Was wondering if anyone had an opportunity to compare the new Audioquest Dragon power cord to Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level 3 or Galileo UEF power cords? I run a full loom of SR Atmosphere Level 3's and while I love what they bring to the soundstage width, height and depth, black background, great air & separation, layering and especially focus, not sure they are the last word in "body & weight". Wondering if someone has tried the AQ Dragons in their system to flush out a bit more body?
Thanks guys....Even when I had all high end AQ IC's and SC's their AC cords had a very poor rep. I had Audience pc's. Switched to SR and never looked back. Love what they do but they are not the last word in body & weight. I've read good things about the AQ Dragons and wondering if adding a couple to the SR mix would give me the best of both worlds! Let me know your thoughts once you've played with them. Thanks
Ptrck887: You certainly have excellent cables and so what you read from someone else may or may not apply to your system .A few suggestions:
You are going to have to audition any new cords in your system. The Cable Company has the lending library approach to achieve this. Peter Hansen at the Cable Company has always been helpful with me.
Another approach is to discuss your Synergistic Research set of cables and how it sounds with Scott Walker at Scott Walker Audio. He does have more experience with SR products than any other person except for Ted Denney President of Synergistic Research.
A different approach which is straightforward is to try different wall outlets and fuses in the equipment. SR Red outlets sound significantly different than the Black outlets and the Blue outlets. The Red outlet is more forward (but not bright) and has a funkier type of sound. I use a mixture of Red, Black, and Blue outlets in the three systems I listen to.
A final approach is to try the Perfect Technology Omega E-Mats (sold here at Audiogon in the Tweek listings. I am a very satisfied user as are some other Audiogoners. I would suggest trying one at your circuit breaker, one under your amp, and one under the source. You may find that various noise that is poluting all circuits, and in each piece of equipment to be a source of frustration.
The wonderful fact about the E-mats, and Synergistic Research outlets and fuses is that they come with a 30 day return policy. And the are easy to ship and inexpensive to return.
My systems started with older Audioquest products and I changed over to all Synergistic Research systems and I am very content. The fuses, outlets, and E-Mats achieved that final dialing in that many are looking for.
Best wishes for better listening. Consider going to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest , Denver, Colorado October 5-7 and talking with Synergistic Research and Audioquest in person.
Thanks David, Perhaps I should clarify....I am in no way unhappy with the performance of SR cables. They are by far the best I've heard in my system....I'm still internally debating whether they lack body and weight or are just so good at filtering out the hash and fuzz that I perceive something missing. I have been working with David Weinhart and he has been a great help....I have also spoken with Peter at the Cable Co.....I think he came out of AQ. I'm running all SR Blue fuses throughout although admittedly have neglected the outlets. I do have one SR Black duplex on the mono blocks. I have found the addition of the UEF Panels and dots and especially the Active Grounding Block SE really tightened things up and definitely added some density and weight. I will look into the E-Mats....good call and thanks for the info.
While no one can tell you how power cords will sound in your system I can perhaps suggest that AQ Dragons will NOT give you the change you are looking for.
My system uses a mix of SR (Galileo LE and others) and AQ (Dragon) cables. The latter are used only on my mono block VTL amps. The Dragon's were a recent upgrade from WEL Sig.
You describe yourself as looking for more "body and weight". While its impossible to know what exactly you mean by this in many cases a sense of body, of "oomph" is associated with low/mid bass (i.e the 60-120 Hz range say).
In changing from WEL to Dragon I experienced a significant and very audible reduction in this range. Initially it seemed as if the Dragon was "bass shy" but after a short acclimatization period it was clear that the Dragon was resolving a bass boom that the prior cable had exacerbated and that the Dragon was bringing through lower (even sub-bass) tones albeit at a diminished (but mix correct) level.
In other words sub-bass and bottom end of the bass guitar is more accurately rendered, with great tactile detail, but at an apparently lower level -- but a level that does not mask other details.
The real skill of the Dragon is in this trick of unmasking. You may find at first listen that this feels "thin" but give yourself time to work out what is going on. The Dragon is also a very "fast" cable, I don't mean tippy leading edge emphasis but what I mean is its ability to preserve the relative timing of acoustic environmental and artistic intent cues.
However if your system (and in particular) room is not capable of preserving and resolving these cues the effect of the Dragon might seem strident aka the proverbial "silver cable" sound.
So overall while I cannot know I worry that this may not be a good fit if you have optimized your current setup in such a way that you feel in need of a bit more slam and heft ... obviously that is just my experience but hopefully somewhat helpful
Thanks folkfreak, "The real skill of the Dragon is in this trick of unmasking. You may find at first listen that this feels "thin" but give yourself time to work out what is going on. " Your above quote I think puts it about where I'm at....not as it pertains to the Dragons, but in my case, getting familiar with the SR "sound".
