There is a reason why so many companies are launching virtual ground boxes, these units simply work. As always it depends on the system, if you have a very simple one with no ground loops and no EMI/RFI noise you might not need one, but then again I have never met anyone lucky enough to be immune from such gremlins.
Nordost’s QKORE line consists of three models and during the show Denis Bonotto demoed all three with a system consisting of Audio Physic speakers, SimAudio electronics and Nordost cables. Denis inserted a different QKORE device at a time and ended up virtual grounding sources, amps, everything. I believe the biggest improvement was in fine detail retrieval, a lower noise floor translates immediately into more detail, nuances and an overall sense of musical immersion. Despite the not perfect show conditions bass response was also a bit tighter. Overall a great demo and one that got me thinking about an upcoming system tweak.
A few details from the Nordost press kit:
The QKORE is a parallel grounding device, which provides an artificial, “clean” earth for hifi audio systems using both an electrical and mechanical approach. This unique product combines Nordost’s patented Mono-Filament technology with purpose-built, Low-Voltage Attractor Plates (LVAPs), constructed with a proprietary metal alloy and a passive electronic circuit, in order to draw stray high frequency noise and voltage-generated magnetic fields to a manufactured earth point, leaving a clean reference behind. This passive system is contained in a mechanically tuned housing, and outfitted with gold-plated, WBT binding posts, which easily connect each component to an artificial ground.
Nordost’s QKORE is available in three distinct models. The QKORE1 is specifically designed to serve as a parallel ground for use with Nordost’s distribution block, the QBASE. By connecting the QBASE to the QKORE1’s singular binding post, it provides an effective, alternative ground on the primary side of the power supply. The QKORE3 is named for its three available binding posts, which can be used to ground any component in your system on the secondary side of a power supply, where the audio circuit is. For audiophiles who have monoblocks in their system, or are searching for an all-in-one unit solution, Nordost offers The QKORE6, making it possible to ground all elements of your sound system on its 6 binding posts, including one ground for your distribution block, two grounds for the left and right channels of your monoblocks, and three grounds for additional audio components.