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  1. #1

    9th MO: Audiophile Ground Box

    Skepticism has always been the mental blockage for many audiophiles to venture into uncharted waters. Be it a highly-reviewed piece of audio equipment, exploring a new audio format or trying a new hi-fi tweak, many audiophiles have the tendency to “chicken out”. Of course, the other troubling aspect is “bo lui” or no money.

    I have been an audiophile for over 30 years and I must admit my hi-fi pilgrimage is not a very adventurous one. Both skepticism and no money are the main causes. One fine example is implementing a ground box in my system. My first experience with a ground box was at a friend’s place 5 years ago. He was using a $3,000 Entreq Silver Tellus from Sweden. My friend claimed this passive device cleans the system ground thus eliminates clicks and buzz, improves sound. He demonstrated with and without the ground box. True enough, his system did sound better. However, I wasn’t ready to fork out the money (almost $1,000 for the smaller Silver Minimus). Also, I was skeptical because he owns a $400k system and I don’t. I wasn’t sure if my less than $2,000 modest setup could hear a difference.

    I was waiting for time - a time when I can own a ground box without paying an arm and leg. It finally came… Recently my supplier in Hong Kong told me to try a new product he brought in from China. He said it is a ground box. My eyes lit up immediately. Wasting no time, I ordered a set and had it air-flown to Singapore. Initially when the Aucharm ground box arrived, I was a bit disappointed because it didn’t look as exquisite as the Entreq. At a fraction of the price, I decided to hold back my criticism and try it… A surprise indeed!

    All I can say is the Mainland Chinese definitely know how to please audiophiles by offering us fantastic value and now I am opening the 9th mass order for the Aucharm ground boxes to pass this value to you.

    Coming back to my surprise, I still could remember vividly how my friend’s Entreq Silver Tellus cleaned up his system and made it sounds better. Aucharm ground box does the same to my “still” modest setup. My system has gained edge of resolution and transparency, sheer body, the planted sense of solidity, of real people playing real instruments. The instruments immediately become clearer and more intelligible and separated in space. Guitars and drums had more attack, more thud and twang to their sound. Vocal was more natural, tonally richer. The harmony vocal on the chorus is beautifully pure, separated yet connected. My usual CD tracks took on a new sense of life and flow, a musical urgency and momentum that made them both more engaging and more present as a performance.

    DISCLAIMER: This ground box DOES NOT eliminate hum from systems (such as turntable and amp). It will however reduce some of the unwanted noise, making it less audible. If your system has noise problem, I suggest you find out its root cause before trying any tweak. Here is an excellent article that explains the causes of noise, how to find and eliminate it.

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    Enough of fancy descriptions and colourful frosting on cupcakes… So how much money are we talking here?

    One (1) Aucharm ground box with one (1) piece 0.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip) – SGD 90

    PLEASE NOTE: All ground boxes are supplied with one piece 0.5m ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip) by default. You cannot top-up the difference for a longer cable. Sorry.

    Ground cable:

    One (1) piece 1m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip) - SGD 20

    One (1) piece 1.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip) - SGD 30

    One (1) piece 2m* Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip) - SGD 40


    RCA ground cable:

    One (1) piece 1m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (male RCA to banana plug) - SGD 20

    One (1) piece 1.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (male RCA to banana plug) - SGD 30

    One (1) piece 2m* Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (male RCA to banana plug) - SGD 40


    XLR ground cable (Please specify either Female or Male connector):



    One (1) piece 1m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (female/male XLR to banana plug) - SGD 25

    One (1) piece 1.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (female/male XLR to banana plug) - SGD 35

    One (1) piece 2m* Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (female/male XLR to banana plug) - SGD 45


    USB ground cable (Please specify either USB Type A or B connector):



    One (1) piece 1m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (USB Type A or B connector to banana plug) - SGD 20

    One (1) piece 1.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (USB Type A or B connector to banana plug) - SGD 30

    One (1) piece 2m* Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (USB Type A or B connector to banana plug) - SGD 40


    AC ground cable (Please specify either US NEMA, UK or Type-F Schuko connector):

    One (1) piece 0.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable with US NEMA / UK / Type-F Schuko - SGD 15

    One (1) piece 1m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable with US NEMA / UK / Type-F Schuko - SGD 25

    One (1) piece 1.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable with US NEMA / UK / Type-F Schuko plug - SGD 35

    One (1) piece 2m* Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable with US NEMA / UK / Type-F Schuko plug - SGD 45

    * Manufacturer recommends NOT more than 2 meters of ground cable for best results.



