The consolidated "Tempting" Virtual Dynamics thread....
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markl

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Welcome to the Cliff's Notes version of the "Tempting New Virtual Dynamics Power Cord" thread, now almost 700 posts long: http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showt...threadid=10311

This was a fun thread, and chock full of good info and reviews, but it went off-track many times and is a bit unwieldy for people to look through. So, I'm going to try to consolidate the most relevant posts in the thread into a single (probably very long) post. Apologies in advance for taking your post(s) out of context, or ignoring other areas you think crucial. Feel free to respond here as need be.

These are all in chronological order as they occurred in the thread, but I'm too lazy to post the dates of each individual comment. This may be a little dis-jointed, but that's hard to avoid. OK, here we go:

moogoesthecow:
Quote:

markl, i have the virtual dynamics basic power cord which i also got on audiogon for the $30 special. it indeed is very beefy, however with 18awg copper, i have a feeling there's gobs of filler in there just to simply make it fatter. as for the sound, it's nothing spectacular, although there are many people who reportedly seem to like the line of cords. the bass is bloated, yet not detailed. forward low midrange, and laid-back everything else. highs are rolled-off and masked.


markl:
Quote:

Well, after some more research, I've indeed decided to take the plunge on the Virtual Dynamics cables. I have the 14-guage Power 3 coming for my Melos Maestro, and a new early version of a cryogenically-treated version of the Power 3 for $75 for my Sony SCD-333ES with Modwright mods. Apparently, this process improves the "flow of electrons" and is often found on $1000 plus power cords! We'll see....


markl:
Quote:

They arrived. Holy ***!!!!!!!!!!! These things are HUGE. I know I know "size doesn't matter", but they easily weigh 5 lbs each and are 1" thick. Garden hose thickness, literally!


markl:
Quote:

GRRRRRR... They took over an hour to "install". These things look impressive as hell but the damn things are so utterly inflexible, it was virtually impossible for me to get them where they had to go. As it is, they're jutting way out behind my rack in full view. If i had a spouse, she would have issued the command to "send them back", and one would be hard-pressed to argue.

After I have completed my audition, I will write to the manufactuere to complain of their stiffness. Maybe it's essential to the design/performance, but It's just not practical. They've got to make it more flexible.

They better sound good! I'll let you know.


markl:
Quote:

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/showt...listening+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


markl:
Quote:

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.


markl:
Quote:

Well, I was so happy with my VD Power 3's that I ordered a demo version of one of their better IC's, the Reference. This retails for $499. It will go in between my 333ES and the Melos. This model has been cryo-ed by VD for me as well!


markl:
Quote:

"Are you serious that the Power 3 made more difference than tube rolling?! What kind of tubes did you try?! SOVTEKS?!"

I've tried a variety of the best tubes in their class in a variety of very good to excellent tube amps. The Power 3's made a more substantial improvement to the sound than any tube rolling I've done.


markl:
Yay! My VD Reference ICs with cryo treatment and something else called "ProTecX treatment" came today back from its vacation in Alaska! This will retail at $600 but i got a break on a demo pair.

Like the power cables, these things are thick and heavy. Build is great with locking WBT's. I opened them up to check out the soldering inside. Wow! Very nice. You can see that the copper used in this cable is THICK! At least I was able to bend these (they maintain the shape you give them) and get them installed with a bit less fuss than the Power 3's. Outer covering on the cables is off-white/silvery soft mesh that's more attractive than it sounds.
/QUOTE]
markl:
Quote:

Anyway, I'm equally blown away with VD's Reference ICs as I was with the Power 3's. My system LOVES these cables. All of the items on the list of areas of improvement I noted about the Power 3's apply to the Refernce cryo as well. These things soundstage like it's a Cecil B. DeMille wide-screen epic. I've now started hearing sounds emmanating from *behind me*. Bass galore. The sound is somehow more forceful and substantial across the spectrum beyond just the bass. You really see into the recording with these cables.


dcg:
Quote:

Tested the cable at Hirsch's today on Dusty's Hap-02 amp, and out of the gate the biggest discernible difference was very bloated bass. I'm not familiar with the amp, but the difference was definitely noticeable, and Dusty agreed with me. Having no good way to connect it at my apartment, I left the cable with Hirsch for further testing. Unfortunately, we were not able to A/B the virtual dynamics cord with the Absolute Power cord that Hirsch uses on much of his equipment, but maybe sometime soon. Hopefully Hirsch and Dusty will chime in with their impressions.


Hirsch:
Quote:

The problem is that the Absolute Power Cord is well burned-in, while the Power 3 isn't. I should probably wait a couple of months before commenting...

Nah.

The Power 3 is big. It weighs more than the ZOTL I wanted to use it on. Required some twists and turns to get it positioned...it doesn't like to bend. I then listened to some music using the APC I'm used to, then the Power 3, then APC again, then Power 3. Note that these cords are sufficiently different that I couldn't run a blind test

Initial impression is bass bloat. That seems to diminish quickly, so burn-in seems to have started. However, the next thing that I noticed was cleaner imaging. Hmmm...could be a novelty effect, but a return to the APC definitely muddied the image. Further, the volume level that sounded good was higher on the APC than the Power 3. That's either a lower noise floor, better dynamics or both with the Power 3. I'm impressed. If this cord burns in well, and maintains or betters its current (sic) performance, it's a winner.


Hirsch:
Quote:

We really didn't get a chance to do any formal A/B testing while we were all here. Too much to listen to, too little time. dcg left the Power 3 with me, and I set it up with the ZOTL later, so the comparisons I posted were mine alone.

I had both cords plugged into a Monster HTS-2000 power conditioner. Berning MicroZOTL with tubes that have actually stayed the same for a few days (Amperex Bugle Boys (Holland) in front of Sylvania VT-231's). Source was Rotel 955 and modded ART DI/O. Elco DC-32 digital cable, Homegrown Audio Silver Lace analog cable, Calrad phone to RCA adapter for the DI/O. Listening done with HP-1 and CD3K. Music was very familiar, as it's the same as I had been using to listen to 12AT7's recently.

I'm hearing pretty much the same thing today that I did last night, and remain impressed with this cord. It adds authority to sound of the ZOTL, which greatly enhances the impact of this amp. My SHA-1 has a captive power cord, so I can't test the Power 3 with it (could be time for a modification here...


dcg:
Quote:

Mark,

I should make it clear that my test of the Power 3 was pretty much in the worst of conditions - unfamiliar everything. Source, amp, source material, cables, tubes, basically no break-in, all of it. Add to that the fact that I listened very briefly, and you'll know why I'm slightly disappointed, but not too concerned, at least not yet. In fact, I've got three more of these cords in the mail, so eventually I'll be able to hook up both the cdp and zotl. I'll be interested to hear which is affected more. Until then, I'll reserve judgement.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Dave
I think Mark's description of "giant pipe cleaner" is good, since Sigs will hold any shape you bend with little spring back, bends need to be somewhat large but I think it will work for me. You can tell there is a lot of metal in these as they are very heavy for 1 meter pair........also no direction marking on cable and no instructions so I guess a call is in order to determine proper orientation when connecting in system.


markl:
Quote:

I had the same question about directionality. Rick says his cables are non-directional, but he recommended that you place them in the direction of the lettering on the cable just to be safe and always replace them in the same direction as when you burned them in if you remove them. BTW: Those green dots indicate they were cryo-ed, not necessarily directionality.


dcg:
Quote:

Just a quick update on my impressions of the power 3 - I dropped off a couple of cables at Hirsch's tonight and took a quick listen to the virtual dynamics on the ZOTL vs the Melos with stock cord (stock cord isn't removeable on the Melos.)

Differences were immediately apparent - to me, the Melos sounded grainier, the ZOTL much more airy. Contrary to my intial impressions, bass was far from bloated or sloppy. Whether this is due to burn in or due to the fact that the power 3 just sounds better with the ZOTL than the Hap-02 I don't know, though I tend to believe it's burn in, as Hirsch noted bloated bass with the ZOTL at first.


Hirsch:
Quote:

The captive power cord on the SHA-1 is a problem, it now appears. The Melos had almost caught up with the ZOTL sonically, IMO, but the Power 3 has the ZOTL pulling away again. Bass response was initially bloated, but has tightened up again. As the cord burns in, the sense that the image is clearer remains. There is still a sense of greater bass extension. A really impressive improvement!

The next two Power 3's have gone to my Sony 9000ES and Outlaw 950, just tonight. Initial impression of very heavy handed bass, but still there's a greater sense of detail. The Sony has always had a lean midrange, IMO, and the Outlaw to date has had a very dry sound playing music, so much so that I've been playing around with keeping a separate preamp for music. I think I can put that to rest now, if the Power 3 burns in as well as it sounds now. Midrange is now fleshed out. Voices have body to them. However, the high end and bass extension remain better than the previous cord (Absolute Power Cord...much better than normal stock cable). So far, I'm putting these cables as early in the chain as I can. Will they help out with power amps? Hmmmm...


markl:
Quote:

Couldn't resist. Had to grab some Signature Cryo power cords demo models while they still have some. I originally called asking for Auditions, but demand is too high and they had no demo models at the present moment.

Now this cable should answer the question once and for all, "how much can a power cord improve the sound". I recognize that these cords are probably meant for gear better than mine, but as I upgrade, I can take the Signature cords with me!


markl:
Quote:

So far, these VD cables have been the best thing I've done in terms of tweaks for my system. I don't know what better endorsement of their products I can give besides to tell you that I am re-wiring my system top to bottom with VD cables.

They're BIG, but damn are they good. They have re-defined for me what an interconnect can do, let alone what a power cable can do. These cables have re-defined what I will consider "good sound" from here on out. I think Rick's literally captured "lightning in a bottle".


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Well after 3-4 days of break-in on system 2 using XLO/Reference
break-in track VD Sigs are now installed in main system. This process reminds me of a DR Suess book with the strange plumbing pictures. The Sig was pre-bent to approximate shape by holding cable where it was to be installed. After bends are applied
IC holds the shape and can be installed without stressing or damaging your RCA jacks.

The VD Sigs replace a 1m run of HG Silver Laces between preamp-amps, will report my findings after couple days of listening. Sometime this week my VD Ref AC cords should arrive, so more fun to be had.

Although I got great deal on this demo IC, it is the most money I have ever spent on a single pair of ICs, so I hope I like it. I think if I ever did decide to sell, it would be gone in 1 hr at Audiogon
so pretty much risk free proposition.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Well slight delay for VD Ref AC cords, seems last weekend was holiday in Canada, so today was 1st work day of week. Delivery now looks like Thursday-Friday of this week.

My initial impressions of VD Signature IC are very good indeed. They remind me tonally of Cardas Golden Cross or perhaps AZ Matrix, in that "in my system" thay are very slightly warm, very liquid sound that is completely free of any hardness, very relaxed smooth sounding. Compared to HG Silver Laces or even the copper/silver hybrid HT ProSilway II they do not quite have the upper treble extension and therefore sound more relaxed, similar to almost any other copper cable I have heard vs silver cables. They lack the very high end treble sparkle a good silver design provides.

That is the only weakness I can find, the remaining 85-90% of the range however surpasses the HG Silver Laces and ProSilway II. VD Sigs present a huge 3D soundstage, slightly bigger than my other ICs, and not only is it bigger it also seems more real or holographic. This is the strongest feature of the VD Sigs for me.
Coupled with the liquid smoothness is extremely impressive retrevial of fine detail, amazing considering how completely natural and musical the ICs are, don't sound cold or analytical at all which can be the weakness of many silver designs.

I think these ICs would literally be miracle workers in systems that lean slightly to the bright/cold side, and in a tonally nuetral system they are very impressive. If you have a slightly warm system these might be a bit too warm/dark sounding. When I install the VD AC cords my initial impressions may change a bit.
Perhaps Mark can add his impressions of the VD Reference ICs.

BTW, I continue to be amazed/impressed at how good the HG Silver Laces sound for $190 retail, better cables are available but I know of no other IC that offers the price/performance ratio of Silver Laces.


markl:
Quote:

DarkAngel, as I recall you are not listening "directly" to these cables, but there's another set in the signal path, and possibly another component as well, is that correct? That makes judging them a bit more difficult I would guess, or at least it adds some variables to the equation

Mine are installed directly from my SCD-333ES with Modwright mods to my Melos Maestro. However, I have a Sonic Horizons Daybreak extension cable in my signal path that will soon (if it ever shows up) be replaced by a Sonic Horizons Hurricane headphone extension. The Daybreak is a great extension for $60, but the Hurricane is more than double the price and presumably significantly better. Getting that cable should let me "hear" the VD Reference Cryo ICs better.

Right now I think the Daybreak is the weak link in the chain, yet despite this I still got a whopping improvement over my two previous ICs, the AudioMagic Spellcaster ($400 retail) and Stealth Cable FLR (retail $240), both of them were silver and were excellent cables compared to the other better cables I had before (MIT T2 and Monster Z-Series).

I've not experienced a loss in the highs at all with the VD Reference ICs compared to those two silver cables. In fact, Rick warned me that some people might find his ICs "bright" as they were not used to full and accurate extension up top that his cables make possible. I've heard the extension in the bass region combined with the more emphatic midrange I noted earlier. I don't doubt that the highs are equally more "present" as well, yet they aren't harsh or etched. I wouldn't describe them as dark up top anyway.

