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Dissecting a Virtual Dynamics Basic Power Cord (photos included) - Page 3  

post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
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.
Mark
Do I qualify as someone here? (actually, don't answer that..heh) I'm asking because I own a Virtual Dynamics Basic Power, which is currently lying unused because I prefer the entry-level Cardas Twinlink to it.

- Wasif.
post #32 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by wasifazim
Do I qualify as someone here? (actually, don't answer that..heh) I'm asking because I own a Virtual Dynamics Basic Power, which is currently lying unused because I prefer the entry-level Cardas Twinlink to it.

- Wasif.


Wasif,

Funny you should mention that cable. I also preferred the TwinLink power cord and bought it. I've since given it to another Head-Fi'er.
post #33 of 94
Jude
Although I am admitedly amused by the similarity of some of your run-ins to some of mine, I did want to take time to thank you for posting another excellent writeup. I know how seriously you take your reviews and I respect the amount of time you've dedicated to this already. I don't agree that reviewing or posting impressions about a single product somehow indebts you to examining any other products by that manufacturer. In fact, I often wish for the opposite--that every product was examined brand-blind and had to be measured only on its own merits and not that of some BS corporate legacy.

I still only have my old Ven Haus cables that Eric alluded to. They really are markedly better than the computer IEC and stock power cables I compared them to but all of the JPS Labs cables were clearly better. I hope you get time to post your impressions of the JPS Labs just so I get some idea of where they rank compared to the more expensive stuff. I don't know if those were in your lineup to actually review or not.
post #34 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by kelly
....I hope you get time to post your impressions of the JPS Labs just so I get some idea of where they rank compared to the more expensive stuff. I don't know if those were in your lineup to actually review or not.
They are. I'm actually going to group all the power cables I've used so far into one review article. By the way, of the three JPS power cables sent, the one that clearly made the most difference in both of my main rigs was the Power AC+ (which you didn't receive for your review because it was not in my possession at the time). I still have it (it's admittedly overdue), and I will send it to you if you're interested in posting an addendum about it in your other JPS review thread. PM me if this is of interest to you.

And thanks for the comments, man.
post #35 of 94
A couple observations:
1)Myself, Pigmode and perhaps others were not too impressed with the P3,P2 VD AC cords, compared to several other cords I have owned I didn't feel they were great performers. The three discrete cable VD designs, Audition-Nite, are much better performers and do fabulous things to improve sound. I did in fact return my P2 cords for another VD Reference AC cord.

2)Can't tell from Jude's profile what he uses for stereo system listening, but with headphones you really can't gauge the overall performance of AC cords (or any cable really) because of the severe limitations of 3D soundstage inherent with headphone listening. The main strengths of the top VD cords is 3D soundstage enhancements and you need a good stereo system to be able to fully hear/appreciate these.

If people do have good stereo system, they should list it in profile
so other members know if your perspective is purely headphone based.
post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
but with headphones you really can't gauge the overall performance of AC cords (or any cable really) because of the severe limitations of 3D soundstage inherent with headphone listening. The main strengths of the top VD cords is 3D soundstage enhancements and you need a good stereo system to be able to fully hear/appreciate these.
I've got to disagree with this. In a high resolution headphone system, differences between power cords are immediately obvious. Since this is a headphone forum, I'd suggest that the changes in sound in a headphone setup are the most relevant information for the readers here.

Some headphones, the Sony R10 chief among them (with AKG K-1000 receiving honorable mention), do throw a passable imitation of a 3D soundstage, once you get past the concept of a drummer setting up in the middle of your head. You're correct, in that one of the main effects I hear with power cord changes is differences in the palpability of that "soundstage".
post #37 of 94
You shouldn't need a high resolution system to see the sonic improvements of a $35. PC, don't you think? This IS the speaker forum, isn't it?

I don't see why this would be such a big deal if not for the outrageous claims made by VD. It seems that the build quality of the Basic cord is pretty much in line with a hand-made product in this price range (cheap).
post #38 of 94

I must be lost.

