SR "Entry Level" Black UEF power cords


I thought it necessary to start a new thread in regard to these utterly amazing, yet affordable PC’s. While there is a thread started by Oregon papa, it is more centered on the more seriously expensive atmosphere cables. I thought it prudent that these inexpensive cables get their own spotlight, as not all of us are as well heeled as others, and while I am sure the atmosphere cables must be awe inspiring, they are prohibitively out of reach for many of us. Therefore, I applaud Synergistic for "remembering the little guy" and creating an offering that allows us to taste some of that magic without the threat of divorce.

I’ve managed to build a very good system, to my ears, over the years. Much of it second hand, and when it came time for any type of peripheral, it was examined with a strong glass. I had settled on my first quality interconnect, Morrow MA-5 XLR. They are excellent ic’s and gave me a true taste of what a well designed cable could do for my musical enjoyment. I was hooked on the improvement and began a mission to squeeze every last ounce of music out of my system-Fuses, feet, mats....voodoo.

Fast forward to about 2 years ago. I ordered some red fuses for my gear. My buddy and life long friend who has been on this audio journey with me from the start agreed with me that they gave the system a well received shot in the arm. All much improved.

Recently, my ARC power amp had been sent in for service due to an issue and unfortunately was not salvageable. Therefore a huge enexpected purhase was made in order to get the system back up and running...Still licking my wounds from that.

With a new ARC amplifier in place, but with a different fuse value from the last one, I needed a replacement. I learned that the new Black fuse was now king of the hill. So, a Black fuse was installed into my power amp. Even though this was admittantly a new, and different model amp, the upgrade from the stock fuse to black fuse, was more than what I recalled the red being able to accomplish. This became a slipperly slope, but one I have enjoyed navigating. Soon after the black fuses, SR released the black UEF Cables.

I had been contemplating new power cords for some time, and logically had been considering the Morrow cables considering my satisfaction with the IC’s. I had also considered the shunyata venom and Pangea cables as well. However, after seeing what the SR UEF Black fuse had done for my system, and given the fact that SR was running an introductory special offer, not to mention a risk free trial, resistance was futile.

Ultimately my system now has all SR BLACK power components and I am just thrilled with the outcome. There is something to be said about these very special cables. I’ve tried to cheat by building my own Belden recipes, utilizing furutech ends etc. and was never able to accomplish a cable like this, even with premium parts, ultimately bringing costs close to what these cables asking price are.

Improvements are not subtle and these power products equate to a sum greater than their parts. Noise floor, clarity, tonality, soundstage size and focus are all improved. But not to the extent one would expect from a simple cable swap. There is something "else" going on here. Something that many people don’t care to understand, myself included, but embrace nevertheless because life is too short to worry about demanding mathematical proof of cable effects. I would rather be swimming in music. Many people will scoff at even the price of these lower cost offerings. This is unfortunate, let them be happy with what they have, and wish them the best.

These cables range from 300-500 dollars folks. A far cry from the higher cost offerings, but raise the performance of your system supremely and represent a fantastic value given their achievement. I have no doubt SR’s atmosphere line is better, but some of us cannot, or simply will not spend that kind of money. God bless those who can. That’s why these cables are so amazing. For those of you who have looked over SR because you thought there offerings were out of your price range, you now have shot at sonic bliss on a budget. I recommend these cables without hesitation.

Think of these cables as sneaking in the back door after greasing the bouncer. Sure you can’t sit front row, but at least you get to be in the house to see the performance.

audiolover718
Glad you found something that works and sounds good to you.

I feel the same way about my Signal Cable power cables and they're only $69 bucks.
I have had the Black power cable for 3 weeks now. I have been using it with my dac, and lately with my preamp. I really like what I have been hearing, so I just ordered three more. I hope to get them sometime next week. 
Thaluza, you are in for an ear openening. Do you have the black fuses in your system as well?

Mofimadness, thanks. Have you tried anything else before you settled on signal cable? My buddy used them on his system years ago and he was happy with them. I remember we both were happy them when he brought them over to audition. My equipment was still evolving, and at the time probably wouldn’t have had the ultimate resolution to justify a higher end cable, but my system now does have the resolution to show very small differences in cables and footers, etc. I think you would be impressed nevertheless, by these cables compared to the signal cable. These black cords homestly have been the first cable to make my system surprise me with its ability. I was considering upgrading my source last year, since I got these cords, I won't be. 
audiolover718, I have one Black fuse that came with the power cord. I put it in my Coincident preamp. Honestly, I was just going to try out the cord and fuse knowing they came with a 30 day return policy. I ended up ordering more. I just got my order in before the free fuse offer expired.

