Some people loved them, some didn't. I tried one, can't say it sounded much (any) better than stock.
David: There seems to be some support for the Asylum Power Cords, which I believe are based on a Bob Crump/TG Audio design and are fairly inexpensive. One thing you might try first is putting a low frequency ferrite clamp around your current cord near where it attaches to the component (assuming you can find the right size one)--they should be fairly cheap. I did this on a captive power cord from one of my components and was very surprised to hear a small but noticeable improvement in dynamics and soundstaging (more low level detail, maybe?). If you look at the new Siltech power cords, it looks like they've got a pair of ferrites under all the sheathing, so maybe this is a low cost way to go. Hey, it can't cost too much to try.
My testimonial on the APC is posted in GTT Audio's website (www.gttgroup.com). The APC hurts the Voodoo right in its marrow...it's a really good design marketed at the right price. You could spend more money on a DIY design or an expensive cord and not fare better. Some people with awesome systems are using them instead of the 'approved norm', whatever that means.
Of course, an audio grade power cord is not a substitute for proper line conditioning.
I spoke with someone representing the Absolute cord, but didn't like some things I heard...particularly about them not grounding through the 3rd pin, but instead expecting all emergency grounding to be routed through the rest of your equipment. Though the person claimed it doesn't matter, this isn't a very direct means, offers more resistance, and could potentially harm the rest of your equipment. I believe UL states in its guidelines that the wire to ground be at least as heavy as the wire to blades.
It's true that many components using a three pin plug can get by without it, and that an excess of these can create ground loop problems, but in terms of ulitimate safety with equipment that should have its own ground connection, it seems a potentially hazarous idea.
I was looking around at the virtualdynamics.ca site, and the Power 3 cord they are offering for just $57.50 including shipping on Audiogon seems like it would be very hard to beat in that price range. I ordered one to try, as even though I'm a dealer, I have a use for some good inexpensive cords, and even at dealer cost that is a price point I do not carry. They offer a trial period, so it's hard to lose.
Just picked one up of A-gon. It is in the system now, but i also changed a few other things so i can't directly attribute anything directly to it. It does look like a decent cord, but i'm betting that the Asylum cord would fare better in a "head to head". The virtual dynamics that Buckingham and Jeff mention might also be a good one to check out if on a budget. Sean
PS... At least this thing isn't advertised as being the "Second Coming". It is still overpriced for what it is, but not nearly as bad as most "audiophile" type power cords.
To Buckingham. Were you able to compare the absolute to the virtual dynamic and was it on a power amp? Just curious. Thanks. I have an absolute replacing the stock cord on the sim. Definate improvment over the stock cord. I'm a "slow" believer over power cords. The Highwire PowerWrap [a helically-coiled strand of isolated metal-composite RF suppression material[not ferrite] to quote www.amusicdirect.com ,put on the fixed power cord of the monster2000,works big time for me, go figure....
Hi, I had used three Absolute Power Cords in my system for about seven months then switched to three Power 2 cords from Virtual Dynamics. The improvement was amazing. More dynamics, more extension at both ends, the soundstage grew and strangely the volume went up. Just more life overall. For me the difference between the Absolutes and the Virtual Dynamics was like unstuffing congested sinuses.
Bluenose, I compared the APC to the Virtual Dynamic 3; the Power 3 was much better (on amp, pre, UO, and jitter box). The APC sounded like stock. Like yourself, I am a slow convert to power cords. None of my power cords cost over $100, and most I bought used. The APC is the only one I regret buying. I just can't figure out the hype.
Well everyone has their own taste/preference as far as AC cords go and they can be very system dependent. I have tried many of the rave cords in the up to $300 price range and I prefer the Absolutes and sold all my other cords. I have tried other cords that have more excitement or "life" as some put it, but I prefer the smoother and to me more musical/natural presentation of the Absolutes.
If you check the other products sold by GTT Audio they sell some of the best gear money can buy, so I think the guy knows what a good cord can sound like. Anyway for $50 hard to go wrong and you may like them as much as I do.
Bluenose, I forgot to mention that first I installed an Acoustic Zen Tsunami on my amp while the other APCs were still in place. The AZ had a mellowing effect on the sound, which was very welcome indeed. Then I got the VD P2s for my transport, DAC, and preamp, and thats when things started getting good.