I thought this was a headphone forum. Maybe Virtual Dynamics should try peddling on AA if speakers are required to get value from their products. But I disagree that this holds true for power cables in general.
post #39 of 94
Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum)

Everythings inclusive as far as I can tell.
post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by pigmode
Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum)

Everythings inclusive as far as I can tell.
What I meant was, I think there are a number of users in this forum interested in opinions from a headphone perspective. To say that you cannot adequately judge a product without a speaker system seems like a view that would be less common here.
post #41 of 94
No problem. I was just responding to Hirsch's comment above about relevant information.

Quote:
To say that you cannot adequately judge a product without a speaker system seems like a view that would be less common here.
I agree but common or not, I think that was just DA expressing his opinion. If I had to guess, I think DA brought up the speaker issue because some of the more visible participants in the VD thread used their cables in speaker systems. I do feel that system synergy is a very crucial factor, and I see DA's concerns addressing this issue directly.

cheers
post #42 of 94
I've got P3's in my speaker setup in a couple of places, and IMO they're worth it there, particularly for digital components (DVD player, pre/pro). I don't think that the speaker setup really had any more diagnostic ability than my headphone setup, with regards to the effects of power cables. The thought of wiring my 5.1 channel speaker setup (soon to be 7.1) with VD Nite PC, IC, digital IC, video, and speaker cables (some of which run over 30 feet), is absolutely terrifying.
post #43 of 94
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
....Can't tell from Jude's profile what he uses for stereo system listening, but with headphones you really can't gauge the overall performance of AC cords (or any cable really) because of the severe limitations of 3D soundstage inherent with headphone listening. The main strengths of the top VD cords is 3D soundstage enhancements and you need a good stereo system to be able to fully hear/appreciate these....
All comments in my reviews, unless otherwise noted, are based on listening with headphone rigs.

Regarding 3D soundstage: I have always acknowledged that compromised front-to-back soundstaging is one of the shortcomings of headphone listening relative to speaker listening (lack of visceral impact / bass tactility is another shortcoming). However, I very much disagree that hearing soundstage enhancements requires loudspeakers. In reviewing upsampling DACs (using headphone rigs), the most obvious changes I heard relative to the non-upsampling players I had was a very clear and evident expansion of the soundstage, and a heightened sense of air and space around instruments and voices. I have also found this to be true when upsampling DACs are played back through speaker rigs.

And though I won't call myself a "golden ear" or any other such title, I've been around hi-fi (headphones and speakers) for most of my life now, including employment at a high-end hi-fi store through a part of my college years, where we sold loudspeakers in a wide variety price ranges and form factors, and even Stax earspeakers (headphones). I feel quite confident I have a reasonable understanding of component interaction and how they relate to use in both speaker and headphone environments. I've found if the effects are minimal (or deleterious) with headphones to my ears, that that will generally carry on through speakers as well.

So with a headphone rig, I feel I absolutely can gauge the overall effects of AC cords (or any cable really), as it pertains to their use in headphone rigs (and at the very least in my headphone rigs). And, as far as I'm concerned, especially on this site, that's a very relevant basis for reviewing these or just about any other audio components. But even then, I'd never try to pass off any of my reviews as universally applicable -- components and tastes vary from rig to rig and person to person, and I always try to acknowledge this with statements like "in my rig" and "to my ears" and the like, just to drive that point home.

