I don't want to get into a debate about if powercords and/or cables sound different or not. I just want to talk about the differences between the Audioquest Dragon and Audioquest Hurricane powercords in my system, based on my ears and preferences. My system consists of a Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amplifier, Jeff Rowland Corus preamp, Chord Dave DAC, Antipodes DS GT music server, Monitor Audio PL500 ii speakers, JL Audio F112 v2, Clarus Crimson speaker cables, Wireworld Platinum series 8 XLRs, and all Audioquest Hurricane power cords. I have two Dragon powercords for a home audition. I put one on my DAC and the other on my preamp. My initial thought is the Dragon added a lot of detail. I usually listen with the volume set at 60, but had to reduce it to 58 with the Dragon inserted. After letting the music play for awhile, I did some critical listening for 90 minutes or so. I'm pretty certain that I will keep all Hurricanes and not purchase any Dragon powercords. It isn't because I think the Hurricane is better. I submit they are different and I always say cables are system dependent. In my system the Hurricane is a more balanced cable, where the Dragon is forward to my ears and it's a cable that really highlights details in a way that I don't like. E.g. when I listened to a blues track by KEB MO, with the Dragons the guitar was very forward and dominate, his voice was out of balance and the bass wasn't as full. Returning to the Hurricanes provided excellent balance with detail and fuller bass. Things may change over the next couple of days, but I don't usually change from my initial thoughts. There are no absolutes in audio and careful component matching is more important than how much a component cost.
I’d say that what you describe @ricred1 captures the Dragons pretty well. They’re an unforgiving cable and stress clarity, speed and directness above all. What strikes first as less bass is likely actually an absence of lower mid bass emphasis, instead it passes the true bottom octave very cleanly. You can read more of this in my various postings about these cables.
The Hurricanes are more laid back and have a nice warm bass sound. In my system on big tube amps and Magico M3s the Dragons work extremely well so as the OP suggests systems matching is, as always, key.
One caveat to the above, and perhaps pertinent to what @elizabeth notes is that while I’ve found all AQ power cords to sound pretty much consistent straight out of the box this is not true if the DBS has been disconnected, it takes a good 24 hours for the cable to resettle if you need to plug the DBS in, and as AQ often ship with the DBS disconnected please do allow for this,
Elizabeth and Folkfreak very good points. They are demo pairs and the dealer told me they are completely broken in. I’ll keep them for several more days to do additional listening. I really just want to reiterate that I’m not saying the Hurricanes are better, but due to the rest of my system and preferences I may end up preferring the Hurricanes. All I can do is post what I hear.
Folkfreak, "The Hurricanes are more laid back and have a nice warm bass sound. In my system on big tube amps and Magico M3s the Dragons work extremely well so as the OP suggests systems matching is, as always, key. System matching is really the point of my post.
I've heard this said before, "sometimes you need to let your ears adjust to what you're hearing, before you begin evaluating." The Dragons sound different from any powercord I've ever had. I need to adjust how I listen to capture the true essence of this powercord.
Here’s the problem with "system matching": complimentary flaws.
Too analytical? Match it up with too warm. Too bright? Match it up with too dark. Too lean? Match it up with too full.
On and on. Which granted you might be able to pull off. Until you change one component. Now your flaws are all out of balance. There’s no end to it.
My hunch is the whole red herring of matching was hatched by manufacturers to sell more stuff. Because your odds of ever having this work out are somewhere between slim, and none. Why so many embrace such an obviously flawed approach is beyond me.
I recently picked up a dealer demo of the low end of this line, the Thunder, and had not considered your quote below but it makes a ton of sense from my own experience. The PC sounded "ok" the first day I plugged it in but 24 hrs later it was amazingly changed...and in a really good way. Astounding actually. I can only imagine what your Dragon and Hurricane PCs must sound like.
if the DBS has been disconnected, it takes a good 24 hours for the cable to resettle if you need to plug the DBS in, and as AQ often ship with the DBS disconnected please do allow for this.
