|Originally posted by dhwilkin
Hey jude, did you ever make a post saying how the C7 power cord improved your system, and did using the Brick Wall vs a regular surge protector make a sonic difference w/ the BPT?
I have swapped out the C-7 and Quail cord several times, keeping both plugged into the BP-3, and simply unplugging the IEC end from the Max to swap them. I tried to keep the routing as similar as I could (which was a bit difficult to get exactly right since the C-7 is much stiffer than the Quail). The sonic differences surprised even me, as, truth be told, I didn't really expect much of anything. I didn't expect much because the Quail didn't present any significant sonic upgrade over the Max's stock cord, but there were times in comparing the Quail and the Max's stock cord that I thought
be hearing improvements.
The C-7 was a more significant improvement over the Quail than the Quail was over the Max's stock power cord. Though I've been a believer of sorts in power conditioning (thanks to the Brick Wall, and now more than ever with the BP-3), I never really understood how a power cord could result in sonic improvements, since it's not a signal-carrying component. But I've found now that a good one can indeed make a difference.
The C-7, compared to the Quail cord, sounds more like an interconnect improvement than I expected. Whereas the BP-3 provided my rig with an overall improvement, with a noticeable improvement even in the bass, the C-7's impact is almost entirely in the treble region, providing enhanced treble detail. I'm not sure how or why powercords can do this, and I'm wondering if it's maybe the shielding lowering the power noise floor (the Quail is unshielded). I have no idea, really. But it makes me wonder what other higher-end powercords might do.
NOTE: The ferrites were not on the Quail cord during any comparisons.
Regarding the BP-3, Brick Wall, and Isotel...
The Brick Wall on its own lowers the noise floor much more effectively in my rig than the Isotel. The Isotel doesn't seem to offer any advantage to me sonically over being plugged into the wall (but at least provides surge protection). So, taken alone, the Brick Wall is definitely the way to go. And by almost all accounts, the Brick Wall is also a far better surge supressor (and maybe one of the best around). But...
The peculiar thing is that the sound of my rig with
the BP-3 in place doesn't seem to be affected at all by what it's plugged into -- directly into the wall, into the Isotel or into the Brick Wall. I'm at a big time loss to explain this, particularly given the differences between the wall/Isotel and the Brick Wall without
the BP-3 in place.
So my recommendation based on this information at this time would be:
- If surge suppression is your main concern, and/or you'd like to get some lowering of the noise floor, go with the Brick Wall.
- If you're going to get a BPT or something like it, the Brick Wall becomes optional, as (to my ears) any sonic benefits from the Brick Wall all but disappear when a balanced power isolator is placed after it in the chain. I'll likely keep the Brick Wall for its excellent surge filtering capabilities even though it no longer sounds any better than my wall or Isotel (now that the BP-3's in place).
- NOTE: It's important to note that my notes above were made using a dedicated headphone rig. If I had a speaker-driving amp that drew much more wattage then my HeadRoom Max, my opinions might be different. As it stands now, current-choking and the tamed dynamics that can result from that with speaker-driving amps, haven't been at all a problem with any of these components in place for me, nor have I tested these components with such equipment.
I think I may be approaching the limits of my current source/amp setup, but still have a way to go before I actually get there; so I want to see how much more clarity, detail and musicality I can carve out of both of these components by making these "tweak" adjustments.