A company like Vertex AQ has so many entry-points on its ‘Systematic Approach’ pathway that sometimes it’s difficult to know precisely where to start. However, in systems with a specific hum or buzzing issue, that problem is resolved – start here, with the Aneto DC Offset blockers.
Here’s why: alternating current is sinusoidal in nature, and should be symmetrical around 0V. That’s the theory: in reality many alternating current supplies are not symmetrical and you might find AC cycling between +242V and -238V. This is called DC offset, and it is directly audible in many audio systems; usually as a buzzing transformer, but in very extreme cases you can hear clicks and pops through the loudspeakers. There are two ways of fixing a buzzing transformer vibrating the top of your electronics; hitting it with a hammer blow from your fist (or a rubber mallet), or using some kind of DC offset blocker. The fist-based version is cheaper, but usually fairly pointless (the humming returns quickly). A DC offset blocker is usually the best option.
Vertex AQ brings more than just DC offset blocking to the Aneto models, of course. The three models – Standard, Silver, and Hi-Rez – all include a built‑in Jaya filter circuit in shunt configuration and an acoustic labyrinth of the same grade, so in addition to the blocking benefits, you begin down the Vertex AQ rabbit hole, bringing a double bonus to the party (triple in the case of the Hi-Rez, thanks to its passive EMI absorption). We tested the Silver and Hi-Rez models.
Vertex AQ recommends using one Aneto per product, although I’d argue that – if your distribution block has an IEC input, one between the outlet in the wall and the distribution block will suffice. You could also argue that one per humming product is sufficient too, however this does not factor for the Jaya filter effect and for that you will find an individuated application will pay dividends and using one per device performs best. If you are doing this in stages, start with the noise-maker device.
A good DC blocker should do nothing in places where it isn’t needed, and perform minor miracles in the places it is demanded. It should get out of the way sonically, and simply lower the noise floor when called for. The Aneto does just that; dropping the ambient noise floor by ridding the system of specific mains buzzes and hums. However, the Aneto also helps lower the noise floor of the product to which it’s connected. The DC blocking effect doesn’t seem dependent on the grade of performance of the Aneto – the Silver and Hi-Rez both cut ambient and lowered system self-noise in about equal levels. Where the two differ is the mains filtration effects, which take a little longer to realise for yourself.