Puritan vs Nordost Power Cable


I recently exchanged a Nordost QB4 power distributor with a Nordost Valhalla power cable for a Puritan 156 with the Puritan (upgraded) "Ultimate" power cable.  I noticed a significant improvement in the overall sound of my system with more detail, articulation, clearer bass and a deeper soundstage.  

I decided to experiment with the power cable feeding the Puritan 156, to determine the effect of the power cable feeding the Puritan 156 (i.e. comparing the Puritan ultimate power cord vs the Nordost Valhalla).  This was most educational as I could (finally) appreciate the differences many professional reviewers note in their assessments.  Before describing what I heard, let me describe my system as I am sure the differences are at least partially system dependent.

Rogue Audio Stereo 100 am upgraded to their "Dark" specifications.
Rogue Audio RP-7 preamp with Telefunken tubes and connected by balanced XLR to the amp
Chord Dave amp with Nordost Valhalla RCA connection to preamp.  Cardas Beyond USB cable from MacPro.
AMG Vello turntable. Valhalla cable to preamp
Soundsmith Strain Gauge (with its own "phone amp", SG200) with their SG-6 stylus.
Nordost Valhalla speaker cables 
Sonus Faber Amati tradition speakers
dedicated 20 amp circuit with hospital grade outlet

Music used for evaluation:
Issac Perlman Vivaldi 4 seasons (spring)  (Angel recording)
Night on Bald Mountain (Power of the Orchestra RCA Living Stereo)
Variety of jazz and orchestral pieces ripped from CD or higher resolution downloads all played thru Audirvana.

Disclosure:  I accept that there are those that deny that cables can make a difference in the sound.  In MY system, with MY power, and the limitations of my own hearing (ears), I hear a difference.  I can only speak to what I hear.

Nordost Valhalla power cable:
There is less detail, for example, in rapid bowing or the way the musician "pulls" the bow across the strings , or where the musician strikes a tympani or drum or how the musician "plucks/bows" the double bass or the violin. There is certainly a difference in the way Perlman plays Vivaldi and others I have heard!   This cable is not as "fast" or articulate.  It is as if the "sustain" pedal  on a piano has been held down.  Notes tend to run into each other vs more separation.  Staccato passages are not as distinct, separated, dramatic. This decreases the clarify of say a fast drum solo in a jazz piece, or the attack of a snare drum. The bass seems "fuller" but this seems to reflect again an extension of each note and perhaps some "blurring" of the sound which is especially noticeable in jazz.  The sound stage seems slightly less deep with more compaction of the instruments/musicians.  The sound is "warmer" and the overall impression is that there is a "fuller" more "coherent" sound, a circle colored in uniformly, smoothly.

Puritan "Ultimate" power cable:
Clearly more articulate, faster and more detailed.  Every note is distinct even in rapid passages.  There is space between notes and musicians such that if four trumpets are playing a chord, you can hear the chord but definitely each note in the chord.  There is a "snap" to a snare drum, and the resonance of a tympani or a double bass is more distinctly appreciated.  The musician's technique or interpretation of the music is more obvious;  the way the jazz bassist "plugs" the strings, or the way Perlman applies difference pressure to the bow and the sheer rapidity of his "runs" and passages.  The space between instruments and musicians also allows complex (orchestral) passages to be better appreciated as the individual components are readily heard along with the overall sound. Indeed, I heard for the first time certain instruments usually lost in the "blend".  This leads to a deeper appreciation of the composition.  The sound stage is perhaps slightly wider, but clearly deeper.  The increased articulation and detail, the greater separation of the instruments does lend the impression that the sound is less "full".  The circle is filled, but with (innumerable) dots rather than blended, smoothed, brush strokes ("pointillism" vs "water color").  This also tends to make this cable sound perhaps what the reviewers call "cooler" than the "warmer" Nordost.  This may also render this cable  slightly "brighter" on treble but not harsh and this is very dependent on the recording.

