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Review: Lessloss Power Cord

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 


Here's my obligatory Lessloss power cord review. Its main comparison is Black Sands Violet Z1, which remains one of my favorites among truckloads of cords tried, including Black Sands' own Silver Ref IV.

Due to the fact my HE Audio electrostat headphones remains my most revealing transducer, it has been the primary listening device. The Almarro A205a MkII, currently with Mundorf silver/oil caps, is the main amp used for comparison.



And the Oritek modded Zhaolu 2.0 v.4 serves as the DAC used for cable comparisons.




Raison D'tere

I hate those cable reviews that go on and on but fail to tell you what the given cable is actually about, so I'll try to get to the point.

Before I discuss Lessloss, it'll probably help the reader to know I prefer the Black Sands Violet Z1 over the Black Sands Silver Reference IV due to the fact Z1 has a very detailed, engaging, and colorful midrange without seeming colored. Silver Ref by comparison seems a bit more distant and even-handed, seemingly more neutral but not as engaging to me personally. Both are far better than many others that have come and gone.

Where does Lessloss fit in? To my ears, the main difference from Z1 is in the upper-midrange, where Lessloss is smoother and more coherent, while Z1 is more fiery, breathy, but a bit rougher and bigger-pixel'd. As one can surmise, this means the two cords serve different recordings better. Lessloss is absolutely breath-taking when it comes to string instruments, esp. higher registers of violins, and when a skilled soprano breaks out into sustained high-pitched vibrato. The totally controlled character of Lessloss yields absolutely no ringing, spittiness, and grain even with some of the less-than-audiophile recordings.

On the other hand, on some of these less-than-perfect recordings, Z1 exhibits coarser strings and sometimes a ringing type of resonance when the soprano keeps going. However, when the recording is very clean, Z1's less forgiving sound can turn into more "lit" and breathy presentation, which some will prefer as more exciting and direct. I somewhat fall into the latter category, but Lessloss presentation is so good that I am glad I bought it, which I can't say for probably 90% of cables I've ever purchased.

*BIG Caveat*

All I have said above with Lessloss applies only when it's plugged straight into the wall without power conditioning. I usually use a XS Technology Strata battery-backed power conditioner, which is a great conditioner (no longer made), but Lessloss sounds better straight from the wall. With power conditioning, Lessloss loses a bit too much sparkle and fire in the upper ranges to almost become just a bit too "rolled off" sounding, which some have complained about. Z1 sounds fine and similar either way, but I do prefer it plugged into the conditioner, which lends a good dose of liquid background and ease to the presentation.

I also believe Lessloss may work better with non-digital gear. While it sounds very good with my DAC, especially straight from the wall, Z1 still showed a bit cleaner background and "deeper" hues to tonality, which I often hear with digital gear when good shielded cords are used; by "good" I don't mean a lot of shielding that chokes off life (like many "shielded" cords do) but just enough of the good kind. It's not clear from Lessloss literature what is exactly being done with shielding, but it appears they are using the skin effect theory and claim the destructive high frequencies ride on the skin, which is "filtered" via "porous conductive material" which is in contact with actual conductors.


Is It All About The Upper Frequencies?

Well, no. There are some other differences between Lessloss and Z1 as well. Z1 is juicier in low-midrange to upper-bass a tiny amount, but Lessloss has seemingly more linear low-mid-to-low-bass progression with more definition. I wouldn't call either "bassy" cables, but that's a good thing. Strangily, while Lessloss is less forward in upper-mids, the whole presentation is not laid back or distant, which helps Lessloss to sound still very engaging: a neat trick, I say.


