Categories: IsolationReviews

Furutech NCF Booster Review

Intro

I’ll get to the Furutech NCF Booster – but first, a story about a burrito.

So my girl and I went to a local Mexican joint the other day. It had amazing reviews on Yelp – and the photos looked great.

When we got there, everything was uber systematic and “proper.” Apparently, they pride themselves with a neat space, the highest quality of ingredients, and customer service.

This burrito looks way too perfect.

There was a problem, however. The food was delicious…but it was too clean. For me, Mexican food tastes best with a little bit more grease…cooked with those roasty bits of charred, buttery goodness from the previous order. That’s what gives it character!

When it strays too far from the “norm” – it loses its authenticity. In the end, this burrito was “pure” in many ways – but it didn’t taste right to me.

Audiophile Tweaks

The same could be said about Audiophile “tweaks.” They’re meant as finishing touches rather than a core part of the sound system. That’s not because their effect is subtle. On the contrary, they have the potential to be quite transformative.

Many of these tweaks attempt to reduce RFI and EMI or mechanical vibrations. Depending on the materials and components used – they could have a different effect on a variety of systems. I mean, even a bag of chips could change the sound for the better (and worse).

The Norm

Many recording studios don’t use wooden blocks to elevate their cables off the floor. In addition, they don’t use cryogenically treated outlets or magic dots on the wall. Although some of these tweaks have measurable results – we can’t work with the absolutes just based on how many variables there are.

I’m going a bit against the grain for saying this – but by not having the ultimate purity or isolation in a system – it may not be a bad thing. Sprinkle in some RFI or vibrations – and it might actually sound better to you.

These tweaks require an open-mind and experimentation. Some will integrate well – and some will not. They’re system-dependent. This hobby is a constant balancing of art and science. Just some food for thought.

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Jay Luong

Mr. Audio Bacon himself. An open-minded electrical engineer and software developer by trade. I have an obsession with the enjoyment of all things media - specifically in the realm of music and film. So much heart and soul (and money) go into the creation of this artistry. My aim is to find out which products get me closer to what the musicians and directors intended.

View Comments

  • “Although these tweaks have measurable results”...I believe in certain tweaks but that’s quite a claim. $375 apiece? Just another example of mfrs giving our hobby a bad name...shame shame 😎

  • No offense, but I', having a serious hard time believing these cable lifters were actually altering the sound.
    Even if the pieces are coated with Furutech NCF's piezoelectric material, it is still not coming into connect with any wires or anything that has the signal passing through it.

    In the end, it's just having a thinly coat piece of plastic come in connect with a heavenly shielded cable or even a even more heavily shielded connector piece that protects the the actual signal from outside interference. There is absolutely no science to back up they would affect the sound.

    If one would buy them, it would probably be because they need a cable lifer, not for a sound tweak. For that there are MUCH cheaper alternatives.

    • Yeah, we all had a serious hard time believing a lot of things in this hobby. But there are people who speculate - and there are people who actually use their god-given ears. Those who take action - usually get further in life. And have more friends. True story. :)

      My feeling is that these pieces act like some kind of giant ferrite. Whatever it is - it does change the sound. And you don't need golden ears to hear them.

  • This Furutech NCF lifters REALLY WORK! And not just for audio gear. I placed the power cord for my toaster on one of these things and OMG, perfectly golden brown toast each and every time! I then tried it on the power cord for my microwave and now my TV dinners come out better tasting than the dinners served by 3 Michelin star restaurant down the street. OMG! Lastly, I put my wiener on one of these things and my wife is now super happy! Totally worth it!

    • Way to go ! The wiener test sounds like the best. Seriously though I have what looks like an LA freeway exchange of 2’-4” tall hardwood dowels 1.5” diameter. The floor is hard wood. The tops of the dowels are covered w/ a laminate layer of silicon. Floor side wood to wood. There are 42 of them in all. Signal and power cable lifters.I fiddled for over ten year using dozens of materials. Disclaimer: I am a professional artist (sculpture and paintings) w/ decades of fabricating experience. Yes these things do work, materials matter and sonic outcome varies depending of combinations used. I would start at Home Depot, Lowes:
      Hardwood: Pine dowels sound diffused & warm, Poplar is clearer, focused w/ a bell like lucid clarity. Oak, walnut and more dense exotic woods vary but walnut is by far the best balance. Do not use cork anywhere , it suffocates the ambience. Buy or borrow a power chop box and use a fine tooth blade. Sand w/ 220 grit paper and coat w/ a low sheen water based trim paint (Behr is best.) Play w/ spacing & height to separate criss-crossing signal & power cable (allow at least 1.5” clearance. ) Experiment and you will be rewarded. Finally with my system I would need app. 40X$350 worth of Furutech cable lifters!!!
      It is a hobby so have fun & be sure to ask a friend if they hear the difference .

  • Thanks for the review. I would like to try them. For those naysayers, just because you don't understand 'science' behind these devices it doesn't mean that they don't have any. Proof is in pudding. Try them for yourself before you judge them.

  • Thanks for another great review! Did you try the NCF Boosters with your High Fidelity Ultimate Cables? How do they sound?

  • In my opinion this is a quite expensive solution to a problem : awful sound of Fuructech FI-50 connector bodies that sound metallic and push back the midrange.
    I anyone here enjoying NCF?

  • Eventually I used 4 x NCF Booster Signal as speaker cable (DSS4.1) lifters and 4 x NCF Booster Signal-L mainly on Ethernet cables (SoTM Cat7) with one on the power cable (DPS4.1) feeding my pre-amp. My conclusion, after playing around with different positioning, is the same as Jay's. The best use case is on the digital cables first, and then on the speaker cables. The closer you put them to the analog source (eg. on the interconnects coming out of the DAC), the leaner the sound gets. Overall, the difference they make is not subtle. I like music with a natural bloom and density. Using these Boosters can help with clarity, dimension and focus but applying too much of it robs music of this natural bloom.

  • This is the most accurate Furutech ncf booster review. I started with 2 and I got 6 of them. Like Jay said, putting one 8" from the rear end is the most effective. However I found the NCF is very effective to speaker cables at the 8" too. The trade off is very obvious, the sound is too focus. If you are a laidback person you may not like it.

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