Most-Read Reviews (Last 5 Years)
- 2013-04-15 - KEF LS50 Loudspeakers
- 2014-12-01 - Sonus Faber Olympica III Loudspeakers
- 2012-08-01 - KEF R500 Loudspeakers
- 2011-02-01 - Bowers & Wilkins 803 Diamond Loudspeakers
- 2014-12-15 - KEF Reference 1 Loudspeakers
- 2010-10-01 - Bowers & Wilkins CM5 Loudspeakers
- 2013-09-01 - Tannoy Definition DC10A Loudspeakers
- 2011-03-01 - Hegel Music Systems H20 Stereo Amplifier
- 2012-03-01 - Monitor Audio Gold GX100 Loudspeakers
- 2011-09-15 - Paradigm Atom Monitor v.7 Loudspeakers
Most-Read Reviews (Last 365 Days)
- 2017-04-01 - KEF Reference 3 Loudspeakers
- 2016-11-15 - Moon by Simaudio Neo ACE Integrated Amplifier-DAC-Streamer
- 2017-04-15 - MartinLogan Masterpiece Classic ESL 9 Loudspeakers
- 2017-01-01 - Hegel Music Systems Mohican CD Player
- 2017-03-01 - Audio Research Foundation LS28 Preamplifier
- 2016-12-15 - PS Audio BHK Signature Preamplifier
- 2017-02-01 - Audio Research G Series GS150 Stereo Amplifier
- 2017-03-15 - PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono Amplifiers
- 2016-11-01 - European Audio Team C-Major Turntable
- 2016-12-01 - Audio Research G Series GSPre Preamplifier
Most-Read Reviews (Last 90 Days)
- 2017-07-01 - EMM Labs DA2 Reference Digital-to-Analog Converter
- 2017-08-01 - Aurender A10 Music Server
- 2017-08-15 - Audio Research Foundation VT80 Stereo Amplifier
- 2017-07-15 - JE Audio HP10 Phono Stage
- 2017-09-01 - Hegel Music Systems Röst DAC-Integrated Amplifier
- 2017-09-15 - Bryston BCD-3 CD Player
- Written by Garrett Hongo Garrett Hongo
- Category: Full-Length Equipment Reviews Full-Length Equipment Reviews
- Created: 01 May 2012 01 May 2012
Recently, a novelist friend sent me a case of Italian wines -- an assortment of reds from Ischia, Umbria, Etna, and Tuscany. None were familiar to me, although I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about Italian wines, especially the grossly pricey ones called “Super Tuscans.” When I get to Italy, I run around not only to museums and ancient walled cities, but also to various vineyards, audio manufacturers, and restaurants serving great regional cuisine -- often all on the same day. During a single morning in Milan, for instance, I’ll visit La Pinacoteca Ambrosiana to see the great, Vatican palazzo-size cartone of a famous fresco by Raphael, then at midday eat a seven-course meal with a Sassacaia wine at Cracco-Peck Ristorante, and in the afternoon get out to an enoteca to sample sips of blended and varietal reds. This costs -- a plane ticket, hotels, time, etc. -- but I get educated, and I start to appreciate more deeply how Raphael drew the postures, gestures, and startling faces of the philosophers of antiquity gathered to debate in his famed School of Athens. At lunch, my palate swirls in a series of small ecstasies. And I acquire an appreciation for the boldness, complexities, contrasts, and fine, temporal presentation of the shades of subtleties as a sip of wine crosses my tongue. I look forward to sampling each of my gift bottles, therefore, and expanding my repertoire of appreciation.