The Wrap

Summing up, both Lessless and Z1 are excellent cords that similarly check "OK" on most items on the audiophile checklist. Both are sufficiently neutral, linear, resolved, dynamic, and extended that one's preference will, ever again, depend heavily on current equipment choices, personal preferences, and recording/music used. The most characteristic difference in the upper-midrange and the shielded vs. "filtered" nature as applied to use of power conditioners should hopefully help some audiophiles when performing their personal auditions, which in the end is the only way to truly know.
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
Before I discuss Lessloss, it'll probably help the reader to know I prefer the Black Sands Violet Z1 over the Black Sands Silver Reference IV due to the fact Z1 has a very detailed, engaging, and colorful midrange without seeming colored. Silver Ref by comparison seems a bit more distant and even-handed, seemingly more neutral but not as engaging to me personally. Both are far better than many others that have come and gone.
Hey Jon,
That is good to know. Won't be needing to try the Silver Ref.
I am already up to using Kubala Sonsna Emotion and the DCCA Reference Master PCs, ugh. Want to try some Purist Dominus next just for the sound preference. But not all these cords work the same with all equipment or with power conditioning which is just a pain to figure out
post #3 of 9
Many thanks for the review, Jon. I agree with you on the characteristics of the Z1 - it can make a "hot" album sound worse than it is with its slight emphasis on the top end. That's the only thing that I don't like about the Z1. So you're saying that the Lossless remedies that a bit? Also curious if you've had any first hand experience with cables from VD?
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2deadeyes View Post
That's the only thing that I don't like about the Z1. So you're saying that the Lossless remedies that a bit? Also curious if you've had any first hand experience with cables from VD?
Yeah, that "hotness" is usually in the upper-midrange/low-treble, and that is exactly where Lessloss is not hot. I don't believe Z1 is "overly" hot in that area as long as the system is not overly hot somewhere else, even cables, but you'll need some great, neutral gear top to bottom.

I've only tried VD cables in demo situations, and what I've heard with their higher end stuff is very good. I just don't believe that kind of $$$$ is justified for VD cable, or any cable, period.
post #5 of 9
LessLoss just uploaded user friendly multimedia flash presentation about LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable, the solution in simple terms - why it works best.

You can check it out here (turn your sound ON and click play on the player):

LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable. High End power cord solution in simple terms
post #6 of 9
Thanks THETMZ, that was very educational. I sort of knew that the air around me was buzzing with radio waves, but didn't realise their problematic effect on audio equipment.

My task now is to build a new HiFi rack with integrated Faraday cage. Assuming that the wall socket is within the cage too, it should be the ultimate filter for RF noise on the mains.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
If you don't want to go through the whole 8 minutes, go to about 5:30 mark where the Lessloss "solution" is started to be discussed. If you don't already know the basics of various EMI/RFI theories and current power "conditioning" methods, do listen to the rest.

I'm somewhat perplexed that this presentation doesn't really talk about what exactly Lessloss does. They claim their method gets rid of destructive high frequencies riding on the skin of the conductor, which is "filtered" via "porous conductive material" which is in contact with actual conductors. No specifics are mentioned about what this magical porous material is and how that material itself is connected to the rest of the cable/plugs in order to achieve this "filtering."
post #8 of 9
I think I can improve on their design. By adding a small capacitor I filter out destructive high frequencies over the ENTIRE cable cross section, not just the skin.

I'm thinking of licensing the technology for use inside PSUs. It makes more sense to do it there. Coupled with a special Faraday cage ("metal") enclosure it should eliminate the need for this type of filtering power cord and significantly out-perform it.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
I think I can improve on their design. By adding a small capacitor I filter out destructive high frequencies over the ENTIRE cable cross section, not just the skin.

I'm thinking of licensing the technology for use inside PSUs. It makes more sense to do it there. Coupled with a special Faraday cage ("metal") enclosure it should eliminate the need for this type of filtering power cord and significantly out-perform it.
I think you can check out two type of capacitors, the X capacitors and Y capacitors.

They work wonders in my home built heavy-a** 1000VA (my friend said it looked more like 2500VA, and I tend to agree) power filter.



The light blue thingy behind the transformer on the upper left of the pic is the X capacitor...


No, I'm not selling this, this is just something I've built a long time ago and just dug it out and finished it with a pair of Cooper wiring device's IG8300 sockets and one furutech socket that I forgot the model (see, it's been a while). And of course, the IeGO silver inlet that I already have a few handy, so why not shove it all in while I'm building it up.

Love the old style EI winding technique, for some reason the old bobbinless winding technique seems to work better in terms of sound quality. The same guy also replicated a power supply transformer for my Sony CD player that I had parted a few years ago, the transformer he built all consume less idle power when idle (Didn't had the chance to test it while under real load). In some cases, it is the difference between over 60mA (@110V) vs 4.5mA (@110V), very impressive the time when he showed me.


It wouldn't be the same without the X CAP.
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