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    MO closes on Sunday, 30th June 2019 at 6pm (Last order at 5pm). All payments are to be paid in full.

    I accept payment prior to ordering via PayNow, POSB/DBS/UOB/OCBC ATM transfer, Internet Banking transfer or DBS PayLah!/OCBC Pay Anyone. International buyers may use PayPal (add 3.9% + SGD0.50 to the final total). Interested buyers please SMS/WhatsApp to me at 98805223. (Please provide your name. Do not call or SMS after 11pm and before 7am)

    All items listed are strictly sold through mass order ONLY. I do not have overstock.

    Delivery of goods takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks as these boxes are individually handmade.

    [Read this before you order]

    Due to the weight and bulkiness of the items (one ground box + 0.5m ground cable weigh almost 1.5kg!), I will offer only 2 methods of collection and delivery. They are:

    1. Self-collect at my block in Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 (weekday after 9pm, Saturday or Sunday afternoon), or
    2. Via courier service. Flat rate of SGD 10 for up to 2kg delivery within mainland Singapore

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    Ground box with Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip)


    Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable (spade to banana/alligator clip) - 1.5m length shown


    Solid 24K gold-plated 5-way binding post


    Cross-section of a 14 AWG Teflon-insulated silver-plated ground cable


    Size (L x D x H): 165 mm x 95 mm x 75 mm
    Weight: 1,400 grams

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    Last edited by KopiOkaya; Yesterday at 08:30 PM.
    Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

  2. #2
    QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

    What class of tube amplifier is LC200?
    It is Class A push-pull. A lot of audiophiles insist that push-pull amplifiers are only available in Class AB and B but this misconception is partially correct.

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    Why LC200 doesn't have a headphone jack?
    This amp is another fine example of L Cao Audio's no nonsense, straight-to-the-point philosophy. If you look at L Cao Audio's entire product line, they are designed to perform one task. Absolutely no compromise.

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    How is LC200 compared to Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3?
    I have auditioned MP-301 MK3 many times. Personally I am not a fan of it. People ever told me they regret buying it. Well, the only nice thing about MP-301 MK3 is the ability to use different types of tubes. It is a fun toy for tube-rollers (someone who likes to swap and try different kinds of tubes). I am not a tube-roller. All I want is great sound from my amp. I just want to enjoy music. LC200 meets my expectations.

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    How is LC200 compared to Line Magnetic Mini 218 IA?
    I have auditioned Mini 218 IA at LiveAcoustics. It is a cute little amp. A bit underpowered but sounds nice if your speakers aren't too demanding. A bit expensive though. If you ask me, Mini 218 IA makes a fantastic headphone amp. LC200 sounds a lot meatier and has a wider soundstage in comparison.

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    How is LC200 compared to Nobsound MS-10D?
    I own 3 sets of Nobsound MS-10D and wrote a review on Amazon in 2014. For those who don't know about Nobsound MS-10D, it is a 25W hybrid integrated amplifier. There is a newer "Mk II" version with Bluetooth connectivity and fancier tube cage. I must say MS-10D sounds very good IF you aren't too picky. It has its little flaws, but a very musical-sounding amp overall. MS-10D doesn't have the finesse or fidelity of LC200. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't allow me to add a comment on product which they don't sell, otherwise I will update the review with additional information of LC200.

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    How is LC200 compared to L Cao Audio LC300?
    I have the LC300 in my main system. Just like Nobsound, LC300 is a 15W hybrid integrated amp. Different from most hybrid amps, it has a direct-heated tube preamp stage. Meaning the cathode is used as the filament. In a conventional tube amp, the cathode and filament are separate elements. Direct-heated tube amps are known to produce an audible "springing / tinging sound" through the loudspeakers when switch on or off. This can be annoying to some people. In comparison, LC300 sounds leaner, faster and a tad more neutral than LC200. LC200 excels in vocal accentuation and tonal chromaticity.