Another close friend, an audiophile, has in his home two dedicated listening rooms stocked with enough fine equipment for almost five complete systems. The brands he owns are among the best-known in audio: MBL, VAC, Joule, Mastersound, Verity, Kharma, Audioaéro, Basis, TW-Acustic, Nottingham, Tri-Planar, Benz, Cardas, Audience, and Lector . . . you get the picture. But he doesn’t believe in spending serious money on power cords. In a recent exchange of e-mails, we discussed the benefits I’ve found in ultra-high-end AC cords. When I let him know the prices, he was aghast: “Are you really going to spend that much money on power cords?” He didn’t think AC cords could make more than a 5% difference in sound. “Way too much money -- for me, anyway,” he continued. Given what he spends on other gear, this surprised me. He ended by saying he’d much rather see me invest that kind of money in speakers or amplifiers -- which was the only way he could see himself parting with the kind of cash ultra-high-end power cords cost. After all, they’re not components.
Long a leader in cable technology, the Dutch company Siltech has produced some of the most handsome and widely respected audio cables around. Last spring, after a rave review by our publisher, Doug Schneider, of Siltech’s 330L speaker cables and 330i interconnects, I acquired a like set of them for myself, along with a pair of 330L jumpers. I was so pleased with the result that I asked to review two of Siltech’s power cables and a power distributor. I’ve listened to them now for three months.
Recently, I had a series of e-mail exchanges with Edwin van der Kley, an electronic engineer who became Siltech’s director in 1992 (the company was founded in 1983). He explained the various challenges and benefits of the way Siltech designs audio and power cables and distribution. According to van der Kley, there are three basic problems in the construction of any audio cable: 1) the properties of the metals used as the conductors and the influence of distortion naturally caused by those metals; 2) the influence of insulation materials on electrical behavior and microphonic effects; and 3) the construction of cables as it affects their electrical behavior, electrical noise (i.e., EMI, RFI), and sensitivity to microphonic noise (noise in the room, airborne and component vibrations, etc.).
Siltech makes most of its cables from long-crystal alloys of silver and gold. (The exception is the new Explorer line, made of monocrystal oxygen-free copper, or OFC.) Van der Kley claims that the silver-gold alloy used in Siltech’s G7 cables, a particularly high-grade conductor, demonstrates some of the lowest distortion of any cable around. The presence of gold, a highly malleable material, reduces the development of microcracks all along the cable that, given the constant bending cables are subject to, would otherwise contribute to a loss of conductance over time. The result is a smoother-sounding, more elastic cable that is durable and consistent in its sound.
Next, Siltech uses Kapton and polyether ether ketone (PEEK) as insulating materials to limit negative influences on electrical behavior and microphonics. Kapton, a polyimide film, and PEEK, an extremely tough thermoplastic, are the most advanced multilayer materials from DuPont, and both are stable within an extremely wide range of temperatures. Kapton is used in space suits, and PEEK in bearings, piston parts, and medical implants. Siltech combines them, sometimes with other materials, to make two to four different insulators to be used around a single cable, each canceling the negative electrical and microphonic influences of the other(s).
Since a cable’s construction affects its immunity to noise, Siltech makes its cables to create a balanced reduction of the EMI, RFI, and microphonics passed along by the rest of the system and the noise sensitivities within the cable itself. Siltech’s terminations are crimped, then soldered with a halogen-free silver solder developed in-house. Van der Kley thinks this technique makes for durability and minimizes the loss of signal.
But, van der Kley said, power cables are a special case. The major issue facing a power cable is its field of radiated EMI caused by its interaction with power supplies. This electromagnetic interference is caused by the rapid production of peak currents produced by an amplifier’s rectifiers charging its large buffer capacitors at the rate of 120 times per second. Moreover, as capacitors are charged only at the peak of the AC sinewave, all current must be delivered within a few milliseconds. This causes huge current surges (up to 20-100 amperes) that produce matching electromagnetic fields transmitted from the power cord. These EMI fields, in turn, induce nearby cables to produce stray current within themselves. For audiophiles, this stray current becomes audible as a 120Hz pulse that throws off the music’s normal rhythmic flow. All of these disturbances contribute to massive potentials for distortion and interruptions of the smooth delivery of power to an audio system.
