Have you tried the Flavor 4 yet?
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I think all cables, whether they are PC's, IC's or spkr. cables, are tone controls of some sort. Some are intentionally made that way, others have tone adjustments as artifacts of the design, so the end result is a tone adjustment of some sort.
I bring this up merely to emphasize that cables are really a personal choice & in a lot of cases, experimentation has to be done to obtain the users best choice. Personally, I went through about 75 cables in a 3 1/2 yr. period to get what I use & although there may be something that would work even better, I'm satisfied with what I have. Also, I haven't closed the door on changing anything but I'm not actively seeking change either, although I will upgrade soon with the same manufacturer.
If you like the Flavor 2 you might like the Flavor 4 more.
Cables may be tone controls, but they can be a lot more than tone controls. From personal experimentation it is very clear to me that some cables allow more information through than others. Some cables filter out noise better than others. And lastly, some cables add much less to the signal than others. These attributes are what I am after.
The Kworks Empowered cord, it is not a tone contro but built to reject AC noise. It sounds more natural then any of the major brand cords that I have tried under $600. I do prefer the Elrod non sig EPS 3 to it on my amp but it was a close call and very hard to define the reason why but the Elrod was a $1100 retail cord and the Kworks cord is $200. It is built by an audio designer local to me. And no I don;t get paid for this or work for the guy in anyway, I just got tired of trying all of the $1000 plus cords and wanted to find a few that would work in my system or at least come as close as possible without feeling I was missing too much.
BTW if you have not addressed your AC then that is the first step before you get a power cord. A $40 investment can get you there.
Krisgel, natural tone and timing...neutrality...is what VH Audio cords are all about. What is it about your cord do you believe is flawed? That might help others suggest something else. Is your tube preamp new, or have you had it in your system for a while? As you know, tubes have a much greater effect on tone...neutrality...than power cords. Just a thought.
I use TG Audio 688 power cords on my tube preamp and tube amp.
Tvad - There is nothing wrong with the Vh cord. In switching from a Harmonic Tech Pro AC1 to the VH Flavor 2, I was impressed with the improvements. But, there must be cords out there that bring even further improvements thsn the VH Audio cords. This is what I am after.
Stehno - I already am using the Hydra conditioner. Still upgrading the powercords that go from the hydra to the components makes a big difference in my system.
Krisgel, a couple of thoughts before you give up on a pretty good VH Audio cord and start cycling $1,000 cords.
1. As mentioned above, installing dedicated lines and using good power conditioning will go a long way towards your goals.
2. I second (or third) that the Flavor 4 may be an improvement.
3. Finally, I would also suggest using a cable conditioner such as a the Audiodharma Cable Cooker or a Mobie (still made?) to burn-in all of your cords (not just the power cords). At a minimum, have you done the one week on the freezer routine to condition the PC's?
Krisgel, you are embarking on a hellish journey that may or may not result in a better destination. :)
Assuming that there must be something better without having a definitive reason for not being satisfied with what you have is a telling sign of audiophilia nervosa...especially when it comes to wire...particularly power cords.
Good luck, and remember I warned you...
Thanks for the warnings. But, I enjoy searching for better equiptment. Until my system is as natural as real music (impossible I know) I will continue to seek out equiptment that brings me closer to this goal. I enjoy listening to the system through every improvement, but I still strive for more. I know that the VH Audio cords are good, but I must assume that they are not the best cords on the entire planet.
Krisgel, since you enjoy searching for better equipment, you might consider the Foundation Research LC-1 and LC-2 passive and dedicated in-line power conditioners.
I've heard of one guy on the East Coast compare the older version of the LC-2 to his $5600 Elrod and preferred the LC-2. But I cannot substantiate that story.
Check out StereoTimes.com Jan. 2003 review or Marty DeWulf's Aug, 2003 issue of Bound For Sound regarding his stating the LCs are simply the best he's heard and bought them for his 'Big Rig'.
But that was the old version they reviewed. The new LC versions are simply multiples better than the old.
Did I mention the LCs come with their own built-in power cable? :)
I think that you are right about system dependency. My plan was to look into the recommendations that I get from this forum. Then buy some of them used and find which works best in my system.
I am using the Emotive Audio Sira preamp - most recent version.
Stehno - I will look into the products that you mention.
Krisgel, your question is extremely broad..."There must be something better than Venhaus power cords"...and so I'm going to risk ruffling your feathers and suggest that you put forth a little effort and search the threads for power cord information. There is a ton of it, with a recommendation available for nearly every cord made. You should be able to find many possible candidates.
I will search. Iwas looking for info from people who have tried the VH Audio powerecords but have found other powercords that are clearly better. I do beleive in the possibility that one cord can be clearly superior to another.
For example, to me, the VH Audio cord is clearly superior to the Shunyata Sidewinder Gold no matter which comonent I use the 2 cables on.