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    How is LC200 compared to 300B?
    This sounds like David vs. the Goliath. To me, this is an unfair comparison. 300B is a lot more capable amp of course. On contrary, I have not seen a mini 300B amp to date. LC200 is meant for audiophiles who want to setup a secondary system within confined spaces. Sonic-wise, 300B is more romantic-sounding. LC200 may have an edge in the highs, then again, both amps are of completely different class.

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    Are the tubes easily available if I need to replace them?
    Yes, this amp uses two 6S6, one 6N2 (can be modified to accept 12AX7) and one 6N1 (can be modified to accept 12AU7). These tubes are relatively common and they are inexpensive (SGD 30 per set for Chinese tubes and SGD 60 for Russian tubes). You may contact me if you have trouble getting them.

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    How can I audition the amp?
    Unfortunately you can't. But if you have any question, don't hesitate to contact me. I will try my best to answer them.

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    Can I order other L Cao Audio products through you?
    Yes you can. However, do take note that all terms and conditions for MO apply.

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    Can I opt for self-collection just like your other MOs?
    Unfortunately no. Unlike my other MOs, the goods are not stored at my house this time. Once the amps arrive Singapore, they will be shipped directly to a friend's warehouse. He will help arrange for courier delivery. I don't want to trouble him further, so this is the best arrangement for both parties.

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    Is there a warranty for the amp? If not, how can I assure my amp is serviceable if something happens?
    All products sold outside China have no warranty. Like most of the things we buy online from overseas these days, it is not practical to return the faulty unit to the country of origin. However, if problem does occur, I can liaise with the manufacturer to help you get the replacement part. Of course, you will have to pay the cost and shipping. In addition, you have to engage a local technician to install the part and get it serviceable again. I can recommend a few technicians who are reliable and reasonable.

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    Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

  3. #3
    XL Ground Box and 0.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable with US NEMA plug - SGD 110

    This XL ground box is 50% larger, heavier and contains more of the "secret ingredients" as compared to regular ground box. Therefore, it is ideal for conditioning the mains AC power. Due to its size and weight, this ground box has to be ordered separately - I will proceed only if I have 10 confirmed orders. Contact me if you are keen.

    PLEASE NOTE: When used in conjunction with iFi AC iPurifier, Asuz Sparkz or Shunyata Defender, disable the ground pin by wrapping an electrical tape over for better effects.



    Teflon-insulated silver-plated 14 AWG ground cable with US NEMA plug - 0.5m length shown


    Size (L x D x H): 240 mm x 105 mm x 45 mm
    Weight: 2,100 grams

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    PRO Ground Box and three (3) 0.5m Teflon-insulated silver-plated 10 AWG ground cables of choice (refer to the above cable list) - SGD 480 (price inclusive of Singapore islandwide delivery)

    The PRO ground box is the "grand-daddy" of ground boxes. More than 950% heavier than XL ground box and contains 8x more "secret ingredients", which equivalent to eight (10) XL ground boxes or thirteen (13) regular ground boxes!!! The 4 footers are brim-filled with the electromagnetic-isolation quartz as well. The PRO ground box is specially-made for your high-powered, high-wattage monoblocks or power amplifiers. Supports up to 50kg.

    PLEASE NOTE: When used in conjunction with iFi AC iPurifier, Asuz Sparkz or Shunyata Defender, disable the ground pin by wrapping an electrical tape over for better effects.





    Size (L x D x H): 480 mm x 400 mm x 90 mm
    Weight: 20 kilograms

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    Read the testimonies:

    "The best $100 accessory to improve WHOLE system... First and immediate impression: Gain in loudness. 2nd: Better definition. 3rd: Better bass." - Seetoh H.S.

    "Eva Cassidy's breathing sounded more sexy with the ground box... Thank you Mr Larry!" - Bart

    "Wow... I did not expect this ground box to have such great improvement to my system. Very satisfied with the purchase. And let me add one more, the courier is fast!" - Nicholas

    "I am skeptic no more... DEFINITELY makes a difference in my system. Thank you Larry for bringing in such a fantastic product." - Karl Wang

    “It definitely makes a difference even when noise levels in system are already vanishing low.” - Azor Heng

    "First impression was good. Background is much quieter. My music becomes very 3D, very shiok." - Cyril Lim





    "My biggest improvement for the money so far... Sounds like fine layer of veil has been removed from my system." - Thian Y.S.

