DHLabs Red Wave DIY Power Cable is superb


I was looking for a power cord to help me tune my setup. A brief on my system.

1. Esoteric SA50 SACD player used as a transport
2. Accuphase E450 integrated amp with DAC being used as a DAC and PreAmp
3. McIntosh MC302 Power Amp proudly performing as a power amp should!
4. Focal Electra 1028BE speakers

The Esoteric is hooked to the Accuphase using a Kimber D60 or a 2020 digital cable. The Accuphase is hooked to the Mc via a Kimber Select 1016 IC and the Mc is hooked to the Focals via an Audience SX speaker cable.

I own a bunch of power cables namely Shunyata's Python and Viper Ztron, The Viper CX, Kimbers PK10 Gold and the Vandenhul Mainstream. While I was pretty happy with the sound of my setup I wasn't able to get it to really open up. The Shunyata broadened the soundstage but also added a little mushiness into the sound. The Kimber had a superb mid range but the bass was a tad bloomy. Same was true for the VDH. Hence I began looking for a power cable and came upon DHLabs Red Wave. It sells for about 40 bucks a foot so I ordered three cables from DHLabs. I terminated one with Cardas's Rhodium power connectors while I used Wattgates AG series on the others.

This is a superb sounding cable. It is FAST and extremely open and clean. It isn't lean nor is it bright mind you. It opens up the bass region as well and helps you hear deep into the mix. The top end is extended without being forward. This is an excellent cable for those looking to open up the top end of their system without making it overtly bright. Mix this cable with a lush sounding amp that hasn't rolled off the top end and you will have an ideal balance. Do note that the Focal can be unforgiving of bright equipment due to the BE tweeters and never have I felt the need to reposition the speakers due to the top end being too bright. Normally high end power cables tend to roll of the top end while reducing the background noise The DHLabs opens up the top registers without raising the noise floor.

The set terminated with the Cardas tends to sound a tad warmer and richer while the set with the Wattgate AG connectors tends to extend but does have a slight sheen to it. This cable sounds fast and extends cleanly from the onset itself but give it about 20 hours to break in and it balances out really well.

I have found that power cables are very system dependent. While the Shunyata Python Ztron is a highly regarded cable it sounds terrible with the Accuphase where as it sounds superb on the Esoteric transport or on the Mc power amp. You have to try the combination before you can settle on a power cable.