With respect to the power cord, I first put it in my relatively modest Teac UD-501 dac and spent some time comparing the Black with my old power cord. There is no doubt to my ears that the Black cord is an improvement. What was once a somewhat mechanical sound became much more natural, with very good clarity. I feel like I want to listen for hours now. Lower end tone is significantly improved.

I just put the power cord into my preamp, where the SR fuse is located. Again, it seems to me that the Black cord has improved the clarity of the sound. This time, I especially am noticing an improvement in the upper end of the sound spectrum. What was once recessed and a little too dark sounding is now more present and tangible through my speakers. I must say I have not gone back and forth comparing it with my old power cord yet. I have just been enjoying the music so far and feel that listening to music has become an even more addicting experience than before.
TY-audiolover 718-

where is the "sweet spot" in the SR line of cables/cords?
In other words, where is the best product to start?
Audiolover718,
I enjoyed reading your post. I agree that most PCs are out of reach but there is a price point like the one you mentioned that needn't be passed in order to get a really satisfying and rewarding return on the dollar. 

It was when I (out of boredom) unplugged my amp and source from a conditioner and went straight into the wall that I realized what I've been missing, all this time. Comparing what PCs I had lying around made it all the more apparent that I'd overlooked an important element in the equation: the power cord.

All the best,
Nonoise
Hi Thaluza,
As we share some of the same components and I trust your ears I'm interested in your findings. Very curious to see how they match with the Frankenstein amplifiers. The fact that you like this cable with the Line Stage is  encouraging. What power cables are they replacing? 

Makes me wonder how this cable compares to the Cerious Audio graphene power cables and the Coincident Statement power cables. 
Charles, 
Another reasonably priced power cable that interests me is the Cruze First Audio Maestro. It uses pure silver plugs without any plating. Connectors make a definite  difference just as the type of conductor chosen.
Charles, 
jafant,

I couldn’t tell you where the sweet spot is in their lineup, but I can tell you that that these are the sweet spot for my budget.

I am day dreaming about getting home to my system to give it a good listen. The high current power cord and the preamp fuse have yet to burn in and catch up to the others, but I enjoy the nightly improvements of break in. It’s like a strip tease from a beautiful woman. Every night a new item of clothes is removed.
Nonoise. You echo my own experience. I know exactly how you feel. Unplugging equipment from my conditioner shower my just how profound the effect of power is on a system. Truly eye popping. Anyone who doesn't accept that as fact is only fooling themselves. 
Audiolover ...

Excellent beginning of a new thread on the entry level SR PC's. Very well written on your part as well. Its going to be really interesting to see what the results of other's will be with these new PC's. They certainly are cost effective, no doubt about that. 

I tried unplugging my amp from the power conditioner last  night and going directly into the wall. I got a slightly annoying edginess to the sound, so I switched in back and enjoyed the return to a more relaxed realism. Just goes to show ya ... what works for one may not work for another. Weird hobby, eh?

OP 
Nonoise. You echo my own experience. I know exactly how you feel. Unplugging equipment from my conditioner shower my just how profound the effect of power is on a system. Truly eye popping. Anyone who doesn't accept that as fact is only fooling themselves.
I also stumbled on it years ago rolling PCs.   I've had balanced power, power re-generators ... .  Now I'm using 2 passive Weizhi PRS-6 line distributors that just removes noise and not soul and life out of the sound.

You should checkout HB Cable line distributors.   A friend is using 2 Marbles and it's fantastic.   Much better than my Weizhi and something I will upgrade to soon.
Thanks kingfi, I've been drooling over the Weizhi and the Marbles in my search for a clean power strip but they are way out of my price range. Pete, over at TWL, told me to check out the PI Uberbuss as it's the only one he's familiar with that doesn't degrade the sound but even that's too dear for me right now so I might check out their Minibuss after I try out Pete's Digital-American PCs.

All the best,
Nonoise
Excellent beginning to an informative thread. Anyone else want to weigh in on the sweet spot in the SR line of cabling?

From above- line/power conditioning is totally dependent upon location.
On the grid of a major U.S. city vs more in a rural area.
I just want to reiterate how much patience is key when auditioning these cables, or any cable for that matter. Don’t jump to conclusions to soon.

With these cables and fuses, they take at LEAST 100 hours to start to give you an inkling of their promise. At first listen, they have a large chance of sounding better than the cable you’re replacing, and you will most likely be very happy, but after letting them break in- and this requires not TOUCHING them, they will start to sound like music and and less like "sound".

You cant go back and forth with your old cable several times to compare while it’s breaking in. You must let it relax and settle into its new shape, relax into iec connectors and AC outlets, etc. you can’t keep frazzling it.

Once you allow them to go a couple of hundred hours with sound going through them, un messed with, you will also hear new harmonics as well as subtle spatial cues that weren't there before. The noise floor will be so low that your system will really start to do a disappearing act. 

