Over time, our civilization has become increasingly isolated from the physical world. We wake from our warm beds and check the outside temperature to know how to dress ourselves. It wasn’t that long ago when the first out of bed had to start a fire to keep the others from freezing.
Given our culture’s odd mix of hyper-connectivity and super isolation, it’s anyone’s guess what society will look like from decade to decade.
What we can be sure of is how important isolation is when it comes to our Hi-Fi systems (how was that for a seque?).
Each component in a separates system is better off as an island. As soon as you connect one to the other, you face a bevy of problems: ground loops, EMI, one power supply affecting the other, noise, increased jitter, to name just a few.
The ideal setup would enjoy complete galvanic isolation as well as physical separation. One piece does not impact the other as if the two were not connected together or even in the same room.
That ideal is something we have been working on for some time now. In the upcoming Octave Server, our AirGap interface galvanically and physically isolates the internal computer from the external digital Lens connecting equipment together. The new transport we’re building (to be launched hopefully in January) sports galvanically isolated outputs. Ted Smith’s upcoming Obsidian DAC enjoys galvanic isolation on all of its ins and outs and even goes to the extent of physically separating the analog from the digital by virtue of two chassis connecting with fiber optics.
It’s my guess that over time, isolation will become more prevalent in high-end audio equipment.
Certainly at PS Audio that will be true.