Synergistic Research Atmosphere Power Cords.

For those who have been following the SR Red and Black fuse thread in the Amp & Preamp forum, it goes without saying that I loved the way they transitioned my audio system. What I thought was a highly resolving system has been transformed into a system that has been improved in every way ... drastically.  For many of us, me included, our music collection and the playback system is a labor of love. I've been working on mine for over 40 years now.  


After I got into the SR fuses, I started watching SR's youtube video demos. In watching the videos and reading  their literature, I discovered that their new power cords used the same technology as their fuses. That got me to thinking ... if a one and a quarter inch fuse could make such an improvement in the system, what could a five-foot power cord do? I decided to find out.


Four of the new Synergistic Atmosphere Series level 3 AC cords arrived at the house.


When they arrived, I unpacked them right away and was totally impressed with the build quality and materials used. More beautiful than the pictures depict. A shame no one is going to see them because they are behind my equipment rack out of sight. But it sure is an indication of the builder/designer's pride of workmanship.  My first thought was ... Wow, if they sound half as good as they look, they should be great. With most things in this hobby, I've acquired a wait and see attitude.


I removed my old PCs and installed the SR's right away (of course). They were replacing two different brands of custom PCs.  I had found through the years that this combination of PCs to beat anything else I tried, especially in terms of musicality and digging down into the organic sound of real instruments.  Two were built by the Music Advancement Company (MAC) in Oregon. The other two were custom built by David Magnan, a very respectable cable builder and a fine gentleman. Those who know Dave's cables know what I mean. Throughout the years, I've had the privilege of using most of Magnan's work from his speaker cables, ICs and PC's. They are exceptional. So, this gives you an idea of what I'm comparing these new SR cables to.


After installation, I warmed the system up, adjusted the bias on the amp and sat down for an initial evaluation.  What I heard right off the bat was an overall improvement in the areas we really like ... bigger , wider, deeper soundstage. More transparency. Far less grain .. in what I thought was a grain-less system. I thought the SR fuses had finally bought me to a grain free audio Utopia. Ha ... silly me. That's the good part.


Now, for the rub: The SR PC's, right out of the box, were doing exactly what the SR Black fuses did and that was to introduce a hard edge, especially on strings. There was an overall degradation in musicality and emotional connection to the music as a result. The reason? The PCs , like the fuses, need at least 100 hours of break-in before they really come to life. Like the fuses, I could hear the promise of these PCs right off, but man, new out of the box, again like the fuses, things  just weren't "right."  It reminded me of when I first fired up the new ARC REF-75se. It took 500 hours for the caps in that amp to finally come around full tilt.


So, as these new SR PCs break in, I'm going to chronicle the experience in this thread all the way from new to tatal break-in. From what I've heard so far, they offer great promise, trouncing my old PCs in so many ways. Now let's see what they can do musically as they break in.


Stay tuned ...

55277d2f b397 4274 8baa 69513a5945acoregonpapa

i think I may take all the black discus out of th system. I had a pair on my positive amp posts and removed them and listed critically. It seems the sound is warmer or should I say creamier with them, but there seems to be a slight loss of micro detail.  However, the system does sound more organic with them on. Imaging is also more holographic with them in place, but that last ounce of detail just isn't there. It's a catch 22.  Do you hear the same?
I agree with what Spar recommends. I upgraded the power cord that feeds my Monarchy Audio AC regenerator that feeds all my SR Galileo MPC's to the SR Atmosphere level 3 and was pleasantly surprised at the increase in soundstage 3D presentation and increase in bass articulatation. The power cord it replaced was a PS Audio Lab ll cable which is very good to say the least. 

The level 3/AC regenerator is feed directly from an Oyaide R0 mounted on a Oyaide WPC-Z wall plate directly feed from the breaker box. Tried running it from my high current Balanced power transformer but the direct feed is just a bit sweeter.


Yes the Black Discus in my system "mellows" the sound and is pleasant but there is a sense of "loss" and the music is less "alive". I sensed a filter is in place when the full size Black Discus were in my system. The people at Black Discus are excellent to interact with and the product was worth auditioning.