"Why so many embrace such an obviously flawed approach is beyond me." I'm not going to argue with you. This won't be that kind of thread. You assemble your system whatever way you prefer and I'll do the same. Nothing becomes out of balance if you have the opportunity to compare components in your own system prior to purchase.
I just can’t believe power cable can make a difference in sound quality.
i can’t hear the difference between the metal jumpers on my speakers vs the original jumper plates. Tara said the job Moët wires need to burn in. In theory the jumper wires should conduct current better and perhaps this will improve speaker efficiency and reduce distortion.
millercarbon. I agree with everything you said. The other factor to consider is the quality of the recording. Rock/pop are heavily processed in general, whereas classical recordings usually are natural. If the goal is high fidelity (HF) and not arbitrary "preferences", then clarity/detail is all important. It is difficult to judge HF if a processed recording gives no reference for HF, but if the recording is natural, the clear/detailed component will allow the listener to come closer to HF. Each component that is clear/detailed will enable more steps toward the goal of HF. This is a straightforward approach that avoids the confusing and sideways method of combining complementary colorations.
"You run an interesting combination of Audioquest, Clarus and WireWorld, cabling."
I've had the pleasure of auditioning every cable in my system. Cables from Wireworld, Audience. Shunyata, Transparent, Audioquest, High Fidelity, and a couple more. I tried several different speaker cables, powercords, and XLR cables. I simply choose what sounds best to my ears.
I've owned many great power cords and they do and will impact the sound of your system as much or more than any other cable. But I've learned bright is bright, forward and pushed out upper mids and highs are nowhere near like the real sound of music or vocals.
When I hear well you ears have to get used to it, or it's just the mid-bass being more accurate, well the mid-bass and the deep bass is the foundation of music, they both support all that goes above it. If they go all you have is detail and a bright sound, got nothing to do with a cleaner sound, live music is not clean sound, it has color and weight.
Price has nothing to do with how a power cord will work on a given piece of equipment. It's how the power supply of the gear reacts to the design of the power cord, and what we like and that is 100% personal.
I view power cords and cables much like the spices you use in cooking, you can make the same dish taste the way you like with the spices you use. Anyone who says a power cord as no impact on the sound is just plain wrong, even on a power regenerator like the PS Audio newest line the power cord attached can make a huge impact from sterile to warm and musical and somewhere in between the two.
McIntosh amps go from old solid-state sound (which we all know is wrong) or back to the McIntosh sound with transparency but with the weight with meat on the bones of vocals and instruments, the power cord will impact that. And for digital, the power cord is very important, the CD doesn't suck, like the myth over the past several years, clean them and find a good power cord and your good to go, harsh highs, grain, no, no and no. Now if the recording suck no medium can make garbage better.
Power cords matter in an audiophile system. In fact, everything you do matters. The art is to gain the experience to know how to bring out the best in a given system and stop chasing your tail buying new gear does not mean you will reach that goal. New gear is fun, but the wise man knows when good is good if you want a change of sound, change the power cord 1st and always work on your room acoustics that's #1
I disagree with Elizabeth. There is no such thing as a futile discussion, there’s always some information to be gleaned from any discussion of wires and cables. In fact, this particular discussion raises some new and interesting points.
"McIntosh amps go from old solid-state sound (which we all know is wrong)." Wow! When information like gets gets out it scary. I fear based on this absolute, subjective, knowledge, you really have let the cat out of the bag. However, the ability to hear the difference between cable that is 1 hour old and several days old has to top 99.9% of everyone else. But what do they know.
Sorry, I thought you may pick up on the sarcasm. Black or white, easy to understand statements are much more clear to many people. If I said "McIntosh sucked or did not suck" it would just be my opinion on a very popular amp. Since you asked, (subjectively) I think most McIntosh amps have have a slightly laid back, warm sound. I have the 601's which I think work pretty well for me. A popular brand over the years, which seems to hold it's resale value more than most, would suggest, many people would find the statement,
"McIntosh amps go from old solid-state sound (which we all know is wrong)" absurd. The 99.9% statement does not relate to right or wrong. I meant to say that very small fraction of music listeners can perceive this (some state obvious) difference in cable, especially when it comes to burn in. This does not make you wrong. However, (and this is subjective) it probably makes it statistically insignificant.