Megasam is, er..."absolutely" correct, PCs like anything else are very system dependent. I purchased the APCs based on MANY positive testimonials on Agon, but they just didn't work for me. And again as Sam points out a lot of that is based on personal taste in music reproduction. With the APCs my system exhibited a kind of sponginess, and while being nice and mellow it eventually started to bug me. The Virtual Dynamics brought amazing life to everything without introducing any harshness, overall a much more convincing reproduction of musicians playing in front of my listening chair.
It should be noted that Rick Schultz sells the VD Power 2s for $125 which is more than double the cost of the APCs, but he does offer two other PCs closer in price to them. The Basic I believe is $30 and the Power 3 is $50.
BTW, how have you been Sam?
Been off the cable "merry-go-round" for a while, just bought a Headroom Max headphone amp for my Senn 600's (sweet) and recently got a used Quantum Symphony Pro (power conditioner) here which I like.
Still waiting for Bel Canto to release update to Dac 1.1, or I may soon pull the trigger on Aero Capitale or similar
all in one CDP.
Back to AC cords I think its fair to say we now have some good cords in the $150 or less range which wasn't the case
a couple years ago, good news for the less than affluent audiophile.
Sam, as you know I'm pretty new to all of this, especially power cords. So I was shocked that such a change could occur from just the wall to the component.
I haven't really been into headphones since the 70's. But that was more to hide the fact from my parents that I was laughing so hard because it wasn't music but Richard Pryor and George Carlin that I was listening to sometimes. I use a pair of Grado SR60s here at work for MP3s and Quake3, but I've never played with the better offerings out there.
Audio Aero Capitole?!!! Wholly cow, that's sweet. I just got a Kora Hermes last week and have really fallen in love with it so much so that I may end up selling my Bel Canto DAC 1.1 soon. It's very good, but not as refined and natural as the Kora.
Back to PCs, I just couldn't bring myself to purchase a gang of BMI Whale Elites for $4-500 per. I'm so glad there are such affordable offerings these days.
Don't wait too long...Pull that trigger now!!!!
OPPPS! Just saw what the new retail price is on Aero Capitole 24/192, out of my league. I will keep waiting for new Bel Canto update or check out more resaonable CDP with newest DAC technology, haven't gotten too serious yet.
Another reason I like AC cords like Absolutes is they are flexible/lightweight and easy to use with bearing isolation, and route behind rack. It sometimes looks silly and is physically diffucult to have one of those monster AC cords attached to a small DAC for instance.
I ordered some of these and plugged them all in (5) and there was no difference in sound from my previous cables (Audioquest AC-12 with Hubbells, home terminated). While the price is ok for these, they are stranded wire, not particularly large gauge, and made in China for next to nothing. There is nothing special going on with these cords. To the extent that people claim them as world beaters, I can only conclude that the whole ultra high $$$$ power cord market is mostly a sham anyway. But Bill Parish is a smart marketer!
Personally, I can't tell the difference among interconnects (digital and analog) or speaker cables these days either, and I'm getting a little crazy about how much I've spent on cables in the last few years when RS would have been as good (just not sexy).
One thing that's right is Bill Parish's marketing abilities. Which PC company makes ONE THOUSAND identical power cords at one time? Bill Parish does. Amazing...he can then market them for $50. From what I understand, he had to raise the price because people wouldn't take the $40 price seriously. Oh well...
Also, Bill does sell state of the art equipment and was able to audition his power cord prototypes with some incredible gear. Have you noticed that the shield in the APC is minimal? There's a reason for that--it wasn't cost savings.
Want to know what power outlet he recommends? It's only $11.00...Ha Ha!!!
No kidding Sam, these Virtual Dynamics Power 2 cords ARE hard to bend, but I think that depends on which ones you get. Mine are 7/8" thick tree branches, but some of the other VDs have three strands making them easier to bend and twist behind racks.
Bluenose, give Rick Schultz of Virtual Dynamics a call before ordering anything. He's in Canada, and not the same Ric Schultz who does those great digital mods. I'm sure he has at least six levels of PCs so you can definitely find one in your price range. Rick will give you a 14 day trial period on any of his cords and cables, so check the classifieds here for more info on the cables and how to contact him.