I'm still internally debating whether they lack body and weight or are just so good at filtering out the hash and fuzz that I perceive something missing. I too have a small room at 10'8" wide by 15'6" long and 10' ceilings heavily treated with GIK's assistance...I'm actually very happy with the sound but as always....looking for any improvements...funny actually your Dragon review that prompted my post:)
Hi @ptrck887 I just checked out your system, very nice btw. However have you recently tried taking out the Black Box? Move it at least two rooms away, the sound you describe sounds just like my system when I tried out a black box. It cleans up the bass for sure and treats room modes but it imposes it’s own tonal signature well outside the specific bass range. While this may not be noticeable in a large room such as those SR demo in in small rooms like ours it’s a big negative. I’d look for other ways of dealing with any bass issues
Also is the wall behind your listening chair treated? Near in reflections will also thin out the sound
Interesting....I will try that and yes, due to the near field set up I'm using, due to room constraints the rear wall is heavily treated with two GIK Full range Monster bass traps 24 x 48 each plus two Soffit bass traps. The Monster traps are centered behind my listening position and flanked by GIK Q7d diffusers. I am also using 12 UEF panels and 20 UEF dots. My soundstage extends well beyond and behind the speakers and with certain well recorded hi-rez formats and it seems in particular DSD it seems I'm no longer in the front row but actually on the stage with the musicians....some folks might not care for that presentation.....I adore it.
How do the Monster bass traps deal with mid and high frequencies? The problem you may have is reflections in these ranges. The Monster bass trap is actually designed not to over absorb high frequencies but in your case reflecting HF so close to your ears may be a problem. The ASC bass traps I use actually have a mix of reflecting surfaces so you can tune the HF by rotating them.
Anyway why not try tacking a GIK acoustic panel behind your listening seat and see if that improves matters. I also like having HFTs on the rear wall behind my listening seat, plus a set of ART modules as well, these all help focus the rear wall, kind of putting back the life that my ASC diffusers take out but in a controlled manner
I forgot to mention and also agree David Weinhart is very knowing about Synergistic Research products. A small correction- Peter Hansen was with Synergistic Research before moving to The Cable Company. You have a wonderfully nice system. Concerning wall outlets I would definitely consider trying the Red outlets with your monoblocks. They have less air and more punch than the Black outlets. The Blue outlets have some of the sound of the Black outlet but it just sounds better. The Black oulet has a sound that can be (to Me) just a little too thinning of notes but providing more of a sense of big space. Send them back if you do not like them. Experimenting with the Black Box location and even out of the room is always worth doing. It is also possible that you have too many SR dots on the walls. I use the HCT bullets and too many of those on the walls will thin out the sound. I do hope you will consider trying the Omega E- Mats, I LIKE what they do.
Finally since you have the SR grounding system (as I do), consider trialing the new SR Grounding Transducers that add "weight to the sound". Again if the do not work in your system, send them back.
I’m going to give great advice that would serve ‘me’ well. You love what you have so changing cords, not mentioning cost, is not a good idea. At first you’ll listen more intently ‘ hearing things you’ve never heard before’ then find something that’s not perfect. It’s never going to be perfect and you are already in a good place. FWIW
folkfreak I checked out your set up....very nice! Interesting but in my room the Black Box does what its supposed to,bass is not just more defined but cleans up mids and HF as well...more focused and defined. I had an extra 4" GIK absorption panel that I inserted between my listening seat and the Monster bass traps....good call as it definitely created more separation and "cleaner" crisper mids and highs. One of my favorite pieces for soft mids and guitar work is Wicked Games by Chris Isaac and with the absorption panel it is even prettier and I can clearly make out the refrain which was not always the case. BTW I did order a Galileo UEF pc to power my PowerCell 12 UEF...looking forward to evaluating it's impact.
Thanks for the input.
elizabeth Good call, my bad. Something I've neglected. I do have a SR Black duplex feeding the monoblocks but nothing on the front end side. I've taken David Pritchard's and your advice and ordered a SR Red and SR Blue to evaluate. Thanks to all
@ptrck887 thanks for the update. Glad the rear wall treatment worked for you. I agree on the effect of the Black box, it’s very impactful across the frequency spectrum, just in my case a bit too impactful if you know what I mean!
I’ll be interested to hear how the upgrade to Galileo cords on your power cells works out, mine are just stock so far so I could have this upgrade in mind
folkfreak, Elizabeth & David P Sorry for the delay....some travel and of course the long drawn out "burn in" process. My Galileo is driving the PowerCell 12SE with all the front end components and with that 32 amp connector no way to run it in on the Audiodharma cooker....Lord I hate that process! Being an impatient type A I also installed SR Blue Duplex's all around, although I did run those in by installing in spots around the house that see close to a constant draw. Long and short....the Galileo (and said duplex's) now have 300 plus hours on them and I am absolutely delighted! While the Atmosphere Level 3 on the PowerCell was exceptionally good, dead quiet, great separation, air and focus, holographic and 3D....the Galileo is something else altogether! While it certainly has the above description in spades, it is WAY more holographic, every instrument and vocal is meatier and more 3D giving the sound more presence. Everything is just smoother and more musical and it is more volumetric and I don't mean louder...the music seems to fill the space more. This was a first rate upgrade! Thanks all.