    "I have tried connecting to my amp and power socket. Both give very different results. On the amp, soundstage becomes wider, imaging more distinct and background darker. On the power socket, dynamics improved, sound cleaner, clearer and louder." - Vincent Ong



    "I daisy-chained 3 boxes connect to my integrated tube amp the effect is even better. Background is pitch black and so quiet I can hear a pin drop. Well-worth the $300." - Willie Then

    "My experience is quite similar to your descriptions. Vocal has more body and seems to take a step or two forward, better separation from the music. Bass more controlled and more spatial details surfaced, probably due to the darker background. Overall, very positive." - Mr Hwang

    "Love these ground boxes. Feels like I have just switched a entirely new system." - Jonathan Hee



    "I compare my existing ground box with Aucharm. Physical-wise, Aucharm is bigger and MUCH heavier. Results-wise, Aucharm produces a cleaner, darker background. I like it better." - Eddy Leong from Malaysia



    "The XL ground box is very good. I can hear imaging and separation vastly improve. Thanks for bringing such a fantastic product." - Mak Y.C.

    "Larry your grounding box very please the SQ have definitely improve in terms of clarity separation thanks!" - Ian

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    A non-biased user review from a Hong Kong audiophile (in Chinese)


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    Last edited by KopiOkaya; Jun 10th, 19 at 02:46 PM.
    Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

  4. #4
    QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

    What is a floating ground?
    Nobody explains it better than the pros. Here is the link from Wikipedia.

    Learn more about ground in this video: https://youtu.be/zLW_7TPf310

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    How effective is the ground box?
    Just like every component in an audio chain, the effect is highly system dependent. Those of you who already have a very solid grounding system at home may not experience as much changes as those who don't. Then again, more than 80% of Singaporeans live in flats or condominiums. The grounding system in these apartments are implemented so as to meet basic safety standards and building regulations. Very little attention is paid to enhance or improve any part of the structure or design. Therefore, I am confident most of us will definitely benefit from any ground box, not just Aucharm ground box.

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    Does ground box require any power?
    No, a ground box is a passive device. It does not require any form of power source or electricity.

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    Is there a burn-in time?
    Yes, the manufacturer recommends burn-in for at least 72 hours.

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    Should I buy the regular or XL ground box?
    It depends on what you intend to use the ground box for. The regular ground box is more than adequate for most applications (example: amplifier, music source or loudspeakers). However, if you intend to use on power mains, then the XL ground box is most ideal. Bare in mind the XL ground box is available in limited quantities only.

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    There is humming sound coming from my turntable. Can the ground box eliminates this hum?
    This ground box will reduce the hum but not eliminate it. Turntable hum can be caused by various factors, including environmental. You may want to zoom in the cause before trying any tweak.

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    How to use the ground box?
    For best results, attach one individual ground box to every piece of audio equipment you own, including loudspeakers. If you want to use just one ground box, attach it to the amp (or pre-amp). This will give you the most balance results. I have tried the ground box on my TV with very good results too. Images become brighter and colours are more vibrant.

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    How to install the ground box?
    You may try the following (However, I do not guarantee everyone will experience similar results):

    • Attach to the ground ring of an unused female RCA connector or ground/earth output of your amp (both pre or power amps)
    • Clip onto one of the protruding chassis screws of your amp (make sure the screw surface is not laminated, painted or powder-coated)
    • Attach to the ground ring of an unused female RCA connector (either left or right is fine) of your CD/DVD/Blu-Ray player, DAC, turntable, tuner or media server
    • Attach to the negative (black) end of the binding posts on the amp or loudspeakers
    • If you purchase the AC ground cable, you may insert the AC plug into one of the unused electrical receptacle

    If your speaker cables are using banana plugs, attach to the negative (black) end of the binding post using the spade end


    If your speaker cables are using spades, attach to the negative (black) end of the binding post using the banana plug end


    A friend of mine connects the RCA ground cable to one of the unused source inputs of his Line Magnetic LM-219IA integrated tube amp


    Attach to an unused AC power receptacle


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    Here are some examples of how others "play" with their ground boxes...

























