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Mini Review: Hifi-Cables & Cie PowertransPlus power cord

Posted by Amine Slimani on December 11, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Introduction:


I have been using the PowerTransPlus power cords in my system for a few months, and thought I would shoot a few words about its performance:



Concept and Build Quality:


While the PowertransPlus can seem to be overly expensive for most people, its price doesn't even start to compare with some esoteric audiophile power cords out there.


Instead of falling into the pointless war of using the purest and most expensive conductors, Hifi Cables & Cie has designed their power cables in a different and relatively unique way (shared to some extent by Wireworld).


It relies on using simple Silver Plated Copper, with heavy shielding and high capacitance. While most other high-end power cables are designed to let through 100% of the signal, Hifi Cables aims for the highest capacitance possible in order for their cables to act as a line filter for the power. Increasing the capacitance filtrates the high frequency while letting the 60Hz frequency of the power line unharmed. This is similar to what is done by power filters but it is very rare to have a power cable to act as a filter.


The result is an improved performance for both audio and video equipment as explained below.



The Sound:


The main strengths of the PowerTransPlus in my system :

 


First, it lowers the perceived noise floor. There is an increase in resolution and low level details are more easily heard. 

 


Second it increases the dynamics. Without the power cords in my system, the Sennheiser hd-650 lets you know that it is a high impedance headphone that needs a lot of power to wake them up. With the PowertransPlus, there is a feel of better or more explosive dynamics. It is like what you hear with high efficiency speakers vs. low efficiency ones (in the dynamics side).

 


Finally, there is a slight shift in the tonal balance. It sounds a little bit clearer than a stock power cord. The Audio-gd components I use are commonly described as "drak sounding". Well, with the PowertransPlus, the sound is much clearer.


After comparing with other power cords (Olflex, and a others I bought from ebay), I found out that they act the same way that a low jitter source, or a teflon coated silver interconnect acts. It clears all the "junk" in the mid treble, it clears the excessive mid bass warmth and extends the frequency extremes. The improvement in deep bass here is not subtle, it is really noticeable (at least with my ears and my system). 


Meanwhile, this means that you hear everything about your system. So, in order for the experience to be enjoyable, the system has to be very well balanced to begin with. If it is overly bright or "digital" sounding it won't transform it for the better. But if you like your system and want to hear more of it, it is a good way to do it.

 


By the way, Hifi Cables & Cie (the company that make the power cord) is based in Paris and let you try their cables for 1 week (and even longer) before you make the decision. So in my case, I was always able to try Hifi Cables & Cie products for free before making my decision. So no buyer remorse of whatsoever.

Also, I have had the opportunity to listen a few times to the speakers made by Hifi Cables & Cie (with their top of the line cables) and it was one of the best speakers systems I hear anywhere. It was so very well balanced, transparent and realistic that I have been spoiled because of that experience. Now that I know what a properly set up speaker system can sound, it is hard for me to listen even to some €10,000+ speaker systems poorly set up in many hifi shops.

Categories: Cables & Tweaks

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