Review: Michael Wolff Audio VIOLA Power cord

Category: Cables

I had tried submitting this as a cable posting, but was required by the moderators to post this as a review. So, I attempted to work back from where I finished, with the addition of the new Viola cord from Michael Wolff Audio ... so here goes:

There has been a lot written recently about the excellent new P/C series connectors from Oyaide and Acrolink of Japan. These connectors are imported by Joe Cohen at Lotus Group ( and are growing in popularity and also it seems, in prestige by the day. These connectors pay especially close attention to the details, including base materials (Deoxidized Phosphor Bronze) and plating (including materials, combinations of materials, thicknesses and surface finish.) The following plating combinations are available and a sonic description (from the Lotus Group’s website) follows:

P/C-037 Silver/Rhodium – Pure, strong, solid, uncolored reproduction – providing a very extended sound field.

P/C-079 Direct Gold - bold, sweet, luxurious, dynamic and lucid character

P/C-046 Gold/Palladium – the character of Gold with an added vibrancy and a cooler, fresher feeling

I recently had the chance to compare a group of power cords by different manufacturers, each using the excellent Oyaide P/C or Acrolink P/I connectors. All power cords were purchased on Audiogon by me. I think I had at least one cord from each of the manufacturers currently using the Oyaide or Acrolink connectors, with the exception of the Vh Audio’s Air Sine. *I had not planned on writing anything about the comparison, but I had so many questions once I simultaneously placed the cords for resale on Audiogon, that I will try to provide a recap. The following cords were used in this comparison:

Acrolink 6n-p4030pc w/ Oyaide P/C 046 Palladium over Gold with double cryo treatment and burn-in

Locus Design Nucleus w/ Oyaide P/C 079 Direct Gold with cryo treatment

Purist Aqueous Design Anniversary w/ Oyaide P/C 079 Direct Gold with CryoMag treatment

Michael Wolff Audio Silver Carbon Gain w/ Acrolink P/I CF Carbon fiber connectors

Michael Wolff Audio Viola w/ Acrolink P/I CF Carbon fiber connectors

I had the chance to try each on my World Power Power Wing AC conditioner (manufactured by Alan Kafton at Audio Excellence AZ).

It would have been interesting to compare each cord as constructed with the identical Oyaide or Acrolink connectors or to try each also on a front-end component (the Michael Wolff cords tested here were designed for use with amps or power conditioners) but that was, in my context, impossible.

Please be certain, these are all excellent cords that could happily reside in the finest of systems. This is not a definitive statement, nor am I am proclaiming one cord to be universally better than the others, as I have always felt so much of this hobby is so very personal - ears, sonic/musical/volume tastes and preferences, room, and other component interactions and synergy are all crucial. I certainly had a preference … but more on that later.

One of the great things about power cords and especially the Oyaides, is that you can truly dial-in the sound of your system … with the Oyaides, you may also rest comfortably knowing that you are using one of the finest connectors available. Be aware, however, that in my opinion, the P/I CF Acrolink Carbon Fiber connectors reside in a class to themselves. The Acrolink is available only with the Palladium over Gold plating, but the connectors are amazing – they feature a “carbon fiber outer barrel that is said to absorb EMI and stray electrons making it the quietest AC conductor available today.”

I have listed each cord in the length/price tested and also included the web site for each.

The Audio Excellence AZ Acrolink 6n-p4030pc
This is also a very nice cord. It is the standard Acrolink 6n-p4030 power cord that Alan Kafton at Audio Excellence AZ has double deep cryo-treated by Cryogenics International and then burned-in on his Audiodharma cable cooker for 4.5 days. It did no significant harm to the sound and presented a very nice illusion of soundstage. It was still very neutral and dynamics were again very good. Across the board – it had very nice bass, mids and highs. Again, it does seem that the Oyaide conductors (in this case, the P/C 046 Palladium over Gold) were at work, as there was a bit more crispness and detail, while the overall balance illuminated a bit more of a light on the highs - perhaps a bit more shimmer than the cords terminated with the P/C-079 Oyaide Gold. In the context of the other cords, it is also a great deal!
1.5 meter - $450

The Locus Design Nucleus
This cord seems to be a labor of love by Lee Weiland at Locus Design. It involves much custom production and is also cryo-treated. It was also terminated with the Oyaide P/C 079s and was more neutral overall, but with a slight bit of warmth (perhaps the Oyaide Gold connectors?) It was very holographic, had great detail and just excellent across-the-board. It seemed quite dynamic, but other than that very slight warmth, really added very little additional signature to the sound. A wonderful all-around cable!
Six feet - $919 *The Nucleus is available in a Reference version (untested) using the Acrolink Carbon fiber connectors, beginning at $1599 for a three foot cord

