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AC Power supply filter

Thunder Melody

Manufacturer: INNOVACOM sp. z o.o.
Price (when reviewed): 22 000 PLN

INNOVACOM SP. Z O.O. Oddział Henryków
Henryków 28C, 67-300 Szprotawa | POLSKA


Provided for test by: THUNDER MELODY


Images: Wojciech Pacuła
Translation: Marek Dyba

No 204

May 1, 2021


THUNDER MELODY is one of the newest Polish audio brands, founded just last year. It was founded by Mr. KONRAD RAŚ and Mr. RAFAŁ HŁADZIAK and specializes in products developed for vibration damping, noise reduction and conditioning of the power supply. For this test we received the VACUUM INFINITUM BLACK AC power supply filter.

T DOES NOT HAPPEN OFTEN that a product of a new, small company not only fares well compared to the well-known competition, but it actually is better than it. And this was the case with the MONUMENT anti-vibration platform of the Polish company THUNDER MELODY, which we tested in October last year (HF № 198, see HERE). Compared to the reference product, the pneumatic RAF-48H platform of the Japanese Audio Revive, the Polish product won hands down.

Back then I knew that Thunder Melody had already also developed or just was finishing development of several other products, including a passive parallel AC power filter. We encounter products of this type quite often, both in the form of plugs, such as QUALIA PHYSIC Q1, but also as separate "boxes" connected to the power socket. Among the latter, there are some interesting examples such as the product of the Acoustic Revive, based on the design of the creator of the computer mouse, the RPC-1 (review HERE), but also the Verictum X BULK GOLD.

While the purpose of all these filters is the same, filtering high-frequency and magnetostatic interference from the power supply, the methods they use are different. Thunder Melody also has developed its own method. It's just that it is not entirely clear to me what is it. Their products are sealed and the test was only possible thanks to my promise not to take them apart. I don't like such situations, they are uncomfortable for me. This time, however, I made an exception because I understand the concerns of a company whose capital comes primarily from knowledge. And many would like to get access to the latter ...


THE NAME OF THE TESTED FILTER, Vacuum Infinitum ("perfect vacuum" - could there be an association with a novel by Stanisław Lem, polish si-fi writer?), says a lot about the manufacturer's ambitions. The Monument part of the name fits in as well And the retail prices of these products complete the whole picture - they are ones of the highest in the audio industry, regardless of the country of origin.

The tested filter has a form of a medium-sized box with a housing made of panzerholtz. A brass, antiqued nameplate with the company name is screwed on the front, and on the back there is a Furutech IEC power socket with rhodium plated contacts, belonging to the NFC series, and a silver WBT Ag speaker terminal. It is not directly connected to the PE from the socket, so the tested filter can also be safely used as an artificial ground, something like Nordost's QKore. To this socket we connect a cable terminated with spade with an internal diameter of 6 and 8 mm or a banana plug.

The device is available in several versions, and its price, depending on the filter used, may vary between PLN 8,900 and PLN 22,000 - and we are testing the most expensive version. The lineup includes three basic types:

• Thunder Melody VACUUM INFINITUM SILVER – basic version – 8900 PLN,
• Thunder Melody VACUUM INFINITUM GOLD – advanced version – 12 000 PLN,
• Thunder Melody VACUUM INFINITUM BLACK – top, reviewed version – 22 000 PLN.

As the designer says, it is best to connect the filter not right next to the audio system, but in the place where the greatest interference is introduced to the mains, i.e. near the refrigerator, computers, etc.. Of course, there is no reason not to place have it placed next to the system, but then we will get slightly different results than if it was connected away from it.

As the manufacturer says, "the power for your the kitchen" should be "well-taken care of" in a similar way to that for the audio system, which nobody really does. And next:

And it is sad and funny at the same time. Sad, because this is another cost center and the higher it is the better the end result. Funny, in turn, because there is still a place where you can improve everything on a huge scale, without touching anything, replacing electronics, accessories, everything that is already so painstakingly collected - and especially without touching the equipment.

The filter is nicely finished and looks really well. Its finish is better than that of the platform we once tested and you can see that a lot has been improved in terms of aesthetics. One thing worth considering is doing something with the seals placed on the outside of the device that do not look too good. It is a very expensive product, so we pay primarily for the technical solutions developed for it. But just because it is expensive, it should be perfectly made and finished.

POWER CABLE And now - just like in the case of the Monument anti-vibration platform, the tested filter can be connected using an ordinary "generic" cable - and the product is delivered with such one. However, you can change the rules of the game and use any high-end AC power cord. With the platform, the difference was significant, and as the designers of Thunder Melody suggest, it should be the case also this time.

