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RF Zapperators with Bananas

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 5 / 5
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Shaun
    07 Sep 2023
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "Well I Never..!"
    “Zapperators”, I thought, “don’t be daft!” I added.
    I’ll just sit quietly in the corner with the image of Russ in my head saying STUPID BOY!
    I doubted that they would make any discernible difference and I was wrong again.
    Maybe it’s witchcraft, or maybe it’s that Russ Andrews is indeed a Jedi knight (as the rumours say), but the damn things work. And work WELL!! My speakers feel as though they are another couple of metres further apart: the bottom end just sounds a lot more open (I have bi-amped my speakers with 4 sets of mono blocks and just used the Zapperators on the speaker cables feeding the woofers) and the soundstage is much much wider.
    Playing some of my mono records is making them sound like stereo, as I swear I'm hearing trumpets behind me.
    A mind blowing upgrade.

    The instructions say I should by another set of these things and plug into the other speaker terminals but I can’t see how the sound could get any better, but isn’t that where it all began… (sigh)
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Monty
    10 Jun 2021
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    Not expect much, I bought a pair thinking of the 60 day trial but the idea of sending them back soon disappeared. Immediate improvement in depth of sound stage and positioning, and a general feeling that it sounded better. Took them out and the effect was gone, put them back and so were its benefits.
    5 / 5

    reviewed by David Montague
    20 May 2021
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "A Surprisingly Worthy Upgrade"
    Like many who have submitted reviews, I was doubtful that this tiny add-on would make much difference but experience with R.A., combined with the 60-day trial period, says "Why not?". Why not indeed, everything sounded better: just a bit but for sure. Clarity and stereo positioning especially so.
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Gerald Hentschel
    16 Dec 2019
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "The End Of A Long Journey"
    Plagued by low level but consistent hum in my speakers i tried everything short of moving house.

    Plugged the zapperators in and gone- the easiest and most effective upgrade in ages.
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Jim
    10 Aug 2019
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    I have always wondered why producers release music where violins and saxophones screech and singers’ voices have a nasty “edge” to them that hurts my ears. I’m sure everyone here knows exactly what I mean: where a sound hits your ears and makes you wince. Using the 8TC and the Zapperators the screechiness has disappeared! I have never heard such a difference in my sound. It it like someone has opened a pair of curtains in front of my speakers, the sound has widened and has so much depth, clarity, wideness and polish. I have been listening to Streisand’s Guilty CD and for the first time ever, her high notes are no longer edgy. Saxophones on Dave Brubeck’s Take Five no longer screech. To say that I am impressed with the zapperators is an understatement.
    Thank you.
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Gary Wasdell
    08 Jun 2017
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    Dont quite know what sonic wizards you employ in the tunnels below RA in Cumbria but they are doing a great job. These Zapperators give a significant improvement ( much more than expected) in stereo imaging, instrument placing, bass weight and overall musicallity. Highly recommended
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Bob Parsons
    18 Apr 2017
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "Big Step Up In Reality"
    I bought three pairs of Speaker Zapperators (with 8mm spades) some time ago, attaching two pairs to the speaker terminals and one pair at the amplifier outputs. I decided to wait before sending in a review, although I didn't intend the wait to be as long as it has been. I've said this before: how much would I have to spend to get this level of improvement by amp/speaker upgrades? I suspect upgrades wouldn't compete, especially on price, and that the "upgrade" might become apparent only with the addition of the Zapperators, if that makes sense.

    So, my venerable Triangle Antals survive another upgrade. They really are very fine speakers now that the Zapperators have freed them up. Well done again Russ and team. Your items always look expensive at first sight, but we would have to spend so much more to attempt the same improvements in other ways. So, as always, great value for money!
    5 / 5

    reviewed by David Willatts
    27 Mar 2017
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "A Worthwhile Upgrade"
    I purchased the zapperators as the latest in a long line of Russ Andrews cables and equipment supports. Like all the others, they help to achieve the effect of making one forget about the equipment, and simply enjoy the music - surely what hi-fi is all about!
    5 / 5

    reviewed by Steven Elphinstone
    25 Jan 2017
    Yes, I recommend this product.
    "Speaker Zapperators"
    exultant clear better bass and all over sound plus better sound stage