ricred1, In music, audio reproduction and life, there are some objective absolutes and some subjective preferences. Clarity/detail is one of those absolutes, not a matter of opinion. Songs have words which are often hard to fully appreciate. It is obviously desirable to have more clarity/detail to grasp what the words are, their inflections/nuances, delivery with unique and subtle pauses, etc. With the spoken word in the absence of music, this is obvious. Great actors have this clarity in abundance, and even radio/TV announcers are chosen for their clear speech and relative absence of distracting local accents like Southern drawl and NY mannerisms. These desirable qualities are obvious to any listener. Same goes for music. Now, add instrumental sounds, and ever more complex music (especially classical) and the need for maximum clarity is obvious. The trick is to obtain clarity without emphasis on any 1 feature--you don't want to sound like a didactic English grammar teacher who is highlighting a particular quality of the spoken word, which is certainly not a natural way of speaking. The same applies to music and audio. You don't want emphasis on any particular freq range which creates artificial, unbalanced sound. In theory, this is ideal, but the reality of all speakers which are far from perfectly neutral and clear is that to compensate for deficiencies of the speaker, you may end up emphasizing certain freq ranges with your choice of components. This is a legitimate use of subjective analysis which dictates your preferences. I am not contradicting myself here, but all this effort is in the service towards the goal of high fidelity. It is just the reality of all the components that the whole system is highly flawed, and we must strive for the goal of high fidelity, not just striving for a full or warm sound just because you like it. It is a general observation that full/warm sound with more bass and rolled off high freq will detract from clarity. The most accurate/neutral amps are also well balanced AND clear/detailed in all freq ranges. Bass will have less slam and fullness, but it will be tighter and reveal more clarity in those freq. If you go too far and cut the bass at say, 100 Hz you will have more clarity in mid and high freq by default emphasis, but of course this is not natural and true to life.
I had an almost identical experience while looking to upgrade one of my power cords. I have an all Nordost cable system. I have an Odin1 PC on my amp and loved what it did to the sound of my system. I thought the next step should be an Odin1 PC on my preamp/dac to replace my current Valhalla1 PC. I got my dealer to loan me one (broken in) and after a week of listening I much preferred the Valhalla1 over the Odin1. The Odin1 brought a warm fullness to my system that I didn't care for, or think it needed.... So as you always say 'there are no absolutes in audio'. Just because a cable or component is more costly doesn't mean it will be right for you, your room, your system or the kind of music you listen to.
I think Audiogon is great when we talk about our experiences without dictating to other what they must agree with regarding preferences. I find it fascinating that cables can has such an impact on the tonality of a system. I agree that price doesn't guarantee anything.
ricred1, You simply asked me whether I thought clarity/detail is an "absolute" or whether it is subjective, like "your clarity is my sterile/bright." That was a good question. Forget audio systems for a moment. I gave examples of the spoken word to explain that clarity/detail is an "absolute", just as it is correct to say that "9" is objectively, absolutely greater than "8." In all aspects of life, clarity is a desirable attribute. But it appears that the clarity concept of "high fidelity" is not important to you, only that you strive for sound that you like. I too, strive for sound that I like, but it happens to correspond to the search for high fidelity. In all honesty, and without dictating to you or anyone else, I have a reasonable facsimile of high fidelity, although it is not perfect fidelity.
Viber6, So, I'm man enough to apologize. You're correct I did ask the question, so sorry.
