July 8, 2010

Cleaning Up the Grunge, Part I - AC Enacom Noise Eliminator

Ok, for the next few weeks, I'm gonna be listening with Enacom. Enacom is a set of tweaks from Combak Corp, the Japanese company that has been pretty well known in this area, though in its lineup it also has a line of high-end electronics called Reimyo.

Combak coins the term Noise Eliminator for its Enacom line. It consists of 4 items - the AC Enacom, the Line Cable Enacom, the Speaker Enacom and a speaker tuning CD, called CSS-1. The Line Cable Enacom does not apply to Big E's or my system, as it is for RCA connection and we both use XLR. So Big E collected the other 3 items only.

I shall start with the AC Enacom, moving on to the Speaker Enacom and, lastly, try out the CSS-1 speaker tuning CD.

The AC Enacom is a little metal cylinder that felt pretty robust when I held it in my hand. On one end there is a protruding cable with a 2-blade plug attached, allowing it to be plugged into an American style socket. The AC Enacom works parallel to the power outlet that you use, you can just plug it into a socket that is on the same circuit close to the one you are using. Combak says that Enacom has no polarity, meaning that you can plug it into the AC line one way or turn it around, and it will give the same effect.

That was easy, I plugged it into the spare socket on the duplex outlet that fed my system. This little guy has an effect on my system, and the effect was easily heard. I'd say the effect was significant enough relative to the outlay required. The AC Enacom lists for RM299 per piece.

With the AC Enacom, my hifi sounded quieter, calmer. The background became slightly darker than before. I did not notice much effect on the bass. The mids, though, came off with much better clarity. The highs became smoother and more refined, details could be heard easier. Music, especially that from badly recorded CDs, had less ear-grating moments. Harshness, may it be from the system or the recording, was much reduced. A lot of CDs thus became easier to listen to. Complex music sounded better organized and more coherent.

The AC Enacom's effect is easiest to hear on the highs. With the dirt in the AC supply cleaned up more, the highs became less splashy and less bright. If some absorptive materials (heavy carpet, curtain, sofas etc..) have been put in the hifi room to rein the highs in, one could feel that the highs now were held back a tad more, music could sound slightly less lively and with a little less air. In this case, some reworking of the room's acoustic might be required. For me, I needed to pull the curtain in my room back a wee bit more.

I do not know what the AC Enacom's effect will be when it is used in conjunction with the multitude of AC filters / conditioners / regenerators out there. With my Shunyata Hydra 8 power line conditioner, it did make its presence known. I listened with the AC Enacom for almost one week, and its effect was always consistent, just as I described. I plugged it in and unplugged it numerous times, and heard the same effect. Its influence was rather immediate as you plug it in, no waiting was required.

I believe the AC Enacom would be especially useful for a system if it has a hashy, gritty treble, where you look to put a little polish, a little more refinement to it. I think if your system suffered from too much brightness, the AC Enacom would help too. Like any tweak, the best way is to try it in your own system.

The silver bullet to cure some power supply maladies? Quite so.

Enacom is carried by Nova Hifi, contact MK Lai, tel: 019-2226129.

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