I know it sounds crazy. But it’s true.
Thank You- audiolover718

so true, several hundred hours to fully open up would be accurate.
Does SR junk-source their production to china?
Jafant, No they don’t. They are produced in California. If I were you, Jafant, I would aim for the sweet spot of your budget and go from there. If your budget allows, I would go the atmosphere route, as I’m sure it’s a larger helping of goodness. If not, I urge you to check out these lower cost offerings, and see if they give you a degree of Improvement you are satisfied with. You really have little to loose with a home trial. I think some vendors even give 60 days. With proper break in and usage, you should definitely be able to know whether these are right for your system. As an aside-here is an update to my black cable upgrade after some moderate break in time.

Yesterday my good friend came over for a listening session. He hadn’t heard the system since the power amp cable had been ordered. Upon arrival, the power amp cable had around 100 hours on it, just about enough time to be able to make a preliminary assessment. We set up the room. Blanket hanging over plasma, pillows lined up on rear wall, wifi router off, and all unneeded appliances unplugged.

The system was ready as I had set an alarm earlier to warm it up so it would sound it’s best prior to his arrival. He started going through my CD rack, and selected the few acid test titles we know well to listen for differences and I say differences, because many times, theyre not necessarily improvements, but differences in sound, with one compromise or another. Many of the cables I’ve made through the years fall into this catagory. So we selected Bob Marley "Uprising", Pink Floyd 2011 remasters, and Madonna "immaculate collection" (no snickering- it’s actually a great cd for soundstage.....okay. You got me, I like Madonna-now back to business!)

Bob Marely is not an audiophile 180 gram virgin pressing, blab bla bla kind of recording. Simply good music on a silver disc with aspirations of a quality recording. It’s not a system showcaser, but there is a lot of information on the disc and it can give your system a work out. This disc has the tendency to sound bright. Now, it retained it’s brightness. But it was more tolerable, and with a much greater sense of ease and the resolution was through the roof. Seperation of instruments, and articulation of those instruments, we’re so imoroved, it was a completely different experience than we had ever heard before.

My friend commented that he had heard this album hundreds of times, and many times on my system, but actually this time, was transported to the 80’s as a child on a TWA flight to Jamaica, Sony sports Walkman with the white cassette tape of this album playing on it. That right there is a testament to what these power cables have achieved. Emotion- not just the emotion the system is able to project, but the emotion it elicits from the listener. Now the system, can’t project humidity and palm trees, but it sure was close.

With a smile on my face I queued up "wish you were here". When the guitar came in, my friend let off a long "wooooooooooooow" as I expected, because I had done the same on my own the night before. It was so clear and free of any haze, with a pitch black noise floor, it was absolutely amazing. We then listened to "Money" on SACD and were similarly impressed, and led on a tangent to discus wether we liked the SACD copy vs. the 16 bit remaster. It was nerding out at its finest. We then moved on to Madonna.

This disc really sounds amazing, especially older tracks that at the time of their release I was a child, playing them on 45’s on nothing more than a 5 and 10 $ 100 dollar Emerson all in one "stereo". You know the kind that literally has cardboard speakers with silver chrome dust caps, tinsel leads and loud mechanical buttons, all weighing in at a massive 10lbs combined......listening to these tracks was an adventure.

So much information, but the system never coughed, and never sounded congested. What’s more, we didn’t have to turn the system up to be satisfied, as the scope was still large at low volume. Dynamics were still readily apparent which was very welcomed. Synths and actual instruments gained warmth. Micing techniques were highlighted. With "Crazy For You"- I had my own TWA moment, and recalled moments of sticker and pencil case heartbreak, being dumped by my 7 year old "girlfriend" and thinking my life was over.

Sure, the system has evoked feelings from me before, but never as elicit as this. I would caution about saying that a cable can change ones life. It boarders on lunacy, but it has changed my listening experience, so game changer-yes.

Before my friend left we went into a discussion trying to wrap our brains ohow a powercable could have such a profound improvement. We were expecting an improvement, or differnce, with something given back for that improvement, but for the first time- we gave up NOTHING. And then we speculated about the obvious Roswell technology that we must be dealing with here. 😉 I can understand now why it says "never compromise" on the box.

Thanks! again- audiolover718.
yes, cables and cords make a difference. Welcome to the club!
audiolover ...

I'm really enjoying your evaluations on the SR power cords as they exactly parallel my own experiences. My friends who come over have the same reaction that your friend did ... and they heard the improvements immediately. 

On the break-in ... they seemed to continue to improve right through 300 hours or so. Just when I thought things couldn't get better, I'd get more tonal colors during the next sessions. At this point, the clarity and 3-D imaging is off the charts. 

Zowie ... 

