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RF Zapperators with 8mm Spades

3.5 out of 5
RF Zapperators

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Zapperators use a network of specialised, very high specification components to stably absorb RF and further reduce noise in the amplifier / speaker interface. We've found that they augment the effect of Kimber speaker cable (Russ uses them on his speakers in his main system) and in our opinion they are also an essential upgrade if you're using a speaker cable from another manufacturer!

Using your Zapperators

Zapperators fit to the binding posts of your speakers and are fitted with a choice of 'piggy-back' bananas - to allow you to continue using existing speaker cables fitted with bananas - 8mm and 6mm spades or simply 'cut and stripped'.

What are Zapperators?

Zapperators are a new device based on a Zobel-type network for reducing high level RF interference at the point of speaker cable termination. They can be fitted at either the speaker or amp end of the cable.

And in plain English?!

OK, so to put it more practically we can look at it like this:

The point at which a speaker cable terminates into the speaker – or from the amp – is particularly vulnerable to interference, and the consequent noise this introduces into the audio signal. We believe that the use of Kimber speaker cable already goes a long way to rejecting this because of its unique woven design, but this end point could still be made better. This is what Zapperators are designed to do.

Not surprisingly, any product designed to address this problem had to take into account a number of considerations, not least that the new device did not introduce any other problems that could potentially negate any positive effects. This in itself was a fair task! Take the issue of placement, for example.

By their very nature, Zapperators have to be placed right next to the speaker so they are going to have to cope with high levels of bass vibration from the cabinet – many times higher than you would experience sitting at your listening position. Many high quality RF parts are microphonic, so using these would be akin to directly injecting distortion into the audio path, defeating the object. So one of the key points in the design of the Zapperators was the very selective use of high quality components.

Then there's the design itself. After many hours of research and testing, designer Ben Duncan adapted the original design of a Zobel network to work more efficiently in this specific application. The result was the speaker Zapperator, which works by literally burning off RF interference, converting it to heat and ensuring that once treated, it cannot return.

Hi-Fi Critic magazine had the following to say when they reviewed them in 2009:

"Frankly I was not expecting much, if anything at all, but – Ouch! – there was a difference and it was not small… A reduction in noise floor, treble grain and sibilance increased fine detail resolution and texture, and imaging was more natural with better distant perspectives. The sound was calmer, flowed better and with slightly better subjective timing and lower fatigue. I could hardly have been more surprised".
Martin Colloms

Where should I use them?

The majority of users find that fitting the Zapperators at the speaker end of a cable produces the most effective results. However, there has been a significant minority of customers reporting better performance from placing them at the amp end, so we would suggest trying both to see which works best with your system.

In the same vein, most users who have fitted Zapperators at both amp and speaker ends have experienced another step up in performance – and some have used multiple units at each end with even better results!

How do I fit them?

Zapperators are available in three terminations:

  • Piggy-back bananas – simply plug the Zapperators into the binding posts and your cable into the Zapperators bananas
  • Spades – fit the Zapperators into the spade connections on your binding posts and the speaker cable into the banana sockets
  • Cut and stripped – if your binding posts have a hole to take bare wire, you can fit the Zapperators into here and the speaker cables into the banana sockets, as with the configuration for spades.

    Which is best?

    Most people go for bananas as this is by far the most convenient option. This does add another connection into the audio signal path, but the advantages in audio performance gained by using the Zapperators far outweighs this issue. However, if this is a concern for you and you really want the ultimate performance from your system, it may be a better option to choose spades or bare wire so your speaker cable is plugged in directly to the binding posts.
  • white paper
    Want to know more about the technology in our Zapperators?

    Download the white paper here written by their designer, Ben Duncan.
    Customer Reviews
    Overall product rating 3.5 / 5
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Yves LAMBERT
    17 Oct 2023
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "Improvement In Sound Quality"
    Being bi-wiring, I bought a pair of ZAPERATORs over a year ago and I was already satisfied. What can I say now that I just bought a second pair. It's a miracle and I weigh my words. Deeper bass and more clarity when listening. So if you are in the same configuration, don't make the same mistake as me, order 2 pairs directly.
    2 / 5

    reviewed by Trevor Lee
    23 Apr 2017
    "Not Recomended For Hi End Systerms , You Actually Loose The Top And Bottom End Dynamices ."
    I have musical fidelity nu/visa 800 series amp and cd player, also PMC Pb1i speakers and russ/ andrews power blocks and monical XL cables . I have actually found that the zapperators spoil the sound , you loose dynamic/s top and bottom end, It makes the timing bass end sluggish , but does improve mid vocales a little but does strange things to the trebble or top end. might be o/k with cheap systerms.
    Customer Service Reply Thanks for your review and sorry you didn't get on with the Zapperators in your system. Like any other audio component, you can never know exactly how a product will integrate with the rest of your system until you hear it in place. Where it doesn't suit, our 60 Day money back guarantee means that you can return them for a full refund - just contact us for a returns number.

    Interestingly, the other reviews on here for the Zapperators (with different terminations) found a positive effect on a range of systems. Our experiences were also positive when used them on both high end and more modest systems, but we appreciate everyone's systems and experiences are different. Thanks for trying them!