Here's my definition of high fidelity-the reproduction of sound with little distortion, giving a result very similar to the original. Because we don't know what the original sounds like and the equipment they use on most recordings, if not all recordings adds distortion, it's my opinion that "high fidelity" in a home setting is not possible. For arguments sake, lets say high fidelity is possible. Will everyone prefer that type of sound? Home audio for most is about building a system to enjoy...for some that's clarity with detail and for others it's a warm sound. That's why they make so many different speakers, amplifiers, etc.
ricred1, I agree on most of what you just said. I would say that PERFECT fidelity is not possible, but HIGH fidelity is. Certainly most recordings add distortion which we don't exactly know went into the processing, but you can ignore the distortions and listen to the essence of the music. Even with purist recordings that don't add distortion, we don't know the acoustics and the electronics used. But general experience with live unamplified music in various settings teaches us the general qualities of live sound. If you strive for clarity, you can appreciate more of the nuances which are the real essence of the music you enjoy. It's like fully enjoying your friends/loved ones while ignoring their deficiencies. Another possibility is that some people at classical concerts like to sit further back where the sound is warmer than close up. They can design their systems to produce high fidelity to what they hear from that distant seat, which is warm. If that is what they want, then high fidelity matches warmth. However, most recordings are made with close microphones and supplemental ones for ambience. High fidelity reproduction of these recordings should have a close and detailed perspective, by definition.
viber6, I can only speak for myself about what I want out of my system. In my current system every recording sounds different. Some recordings sound flat, some bright, some very open and detailed. I listen to mostly contemporary Jazz(Paul Brown, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum). I've had speakers that some consider detailed/clean and I couldn't listen to them for long periods of time. Now I have a system that provides detail and allows me to listen without getting a headache.
I have a difficult time believing you can hear a difference buying an expensive power cord. Think this is similar to the story, "The Emperors New Cloths". If you spend more you convince yourself it sounds better. However, how much better? Could your neighbor walk in the door and say, wow you system sure sounds better.
The good news is you don’t have to rely on what I say. Please get a Audioquest Thunder powercord(the least expensive in their new series) on loan and come to your own conclusions.
"However, how much better?" I say read my post, because I never said anything was better. This is what I posted: I’m pretty certain that I will keep all Hurricanes and not purchase any Dragon powercords. It isn’t because I think the Hurricane is better. I submit they are different and I always say cables are system dependent.
We make this hobby to difficult. It’s pretty simple...if you hear a component(including cables) and you don’t think it makes a discernible difference for the better, don’t purchase it. If someone wants to spend a million dollars on something they feel improves their listening pleasure, why should anyone care.
larry5729, Your picture makes you look like a pretty intelligent guy, therefore don't say you "do not like green eggs and ham" until you try them.
I'm a pretty sceptical guy who has tried various powercords. The Shunyata Alpha series cable I used made a noticeable upgrade over another aftermarket powercord I bought.
Then came the Audioquest Hurricanes... Took my system to another level to the point that it pissed me off. Why? Because I have great equipment (reference equipment used by many magazine reviewers) and a powercord shouldn't have made that much of a diference.
People get ear blind to their over all sound. It ends up reflecting off surfaces of their room and only so much you can do to convert a closed in carport into critical listening area. After spending more money than the wife knows about, you want your pet to purr beautifully as though it was a 67 mustang in that carport. You might add chrome carb linkages msd ignition , holley 650 etc. You havent made any performance improvements but at least you dont mind to lift the hood in front of other car guys . Its mostly fluff around meat and potatoes of audio.
Since the focus of this thread is the Audioquest Hurricane, here is Jay Luong's (Audio Bacon) take on it:
"The Audioquest Hurricane HC power cord has a singular personality. It prefers the fun, weighty, warm, and solid sound over a more spatial and energetic one. It also leans towards more of an analog molding of the musical pieces.
This cable has a full and fat sound. Speedy transients, cymbal sizzle, separation, organic textures? Forget about it. We’re talking a thick milk chocolate coat over everything. This, in effect, gives everything a more tangible, 3-D shape. There’s still sprinkles of sparkle, but that isn’t the star of the show.
This especially applies to vocal recordings – which are made to be addictively sweet and tangible. I really enjoyed this cable with more bass-centric and intimate recordings. It does get a little confused once the music gets busier, however.
Who should buy this cable?: If you prefer a wet, liquid, thick, and more tonally smokier sound. It’s not muffled – just not as resolving. May be a great cable if there’s already too much treble or brightness in your current system.
Trade-offs: This cable is far from transparent. It lacks clarity, vibrancy, detail, and lower level nuances. This affects soundstage focus and the stereo image.