Intro: SoundFoundations, is a company which manufactures accessories like racks, stands, and vibration control & custom cables. It is based in India. SoundFoundations is known in India for their quality accessories for speakers & turntables. Sound foundations is the face of growing Audiophile trend in India. It makes me very proud to see that India is catching up to audiophile product manufacturing, & I feel proud to review something that’s made in India!
I am now writing on their Power cable named “Barracuda PowerMax Elite”. The cable uses a Furutech base cable using PCOC copper conductors with a dual shield. The Barracuda is one of the first cables in the world that uses lead shielding and hence boasts almost zero EMI/RFI. Lead is known to have the best EMI rejection properties. The lead shielded provides the lowest noise with the cleanest darkest background. The cable is also equipped with a high quality copper shield. This heavy shield has two important functions. It keeps the powerline noise from radiating outwards onto equipments and interconnects. It also prevents external electromagnetic and radio frequency interference from entering the AC line.
Conductor: 15mm OD – 12 AWG / 2.5mm2 x 3 : 60/0.49mm (Specially Optimized Copper)
3 layers EMI/RF shielding with vibration absorbing structure
Pure Copper Braided shield
Rated True 300V / 20A
CRYO -192 Degrees (48hrs)
Unique Patented Filler sheath
Standard length- 5 feet
IEC+ US 3 pin plug
Voltage Rating: true 15A /250V
Materiel: 99.99% OFC Furukawa Red – Copper – with 22k true gold plating
Dimensions:70mm body length x 35mm diameter x 69mm overall length
Nylon/fiberglass front body with polycarbonate shell
CRYO -192 Degrees (48hrs)
Let us see how this cable performs,
Design and Build: The power cable is audiophile grade, which means It is designed to specially for high fidelity audio devices with objective to isolate maximum amount of noise, RFI & Deliver stable & maximum AC power. Barracuda is not very flexible, so it cannot bend around in tight spaces, but again almost all custom power cables are thick & rigid to this extent. Weight-wise, it’s quite heavy compared to stock cable, but manage-able.
(Click Images to Enlarge)
Connectors are of Oyaide Japan, a well respected brand in audio world. Pins are American Standard 3 pin plugs & AC terminations are gold plated with ground terminal silver plated. The cable outlet end has 3 pin sockets; again they too are gold plated. Connectors have accurate cuttings and design for a snug fit. Strain reliefs are absent at both plug-end & socket-end inorder to increase flexibility. But this can also be a drawback in terms of cable durability in long term. Standard length of the Barracuda is 1.5 meters.
Overall well built. I would rate 4 out of 5 for Build quality.
Sound: Barracuda delivers a audibly superior sonic performance compared to stock power cables. Stock cables are incapable of performing upto the level high fidelity amplifiers or DAC’s. Improvements observed when graduating from stock power cables:
2) Speed: Delays in transmission & receiving are largely eliminated & sound can be heard instantaneously, without any ‘lags’ or ‘delays’
3) Transparency & Clarity: The level of details & transparency. Better power cable helps the transformer inside to deliver better, hence a better sound at the end of the chain.
4) Soundstage: Especially Depth & layering have increased. There is increment in imaging & placements across all frequencies when heard on high end headphones.
These improvements are at the margin of about 10% when compared to basic or stock cables. The Barracuda corrects almost all of the base chain problems like, Channel Imbalances, and irregularities are mostly eliminated. EMI Pickup and noise floor level are audibly none. It is like a whole new dimension being discovered. All these improvements are heard on well performing equipments. I have tested this cable on various DAC’s and Amp’s, and in all the setup’s the Barracuda cable has performed well & audibly superior to stock cables.
Conclusion: The Barracuda power cable from SoundFoundations is a well performing and a well built cable, which serves its objective of delivering the signals from end-to-end with superior transparency. Superior performance cables are very much appreciable in higher end setup, & further optimize the full potential of our equipments. I can say it safe to invest an agreeable cost on a good performance cable.
The only hurdle which comes when choosing a performance power cable is the value aspect. But I conclude say that, aftermarket cables are a must with High end headphone amplifiers & DAC’s the cost is well worth the small but significant step in achieving sonic perfection.