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Zu Birth/Bok Vs. Pangea AC-14 Vs. Signal Cable Magic Power Cord

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

EDIT: Sheesh! It appears that I was mistaken and the original post regarding these high-performance/low-cost power cords survived. So, sorry for what has essentially turned out to be a double post. Since the following is slightly different, I will leave it to posterity below. 

 

cool Well... I just finished writing a long assessment of the above three cables, only to have Head-fi lose the message. I guess you can blame the new operating parameters for the snafu. So, while trying my very best to keep my cool, a brief summary:

 

I have been searching for a quality but affordable power cable option for my Gilmore Lite DPS and have narrowed it down to the above cables. It is my understanding that the Birth is the better of the two Zu's, as it is more flexible. markl's scathing review of the Bok aside, is it possible that it will both offer an improvement in sound quality over the Birth and be flexible enough not to displace the light Gilmore Lite DPS? This is paramount, given how small the amp unit is.

 

I have also been interested in the Pangea AC-14 (as the much bigger AC-9 is just too bulky for my purposes), but there is little info. on this new budget power cord here. The Signal Cable Magic Power Cord as well as the JellyFish and associated hospital-grade cryogenic SoniKLEER seem to be rather well-built, but offer no shielding to avoid interference. Also, the Signal Cable PC is said to be rather stiff.

 

So, any ideas on the above? I do not want to spend an arm and a leg here, but look forward to switching out my Volex for an noticeable - okay, marginal? - increase in performance. 

 

Thanks in advance for the input. smiley   


Edited by sampson_smith - 5/6/10 at 8:08pm
post #2 of 18

haha and here i was thinking this was a review

 

My thoughts on the Signal Cable Power is that it's bulky and heavy, and very stiff (metaphors aside the thing is a garden hose) and should definitely used on heavier equipments; the connection might be too heavy and might tilt an amp or dac slightly.

 

Sonically I didn't notice a difference, perhaps greater focus and imaging. It is however built like a tank and I can't see it ever failing


Edited by Xan7hos - 5/7/10 at 2:44am
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, Xan7hos. Sorry that I had no review to post. Actually, that brings up a good point: There is no comprehensive review here of sub-$100 power cables. I know that markl has covered a few in his 22 power cord shoot-out, but I think a budget-minded review would be very helpful. Same goes for interconnects. This needs to be done in short order.

 

For now, I think that the Birth is the way to go. It appears to be flexible enough, is well-built, and gets the job done properly. *Fingers crossed* devil

post #4 of 18

birth is a very flexible cable

 

4595919158_a14bd61dac_b.jpg

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much for the pic, fhuang. Good to hear that it is flexible. Any improvement over stock cables when you use it with your rig?

post #6 of 18

I received a 1.5 meter Pangea AC-9 and AC-14 for use on my Woo amp and Audio-gd DAC last week. I've been an audiophile since the late 1980s and the one area I've always stayed away from is power cables. It just didn't make sense to me and it was one of a handful of items that I would consider as snake oil.

 

Well, I swapped out the stock power cables and the difference was one of the biggest that I have made to my system. The change was bigger than any tube rolling, cable upgrade or tweaks that I've tried. It wasn't as big as changing headphones or swapping phono cartridges, but it was very close. It was so obvious that I believe anyone would have immediately heard the difference. I know comparing the sounds of different cables, etc. leads to heated debates, so I will not get into the specific sound changes. My point is that these entry level power cables are worthy upgrades and I am very happy with their products. I really do wish I tried them sooner.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tke398 View Post
 I know comparing the sounds of different cables, etc. leads to heated debates, so I will not get into the specific sound changes. My point is that these entry level power cables are worthy upgrades and I am very happy with their products. I really do wish I tried them sooner.

 

Let me guess.  You got much more bass and "impact" while the top end smoothes out, making those nasty CD's sound much more listenable.  Everything sounds fuller, and richer..
 

post #8 of 18



Well, close. The midbass was immediately apparent and that is the part that I think anyone with ears would have noticed right away. The other obvious changes were a more focused sound, longer decays, and more room ambience. This is the most holographic/3D sound I have gotten so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post



 

Let me guess.  You got much more bass and "impact" while the top end smoothes out, making those nasty CD's sound much more listenable.  Everything sounds fuller, and richer..
 

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Excellent to hear, tke398! I appreciate the thoughtful comments. I have considered the Pangea cords quite a bit, but have balked at their more expensive shipping to Canada (through Audio Adviser). It was my belief that the AC-9 is waaay too bulky for the Gilmore Lite DPS. Would you agree? I previously wanted to get the AC-9, but figure that the thinner, more flexible AC-14 would do, even though that is generally prescribed for DAC's and other sources.


Edited by sampson_smith - 5/19/10 at 9:50pm
post #10 of 18

The AC-9 is waaayyy too big for my Woo WA6SE. I was concerned about it lifting the back of the amp off the shelf, but it is pretty flexible considering its size. The photos in Audio Advisor do not help portray the actual size. It is definately overkill for a <1 watt headphone amp. These are more for huge monoblock amps sitting on the floor. The AC-14 is slightly thicker than your average pc cable and should do just fine on your Gilmore.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the explanation! Too big for the mighty WA 6 SE?! Those things do weigh a tonne, so I can now be sure that the AC-9 will not play nice with almost any headphone rig out there. The AC-14 it is. Or, what about the AC-14SE?! It looks as if Pangea just released an upgrade the AC-14 with multiple wire gauges within the cord, no unlike the AC-9:

 

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGAC14SE

 

Thoughts?


Edited by sampson_smith - 5/20/10 at 1:45pm
post #12 of 18

One of the reasons why I decided to invest in Pangea power cords was because I heard the prices were going to increase on May 1st (which they did). That's when they started selling the AC-14SE, so I haven't heard it and it wasn't available at the time of my purchase. It's about $15-20 more expensive than the newly increased price of the AC-14, but it is still pretty reasonably priced IMO.

 

Will you be getting these for all your components?

post #13 of 18

I second the opinion on the Pangea. I have 3 of the AC-14 and 1 of the AC-9. For the money they are unbeatable IMO. 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the input, guys. I would love to get my hands on a singe approx. 1.5 m AC-14 or AC-14SE power cord, but it appears that Audio Advisor's shipping is prohibitive to Canada, and I cannot go through amazon.com. If there is anyone out there wanting to upgrade to the AC-14SE and needs someone to take an AC-14 'regular' edition off of their hands, let me know. I would be more than glad to if the used price is reasonable.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Nobody wants to sell a Pangea AC-14 power cord?! I guess that there is either a limited amount with the AC-14SE upgrade itch, or just very few with Pangeas in the first place. (Obviously they are very fine cables, so I should probably attribute it to the AC-14 being 'good enough'.) Well, PM me if you have a change of heart, any and all. :)


Edited by sampson_smith - 5/25/10 at 1:21pm
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