I also believe that upgrading to the Sig Cryo power cords will further enhance the positive effects of the Reference ICs, but how much remains to be seen.

quote:That is the only weakness I can find, the remaining 85-90% of the range however surpasses the HG Silver Laces and ProSilway II. VD Sigs present a huge 3D soundstage, slightly bigger than my other ICs, and not only is it bigger it also seems more real or holographic. This is the strongest feature of the VD Sigs for me.

Yes! The VD cables are soundstaging champs and that's a MAJOR hot-button for me. I listen with my eyes closed and visualize the performance in my mind's eye. The VD really enhance this experience.

quote:Coupled with the liquid smoothness is extremely impressive retrevial of fine detail, amazing considering how completely natural and musical the ICs are, don't sound cold or analytical at all which can be the weakness of many silver designs.

To me, it's not that the VD cables "remove" the edge, they are giving you the truth. To me, the etch, hash, and sharpness of some cables is a coloration, not the VD's "naturalness". These cables are tonally "right" to my ears. They aren't always reminding you that you're listening to a recording-- it sounds more like a real event which helps you again with imaging.

I would never have thought that a cable could make as much difference as the VD's have in my system. They've completely changed my mind about the relative importance of cables.

I was recently chatting with Hart from Audio Advancements and he had a set of $700 interconnects that he was trying to sell me. I told him I didn't really put much credence in cables as I had yet to hear a level of difference that really made me go "WOW"! He said to me: "Mark, you must treat interconnects as you would the actual *components* in your system. "Yeah, right" I thought, "thanks but no thanks, you can keep your $700 ICs!"

Now, I BELIEVE.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Mark
Thanks for your impressions, I think you are a bit more impressed with VDs than I am. I am doing all listening though main speakers and yes there are other ICs and speaker cables in my chain, that is why I tend to have a lot of cable sets around, always trying new things.

Haven't tried any AudioMagic or Stealth cables in my system. We both totally agree on great 3D capabilities of VDs, however after I wrote my previous post I again switched VDs back to HG Silver Laces and noticed beter treble extension with the Silver Laces
as noted prevously.


markl:
Quote:

My Sig Cryos came. They are a foot shorter than the Power 3s, though interestingly, they feel much lighter than the Power 3's than you'd expect even for being a foot shorter. These bent and held their shape, making installation much easier but still not fun. My LEAST favorite thing in the whole wide world of audio is having to fuss with the unreachable tangle of cords behind my gear.

Anyway, these don't look exactly like DarkAngels's Reference (they're a step up in the line), they're all black and the connectors look slightly different.

Anyway, after some minimal burn-in I'll post impressions.


markl:
Quote:

OK, Can't resist, I have three observations about the Sig Cryos straight off the bat:

1. If you thought the Power 3 had "too much" bass-- stay away from the Sig Cryo! I have never heard bass like this through my R10s before. Fan-friggin'-tastic!

2. Someone else observed earlier (Hirsh?) that the Power 3 seemed to cause an apparent increase in volume over the stock cord at same volume setting. I'm not sure I heard that with the Power 3's in my system, but with the Sig Cryo, it's unmistakeable. That's very very interesting to me.

3. Hmmm... I have to admit that the Power 3 might be "darker" sounding than the Sig Cryo. There's a lot on top and bottom with the new cables. Yet mids are emphasized too as singing voices seem "louder" and more "present" than before, and come through even more clearly with more force than before. Thin-sounding, these cables are NOT!

More to come...


markl:
Quote:

OK, so my VD Sig Cryo power cables now have roughly 50 hrs burn-in and I've logged considerable listening time on them. Here are my conclusions:

I had been *hoping* that the level of improvement wrought by the Sig Cryos over the Power 3's would equal the jump from stock cable to Power 3's which was a dramatic night-and-day sort of difference. That may not have been a fair expectation, and I acknowledge there are numerous factors that will dictate the performance of a given cable in a given system.

I fully recognize that these $1K+ list price cables are more than total overkill for my modified Sony SCD-333ES source and Melos Maestro amp. The SCD-333ES with Modwright mods represents an investment of $1200 plus about $600 for the mods (although I think my modified player competes with much more expensive CDPs) while the Melos Maestro retailed for around $2500 all tweaked out plus some very expensive Siemens NOS tubes. I would imagine that the Sig Cryos are meant for components in the $5K range and above.

Overall, I would say that the boost in performance provided by the Sig Cryo cables over the Power 3 *in my unworthy system* was about 50% of the major leap in performance I got from going from the stock cables to the Power 3's. That said, given the sweet deal I got on the demo Sig Cryos I'm still delighted by their performance vs. cost. This was a great tweak over the mighty Power 3's and well worth my money. Plus, as I upgrade, I can take these killer power cords with me!

Anyway, there are several potential conclusions I *could* draw from my experience:

1. The VD power cords price/performance curve peaks at about the Audition/Power 1 level. This would be jumping to conclusions, IMO, but can't be ruled out.

2. Given the general level of components we use on this site, the Audtion/Power 1 cords are about the apex of what Head-Fi'ers should invest in. Let's face it, most of us do not have have $5K and above components. A $1K power cord does not make much sense for us.

3. My VD power cords are plugged into my Monster HTS1100 power conditioner. Good as this little $200 power conditioner is, could it be limiting the performance of the Sig Cryos in my system? Again, Rick at VD reco'ed I insert his cables straight into the wall. However, I want surge protection, so I decided to put them in the Monster despite his advice.

Let me just re-state for the record, I'm floored by the performance of the Sig Cryos in my system. I've reco-ed the VD cables to everyone I know who is seriously into audio. I highly recomend these cables to you. However, please see my original caveats about power cords that I posted earlier in this thread to determine if a power cord upgrade is really rational at all for your system, or whether that cash is better socked away to pay for a better source or amp.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Mark
Haven't forgot about me have you, its taking me longer to evaluate the VD Refs because my system requires 5 AC cords and need to switch around to find best combo. The size/stiffness is a royal pain in the a** as I feared, so the Vds are going to have to really sound great to overcome the extra hassle.

I will say like the VD Sig IC I am getting really great expansion of 3D sound stage which is very important for main system. As you noted and is true in general as your system improves it costs a great deal of money for ever smaller increases in sound quality,
so some common sense is needed to balance your spending
priorities to acheive best sound.

More to come over next several days, any more observations?


DarkAngel:
Quote:

I have to say I'm very impressed with the VD reference AC cords,
they are easily the best cords I have ever had in my system. I almost can't believe the improvement in 3D soundstage and retreaval of fine detail they provide, while at the same time sounding very natural. I was an AC cord advocate before but I think even I underestimated how dramtically they can improve the sound, while at the same time confounding the skeptics that say it can't be so.

I now believe AC cord upgrades produce more improvement than
IC or speaker cable upgrades. I wasn't anywhere near as impressed with the VD Signature ICs, the improvement was much smaller than the obvious changes brought on by the Reference AC cords, especially when I placed one on my CDP......WOW!
I can't remember any other $300 range AC cord I've tried that is even in the same league as the VD reference. Needless to say these are staying in my system, I haven't decided yet if I keep the VD Sigs IC, more listening is needed.

I can live with the messy cable situation I guess, these AC cords have very low WAF (wife acceptance factor) but I'm not married so I will live dangerously.


markl:
Quote:

"I now believe AC cord upgrades produce more improvement than
IC or speaker cable upgrades."

Damn! Yes!!!!!! I was very very reluctant to be the one to say this because I thought no one would believe me! Prior to my experience with the VD power cables I wouldn't have believed it either.

Who'd a thunk that a power cord can alter the sound more than an IC? I concur 100% DarkAngel!

Let the chips fall where they may, don't knock it until you've tried it!


markl:
Quote:

The VD power cords were a real "come to Jesus" experience for me. I had always considered power cords to be the absolute height of audio-foolishness. What about the 50 miles of craptacular power cable from the power company leading up to my poorly wired outlet in my noisy apartment with all those other devices "grunging up" my power? How is it possible that the last 5 feet of cable can make a difference?

If I could go back in time even 3 months ago and tell myself that I now thought power cords were *more important* than ICs, and then reveal how much I ended up spending on the VD power cords, I would have immediately committed myself. I would now be writing to you from the comfort of the rubber room.

Again-- I say for $50 plus a 15-day return policy, the Power 3 is a slam dunk and just might change your mind, too. All you'd be out is the postage back and forth. Of course, once you hear the Power 3, you'll end up upgrading....

Having said that, I want to re-post my caveats and considerations from earlier in this thread for those of you tuning in late:

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. Your Headphone Listening Style (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showt...listening+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.

4. 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.


acidtripwow:
Quote:

I received my Virtual Dynamics Power 3 power cord last week and tried it over the weekend. This power cord is huge and heavy. It reminds me of the Tara Labs I had at one time only bigger and heavier. It's as stiff as someone on Viagra! It was like bending a steel cable to get it to go into place. I used it between my Audio Valve RKV II amp and BPT Jr. balanced power conditioner. After that workout I sat down and listened to one of my favorite new DVDs Diana Krall "Live in Paris." The one thing I noticed with the cord in my system was that there was an even blacker background. The amp was dead quiet and all I heard was the clean presentation of the music. My amp now seems to run like a solid state amp but with more warmth and no harshness. The new cord does not take anything away from the music. Everything is clean and crisp as before only more so. From my initial listening sessions I would say that this power cord is definetly worth the investment and I recommend it to anyone looking to tweak their system.


bkelly:
Quote:

I am going to have to make this as short as possible but I will write more later. First off, after being encouraged by Mark to try the VD cables I called Rick and after a brief discussion I purchased a Power Two for my amp and an Audition for my Pre-amp. This is the the way Rick recommended they be used in my system (Marantz A/V9000 and an ATI power amplifier, both purchased from Mark, BTW). This is a conventional speaker system setup (not headphones) with B&W 605 floor-standing speakers with built in, powered subwoofers in each cabinet.

When I first installed them in my system I was shocked at how little they seemed to be doing to improve the sound. The soundstage was a little deeper but almost everything else was no big deal. Within hours though all this had changed and today with about seventy-five hours on them I am beginning to be very impressed.

Here is where I'd like to address Mark's statement that AC cables are more important than IC's. I think he is right, especially in the sense that IC's can be used to enhance a system sonic features or inhibit some characteristic you don't like. With the VD cables I don't hear many changes like this. In my system everything sounds pretty much the same only better. Much better and more musical. For this reason I think he is also correct in saying that power cables should be the last thing you do to your system.

The biggest difference is in the soundstage. Not necessarilly bigger as much as it is deeper. Sound emanates from all sides of the speaker now.

Another very noticaeble improvement and one I have not really heard before with any other equipment upgrade is the fact the weaker sounding material, FM signals and old big band recordings all of a sudden take a big leap forward in their overall sound making them much more valued recordings. Once again this improvement is in line with what I was saying earlier that they still sound the same only better.


bkelly:
Quote:

I'm probaly nearing the 100 hr. point now and everything seems pretty stable but I am paying some attention to comments Mark made to me Saturday about the possibility that his are still breaking in.

I want to address one of the most important points you bring up in your last thread and that is "detail". My experience seems exactly the same and I remember Mark commenting very early on about hearing things for the first time. It also points to what I was saying yesterday about my system being the same only better. I can definitely hear more detail but it is definitely not because the VD cables highlight some specific frequency that the new details exist in. Instead it sounds to me like somehow the VD cables are bringing out more information. I have been in or around the recording industry all my life so I may be a little more familiar with these things than some others (I know what to look for but do not necessarily hear any better than someone else) but I can hear how the different effects are used on Joni Mitchells's "Dog Eat Dog" CD. Now, instead of hearing the mix as a whole I can hear the layers of effects that were used to put it togehter.

I don't want to overdue this improvement because I can't hear this all the time but, even still, I've got to think that rather than emphasizing some particular frequency the VD cables are somehow providing more information. I haven't the first clue how they are doing it but that's my read on it.

I talked (email actually) with Brett at VD and he said that as far as breaking in goes that since the cables provide more current to your equipment you can expect those other components to break in again too. What do you think about that?

I read somewhere that someone claimed that their amplifier ran cooler after installing the VD cables. I haven't checked mine yet so I don't know but I will soon although that's kind of a difficult test for me because the last time I cecked it I can't remember if was in use or idling so I can only guess as to whether or not in runs cooler.


Crucible:
Quote:

Hmm...I spoke with Brett there this afternoon, who was of a differring opinion: He stated that there is a fairly large (sonic)difference between their Basic in any form, versus the 3 (and the cryo 3 is better than the regular 3 in that repsect as well)...just as there is a difference between at 3 and the other higher models. The primary differences include: the basic is 18 gauge, rather the the 3's solid copper 14 gauge...the level of filtering/shielding that takes place as it's done over the cable and covering itself (hence the size of these models, especially compared to the 'better' models as the shielding on those takes place over the conductors themselves, instead of the conductors and coverings as on the 3 and basic), etc. So, while the Basic is a great cable relatively speaking to stock and many custom cables out there, the 3 is better realtive to the Basic.

Whew

Btw, I'd like to thank him for taking the time to talk to me, a relative newby (on the level that I can appreciate the person who stated something to the effect that they originally thought that buying custom power cords was silly and the height of madness). Brett spoke at length wit me (despite being very busy as thier other service rep's being on their lunch break at the time), answering all my silly questions and educating me about not only their equipment, the difference between them all, and the technical theories behind them-I was impressed enough with the customer service alone to buy right then and there...and of course, the price is surely right too!

