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Dissecting a Virtual Dynamics Basic Power Cord (photos included) - Page 2  

post #16 of 94
Markl: I think the arguments stems from the fact that from our first impression, it seems like this power cord is little different than one from your neighborhood homedepot.
post #17 of 94
Yeah, but shouldn't it be? Isn't that the whole pont?

Mark
post #18 of 94
I think you misunderstood... he said that this one is "little" different... not "a little" different...

In otherwords, it's pretty much the same.
post #19 of 94
No, it seems quite different from the average cable from Home Depot. Wildly different, almost alien. If nothing else, the copper in the Basic is at a much higher purity than the cable you buy at Home Depot. Plus it has the "Dynamic Filtering" provided by the "magic pixie dust" and connectors that are better quality than that provided on the $5 Home Depot cable, making them weigh so much more, apparently adding to their sound quality. So are they different? Yes, they're quite different. Even at a mere $35.

Again, for $35 what was Jude expecting? I think he now owes it to intellectual honesty to compare a $350 VD cable such as the Audition to his current $350 power cable. At the very least, Jude should look at and listen to a Power 1 ($199.00 list, but available at much less) before dismissing the whole VD line, although he did say the Basic cable was better than stock.

What do you say, Jude? I'm sure Rick would be more than happy to lend you any cable of theirs youd like, but again I don't speak for VD in any way shape or form.

Mark
post #20 of 94
I don't see why Jude owes anything in the name of intellectual honesty after such a thorough post, including detailed descriptions and detailed and telling photographs. The Home Depot cable might not have as high-purity copper (which I strongly doubt) and may not even have connectors that are as good (of which I am also skeptical). But you can get a 12-gauge power cord for $10, whereas the Basic is an 18-gauge power cord. As we could see, much money was likely spent on the pretty coverings which might account for much of the cost. Furthermore, I don't think that the production line is as efficient at Virtual Dynamics as at whatever company manufactures power cords for Home Depot. We also saw that much of this damping doesn't make a difference, as the actual wires inside touch the metallic sheath covering.

Comparing the $35 cable to a $350 cable seems to make sense considering that this $35 cable is touted as being able to compete handily with $500 cables. In terms of construction, it does not. And according to Jude's ears, it does not rival this $350 cable sonically, either. Maybe it competes with the glue-filled Electraglide cables?
post #21 of 94
DanG,
IMO, you're missing the point.

Let's lay aside VD's obvious marketing hyperbole for a second (and we can debate all day about their own "intellectual honesty" in their product claims, I can't and won't dispute that)...

Jude has invested $350 of his own hard-earned dollars in a particular cable. Like it or not, this implies some emotional attachment to this choice-- he obviously could have afforded many other cables but deliberately made a certain choice. How can a mere $35 cable he received *for free* possibly hope to compare or compete?

It's totally ridiculous to compare a $35 cable, regardless of how much value that $35 cable represents to a cable that has 10X the amount to play with in build quality. Surely the cable with 10X the build quality will sound better, even if the $35 cable has 5X better technology.

I'm asking Jude to compare a $199 (list) or even a $350 (list) VD cable to his $350 Tsunami. That's a fair comparison. Don't you agree?

Mark
post #22 of 94
I would agree; $35 vs. $350 simply isn't fair no matter what the marketdroids say. However - I'd also ask the VD folks to offer Jude some short-length cross-section cables for dissection; like George Cardas did with his Neutral Reference - I know I was quite impressed with the internal quality of THAT cable after Jude posted his dissection of that one...
post #23 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
....I've e-mailed Rick at VD to let him know about this thread. I've invited him to register and to make any comments here that he'd like. I'm sure he's better able to discuss their technology than I can....
I welcome manufacturers to offer comments and technical answers, as long as they don't resort to any selling.
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
....And as far as build quality goes, it *is* a $35 cable, marketing hyperbole or no. I wouldn't expect the build quality to compare to the $500 ICs you've cut open or to the build quality of your $350 Acoustic Zen Tsunami, and it's a bit unfair to make such a comparison. I think their claims relate more to sound quality than build quality. Their manufacturing costs are no less than any other manufacturer (well maybe 20% less-- they are in Canada!) , so you shouldn't expect solid gold conductors with diamond tipped IEC prongs.
I'm not the one who wrote their marketing material, man. Again, it says:"....It is designed to replace typical stock cord and to compete with the value of the most popular $500 power cords from the traditional electronic design theories...."If I was selling a $100 headphone that I said, in the marketing material for it, was designed to compete with headphones valued up to $1430 (which includes the Sennheiser HD-600, AKG K1000, etc., and is just shy of the retail value of the Audio Technica ATH-W2002), would it be unfair if someone reviewing this $100 headphone was to compare it to these more expensive headphones given my claims?