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    My amp has two grounds - signal ground and electrical ground... Which ground should I connect the ground box to?
    Some amplifier manufacturers such Leben, Shindo Labs, Sun Audio, McIntosh, etc, adopt a dual ground system. Meaning they separate both audio signal and electrical grounds instead of combining them. Theoretically, this is a good design practice. In this case, you may connect the ground box to audio ground first. If you want better results, connect one ground box to each ground - meaning use two ground boxes.

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    How big and heavy are the ground boxes?
    It is 165 mm (L) X 95 mm (W) X 75 mm (H) and weighs 1.4 kg. The XL ground box measures 240 mm (L) X 105 mm (W) X 45 mm (H) and weighs 2.1 kg.

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    What are the differences between the Aucharm ground boxes sold on AliExpress/****** compared to yours?
    The ground boxes I am mass ordering are customised and formulated for tropical use. Singapore’s climate is very humid (more than 70% R.H.). Eventually, water vapor will penetrate an untreated ground box and moisture absorb by the mixture, diminishes the effect.

    After liaising with the manufacturer in China, they are able to customise a ground box to my specifications. Basic materials such as pine box, 4N copper cathode, gold-plated connector and ground cable, are the similar to the original but there are THREE (3) major differences:

    1. The box is glued tight (not nailed) and sealed with silicone sealant.
    2. The mixture uses a slightly different formula specially blended for tropical use.
    3. Desiccant (activated charcoal) is added to the mixture to absorb moisture which may have penetrated into the content.

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    What is the composition of the mixture? Is it safe?
    The manufacturer does not reveal all “ingredients” in the mixture, however, he assures me there are no toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, manganese, lead or mercury. It is not radioactive also.



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    Can you show photos of how inside the ground box looks like?

    Sure...



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    I am bringing the ground box into Australia? I must declare the contents to the Australian Customs. Can you help provide me the list?
    Sure. I am able to provide you the list for 90% of the contents. Sorry, the remaining 10% even I don't know what they are and the manufacturer will not reveal to me or anybody.

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    Is the ground box well protected?
    A picture tells a thousand words... Here is how the packaging looks like. The ground box is packed inside 1" foam-padded shell.


    [All photos by KopiOkaya. Customers' systems, receptacle, inside photos and packaging from Aucharm]

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    How do I check if my system ground is looped?
    Using a digital multimeter in continuity mode, place one probe on the speaker's negative (black) speaker terminal and the other probe on the ground of your CD player or turntable (for example the ground ring of a RCA connector). If the multimeter beeps, it means your ground is looped.

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    I want to use a longer cable but is it recommended?
    There is a reason why the manufacturer includes a 0.5m ground cable as default. They DO NOT recommend a longer ground cable because it is unshielded and may interfere other audio cables such as the interconnect or phono cables. Of course, if you really want a longer ground cable, 2 meter is the maximum.

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    Can I use the ground cable as speaker cables?
    Yes and no... Yes, since it is an electrical conductor, it can be used as speaker cables. No, it may not sound good because it is not meant to be one.

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    What are the other brands of ground boxes available on the market?
    Entreq (Sweden) and Verictum (Poland) make similar products. I have heard both (Entreq at my friend’s place and Verictum at LiveAcoustics). All of them produce similar results.

    Entreq review: http://av2day.com/2015/09/entreq-tellus-ground-box/

    Verictum review: High Fidelity

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    How is Littlemart's ground boxes compare to yours?
    Littlemart and I are friends. He lives in AMK too, just few streets away from me. I have yet to try his ground box so I cannot comment on the results. However, based on his product descriptions, I feel that rosewood is not the most suitable material for ground box casing. My supplier and I had experimented with various timbers (rosewood included) and found pine to be the most ideal. Rosewood looks great cosmetically and is very solid for making furniture, but it is too dense and not porous enough for ground box. By the way, most people place their ground boxes behind shelves or on the floor under table. They hardly see daylight.

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    Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

  5. #5
    PLEASE DO NOT PLACE YOUR ORDERS HERE.

    Strictly no discussions, comments and preposterous remarks on this thread. I want to keep it as clean as possible. Appreciate your cooperation.
    Cable termination and repair services for a reasonable fee. Whatsapp Larry at 98805223.

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