Straight Wire Blue Thunder review complete...
OK, I've added my review of the Blue Thunder from Straight Wire to my shoot-out. I've pasted it here below so you don't have to sort through the whole review if you've already read it. I've also adjusted the final rankings to reflect the presence of the Blue Thunder. (FYI, you can purchase my Blue Thunder 2M cable, it is in the For Sale section now!
)14. Straight Wire Blue Thunder
(Blue Thunder is not yet up on the site.)
Pricing (2 meter cord): $250.00Review
Straight Wire has been around for some time, they have lots of distributors and can be found in many of your local hi-fi shops. For such a (relatively) large company in the cable business, their website is surprisingly incomplete. The Blue Thunder power cord is still not listed (though they tell me it will be soon), despite being on the market for almost two years.
Straight Wire sent me the skinny on the cable separately, so I can share it with you. It's a solid-core design with several ultra-high-purity 18-gauge solid-core copper wires wound together to form each 12-gauge pole. The use of these relatively thick solid-core wires is said to help combat strand interraction that plagues many multi-strand designs. It has Teflon insulation for the best EMI/RFI rejection, and the conductors are encased in a professionally molded cord for reduction of vibration, topped off with Hubbell terminations. These conductors are not just loose inside a techflex outer sleeve like many brands of more home-brewed-style recipes. One would assume that this construction method would increase Straight Wire's costs for producing the wire that makes up the Blue Thunder, as obviously, the wire would have to be professionally built and molded. The cord can also be used for both high-current multi-watt amplifiers *and* front-end equipment.
I would describe the sound as remarkably neutral tonally (as I have discovered and detailed here, most power cords are not). This makes it harder to describe its "sound". It's extremely clean, with lots of body and firm, if controlled bass. The Blue Thunder puts a lot of "flesh" on the musical bones, somewhat like the Virtual Dynamics cables (which are also based on even thicker solid-core wires). But the Straight Wire lacks the VD cable's tonal coloration that depending on the listener is either very pleasant, or an annoying deviation from neutrality.
It is not a slow or a fast cable, it's just about right. It has a very unfatiguing, mellow sound due to its relaxed but firm and authoritative nature. Image stability is excellent, as is soundstage height and width. Reasonably detailed, but it does not force those details in an "in-your-face" sort of way, its laid back nature leaves them there for you to discover on your own.
Overall, The Blue Thunder is a strong performer, offers above-average value at a reasonable list price ($250). It is tonally neutral, if a bit "thick"-sounding, which may be advantageous for folks trying to alleviate a slightly "thin" system. I think this cable would appeal to many who value a relaxed and engrossing sound, rather than a head-banging hyped-up "exciting" or forward sound. Definitely worth a look for the right listener.
Build quality: 8
Overall Performance: 7.5Conclusion
Here is how I would rank the cables under review:
1.Split decision between the TG 688 (for my source), and the Wolff Source cord (for my headamp)
2.Virtual Dynamics Reference (since replaced/superseded by the David)
3.KAS Audio Primus (on my headamp)
4.VH Audio Flavor 1 and Flavor 2
5.Custom Power Cord Company Model 14 Series 2
6.Tek Line Eclipse
7. Straight Wire Blue Thunder
8.Audio Metallurgy Gold Alloy 9
9.Iron Lung Jellyfish
10.Analysis Plus Oval 10
11.Absolute Power Cord
12.Zu Cable BoK
13.PS Audio XStream Plus