However, related to this subject, I will make this promise: I will not use headphones to review crossovers, speaker cables, speaker stands and devices intended to alter room acoustics; and I will not use speakers to review headphone cables.
post #44 of 94
Quote:
Originally posted by jude
However, related to this subject, I will make this promise: I will not use headphones to review crossovers, speaker cables, speaker stands and devices intended to alter room acoustics; and I will not use speakers to review headphone cables.
Jude, I think you owe it to intellectual honesty to do each of these things. I'm sure you can find a spade-to-miniplug adapter somewhere...
post #45 of 94
Jude,
Quote:
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.
You're right, to the best of my knowledge, nothing was said publicly. I was talking out of school, and that's unfair. Again, as I said, I respect your trying to keep the board honest in terms of keeping commercial posts off the site. You were simply doing your duty as a mod and making sure things were on the up-and-up. I had no right to characterize your posting of this particular thread in the manner I did; I have no idea what your motivation was, I am not in fact psychic. I made a leap that *maybe* wasn't justified.

Quote:
Again, I don’t think I owe anyone anything as a result of the brief review / dissection post.
In another thread where you first hinted at your "operation" on the VD Basic, you teased people that you were going to expose the hidden secrets of the cable:

Quote:
Regarding the cable cutting: the Virtual Dynamics cable cutting isn't intended as an exposé, but it was very interesting. I know they only charge $34.95 for this cable, but their web site does state that 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," and so my opinions about its construction and performance will be influenced by these statements.
Very craftily worded, but from that, it's pretty clear (to me) what you are insinuating-- you are going to expose the "snake-oil" of the VD cords, slamming their marketing of the cables and impugning the build quality of their bottom-of-the-line product. We had to wait for your "review" a while and then it appeared, after the build-up you gave it above.

Yes, I ascribed malevolent intent behind your post based on your comparison of a $35 cable with a $350 cable and a cross-section from a $900 cable. I still think this comparison is silly, and reveals nothing. That's my opinion, fine if you disagree.

Quote:
Am I impressed with the build quality of this cable? Not really. Though I’ve not cut open a $500 power cable, I have cut open some $500 and $900 interconnects, a $150 headphone cable, and a couple of $250 digital cables, and found what appeared to me to be more complex internal designs and fancier materials (like Teflon and Teflon/air dielectrics, and fancy shielding, for example), not to mention what seemed to me like more uniform construction and symmetry, as well what looked to me like better cable body fit and finish from sheath to core. If I ever get the time, I’ll try to take some photos of some of these other cables I’ve cut open (in another thread, I did post some photos of a dissected section of Cardas Neutral Reference interconnect). Even a $10 Quail hospital grade power cord exhibits what looks to me like more uniform, symmetrical construction.
Based on what I saw as the absurdity of this comparison, I decided the only reasonable explanation for your entire "review" was to slam Virtual Dynamics cables by questioning the build quality and the use of the "granular metallic stuff" in the design, when as you said yourself "NOTE: I am not an electrical engineer; nor do I have, or claim to have, any expertise in electrical engineering or cable design."

Quote:
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.
You're right again. I took this too personally. I apologize.
Over time, I have come to know the good folks at Virtual Dynamics and find them to be great to deal with, extremely knowledgeable about cable design/theory, and incidentally, terrific human beings to boot, who happen to make the best "tweak" I've ever heard in my system.

I've recommended their cables to *everyone* I know in my audio circles, and to a man, they've all been blown away.

Maybe I was defending my friends there at VD a little (OK a lot) heavy-handedly. This post struck me as inherently unfair and that's why I said "you owed it" to us to do a fair evaluation with one of their better cables that really more closely matches the level of equipment you own and the other cables you've auditioned. I read this as an attack on their technology and their product line, but, yes, that's *my* interpretation. Did I really think you had any intention to replace your $350 cable and use the $35 Basic on your Max? No, but again, I'm ascribing motives to you with my psychic power. I'm still not sure why you even bothered with this cable given the level of the other products you are going to review. It makes no sense to me.

But I do ask you to consider that, as owner/operator of Head-Fi, your reviews carry a lot of weight. A lot of weight. I assume you can recognize that. They are as well-written and thoroughly documented as any on the site. Putting your name on a review (whether you agree with this or not) gives it a "Head-Fi stamp of approval", or at least gives it a sort of authority and aura that other reviews do not carry.

Mark
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