Und zo......I have two Power 3 (cryo's) coming, and my Mg Head is shivering in excitement.


bkelly:
Quote:

Well I've had the VD Power Two and the Audirition cables running 24 hrs a day for about ten days now and I think everything is broken in. In fact, in the past few days I cannot really hear any new improvements. So I will stick to what I said in my last thread and that is that the Soundstage improvements are the number one difference I have noticed followed closely by the rendering of a new level of detail. I listened to more Classical music this week than in the first and the soundstage presentation was more beleivable than I had previously thought my system was capable of. You could look right at the speakers and not tell that anything was emerging directly from them.

The bass would not be as affected in my system as in others since the speakers are bi-amped and those amplifiers are not using the VD cables. Otherwise my system sounds just as before only better. Much better!

As far as the VD cables being able to deliver more current to the amp thereby causing the amp to run cooler I'm going to say that it's only my best guess since I didn't really measure this scientifically and it's also hard to judge how hard an amp has been working but I feel confident that VD is correct in making this claim (actually it may have been another customer who pointed this out to me).

Anyhow, I am definitely going to try and work out a deal to get a Reference Power cable for the CD player.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

So we all agree the VD audition, reference, signature AC cords produce excellent enhancement to 3D soundstage creation (best I have ever heard)* as well as the ability to reveal fine details previously obscured by our other AC cords.

Another good quality is I feel the VD AC cords are very close to nuetral tonally in my system. Other AC cords I have used tend to
do some of the good things regarding 3D soundstage and detail
retreval but can do some tonal shifting sounding either warm/rich
or bright/lean overall. I really can't say the VDs are either, they just sound nuetral which is very good (unless you are trying to
change your system sound tonally)

* AC cables I have owned or tried in my system last 4yrs:
-HT Pro AC11
-Silver Audio Powerburst
-Shunyata Sidewinder
-Shunyata Mamba
-Synergistic AC master coupler
-AZ Tsunami
-Analysis Plus Power Oval
-Zu Mother
-Zu Birth
-Absolute Power Cord


DarkAngel:
Quote:

You can check my profile button for equipment and see pictures of them at my website button below. Currently using PS Audio High Current Ultimate Outlet for my amps and Monster HTS2000 for front end gear. To answer what I think is your next question, yes
AC cords do improve sound even when used with power conditioner. Careful audition should be used when choosing power conditioner/surge protector since many restrict dynamics and soften sound, unless you unplug gear though I would always use some type of surge protection. (even then I would still use one!) If I was going to upgrade here I would replace the Monster HTS2000 with used PS Audio P300 for front end gear, @$750 at Audiogon currently.

Although the AC cords I have owned have all retailed for @$300 or less there is no contest, the VD Reference AC cords are in another league altogether as far as degree of improvement.
Other cords listed do certain things well and definitely improve sound over stock AC cord (which is why I have tried so many)

As we have stated here several times you must keep AC cord costs in balance with system value since at a certain point money is more effectively spent on upgrading gear.


JohnActon:
Quote:

I just wanted to say that you are all bastards!

Everything was fine; I was probably just going to get another PS Audio Mini-lab cable for my CD player (or maybe a Synergistic AC Coupler), but then....

I read this thread. Dammit, thanks to you guys, it looks like I'll be calling Virtual Dynamics to see what's what. Do you think they are still running any sales? I'm looking at the Audition, but it's pretty expensive. I'd love to try the Reference, but that's TOO expensive. Maybe they have some outlandish sale going.

Hmmmm.... If I like the sound of the VD going to my player, I'll probably have to upgrade the Mini-lab cables going to my amp and Ultimate Outlet.

You guys are killing me!


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Mark
You may be interested to know that my VD Signature Cryo IC has now become my main system IC. After long and careful comparisons with HT ProSilway II, HG Silver Lace etc the VD Sig
finally showed its mettle and pulled ahead.

The main strong point, like the VD Reference AC cords, is the ability to expand the perceived 3D soundstage better than any other IC I have tried in my system. The VD "dynamic filtering" must really be removing mechanical vibrations because I got a similar effect the first time I tried bearing isolation in my system. The bass is also deeper without being muddy or boomy, very good detailing of bass region.

My initial concern with treble extension has been "somewhat" relieved, although not quite as extended as ProSilway II it is close enough when taken as a whole it becomes the superior IC. I'm afraid to try VD speaker cables, where does it end?

May be time to trim my cable collection, to make room for some more VDs


JohnActon:
Quote:

BTW, my Reference Power cables arrived today. You guys are right, and I totally agree with Mark and DarkAngel that these things are a fricking nightmare to install. Holy ****, I've never seen anything like these when it comes to being stiff and unwieldy. I felt like Crocodile Hunter behind my rack trying to man-handle these things into place. My CD player weighs 35 pounds so there was no real problem there, but the rest of my equipment is all fairly lightweight - the VD cables kept wanting to either push them all over the place or pop out of the power receptacle. I finally got it taken care of, but the one cord still doesn't seem like it's completely in all the way. What an ordeal.

They are extremely cool looking, however, and seem to imply visually that they mean business.


JohnActon:
Quote:

DarkAngel, hmmmm.... that's interesting to hear you say that your UO was softening the top-end, even if slightly. I'm going to have to play around with mine. At any rate, like Mark, I feel more secure with some kind of power protection, and as I live in an apartment, I enjoy the increased transparency of power conditioning. If I find that the UO DOES soften the treble, and to an unacceptable degree, than maybe I'll look at a used Power Plant.

I've let the VD Reference AC cables cook for the last few days, and even though I realize that they may not be fully burned-in, I couldn't wait any longer to listen (critically). Here are my brief impressions: these cables sound excellent (especially in light of their current sale price). The soundstage is more expansive and more importantly, the musical images seem to be both more coherent, and more focused, within the soundstage. Sounds that used to seem like they were originating from the "speakers" now seem to be disassociated more from them. The central images float behind the plane of the speakers and are rendered with excellent palpability and solidity. Very convincing.

The bass was a little bloated at first, but this has worn off. There is great extension, but no extra muddiness. The midrange is infused with a kind of glow that gives voices and instruments greater realism, and due to the lowered noise floor (at least that's what it sounds like to me), the References seem to render images a little more cleanly. The treble, for me, may be the best part. Cymbals sound more realistic - a little bit of haze I hadn't realized was there previously is gone. Cymbals seem to shimmer more - there's no additional brightness, but I can better hear the stick hitting the metal at the beginning and I can better hear the decay of the cymbal at the end. Sibilance is reproduced more cleanly. There seems to be more extension and air, while paradoxically, glare is reduced. More detail, less harshness.

Needless to say, I'm extremely pleased. In fact, I'm so pleased, I just called Brett and ordered an additional Reference (at the sale price, I couldn't pass it up). The only problem I'm facing is that of which component on which to install it, the Stax 006t amp or the Ultimate Outlet.


hokiefritz:
Quote:

Just chiming in.

I have the Virtual Dynamics Power 3 hooked up to my Sugden Headmaster and have noticed a small improvement in detail and imaging. I think. I have it plugged into a $20 ratshack surge protector though.

I would plug it straight into the wall but available space is tight and I'd have to rearrange my room because of the cord. The size of these cords is a huge PITA. Perhaps it's time for a fancy power conditioner...

Fifty bucks for a big fat pain in the ass cord that impacts the sound of your system in a positive way is a pretty good deal. It might be hard for some to believe it could make a difference, but it's a relatively cheap test and if you don't like 'em you could use them as a weapon against an intruder.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Oh no, I did it again!
Well boys just ordered 2 VD Power Two Cryo AC cords with the new Flexi-twist connectors........these will go on my two Musical Fidelity XAS100 amps.

Currently using Zu Mothers here which are a very fast detailed AC cord, be interesting to compare the two.

Hirsch
It is long past time that you ordered some more VD cables besides those Power Threes........how much longer can you resist


markl:
Quote:

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. Your Headphone Listening Style (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showt...listening+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.

4. 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.

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.

Since that post I upgraded my power 3's to Signature Cryos which are fabulous, thank you very much.

As for how much one should spend on Power cables vs. ICs, given the fundamentally larger effects of adding the VD power cords, I would advise spendfing at least as much on the power cord as you would on ICs.

But again, you wouldn't add a $1000 cable from your portable mp3 player to your Altoids amp, nor should you over-spend on power cables.


Damn, that was a LOT of work, and I'm only up to page 12. I need a break. If folks think this is worth-while I'll take it up again tomorrow and tackle the next 12 pages... Then the next twelve...


Mark
 
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RVD

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Wow, that had to be a lot work going through all that even if it is just the first 12 pages.
I am interested in the VD cables, but did not want to go through the whole thread to find the useful information. If you got the energy by all means please go ahead with the rest. It would be greatly appreciated by people like me who are too lazy
to go through the whole thread.
 
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Wow, thanks mark! That had to be a bitch. I had trouble sitting still to read the entire thing so I can only imagine what it was like for you. Rick should just stick a link to this thread on the front page of his site and not worry about advertisting. Im not positive about VDs digital and analog ics yet but it looks like I might have to pick up some power cables. Are these any negative reviews at all in that monster of a thread?
 
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Well, I got the cheap VD ac cable and have tried it.

I could not put it on some equipment because it was just to heavy and stiff. Did install it on MG HEAD.

I LIKE IT. Surprise! If I could get one that would do the same thing, for the same price, and not be so unwieldy, I would put it on all my components.

To think I was a disbeliever!

Oh well. Open ears, open mind, open wallet.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by freethetree
Are these any negative reviews at all in that monster of a thread?


There are, but they seem to all be about their lower end products like the Power 3 and 1. I don't remember seeing anything negative about their stuff from the Audition series up. Jude had a basic power cable that he disected and posted photos here. He was less than satisfied with it, but then again it cost a mere $35 or so. VD claims it competes with $500 power cords, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks so. I own a set of Signature power cables and a Reference IC, and I love them both. I will try and compare the stock power cable to see how it compares now that I've had a few weeks to get used to the VD stuff.
 
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Oh well... with or without popular demand, I may as well finish what I started. The next 12 pages of this huge thread (consolidated and edited) follow:

bkelly:

Quote:

In support of what DarkAngel has said about the effects of the Virtual Dynamics cable having a more noticeble effect on (speaking of the soundstage improvement) loudspeakjers as opposed to headphones I accidentally came to understand exactly what DK was talking about. When I started the VD cable experiment I didn't have a full headhone system and so except for the headphone input on the Maranz pre-amplifier I used my conventional speakers to test the cables. Since then I have purchased a Melos Sha-1 (un-modified but with Amperex tubes) and a pair of Sennheiser HD 590's (w/stock cable).

Yesterday the Reference (non-cryo) I purchased from a private individual arrived in the mail so this gave me the perfect opportunity to test this cable with the Melos and plugged directly in the wall outlet. I was shocked at how little difference there seemed to be in the soundstage with the headphones as opposed to the effect the Audition and Power Two (both cryo) had on my loudspeakers when I first installed them. At first, in the pre-amp, I thought the Reference might somehow be inferior to the Audition or Power Two but on closer listening you could tell and hear what the Reference was doing but, still, there was no way it would compare with the effect the other cables had on the loudspeakers in a large room.


I haven't yet put the Reference in with the loudspeaker system but I think I know what the results will be. It will be like the earlier cables only better. If not I will inform everyone here.


bkelly:
Quote:

Stop the Preses!!! No, I definitely didn't mean that. What I was trying to express was that on loudspeakers the soundstagfing effect is quite a bit more dramatic than on headphones. When I first put the Reference cable on the Melos and started listening I was looking for the same dramatic difference I heard on the loudspeakers to be there on the headphones and it simply isn't.

The key word here is "dramatic" because technically speaking it's all still there on the headphones but the headphones cannot duplicate the kind of spatial realism that my speakers can. It may be diffeent for you on your R10's since they are renown for there soundstaging abilities. With my speakers I now hear voices and instruments that literally sound as if they are three feet from the speaker. In fact the B&W's I have used to sound a little to clear and clinical to me but now they sound somewhat like electro-statics.

To make my point easier to understand what I should have said was that if you like your VD cables on your headphones your gonna really love them on conventional speakers. Unless, of course, you own a set of R10's.

I hope that makes it more clear. Sorry for the confusion.


bkelly:
Quote:

Well, I'm around and guess what I did? Yesterday I called Rick and Brett and after deciding to break the bank and purchase two Signature interconnects I let Rick talk me into buying two Nite interconnects and testing the Nite Power cable.

For weeks now both Rick and Brett have ben raving to me about the Nite series stuff continously and in very, very enthusiastic terms so I felt compelled to try it. Myself, I worry that my system is not hi-end enough (about $6,000.00 invested at list prices) to properly evaluate these products but Rick feels very confident.

I also spent well over an hour on the phone with him asking him every conceivable question I could think of relationg to his products and I was very impressed with his responses. He's into the technology behind his products in a big way. He's also a long way from some guy in his basement playing with wires. There is much more to it than that, I assure you. I won't even begin to explain some of his theories or pretend to understand them either but he's into this stuff all the way down to the nuclear level and maybe well beyond that.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Should get my two P2s Monday.Tuesday and I will be very interested to see how they compare to the Zu Mother cords I am using on my two amps now. I was very impressed with these till I got the VD References, and they are pretty reasonable price wise
since they can be had at weekly auctions at Audiogon for $250-300 for 2 meter cord.


