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The $200 K Works Empowered PC compared to the Nite, Elrod - Page 5

post #61 of 69
OK, time to finish my Empowered story
Previously I had 2 Emps in my system, one replaced the VD Nite on my Bel Canto Dac 2 and I thought is was just as good and much easier to use on small gear. I used 2nd EMP to connect Audio Magic Digital Stealth conditioner to wall outlet.

Now for the real test, replace the VD Nite on my CDP (used as transport) with Emp. Alas this is where the EMP has met its match and come up a little short. I knew this would be stiff challenge since originally the VD Nite blew me away with the improvement it made on CDP. The VD Nite was just a bit more resolving of fine detail here, mostly in lower mids/bass region and also in the far corners of the sound stage. The EMP was just a touch opaque here by comparison, although soundstage size was roughly equal which is impressive.

Although I can't check this with my set-up, I suspect I would also prefer the VD Nite on a large power amp because of its large gauge wire.

Now remember the EMP is $200 vs $750 VD Nite, so it is quite impressive by any standard. Also it is lightweight and flexible vs the bulky/cumbersome VD Nite. In the general use I would say the EMP is roughly equal to VD Signature AC cord, and for small gear would actually be preferred to any VD AC cord. For some reason the VD Nite AC cord is more effective on full size gear vs small gear which doesn't seem to fully utilize cables design/benefits.

Also keep in mind I am using a high end AC conditioner, if none were used this may also change my order of preference.
post #62 of 69
Sorry to bring this thread back up (or perhaps someone will thank me for the bump?) - anyways I had a question for DarkAngel - and I could find no other means to ask (disabled PMs and e-mail).

I'm in the market for a couple good, cheap-ish power cables. One for a CDP, one for a headphone amp. Towards the beginning of this thread, you mentioned you received a Signal Cable Magic Digital AC cord - any word on it's performance? The standard Signal Cable Magic PC has seen nothing but praise (at it's very low price point). You've had a ton of experience with power cables, so your opinion is quite valuable IMO. My budget can extend a bit - possibly even to an absolute maximum of the Empowered PC that this thread was created about (that you apparently like quite a bit ) - but buying two of these would be stretching it a bit too thin.

Thanks in advance, sorry to bother you (I assume since your PMs and e-mail are disabled that you don't exactly embrace this kind of direct questioning) - but you're the only one here with this new cable

-dd3mon
post #63 of 69
Yes for under $100 I really like the Signal Digital AC cord which will run you $55 for 5ft. This is the one to get for headphone amps not the Magic cord which is thicker/heavier/stiffer because of 10ga cables used.............Digital uses 14ga and much more flexible, very nice finish. I have several Signal Digital/Magic cords around for various uses, these are super bargains and easly sound better vs stock generic cheapie cord.

If you raise your budget to $200 new/used definitely consider K-works Empowered which is my top choice for nuetral balanced sound.....tremendous performance at this price. If you want leaner faster sound consider used Zu Mother.

For maxium effect get best cord for CDP (this is most sensitive to AC cord upgrades) go for Empowered here $200 and get Signal Digital $55 for headphone amp (less sensitive AC cord upgrade)
so total of $255 will get great results.

I recently bought another VD Nite AC cord used at Audiogon since they are fairly cheap now (Hirsch has the new 2K protype VD cord to replace Nite, he he) ......this gives me total of three. Also considering buying a 4th Empowered (two systems plus PLC use lots of AC cords!)

Hey Peeps
Since this thread is alive again, who else picked up an Empowered cord and what are your impressions?
post #64 of 69

My thoughts after a little while with the Empowered

Well, I've been burning in my Empowered PC for about a week or two now with the cord not moving or changing shape in any way (Igor says this is important). The sound has improved and I am much happier now with my system than I was.

The main change after burn-in has been an increase in clarity. I got more bass weight when I first installed the cord, and while the bass was already tight, I've found that after burn-in the bass response is slightly leaner and more taut, thus being much more natural. Similarly, the midrange has become clearer in a way that conveys sweetness without viscosity. Treble clarity and extension have improved as well.

So... how does this cord compare with others? The only other power cords I've had on my Meridian are stock 18-gauge power cords and a borrowed Tekline powercord of, I believe, approximately the same price as the K Works Empowered.

