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Tempting new Virtual Dynamics power cord-- $50! - Page 2  

post #16 of 698
Quote:
Originally posted by markl


This is not my review, but let me say that nothing could have prepared me for what I am hearing straight out of the gate.

This is by far my best tweak ever. I'm excited. More to come.

markl
Hmm, now it gets interesting.

A few questions, Mark:

How long did shipping take?
Have you noticed any differences between the regular power 3 and the cryogenic?
Do you really think they're gonna eventually sell these for $200?
post #17 of 698
Thread Starter 
Shipping was two days, but I think these cables are build to order, so it was over a week total.

I have no way of comparing the cryo vs. the regular cable due to the difficulty of swapping out this cable. VD recomended the better cable go on the source, not the amp.

Yes, I do believe these will be $200 when they're out of the preliminary stages. VD does not appear to be just some guy in his basement. There's are at least 3 people involved, and they have apparently invested in a lot of equipment including the cryo unit. They seem very small but serious to me. very good service, answered all questions quickly.

markl
post #18 of 698
Sounds good. I actually ordered a b stock cable, so it should be ready to go. Any idea how long the sale is running for?
post #19 of 698
Thread Starter 
Best $50 I've ever spent in my entire audio career! A "markl Certified No-Brainer Headphone Geek Tweak"*. (*Some restrictions apply, read below, please)

I was a skeptic, now a believer in power cords. I had never heard any other aftermarket power cable, so I had no idea what to expect. Based on the performance and obvious build quality of the VD Power 3, I am satisfied in my mind FWIW that I have pretty much licked the power cord "problem" in my system.

Could other aftermarket power cords sound better than the VD Power 3? Probably. Don't care.

OK, before my initial reactions, some opening thoughts on power cords:

1. Someone else said it best when they advised that power cords should be one of the last tweaks in a system you already love. The idea is to add that extra layer of icing on the cake, not to "transform" from a Bose into a Nautilus.

2. It makes little sense to attach a fancy powercord to a low-cost, mass-produced component that has many cost/performance compromises. Although I'm no electrical engineer, it seem obvious to me that adding "clean power" to "dirty" "noisy" or "cheap" components will do little to erradicate the nasties in the system.
My components, a Melos Maestro and a heavily-modified Sony SCD-333ES each have very tricked-out, beefy, well-engineered and thoughtfully constructed power supplies. No, they're not cost no object designs, but they're plenty good, good enough to really allow a good power cable to shine. In fact, the Sony also has Bybee filters at the AC Mains to further reduce distortion in power supply. These components also have higher quality parts in the signal path, components that reject "nasties" and let a clean signal pass.
OK, bottom line, think about your component. Even if it has a removable IC, how good are the parts in there? Good enough to let a POWER CABLE make them sing? If you have your doubts, money should be spent upgrading that component before you swap its power cable!

3. I feel silly talking about the power cable's "sound". I think we should adopt a convention of referring only to the effect the cable had on your component, not the cable's inherent "sound". I refuse to believe that power cables have a "sound" of their own They ain't in the signal path. However, they can let your components really operate closer to peak performance. But a cable's performance and effect is going to vary from system to system, making it much harder to characterize a power cord's "sound". Anyway...

4. Your Headphone Listening Style (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...istening+style), will also determine the degree to which you will notice the power cord's effects. Affects like these are best appreciated by people who close their eyes and focus solely on the music. That said, I still think that the astonishing level of change I've experienced in my system would be readily obvious to even a casual listen.

5. Power conditioners are good. Monster makes some effective and low-cost solutions. I've recently scaled back from an HTS5000 to the new HTS1100 in anticipation of getting these cables. Again, VD reco'd sticking them straight into the wall. Well, the 1100 has fewer stages of filtartation than the HTS5000 yet it still has the surge protection. So, long story short, these results were obtained with the cables plugged into the conditioner, despite a reco that they go straight to the wall for maximum effect.

OK, so here's some scattered notes about what I've heard so far in relative order of most noticeable to least noticeable areas of change:

1. Weight and authority, especially in the bass. This is not "bloated" bass to me, put firm and powerful. Over the rest of the frequency spectrum, the sound itself benefits greatly from a increased sense of solidity and body. This results in an increased "presence" which aids in imaging too.

2. All sounds and instruments exist clearly in their own space. This translates to better imaging and a bigger soundstage with increased depth.

3. Music seems "faster" and more nimble. Melos was never a "fast" amp, but it's been given quite a boost.

4. Detail, detail detail. I'm overwhelmed at the number of things I'm hearing for the first time on very familiar music. Lowered noise floor means more music gets through. This system is blessed now with incredible sensitivity and subtlety as well as brute force.

OK, that's what I spy right away. I'll post more maybe later. In my history of "tweaks", I would rank the degree of change wrought by the Power 3 in my system thusly:

1. Power 3
2. Getting my Modwright mods for my SCD-333ES (that's a BIG difference)
3. Upgrading to fancy interconnects
4. Swapping tubes
5. Adding a power conditioner
6. Vibrapods (very little, if any noticeable effect)

However, it should be noted that without that existing foundation of tweaks, the Power 3 would not have had as dramatic and noticeable impact, so it's sort of an arbitrary ranking in a way.

markl
post #20 of 698
>>>>>>>>>
I am satisfied in my mind FWIW that I have pretty much licked the power cord "problem" in my system. Could other aftermarket power cords sound better than the VD Power 3? Probably. Don't care
<<<<<<<<<


Heh, heh, heh.......Of course they can, why stop now you know a $50 cord sounds better than stock cord, how would a great $300 cord sound? Once you discover how AC cords change sound, it is just a matter not going overboard and using a cord whose cost is porportional to equipment attached, just like ICs.