It is amazing that powercords to the Transporter do have a significant effect on the system's sound, but they do. The Synergistic Research Atmosphere power cord I am sure is a significant upgrade.
My SR ten gage Black power cable arrived this afternoon along with a "free" Black Fuse.
The cable is five feet long, it feels heavy somewhat stiff not overly so. I quickly looked it over then placed in on a PC that runs 24-7 to burn it in. Will hook it up to my VAC Saturday and see what effect it has.

^^^ I can hardly wait to hear your impressions. I'm really taken with the SR products. The Black fuses and the level 3 power cords have totally transformed what I already thought was an excellent, high rez system. Little did I know how much more was in those grooves and bits. :-)

Thank you for the helpful suggestion. It is amazing to me that even a device such as the Transporter's power cord affects a system's sound but it does. I will put this on my upgrade list.

David Pritchard
The Black 10 gauge power cord arrived last week and it is a significant upgrade over my old JPS Digital cable. I am using the Black on my dac. Switching back and forth between the power cables, I can hear a clear difference in the quality and quantity of the bass. Overall, the sound has improved toward being more 3 dimensional and lifelike. Very nice! I am now going to order more of the power cables for the rest of my system. Thanks Oregonpapa for starting this thread.

^^^  You're welcome, thaluza ... Very happy you're getting positive results from the pc. I'm up to around 150 hours on mine. They just keep getting better as time goes on.

During tonight's listening session, I dug deep into the classical closet and pulled out a very rare performance of Peter Katin playing a Liszt recital.  That piano was in the room. The combination of the power cords and the fuses  have brought piano reproduction to a whole new level. So dynamic. So present. So real.

Hi Thaluza,
I'm curious to read how the Black PC cables mate with your Frankenstein amplifiers. What current PC are you using  with the amplifiers?  Knowing what the SR Black fuses are capable of I suspect that the PC could be very nice. 

I am using JPS AC+ power cables on my Frankensteins and Coincident Statement Linestage. I only have one SR Black cable at the moment, which I am using on my dac. I might try it on the CSLS, but for now I am really enjoying the improvement it has brought to the dac  I will place my order soon for the rest of the SR Black power cables. I will keep you posted.

Wow, I forgot you also have the CSL, I know what kind of sound you're getting ☺☺. I'll certainly follow along with your updates. 
I am interested in getting a SR Black power cable and free Black fuse while the special is still on for my CD player (Line Magnetic 515 -- tube).  I'm a bit unsure of the fuse. The back of the CD player lists the fuse as T1.6AL250V. It's the small size. Do I just ask for the 1.6A fuse and not worry about the 250v since that doesn't seem to be an option to choose. And also I'm assuming I request a slow blo fuse vs. fast?  Any help from those of you more knowledgeable than me would really be appreciated. 

Also I am thinking of getting the 12 gauge based solely on price. Is the extra $100 for the 10 gauge really worth it in the long run?

Thanks for any help.......Mike
Yes, 1.6 amp and the voltage rating can be 250 or higher without concerns  (as Almarg explained in another thread ).  Most likely a slo blo rather than a fast blo. I think that a high quality 12 gauge PC cable is sufficient for a CD source component  (no high current demand ). Others can comment but I don't believe that a 10 gauge cable offers an advantage in this case. 
Thanks Charles for the response. I'd be interested to hear any other opinions on the 10 vs 12 gauge PC cable for a CD player. 
I have really enjoyed what the black fuses and cords have done for my system over the last month. Tonight I ordered the finishing touches for my system. I ordered a high current version black cord for my arc power amp, and a black fuse which will upgrade the red that's in my preamp. Once these are installed, the system will be completed synergized, lol. Can't wait. I have a feeling upgrading the stock cord on the power amp is going to be quite dramatic. The amp is plugged directly to the wall as well. 

Congratulations on ordering the final pieces. I am sure you will be in enhanced sonic bliss with the new power cord going into an already broken in wall outlet.

My SR Atmosphere Level 3 Digital power cord for the Marantz SACD player ships today. I am looking forward to comparing this cord to the SR Tesla Hologram Digital cord that currently is in place.

David Pritchard
David ...

The Level Three cords are kind of like the Black fuses ... only on steroids. You know that improvement in tonality and organic sound brought about by the fuses? Well, expect far more of that ... after break in. 