Hope this helps.

craig
The Puritan Ultimate power cord is about 1/10 of the price
of the Nordost Valhalla power cord. ( I have verified from a Puritan
dealer )
It seemed at first sight they are not in the same league.
What is the ´´ upgraded ´´ feature all about?
I am a bit septical about your take on them vs the Nordost.
I would be glad if you were right though .
I also just replaced a shunyata denali and shunyata power cord with a puritan 156. The cord that came with the 156 is a small little cloth covered cord, which is their standard Puritan power cord. 

Well, the Puritan stuff was clearly more detailed and musical sounding than my shunyata. I also switched up the power cords putting the Shunyata on the Puritan, but again the little Puritan cord was better. The music was clearer sounding, not just detail, but everything was clearer. The bass line sustains were more perceptible with better rhythm, and I could hear the micro dynamics  were improved as well. I just called to order the Puritan Ultimate cord to replace the stock cord. I can't believe that this little cord is supplying all the power in my system, and I am paranoid that it is too little, so I am ordering the Ultimate cord. But yes, the Puritan is better in my system.
@tarichar 

whitch  modele of Shunyata power cord  ?  SIGMA NR V2  ?

I understand that ´´ upgraded ´´ in the OP post was in replacement  to the stock Puritan cable that comes with the 156.
upgrade meant to replace the stock puritan cord ("classic") with their "ultimate" cord.
I have ordered one  ´´ Ultimate ´´
I am looking forward to test it with my LuminX1 .
It will replace a PS Audio AC5
May I ask how much for their 20 amp upgrade Ultimate power cord?
(anyone knows the differences between model 136 and 156, please share.)
I would think if their marketing dresses them on a much nicer, more attractive housing like Jeff Rowland- price would be significantly increased.
From their website:

Entry into our elite Studio Master range starts with the PSM136. 39 filtration elements progressively coax noise out from the power cycle. DC offset correction is standard and each of the 6 x 15 Amp outputs incorporates its own dedicated filter section guaranteeing not only pristine power but avoiding connected components cross-contaminating each other.

When only the very best will do. The crowning achievement of all of our research: the PSM156 Studio Master. 58 filter elements incrementally remove harmful noise from the mains supply but leaving the full force and power intact. The filter sections individual to each 15 Amp output station seen on the PSM136 are doubled in efficiency further improving the sound from each connected component and providing twice the prevention of cross contamination. Also available in a 12 outlet version PSM1512.

Their site has a retail price list:
http://www.puritanaudiolabs.com/buying/retail-price-list/


Last year I had electrical upgrades to the tune of 10k done to my home ,  using a power line noise analyzer the Ac noise was horrendous everywhere through out my home.
Just prior to the work done I had bought a Puritan 136 on a 30 day home trial money refunded to replace a Ac regenerator that did nothing . 

Using a line analyzer plugged into the 136 the numbers dropped significantly which translated into a lower noise floor of course with my front end components plugged into the conditioner. Finally something that actually works . 
Anyway I kept putting off the electrical work then finally having it done my family noticed better picture clarity on their TVs and I noticed a much more coherent and far more enjoyable improvement in playback sound quality across the board .

Finally speaking of sources of noise Craig you should seriously consider dumping your Mac for a dedicated server / streamer the upgrade in sound quality will really make you wonder why you used your computer for such a use ,  the leap in sound quality will amaze you ...
craig

Thanks for the interesting post. Also using Nordost V2 as my power cable. I would appreciate some help with a couple of questions:

1. Did you buy direst from Puritan, or from a distributor, and if so are you in the U.S?

2. Does Puritan have a trial period?


Jerry:
I am in the US (Virginia).
I purchased from a local dealer.  He let me take the 156 and the cables home for a week and do comparisons.  I imagine most of their dealers and distributors would do the same.

There is a list of distributors on their website.

Their web site list the US distributor as: 
Pro Audio Ltd.

Tel: 847-526-1660
email: proaudio@comcast.net


craig

Thanks for your response. I am checking with Pro Audio, the distributor in Chicago.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
How much do you want for the QB4? Those work best when connected to the QX4. Not much of story on its own.