The Empowered cord is clearly a great improvement over the stock. For a hair over $200, it'd better be. I found the improvement worth the money, though. As I have mentioned, bass response is now deeper and yet tighter; the midrange isn't as syrupy but is clearer and more dynamic; the treble has become clearer.

The Tekline provides a greater challenge, but at the same price range, one might not expect a big difference. I did find a great improvement over my stock powercord with the Tekline as well. The biggest improvement was in the bass region as the bass became deeper and fuller; the midrange also gained more heft.

However, I much prefer the Empowered cord over the Tekline. The sound is much more balanced and clear than the darker sound of the Tekline. The Tekline still made my system sound natural, but the Empowered provides greater detail and the natural sound comes from a complete spectrum that's well represented. The Tekline provides a more comfortable feel, perhaps, in lending all music played across it a darker and warmer emphasis. It's good in its own way, but in my system the Empowered simply lets the music shine. And while my system may not be the best money can buy, it seems to me that it's good enough that clarity and transparency is a good thing.

The bottom line is that I highly recommend this powercord to someone who can spend the money. I know that I'm happy with my purchase.

System used:
Source: Meridian 508.20 CD player
Amp: Melos SHA-1 with NOS Tungsram PCC88 tubes
Headphones: Alessandro-Grado Music Series Pro
Interconnects: DH Labs Silver Sonic Air Matrix RCA, 1-meter
Power cords: Stock 18ga, Tekline, K Works Empowered on Meridian; modified captive cord on Melos.
Music (list not exhaustive): Charles Mingus - Mingus, Ah, Um; Shostakovich - String Quartets 11, 12, 13 (Taneyev Quartet on Melodiya); Bartok's string quartets (Emerson Quartet on DG); The Who - Who's Next (Deluxe); Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy

P.S.
I'll try to upload a picture of the cord in my system (which hasn't had its picture posted in a long time) if, perhaps, someone would like to host it?
post #65 of 69
Thread Starter 
Dan, thanks for your thoughts.
Had a Tekline pc12w before, one thing about it was that the high frequency response was not very good, it was quite a bit truncated to me (compared to every other cord I've had) which could explain some of the darker, warmer sound. It also had more of a fuzziness and grainy, hazy sound that I would guess also lends to that perception. This is one of the thing that seperates the top end pcs over some of the others is the quietness, the blackness of the background.
post #66 of 69

Reviving an old thread, since I recently checked out the current Empowered cord in my system. Mike at Brilliant Zen Audio is dealing these in California, and stopped by so that I could check out a few K-Works goodies. The Empowered PC was one of the favorites. I put it on my Auralic Vega DAC and immediately liked what I heard. The bass felt a touch lighter, but was tighter and quicker. The bass quality quickly became addictive and really drew my attention. The mid's and high's also sounded great, and gave me nothing to think/complain about. This is a fast, dynamic, and musical PC!!! I definitely liked it more then the cable I had been using. As a point of reference I pulled one of my WyWires PC's from my headphone amp, and swapped it onto the DAC . The WyWires have been the best PC's I have had in my system. Well the Empowered cord held it's own against the WyWires Juice II cord, which is saying a lot. The two cords were more similar then different and it was really a toss up as to which one I liked best.

 

If you're looking for a really great PC I suggest giving Mike a shout to check one of these out. If you're in Los Angeles and going to T.H.E. Show this weekend, stop by and see Mike to hear this great cord in person. Good stuff!!

post #67 of 69

Thanks for reviving the thread, John. Just a note--the power cord has gone through several evolutions and is now up to version 3 (vastly improved from 10 years ago), materials cost has gone up, the built-in technology has advanced, and the current price is $350. I'm selling these with a full money-back guarantee at http://brilliantzenaudio.com/cables/power-cords/


Edited by bpeng - 5/29/14 at 9:47am
post #68 of 69

John, which Juice II cord were you comparing it to (the Blue, Silver, etc.)?

post #69 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeng View Post
 

John, which Juice II cord were you comparing it to (the Blue, Silver, etc.)?


I'm not sure Mike. It's a few years old before he had the different series.

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