Stbhorn, I believe Rick sells the Virtual Dynamics Power 3s for $50, the same price as the Absolute Power Cords. The Power 2s I have are a single thick cord, but many of Rick's other designs are composed of three separate strands. I don't know which category the Power 3s fall into. Take a look at the classifieds for Virtual Dynamics on Audiogon for more info. Good luck.
"Dynamic Filtering is the result of our studies. Virtual Dynamics uses applied science to displace unwanted mechanical frequencies from the path of your audio system."
1) which studies?
2) which science?
"Dynamic Filtering is as important to the design of our cable as the electrical principles we have incorporated."
1) which principles?
"Our new Signature line of products differ from our Reference line due to further applications of Dynamic Filtering. The difference in the level of this mechanical application helps us to create a cable with improved sonic characteristics."
1) what type of applications?
2) define "further". Is "further" quantifiable?
3) define "level" . This must, by default, be quantifiable (besides the price tag, of course).
4) which sonic characteristics in particular?
I am NOT against this product, for I have never auditioned it or heard comments on it before reading this thread.
However, I used to make my living as a QA officer for a regulatory agency and part of my job was dissecting text similar to the above (SOP's from private water chemistry labs submitting their protocols to us for approval). When a text like the above is dissected and questions posed the other's side credibility is at stake...
Personally, I don't think power cords should perform double duty as filters. They're just, by definition, power cords...
Psychicanimal, let the cables speak for themselves... We can tell you how good they are are until hell freezes over, but you'll never know if they work for you unless you try them out. I started with the Virtual Dynamics Audition on my CD player and the Power 3 on my amp and the improvement was definitely there, not a bit, but HUGE. I'm not talking: Oh that sounds nice... But "Wow this sounds like a piano, violin etc..." All the notes were right and the noise floor was gone for good. I found that other cables added their personalities to the music ie Cardas Golden, XLO etc... The Virtual Dynamics simply let the components be their best. Give them a try, if you don't like them (hahaha, right) you can return them.
For Buckingham: I have not kept the cables from speaking for themselves--it was their copywriter who started writing all that mumbo jumbo on the website. To a critical thinker like me stuff like that just turns me away from a product. It can be a great product (read again, I wrote that I have not auditioned it and am not against it), but the bad copywriting works against it.
Again, I don't think audio grade power cords should have filtration incorporated in them. It's only my opinion...
The simplicity of the Absolute Power Cord is one of the things I like about it. Its just a power cord.
Allow me to paraphrase Bruce Lee: "Before studying the arts a punch was just a punch. While studying the arts, a punch was more than a punch. After studying the arts, a punch is just a punch."
From "Tao of Jeet Kune Do"
Hey, I think it is very smart to have cords that also filters out gunk in the ac. This seems to be the only means to ensure your entire system is clean.
I came here out of boredom, and I am leaving a post because of that tao of jeet kun do comment. Psychic makes a good point. I am not going to reiterate incase I screw up the meaning of that particular quote. However, the purpose of a "powercord" isnt to be simply a powercord; atleast, not a GOOD powercord.
A good powercord should have the essences of what a powercord should do. And that is to transfer current, electricity, energy from point A to point B. However, in the realm of audiophilia, the transfer of current should not only be efficient, but the current also has be a "non-factor", or it will alter or degrade the audio signal.
It seems to be more of a factor these days that we need some sort of filter in our audio chain. (This is a theory I based on a personal subjective experience thatI feel audio sound is gradually degrading due to increasing usage of computers and cell phones.)
Last week, I purchased a PS Audio Juicebar and two Power3 VD cords. I thought to connect one of those cords from wall to Juicebar, and all my components ought to have the benefits of dynamic filtering. That is not the case. It seems there is lots of gunk that entered into my system even between the juicebar and source components. After I directly attached the P3 to my trans/dac, the sound improved immenesly.
I avoided this thread cuz of the heading. I am somewhat skeptical about new products that attempt to scam through funky marketing schemes, and I personally perceived apc to be one of them. But, this is purely my own opinion based on the "overzealous" apc users' comments. They seem rediculous to me. (disclaimer-i never used the cable before, nor am i badgering the product.)