JohnActon:
Quote:

Like yourself, I'm starting to wonder if the amount of money I'm allocating to cables (a VERY sizable percentage of my system's total cost) is out of proportion. Would it have been better to have spent more money on the components, themselves? Boy, that's a tough one. But, I will say that I hear HUGE differences between various interconnects, speaker cables and power cords, and I have come to believe strongly that these things are components in their own rights and can make or break a system just as easily as any other "link" in the chain. Also, if you buy top-notch stuff at the outset, then you don't feel as much necessity to upgrade when you change other elements of your system; certainly, my Kimber Select cabling and now my VD Reference power cords ain't going nowhere, no matter what upgrades to my system I make in the forseeable future. At least, I hope not!


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Not to stir things up here any more, and Mark and I have both mentioned this, but my upgrading of all my AC cords to VD and Zu
has produced a bigger improvement in sound quality than any equipment change I have ever made, I am really impressed.

Previously the biggest jump in sound quality was the addition of my Bel Canto Dac 1.1, made every CD sound better and more realistic even previously poor sounding ones, restored my faith in CDs but not erased the memories of my Linn LP12

Tonight I was listening to some CDs I haven't heard in a couple months (before current round of AC cord upgrades) and I was just amazed at the uncovering of new details and expansion of 3D soundstage has me doing double takes on a regular basis........I'm almost afraid to touch my system it sounds so good (for now anyway )

Balanced System
I must keep coming back to this important point which has been mentioned many times here. Don't over spend on cables without having equal level of equipment or your money will not get optimum results. Your upgraded cables are just allowing your existing gear to pass more information, so make sure your gear is up to the task of providing a good signal.

As a matter of fact my next purchase will be new audiophile CDP or Bel Canto Dac 2 since I think my cables are currently matched to my gear and money is better spent to improve music signal with new gear vs upgrading cables anymore.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Hey my P2's just arrived, these have the newest flexi-twist feature at the female end of cable. What VD did was last 5-6 inches of cord at female end has reduced diameter and is very bendable so a tight radius bend is available, also retains shape you bend it to.

This will be very helpful behind equipment racks requiring much less space to acheive 90 degree bend and removing stress from IEC connector.

Am breaking in these cables for next few days, then will compare to my Zu Mothers and see how they fare.


JohnActon:
Quote:

I also just received my Reference AC cord from Virtual Dynamics. For some reason, I found it considerably less difficult to get the thing installed and plugged in (although it sure doesn't look very nice). I think I'm learning how to deal with these things.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Call to Canada Today
One more VD Reference on the way to complete my set of AC cords for system. Ric mentioned that they have cable cooker now to break-in cables before shipping.

BK
Ric is offering very good price on Nite cords to spread the word, but even the "very" good price is too much for me. If my system only used 3 cords then maybe, Ric said I would really like them more vs References. What is your ETA for Nite cords?

P2 vs Zu Mother
In my system a slight edge goes to P2 for my two Musical Fidelity amps. Slightly better 3D soundstage and deeper bass, although Mother has slightly more extended and detailed treble, and is physically much easier to handle. System matching is key and some may prefer Mother in their system. I will still keep 1 or 2 Mothers around and may use one somewhere in my system since other than slight lack of deep bass they are very good performers.


JohnActon:
Quote:

Okay, while my latest VD Reference cord (running into the Ultimate Outlet) is perhaps still not fully burnt-in, I'm pretty confident that it sounds close to what it's supposed to.

I've been switching out the VD cords for the PS Audio Mini-Labs cords, and the VD cords are pretty amazing in comparison. The main reason why I'm posting is that I have to share my experience from last night. I was listening to Bill Frisell's excellently recorded "Blue Dream" CD, and at moderate volume, the boys seemed like they were right in my room. The soundstaging ability of these VD cords is outstanding. The drums were huge and behind the guitars and sax, the guitars floated between my speakers, and when they moved to the far left or right of the soundstage, they appeared to be emanating from behind and slightly beyond the speakers. The sax was dead center, and depending on the track appeared to be either behind the guitars or slightly in front of my speakers. My room is currently not very acoustically friendly; I didn't think it possible for me to realize this kind of holographic imaging. Taking out the VD cords removed a lot of this imaging magic; the performance sounded less live, more "reproduced". And, at least in comparison to the PS Audio cables, I don't feel the VD cords limit the air or extension in the treble at all. Of course, these cables are all copper; I haven't heard any silver power cords.

Overall, I'm super pleased. I just need to make sure I stay away from that Nite stuff.


markl:
Quote:

Given that the only power cords I've tried are VD, I've tried PLENTY of other ICs:
My experience isn't exhaustive, but in terms of ICs, I have, though, heard the following (and you'll recall I *only* have the VD Reference Cryo ICs), in order from least to most favorite:

1. Monster 550i ($50)
2. MIT T4 ($60)
3. Monster Z-Series ($120)
4. MIT Terminator 2 ($120)
5. Music Metre- Signature ($240)
6. Stealth Cables FLR with copper shielding ($240)
7. Audio Magic Spellcaster ($400)
8. VD Signature Cryo ($600 list)

IMO, the VD Signature is in a whole different class from the rest, but granted it's got a more expensive price tag.


bkelly:
Quote:

Originally I only had the VD stuff connected to my power amp and pre-amp and it was from that basic setup all my original comments were made about the effectiveness of the VD cables in my system. In anticipation of getting the Nite Series stuff and after some encouragement from Rick and Mark I made an adapter to hook the standard cord on my CD player to the Reference VD cable. The improvement was very noticeable and as I have said in past it is the same improvements I have experienced with all of the VD cables, only more of it. If I could only use one word to describe it it would be "quality". The VD stuff makes your equipment sould like you bought the more expensive stuff.

Also, this time I measured (by the feel of it only) the heat my CD player was putting out and I can now say for certain that with the VD cables installed it change from running hot enough to worry about to only slightly warm. I think that alone is incredible and is proof that the cables are doing something significant, at least technically.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

JJust to prove I don't work for VD, I sold my VD Signature ICs today
after long evaluating vs other ICs I have. I find them lacking just a bit in treble extension, therefore I am going with silver ICs in my system. The Sigs had the same remarkable 3D properties as AC cords, but I need that treble extension. Other peoples systems may match better for these, especially if your system is a bit bright.

Mark won't like me anymore


DarkAngel:
Quote:

I was just thinking
With the money from my Signature IC sale, I could now proably get a VD Nite AC cord..........


DarkAngel:
Quote:

I received my money for VD Sig ICs sale today, and I will return another Zu Mother AC cord tomorrow for refund so I do have the money for another call to Canada.............would have to be either Signature or Nite AC cord


DarkAngel:
Quote:

I guess just to be very general I think the VD AC cords are breakthrough products and are clearly better than any other cord I have heard at their price, capable of making dramatic improvements in system sound. I would definitely get an Audition or higher cord since I think the 3 cable designs are easier to use and provide a big increase in sound from P2, P3 etc.

The VD Sig IC I feel is good but not a knock out vs the competition like the VD AC cords are. For me I can get similar priced ICs from competitors that are as good or better in my system. I am missing a slight amount of treble extension and dynamic energy that I get with a good silver IC, to me the VD Sig sounds a bit relaxed or laid back, slightly warm sounding. I wish
VD had an affordable silver IC.

Now of course in another system this may be perfect match, so it all depends on what system it is used in.


bkelly:
Quote:

As much as I'm begining to like Rick and Brett personally I do have the same concerns as you about the products I have tried so far. I realize I don't have the experience you have with current products but I am a professional musician so, hopefully, I am not deaf and hopefully I know what things are supposed to sound like.

With that in mind it's my opinion that the soundstaging of the VD products is Class A all the way and, as you say, they are clearly "breakthrough" products (I defer to your greater experience on this) but I also would like a little more excitement on the top end. As I've said before this is a preference of mine and may not affect others as much so if you are reading this and haven't tried the VD cables yet don't rule them out. I assure you you have not heard anything like these before.

I've said it before but I'll say it again and that is that the VD stuff provides more detail than anything I've heard or tried so far but, at the same time, to my ears the presentation is just slightly too soft or sophisticated sounding to make me feel 100% satisfied. I need more drama. More excitement.

This brings me to a point. To my ears many products which have a reputation for great soundstaging have a similar effect and that is that in order to make it sound big everything is spread out tall, wide and deep but often at the expense of any forwardness. I am sure that there are many audiophiles who like this effect but I am not one of them and I do not believe that this is the way music sounds in the real world. This effect to me is sort of like 2 and 1/2 dimensions rather than 3D. I do not just want to look at the picture I want to jump in and look around a bit. Be there with it -- not just observing.

This is why I ordered the Nite Series. I am hoping to get the whole picture.


bkelly:
Quote:

I just wrote you guys a lengthy and detailed first impression of the Nite Power but my computer locked when I tried to send it. Now I will have to make it short and to the point.

I was afraid that when I got the Nite stuff I might like it so much that you guys would think I was lying when I wrote in to rave about them but I'm hoping that you won't anyway because there is no way to say it but to say that the Nite Power is absolutely incredible in my system. It is also quite a bit different than the earlier stuff. The differences are also so obvious you don't even have to be listening to hear them. I can stand in the next room and hear the improvements plainly.

First off the soundstage is even bigger (especially in height) and overall the presentation is much, much more exciting and more dramatic. Drums and percussion sound like the players mean business. They are not just keeping track of time anymore. Mids or bigger and the bass is in a completely different class than before. More seperation down there at the bottom and much tighter. Almost a dry (like dry wine,) sound. Really nice for me because I listen to accoustic jazz most of the time although for this review I was listening to Sting in the 15 minutes I've listened to the Nite stuff so far. See, it doesn't take long to hear these differences.

Anyhow, I'm off for some further listening. Maybe you guys will have something to say while I'm offline.

Overall I am going to have to say that the Nite Series is much better than I expected. Truthfully in my wildest dreams I would have never thought that there could be such an improvement over the other VD cable I was using.


bkelly:
Quote:

I'm back,

Well, I've got to say that this easily the most excited I can ever remember being after purchasing an audio component. The sound of the Nite power is just the way I like to hear it. Exciting, detailed and dramatic.

I have now listened to everything from Sting to Miles Davis to Nine Inch Nails and follwed that with classical violinist Maxim Vengerov performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto on DVD. For those of you who don't know him you are in for a shock because at about 27 years of age there are many people who feel that he may already be the greatest violinist who ever lived. I am sure he is an he'd be my candidate for the greatest living musician. If you are at all interested in him email me and Ill help turn you on.

Anyhow, my system has never sounded anywhere near this good. My daughter was sitting next to me on the couch as I was listeng to "Sketches Of Spain" by Miles Davis and I noticed she had a funny look on her face and I asked her if everything was OK and she said she was fine she was just in deep concentration listening to the music because it sounded so beautiful. That should actually be the difinitive review because she hates Miles Davis and anything remotely jazzy.

When I ordered the Nite stuff I was so happy with the Reference, Audition and Power Two cables I had I was only hoping for some mild improvements to what I already recognized as probably the state of the art in power cables. Well Rick blew that hope out of the water by fixing things I didn't even know were broken. The Nite stuff is alive with music. Incredibly alive! I am so happy with this cable that I have not even plugged in my Nite interconnects. And, I am so sold on the power cable even at this point I will not be waiting for 30 days to go by before paying for them I will be sending Virtual Dynamics their money tomorrow and beg Rick to let me trade in my Refence and Audition on more Nite stuff.

To Dark Angel and John,

You both should reconsider Rick's offer to let you audition these things becasue you really need to experience this. Don't wait until these things are twice the price. You might even save money in the long run because this is the end of neurotic upgrade-itis for me. My system sounds great and only a few hours ago I thought it sounded good but needed work (upgrade-itis).

Mark,

You, on the other, hand were right in feeling like you would have to have them if you tried them because there would be no way you would be able to return them after the audition. No way. A special "thanks" goes to you for getting us all started down this road with VD. Fortunately, I don't think I'm traveling down that road anymore, I think I've finally arrived.


bkelly:
Quote:

Of course, I listened my system until 2:00 AM and I am still in shock at the difference. It sounds like I bought all new amplification. I am amazed at the difference a single power cable made. I should mention again that I was able to ugrade the pre-amp from Audition to Reference and the power amp from Power Two to Audition at the same time because I had the Nite series in the CDP where the Reference originally was. I don't know what difference that made to the final result but I am sure that what I am hearing is what is being produced by the Nite cable because I never heard these kind of differences with the other cables.

Dark Angel was absolutely correct in saying that the earlier cables mainly improved the soundstage characteristics. Add to that how much cleaner things get and the increased level of detail with the earlier series and you have pretty much covered the magic that is the Audition, Reference and Power series. I have never tried the Signature so I don't know what they are like but I do know that they are more related technically to the other cables than they are to the Nite series.

The Nite Series is another animal altogether! They once asked asked guitarist Jeff Beck why he switched from using Gibson guitars to using Fender's and he said that the Gibson's were like fine musical instruments while the Fender's were more like weapons. More lethal! That is the way the Nite Power is. The Nite stuff is so exciting it could be lethal. Might cause heart attacks.


markl:
Quote:

I want everyone to know that I got a very excited voice-mail from bkelly late last night. Suffice to say, he was very very enthused about the Nite Series cable, and was so happy-- he couldn't wait to tell me in person! I wasn't around to take the call, but I could tell he was almost speachless about these cables!