Besides, I'm not saying that it won't perform like a $500 cable for everyone. I'm just saying that in my rig, to my ears, and against other cables I've used within the price range the manufacturer claims it's design to compete in, my opinion is that it didn't, sonically or in terms of construction.
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
No, it seems quite different from the average cable from Home Depot. Wildly different, almost alien. If nothing else, the copper in the Basic is at a much higher purity than the cable you buy at Home Depot. Plus it has the "Dynamic Filtering" provided by the "magic pixie dust" and connectors that are better quality than that provided on the $5 Home Depot cable, making them weigh so much more, apparently adding to their sound quality. So are they different? Yes, they're quite different. Even at a mere $35....
Well, the IEC end of the cable seemed no better to me than any other stock IEC connectors I've seen. The NEMA end seemed better than most stock cables to me. Regarding the purity of the copper in the Virtual Dynamics Basic Power, I haven't found any specific info as to its content or purity. From the Virtual Dynamics web site:
Quote:
"....It uses standard 18-gauge conductor...."
Again, I've found no other specific mention of the Virtual Dynamics Basic Power's conductor purity (if anyone knows any different, please let me know).
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
....Again, for $35 what was Jude expecting? I think he now owes it to intellectual honesty to compare a $350 VD cable such as the Audition to his current $350 power cable. At the very least, Jude should look at and listen to a Power 1 ($199.00 list, but available at much less) before dismissing the whole VD line, although he did say the Basic cable was better than stock.

What do you say, Jude? I'm sure Rick would be more than happy to lend you any cable of theirs youd like, but again I don't speak for VD in any way shape or form.

Mark
My expectations were shaped by the claims made by the manufacturer, and, given the claims, I don't think it so unreasonable at all. And I don't recall "dismissing the whole VD line". I even said I'd be willing to try their higher end cables some other time.

Based on my experience, I'd personally be inclined to use a ~$10 Quail "green dot" hospital grade power cable with larger 14-AWG conductors if given a choice between it and the Virtual Dynamics Basic Power. The Quail, in my rig, to my ears, performed at least as well as the Virtual Dynamics Basic Power -- and, again, I didn't feel either was much better than the stock cable that came with my Max. I felt my ~$100 BPT C-7 power cord offered more noticeable, positive effects in my rig than either the Quail or the Virtual Dynamics Basic Power.

Again, I haven't dismissed the entire Virtual Dynamics line, and I would be interested in trying their higher end products some time in the future. I will admit, however, that, for me (in terms of a start with this line) this exercise was anything but confidence-inspiring. What does inspire some confidence is the fact that some Head-Fi'ers seem to like their stuff.
post #24 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
DanG,
IMO, you're missing the point.

Let's lay aside VD's obvious marketing hyperbole for a second (and we can debate all day about their own "intellectual honesty" in their product claims, I can't and won't dispute that)...

Jude has invested $350 of his own hard-earned dollars in a particular cable. Like it or not, this implies some emotional attachment to this choice-- he obviously could have afforded many other cables but deliberately made a certain choice. How can a mere $35 cable he received *for free* possibly hope to compare or compete?

It's totally ridiculous to compare a $35 cable, regardless of how much value that $35 cable represents to a cable that has 10X the amount to play with in build quality. Surely the cable with 10X the build quality will sound better, even if the $35 cable has 5X better technology.

I'm asking Jude to compare a $199 (list) or even a $350 (list) VD cable to his $350 Tsunami. That's a fair comparison. Don't you agree?