If you have $1,500 - 2,000 piece of gear a $300 AC cord would be wise investment. For a $400 or less headphone amp you need the
$50 cords.

You can of course stretch you budget by buying used at Audiogon.
post #21 of 698
Thread Starter 
Nice try, pal.

Dig this from the www.virtualdynamics.ca site re: the Power 3:

"This next step in Virtual Dynamics power cable uses 14-guage conductor with a Schurter IEC and a Hubbell receptacle. It is designed to replace typical stock cord and to compete with the value of the most popular $1000 power cords from the traditional electronic design theories. "

They have major cajones to compare their $200 cable with $1000 cables, if nothing else. Anyway, based I what I'm hearing, I'm inclined to believe them.

markl
post #22 of 698
Quote:
Originally posted by markl

1. Power 3
2. Getting my Modwright mods for my SCD-333ES (that's a BIG difference)
3. Upgrading to fancy interconnects
4. Swapping tubes
5. Adding a power conditioner
6. Vibrapods (very little, if any noticeable effect)

However, it should be noted that without that existing foundation of tweaks, the Power 3 would not have had as dramatic and noticeable impact, so it's sort of an arbitrary ranking in a way.

markl
Wow, the power cord in first place... thats gotta say something right there... power cords for me do rank high on that scale as well... And so true that the related equipment does play a part in how much difference you hear, which leads me to think how there are people with very good equipment that have not heard the potential of their gear, upgrading their gear yet ignoring the difference a PC can make.
post #23 of 698
Thread Starter 
That list reflects my perceived value per dollar spent, as much as a measure of the degree of difference they made. At $50 this cable (if you can live with its absurd stiffness) is a home run. That's what I'm trying to convey.

VD do indeed sell a $1000 power cable themselves. Maybe you could justify that to yourself. If so, you are much much further along in the disease than me.

markl
post #24 of 698
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
Nice try, pal.

Dig this from the www.virtualdynamics.ca site re: the Power 3:

"This next step in Virtual Dynamics power cable uses 14-guage conductor with a Schurter IEC and a Hubbell receptacle. It is designed to replace typical stock cord and to compete with the value of the most popular $1000 power cords from the traditional electronic design theories. "
oh yeah, and no other audio company says things like that.

Do you always believe a company's product hype, mark?
post #25 of 698
markl,

Isn't that the cable that you described as incredibly stiff? How much room do you need behind the component to allow the cable to make a 90 degree bend without stressing the IEC socket?
post #26 of 698
Thread Starter 
Neruda,
Of course not. That's why I said they have major cajones to make a statement like that. I would ordinarily ignore marketing speak. However, the build quality is so over-done, and my results were so much greater than I would have expected, that lends it some credence (in my mind).

pigmode,
Yes, these are the stiff ones. To get the cable to bend 90 degrees you'd need about a foot of clearance behind the component to the wall. You must also consider where the outlet plug is relative to the component. There is no way to make the cable double back on itself to snake back to plug into the wall. If I didn't have the power conditioner on the floor away from the outlet and components, I wouldn't be able to plug the Power 3's in.

markl
post #27 of 698
From the LAT Cables site:
Quote:
First, we are about low prices for cables that our customers tell us are the equal of, or better than the highest priced cables available. How do we back up that statement? WE GUARANTEE IT!!
wow! better buy some of those cables.

From the nOrh site:
Quote:
Le Amp have the speed and resolution only found in the most expensive solid state amplifiers. It has the same smooth sound that most people associate with SE Amps. It has the sort of headroom usually only found in large monster amplifiers and it is built as rugged as the most professional gear. It will provide the quality of high-end sound that audiophiles expect to pay thousands of dollars for.
jeez, sounds like those amps sound like they can compete with just about anything out there! isn't that amazing? And they even named it "le amp!" that must take a lot of cajones!

I'm not saying that either of those products are bad (I haven't even heard them), but I'm just trying to point out that practically every company says things like that. what do you think would happen if they said "our power cable competes solidly with other power cables at the $50 price point, sometimes maybe up to $75," while another company was saying "Our power cables compete solidly with cables costing more than $1,000!" These guys need to make money, and in order to do so they have to make statements like that in hopes that people will prefer them to the competition because of it. When everyone's making cables or amps or speakers that offer better sound at lower prices than the competition, who can you trust?
post #28 of 698
Thread Starter 
Look, if I compare the level of difference I got from this $200 power cable to the difference I got from adding my $200 interconnects to the signal path, I'd say the Power 3 provides at least 3 times the degree of improvement. A much greater degree of change per dollar than good interconnects. I would therefore say the value of the tweak is much much more than the $200 price tag. I know you understand what I'm saying, Neruda.

Speaking of ICs, VD also makes them. They're next on my list.

markl
post #29 of 698
Quote:
jeez, sounds like those amps sound like they can compete with just about anything out there! isn't that amazing? And they even named it "le amp!" that must take a lot of cajones!
Ha! I dare you to say that at the NoRH forum.
post #30 of 698
Quote:
I know you understand what I'm saying, Neruda.
believe me, I'm trying.

Look, that's fine that you like your cord. but I think you need to be a bit more careful about quoting a company's comments about its own equipment. it's rather obvious they're biased, and there's a very good chance that they're going to say amazing things in order for people to buy their stuff. Isn't this the only power cord you've ever tried? Maybe you need to try some other cables before thinking that this is as good as they say it is.
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