SYMETRICA by Z:Axis Audio
Because life should be balanced..
Early review of a pre production version here
For many years I tried several mains power devices, from ‘conditioners’ that did little for the music (except kill it!), to expensive market leading regenerators that did something, but not really enough to drastically improve sound quality without any doubt left over whether the improvements were genuine, and certainly not enough to be able to connect a power amp or two to! So, I set about designing and prototyping a unit early 2017 for my own personal home audio system and had a complete unit built within 5 months, when audio testing could begin. Test results were better than expected, actually quite a lot better, enough to justify progressing the design for small scale production, with the first 5 unit’s delivered towards the end of 2017 to their owners who had home trialled a demo unit.
After installing a SYMETRICA into a system, the first thing that you will notice is that the speakers will disappear, the soundstage expands and comes from a vivid deep space in front of you, portraying a greater sonic landscape, quite a startling change from without the unit in place! Secondly, you will notice the bass, it is now cleaner, and deeper, with better flow and a richer harmonic structure, and seemingly effortless, truly different to without the unit. The mid range takes on more presence, while the high frequencies extend and become smoother with less etch, far more akin to very good analogue. It quickly becomes apparent that the pre-existing noise floor that was thought to be ‘low’, has disappeared altogether! The big discovery though was what the SYMETRICA can do for digital, which is lift the humble redbook CD to the level where it is very close to very very good vinyl, and this was quite a revelation to us all that heard this difference at that time. Part of the reason for this is that the SYMETRICA has not one but 3 individual balanced output transformers, custom built to our specification within it’s substantial handbuilt casework. One 300Va transformer can be utilised specifically for digital equipment, ie DAC’s, transports, servers, CD player etc, thus isolating the analog source equipment and amplification from the hash emitted by digital electronics. Additionally, a second 300Va transformer is used for powering analogue source components, or, to considerable benefit, a phono stage along with a turntable motor unit for instance. This combination is truly essential to serious music and audio lovers. The third and by far the largest transformer is either 1.5 or 2Kva, and is for amplification devices that require more current. All sections have dedicated current output displays, and a voltage display indicates input and seconday outputs, switchable between the two. These display’s can be switched off from a pushbutton easily accessible on the top panel. All too often you will hear about connecting power amplifiers to mains supply devices, whether it is good or not, and in our experience with all of the units previously used, none responded positevly to powering amplifiers. With a SYMETRICA you can, and must, connect all amplifiers to benefit from the common single earth connection. The standard SYMETRICA will provide up to 6.6 amps of continous AC current, and 8.8 amps for the 2Kva model. Most soild state class A/B power amplifiers will only draw around 1.5 -2.5 amps, with big high output valve amps such as a customers class A Convergent Audio Technology JL3 drawing around 4.8 amps, still only using 50% of the available AC current limit before core saturation will occur.
Often, large torroidal transformers can hum when the mains supply has any DC offset present, with more and more home appliances producing excessive amounts of this DC due to only ustilising half of the AC waveform. We therefore incorporated a substantial DC filter, using large Vishay capacitors, which effectively block all DC from saturating the transformer cores, leaving them to operate optimally at all times, saving the internal power supplies in the connected equipment from the destructive DC content. This adds to the ‘effortless’ sound that the Symetrica is becoming known for.
On the rear panel are 10 Furutech Gold plated outlets, safety fused on both lines, so this will power a complete system, even current hungry valve mono power amplifiers are working flawlessly via the Symetrica, all maintaing one single common earth connection! Front panel led indicators show that all outputs are working, and will indicate a blown fuse.
Mains AC power connection is via a Neutrik 32amp Powercon connection, and Furutech UK mains plug terminated high quality copper mains cable. The Neutrik was chosen over IEC standard due to far better contact and locking mechanism.
In our view, and of all owner’s of the SYMETRICA, this provides the fundamental foundation of the sound of your sytem, and when it is removed the sound seems to become flat and far less interesting..
For further detailed information, please use the menu button on the right..