- The units under review were ordered on 15Aug07 and purchased at the full retail price.
- This is my first formal review of audio components and as such, is an honest representation of what I experienced using the LessLoss products in my system.
I was first introduced to the LessLoss company and products via Marty DeWulf's "Bound For Sound" audio report, a few months ago. As I was recently bit by the audiophile upgrade bug, I was in the hunt for a new power cord and digital interconnect to mate with my new Accustic Arts front-end. The description of the LessLoss power cords and how they impacted Marty's "Big Rig" caught my attention. Contacting LessLoss via email, I promptly received a reply from Luidas, the company's main contact. In the end, I ordered three (3) 2m AC power cords, in addition to a custom 1m XLR digital interconnect. The challenge was now on for the LessLoss products, as they would have to unseat, what I felt was very good cables in my application: SLVR by TG Audio and Omega Mikro power cords and the Omega Mikro RCA terminated Planar IV digital cable. As the LessLoss company is relatively unknown and based in Europe (Kaunas, Lithuania), I was somewhat concerned with how things would progress (after all, I was making a purchase totaling $2K). Luidas however, provided timely feedback and the cables arrived 10 days after they were shipped (via postal service).
The day the cables arrived, I effectively took-off the remainder of the day from work. Was I excited? Yes! First, the appearance of the cables was very impressive; I was particularly taken by the construction and beauty of the power cables. The three conductors braided together have a solid feel to them, while allowing flexibility to snake around my 6-shelf Sistrum rack, on the way to the conditioner and wall outlet. The deep "purple" Oyaide 079 connectors give the cables a very refined look. If "looks" alone was used to determine how a cable would perform, the LessLoss would be a favorite to win in the high performance category.
My music of choice is Jazz; Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Lynn Arriale, Buster Williams, Bill Evans, Anthony Wilson, Wes Montgomery, Joey DeFrancesco, Roy Hargrove, Brian Bromberg... My initial impression of the cables was that they were definitely "different" than the components they were replacing. The music appeared to be better defined in space, with a more solid foundation from which the notes emerged. However the upper frequencies appeared a bit subdued with the LessLoss XLR digital cable, as compared to my reference, a Omega Mikro digital cable with tons of hi-frequency extension. The LessLoss interconnect had more meat, but with less brilliance (so it seemed). You could hear the midrange locking in nicely, while the lower frequencies were definitely making themselves known. But, initial impressions are just that..what you hear when the cables are new, with only a few hours of use. Fast forwarding, I found that what I observed before break-in is not how the cables will ultimately perform, as they reach a level of steady-state. With four (4) weeks of use, the power cords appear to allow the music to originate from a quieter and blacker background. Your ability to more clearly hear the inter-details of notes is enhanced. The attack, sustain and decay of notes originating from an acoustic Bass, were more satisfying. A more defined image of the body of the Bass instrument can be visualized. You can also play the music at elevated levels without the music sounding loud. The XLR digital cable was also maturing very well with break-in; What was initially thought to be a somewhat muted hi-frequency extension, had now opened up with just the right ratio of sparkle and brillance to realistically convey the cymbals in the "Makin' Whoopee" cut on Keter Betts' "Live At The East Coast Jazz Festival" CD. The cable presents more of the music that is there, from the perspective I believe, was intended by the musicians and the recording engineer. It removes or de-emphasizes the "hash" that can sometimes be heard, using other cables. The soundstage is not overstated but believable, and will expand and contract as the recording venue dictates. It should be noted that both the filtering power cables and the digital interconnect are not tone controls, to address large imbalances in one's system. However, both will excel at bringing out the nuances in the music, with a quieter, blacker backdrop and more robust presentation. They take what's there and presents more of it; the ebb and flow of the music is more pronounced, as is the macro dynamics. On Alan Broadbent's CD, "'Round Midnight", the cut titled "Groovin' High" is up-tempo, with Brain Bromberg on acoustic bass; what was once a bass string "tick" at the end of a note is now a "pluck" of his fingers sliding off the bass strings with more definition! What a joy to hear more readily..
The application of the LessLoss filtering power cables and digital interconnect in my system, has been an excellent way to get my equipment to achieve a higher level of performance as a team, at a very attractive cost of admission. Unlike some components, that only "changes" the character of one's system, but may not improve it, I feel the LessLoss cables has enhanced my enjoyment of music. As the cables settles into their long term steady-state condition, I look for an even more refined presentation.
Click to view my Virtual System
Omega Mikro Passive power cords
Virtual Dynamics Power 1
TG Audio Labs SLVR
Stealth Cloude 99
by Kpoulard on 09-30-07