He's had a chance to hear a lot of the VD cables at different price points in the line, so I take him at his word that the Nite Series is really in a different class.

As soon as I get some things sorted out money-wise, I for one will be in touch with VD about the Nite Series.

Thanks for posting your impressions, Brian, and I'm glad they worked out so well for you!


JohnActon:
Quote:

Alright, I've been thinking. Temperance has raised her beautiful head. I'm now considering holding off on looking into the Nite AC cords, and ultimately may decide to stick with my Reference AC cords. Two reasons:

1) I've been re-reading the posts on this thread and I also wnt back and re-read the review by Matt on VD's website. It sounds like as you move up through the VD AC cord lineup, the ability to resolve detail increases. Here'e the thing; my system already does very well in presenting detail. My Magnepan speakers are very fast and very adept at uncovering every detail in the recording. My room size dictates that I listen in the nearfield, and I'm concerned that any more "detail" may push the balance forward into stridency. Right now there is no extra emphasis placed on sibilants, and on well-recorded material, cymbals are placed proportionally in the soundstage. Likewise, the Stax Omega II has that rare ability to paradoxically lay bare every detail hiding in a recording but do so in a musically cohesive fashion, without drawing attention to the details themselves. Is it possible that the Nite cords might let through even more detail present in either my system or recordings, to the point that it is overly analytical or fatiguing?

2) I've been re-reading Dark Angel's and Mark's posts at the beginning of this thread (way back in the mists of time) regarding proportion and balance in regards to audio system purchasing and synergy. If I purchase the Nite cords, my components will not be much more expensive than all the cords feeding them. That can't be right, can it?

Opinions, please? Can anyone talk me out of this disturbing brush with sanity?


bkelly:
Quote:

I know all of those arguments and made some of them myself early on but I kid you not the Nite Series sort of defies logic. You can look it up but my system is nice but no better than quality mid-fi and all of a sudden it sounds quite nearly like the expensive stuff.

I've been tryng to all day to figure out a formula for upgrading equipment versus VD power cables. Like I said earlier, my system now sounds like I made a serious upgrade in amplifiers. I don't know how much I would have had to spend upgrading amplifiers to get an equal improvement but I am sure it would be more than the amount that a Nite Power lists for.

Here's where my system stands now. It still sounds wonderful and much better than I was expecting. I am so happy that I called Rick and Brett today and paid off the one I was auditining in my system. I also, ordered another one.

I am so satisfied with my system just as it is I haven't even put the Nite interconnects in the system yet. I will soon though.

John, I still don't see why you wouldn't audition the Nite Series in your own system. You can return it if you don't like it. If you try it you can make an informed decision. No guessing. If you r listening environment is just as you say the Nite series may be a bit much for you because they are intensely dynamic sounding. They are not bright though and there is no edginess what-so-ever. You have to hear them to really understand.


bkelly:
Quote:

I do realllllly like the Nites. This is the most excited I have ever been over an audio purchase. I can't tell you how much my system seemed to come to life after installing the Nite Power but it was much more than anyone would have imagined from a power cable and more than all of the other VD stuff I purchased combined. I swear that is true, too!

I should add some technical info I got from Rick so you can better evaluate my comments. As I explained in an earlier thread I built an adapter to hook my CDP cable to my VD power cables since the CDP's cable is non-removeable. Rick says that because there is still five feet of stock power cable in my system the Reference would still work but would not operate at 100% efficiency. However, Ricks says the Nite Power would be much less affected by this setup and that would also explain why in my system the leap from Reference to Nite seemes almost unbelevable. So, put that into the equation when considering my comments on the Nite Series in my system.

I'm going to stick with my observation that the Nite sounds like a different animal than all of the rest of the VD cables. This stuff is DYNAMIC!!! It's ALIVE!!! It is RADICALLY more DETAILED!!! You haven't heard percussion until you've heard this. However, it is not bright nor is it necessarilly more forward or aggressive. In that sense and also in it's soundstage presention it is a lot like like the earlier cables. Like them it provides more detail without any brightness and the soundstage is wonderful. The Nite series is more 3D and, in my system, the soundsatege is quite a bit taller. The warm sophisticated sound of the earlier series is gone. This is no longer a romantic evening for two at a five-star restuarant this is like skipping dinner altogether and going straight to the Wild Sex.


markl:
Quote:

Why is this man smiling?

Because he has just been informed that VD is sending him a complimentary Nite Series power cord, that's why!

Yes, winging its way to me from Canada as I type is my very own top-of-the-line VD power cord, just for sharing my experiences with you monkeys!

Thanks Brett and Rick! I can't wait!


JohnActon:
Quote:

Well, the deal's done. I have sold my soul! I just hope that Audio Hell is not a Britney Spears 8-track playing over a York all-plastic mini-system.

Yep, I caved in record time (even for me). Brett answered the phone with a "Hello, John. Welcome back." I didn't even have to say anything.

Okay, in all seriousness, Brett was extremely cool and knowledgeable, and he answered all my questions and provided the advice I was looking for (in a totally objective manner, providing both sides to every issue under discussion). Basically, he provided the information and pros and cons to that information, and I made the decision to go or not go with the Nite, accordingly.

So, the good stuff - I asked Brett if I could buy two Nite AC cords. He's going to let me compare them to my References, and if I like them and want to keep them, he will let me return two of my References for credit towards the Nite cords.

Pretty awesome customer service, yes? I would imagine that if anyone here who already has VD stuff were to ask nicely, this exchange program could probably be arranged for them as well, depending on what you were intending to upgrade to, of course. You'd have to ask, though, as I don't want to speak for Brett and Rick.


elybry:
Quote:

Brent turned me on to this site and I have read the posts over the past couple of days. I know that this is a head phone site, but I don't have any headphones, so I hope I am allowed to post. I too began my quest to upgrade over the past year. Initially a pre/pro, then a dvd-a player, then a 2 and 3 channel amps,then I added speakers, and then cables. First some interconnects some analysis plus copper, then stealth cws and scr. Then speaker cables, some stealth premier copper. Then I had a dreaded buzz come from my speakers. What was this, ground hum? I then decided I needed a power conditioner. While this was on order, I thought why not try a hospital grade power cord which I had easy access to. Hmmmm, there is a difference here. Maybe there is something to all this hype. I did some research, which power cord to get? I decided to try the Stealth M21 cord which I found at a great price on Audiogon and the Virtual Dynamics power 2. The power 2 arrived first. Wow, this is huge. I plugged it in and was completely blown away. What detail, soundstage, and musicality. A greater improvement than when I upgraded speakers. If this power cord could do this much, just wait until the top of the line stealth. I also noticed that my amps did run significantly cooler to the touch. It arrived and I was disappointed. Nowhere near the sound quality. Both of these cords were broken in before listening. I was now a believer in power cords. I was also amazed at the sound from the vd cords. If their basic power cord is this good, what about their other lines. Which line to chose? Where was the point of diminishing returns? Probably their middle of the line. At this point I had ordered a reference cable package which was made and ready to ship, then I thought how much better can the nite series be? Well, after several discussions with Rick and e-mails with Brian and several other people who have tried the audition, reference, signature, and nite; I have decided to take the ultimate plunge - a nite series package of pc, ic and speaker cables. I will update you when I receive them and hook them up. I can't wait.


bkelly:
Quote:

Friends,

You just missed me writing a scathing review of the Nite IC's. Here's what happened. When I came home tonight I installed the interconnects in my system and sat back to enjoy my latest visit to hi-fi Nirvana but it quickly became apparent that, with the Nite IC's in the system, my system sucked and sucked bad, too. It was dark and hazy and the mids sounded out of phase. I was shocked at the drop in performance and really began to panic. I knew I was going to have to review these things on this site and my extreme disappointment was going to look pretty nutty. And, truthfully I felt a little ill for Rick and Brett who would be hurt personally and professionally by my harsh review.

At first I thought of calling Mark but I decided to call Rick instead and just to be fair ask him if there was any possibility that the cables were broken or somehow defective. Fortunatley, for this story, Rick could not come to the phone and I told whoever answered to have him call me as soon as possible and that my call was important.

Well after getting off the phone I didn't even return to the living room to listen to my system I just stayed in the family room and played my guitar while I waited for Rick to call me back. After a wait of about forty-five minutes I went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and while I was in there I noticed that my sytem didn't seem to sound quite as bad as before. So, I walked into the living room and checked it out. Damn, it sounded pretyy good so I decided to change a couple of CD's and check it out further and, sure enough, it sounded just like before only a little better, especially in the bottom end. Bass was really tight now.

I thougt about this for awhile and came to the conclusion that the IC's must not have been burned in like the power cable.

Rick finally called and when I asked him about whether or not they had been burned in he said they definitely had been but what he said was happening was that the when cables are burned in it is at very high voltages and when you first get them they are basically "highly "charged" and that this affects the sound for about forty-five minutes. Makes it "hazy" sounding was his description. He also said that the cables are directional and after checking mine it turned out that all of them were in backwards (opposite from the way they were burned in). So, I turned them around and came here to let you guys know what is going on. So far, so good, but at this point it is too early for me to say much about the IC's. In the short period I heard them in my system I think it's safe to say that they are definitley in the same family as the Nite Power. Whether or not the improvement is as dramatic as the installation of the Nite Power I can't say yet for certain.


bkelly:
Quote:

I can't imagine anyone claiming that the VD cables have a "thin" sound. Dark Angel and I have both made the observation that on the earlier cables the top end was slightly soft but, as far as I know, no one else has even commented on that.

As far as the Nite Series goes, in my sytem this stuff increases the dynamic impact so much that the Nite Series should be thought of as the audio equivalent of a Raging Bull. Still, even with that, it's neither harsh or aggressive. Dynamics is one thing you can't k make up, if it is not on the recording to begin with you can't create it. So, in my opinion, what the Nite Series is doing is just letting you hear how the recording actually sounds. So, I don't know whoever said that originally but in my opinion "thin" is out of the question as far as CD cables go.


JohnActon:
Quote:

I've been playing around with my Ultimate Outlet yesterday and today. Based on Brett and Rick's recommendations that their AC cords be plugged straight into the wall outlet rather than into any sort of power conditioner, I've been experimenting with running my CD player and amp straight into the wall, sans UO. I've gone back and forth a couple of times to be sure of what I'm hearing (I must have looked like Crocodile Hunter manhandling snakes, as I twisted, bent and contorted the Reference cords to make them work for the various arrangements - CRIKEY!) Here are my findings:

First, the good stuff: when I took the UO out of the circuit, I discerned an immediate increase in dynamics. In fact, it almost sounded like music was louder at the same volume setting. Also, soundstaging was improved - more spacious and enveloping in the macro sense, and there was improved image specificity in the micro sense. The soundstage expanded and also allowed me to better pick out the placement of instruments within the soundstage. Music also just seemed to be more cohesive, and I found myself being able to relax more. It wasn't as much "work" to listen, while at the same time, I was able to hear more of the music. It's like I was able to hear more of the performance, less of the "sound", if that makes any sense.

Now the bad stuff: with the UO out of the circuit, music seemed more veiled, less clear. I really do think there is something to PS Audio's claims regarding the 40db reduction in noise and grunge. There was more brightness, more clarity with the UO in the path. When I took it out, the treble seemed to drop a db or two. This was actually not bad on poor-sounding recordings. Still not sure whether this is good or bad on well-recorded material. However, I noticed that whenever I put the UO back into the circuit, the musical picture became more disjointed again; the new-found clarity kind of took away from the music, and things didn't flow as well. I seem to enjoy the music more with the UO out of the circuit, even if things are a little duller than I had gotten used to before. I'm going to keep playing with it. Brett and I were talking about this yesterday and I was going to call him and let him know all this, but then I thought I'd post here, so everyone could labor through this (and also to keep the Schultz brothers from filing for a restraining order to keep me from calling constantly).

BTW, I got a shipment confirmation from VD. No details were provided as to the contents, but as I've only got an order placed for the Nite AC cords, what else could it be? This is considerably ahead of schedule. Pretty awesome. Perhaps Rick has hired neighborhood kids to help with production?


JohnActon:
Quote:

Hi Mark,

You raise some very interesting points regarding my experiences with the Ultimate Outlet. Yep, I do think the UO was limiting dynamics slightly (despite PS Audio's contrarian claim). But when it comes to the slight loss in clarity/detail with the UO out of the circuit, your guess is as good as mine. Either the UO really was filtering some grunge out of my line, thereby allowing me to hear more of the (especially treble) details, or, like you said, the UO was somehow coloring the sound. Honestly, I'll probably never know for sure. I do know that music sounds a little smoother, a little more dynamic and a little more cohesive with the UO out of the circuit. I'm going to leave it out for now.

The only question is, what the heck do I do with the third (extra) Reference AC cord? Hmmmm... I'm actually thinking about sending it to Kelly; I'd love to hear what he thinks of it (especially on his modded '777ES, whenever he gets it back).

