Review: VH-Audio Flavor 2 Power cord
I have a recording studio and have seen talk about upgrading your power to get better sound. It is, at this point, not talked about much on the recording sites but I found a great amount of discussion among audiophiles. Greatly encouraged over the impressions that a power upgrade can be, I started looking at the prices of some power cord manufacturers like PS Audio. I quickly thought to myself that it was going to cost a fortune, for a humble home studio like mine, to get enough cables and conditioning to run my Hard Disk Recorder and front end. (mic pre’s, word clock A/D converters)
I finally stumbled across the Chris Venhaus website, VH Audio, and after reading reviews and prices decided to make up an order. I first wanted to upgrade the power supply in my rack, a Furman PL-Plus, with an 8ft Flavor 2 cable and cryogenically treated Pass & Seymour 5262-AI. I had to do some cutting of the Furman chassis to fit the outlets and the Flavor 2 cable.
Once I got it all rigged up I spent some time comparing it to the other PL-Plus that is waiting for the upgrade. The Flavor 2 cable by the way is thick and impressive. The old wire looked like floss next to the Flavor cable ….it will catch the eye of many a client when setting up for a mobile gig. Even my wife laughed about the difference between the original and the Flavour 2.
Before I get into the listening experience I should say that my studio has had it’s outlet’s replaced with PS Audio Power Ports…except for one that is between the Power Port chain and the breaker box. I replaced that one the evening I got a box of cryo treated 5262-AI from VH-Audio. I was listening on the recording/playback system that night after the installation while doing some necessary clean up and even though I do not use that one particular outlet for power….I believe it did have an impact on the quality. I don’t do a lot of casual listening in that room but I do think the lows were tighter for sure. It’s tough to A/B something like that…with a bookcase in front of the outlet and all.
This is how the power signal was for the test. I plugged both PL-Plus supplies into the same outlet and did the switch out of the power chain from one to the other. Shutting everything down, switching supplies, powering everything up and listening to song. The grip on the Pass & Seymour 5262-AI Cryo were noticeably stronger than the older Furman plugs. They were not as strong as the PS Audio Power Port which I thought I was going to sink/rip the wall plate off when going in/out of those. For the monies, if I would have known about VH-Audio sooner, I might have gone for his higher end Pass & Seymour cryo treated outlets.
Panasonic boombox W/CD player RCA out’s Hosa RCA cables to Mackie 1402 mixer Tape In, Horizon Silverflex XLR cables to Mackie HR-824 THX certified recording monitors. These monitors are supposed to be very flat. The power supply’s for all these were the chincy stock cables but keep in mind that I was trying to notice a difference in the delivery of power to the individual components as opposed to upgrading the whole system. I imagine that I will notice a bigger difference when I put proper cabling in between the power supply and device.
The flavor 2 had about 14hours break in at this point with a fan, on high, plugged into the last receptacle in the Furman power supply daisy chain to draw power through the others..
The speakers were positioned in triangle fashion, which is recommended for monitoring.
The song I listened to was Sting’s Seven Days…track #6 on Ten Summoner’s Tales.
It was very subtle for a Neanderthal like myself but after switching back and forth and listening to the particulars this is what I concluded on this upgrade.
Sting’s voice was more present, in fact all instruments had a little more discernable space around them. I was able to separate the instruments from the reverb better. I could hear more of the instrument and its individuality wasn‘t muddied or overwhelmed by the verb.
Frequency’s came through like the guitar players subtle string scrapes and the drummer’s soft cymbal work. The tock of the snare gained some high end. After “getting” the differences I became very content over my purchase.
Again these are very subtle and I find it difficult to explain them technically. Heck it might be a worthless upgrade if I was cruising down the highway listening to King’s X or Steve Vai cranked. But for the application of recording where I have to record the instrument and then play/record all those instruments down to 2 tracks….if I notice a difference on a simple stereo playback…how much more pronounced will it be when recording and playing 24 tracks?
I already have clients walking away happy with what they are getting due to the front end I’ve assembled. If I take the presence and clarity up a notch than everyone is better off. Again I have never tried another power cord….I don’t know how it compares to any of the other one’s but I am looking forward to the benefits of these and…….
I have already placed a 2nd order with Mr. Venhaus for my front end and Hard Disc Recorder.
He responded quickly to all my emails and answered all the questions that I had. I look forward to checking out his recipe’s in the future.
When you first get into recording, you’re always wondering why the recordings you’re making don’t sound professional. You go through mic changes, mic pre changes, XLR cables, A/D converters etc. and while I have no doubt that all these have an impact…I am wondering if power may be the key. Maybe if we work on the power first then all the other front end upgrades won't be trying to achieve a level but a color. Maybe us studio owners would be more content with many of the mic’s and pre’s we had if they were fed better power? Maybe home recording engineers have been looking for problems/solutions to late in the recording chain! I’m content that I chose VH-Audio to look elsewhere with!