The company offers such cables, with the top model called FEMTO. So we agreed that the test will be performed with a "generic" cable, and I would listen to Femto separately as sort of a post scriptum to this test. This is not a cheap cable, because it costs PLN 19,000 ... Fortunately, the lineup also includes two more affordable cables: Strato for PLN 3,500 and NoGravity for PLN 8,500 (plus VAT).


HOW WE LISTENED All the filters I mentioned earlier I tested in a classic way, that is by listening to their influence on the sound and performing A/B/A comparisons, with the A and B known. With Vacuum Infinity Black it is different. As Mr. Konrad Raś says:

Comparing our filter is not as simple as the others - it is impossible to perform a simple A/B/A test. It would be best to connect the device for the night and start testing the next day. At the same time, the correct L polarity must be maintained, as in the case of powering any other audio devices. To obtain the proper effectiveness, the power socket (wall) must also be connected to the PE ground, artificial zeroing will not allow any real effects.

As he also says, the filter "cleans" the system with its surroundings, which can be heard "immediately". This process is so dynamic that it is worth turning on the audio system at night and abstain from eavesdropping. There is also the other side of the coin. When we disconnect the filter from the socket, "catching" the new balance also takes time, which - as I found out - should be understood in such a way that the effect "holds" for some time and only then diminishes.

The changes are so fundamental that you can easily spot them - says the designer. So I suggest that you make notes from the first day, and then from the second and third, because each time "it's going to be a completely different sound". During this time, no changes should be made to the system, because every touch of the cables, reconnecting them, etc. causes electrostatic stress, and this affects the final result, the smallest changes that translate into a "coherent image"."

And so I did as suggested. The filter was plugged into a socket belonging to the "kitchen" circuit. The listening session was divided into three parts: the first comparison was made in the classic A/B version, with A and B known, the second test was performed an hour after plugging the filter into the socket, and the third a day later. Although each subsequent approach showed the deepening of the effect that the designers had talked about, the A/B comparison made the biggest impression on me, without any time interval between A and B.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸜ CANNONBALL ADDERLEY, Somethin’ Else, Blue Note/Esoteric ESSB-90125, SACD/CD (1958/2015) w: 6 Great Jazz, „MasterSound Works”, Blue Note/Esoteric ESSB-90122/7, 6 x SACD/CD
⸜ DIANA KRALL, Wallflower, Verve/Universal Music LLC UCCV-9577, “Deluxe Edition”, SHM-CD + DVD (2015);
⸜ ROY HAYNES QUARTET, Out of the Afternoon, Impulse!/Esoteric ESSI-90135, SACD/CD (1962/2015) w: Impulse! 6 Great Jazz, Impulse!/Esoteric ESSI-9013/8 (2015)
⸜ THE OSCAR PETERSON TRIO, We Get Request, Verve/Lasting Impression Music LIM K2HD 032, K2HD Mastering, „24 Gold Direct-from-Master Edition UDM”, Master CD-R (1964/2009)
⸜ TOMASZ PAUSZEK, LO-FI LO-VE, Audio Anatomy AA-006-17-CD, 2 x Master CD-R (2017);
⸜ VANGELIS, Blade Runner, Atlantic Records/Audio Fidelity AFZ 154, „Limited Edition | No. 2398”, SACD/CD (1998/2013)

⸜ DRAKE, Scary Hours 2, OVO Sound/Tidal Master, MQA 24/44,1 (2021)
⸜ LANA DEL REY ,Chemtrails Over The Country Club, Polydor/Tidal Master, MQA 24/48 (2021)
⸜ RINGO STARR, Zoom In, UMe/Tidal Master, MQA 24/48 (2021)
⸜ SAM SMITH, Live At Abbey Road Studios, Capitol Records/Tidal Master, MQA 24/96 (2021);


IT CAN NOT BE A COINCIDENT or a one-time „luck” - the Vacuum Infinity Black filter brings similar features to the sound as the Monument platform once did. The changes may not be not that big, i.e. their scope is a bit smaller, but they are just as spectacular. The improvement in sound can be heard immediately, right after the filter is plugged into the power outlet, although its scale deepens over time. This deepening, however, goes in the direction indicated at the very beginning.

Thanks to the Thunder Melody filter, the sound of my system has become more vivid and vibrant. Even without it, its energy was enormous, and its vividness exceptional, so I did not miss anything in its sound. However, I listened to two re-editions of jazz classics, prepared by the Esoteric label, and I knew right away - this is IT!

On both, the CANNONBALL ADDERLEY band’s on the Something 'Else and the ROY HAYNES quartet from the Out of the Afternoon, with the filter plugged in I heard a denser, deeper and darker presentation. There was no way it was a mistake on my part or a case of me being vulnerable to manufacturer’s suggestion, because the changes were so unambiguous and so clear that I would have to be deaf not to notice them. And they were mostly about adding a three-dimensional "there" to each sound that turned that sound into an event.