Mark
Actually, as is true with most deal-seeking audiophiles, I didn't pay full retail for my Tsunami (and I didn't get it for free either). And even if I did pay full retail, I'm really not sure how this implies any emotional attachment. Remember, by now, I've used a lot of cables, with fairly open access nowadays to try more, and so I'm going to go by what sounds best to my ears and in my rigs. I also just spent ~$270 (including shipping) to get some mint AKG K-340's shipped to me from the U.K. (yeah, I know some of you think I'm insane for this). I ain't gonna convince myself they were worth it if I listen to them and feel they're not (of course, I hope I find they are).

Again, at some point in the future, I would like to try the higher end Virtual Dynamics stuff. And, maybe even as eric343 stated, I can get my hands on some cross sections from their cables to exercise one of my A2 tool steel, cryo-treated, sharper-than-any-knife-should-be knives.
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
....I think he now owes it to intellectual honesty to compare a $350 VD cable such as the Audition to his current $350 power cable....
I don't think I owe anything to anyone based on my Virtual Dynamics Basic Power experience and dissection. What I *do* owe are the reviews I'm behind schedule on that I've already committed to, and I am working on getting those out (I don't think they'll come one at a time -- more like in groups of two). And I won't commit to using any further audio products for review (by Virtual Dynamics or any other company) until those are complete.
post #25 of 94
Quote:
I'm not the one who wrote their marketing material, man. Again, it says:"....It is designed to replace typical stock cord and to compete with the value of the most popular $500 power cords from the traditional electronic design theories...."If I was selling a $100 headphone that I said, in the marketing material for it, was designed to compete with headphones valued up to $1430 (which includes the Sennheiser HD-600, AKG K1000, etc., and is just shy of the retail value of the Audio Technica ATH-W2002), would it be unfair if someone reviewing this $100 headphone was to compare it to these more expensive headphones given my claims?
But as you mentioned, to your ears in your particular system it apparently didn't live up to their marketing hyperbole. Fine. But that is far from the end of the story. Yes, you tried VD's bottom-of-the-line cable and found it wasn't as good as your $350 cable-- big deal.

Quote:
Again, I've found no other specific mention of the Virtual Dynamics Basic Power's conductor purity (if anyone knows any different, please let me know).
Here's a quote from the VD site about the Power 3, the next step up from the Basic which a number of people here on this site actually own:

Quote:
Featuring: Dynamic Filtering, Enhanced Cryogenic Treatment, Tolerances of less than .000001 of a mil in pure solid core copper conductors (a mil is .0001 of a inch),
Yeah, it *may not* apply to the Basic, but no one here owns a Basic.

Quote:
My expectations were shaped by the claims made by the manufacturer,
Come on, Jude! You have an axe to grind here because you feel that people on this site have "taken advantage" of Head-Fi to promote Virtual Dynamics, when the reality is that you have a bunch of Members who have been genuinely blown away by these cables. I understand your being suspicious and actually respect you for your caution. But I think you should get over it and let your ears be the judge with some REAL VD cords! We aren't all full of sh*t!

Quote:
Again, I haven't dismissed the entire Virtual Dynamics line, and I would be interested in trying their higher end products some time in the future.
Then I expect you to live up to this and you should automatically agree to try any cable of theirs after this little "experiment" of yours on a cable no one here owns.

That said, I don't see how we can expect a truly objective review of any VD cable from you after this, though...But I guess we'll have to deal with your comments either way, and that's fair enough given the nature of the Web. Are you big enough to admit that a VD cable could be any good? Could anyone after the d*ck-ish way I recognize I've treated you and basically baited you here? We'll see.

Mark
post #26 of 94
This post brings up chilling memories of my vasectomy...ahahahaha j/k
post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
Jude has invested $350 of his own hard-earned dollars in a particular cable. Like it or not, this implies some emotional attachment to this choice-- he obviously could have afforded many other cables but deliberately made a certain choice. How can a mere $35 cable he received *for free* possibly hope to compare or compete?
The thing is, Jude auditioned several power cords from several different manufacturers before settling on his Tsunami. Was it the best power cord he heard? No. But it was the best for what he was willing to spend. If he preferred the VD cord I sent him, don't you think he would have said so? I mean, he could have sold his Tsunami and kept the VD with a lot of money left over. If I found a $50 interconnect like the Outlaw PCA to better my Silver Reference, I would have been overwhelmed with joy at being able to sell my Silver Refs for some extra spending money.

