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The $200 K Works Empowered PC compared to the Nite, Elrod

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
A little history about how I came across this cable... I was looking for a new power cord when I got the Audio Magic mini stealth, which lead me to posts on Audiogon concerning the Empowered cord and how it was better than the Nite and Elrod. Risky usually to trust these things, but at $200 it might be worth a shot; I was curious (again). Can a $200 cord really compete with well established cords like the Nite and Elrod?
The cord is made by K Works which is just a person, Igor, who does audio consultation and custom work for systems. He modifies and makes a variety of products for use in his consultations and this power cord is just one of the products he makes himself (along with isolation devices, room treatments, etc).
The cord itself is very simple no fancy wire or even very fancy plugs. It has a network built into the plug along with a shield that has a ferrite attached at the end. Both of which is really to tackle noise. It is only 14 gauge wire and is pretty flexible. Very easy to use.
How does it compare to the Elrod and Nite cords?
The Empower cord was said to work the best on digital, and it replaced my standard Elrod EPS2. The Empower extracted considerably more information than the Elrod (used on the transport), thought it does not give the fullbody midrange sound that ribbon cords tend to do. This fullness was actually really bothering me in my system, where to me, it was always sounding "loose", soft, and adding too much bloom to instruments. The greatest trick of the Empower cord is its high end articulation and detail without sounding hard or edgy. That's where it really shined over the Elrod, which had a nice smooth high end but lacked a bit of extension, and was not nearly as detailed. I sold the Elrod very early on since the EPS2 is only limited to being used on digital.
Next up is the Nite. From when I first got the Empower, I thought that it has a very similar tonal characteristics compared to the Nite since it is also a cord that gives a good amount of top end detail. But there are differences that make each cord have it's own "voice".
The comparison was through changing the cord on the Audio Magic mini Stealth.
The Empower is overall a very "focused" power cord, more so than even the Nite (which compared to Elrod is more so). It gives a very solid, tight feel to the sound throughout the spectrum. This gives the ability to articulate notes very well giving it the ability to define and place instruments very easily. It has great amount of microdynamic detail and is a bit faster sounding than the Nite.
On the other hand, the Nite, gives a bigger more rounded presentation. Instruments are just larger and more forward than they are with the Empower. The more rounded sound gives more a sense of body, and more resonance to instruments.
The Nites personality can give a sound that is a bit diffused maybe even a bit muddy versus the Empower, masking the articulation of notes and instruments. This is especially true in the top end where the Empowers resolution is even greater than the Nite both having the same degree of extension. The plucks of strings are just more distinct, easy to follow, the Nite can sound somewhat lost and vague. The Nites tend to have some of the sound, especially in the mid, low mids "bleed" into the sound causing details to be obscured. What the Nite does give is a greater sense of body and resonance to the instruments where it can sound richer, producing a more reverby/echoy effect.
On the low end the ability to focus and the ability to resonate/create body also holds true for both cords and sometimes makes it difficult to tell what is "better". At times the more focused the bass the more impactful it sounds, and sometimes the bigger, rounder, resonant sound gives the bass more presence. It depends on the cd.
To me the Nites bigger sound emphasizes the mid to low end size a bit much. Instruments can be too forward, too big, where it starts all playing on the same plane. The Empower places it much better but due to having the instruments in a smaller scale, can cause one to think where did it all go?
For how much this cord costs and what it can do, I feel it's really a great value. I am sure that it won't work for all systems and all tastes. If you have a brighter sounding system this might not be the greatest cord since it will reveal more top end detail. Or if you have a leaner sounding system this might not be where you want the sound to go. It is easier to work with and not heavy like the other cords that have made it difficult to use isolation devices.
I have talked to the person who mentioned this cord on Agon, and for him only an Elrod 3 signature was better for his power amps (having had both a EPS 2 signature and Nite before).
The effect of this cord vs the Nite can also be described as the same comparison from say a Grado RS1/MSP to a HP1000 series headphone. One gives pleasing characteristics with a rounded sound and the other is detailed and focused.
post #2 of 69
Extracts more information? More high end articulation and detail? Great amount of focus? Ok, you've sold me. Where to buy?
post #3 of 69
Great review. It sounds like the K Works is very similar to the Venhaus 1 that I tried some time ago. It also confirms that the VD line probably is the best way to go for me, as my headphones tend towards the bright/detailed end of the spectrum.
post #4 of 69
I saw that short blurb by BIGKIDZ at audiogon, however I always take it with a grain of salt since he never gives much detail and this was a "friend" who was making cables.

