"Our plan is to provide you with plug'n'play means for different Firewall scenarios.  You will get a 1m power cord (hardware-store variety!) connected to a distributor (hardware-store variety!) with no Firewall in it; another with 1 FW; another with 2; another with 3; and a final one with 4 modules installed. Now you can report on the gradation of adding them well before components. 


"In addition, we'll be making you some really short C13 to C14 IEC leads with a Firewall module between them. This way you can hook those right up into your gear. In fact, if that works out well, we'll turn that into an optional product instead of the terminal for self-installation. This will be practically the same as putting them inside your gear. Because you will get several of these, you will not only be able to put them on pretty much all of your components but also do 1, 2, 3, 4 or more on a single component and see how adding more and more of these adds up (i.e. is there any apparent coloration etc)."


The sketch shows my general power setup before I replaced the repeater bar with three 5m cords. The main power strip feeding the source components is an 8-outlet Vibex Granada/Alhambra DC/AC filter. Our Swiss wall outlets look exactly like the inset triplex. This socketry is only used in CH and Liechtenstein, hence I use a CH/US wall adaptor past which everything is US-style plugs.


When Louis was ready to send, he itemized what he'd cooked up: 8 x Firewall modules with C13 and C14 connectors attached; 1 x 3m cord with 1 x FW and 4 Schuko outlets; 1 x 2m cord with 1 x FW and 4 Schuko outlets; 1 x 1m cord with 1 FW and four Schuko outlets; 1 x 1m cord with 2 FW and four Schuko outlets; 1 x 1m cord with 3 FW and four Schuko outlets; 1 x 1m cord wit h4FW and four Schuko outlets; and 4 x Schuko male to Nema/US female.


"The only thing I want to really emphasize is the importance of always hooking up the L and N lines correctly [that being a function of using reversible two-prong Schukos which can flip power polarity - Ed]. This includes the adapters to the US/Japan standard socket for your existing power cords (the small slit is L). That's pretty much it. Try all sorts of different things. I really recommend, at least once during some part of your testing rounds, to max out the whole system with these. Let them sit in a non-changing environment for 3-4 days. At that point some kind of audiophile magic should occur. Please note that the extension cords are €11.07/ea. in parts. The Firewall modules are $179/ea. including international delivery will full tracking for quantities of 4 or more. The 'non DIY' C13/C14 version of the Firewall module will sell for the happy price of $249/ea."


Anticipating the inevitable questions versus his prior mujo expensivo FireWall whose woodie finally tanked, Louis had this: "The Firewall module is more flexible in application. One can place the much smaller module so much closer to where it counts, ideally the closer to the circuitry the better. The farther it is, the less effective it becomes. That's because of the length of wire and associated antenna effect (also known as inductance of stray EM fields) between module and device. Hence in any direct sense, it is really not comparable. The big FireWall unit was designed for ready-made power cords. This Firewall module needs to be fit into the gear/system yourself or by a knowledgeable serviceman. It is not like the Panzerholz unit's ready-made connectors, suitable for plug'n'play. The module is probably going to be embraced more by the DIY community. Even so we made it installable without soldering so that more people could trust their own skills implementing it. The module is flexible because of the small footprint and achieves better results due to proximity. As a product it is a much better solution especially for the low price. This will enable far more people to enjoy the extremely high performance especially because upgrading to multiple modules becomes a very viable option. 

Snake pit without the oil?

"It proved far too expensive to continue producing the Panzerholz version. When you factor raw build cost, it should have sold for about $20'000. We knew of course the inevitable effect such pricing would have. With that unit, we did compromise on price but not quality or design. The business results were predictable. The next best thing was turning our attention back on budget solutions so more people would have a chance of actually buying our stuff. It is far more difficult to design gear which makes truly great sound affordable than to make great sound elite. True, this solution requires some work by the customer but I think everyone counts their pennies plus wants great sound. If that means turning a screwdriver, people should be happy to do so in exchange for the affordable cost." 


How many FW modules equal the performance of the older Panzerholz model? "The closer one connects to actual circuitry, the better. It is impossible to state a concrete number because it's not really the number which counts but that plus distance. For example, if one placed the Panzerholz unit on the street where your house gets its power, one would probably hear some effect but nothing worthwhile for that kind of money. The very best place for power filtering is between a component's IEC power inlet and its power transformer. For speaker lines, the best place is just before the output terminals of your power amp/s; and just before the speaker inputs on the other. This stuff is powerful just like the bigger Panzerholz version. But it's also small enough to be used where it counts the most and cheap enough to slave multiple units in series. The only fair comparison really is to weigh money versus results. Here the new Firewall module dwarfs the tankwood model. For $5'000 one could get 28 Firewall modules. I personally think of this as our very best achievement yet. It was and remains a lot of hard work and it will only get better. We have plans to go to a really big factory with robotic assembly. Already we cannot keep up with making these by hand."

Noise murder by audiophile serial killings?

Does the Firewall module conflict with existing DFPC power cables since those filter as well? "We connected a chain of 35 Firewall modules in series and enjoyed phenomenal sound. The power cord between wall and the 35-module chain was our DFPC Reference. Then we changed that power cord to a cheap industrial version with a bare 0.75mm² cross section of multi-stranded copper conductors. We could still perceive a change in sound quality which wasn't unimportant in terms of strict audiophile enjoyment. Something indeed had gone missing. But it was not a huge disappointment. It wa s an interesting lesson in how in the audiophile realm, everything is ultimately influential to sound quality. The only question is by what degree and for what kind of an investment."