Last night a friend brought over a 1945 mono recording of Scheherazade that was stunning in the tonality department. Yes, the vinyl was a bit noisy, but it was so good that we listened to both sides all the way through and enjoyed every second of it. So tonally right.

I've had an epiphany with this post-----An idea on how to use Audiogon's discussion "forum" for very cheap advertising, perhaps even considering it to be subliminal; you know, you won't even know it's "just advertising". Eureka. Cheep advertising.
I have just finished evaluating upgrading the stock SR-20 fuses in a Transporter unit. The SR Red does improve my system's sound. Of course I now have three Black fuses to compare to the Red, and the SR-20 fuses.

The Atmosphere Level 3 Power Cord awaits to be tried at the SACD player, Amplifier, Transporter, and Power Conditioner locations!

Lots of fun listening to great music on a wonderfully satisfying system.

David Pritchard
Hi David,
Thought I'd move to this thread for the power cord, hope you don't mind.

The SR Black power cord has been powering my deep freezer since Friday afternoon, since that appliance runs about 1/3rd of the time that's about 8 hours per day. At that rate it would need about 10 days to reach the 80 hour mark, that would be Monday 4/18.......I don't think I'll be able to wait that long.
I will probably move it from the freezer on Saturday.
I plan to first put it on my power amp, replacing a Cullen Crossover power cord that I have enjoyed there since first bought about 1.5 years ago.
I look forward to the black power cord experiment, and hope that I get at least a portion of the magic afforded from the SR Black fuses.

I am also looking forward to hearing your observations of the SR Atmosphere 3 cord as it relates to your system.

Got my UEF black high current 10 gauge power cable this afternoon, along with my black fuse to upgrade the red in the preamp.

By far, of all the improvements, the biggest is the power amp power cord upgrade. It’s a massacre even from the first note, factory fresh. The factory cable from arc is a weak link in getting the resolution out of the amp.

These noise floor reduction is eerie. It’s like my whole library has been remastered in higher resolution. Im glad I got the cable for the power amp because I was so happy with the way the system already sounded with the black fuses and just the pre and cd re-cabled and really thought I was good to go. Glad I didn’t cheap out. This upgrade is just silly on the power amp. This cable allows the poweramp to really have an iron grip on the speakers and highlight the real outer edges of each note that were originally shaved off. Also, I never knew my little LS 17 had so much information to pass on! This system has had a blanket on it for so long and I never knew. In listening right now and have the volume low and images keep startling me in the recording because the dynamics have gone through the roof.

But seriously-the power amp took he biggest leap in performance of all the components. The amp has gone from Clark Kent to superman. I can’t even wrap my head around what this will sound like with break in time. Could I finally be peering at the gates of my own budget audio nirvana? I could see a lot of jealous ears after hearing this system, especially those who have spent considerably more than what I have. I'm sure there is better to be had, but I really think I'm finally reaching the law of diminishing returns here. 
Audiolover ...

I concur with your assessment on the power cords. Isn't it amazing how the SR fuses and PC's take what you thought was an almost grain-less component like your amp and completely transform it?  I have the ARC REF-75se and was already using custom aftermarket PC's. Everyone was taken by the transparency of the system before I installed the SR PC's .... but now, OMG!!  

Let us know how the break-in goes. Interesting stuff. :-)

Your power cable is at a much lower price point than the SR cables used by Frank (Oregonpapa ) yet you appear to be getting similar results, that's good. It sure seems that SR is doing something right.  A very interesting comparison would be your Black cable and the Cerious Audio graphene power cables. 

how is the break-in coming along?  Happy Listening!
Charles ...

This is the beauty of trickle-down technology.

Being a long time user of Audio Research products, I've had to counter those few folks on the forum who continually bash ARC every time ARC comes out with updates on current models or when they come out with brand new versions of their amps and pre-amps. To listen to these guys, you'd think that ARC has some kind of conspiracy going to bilk their customers out of a never ending stream of more money. 

What these folks don't get is that many of these products wouldn't come into existence in the first place if it weren't for the state of the art pieces that came before the upgrades to the less expensive models.

For example, the new ARC REF-6 line stage that replaces the REF-5se, at less than half the cost of the REF-30, wouldn't exist if it weren't for the R&D that created the REF-30.  The advantage, of course, is that the less well-heeled among us can continue moving forward with our systems. 