As for VD's recommendation that the best cables be utilized with one's source components, the reason is simple: everything starts at the source, thus you want the cleanest, most transparent signals you can get, right from the beginning. The old adage "garbage in, garbage out" is very relevant in this situation; if the signal coming from the source isn't the best, then nothing will be able to clean it up down the line. Putting a Nite cord on an amp while putting a Power 3 cord on the upstream CD player is counter-intuitive; the Nite cord will be limited by the Power 3 cord upstream. This is not to malign the (reputedly excellent) Power 3 cord, rather I'm saying that greater benefits would be realized by using the Nite on the CD player and Power 3 on the amp. I would imagine if you ask them, the guys at VD would respond that the hierarchy of component importance is source, preamp, amp (in that order) in regards to cabling.

Looking forward to the Nites!!!


markl:
Quote:

kelly,
I have my cords plugged into a Monster HTS1100, the newer version of the 2000. The 1100/2100 have improved surge protection over earlier models, plus the filtering/power conditioning has been updated. DA compared a 2100 to his 2000 and felt the 2000 sounded better, though.

So, again, my results were obtained with a power conditioner despite potentially better benefits from going straight to the wall.


bkelly:
Quote:

Well I am finally ready to make a few comments about the performance of the Nite Series interconnects First off, I should say that I really like my system now and that the reason I haven't been doing nitely sessions of critical listening is that Id' much rather listen to music.

As most of you already know simply changing from a Reference cable to a Nite Series cable in my system (I still have other VD cables in my system) was the Holy Grail for me. It was the biggest audio improvement I have ever heard in any system I have ever owned. Nothing could have prepared me for that much of a boost. Since I was already familiar with several of the VD cables in my own sytem I was only expecting an improvement in the same degree or slightly better than I had experienced with their other cables. However what I got was more like a transformation! My system just woke up somehow. It really became ACTIVE in a big way. It was no longer just clean, clear and acceptable sounding it was really happening.

I have no idea why this happend or how it was accomplished but everyone who has heard the system since has been quickly impressed. It really is that obvious. You don't have to AB it with anything . If you heard my sytem a month before and walked in the room a month later you would know instantly that I had done something significant.
So, I was so happy and so sure that I was at or near the top of what my system could ever possibly hope to do I thought the interconnects were probably a waste of time. I could have sent them back without even trying them I was so happy with my sytem after the Nite Power was installed.

Finally I put in the IC's and low and behold there was an improvement. It was not however anything like the degree I experienced with the power cable. It was also very much like upgrading the earlier power cables in that rather than improve anything or add anything they specifically they just strengthened what was already happening. The only noticeable special improvements I could hear that could be attributable to the IC's was a larger and warmer midrange and a somewhat tighter bass (by this point though the bass is pretty freaking tight, though). Overall the sytem with the IC's installed has an easier feeling to it just like it's no big deal to sound good and even at loud volumes it doesn't break into a sweat.

I will add that from what I've said to Rick about my experience he said he was kind of surprised at how much improvement I got with the power cable swap alone and he felt that the IC addition should have been bigger.

Me, I just know what I know.

My wife says I am very contrary so maybe that's it.

I do plan to keep on going in the Nite Series though until everything is Nite. Speaker cables and all. It will take awhile but it will happen.

I hope you guys find this helpful. It will be very interesting to see what happens in each of your systems with the addition of the Nite Power. If it's like what happened in mine -- lookout


bkelly:
Quote:

As far as our experiences go with the VD cables I still have to repeat myself that the Nite Power was a unexpected leap forward. It was truly the audio equivalent of the Cinderalla effect. Whether or not I could get similar effects using other interconnects as opposed to the Nites is something that any of us would naturally consider primarilly due to the price of the Nite IC's. In think I am a little squemish on this one though for a couple of reasons. The first is that I am extremely pleased with my system the way it is a to much. The second is psychological in that if I did change to another brand I would always wonder if those other cables were really working in harmony with the VD cables especailly when you consider that the VD stuff is supposed to be a proprietary technology. The third is rather more personal and if you like you can add this factor into anything I have say about VD's offerings and that is that I like Rick and Brett very much personally and I do feel a certain loyalty to them and, as a result, I would be a little reluctant to shop elsewhere as long as I am satisfied with them. Fourth is I think VD is way out front on this cable stuff and that's where I want to be with my system.

Needless to say, if you find something better email me right away.

As far as my feelings for Rick and Brett goes and whether or not it would cloud my view of their cables I need to say that, in general, I am a very loyal person to everyone who is close to me. But, that would also go for the people at Head-Fi and particularly those invloved in this thread. I can't imagine deceiving anyone and I do the very best I can to be truthful and fair to everyone concerned.

That reminds me I forgot to estimate the degree of improvement I experienced with the IC's added in. Last night I likened it to the experience of moving up one level in the earlier power cables. I used this analogy because of the close family connection in the sound of those products (hopefully that makes sense to everyone). What I need to add is that if a jump like that would be 100% the addition of the Nite IC's to the Nite Power was more like an improvement of 40% to 60% in my system. And as I said in my erlier comments it seemed to solidify the other improvemnts more so than add additional improvements. Althought there are those additional improvements to. Number one was a bigger and more realistic sounding mid-range.


markl:
Quote:

Nite Series Power Cable---WOW.

OK I'm back. The cable has about 20 hrs of burn-in on my Sony SCD-333ES SACDP with Modwright mods and Bybee filters, and I listened some yesterday I've been listening the entire afternoon today.

As you will recall, I already owned the Signature cryo, which used to be VD's top-of-the-line cord before they intoduced the new Nite Series. I wasn't sure how much difference to expect between the two. Would the difference be audible to me?

Hell ya. With each step up I've taken in the VD power cord line, I continue to be amazed at how much more performance there is left to be squeezed out of the components I already own. How can the blackness of the background get any blacker? How can the instruments be separated any more? How can the sound get any more substantial? How can it sound more "real"? Surely there's no more detail to be retrieved from my favorite CDs, haven't I heard it all? Turns out I haven't. You can't really imagine what you're missing until you hear the next step up in the line.

You may also recall that I said the Signature cryo over the Power 3 provided about 50% of the quantum leap that the Power 3 gave me over the stock cord. If I had to quantify the difference between the Nite Series and the Signature Cryo, I'd say it's equal to the difference between the Signature cryo and Power 3, if you follow. I'll try to illustrate:

Stock cord----->----->----->----->Power 3----->----->Sig cryo----->----->Nite
<-------------OH MY GOD--------------><-------WOW------><-------WOW------>

In other words, I might have expected a larger leap between the Power 3 and the Sig Cryo (given that VD has the Power 2, Power 1, and Reference cords in between the Power 3 and Signature), and a much smaller one between the Sig cryo and the Nite Series (merely the next step up in the line). Don't get me wrong, the difference between the Sig cryo and the Power 3 is easily discernable and very very substantial (I mean look--- "WOW!!! ). However, I detect that same impressive leap between the Sig cryo and the Nite Series. What this says to me is that the Nite Series really is a fundamentally different beastie than the rest, providing a much larger leap in performance than you'd expect by simply taking the next step up in the line.

To be more specific about the Nite, here's what I spy off the bat vs. the Sig cryo:
The Nite Series is even "clearer" and more "open" sounding than the Sig, and much more dynamic. The Nite has more "bite" and stronger "attack" than the Sig cryo. Detail retrieval and resolution is improved quite a bit, too. The range of sound presented (frequency response) seems to be even wider with the Nite. Talk about black backround-- they didn't choose the name of this cable by accident! A result of the blacker background is even better 3D soundstaging that the VD cords have become known for here. It's hard to think of any area of the sound that *isn't* improved by the Nite.

So, thumbs up, way way up!


JohnActon,
Quote:

Brian, Mark, DA,

I've finally had a chance to listen to the Nite AC cords. I'm still going to do more listening before coughing up a full review, but here are my initial impressions. The Nites are a definite step up from the Reference cords, but the differeences aren't as great as moving from the stock cords to the References. The References really are great cords.

Having said that, the areas that the Nite cords really improve upon (to me) is treble extension (air) and soundstaging. The treble is more extended, with more air around instruments, but paradoxically, there is less brightness and glare to the sound. Things sound a little more real; a good analogy would be to compare digital with analog - CD sounds brighter, but really good analog presents more detail with less harshness. The Nites present "relaxed detail". Totally non-fatiguing.

Likewise, soundstaging is improved. Width and depth are both increased (height seems to remain unchanged). Sounds now appear to emanate from beyond the outer edges of my speakers (something I didn't think was possible in my small room). It's not tremendous, but there is a little more width. Depth is likewise better; the soundstage is deeper, but more importantly, the images are more layered - it's easier to place instruments. Lastly, soloing instruments and vocals are more dimensional, more real. The seem more solid, and the illusion that someone is singing or playing right in front of me is increased.

Bass appears to be the same, but the References were already very good in this regard. Also, dynamics appear to be better (it's subtle), but I think this is due to the increase in detail moreso than because of any actual betterment of dynamics. More research is needed.

In short, they really are great cables. I'm going to keep playing with them for a little while, but it looks like the References are definitely going back to Virtual Dyanamics. Rick and Brett have created a truly excellent product. Thanks, guys! Also, my thanks to Mark for starting off this thread; I probably never would have discovered this stuff without you. I love you, man.



*Whew*. OK that's pages 12-25. There's still another 12+ pages to go. I may just stop here without further encouragement. Hope this helped you.

Mark
 
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Czilla9000

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Yes plz continue....or else VD will have to take back that complemetary Nite cable
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Czilla9000
Yes plz continue....or else VD will have to take back that complemetary Nite cable


Looks like someone here has read the entire original post!!!
 
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Joe Bloggs

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nevermind
 
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Hey thanks man, really. I couldnt imagine summarizing all that. This has helped me alot in deciding which cables to get because I really didnt want to have to put over $15,000 on my credit card to test em all.

As for the Encouragement, youve already done 2/3rd of it, you cant give up now. Whats another 12 or so pages?
 
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I think I am finished with the upgrading as I now have a complete Nite system. I added the Nite compnent video and have noticed that picture quality has improved slightly. I am still waiting for my Proceed CVP2 to convert all video to component.

The detail on the audio is getting to the point where I wonder if it is too revealing. I continue to hear sounds I never heard before, the detail in some cases is annoying and wonder if it actually sounded that way or if it is somehow enhanced and in some way sounds distorted. The bass has come around and sounds great. I just continue to let it play and listen, and wonder if there is not some form of enhancing happening here or if I am hearing more defencies in my B&W's. I would be interested in hearing from those of you that have these Nites in your systems to see if you are noticing similar trends.
 
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OK, here's the rest...

DarkAngel:
Quote:

DA will keep the Nite AC cord
Just talked to Ric, and purchased the Nite AC cord I had for trail. The Nite is installed on my CDP replacing a VD Reference. Also made arrangements to return my two P2 AC cords and get another Reference AC cord. This will allow me to have both Musical Fidelity amps using References cords vs P2 cords.

I think I mostly agree with JA in his asessment, the Nite is a noticeable step up from Reference, but not really a huge advance.
Tonally it sounds the same as Reference just does everything a bit better (which is quite an acheivement!) As you move up to the top VD cords you hear amazing detail retreval presented in a very natural, unforced way. I listen to recordings I have heard 50 times
or more and hear new sounds revealed. The best way to descibe
this recovery of fine detail and musical nuance is that what previously sounded like a single sound/note is now revealed to have leading edge, sustain, decay creating a new complexity and wealth of detail. I think there must be something to this "dynamic filtering" since it seems to be removing a distortion/smearing effect and reveals previously obscured details. All of this is acheived without any obvious tonal shifting, sound is balanced and natural in my system.

The 3D soundstage again is massive, truely amazing and most impressive..........I love it! If you stereo is properly set up in a nearfield arrangement you get incredibly huge soundstage, the effect here is much more dramatic than any IC or speaker cable change I have ever heard, often has me doing a double take.
I made my UPS man sit on the couch and listen for a minute,
played some Tom Petty and his jaw literally dropped, he went on for a couple minutes ranting how real it sounded.......heh,heh.
Again Nite does this just a little better vs Reference.

So is the Nite worth the extra cost, obviously if money is no object
go for it, a definite step up from Reference. But if you have more limited budget, I think the Reference gives the best bang for the buck for most people. Ric is offering good deal on the Nites currently, be sure and mention this thread.


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Carl
I am sure you will find the Nite AC cord a "big" step up from your P2. The P2 is good introduction to VD cords and very competitive for its price, but the magic doesn't begin till you get one of the 3 cable designs like the Reference AC cord IMO. In my system I felt the P2 to be a bit warm sounding, lacking a bit of treble extension and the bass although deep was a bit soft and lacked full detail. You tend to overlook these slight shortcomings though because of the fabulous 3D soundstage the P2 provides.

The Reference AC however hits on all cylinders correcting the slight shortcomings of P2, and providing the best bang for the buck in the VD AC cord line-up. The Nite AC cord is a real winner taking the Reference one step further yet at the same time sounding very smooth and natural.


audioman:
Quote:

Dont get me wrong they (the power 1) are built extremly well and fit snuggly. I was so used to the sound of Synergistic Resolution Reference active power cords (but, I could not get them to stay connected so I returned them) sound quality wise they did not seem to compare, I lost bass response and it sounds bright. It may be bringing my system back to true reality, but, after talking over with Rick, it may be the different combinations of cables are part of the problem, and since I returned the all the Resolution Reference cables I needed to find another alternative, so I decided to give the full nite series a try including new speaker cables.


My hope is they will be a big step forward. If not then at least I can say I tried and on to plan C.

Cant wait for Carls review.


JohnActon:

Quote:

Well, I did it - I called Rick today and arranged to have two of my Reference AC cords sent back for credit towards the Nite AC cords. The Nites are a significant step up from the References, and for me, they are worth the outlay of cash.

Upon further listening, I renege on my earlier assertion that there was no change in soundstage height; in addition to increased soundstage width and depth, there is a definite increase in the height of the soundstage (when present in the recording, sounds will appear to emanate from above the speakers). This is more noticeable on the Revel M20 monitors than on the Magnepan MG1.6/QR planars, perhaps because the Magnepans already have a very tall soundstage (being 5'6" in height). Also, as I mentioned before, the increase in detail is substantial, and yet this detail is paradoxically complemented by an increase in smoothness - less grain, less distortion.

I also got the chance to talk to Rick for the first time; he is a very nice guy and extremely knowledgeable - he really knows his stuff. Not only can he readily explain all the science behind his own cables, but he can expound at length upon the physics behind major competitors' cables. It was a very interesting discussion. I'm probably screwing this up, and my summation is almost childishly topical (for the sake of brevity, I'm leaving out lots o' stuff), but here is what I took away from our conversation:

Basically, Rick has, with his cables, attacked the one area that has been overlooked by other cable manufacturers - mechanical resonance. Electrical components (amps, CD players, etc) contain electronic parts (transformers, capacitors, etc) that vibrate mechanically as the flow of electrical current is passed through them. These mechanical by-products of operation can be manifested in several ways, the most common of which is heat. Manufacturers of these components do their best to mitigate these vibrations electrically, by separating transformers from other sensiteive circuits, etc. Rick comes at it from another angle - he attacks these mechanical resonances mechanically, via his cables. The dynamic filtering (combined with a clever use of Neodymium magnets) serves to dampen the mechanical resonances that are produced by these components. This is, of course, most successful in the Nite series, and the effects are cumulative in nature; one realizes more and more of these benefits as the they include more of the Nite products in their system (AC cords, IC's, speaker cables).

Secondly, Rick believes in using large gauge solid-core construction in his cables (solid-core construction has been widely discounted by other major cable manufacturers in favor of multi-stranded geometries, due to the lower skin-effect inherent in such designs). Again though, Rick has, through the use of his other techniques, managed to realize the benefits that are theoretically ascribed to solid-core construction, while eliminating the skin-effect that is normally associated with these designs.

Thirdly, we discussed copper vs. silver as a conductor. Rick feels that copper is a much better and more linear conductor than silver. Silver has different rates of conductivity depending upon the frequency of the signal it is passing. At high frequencies, it is much faster than at low frequencies, to the point that it is faster at 20KHz than copper, and slower than copper at 60Hz. Because of this, there is an inherent hardness to the sound that cannot be totally abrogated no matter what design wizardy is employed. Rick comments that he has noticed this effect when listening with silver cables most plainly with female vocals, which really seem to exacerbate this phenomenon.

Pretty impressive, no? Well, I thought so, enough so that when I can scrounge up some cash, I may call him regarding the chance to try out the Nite IC and speaker cable offerings to see how they fare against my Kimber Select stuff. Now I'm very keen to hear from the guys who've ordered the complete Nite suite of cords to see how they sound.


JohnActon:
Quote:

Yes, it IS pretty crazy to have all this hoopla over power cords. But, you've gotta hear these things. It's not hype! They can have my Nite's when they pry them out of my cold, dead stereo.


88Sound:
Quote:

In the past week I have received outlaw PCA interconnects, PSC digital cable, and 3 Virtual Dynamics Power 3 cords. None of this is broken in but the outlaws went in first and there was a noticeable but small immediate improvement in definition and soundstage over the AR's I was using before. Based on their cost I think these were worth the money.

When I put the VD Power 3's in, even though they are not broken in I can only come up with this analogy. You are looking off in the distance and a person comes up to you and says "can you see ok?" you reply I can see just fine, I have 20/20 vision. He say's try these, and hands you a pair of glasses. To humor him you put them on and, WOW!, I thought I could see perfect before but now I can see better! A lot better.

The power 3's are on my source (DV47-A) and the Grace 901, the 3rd Power 3 is waiting for a new amp which has not arrived yet.

So I've gone from barely believing in good interconnects and believing that after market AC cords were a bunch of hype, to believing in both!

And I wanted to post on what's likely to be the largest thread ever!


DarkAngel:
Quote:

CDP - Nite AC
DAC, Preamp, MOHR - Reference AC
Amps (2) - Zu Mother
I like to put best AC cord on CDP, and work down to amps last.

I just recently traded in two P2 AC cords for another Reference AC, this will allow me to have Reference AC on both amps vs Zu Mother. I never really noticed any real negative 3D effects using Zu Mother in my system, the guy from AA post has really high end gear and preferred the JP max Gold & Zu Mothers vs many of the best AC cords around in the $500-1000 price range. For me the VD Nite/Reference is much better than the Mother or any other AC cord I have tried in the 3D soundstage dept.

Although too late now, I would definitely use Fedex for shipment to Hawaii vs Canada post, would cost a little more but be much faster. I assume you got e-mail from VD when cable shipped?
I live in Ohio and takes 7-8 days for delivery from VD when using Canada Post.


JohnActon:
Quote:

DA, that's very interesting. The VD Reference AC cord I kept (the other two went back home to Virtual Dynamics for credit towards the two Nite AC cords I now have) has the crisscrossing white lines on the cable jacket, just as you described. However, I've had my Reference for at least a couple months now. Is it possible VD slipped me a beta version of the upgraded Reference? It's more likely, I suppose, that I just got a new jacket. And since I sent back the other References, I can't do a direct comparison. It sounds very nice, though!!!

I've had these Nites in my system now for some time, and they continue to amaze me. Their biggest virtue is their astounding 3-D soundstage. Brian, if anything, I've noticed that the height of my soundstage has increased since I've gotten the Nites (I've been fine-tuning my speaker placement, however, so that may be more of a contributing factor than any actual improvements over time in the Nites). Still, this is the first time my system has ever portrayed images beyond the lateral edges of my speakers as well as above them. I can't say enough good stuff. I can't stop listening. It's like a cult - I've been converted! Where's that kool-aid, Jim Jones?


DarkAngel:
Quote:

I think there is much more going on here than just some tonal shifting. This was discussed many posts ago, but there is definitely some smearing/distortion that is removed by these AC cords. The effect sounds similar to upgrading isolation devices or upgading CDP, it reminds me of the first time I tried bearings under my gear. Just an overall increase in fine detail retrieval and big increase in 3D soundstage.

The effect is gradually increased as add VD AC cords and/or move up the line to Nite series. In my system the P3,P2 sound a bit too warm/relaxed.....the Reference is much better but just slightly on the warm side.........the Nite is just about perfect tonal balance for me. If you swap a Zu Mother for a VD Reference you will notice much more treble energy, which will be good or bad depending on your system. The VD Reference/Nite however are better at 3D presentation vs Mother (or just about any other AC cord in their price range)

I will be getting Bel Canto Dac 2 upgrade very soon, which should give me a bit more treble extension, and may cause me to do some more cable swapping. Also AZ Silver Reference ICs arrive Tuesday.


pigmode:
Quote:

Interesting take, DA. I sometimes get the impression that my system lies somewhere from warm to dark, and I have a stong aversion to the slightest hint of brightness.

I have about 50 hr. on the Ref. SOL. Right off the bat the Reference had a smoother top end than my well broken in Mother PC. At about 30 hours, the midrange has bloomed a little and at 40 hours I noticed that the soundstage has opened up as well. So far I'd say the Reference is more highly resolving of micro-details than the Mother. This is most apparent with well recorded classical discs. My guess is that this is somehow related to a cleaner and quieter background, as well as a more sharply presented sense of image. I'm impressed, although I'll hold judgement till I hit 150 hours or so.

Rick recommended I move the Ref. over to my amps (I'll need one more) and go to a Nite for the cdp. I'll also need another cord for a new preamp (soon to arrive), but I haven't made the decision yet on whether to go with all VD or not. I still think the Nite is over the top for my system, but we'll see. I'm actually in the process of upgrading my system so maybe a complete set of VD pcs might make sense. I tend to agree with the notion of coherence, and do not want to mix and match a bunch of different brands.

Question: I like the physical characteristics of the Reference cord--specifically the tight fit of the male IEC plug, and the wires ability to hold a pre-bent shape. Does the Audition also have these same traits?


Calanctus:
Quote:

Well, I decided my speaker cable had burned in enough (it came pre-cooked) so I installed the Power 1's. Even though they were also pre-cooked, I'm now hoping that there is still some burn-in going on--since I'm just a bit disappointed.

There is more bass energy, and instruments seem more well-integrated spatially--the spatial presentation somehow seems to make more sense. However, there is definitely a loss of treble energy--too much to make the exchange worthwhile at this point. This is especially true in my system, because its primary weakness is treble clarity: the system sound is very smooth and non-fatiguing, lots of bass, decent soundstage, nice timbre, but can be a bit muffled-sounding up top.

My new speaker cable went a long ways to bolstering the treble, but now some of those gains are apparently gone...

Getting the ACs installed was definitely a wrestling match. Maybe I should have gone for the Reference/Signature level, for better sound and ease of installation?


DarkAngel:
Quote:

Cal
I have never seen a P1, so I will have to "assume" it is similar to the P2,P3 AC cords. First if you get any of these be sure and get flex connect feature, much easier to install behind rack, I have posted comments/photos of this many times. I have also commented a few times that in my system the P2 were too warm/relaxed and lacked treble extension I desired, so I traded them for Reference cord which is much better overall. I think the Reference may be just slightly warm toned but much better treble extension vs P2. The Nite seems just perfect for me tonally. If you want to exchange the P1 for better VD cord, no problem just talk to Rick.

I might mention that my system, although all solid state, may be slightly warm in nature especially with Bel Canto Dac 1.1, I listen to mostly rock/alt which are not the best recordings and don't want too lean/analytical sound which will sound bad with my CDs.
I have friends who have systems that I couldn't play 75% of my music on, far too bright grainy etc.

When I go to their house I am forced to listen to Cowboy Junkies, Diana Krall, Jennifer Warnes etc because these are the only type of CDs that sound good..........boring


Calanctus:
Quote:

DA, thanks for the info. The Power 1 is a single massive cable (unlike the multistranded cables I see in your photos of the Reference and Nite versions). Interesting to hear that you thought the other Power series were a touch warm--I suppose I should have read this thread more carefully, since I really need a *neutral* cable. I'll let them burn in for a couple days more, then perhaps (if I still notice muffled treble) call Rick again.

FWIW my criticisms apply mainly to listening to my system through speakers. I did a little headphone listening last night, and wow--really nice. I can't say it's all due to the AC cords, since I actually have had very little time to listen to my new XA777 through headphones, but whatever the reason was, the sound was just fantastic: black background, fast and clear sound, groooooovy!


CosmicVoid:
Quote:

Did some more listening tonight and there WAS a treble roll off in my sound with a Power 3 on the amp and a Power 1 on the CD player. This was mostly noted on cymbals. It was if the upper frequencies were veiled. I wouldn't have been able to live with this. So I switched them and put the better cable on my amp and all my treble came back. . Note that my CD player is feeding into a surround receiver and may be redigitized by the receiver. I will do more swapping in and out of the cables to find out what's happening here and report back. One thing though - the increase in soundstage and depth is impressive.


JohnActon:
Quote:

Brian,

My system is simply singing right now. I'm afraid to touch anything! I'm being sent a pair of speakers for audition (Meadowlark Swift) and I'm afraid that inserting a new component will upset the fragile balance that is so magical (part of this magic is due to the fact that I've finally got my speaker locations perfectly set up, and I'm afraid that I won't be able to get them perfectly positioned like that again).

The soundstage is pure magic. Sounds emanate from above, beyond and behind the speakers. Sometimes, the central image jumps in front of the speakers, with everything else positioned behind the speakers. The sound is so disassociated from the speakers that I swear sometimes I want to move the speakers out of the way of the music. Incredible realism. Rick's not an audio engineer, he's a friggin' alchemist. These Nites are incredible.

Calanctus, I just returned my References for credit towards the Nites. I think you'll really like the References. The Nites ARE better, but the References still get you the magic. Probably a better bargain than the Nites. Of course, if you have to have the best....


pigmode:
Quote:

Re: VD Reference SOL
Mines are burning in beautifully at about 60 hours now. The midrange has filled in considerably, and I am 80% sure at this point that it will have a pemanent place in my system. The one thing I am wary about is midrange bloat, since my system is weighted so heavily towards midband performance that it will not stand too much more. We shall see. I also have two amps and a pre that are in need of AC cords. Hmmm...


audioman:
Quote:

OK.... Here goes...

Got all my Nite package today, with the exception of the 3 Bi-Wire speaker cables. Regular speaker cables were sent by mistake, so I installed them and bridged them for now until the true Bi-Wire cables arrive.

Here is the setup.

4 Nite Power Cords

1 - Proceed AVP2 Pre
1 - Proceed AMP 5
1 - Rotel 1080 CD/DVD
1 - ExactPower H15A

5 Nite Interconnects to form AVP2 to AMP5 L,R,C,RS,LS.

1 - Nite Sub Interconnect

3 Nite Speaker cables L, R, C Non Bi-Wired for now
Rick is rushing the Bi-Wired replacements,

All is installed and running as of about 6PM PT. Since these were cooked, I should have alot more to say later tomorrow or this weekend about sound quality. This is a wholesale change of all cables in 1 shot.

Initial Impressions are that the Nite Power cords fit alot better that my Synergistics did as I had a to tweak the cables to get the proper connection, None of that exists with these and the Nites are easier to mold. They weigh a ton, as do the interconnects, and I like the locking connectors.

Sound wise I immediately noticed tighter more defined bass and more detail (which seems alittle annoying right now) but its way too early to listen critically, I put on a DVD Jurassic Park 3 (with alot of bass and highs) and I am just letting it play for the next several days.

I did notice something very interesting but I am not sure what to make of it. Before I made the change I took an amp and wattage reading from my ExactPower unit and it was running at 774 Watts 6amps at room volume with all equipment on, after the change the unit reads 738 Watts and 6 amps at the same room volume (with all equipment on). Very Interesting, I will keep monitering.

So I will see over the next several days just where this ends up but so far so good. These cables remind me of the braided hoses I used to use on my ski/race Boat. Tough...


audioman:
Quote:

Well the system has been up and running now for about 36 hours at room volume and things have started to settle down alittle.

I was listening to the Eagles DVD in DTS and what caught my ear over the Synergistic X series was the clarity of something as simple as cymbals, you could not only tell thats what you were hearing but in watching the DVD I for the first time actually I was looking for them to make sure that is where the sound was from. It almost sounded like I was standing right next to the drummer. Very interesting.

I have also noticed better bass response at lower volume levels and hear much more detail as I mentioned in an earlier post. The sound does seem more natural and dynamic. Still not sure where the treble is going, it still sounds extended but its very early, we will see in a couple of weeks where it goes.

Also I forgot to mention in an earlier post where I described the Nite setup that I also have a Nite Digital cable form the Rotel to the AVP2.

Also my ExactPower regenerator still reads 738 (down from 774) watts at room volume, no change... with peaks to 800, still do not know what to make of it. Does that mean everything is running more effecient with these Nites....

So that is where I am at 36 hours, and we will actually be watching some movies later so I will let you know more. My wife and kids dont think it sounds very different at all but what do they know!


Calanctus:
Quote:

I'm rereading this amazing thread, and Pigmode, it turns out you were quite right As posted, I had to return the VD Power 1s due to softening of the treble. Now waiting for the Reference cords to show up.

Fortunately I seem to have been very lucky with my new speaker cable, relatively inexpensive but just what my system needed: DH Labs Q10 biwire. This silver-plated cable really improved the treble clarity and extension over my DIY 'el cheapo' cable (50' reel of copper cabling with clamp-on banana plugs, $30 or so for the lot).

DarkAngel's comments have convinced me to try a set of the Mapleshade Ultimate Triplepoint cones under my digital source. The tweaks go on!


pigmode:
Quote:

i have about 100 hours on the Ref right now and they will be staying in my system. I will be acquiring another VD cord for my soon to be delivered Fi preamp, and am still considering whether or not to get another pair for the power amps.

There is also another set of speakers to be delivered soon so depending on how those work out, the Ref. SOL cords might just be the ticket. I will not be auditioning any other brands of power cords as I am very happy with my Reference SOL, and want to avoid the mix and match game in the interest of coherence.


Calanctus:
Quote:

I got my VD Reference AC cords today and connected them (they were pre-cooked).

They are a definite improvement over the Power 1's. The benefits, to my ears, are:


* increased soundstage depth (front-back distance). This is the most noticeable change.
* enhanced instrument separation.


They may improve the bass a bit; I'm not sure yet but I'll report back again later.

They still soften the treble, but it's very slight, and the other changes in the sound make this a worthwhile tradeoff.

For me the net benefit was less than from upgrading my speaker cables from $20 DIY to $300 DH Labs silver-plated biwire, but still definitely worthwhile!!


audioman:
Quote:

Well one week into the new VD Nite setup it does sound natural and bass response at lower volume levels seems better. I still cant wait for the Bi-wire speaker cables to show up , maybe next week. The treble still sounds extended (for HT) but I need to get the right speaker cables installed to make the final determination. Then once I have the entire package make a final decision, especially if treble still sounds extended.

I have heard many say that their experience was more of a muted or roll off in treble. I have had the opposite and do not know why unless the tweeters are out of phase since they are not truely Bi-Wired yet. Time will tell.


bkelly:
Quote:

Friends,

I have some news to report. I finally got my last Nite series cable and swapped it out with the Reference model that I was using on my power amp.

To be brief let me kind of recap the differences that I noticed as I moved up to Nites on my CD player, my pre-amp and finally my power amp.

When I added the Nite on the CD player I could not really believe the difference between that and the earlier model VD cables I was using in the rest of my system. The dynamic response increased dramatically! I think more so than anything else I could have possibly done. In other words, I don't think buying an incredibly expensive amp or CDP would have made as much difference as this simple cable switch.

I then changed over to the Nite series interconnect which cleaned up the sound even more but seem to inhibit the dynamics noticeably. It was a clear improvement but it was an unexpected result. Rick has a technical explanation for this but I don't remember it.

When I added the Nite to the pre-amp the dynamics came back in a big way and the sound stage increased in the same way and to the same degree as the earlier cable swap. I think everyone is familiar with the soundstage characteristics of these cable so I won't go over it again other than to say I have never heard another component do as well in making this much improvement. My B&W's sound like electrostatics and conventional speakers all at the same time.
Last week I added the last cable on the amp and the result was a little different this time. The biggest changes were in seperatin between the instruments and the bottom end tightened up in a very noticeable way. More change on the bottom end with this swap than with all the others accept possibly when I first started using the VD power cables.

Rick say the speakers cable will make a big difference too but they won't really show themselves until everythingn else is changed. Well I'm ready, at least chronologically speaking but financially I am going to have to wait until I recover from all the other audio spending I've done.


Calanctus:
Quote:

'm beginning to think that the treble difficulties I experienced with the Power 1's (and still have to a minor extent with the Refs) are the result of my system--either the receiver or the speakers. I like my headphones more than ever and don't notice any issue with them. So maybe I have to do more than tweaks like AC cords...e.g. a new pre and amplifier.


CosmicVoid:
Quote:

A, what kind of speaker cable are you running and how are they?

********
It's been about two and a half weeks now with the Power 3 and Power 1. There is definitely a treble roll off that is more noticeable with the 3 than the 1. This is especially true when hooked to the amp. The part of my system here under consideration is Musical Fidelity A3CD---> 1/2m Cardas Crosslink-->Onkyo TX DS747 Receiver(as a temporary pre)---> 1.5m Harmonic Technology Truthlink---> Anthem MCA 20 amp---> 10' pair single run Harmonic Technology Pro-11 speaker wire---> Paradigm Reference Studio 100v2.

Much of what is wrong can be compensated by turning the Treble from neutral to say +.1 to +1 but I prefer to keep tone at neutral so it is switched out. I won't have tone controls once I get a real pre-amp in any case. Before adding the VD cables I wasn't at all unhappy with the treble response on my system as far as amount and timbre are concerned. The VD cables (the 1 to the CD and the 3 to the amp) have improved soundstaging dramatically. The bass has firmed up and most definitely does extend a bit lower now. Or at least I can better hear what is being played in the very low end now. This is probably because the cables (especially the 3) have a somewhat warming effect.

The problem is that I want my cake and want to eat it too. I want to get back the treble that has been rolled off. I am actually suspicious that the trebe is not in fact as rolled off as I'm thinking but rather that these cables are just a tad warm in the lower frequencies and putting the treble out of balance in relation to everything else. Studio 100's are said by some to be a somewhat bright speaker but I don't find that particulary true and doubly so now. I am not willing to give up my gains made in soundstaging and the firmed up bass.

I want my treble back. Any suggestions? Do I get rid of one or both cables and go with the Reference? Nites are out of my budget as I have to pay for all this with Monopoly money (Canadian $$$).


Darkangel:
Quote:

Mr Cosmic
Don't read any further if you value your wallet, I am suggesting more ways to spend your money. Also all my cables are listed in my profile if you want to see where I am coming from.

If you have read previous posts you know I thought the VD P2 was noticeably warm toned and lacked treble extension, I sold mine. The VD Reference is better in all respects including more balanced presentation tonally, the Nite is even a little better.
So if you can afford it Reference or maybe new Auditions are the way to go on a budget.

Get some large brass cones from Mapleshade (or other make) to use under gear. This will clear things up and allow a more extended natural presentation.

Definitely get new (used) preamp and ditch the receiver. Lots of great stuff for @ 1K used:
-Musical Fidelity A3cr
-Marsh
-Blue Circle (tube)
-Rogue 66 (tube)
Many others, or get a decent integrated amp from Musical Fidelity, Plinius, Creek, Sim etc. and simplify things.

I think you should also try to get a "used" set of silver ICs to try,
for $100-250 you can get Homegrown Silver Lace or HT ProSilway II at Audiogon. If you don't like you can sell again for little cost to you.


audioman:
Quote:

I now have a complete Nite setup. As a reminder here is the setup once again:

4 Nite Power Cords

1 - Proceed AVP2 Pre
1 - Proceed AMP 5
1 - Rotel 1080 CD/DVD
1 - ExactPower H15A

5 Nite Interconnects to form AVP2 to AMP5 L,R,C,RS,LS.

1 - Nite Sub Interconnect

1 – Nite Digital Cable

3 Nite Speaker cables L, R, C Bi-Wired
(Just recieved these 9/25/2002)

All is installed and running and has been now for approx 48 Hours. All I can say is these cables are very impressive!

This system has come alive and I notice tighter more defined bass, more detail and instruments sound more natural and seperated with a bigger soundstage. Once I added the Bi-Wire Nite speaker cables I have to say the Nites package blew my old cables away hands down.

Now that I have converted all my audio over to Nites and I will soon be going to Phase 2 and converting all my component video over to VD Nites and can’t wait. Will need a another Nite PC for the CVP2 I will be getting! I have to say that Rick has been great and has been a pleasure talking with him throughout this major uprade. He is now working on amps and I may have to try one when they are availiable.

Also my previous comment :

“Before I made the change I took an amp and wattage reading from my ExactPower unit and it was running at 774 Watts 6amps at room volume with all equipment on, after the change the unit reads 738 Watts and 6 amps at the same room volume (with all equipment on)”

still holds and my amp does seem to be running slightly cooler.

Any more comments from Carl or Brian or anyone else that may have an entire Nite package?


CosmicVoid:
Quote:

I have found my high frequency extension and "air"!!! Of course it took a new (used) preamp to get it. I bought a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 pre last night off a guy on Audiogon. Turns out he lived only 10 minutes away - bonus! I now have my Power 1 going to the Line 1 and my Power 3 going to the Anthem MCA 20 amp. This combination sounded better than putting one of these PC's to the Musical Fidelity A3CD CDP. Of course the new purchase means that I will have to get another PC. I will probably get a Reference for the CDP. I am currently using a pair of Straighwire Encore II from the CDP to the pre and will look to replace them down the road with something along the way of HT/Zen/Silver Audio cables. I can run a balanced connection between the pre and the amp so somewhere down the road I will get a silver cable for this as well but it is not urgent. The VD cables make a good noticeable improvement to my sound in the system as I have it now. And, these are two of the more affordably priced PC's available from VD. My conclusion is that using a surround receiver as a pre can get you by but you lose extension and definition on both frequency ends. Bass is also much better definded with the new pre and I can't believe all the detail I am hearing! The SFI Line 1 comes with a HeadRoom amplifier built in but unfortunately I have been unable to try it out as my headphones are kaput and the guy who sold me the pre sold his HD 600's to someone else. But, I have to stop the insanity. I have spent far too much money in the last while. So unless I come across a steal of a used deal I won't be buying anymore hardware for a little while. But I do need a PC for my CDP...


TB1:
Quote:

Well count me in as a new VD fan. Recently I purchased acidtripwow's Nite Digital cable. To cut to the chase I'm enjoying the best redbook playback I've ever had in my system (333ES to Full Nelson Link Dac/PowerBase). I had been going back and forth between AZ mc2 and Synergistic Research resolution reference and found the Nite to easily better them in terms of soundstage (esp. front to back depth) and the bass (much more extension yet still tight and fast). This was a bigger upgrade than adding the DAC, using a Monarcy DIP or upsampling (in my rig). The only drawback is the size of this thing - it's huge and heavy so careful installation is a must.


Well.. that's it, all you need to know about VD cables,

Cheers,

Mark
 
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freethetree

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Thanks once again. I was not about to tackle the entire 30+ page monster, but consolidated into three posts it was doable.

Now to make a decision... and I thought picking out cables was gonna be the easy part. This crap takes just as much time as choosing components!
 
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ServinginEcuador

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Quote:

Originally posted by freethetree
Thanks once again. I was not about to tackle the entire 30+ page monster, but consolidated into three posts it was doable.

Now to make a decision... and I thought picking out cables was gonna be the easy part. This crap takes just as much time as choosing components!



FreetheTree,

As I'm sure you read, VD is really good at taking back what you already bought and credited you toward an upgrade of another product. If I remember correctly, DarkAngel and a few others did exactly that. Quite impressive if you ask me!! Makes buying something now that works rally well doable as you can always upgrade down the line when the funds come in!!
 
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