The Purist Audio Design Aqueous Anniversary
This is one of the newest cords from Jim Aud at PAD. It is part of the 20th Anniversary line and is CryoMag treated and features the new CONTEGO shielding material which is said to combine the best of his past Ferox and Fluid shielding. Reports are saying that it needs quite a bit of time to break-in and settle – 250+ hours. I must say it was pretty amazing and had the largest sonic signature. It offered more weight and body than any of the cords - full-bodied, with deep and powerful bass, luscious mids and extended highs. It still sounded natural, but more to the lush side, with great soundstaging. Somehow for me, it was almost too much of a good thing as it presented an almost Technicolor sound in my system, that others may yet find appealing. Perhaps the Oyaide P/C 079s were too much in the context of the design (or my system.) This one is fun!
Two meter - $1450

Michael Wolff Audio Silver Carbon Gain and Viola
The older Michael Wolff Audio Silver Carbon Gain cord was very nice – one of my favorites for us on my Channel Island Audio D-200 amps, but to my ears, it was not in the same elite class as his Silver Carbon Source cord (for use on preamps and front-end components.) The new Michael Wolff Audio Viola is now in that same league (to my ears and in my system) ... it virtually mimicked the level of performance of the Source cord and just presented an amazingly balanced portrayal that presented reproduced sound most similarly to that same music when heard live. It may be simply that it is hitting my own personally desired sweet spot, but it just seemed to click as both musical and with all the audiophile goodies – articulate, fast and deep bass, excellent mids and highs, excellent detail and dynamics, with excellent soundstaging. **As a note, Michael Wolff Audio is now offering their cords terminated exclusively with the $800/set Acrolink Carbon fiber connectors. At the price, it seems expensive, but considering the connectors, it seems like a more than a bit of a steal!
Three feet - $1000

Associated gear
ModWright SWL 9.0 SE w/ AC and slipstream Bybees and Grand Prix Audio Apex feet

Power Amp
Channel Islands Audio D-200 monos

Main Speakers
Gallo Reference IIIs with Bright Star Audio Gallo stands, Grand Prix Audio Apex feet

Gallo SA Reference to amplify the second woofer voicecoil on the Ref IIIs, Stillpoint feet

Digital Source
Opera Consonance Droplet with Grand Prix Audio Apex feet

Analog Source
Components USA-modified Kenwood L007II tuner w/ BIC BEAM BOX (great for use in a multipath-congested city!)

Speaker Cables
Michael Wolff Silver Carbon w/ Oyaide spades, Ridge Street Audio Poiema!! Signature for second woofer voicecoil

Interconnect Cables
Michael Wolff Gold Silver Carbon with Acrolink Carbon RCAs or WBT platinum nextgens, CT Silver Reference II+, ZCable Live V5, Purist Aqueous Anniversary

Power Cables
Michael Wolff Viola for amps and Power Wing and Silver Carbon Source for Cd player, Tuner and preamp - all w/ Acrolink Carbon fibre connectors, Elrod EPS3 Signature for sub amp

Rack, Isolation
Grand Prix Audio Monaco w/ Carbon/Kevlar shelves and Apex Feet

Power Conditioning
World Power Power Wing Oyaide XXX outlet w/ metal frame and carbon fiber wall plate

System Tweaks
Marigo Signature 3D mat for cd
ERS cloth on amps, preamp and cd player

Similar products
Many, many, but here:

Acrolink 6n-p4030pc w/ Oyaide P/C 046 Palladium over Gold with double cryo treatment and burn-in

Locus Design Nucleus w/ Oyaide P/C 079 Direct Gold with cryo treatment

Purist Aqueous Design Anniversary w/ Oyaide P/C 079 Direct Gold with CryoMag treatment

Michael Wolff Audio Silver Carbon Gain w/ Acrolink P/I CF Carbon fiber connectors

Thanks to the moderators, all websites were somehow automatically changed to with their approval of the posting

That is certainly good it you want more information on the Oyaide or Acrolink connectors, but if you want to find out about each of the cables, this would certainly be much better:

Acrolink cyo'ed -

Locus Design -

Purist Audio -

Michael Wolff -

**and the other two manufacturers currently using the Oyaide or Acrolink connectors:

VH Audio AirSine -

Prana Wire Samadhi and Maha Samadhi -
Thanks for putting in the time and posting your impressions. You tested these only on the Power Wing AC conditioner, correct? The rest of your system was plugged into the Power Wing?
Hi Tvad,

You are most welcome.

Yes, that is correct ... the primary comparison above was done on the Power Wing w/ all the gear plugged into the wing. I have a mix of direct gold and palladium over gold outlets on the Wing into which my system had been plugged.

I did some experimentation using them on my ModWright preamp and found that the sonic signatures were really quite consistant though. It was, however, not as thorough or as critical an analysis/comparison.

I finally acquired the rest of the Violas ... I now have one each on both of my CIA amps, my Gallo sub amp and the Power Wing.

I must say that the effect is definitely cumulative ... the dynamics, clarity, depth, speed and articulation of the bass is now just ideal in relation to the rest of the system.

Especially in my system, I am convinced Michael has a real winner with this new cord.