Kudos to SR for coming out with the new RED and BLACK PC's.  

I'm looking forward to Audiolover's future reports as his PC's break in. If they're  anything like the level 3 cords, they will really come into their own at about 100 hours and continue to improve over the next 200-300 hours. Once fully broken in, he's in for a real treat. 

jafant ...

I keep thinking that the SR level 3 cords are broken in. You'd think so, as I have at least 200 hours on them. BUT, I keep hearing further improvements with each listening session.  What I'm getting now is far beyond where I ever imagined the system would be. Its to the point where no part of the system calls attention to itself. Its just musicians playing in 3-D relief floor to ceiling and wall to wall. I never thought digital could be this good ... and analog? Wow!  I wish I could have you guys over for a mono vinyl night. I'd have a whole cadre of listeners saying ... "who needs stereo!"  *lol*
200 hrs would be the very least for any kind of break-in. The magic mark is in the 400-500 hrs neighborhood. Keep me posted and Happy Listening!

which cables/cords did you own previously?
^^^ Jafant ...

Prior to obtaining the SR levle 3 PC's, I was using custom  PC cables built by Dave Magnan.

They were experimental PC's that Dave personally made. They were excellent and far better than stock cords. No match for the SR level 3 cables though.

The Magnan PC's are now residing in a friend's system ... and he loves them. 

I use FMS Nexus IC's from the turntable to the phono, and from the phono to the line stage.

Back in time, Audio Research sold their own IC's and I have their balanced IC's running from the CD player to the line stage and from the line stage to the amp. These ARC IC's are no longer made and I scored the last two pair. Too bad they are no longer made as they are a truly an excellent product. 

I would love to try SR's speaker cables and IC's.  Perhaps I will sometime in the future. 

Take care ... 
Very nice- oregonpapa.
Sometimes a hodge-podge of cabling systems has a special synergy that cannot be explained. It would be interesting to read about your system and all- SR cabling.
^^^ jafant ...

Well the Nexus IC's are something really special, as are the ARC balanced IC's ... so the SR cables would have a real challenge on their hands.

 Based upon what these SR Black fuse and the SR level 3 PC's are doing for the system, I think I might be afraid of trying the SR speaker cables and IC's ... I may never want to leave home ... not to mention the dent in the old wallet. *lol*
Post removed 

where is the "sweet spot" in the SR line?
My advice would be to buy used and purchase the best of the prior Element series you can afford. The benefit of this would be that you can then further tweak by adjusting the tuning bullets, investing in better power for the active shielding (Galileo MPCs or Michael Spallone mods or a Transporter) and get more out of your investment. While the Atmosphere cables might outperform the older models at list price I’m not sure you can beat used prices, avoid the need for painful break in, avoid immediate loss of resale value from buying new and also have the ability to further improve the sound of the cables you have bought. Anyway just my 2cents and for reference the majority of my SR cables are Galileo LE (I only have one Element Tungsten on my transporter)
SR is really way ahead of most of the other companies, technology wise.
Tell me more about Galileo MPC, Michael Spallone mods and Transporter?  Happy Listening!
Ok, up until the latest generation of cables (the Atmosphere series) all SR cables have a seperate active shield that requires its own power supply. As standard the cables come with a simple "wall wart" power supply called an MPC (Master Power Coupler). Upgrading this MPC to a fancier one from SR (called a Galileo MPC) or to a special box just for powering cables (a Transporter) will improve the sound. Michael Spallone is an Audiogon member who for modest cost will upgrade an MPC so it sounds better than a Galileo - search for his name to get more details on the thread dedicated to his work. Hope this helps
Just had a chance to try the L3 Atmosphere on my SR Transporter replacing the Element Tungsten (silver bullets, powered by the transporter) that I had in place -- the transporter itself recently gained 3 black fuses which was a nice upgrade

At first listen changing to the Atmosphere I lost all sense of scale, dynamics were reduced, treble was muted -- all around not a good result at all.

I'm going to give this 4 days or so to see if it breaks in at all while I'm on the road and the cable can stay powering the various pieces attached to the transporter but unless it really opens up I'll be sending it back.

It's a right pain when manufacturers sell stuff not burned in that needs long burn in times, more dealers should offer burn in services (remember the Nordost Vidar system?) -- another reason to always buy power cords used if you can!
Folk freak,

while my UEF black cables are not the atmosphere, I can tell you what I have noticed during break in.