To combat EMI distortion, Siltech concentrates on the shielding of its power cords to ensure zero emission of EMI between DC and 100MHz or more. As the EMI field can extend about a meter from its source (power cords, outlets, etc.), Siltech produces shielding that extends its coverage at least that far. It’s claimed this shielding suppresses about 99.9% of all distortion energy. In a typical audio system, the noise floor is thus lowered and the dynamic range is improved, also resulting in a very natural flow of the music. For all practical purposes, van der Kley claims, taking such careful measures in manufacturing results in power cables that are completely quiet. Significantly, he added that Siltech uses no filtering of any kind. Filtering raises a cord’s impedance and limits its bandwidth, resulting in a slow, compressed sound that makes it seem as if some amount of power has been lost.
But why so many different power cables? All models of Siltech’s power cords are made of the same materials according to the ultrasilent technology just described, but van der Kley explained that the silent range of each model has a certain current limit. Above that limit, the cable starts to radiate EMI like other power cords. As the peak currents needed for each type of component differ, you’ve got to match the power cord to that peak. Overall, the higher grade of cable, the lower the level of current noise transmitted by it. Thus, the SPX-800 ($1250 USD/1.5m, $440 each additional meter) is recommended for integrated amps, CD players, and other components with power consumptions of up to 200W. The Ruby Hill II ($2750/1.5m, $600 each additional meter) is usable with components with power needs of up to 500W. And the Ruby Mountain II ($7250/1.5m, $3900 each additional meter) excels with components of all power levels up to 3kW.
Finally, the Octopus Signature Eight power distributor comes wired with either copper ($3300) or silver. I was sent the copper-wired model. Like Siltech’s power cables, the Octopus is designed to reduce the electromagnetic field radiating from unshielded connectors -- the outlets themselves. Van der Kley explained that this is done with shielding and a special antiphase wire arrangement oriented to reduce the EMI field, thus improving the sound quality of the entire system.
The power cables and Octopus Signature Eight arrived from Audio Plus Services, Siltech’s North American distributor, in two large cardboard boxes left on my doorstep by UPS. Inside were more boxes: five large (20” x 16” x 2.5”) russet ones stamped with gold Siltech lettering contained the Ruby Hill II power cords and Octopus Signature Eight power distributor. In four smaller (12” x 9.5” x 3”), blue Styrofoam boxes were the SPX-800 cords. Each Ruby Hill II and the Octopus Signature Eight was nestled in a form-fitting cutout of foam inside its box. Each SPX-800 was loosely wound inside the hollowed insides of the chunky blue Styrofoam, itself sealed with a nifty, wraparound Siltech label of cardboard. Also inside were certificates of inspection and authenticity, serial numbers provided.
The cables themselves are stunning. The Ruby Hill II is about a forefinger thick, wrapped in a handsome indigo-blue poly mesh. Near each termination is a thick, cylindrical, screw-mounted aluminum billet stamped with the Siltech label and a serial number. Out of the box, each highly polished billet is wrapped in a protective fishnet sleeve of flexible blue plastic. The cables extend about 4” past the billets to the terminations, and are encased in attractive, cornflower-blue shrink-wraps. The terminations are high-performance Furutech IECs and plugs. I received four Ruby Hill II cords -- one 1.5m long with a 20A plug to power the Octopus Signature Eight, and three more 2m-long, 15A ones for my preamp and monoblocks.
The SPX-800s are about a pinkie’s circumference around and also wrapped in an attractive, dark-blue mesh. These cables have only one billet half the size of those on the Ruby Hill II, fixed about 4” from the IEC end. There are no shrink-wraps, and the mesh extends through to the terminations, made by WattGate. I received four SPX-800s of various lengths -- one each for the CD player, DAC, phono, and my turntable’s motor controller.
The Octopus Signature Eight is one of the most imposing power distributors I’ve seen. An isosceles trapezoid measuring 14” x 6” x 11.5” x 2.5,” it’s made from a single block of machined aluminum insulated with Kapton, weighs about ten pounds, and takes up almost twice the floor space of my Weizhi PRS-6 power conditioner. It features star grounding and outlets free of magnetic distortion. The single outlets are arranged two to each side of the central 20A IEC in a top row, and four across in a shorter row, symmetrically under the gaps above them. The build quality is top-notch.