The network box on K Works AC cord may be something similar to Grand Finale cords, are there any adjustments available? Anyway glad they worked out well for you, always good to save some money over ridiculous prices many cables cost. The fact that cord is lightweight and flexible is big plus in my book.

I can't tell from your impressions or profile if you only used headphones or also listened with full size stereo? I have heard and own AC cords that have more treble energy/detail vs Nite, but when heard with full stereo don't produce the massive soundstage the Nites can generate..........this is something that is very obvious with full stereo system but is not revealed using headphones.

BTW, I own and enjoy Audio Magic Stealth & Digital Stealth units
post #5 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
I saw that short blurb by BIGKIDZ at audiogon, however I always take it with a grain of salt since he never gives much detail and this was a "friend" who was making cables.

The network box on K Works AC cord may be something similar to Grand Finale cords, are there any adjustments available? Anyway glad they worked out well for you, always good to save some money over ridiculous prices many cables cost. The fact that cord is lightweight and flexible is big plus in my book.

I can't tell from your impressions or profile if you only used headphones or also listened with full size stereo? I have heard and own AC cords that have more treble energy/detail vs Nite, but when heard with full stereo don't produce the massive soundstage the Nites can generate..........this is something that is very obvious with full stereo system but is not revealed using headphones.

BTW, I own and enjoy Audio Magic Stealth & Digital Stealth units
Yes, I know what you mean, like I said it is a bit risky to trust just this one person. It ends up that he is local to Igor, and helps out in dealing with internet orders. I have communicated with Igor quite a bit and is very helpful in giving advice etc, though I am not so sure that he has time to deal with everyone individually.

The network is really only in the plug since it is very simple, just two capacitors. I believe the TG Audio cords also has a small network like that in the SLVR cords built into the plug.

The cords were only used on the headphone system. To me, even on the headphone system, the Nite tended to shove everything forward making it sound like they are playing at the same depth, the Empower seperated the depth out much better. I did not notice a difference in left to right imaging. Whether this translates into a speaker systems soundstage, I do not know.
post #6 of 69
AC1,

Any word on how to get a hold of these cables?????
post #7 of 69
Ditto. Any web site?? Trial period??
post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, sorry a little busy right now, but I will pm you guys contact info if you are interested in the cord later on tonight.
post #9 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by AC1
Hi guys, sorry a little busy right now, but I will pm you guys contact info if you are interested in the cord later on tonight.
Please do so. I am interested in comparing these two cables for myself to see if they are truly that good.
post #10 of 69
Now that I think about it, I am also interested. I'm dead set on VD for my source, but perhaps this would be a good power cord for my amp.
post #11 of 69
Well, went ahead and placed an order for one.

The madness never ends...
post #12 of 69
Hey AC
Any chance you have digital camera and can post pix?

Anyone else get one besides Vert?..........keep us posted on your findings especially if you are comparing vs VD Nite

Also Vert would be very interested how this cord compares to Zu Mother...... keep us posted
post #13 of 69
Thread Starter 
Finally got it to upload, here is a pic of it.

post #14 of 69
Bumpies
Just got two Empowered cords in the mail from Igor, will burn in a couple days then take a listen.

I suspect there are others here who have some also, let's keep the comments going. May post some larger more detailed photos.

If you want to order contact Igor, no website:

gorkuz@yahoo.com
post #15 of 69
I am curious as to how they compare to the Zu Mother.
-Mag
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › The $200 K Works Empowered PC compared to the Nite, Elrod