Review: DCCA Reference Master Power cord

Category: Cables

This is very difficult for me to put into words, so please forgive me if this sounds like an amatuer. It should, since this is my first review...popping my cherry.

Anyway, this is a VERY long story, if you don't have time, you may just want to jump right to the end (like I usually do).
It all began when I was trying to again replace my trusty old Shunyata Hydra. The Hydra was the oldest amongst all of my current gear, at almost 5 years old. I've been trying to replace it to get some surge protection, which the original Hydra lacked. I've tried many conditioners over the years, and all have left me with a wanting for my old Hydra. I tried a Running Springs Audio Danielle around October 2007. I used it with the accompanying RSA 'Mongoose' cord, and tried a RSAD Poiema!!! Signature cord. Both cords sounded bright, harsh and/or boring and slow. I put the Danielle up for sale on AudiogoN.

In the meantime, I asked Don for an audition of his latest DCCA Reference Master power cord. He recommended a 300 hour burn in, which I gave his cord, on my original Hydra. After the 300 hour burn in, I had to admit that I was extremely unimpressed with Don's cord. It sounded warm, syrupy and very unimpressive on my Hydra.

I had received a Elrod EPS-3 Signature that had a very good reputation with power conditioners, so I decided to try the Elrod on my Danielle. Since I had already been using the DCCA RM, I decided to use this cord before I switched to the Elrod.
Now to say that I had the proverbial 'enlightening' would be an understatement. For the first time ever I heard the RSA Danielle and the DCCA Reference Master sound musical.

Now, I guess I should explain 'musical'. All of a sudden, the Danielle sounded rich, warm, vibrant and tonally sweet, not unlike a tube amplifier. It's bass was very powerful though, much unlike a tube amp. This was by far the best I've ever heard the Danielle sound, and for the first time, I considered moving on from the Hydra.

To make a VERY long story short, I tried many other cords in the same position, on the front end of my Danielle. I can't remember them all, but some do include more expensive cords such as the Dream State Lucid Dream, Stealth Dream (a favorite of mine), Jena Labs Model One, K-S Emotion, Shunyata Anaconda Vx, Nordost Valhalla, etc....etc...

Anyway, to make a short story long, I told Don, The main man behind DCCA, that I did love his new Reference Master power cord. I told him that I did have some 'reprecussions' about his cord though. I said that his cord had tremendous attack on the note, which led to a form of 'clarity'. His cord also had an immediate impact, which was a tad too forward to me. I would also appreciate a cord that had a slightly more natural decay of the note. One last 'nat' was that the high end was a bit rolled off.

Now, Don, knowing my latest feelings, told me that he had created a cord that he felt would suit my latest needs. He sent it to me....yeah yeah....300 Hours burn in....done.

Don's new cord blew my mind! I'm sorry...I should contain my drool. I just cannot believe what Don can do. All of a sudden, it's as he read my mind, or even knew my system. The sound was a bit more laid back, just to my tastes (row 10-12), the high end was extended and airey, and to top it all off, the decay was more natural, relaxed and decaying into black space.

Did Don's adjustments come with no negative side affects? No, I can not say that. The added depth in the soundstage has a small, but noticeable affect on the soundstage width and height. I much prefer the added 3-Dimensionality of the new cord over the first cord. I also prefer the natural decay of the note that the latest cord brings over the first cord. The first cord also had a slightly more defined bass. The second cord had bass aplenty, to be sure, more plentiful than most other cords that I've heard. The first rendition of the DCCA cord had a slightly more defined low bass detail though.

So where does this leave me.....or you? As for my RSA Danielle, I cannot think of any power cord that I've heard that will sound better than Don's Reference Master. Especially the modified version that he presented me. It is rich, vibrant, detailed, extended, and sonically 3-Dimensional. I cannot recommend a power cord highly enough, especially at this price range.

Don has a trial period, of which I cannot claim you could beat. If you contact Don, tell 'em Johnny boy sent you....

If you don't like what you hear, tell Don to "fix it". That's the best part about this review....Don REALLY knows what he's doing when it comes to adjusting the sound.


Associated gear

Similar products
Stealth Dream
Dream State Lucid Dream
Jena Labs Model One
Kubala Sosna Emotion
Shunyata Anaconda Vx
Shunyata King Cobra V1 & V2
Nordost Valhalla
BMI Hammerhead Gold & Piranha 24K
Elrod EPS-3 Signature and Statement

Among many others....
Johnny Boy, hope your satisfied for a while.

Me thought "I" was a cord-a-holic, you got me beat !

Nice review (I read the whole thing, didn't jump to the end)'re list does not mention the jps 'aluminata' pc...don't try it unless you want to send the 'dcca' back...just a thought
Nice review.
Don't forget that you've also auditioned the Purist Anniversary Contego power cord.
Best regards,
Thanks for the replies, I knew there were some cords I'd forgotten. Yes, I did also have a trial period with a PAD 20th Anniversary cord, thanks Larry. I also owned PAD Dominus with Ferrox and with Fluid, as well as Virtual Dynamics Nite/Master/Revelation. There have been so many it is hard to keep track. Though no Calloway, I haven't had a chance to hear the JPS Aluminata cord. So many toys, so little time.....perhaps one day.

What really sets Don's cords apart, IMHO, is his ability to tune them to suit your tastes. One of my favorite cords is the Stealth Dream, but as I've found out, even these don't work on everything. In fact I've never found one cord that does all things for all gear. I've often found that adding more and more of one kind of cord can illuminate the flaws of that cord. I've always found better success using different cords for different applications. The fact that Don can tune his cords to your particular tastes, on a certain piece of gear is what sets his cords apart from companies like Stealth, PAD, Shunyata or even JPS.

The fact that Don was able to take my initial reservations about his first cord, a more relaxed presentation, more extension in the high's and a more natural decay, and succeed so fully at making the adjustments I asked for is what sets DCCA apart from the others.

I'm glad to see that Don was able to help you fine-tune the sound of his cord to suit your tastes. The DCCA cords have gone through several iterations since their inception. I had a few of the original cords( extremely stiff and heavy) and tried the next versions, which were lighter and more flexible. These newest versions look like they are a ribbon type, very flat and wide. I'm curious how these sound compared to the previous versions. Also, do you know what Don did to fine-tune this cord for you in order to suit your system better? I'm curious what he did to improve the decay characteristics that you said were lacking.
Hi Sherod,

I had a couple of Don's earlier cords, the first one was his Extreme Reference, which was by far the stiffest and heaviest power cord I've ever seen. I couldn't even audition it because I could not bend it into position. I sent it back for a full refund, but perhaps I should have kept it to use as a work out bar. :) The second cord was his Musical Essence I, which I felt was a good value, nice bang for the buck, but I had cords at the time which I felt bettered it, so I wound up selling it after a couple of months.

I thought this new styling looked like a ribbon cord too, like an Elrod. Don assured me that it wasn't though, and when bending into position, you can feel the wire, so I know it's not ribbon. I do not know what Don did to fine tune this cord. He has said that he's played around with cords long enough to know what adjustments will sound like. He proved it to me with his second cord. I don't know if he wants to share "trade secrets" or not, but I didn't push him for details. I do remember talking with JD MacRae, of Jade Audio, and Rick Schultz of Virtual Dynamics, both have told me that soundstage depth can be adjusted by changing the gauge size of the wire. I don't know how the decay is adjusted, but I would assume it also has something to do with conductor size. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong Don, or any other cable manufacturer. I'm no techie, which is probably why it amazes me so much how one can take some information from you and design a cable to suit your needs.

FWIW, I would say the second cord seemed a tad more pliable too. I know DCCA cords have a reputation for stiffness, and these new series are much more pliable, but they are still no Audience, Nordost, or Kubala Sosna when it comes to flexibility. They are still solid cords. The second version was more pliable than the first. Since I don't know what Don did, I can't really explain this though.

One more point of clarification, I know some have asked if you needed so many changes, why did you not just send the cord back? Because the first cord did have many positive attributes. The strongest of which was it's tube-like, liquid midrange. I know that term gets over used, but it just sounded so relaxed and smooth in the midrange. It also had powerful, taut bass. Yes, it was a tad forward for me, not quite as forward as Virtual Dynamics cords, but close. Before all of the VD fans attack me, I do know that some folks like this forward's not for me though. In fact the original DCCA had other attributes that reminded me of the Virtual Dynamics cords, including it's attack on the leading edge of the note, which can sound like "clarity". The downside of this is the truncated natural decay of the note. The difference is that Don can adjust the sound, while Virtual Dynamics, along with most other cable companies will not.

FWIW, here is a link to Don's website, explaining his Sound tuning

Good review John. I have posted many times about the DCCA power cords. Have not gone through as many as you have, but I tried a bunch when the Elrods were very popular. I think Don changes the wire size, type of wire, insulation thickness that helps voice the changes in his cords, but like you already mention, just ask Don.

BTW, have you tried his ICs yet? He can also offer different flavors to help you achieve the sound you prefer with your system.

Don has always gone way out of his way to please everyone. He probably does not make a penny doing this.

Happy Listening.
Very intriguing review, John! Can you elaborate on the differences between your
preferred Reference Master Cord and a Shunyata King Cobra Version 1? The
latter has been my favorite PC cord on most pieces of equipment over the
Ah man, I hate it when the computer system crashes when I hit 'Submit'.

Anyway, yes Peter (Bigkidz) I do have a pair of Don's i/c's. Though I can't say that I've heard them. To try an shorten the story, I bought them about a year ago (Musical Emminence?) when I bought his Musicial Essence I cord. This was about a month or so before he released his Musical Essence II cord. Anyway, I lent the cable to a friend, since I was very happy with the Jade Audio cables at the time (and still am), and I haven't heard back from him since. Thanks for reminding me, I'll have to give him a call.

As for Lula's post, I still remember the KC V1 as the first cord that really blew my mind. It helped change my mind concerning what a power cord could do. I especially liked it's sweet, warm tonality on digital sources. From memory, and it has been a couple of years since I owned a KC V1, I would say that it still may be the best cord on the market for bright digital sources. As far as the differences between Don's modified cord and the KC V1, well Don's custom cord has just as sweet and liquid a midrange presentation. The high's are a tad more extended, and the bass is deeper and more defined than the KC V1. Soundstage wise, the original DCCA was quite a bit more forward, the custom DCCA is not nearly as forward, though in absolute spaciousness, the KC V1 is still the champ.

So for me, it came down to whether you want slighty better tonality extension, or the slight better dimensionality.
The KC V1 was definitely ahead of it's time, especially as far as spaciousness and dimensionality, but today there are cords on the market that can definitely give it a run for the money.

FWIW, if I were using a 'bright' digital source, like an Esoteric, or a EMM Labs (please don't kill me for this) a Shunyata KC V1 still may be near the top of my list still.
However, for analog sources and relaxed digital sources I'd go with the DCCA RM. Does that make sense?

Yes, John, your logic seems to make sense. Some years ago, I put a KC V1 on my
Krell 20i and the combo has yet to be beaten by the many of today's "best" that
I have tried. Only the ARC Ref 7, which sounds "different" has equaled it in my
2 systems. I found the X-01 to be too forward, rather than bright. In keeping
with the thread, I am presently in touch with Don and will try an ''altered" Ref-
erence Master quite similar to yours.

King Cobra V-1's are on my Transport, DAC and Preamp with an Anaconda VX into the original Hydra with the 20 amp white outlets, I love the sound of this combo.

I'd like trying a couple of Don's DCCA cords to hear how they compare.
Pat, you know me and my love of the original Hydra, I even turned you on to the Anaconda Vx cord... remember your Python?

In the last 5 years I've tried many conditioners/cords that could try to replace this combo. Why? Because I want surge suppression on my big $$$ gear. I've never found anything that was even close to the Hydra/Anaconda sonically, I can't even name all of the conditioners and cords. The Running Springs Audio Danielle with the DCCA Reference Master is the first one that has come even close.... very close. It's the first time I didn't run back crying for my Hydra/Anaconda.
Is the RSA/DCCA combo better? Or even as good?....
I can't really say yet, as I'm still 'working' on it.

However, what I can say, unequivically, is that the RSA/DCCA combo has come much, much closer than anything else I've heard in the last 5 years. I could easily live with the sound.

Hey John, I'm glad I read your posts. I sent my Reference Masters back recently to have similar adjustments like yours. I have tried a lot of PC's. These are the best yet. I’m amazed with their clarity, liquid warm midrange, and extended highs. I totally agree with your review and all you have to do is one to your system to reap its benefits. I also like them better than the VD cords plus the RM’s cost much less. I highly recommend to everyone to get them adjusted over the standard stock. The stock was good but with the adjustments they really blew me away.
Hi Joeyboynj,

I'm glad to read that you are enjoying Don's modified cord. I do agree that I like it better than the stock version, and it is one of the best values in power cords, period. Again, the most amazing thing to me, is just how good Don is at tailoring the sound to suit the individual's system/taste. That is what sets DCCA apart from the pack IMHO.

Hello John,
I have Reference Masters (with your mod) on order and should receive it Monday 3/17.
Thanks for your insightful vision.
Hi Larry,

You're most welcome. I'll be very interested in reading your thoughts on the cord, and how it compares with your PAD 20th Anniversary cord. IMHO, it falls closer to your PAD 20th Anniversary sonically than it does my Stealth Dream. As you know, this is not a good or bad, right or wrong statement....more of a yin vs. yang. The Dream is lighter, airier and faster, while the DCCA/PAD have more musical weight and a more liquid midrange.
Your system's abilities and your own personal taste will determine which cord will work best for you in a certain application.
Don's mods have moved the stock DCCA Reference Master closer to the Dream as far as HF extension and air, while still maintaining the liquidity of the PAD cord. As always, YMMV.

Hey all,

Well I couldn't resist, and I just ordered a DCCA McGrogan special today as well! It will be replacing a 20A DCCA Source I have on my RSA Danielle. When I initally bought that cord from Don, I wanted a leaner sound to clear up excess bass bloat and midrange bloom. But after some other cable swaps, I now need a bit more richness in the midrange... Hopefully the Reference Master will do the trick!

Wow, John! This new Reference Master has a new version now affectionately called the " McGrogan Special". You must feel honored and humbled. (o:
03-15-08: Sherod
Wow, John! This new Reference Master has a new version now affectionately called the " McGrogan Special". You must feel honored and humbled. (o:

I am indeed honored and humbled. Now I just have to hope it lives up to the hype for all of these folks.
I did write YMMV somewhere....didn't I? ;^)

Yes, John. You already covered yourself with the YMMV. (o:
I auditioned the DCCA Reference One recently.

When compared with a Tel Wire Cord on my preamp, the Tel Wire created a larger and more lifelike image.

I also compared the Reference One to a Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox on a Belles 150A Reference and Pass Labs XA-30.5 amplifier. There was less difference between the Reference One and the Dominus than there was between the Tel Wire and Reference One on the preamp. The Dominus had more weight in the mids, and it had more defined bass. The top end was about the same, as was the image size.

Since the used value of the Dominus cord is about equal to the cost of the DCCA Reference One, I decided not to go the fine tuning/customization route with the DCCA cord, but I'm certain if I had invested the time Don could have tweaked it into something I liked.

So yes...YMMV.
Hi Tvad, too bad you did not get the adjustments. I think the cable sounded a lot better with the adjustments over stock and is worth another listen. I'm using a Reference Master on my source which I think is a thicker gauge which adds more weight and defined bass. I also found this cable works great on my power conditioner. Don also changed out the gold IECs for copper and Rhodium on for the CDP cable. Much better.
I asked Don for his recommendation based on where I wanted to use the cord. He suggested the Reference One.

I'm sure the adjustments would make a difference, but since I already own a cord that I prefer at a similar price point, I simply was not willing to invest the time required to listen, compare and tweak the DCCA.
Grant (Tvad) you are certainly entitled to your opinions, and from my experiences with you I do respect your opinions. I do question however that Don recommended the Reference One for your applications. From what I understand, through Don, the Reference One is guided for source components, specifically digital source components.
I am unfamiliar with the Tel Wire that you do mention, but I have heard the PAD Dominus w/ Fluid and Ferrox cords. I've also heard the PAD 20th Anniversary cord.

Actually, IMS, IMHO, the PAD Dominus w/ Ferrox comes closest to what I've heard from the modified DCCA Reference Master (RM). IMHO, the DCCA RM goes deeper in the bass, and has more extension in the high's than the PAD Dominus cords. The PAD 20th Anniversary cords are a much more closer call. The 20th Anniversary may have a slightly larger soudstage, that's about all I can say. I know the PAD 20th does cost a LOT more than Don's DCCA cords though.

Anyway, if you are familiar with big name cords like Nordost, Stealth, Shunyata, PAD, etc, I would recommend that the DCCA would best suit those that are looking for the sweet, liquid midrange of the PAD cords, but want to save a few dollars.

Again, I have no ties with Don or DCCA audio....I'm just a fan.

03-19-08: Jmcgrogan2
Grant (Tvad) you are certainly entitled to your opinions, and from my experiences with you I do respect your opinions.

I do question however that Don recommended the Reference One for your applications.
I assure you he did recommend the Reference One for use on my preamp, which is where I intended to use it.
I'll say that power cords do react differently in different systems and on different components. What one person asks for isn't always easy to achieve...that is why I do offer to adjust the sound. Fine tuning a system can take a very long time as we all know...taking a little time for adjustments maybe beneficial in the long term...for those of us that are willing...not everyone is willing...this is just a service I offer. It sounds as if most cutomers are enjoying the John McGrogan I have been making this the standard as of late with my Reference Master and Reference One power cords. Please feel free to chime in and give your experiences with the sound. Don DCCA Audio
Hmmm... So I guess we can't call it the DCCA McGrogan Special anymore? lol

If I read Don's post correctly, he said that he has been building the Reference Master and Reference One as the McGrogan sound, so I would imagine that "McGrogan Special" would be an acceptable new name for these cords. Can we get a vote? I vote, "McGrogan Special". I kinda like the sound of that. Very catchy name.
Well if ALL of them are the "McGrogan Special", then they aren't exactly *special* are they? :-p

Maybe Don can specially tweak one of your cords and we'll call it the "Electro77 Special". Would that make you feel better? (o:
Just wanted to give everyone an update on my Reference Master adventures. A bit of background: I've been building an all solid state computer based music and movie system for my little Manhattan studio, with equipment from Running Springs Audio, Empirical Audio, Meridian, Spectron, and Anthony Gallo, and cables from DCCA, Fusion Audio, and Jade Audio. I've been stubbornly avoiding tubes because I'm trying to keep things "simple" and I don't want to deal with the hassle of tube rolling! The major difficulty I've been facing is trying to make my solid state equipment sound rich and organic while maintaing all the detail and slam solid state equipment provides. Before getting the Reference Master, I had just gotten some Jade Audio Hybrid interconnects which are frankly amazing. But the sound I was getting still had an occaisonal touch of digital dullness to it. After conversing with John McGrogan and reading his review, I decided that getting a Reference Master "McGrogan Special" for my Running Springs Danielle power conditioner might help.

I received my McGrogan Special a few weeks ago and obviously plugged it into the Danielle immediately. The power cord it replaced was a 20A DCCA Source cable with rhodium plugs that Don made for me a while back (I think he said it was basically a newer version of the Ref-1, which isn't offered anymore). I know you're not supposed to listen to cables right off the bat, but I was immediately struck by a more relaxed sound that I really liked. After a week of break-in, however, I found that I really wasn't digging the sound. The overall presentation was just way too "soft" and my system's bass was way too wimpy. It wasn't the bass amplitude that was weak, but there was almost no bass attack anymore! John did mention this characteristic in his review, but we have totally different systems and likely place varying importance on different sonic attributes. I guess that's one of the things makes this hobby so interesting! I listen to a lot of electronic music, so I prefer a sharp leading edge and punchiness in my bass and I simply wasn't hearing that. The soft attack seemed to affect the midrange as well, where things sounded a little dull and confused, and I had lost some of the openness, clarity, and vibrance I used to have. In defense of the McGrogan Special, the slight digital dullness I used to hear was gone, so it was step in the right direction in that way. But I needed a more clear, dynamic presentation with a bit more impact, and the McGrogan Special was clearly not was I was looking for.

I've gotten some cables from Don in the past that I didn't like, and I didn't have the patience to get them customized. This time around, however, I promised Don that I would give him the chance to tune the cable to my liking. So I sent back the cable with a detailed message about exactly what I was hearing and what I wanted to hear. I got my new "Tomer Tuned" Reference Master within a week. The new cable is quite a bit different than the original. For one thing, it is way more flexible than the McGrogan Special. I had to really twist and muscle the 20A connector of the prior cable into the IEC receptacle on the back of the Danielle. The new cable was way easier to get into position. Also, the McGrogan Special came with a Furutech rhodium plug whereas the new cable has a gold Furutech plug. I'm not sure if the 20A connector is the same.

In any case, if you've actually read this far, you're probably wondering how the new cable sounds. Well I have to say I've been floored by the improvements Don made! Bass is tight and defined, with a much sharper leading edge. The midrange opened up big time, but still maintains the richness I was looking for. Highs are nice and extended and totally grain free. The slight digital dullness I was hearing before getting the Reference Master has been vanquished. This new Reference Master somehow combines both warmth and clarity in the midrange, something that I was worried I may only be able to get with tubes. I actually tried another +$1000 power cable from a manufacturer I really like while Don was doing the customization for me, and while it had a beautiful detailed and open sound, my Tomer Tuned Reference Master trumps it with a lush midrange and more bass slam. I don't know what Don does when he cutomizes the cables, but I think he's a mad cable genius! Is my system's sound perfect now? No. Will it ever be? Probably not! I could perhaps use a bit more slam in the bass, a touch more openness in the midrange, and a smidgen more treble extension. And I'm toying with sending the Reference Master back for another round of customization. But I'm honestly enjoying things so much right now that I'm probably going to stop tinkering with the sound and FINALLY spend my money on making the upgrade from 2 channel to surround sound!

In any case, if any of you are considering trying a Reference Master, I HIGHLY recommend not making any decision about it until you've sent it back to Don for customization. Between the experiences John and I have had, I think it's safe to say that Don really knows what he's doing! And I guess this is the part of the review where I'm supposed to say that I have no financial affiliation with DCCA... Just a very satisfied customer!

Wow! First a "McGrogan Special" and now a "Tomer-Tuned" cord. What will this mad scientist come up with next? I'm glad that you like the sound of your new custom-tuned cord. I'm staying "tuned" for more excitement.

LOL! First you name my cord the 'McGrogan Special' and now yours is the 'Tomer Tuned''s all good. Like I said previously, the main thing that folks should take out of this is just how good Don is at 'tuning' power cords. His skillz are absolutely stunning, as I'm sure Tomer would agree.

However, unlike Tomer, I think solid state sucks. =8-)

Tubes totally rule!!!


PS: Sherod.....perhaps a 'Sherod Specialty'???
John, I'm not so sure that having my own "tweaked" version of this cable would be the way to go. Let's say that I got Don to fine-tune a power cord for me and it seemed to be the right choice for my system, but what if I decided to change out other components and my "Sherod Special" didn't sound as good anymore. Do I return it back to Don for another fine-tuning and call it the "Sherod Special Mk. II"? In the long term, there could be hundreds of totally different sounding versions of the same model out in the field and what if I decided to sell whatever tweaked version cord I had. I'd have to explain in the ad what component I had the cord on and what Don did to tweak it for whatever traits, i.e. fuller bass, row 12 concert hall seat,left center, etc. What sounds best in my system might not sound so good in another, and that's assuming the individual has my same type of hearing and musical tastes( very unlikely since we each are so unique. But then, having a tweaked power cord might just help us to get off the merry-go-round and stay with the fine-tuned cord from here on till death do we part. I'm starting to ramble, so I digress...
Well, I think you have to pick your poison here. You either have to spend endless hours (your whole life?) searching for the perfect mix of "neutral" components and cables which will sound great together. Or you can pick components that have many attributes you like, and get cables to tune your system to perfection. Sherod is correct in saying that a cord which is tuned to your current system may not sound great if you change components. But I think you would have the same problem if you spent endless hours and found a "neutral" mix of components and cables. Just because you have a "neutral" cable doesn't mean that the next component you get will sound good with it, and it doesn't mean that someone else who buys it from you will have success with it. I have to say there comes a point where it's nice to stop breaking in and auditioning cables and actually sit down and enjoy listening to music for once. Plus, I think it would be nice to spend some disposable income on other non-audio luxuries. Like clothes and food.

In terms of future system changes, I'm not sure how long Don would continue tuning the cable... I did mention to him that there are still some minor tweaks I'd like to make to the sound, but that I was also considering getting a new wall outlet and sending my amplifier in for modifications. He told me that I should wait until anyother changes I make settle in before customizing the cord further. So I get the impression that there may not be a time limit as to how long after the initial purchase he would continue to make changes. Perhaps he could fill us in on what his policy is?

And no John, I didn't say tubes suck, I just said I don't want to deal with them. It's hard enough finding the right cables and footers. If I had to factor in the additional variable of tube rolling, I think my head would explode! :-)

Sherod, I certainly can understand your POV. There are definitely two ways you could look at this. It will make re-selling more difficult I would think, but it also may lead to less of a desire to resell once properly tuned. Perhaps the ticket OFF the merry-go-round.

Tomer, I'm sorry my attempt at humor seems to have offended you. It's not easy to express comedy through a keyboard I suppose. You are certainly allowed to enjoy SS gear. Hey, whatever gets you into the music is all that really matters.
Maybe you are right about the additional variable of tubes make your head explode. That could explain all of my headaches. LOL :-)
Good thing I didn't mention my love of vinyl.....

I will say that I would adjust the sound of the power cord within reason. Down the road if you want adjustments made it will cost some fee...depending on what adjustments need to be made to the power cord at that time. It does cost money in materials just to take these apart and make changes. John made a comment of getting off the merry-go-round...this is one of the reasons I offer this service...not every system or listener is the same. I don't always get it right the first time around...I'm not I have to try and figure out from what I'm being told how to adjust the sound...not always an easy thing to do. I really like what I do with the sound...being able to change it to something someone really wants is a devotion or passion towards this hobby....countless hours spent listening. Thank you John for taking the time to write this review and everyone else for jumping in...great to see the support! Hey...enough of's back to Sunday morning Jazz! Don DCCA Audio
Hey John,

No offense taken about the tubes! I know I'm just being stubborn. Though listening to vinyl is another matter compeletly... I don't think we can be audio buddies anymore! lol

Tomer....please....can't we all just get along??? LOL!!!

Just a thought, something for you to chew on, since I know we've talked offline and I know you have a special little lady too.

I just past my 24th wedding anniversary with my wife in March of this year. She has been great, and is very supportive of my hobby. She loves the fact that it keeps me here with her as opposed to other hobbies where I leave her to go hunting up the mountains, or fishing, just to name a couple examples. She loves music too, though our musical tastes don't exactly mesh anymore.

Anyway, to shorten an already too long story, my woman of well over 25 years has listened to many changes in my system, many times I feel just to oblige me. There were only two clear times in all of those years where she got excited and fell crazy for the music. It had nothing to do with cable changes, power cord changes, speaker changes or even vinyl (though she does like vinyl too). I certainly heard (or at least I believe I did) changes, for better or worse in all of these cables/components.

However, my wife only flipped her wig on two ocassions, and I can't say that I disagree with her (perhaps women do hear better than men). The first time was the first time she heard a tube preamp (1988?), the second time was the first time she heard a tube amp. She never really heard any BIG differences between cables, cords, amps, preamps, cd players, speakers or even vinyl. Now even she admits that vinyl sounds better than digital, but to a lesser extent.

All that really blew her mind was tubes.....she loves them. She used to oppose there aesthetic appeal, she hates the way they look. However, the way they sound blows her mind, and she doesn't mind all of my glowing bulbs at all anymore now, she just loves the do I.

The new DCCA Reference Master power cord is one exceptional power cord. I contacted Don of DCCA in March this year at the same time that I had begun evaluating cords that would perform well with my deHavilland Aries 845g mono block amps. I loved the amps with 845 power tubes and 6SN7 drivers, but felt the lowest level dynamics needs some help. To get right to the heart of my tuning experience, Don's Reference Masters and a pair of Sistrum platforms really let the amps deliver microdynamic detail. But that's jumping ahead just a bit. Let me give some more background to really make the point about how transformative these cords were.

I was set on finding the best pair of cords for the amps and had pairs of Nirvana, LessLoss, DH Labs, Black Sand on hand. All cords received burnin time on my Audio Dharma Cable Cooker between 1 and 3 days before evaluating in my system. As I began switching between cords, I found that each changed the character of the sound in some way that I wasn't really satisfied with. During several email exchanges and a couple of short phone conversations with Don, I explained that I wasn't really happy with this result and that if he could deliver a cord that was at once "relaxed but engaging" in character, I knew that it would complement the amp's character well. Don wasted no time, and within a week I had a pair of the newest version DCCA Reference Masters to audition with the amps.

I used the same burnin process with DCCA cords but did notice that they continued to change in character more than most cables once in my system. Don explained this was the case with his cords and I was assured that in the end the tonal balance would be fine. (Don's a pretty understated guy, so fine for him is definitely great for me.)

Don also explained that this new cord benefited from everything in Jmcgrogan's version but with further refinements.

Now it has been about six months and I continue to be amazed by how this cord filled my order for "relaxed but engaging". It is so rare in this hobby when we aren't disappointed but this time my expectations for a musical cord with excellent tonal balance, dynamics (macro and micro) were fully, completed met. Of all the cords I have tried over the years, the DCCA Reference Masters have to be among the musical. It is one of the rare set it and forget it pieces. It just lets the amps deliver what they do best -- with no edge, glare, stridency or anything that would distract from the music.

Oh, and Don's tuning ability is not to be underestimated. Mine were delivered on the mark the first time around. I'm one satisfied customer and really can't say enough about my positive experience with Don in general. Highly, highly recommended to all audio enthusiasts.

I have been very fortunate to assemble a new system this year with the help of people on Audiogon whom I have learned from. My latest system is built entirely around the Quad 2805 electrostatic panel speakers and it is the most musically satisfying complete system I've had the good fortune to assemble. Anyone who has an interest in any of this gear is welcome to contact me with questions (Quad speakers, deHavilland electronics, 6SN7 tubes, Ridge Street Audio cables, QuickSilver Triodes (alternate amp), Emotive Audio Sira (alternate preamp), Sistrum platforms, Olive music server, and of course, DCCA Reference Master power cords on the amps. I hope to post this system and describe in more detail the synergy of these players.