Through the years I’ve acquired a motley crew of power cords, mainly during my early days in audio. Basically, I chose the power cords I use with front-end gear through trial and error, and I’ve been pleased with the results. This review is the first opportunity I’ve had to make comprehensive comparisons.
The Fusion Audio Impulse cord I’ve used with my Cary 303/300 CD player is a 1.5m length hybrid of copper and silver foil with cryogenically treated IEC and plugs ($1200). The 1.5m-long Harmonix xDC Studio Master cord I use with my Herron VTPH-2 phono stage is made of high-purity OFC copper with a WattGate 330 IEC and a WattGate 350 connector ($1500). It’s perhaps closest in level of quality to the Siltech SPX-800 cord. With my Lamm LL2.1 preamplifier I use a cord once made by Thor Audio, and which I bought used online. Called the Red, it’s very flexible, with a jacket and terminations similar to those once used by Audio Magic for their API Power Link cords of silver-clad copper. And for my TW-Acustic Raven turntable’s motor controller, I’ve always used the stock PC provided.
I replaced my front-end power cords with Siltechs one at a time. Following Edwin van der Kley’s advice, I started with SPX-800s on the source components -- Cary 303/300 CD player, JoLida Glass Tube DAC, and phono stage -- and on the power supply of my TW-Acustic ’table. I’d at first thought all the SPX-800s were the same length, but the one for the phono stage was 2.5m long rather than the 1.5m of the others -- a bit much, but it coiled easily without kinking, and stayed neatly dressed. Next, I changed out the Thor Red cord on my Lamm LL2.1 preamp for a 2m Siltech Ruby Hill II. The Cardas Golden Reference power cords on the deHavilland KE50A monoblock amps were switched out almost last, replaced by 2m Ruby Hill IIs. I found the Siltechs not quite as flexible as the Cardases (which are very limber), but the Siltechs were by no means stiff, dressed nicely, and stayed in place once set.
Finally, I swapped out the Weizhi PRS-6 power distributor and Cardas Golden Reference power cord running to the wall outlet for Siltech’s Octopus Signature Eight and its dedicated 20A, 1.5m Ruby Hill II cord. The Octopus came needing some assembly -- Siltech provides the necessary screwdriver, wrench, and screws to mount its rubberized feet and badging. I followed the clear directions and illustrations in the enclosed sheet; the process took about ten minutes.
In all, I replaced eight power cords and my system’s power distributor. Given that I’d recently changed my speaker cables and interconnects to Siltech, I now had nearly a full loom of Siltech wires and distribution. (I kept an Auditorium 23 interconnect from step-up to phono stage, and a Wireworld USB cable on my iMac.) With each change, I listened to the system and made notes.
Listening and initial comparisons
From the start, having plugged Siltech SPX-800s into CD player and DAC and a Ruby Hill II into the preamp, I heard an uptick in smoothness, soundstage depth, and overall sweetness and bloom with all digital music. Voices in choral works sounded airier, operatic tenors and sopranos sounded purer, blues singers gutsier. I could hear that Eric Clapton’s voice in “Five Long Years,” from his From the Cradle (CD, Reprise 45735-2), had not only a shade more grit to it, but also a soft, explosive, front-of-mouth impact as he tore into the words. In the Gloria from Josquin Des Préz’s Missa Fortuna Desperata, performed by The Clerks’ Group directed by Edward Wickham (16/44.1 ALAC, Gaudeamus), the polyphony was a pleasure to follow; the bass, tenor, and countertenor lines easily distinguishable. More than this, I heard a gain in spaciousness -- the ambience of the hall sound had more of an expansive, half-shell bloom than an unpleasant, angular ring. Plucked strings sounded more realistic and tactile. The opening tiple and 12-string guitar in “Ay Papacito,” from Eliades Ochoa’s Sublime Illusion (CD, Higher Octave World 47494), sounded resonant and fat. The big conga drum sounded much more 3D, with depth, body, and a finely developed intricacy of timing evidenced by superb developmental bloom. All sounds were extremely natural.
Up to this point, though, I also thought that these cumulative effects, however beneficial, were subtle, more on the micro than the macro level. I found myself agreeing, at least provisionally, with my skeptical friend with the five audio systems and moderately priced power cables. Could he (ahem) be right, after all? Was my system sounding better? Or just different?
Siltech is serious
I then swapped out the power cords to my monoblock amps and the power distributors: in went the Siltech cords and Octopus Signature Eight for my Weizhi PRS-6. About three years ago, when I got my deHavilland KE50A tube monoblocks, I’d shopped around and then chosen for them Cardas Golden Reference cords ($628/1.5m) and also for my power distributor Weizhi’s PRS-6 ($3200). Like the Siltech Ruby Hill IIs, the Cardases are shielded and have Furutech plugs and IEC. Cardas makes the Golden Reference cord of copper Litz wire in its famed Golden Ratio configuration and uses dielectrics of Teflon and air. But, tellingly, unlike the Siltechs, the Cardas cords employ broadband power-line filtration.
I plugged a 2m Ruby Hill II cord into each deHavilland KE50A and then into the Octopus Signature Eight, which had its own 20A Ruby Hill II running to the wall outlet. After powering everything up and letting the system run for half an hour, I finally got the big Wow! I’d been waiting for. With most recordings there was much more body, more subtle and extended bass, and a sweeter, more articulate midrange. There seemed an improved foundation for the entire system, which now sounded clearer, slightly warmer, and definitely much more expressive throughout the audioband. Even slam had more sophistication: speedier impacts, a kind of developmental fullness within each sonic event, and swift decays.
Playing the recording by organist Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music of Handel’s Organ Concertos, Op.4 (16/44.1 ALAC, Harmonia Mundi) via my iMac connected to the JoLida Glass Tube DAC, I heard the deep pedal notes pumping from the organ as more organic, more articulate in development, more distinct from each other, and better defined against the viols, sackbuts, and woodwinds. The overall effect was bass strength and heightened musical presence contrasted with treble and midrange clarity. With my older power cords in the system, I missed almost all of these effects; Egarr’s pedal notes were much more faint and fairly indistinguishable from each other, the sponsoring bass presence much less evident.
With all digital recordings of piano music and orchestral works, the bass sections provided a much sturdier and more robust harmonic platform. Usually, I felt this difference as solidity, power, and authority supporting everything from pianissimo trills on violin and piccolo to magnificent triple-fortes in tutti passages. But, along with bass, there were across-the-board improvements in clarity, resolution, extension, harmonic richness -- just everything.
Hélène Grimaud is a pianist whose recordings have recently won a great deal of favor, in part because, I’m guessing, in addition to her marvelous technique and interpretive sophistication, she’s among the most emotive and fetching of young keyboard virtuosos. Her Credo (CD, Deutsche Grammophon B0001732-02), however, has not been among my favorites. I’d thought its sound somewhat thin, somehow devitalized. But with almost a full loom of Siltech products in place, I spun it on a whim and was blown away. In the first movement of Beethoven’s Fantasia for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra in C Minor, Op.80, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, sounded nimble and precise, with rich, piping woodwinds and smooth, silky violins. I heard majestic, brassy fanfares. The soundstage stretched impressively to about 3’ outside each speaker, and its layers of depth seemed to extend about 4’ from front to back -- just a bit shallower than with many of the best recordings I own. All well and good, yet the great thing was an unmistakable harmonic richness I hadn’t heard before. Woodwinds in particular had a fabulous tone, and there was a distinctly pastoral sweetness to the overall orchestral sound. Tuttis came suddenly, full and magnificent, the violins seeming to ride the fff passages as if they were the topmost curls on the biggest winter waves off Waimea Bay. Grimaud’s piano sounded as immense as the orchestra, but more clearly defined and in the foreground, slightly to the right of center. This was a startling, unexpected clarity. The women sang bracing clouds of notes into the air of my room, and exchanges with the men’s voices had a distinctly Teutonic flavor I’d not identified before. I realized that the melody they sang was in that beer-hall style Beethoven would later develop to famous effect in the catchy and rousing theme of the final movement of his Symphony No.9 -- an insight that, I’m convinced, would not have occurred to me without having changed to Siltech wires and distribution. It’s what you live for, really, in listening to the same pieces of music again and again: renewed joy and fresh emotions.
Over another month or so I listened to a range of CDs for nuances, extension, and microdynamics in vocal performances. Perhaps the most impressive and affecting was soprano Angela Gheorghiu’s new disc, Homage to Maria Callas (CD, EMI 0 84377 2), on which she sings “Sempre Libera,” Violetta’s aria from Verdi’s La Traviata, her powerful voice tossing off top notes in astonishingly rapid flights and trills. Often, through lesser equipment with average wires and inconsistent delivery of power, this is exactly the kind of thing that can sound grating, piercing -- that awful caterwauling brilliantly spoofed in the Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera. Here, with an assist by Siltech, Gheorghiu’s portrayal of Violetta’s desperate erotic confusion -- feigned gaiety contrasting with the fits of passion that begin to overwhelm her -- were all captured, dynamic roulade after roulade climbing the scale heavenward, demonstrating coherence, clarity, and high-frequency extension.
Also complex in detail and timing is music from a jazz orchestra, particularly the one conducted by Gil Evans in one of his most famous collaborations with Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain (LP, Columbia CS 8271). As arranged by Evans for this 1959 analog recording, the Adagio of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez is as rich and demanding a piece as one can find anywhere. With the Siltech SPX-800 in place of my reference Harmonix xDC Studio Master power cord on the phono stage, I heard fine timbral colorings, superb scaling, tight harmonies, and brilliant orchestral attacks in sudden, explosive fanfares that were almost strident, yet never crossed over into incoherence. In football, players and announcers talk about a “burst” as the ability of a running back or receiver to suddenly and dramatically increase his distance from a pursuing opposing player. In audio playback, there’s such a thing with orchestral music -- the scaled, dynamic, and thrilling entrance of the full orchestra after a solo or pianissimo passage. Called a tutti, its effect is intended to be sudden, bracing, and magnificent. With the Siltech loom in place, tuttis were indeed all that. After the introduction of Rodrigo’s main theme, when it moves from flute to Miles’s trumpet, then bursts without warning into the entire ensemble of brass and woodwinds playing fff, the transfer was one of thrilling scale and momentum. Throughout, I heard superb resolution, fine shadings of dynamic contrasts, and gorgeous timbres, with no blurring of tones. In the final theme statements, the woodwinds pulsed dulcetly, like the subtle sautillé of basses under the flickering, fluttering microtimbres and flourishing harmonics of Miles’s trumpet, surrounded by an arabesque of castanets, a choir of brass, bells and maracas, and a harp gently plucked.
However, when I went back to using the Harmonix xDC Studio Master cord for the phono stage while retaining in the system all other Siltech AC products, the highs seemed purer and more extended, and there was a noticeable uptick in speed, slam, and an overall “freshness” of sound in Géza Anda’s performance (as soloist and conductor), with the Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica, of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.17 in G, K.453 (LP, Deutsche Grammophon 138783), and most other vinyl. This was likewise so when I used the Harmonix cord with my CD player. Harmonic richness and tonality seemed a toss-up, but there were gains in extension and slam using the high-purity copper cable instead of Siltech’s silver-gold alloy while playing Ivan Moravec’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20, K.466, with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (CD, Hänssler 98.142).
Finally, like a mad scientist in a time-lapse reel of a 1950s sci-fi flick, I worked maniacally back and forth, changing power cables every whichaway throughout the system, and took from those comparisons these final impressions: 1) Using the Ruby Hill II power cords on the amps and the Octopus Signature Eight distributor made the greatest dimension of improvement to my system. 2) The Cardas Golden Reference power cords, though not quite as sweet or resolving, came closest to matching the Siltech SPX-800s on the CD player and Ruby Hill II on the preamp. 3) The Weizhi PRS-6 power distributor came very, very close to matching the performance of the Octopus Signature Eight when used in conjunction with the Ruby Hill II (wall, power amps). 4) With all other AC products in my system remaining Siltech, the Harmonix xDC Studio Master cord (phono stage, CD player) sounded better than the Siltech SPX-800 in terms of detail, slam, dynamics, and high-frequency extension.
From the start, with no run-in and only one SPX-800 (CD player) in the system, I heard an uptick in smoothness, soundstage depth, and overall sweetness and bloom. These traits only got more and more evident as I added each Siltech power cable, culminating in the installation of a full loom of Siltech power cords and power distribution. With the exception of keeping the Harmonix xDC Studio Master cord (phono stage), the change to Siltech products dramatically improved the sound of my system. The Siltech AC products, particularly the Ruby Hill II cords and the Octopus Signature Eight, heightened my enjoyment, removed numerous layers of electronic distance from between me and the music, and, without question, made possible a refreshed emotional involvement with it. Arguably, the SPX-800 cords also improved my listening experience, though the results differed with the component, working best with digital sources. I am now convinced that Siltech’s Ruby Hill II, SPX-800, and Octopus Signature Eight are indeed audio components and should be treated as such -- that is, chosen for a system with as much care as you would electronics or speakers.
If your audio system has reached maturity -- that is, if you believe that all of your components are of reference level but you still want to make a dramatic improvement in your system’s sound quality through something that’s the equivalent of another component upgrade, look seriously into purchasing a set of Siltech power cords and the Octopus Signature Eight power distributor. No, they’re not inexpensive, but they are ultra-high-quality items that added refinement, tonal weight, timbral complexity, and an overall naturalness in the flow of the music to the qualities my system already had. Like paints, brushes, chalk, pencils, charcoals, paper, clay, and canvas for a Raphael, and as much as any other components in your chain of audio amplification, power cords and power distributors are materials that can ease the transfer of recorded sound and bring you closer to the artistic conception of the music. They can make a dimension’s worth of difference.
. . . Garrett Hongo
- Analog sources -- TW-Acustic Raven Two and 10.5 tonearm with Zyx Airy 3 cartridge (0.24mV), Ortofon RS-309D tonearm with Ortofon 90th Anniversary SPU (0.3mV)
- Digital sources -- Cary 303/300 CD player, Apple iMac with JoLida Glass Tube DAC
- Preamplifiers -- Lamm LL2.1 line stage, Herron VTPH-2 phono stage, EAR MC4 step-up transformer
- Power amplifiers -- deHavilland KE50A (monoblocks)
- Speakers -- Von Schweikert Audio VR5 HSE
- Speaker cables -- Siltech 330L, 330L jumpers
- Interconnects -- Siltech 330i, Auditorium 23 (all RCA)
- USB cables -- Wireworld Starlight 6 and Silver Starlight
- Power cords -- Cardas Golden Reference, Fusion Audio Predator and Impulse, Harmonix xDC Studio Master, Thor Red, Wireworld Stratus
- Power conditioner -- Weizhi PRS-6 power distributor
- Accessories -- Box Furniture S5S five-shelf rack in sapele, HRS damping plates, edenSound FatBoy dampers, Winds VTF gauge
Siltech Ruby Hill II Power Cord
Price: $2750 USD per 1.5m cord, $600 each additional meter.
Siltech SPX-800 Power Cord
Price: $1250 USD per 1.5m cord, $440 each additional meter.
Siltech Octopus Signature Eight Power Distributor
Price: $3300 USD (copper wiring).
Warranty (all): Lifetime, materials and workmanship.
6662 NW Elst
North American distributors:
Audio Plus Services (US)
156 Lawrence Paquette Industrial Drive
Champlain, NY 12919
Phone: (800) 663-9352, (450) 585-0098
Fax: (866) 656-0686
313 Marion Street
Le Gardeur, Quebec J5Z 4W8
Phone: (866) 271-5689