It's the Kimber PK-10 Palladian, about $1080 new. But HP has recently
decided, apparently, that the Nordost Valhalla PC is king of the heap. $2500.
At a recent local audiophile society listening session, most participants
preferred the Kimber to the Valhalla in the one application we tested, which
was Theta's latest (and spectacularly good) transport. But YMMV, as they say.
I fourth the VH Audio Flavor 4 with Gold connectors.I own the Flavor 2 cryo without the gold and the Flavor 4's with or without the gold connectors(the golds are even better)are a much bigger improvement in my system.I now own 5 Flavor 4's.With his money back trial period what have you to lose?If you want to notice a diffence and your system is resolving enough then i think you should check one out.That being said if money is no object to you then i am sure you can find better but for the cash out this is one darn good cord and much better then the Flavor 2 in my opinion.Get the gold connector flavor 4 if you do as that offers better performance but like i said both are better then my Flavor 2.
Time Warp..... Yes, fairly stiff and very heavy, and I can imagine it giving most preamps some serious stability issues especially on spike footers.
OP, if you are still out there, whatever did you decide? Since I had the 4s and the 2s for my amps and preamps I decided to try the 4 on the preamp (with a 4 on the amp as well) - could not hear any significant difference versus the 2 on the preamp, nothing I could consistently recognize on the sound signature.
While I have spent some money over the years on PCs and a RSA Conditioner, the effects of PCs on my gear has been, let's say, subtle. IC and speaker cables? Less so. Speaker placement and room treatments - in your face differences.
I have both the Kimber PK-10 Palladian and several Valhalla PC's. The PK-10 is an excellent cord, especially for the $$, but the Valhalla really is in a different league. It is not on the dry, more clinical side like the spkr cables or IC's.
The LessLoss Signature fits the bill for the budget mentioned. This is very close in quality to Valhalla, IMHO. I have 2 of them. And, of course, there always are the trusty, hard to beat Elrod EPS Sig cords, with which one cannot go wrong, or The Statement, if you lift weights.
Hello, for the best chords including ac, Audience. Their top of the line just gets out of the way, and imparts no sonic signature but a lot of additional detail! Could not believe the improvement as I replaced 1 cable at a time. Now everything is Audience. Neutral, not edged, & natural. Good listening.
I am a cable guy first and foremost. Called it a tone control or filter,
call it both, they do make a difference in any system. Yes, some brands are more gear-dependent than others. Trial and error is the best method to eval how they integrate into your system.
$1000 is a nice starting point, go up to $2000 and your experience
will be a better one. Keep me posted and Happy listening!
nglazer-You nailed it! Have heard all the powercords you mentioned with various demos with the exception of the LessLoss Signature which has a very strong and respected following. I would like to add the HiDiamond model 3 to the mix. I have 2, one on my Valve Audio Predator and the other on a RSA-Elgar. The HD3 is a big sounding(aggressive) fast, detailed powercord. What it lacks in(some) refinement can be forgiven considering it's cost. The HD4 is claimed to be at another level but I doubt $1k is enough to snag one on the used market.
Two years ago, after installing dedicated lines, I embarked on a project to test the higher end of power related equipment: AC sockets, power conditioners, power cords, fuses.
As for PC, I bought a bunch of $1-2k relatively new power cords which includes HiDiamond P4, LessLoss DPFC Reference, CH X-20, Audience AU24. Due to the price of these candidates, I did not have all of them at the same moment so can only compare from what I remembered, aided by my wife who has very good ears.
In my systems, both with dedicated lines and adeptResponse power conditioners, the CH X-20 was the winner for upstream equipment besting in terms of dynamics, texture and timbre. HiDiamond P4 came in second, despite being slightly bloomy and less refined compared to the CH X-20 but sounded the most organic of the heap, the AU24 (some call it SE but AU24 has always had the new Cardas plugs) good overall and excellent in lowering the noise floor -great in both upstream and downstream - came in as close 3rd.
For a very brief moment I tried the NordOst Valhalla 2 that a great job compared to the original Valhalla but some thinness was still there; the price tag was above my budget.
At the end, I kept the old Valhalla, CH X-20, AU24 in one system and again Valhalla, 2x HiDiamond P4 in the other. BTW the P4 is a huge step vs the P3.
For those who do not have dedicated AC lines or no or a good conditioner, the LessLoss did the best job as I tried that on a normal AC line w/o power conditioning but it lacks imaging, not very 3D like compared to others.
For integrated amps I would imagine that the HD P4 presents a formidable candidate in this price category, certainly with solid state amps.
Cables are addictive and I would have liked to keep more of the goodies in my main system but the money would be spent better elsewhere like in better isolation as I am revisiting that domain now.
As always, YMMV.