I gave Jude the Basic Power because I felt it inferior to ALL the other cords I had on hand, save stock. With all the hoopla surrounding these do-anything VD cables, I thought I'd get another opinion from someone whose judgement I respected (though not always agreed with). Let me ask you, how many other high end power cords from other manufacturers have you auditioned at your home for a decent length of time?

I expect cable manufacturers to make wild claims -- most do. But when a $35 cable is said, in print, to compete with the most popular $500 cables, I question the integrity of the company. In my opinion, this cord doesn't even compete with other $35 cables. Could VD's higher end stuff be leaps and bounds better? Of course. But based on this cable, I feel a lot is left to be desired.
post #28 of 94
Quote:
Let me ask you, how many other high end power cords from other manufacturers have you auditioned at your home for a decent length of time?
As I've gladly stated in the long VD thread-- not a single one. All I know is that the better VD cords (Power 3 and above) have provided for me in my system a greater degree of improvement over any other tweak I've tried, including ICs, power conditioners, vibrapods, and NOS tubes.

Quote:
But when a $35 cable is said, in print, to compete with the most popular $500 cables, I question the integrity of the company. In my opinion, this cord doesn't even compete with other $35 cables.
You are a sample size of one. Jude makes two. You cannot generalize based on a sample size of two with the specific, particular systems each of you has. There are more opinions pro-VD here to outweigh these two who based their opinions on the bottom-of-the-line cable, which again no one here owns.

That said, I am not going to defend VD''s "aggressive" marketing as I've already stated at least twice, now 3 times.

Mark
post #29 of 94
BTW, I remember seeing the Power 3 on audiogon way back when, for $50. That's $15 more than the Basic Power. I guess it's just me who is doubtful that a $15 difference could turn a poor performing cable into a good value. But, of course, this is speculation.

But, after all, this cable does have the VD name attached to it, so one would think if they found it to be vastly inferior to their higher priced brethren (power3 and 1), they would not sell them.
post #30 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
But as you mentioned, to your ears in your particular system it apparently didn't live up to their marketing hyperbole. Fine. But that is far from the end of the story. Yes, you tried VD's bottom-of-the-line cable and found it wasn't as good as your $350 cable-- big deal….
Did I ever say it was a big deal? It obviously is with you.
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
….Come on, Jude! You have an axe to grind here because you feel that people on this site have "taken advantage" of Head-Fi to promote Virtual Dynamics, when the reality is that you have a bunch of Members who have been genuinely blown away by these cables. I understand you're being suspicious and actually respect you for your caution. But I think you should get over it and let your ears be the judge with some REAL VD cords! We aren't all full of sh*t!...
I swear, man, sometimes you remind me of Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory, only sans any conspiracy. When and where have I indicated that I have an axe to grind with Virtual Dynamics? Via e-mail, they’ve actually expressed an interest in possibly advertising on Head-Fi –- I have no axe to grind with them. I tried one of their products, didn’t find it to my liking, and then cut it open and posted about it. I also never said any Head-Fi members are full of **** for liking their products. If anyone has to “get over it” I think it’s you.

Oh, and by the way, are you quoting me when you used the words “taken advantage of” in quotes? And can you point me to where you saw this quote or where I even established the spirit of such a statement? I’m asking honestly here, because I don’t recall making such a post.
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
….Then I expect you to live up to this and you should automatically agree to try any cable of theirs after this little "experiment" of yours on a cable no one here owns….
Again, I don’t think I owe anyone anything as a result of the brief review / dissection post. Again, what I *do* have to “live up to” is to complete the reviews I’ve already committed to and that I’m always behind schedule on.

And, by the way, someone here does own one. Me. Only it's now in pieces.
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
….That said, I don't see how we can expect a truly objective review of any VD cable from you after this, though...But I guess we'll have to deal with your comments either way, and that's fair enough given the nature of the Web. Are you big enough to admit that a VD cable could be any good? Could anyone after the d*ck-ish way I recognize I've I've baited you here? We'll see….
There you go again, Oliver (as in Oliver Stone). According to you, I’ve got an axe to grind. So according to you, a truly objective review of any Virtual Dynamics cable from me is impossible. Am I “big enough to admit that a VD cable could be any good?” Cripes, markl, what’s the matter with you? And you’re pointing fingers at me with words like “emotional attachment”? Re-read your posts and tell me what you see as the most obvious emotional attachment in this thread.
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