The deepened sound also resulted in a deeper soundstage. With some albums it may seem that they sound narrower, have less stretched edges of the stereo panorama. However, it seems to me that it is about something else, about greater precision. The filter focused attention on things that were previously a little overshadowed by other sounds. As a result, the whole gained importance and credibility.

Interestingly the sound seems softer with the Thunder Melody product. Even though you can hear more, as I’ve said. I perceived it as if some distortions had been removed from the presentation, something causing a stronger attack that slightly but still dominated the saturation. As in the opening track of THE OSCAR PETERSON TRIO’s We Get Request, played from a copy of the Master CD-R released by First Impression Music. With the filter, you could hear the different ways of hitting the triangle at the beginning of the track opening this album, and then the differences in hitting the cymbals with a stick.

I am invoking these details not for themselves, because they have no meaning, unless they are part of a larger whole. But it is precisely with products of this type, such as the tested filter, that we can better understand how it all works, how the successive layers of sound influence the higher ones, and how together they create added value, something more than modulated noise.

The filter introduces calmness, depth and delicacy into the system - but, as I say, delicacy resulting from better interaction of individual elements. Therefore, not only does the upper treble seem sweeter with it, but still stronger, but the same happens with the other extreme of the frequency range. The bass was lower and denser, yet there seemed to be a bit less of it. I heard it both with RAY BROWN's double bass on the Peterson disc and with the bass sound from DIANA KRALL's album, but it came out best with electronics - both on the discs of TOMASZ PAUSZEK and VANGELIS.

The low, massive descents opening the second album from the double album LO-FI LO-VE of the Polish musician with Vacuum Infinity Black seemed to me to be better controlled and more distinctly differentiated. Earlier, I didn't miss anything in their sound, I was even amazed with their massiveness (I forgot how good this album is!), But a moment with the filter and it was obvious that it could be presented in a better, denser, lower way.

I mentioned that the filter transformed my system's sound towards density and having less pronounced impact. While it was fantastically audible with high quality CD and SACD releases played using my high-end player, the changes I am talking about were probably even more applaudable with files played from Tidal.

Let's listen to the song White Dress from the excellent, new LANA DEL REY’s album, and we will hear a strong treble and emphasized sibilants in the singer's voice - this is a producer's trick, not a mistake! The filter gave this trick a musical sense, so I perceived it as a feature of the recording, and not - as before - a deviation from neutrality. It is clear that this is a deviation, but it is not about sloppiness of the producer, but about the fact that they wanted to achieve this particular effect.

In a similar way I perceived the sound of SAM SMITH's vocal from his latest album Live At Abbey Road Studios. The album features a "live" recording in the Abbey Road studio, so not fully "polished". We have these not particularly vibrant cymbals on it and not quite vivid vocals. On the other hand, you can hear the energy, the community of playing together, the joy of making music. And with the filter the joy was greater, the presentation was a bit less mechanical. The files from Tidal, also with songs like Lemon Pepper Freestyle by DRAKE, from the Scary Hours 2 album sounded in a better, more interesting way.


The Post scriptum of this test was, as Mr. Konrad Raś suggested, the replacement of the computer cable with Femto, the company's top power chord. The designer was right when he told me:

I want the test to be performed with what "comes in the set", that is with the generic cable, and that 95% of the test should be based on this set. But in the end, after forming your opinion, it would be worthwhile to totally mess with it - I'm sure it will happen! - by switching to Femto. It just needs 5 ~ 10 minutes for adaptation in a system and you can draw your conclusions. I am asking you about this supplementary test, because it is the icing on the cake and it summarizes the whole sense of this device.

The changes it brings to the already excellent product, which is the Vacuum Infinity Black filter, are large and significant, but secondary to the filter itself. I would definitely prefer a filter with this cable, because the sound becomes more refined and even better differentiated in such a combination, but it is not a "must", it can be done later. The problem may be that once we hear this set play together, we won't want to wait.

The filter itself offers such a huge improvement that each step in that direction, such as with Femto, only emphasizes what it is doing. And it does a lot: it deepens the sound, softens sharp edges, allows the system to differentiate colors better, it also significantly improves the depth of the stage and allows for better focusing of the sound. It is also so that with the filter you want to hear everything louder. When the sound is worse, it is exactly the opposite, we want to listen quieter, so that the distortions hurt less.

Similarly to the Monument anti-vibration platform, the Vacuum Infinity Black filter, preferably with the Femto cable, should be used in all sophisticated audio systems. They bring class and qualities we value the best recordings for - sound depth and musicality.


Reference system 2021

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

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Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC