Review: Foundation Research LC1 & LC2 Power cord

Category: Cables

I've owned the original version of the Foundation Research LC-2 and LC-1 passive and dedicated in-line power conditioners for almost 3 years now.

I've considered the LC's to be an absolute foundational system requirement and major contributors toward obtaining one of the most transparent and most musical presentations I've yet heard.

Although I personally have minimal experience with other line conditioners, the original LC versions had done wonders for my system in the way of virtually eliminating any negative sibilance (that's not in the recording itself) while at the same time increasing the soundstaging and sound spacing affects, greater pinpoint imaging, lowered noise-floor, and at least in my case no perceivable current limitations for my high-powered amplifier.

It was also nice to see that Marty DeWulf basically confirmed this when he reviewed the original LC's in the August 2003 issue of Bound for Sound. There he stated that these LC's were simply the best he's heard and purchased them for his big rig. But those were the old versions. There's also a 2 year old review by that makes similar comments.

As for the new versions of the LC's, (which I've now owned for about 6 months) in my estimation, the sonic improvements of the new LCs cannot be measured in percentages, as the sonic improvements seem to actually be multiples greater than the original LC's. Leaps and bounds better is not an inaccurate phrase for the new versions which have the same model name as the old. In fact, even though there are a few cosmetic differences (primarily in minute box dimensions), the new versions look near identical to the old versions.

In addition to all of the benefits of the old version, the layering of instruments and sound-space truly comes into it's own. And the cymbals just come alive in a way that I've not heard elsewhere. The initial attacks, decays, and distinctiveness between the different percussive instruments provides such a dynamic and clean presence.

I think it's also important to note somewhere that because the LCs are dedicated (that is one LC per component), they are the perfect compliment for those who utilize dedicated AC circuits/lines for each component.. I admit I'm kinda' puzzled why so many others have gone through the pain of installing dedicated lines only to install a line conditioner in which two or more components are plugged in. Not only for the current draw taken away from amplifier, but especially for any potential bi-directional digital noise generated by the digital source which is thus introduced into other components sharing the same line conditioner. From what I understand, the LCs are designed to be bi-directional filtering line conditioners thus preventing or minimizing digital noise from going back into the wall.

Of course no system is built on line-conditioners alone, for there are the other ingredients i.e. vibration control, amplification, cabling, speaker placement, etc. that are also foundational. But it only takes about 30 seconds to perform A/B comparisons between dedicated lines only and dedicated lines with the LCs to determine just how critical the new LC's contribution is to the musicality of a system. Especially after the LCs are fully burned-in (a 2 - 4 day process).

I've had the pleasure of listening to systems costing many times that of my system and they were either using no line-conditioners or other more popular and more expensive line conditioners. Yet one of the first things I most always notice in these other systems is the negative-induced sibilance is quite evident and even though these other systems can generally have pleasant sonics they most always seem entirely subdued lacking any real dynamics or definition.

I'm not necessarily stating that all this is coming from the LCs only. What I am saying is that I believe without the LCs as a electrical foundation to build on, some to many of these attributes simply might not be obtainable or perhaps even knowable.

In summary, I would think it simply a disservice to call the new Foundation Research LCs a great equalizer for those owners of less expensive equipment. Lastly, I believe that with the LC's installed most, if not all, of the musical information is reproduced with such tremendous conviction and greater dynamics.

I am not aware of any weaknesses with these line-conditioners.

Nice review, I enjoyed reading it!
Best regards,
OK John, now I'll have to upgrade mine, you're killing me here.

Happy Listening, BTW how is the new home/job working out for you and your family?
Hello STEHNO, you do a nice review of power foundation and i am proud it is one of those Canadian product.
I just want you to tell us if there is a big gap between the older version compare to the new one? if i buy a used one wich way it will tell me it is the first version or the newer one?
would you say the older version is worthed even is the new one is better?
is there any more powerfull model for big sucker amps?
thank's for your nice review
Thanks, Roc. As good as the old versions are (they were still perhaps the best as Marty DeWulf of Bound for Sound declared), the newer versions are simply multiple times better. And that is no exaggeration.

They look so much alike, it's too hard to tell the difference.

If you should purchase the older versions, they are still excellent line conditioners, but for $50 - $60 each, you can have them upgraded to the newer versions.

My amp is 300 wpc@8ohm and 600wpc@4ohm. My speakers are 4 ohm, and I can only say that I've never heard such deep tight bass in any system I've heard. I've never felt there has been a current limitation with the larger LC-2.

But to be certain, if you are using a higher powered amp, you most definitely should also be using a dedicated 20amp circuit/line with that amp. With nothing else on it, except for the amp.

It'd be great if Foundation Research made these with longer cords. I have a couple nine foot runs, and I'd be interested in these units if the cords were longer.
BTW, thank you also Lak and Bigkidz for the compliments.

The LC1 and LC2 can be custom ordered with longer cords for a nominal charge.


Kerry Legeard B. A. Sc. P. Eng
Music First Distribution
US Distributors for Foundation Research Audio Electronics
Kerry, thanks for the info. That's good to know for the future.
Nice read Stehno.

Who sells these Foundation Research cords? Is there a weblink?

When I looked it up through the Manufacturers list, Globe Audio Marketing popped up. There is no information about the FR LC1 or LC2 that I can see on that website.

Thanks, John.

The US distributor is
As standalone devices, these cords are an incredible deal, and may be the best sounding power cables out there. In my experience with these, there was NO cord that I tried that sounded better without power line conditioning. This included the Synergistic Research Reference Master Couplers, Kimber Palladians, Harmonic Tech Fantasy's, TG Silver, and many others that I have owned in the short period of one year. When using either the Monster 2000/Tice AV Elite or combinations of each, the LC1's were still the clear winner. The only combination that I prefer over the Foundation Research is a combination of the Richard Gray 600 and Supra Lorad power cords. Considering that there is an improvement now in the LC1's and LC2's, I am going to try them again. They are definately a deal considering they do not need additional line filteration. I do run a dedicated 30A line.