I I have not noticed a decrease in dynamics, quite the contrary. But I do notice the cables and fuses sound thin and lack body. Stand up bass at first seems over damped and basically lacks the tubiness to sound full. It eventually fills out. I also do not hear any muting of the highs. Don’t fret though.

I notice that break in is not linear, some nights don’t sound as good as others. In fact with ALL my cables, not just SR, the first night is good, shows a glimpse of what the cable is about. Then the next couple of nights it can be a Roller coaster, some nights really sounding weird. With one particular attribute standing out one night, and another, a different night. Sounds ludacris, I know. One night large soundstage, the next smaller etc. etc. they won’t calm down and open up for a while.

Tonight my new High current black sounds "thin" but i would also say that these have a much tighter and non bloated bass. I think that lends to the better image that these produce.....But I notice that many cables while breaking in, don’t have the bass bloom (not bloat) that  they will eventually have once they have a couple hundred of hours of signal through them.

I never would have thought i would have ever made such a seemingly looney statement like that a couple of years ago. But I’ve learned to just trust my ears.
Oregonpapa, where do you place your Arc tube rings? I Double up mine at the getter. Basically right where the "chromed" top of the tube begins. Have you found a better spot? I'm referring to 6h30 tubes.  

audiiolover ...

The proper placement of the tube rings is really important. So much improvement can be gained by paying close attention to micro vibrations throughout the system ... and the tube dampening rings, and their proper placement is just one example. Its the simple attention to the little details like this that will take an audio system from really good ... to great. 

I spoke with Warren Gehl the chief listener at ARC about this several years ago. He did a lot of experimentation with the tube rings. I followed Warren's advice and placed them as far up the tubes as possible without the top ring slipping off. Also, be sure both rings are firmly touching each other. Once properly placed, it allows for more clarity, better dynamics and an overall improvement throughout the audio range. I have an all ARC system and every piece of equipment was improved by proper placement of the tube dampening rings. 

By the way, Warren is primarily responsible for ARC's detailed attention to all of the dampening material we've seen in our ARC gear over the years... including the tube rings. His training is in engineering with vibration control as his specialty. Nice guy, a long time audiophile and a real music lover too. Warren hears like a bat. :-)

Please let me know if it works for you and what the results are. 

Wow. I had no idea. If you look at any pics of arc gear, you will see them roughly all in the same spot j referenced to. I will have to try moving them up the tube and see what results I get. If warren suggests it, I wonder why I always see the tunes with the rings at the getter. More experiments!!!!  😁
^^^ Audiolover ...

 Most likely, ARC ships the tubes with the placement of the tube rings like they do so they don't fall off during shipping. That's my guess anyway. 

I'm really curious what results you get by following the suggestions I gave to you. It was a definite improvement in my system to be sure.
I will experient when I have a chance to pop the top and let you know.

Here is a pic from the net giving an approximation of where mine are. Although mine aren’t lopsided. Haha.

Btw- I REALLY hate "auto correct". I think it creates more typos than it corrects. 
^^^ ... Yep, way too low. Move 'em up all the way to the top and be sure both are solidly touching each other. You'll hear a definite overall improvement ... and it won't be subtle. 
And by the way ... the improvements I heard by utilizing this tweak was long before I installed any of the SR Fuses or the SR power cords, so with your new fuses and power cord it should be clearly evident for you.  Please let me know if you like the results. 


What a fabulous Synergistic Research based system you have. SR still considers their Galileo LE cables their highest performing products.

I have the AudioDHarma Cable Cooker to initially condition and twice a year recondition my cables. I do think it allows a cable to demonstrate it's maximum performance.

Although it has a lesser effect, I also use the Hagerman Frycorder device. This conditions the in- wall wire back to the power company's transformer.

Both devices really allow the music to achieve a sense of" flow" that i find emotionally meaningful.

David Pritchard

Anyone had a chance to compare SR Element CTS to Atmosphere PC?    One BIG game changer for me is Atomsphere has no separate MPC.

Folk freak-. I look forward to hearing about how it your system sounds to you when you return! Ink think you will hear a definite improvement.
Forgot to ask the experts-
does SR junk-source production to china?