work?

Like it's sibling the Quantum Signal Enhancer, the iQSE is activated by surrounding electromagnetic energy. Once activated, the electric and magnetic fields effect the polarity (spin) of all electrons and protons in close proximity; affecting their oscillation by making them more aligned with each other.  This reaction creates an effect that makes the transfer or sharing of electrons between atoms more streamlined and efficient.  The results are a stunningly enhanced purity and energy of a video or audio signal.


My first tests with the iQSE was with my Aqua La Voce S2 DAC. This is Aqua's entry level NOS ladder DAC. It has the classic Aqua Hifi sound with musicality, warmth and richness. Albeit without the resolution of it's more expensive siblings the La Scala and Formula DACs.  It is extremely impressive for a $3000 DAC. It is a fantastic dac with a very easy to listen to, forgiving nature. Anyone streaming mainly Redbook CD, Tidal, or lower resolution forms of music needs to hear the La Voce S2. Anyhow, back to installing the iQSE. I opened the lid, and adhered the iQSE to the inside of the DAC, between the power transformer and circuit boards. I chose this location because my EM (electromagnetism) meter had the highest reading in this location. It was probably one of the easiest tweak installations I have ever performed on the inside of a component. Simply sticking it in place with double sided tape was all I had to do. No soldering or wiring up of anything.
As the lid on the La Voce Closes, the iQSE is nearest the point of highest measured EM.

My expectations were that it would have a similar effect to Jack's new wooden Quantum Signal Enhancers, with slightly more clarity, improved dynamics and resolution. Probably worth the $150 or so dollars spent.

I was so wrong...

The installation of the iQSE was more like a $1000 upgrade. As significant in my book as adding the far more expensive Bybee SE AC purifiers inside. Yet still different in many ways from what the Purifiers do.  There was a huge leap forward in the analog-like musical flow and ease, an increase in 3 dimensionality, and an impressive increase in dynamics. This was huge. Way beyond the asking price. I liken the effect to adding the Stein Harmonizer Blue Suns to a room, only this was completely hidden inside the component. I had to try this on my AcousticImagery Atsah 500 amplifiers, and last, inside my Dark Matter power conditioner.

First the amplifiers. It was a tight fit, but I managed to install the iQSE's inside each amp without blocking ventilation or sitting atop a warm IC.  The improvement was much like the DAC, with a more analog-like ease and flow, greater dynamic attack, longer decays and improved dimensionality. This was an indespensable tweak for all things digital, and class D.

Last was my power conditioner. I placed the iQSE right on top of where the Bybee SE AC Purifiers were sitting. Again things became deeper, wider, expanding beyond the walls and wrapping around my listening chair. Textures, and subtleties that make the music sound less electronic and more life-like were more present.

Intimate recordings in small venues had a "They are here" type of feeling to them while larger, more ambient venues gave one the feeling or "you are there".

Pairing with the Bybee SE Quantum Purifiers for AC

Being so impressed with the addition of the iQSE's to my La Voce DAC, I wanted to see how adding the Bybee SE AC Purifiers might work out. There was plenty of room inside the DAC to accomodate the Bybee Purifiers, and in about 20 minutes they were installed on the hot and neutral of the incoming AC.
Bybee SE AC Purifiers installed on the incoming AC (lower left corner).

I already had a glimpse into how successful this would be from placing the iQSE inside the Dark Matter power conditioner. I was very optimistic about how this would work out inside the Aqua DAC

Adding the SE Purifiers brought additional liquidity top to bottom, along with the characteristic layering definition of the mids and highs. The highs were clearer yet, and smoother. Ambient information and decays were easier to hear, more natural and hung in the air beautifully.  For about $1000 parts and labor, I elevated the performance of the La Voce to the realm of the La Scala. Not quite the same sonic characteristics, but very close in listening satisfaction. I could live with this modded DAC for a long time.


I could see the iQSE becoming an essential tweak for any audio component. With every component I installed them in, the iQSE made the background quieter, enhanced clarity, dynamics and 3 dimensionality. With digital and class D components, any hint of digital grain, edge, artificiality was gone. In it's place was a sense of wholeness, flow, and analog like naturalness. At $150 each, they are simply a no-brainer. They are unseen, but not unheard little audio gems. The iQSE is, without any doubt, Jack Bybees greatest creation yet.

One could stop at the iQSE and be extremely happy. For those who want to take things further down the Bybee rabbit hole, I highly recommend the SE AC purifiers installed on the incoming AC. We are happy to install the Purifiers and iQSE's in an optimized location inside your audio component. Contact us for details and pricing.

This one is easy. Five tinfoil hats. Keep 'em coming Jack!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sbooster for Auralic Aries: Yes.

Image credit to Positive FeedBack Online 

Replacing the external linear power supply on my AURALiC Aries was not exactly high on my list of priorities. The AURALiC LPS was no slouch in my mind, and I have been very happy with the sound of the Aries since it's inception. But could I do better?

Mark Gurvey of Source Systems had been encouraging me for quite some time to try the SBooster power suppy on my Aries, and  I finally caved in after hearing what it could do for a Lumin D1 Streamer/DAC.

Inside the AURLiC LPS. Nice. (Image Credit to PFO)
Mark sent me the SBooster BOTW P&P Eco 15v with the Ultra option. MSRP $550. The SBooster is physically larger than the AURALiC, and contains quite a bit more circuitry. A two stage mains filter, and a ground choke for noise reduction of the incoming AC before it reaches the large toroidal transformer.
SBooster even states that the power supplies are also very efficient. Consuming only a little more than a switch mode supply of the same voltage rating. Nice, but how does it sound?  We're getting there.
Inside the SBooster.

The Ultra option is a $100 add-on active filter that attaches to the end of the SBooster's DC cable. It further reduces noise and ripple to "negligable levels". You need to order the proper voltage Ultra for your SBooster, as they do have voltage rated versions.
I had the 15 volt version for the Aries. It attached firmly to the DC out cable on the SBooster, all that was left now was to select the proper sized termination to fit the Aries from several that were included in the packaging. 


Wow. What a difference! The Sbooster was fuller, richer, quieter, had better bass and just sounded more correct. I had always complained that Tidal streaming, even though it was lossless, still did not sound as good as the same 16/44 FLAC file streaming from my server. It was thinner, more bleached out sounding. With the SBooster powering my Aries I did not hear that "bleached out" quality as much. This made listening to Tidal immensely more enjoyable.

For the local files, including high resolution all the way up to DSD sounded significantly clearer, smoother richer and just way more involving.  Why did I wait so long to try this?

The SBooster really allows the Aries to reach a higher level of performance. EVERYTHING is better and more involving. That is saying something, because the Aries on it's own was a superb streamer. I agree completely with Dave Clark's thorough assessment of the Aries, and the LPS
"...No, the stock Aries with its power supply rocks, but for sure it can be elevated to compete with the way bigger, badder boys by spending more money on a better NAS and so on—tweak it. And certainly by adding the SBooster… yeah baby, now we are clearly hanging with the really, really cool people at school."
Bottom line: If you own an Aries, buy the Sbooster. 'nuff said..