I am told that the Aardvark can be just as effective in other scenarios. Streamed TV is an obvious example, but what about control applications. The CH-Control App requires the connection of any unit you want to configure or adjust – anything from screen name and colour to volume setting) to be hooked up to a wireless capable ethernet network: which is one reason why I don’t use it, except for initial set-up. Yet Liquid Hi-Fi, who supplied the Aardvark for review, suggests that it is extremely effective used in the control port on CH components connected to a network: Clearly it’s something I’ll need to investigate, as is the possibility of using more than one Aardvark within the network itself.
In the meantime, this deceptively simple device has become an absolutely indispensable part of my streaming infrastructure. Expensive at first glance, its musical impact makes it a serious bargain, at least in my system and circumstances. As with all such devices, performance will depend on the situation – the quality of the network, the potential performance lying unrealised in the system. But arguably the best thing about the Aardvark is its plug-n-play nature. Stick it in your network feed and it’ll start hoovering up spurious digital noise as assiduously as its hairy namesake hoovers up ants and termites. Whether the resulting improvement in musical performance justifies the cost is thus an easy call. But if you do decide it isn’t worth the coin, don’t buy it – simple as that (although personally and after my experience I’d be frankly astonished if you reached that conclusion). This is by far the most cost-effective Ethernet filter I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a few.
So, the conclusion here is simple – grab an Aardvark and give it a try. But, if the Aardvark proves elusive (it IS named after a furtive, nocturnal, burrowing animal after all!) then at least take on the wider implications. It’s hand-built nature and limited distribution might make the Aardvark hard to get hold of, but if you live outside its natural habitat don’t let best be the enemy of good. After the Aardvark experience I’ll be looking at alternatives and if you can’t track one down, you should too. It has identified such a critical junction in the network chain that you’d be crazy to ignore it.
Price and availability:
Aardvark In-line RJ45 Filter – $449.00 USD (plus sales tax)
US Distributor –
Charlotte, NC, USA
(+1)704 953 6034