OP
audiolover718, happy to see your hobby getting a spurt of joy, upgrading cables can be addictive.

Anyone comp'd against the SR Atmosphere UEF Level 1 or 2? 
and +1 re A/B the SR Black vs.  Cerious Audio Graphene Extreme
An update at the 300 hour mark.  

I have been away for about week.  The power amp power cable was been cooking on the amp while away, as my amp stays on 24/7.  Came home and listened to the system.

The cable is really settling nicely.  At first listen however, I thought it sounded a little dull, and was worried.  Upon further listening I realized, that it wasn't dull at all. but finally the sound of real Instruments.  The high frequency hash that afflicts so many systems, the hash that many of us accidentally think is detail, is gone.  Now that that's gone, the REAL detail, is improved, and there, but not overblown, only on the edges where it belongs. It's a much more sophisticated presentation. 

The showstopper difference after 300 hours, is the incredibly palpable and holographic image. The cable has also fleshed out considerably!!! I would have to agree with oregonpapa, as these cables just keep improving and improving, the sky seemingly being the limit.  I continually have better listening sessions each time.  

Now honestly, the power amp cable in my case made the biggest improvement, and I'm so glad I got it...  It's been the real game changer. Just goes to show you that you can upgrade so many other cables in the system, but are still bottlenecked at the end of the chain if you don't respect the power amp.   Know we say, start at the source, but make no mistake, the power amp needs love too.  The stock cable had a noticable glare by comparison. 

The systems sound is really explosive and engaging. Having ARC  and Maggie's are a great synergy, and  the SR  power cables are right at home with these components, and the all flatter each other.  I'd bet they are right at home with other equipment too, but I have no personal experience other than my own setup.  I've been in this hobby for over 20 years, and I've never had such a spurt of improvement as I have over the last couple months with these SR products.  I realize now, that my system, while good has been sophmoric.....until now. 
Please pardon the above typos. Using iPad. 
^^^ audiolover ... 

" At first listen however, I thought it sounded a little dull, and was worried.  Upon further listening I realized, that it wasn't dull at all. but finally the sound of real Instruments."

You've really nailed it with your assessment on the calming down effect as the power cords break in. The SR Black fuses do the same. I compare the improvements as being between the last vestiges the of HiFi sound left in the system and live music.

Whenever I listen to unamplified live music, either full symphonic or small jazz groups, I'm always struck by how relaxed the presentation is compared to most stereo systems I've heard in the past, including my own. Yes, live music can sound, as you said, "explosive and engaging," but it never seems to have that "cringe factor" distortion that resides in the vast majority of audio systems ... regardless of price. Massed strings, solo trumpets at full song and peaks in vocals are a prime examples. 

I've described the effect of the SR power cords and SR fuses before as bringing the system to a new level of  purity with lack of grain. But in  reality, these products bring an audio system closer to the sound of real music ... more relaxed like a live presentation, and way more enjoyable t listen to.  

The human voice is the instrument we are most familiar with as we listen to it during most of our waking hours. Vocals are so strikingly real in my system now that it really makes one sit up and take  notice.

I have a lot of well recorded vocals in my collection, including jazz singers on mono recordings. Oh my God ... Dinah Washington, June Christy, Julie London, Chris Connor and Jo Stafford are in the room in 3-D relief suspended right between the speakers with such realism they have me and my audiophile guests saying ... "who needs stereo?"  

In my opinion the mark of a great audio system is when you and your friends no longer say that "your audio system sounds great," and instead begin saying ... "Wow! Those guys sound great."  :-)

Happy listening ... 
Hi Frank,
Your description of the sound of unamplified  acoustic instruments is on the mark. When I visited the recent Axpona show in Chicago it again reminds me that many High End systems /components aspire to a unrealistic over/hyper detailed presentation.  The rooms that sounded the best consistently had that overall relaxed and organic character. Detail and nuance are
Darn ipads!
I do attend live music (mostly unamplified ) pretty regularly ànd you just don't hear the sharp bite or razor sharp transient emphasis that some High End audiophile targeted systems provide. This type of sound is artificial IMO. Frank I definitely get your point. 
 Charles, 
My friend Robert and I frequently attend concerts at a church that features our city's professional symphony orchestra with local high school soloists in the spotlight.  We always sit in the front pew just to the left of the piano and right in front of the string section. No matter how loud the music gets, we just sit there bathed in the music ... no cringe factor at all.  

By the way, the kids range in age between 12 and 18 ...and they are amazing. My step-grandson played  bassoon as a soloist there when he was in high school. He earned a full ride scholarship at the University of Washington's school of music for his college training.  He's playing at the symphony level and in chamber groups around the Chicago area now.  He's a terrific bassoon player.  Whenever he's in town for the holidays, I love going over to my daughter's and her husband's home to hear him practice.