Recently there were quite some paper tiger wars about worthiness of "pricey" audiophile cables. I have to say that when it comes to cables I'm rather skeptical than believer but always ready to let my ears and intelligence to do the sum. Over the years i trained myself to give time to any matter considered. It's easy to jump to quick conclusions about things in life. There are numerous things that can be instantly recognized for better or worst, but audio is quite an sophisticated experience. Differences can be very subtle and it usually take a while draw proper conclusions. This might sound like philosophical mind gymnastic, but it's simple facts and training experience at the end of the day.
When i started with Mono & Stereo i decided that I'll review only those components that I'm interesting in and found them unique and worthy of the given money. Over the past few months i got quite some "energetic" emails from all kinds of specialized audio manufacturers all over the world. Some of them claimed that i support rich capitalism companies that have almost no clue about sound and true high end. Well, i understand that audiophile business is becoming very niche and you have to fight for your customers, but i don't think such an attitude will help any. Neither manufacturers of customers.
In one of the letters or better to call it essays i was enlighten by the power of the mouth to mouth marketing. Great, no problem with me. Good word about great products and happy customers go round quickly, but saying that advertising is only for snobbish, exploitation and money (show me one who isn't) oriented companies is plain nonsense. If you want to get the wider, international customer base or want to introduce new product you'll have to advertise in one or another way. People who don't advertise, usually moan the most about customers or lack of them. I trust and like to believe that audiophile community consist or fairly big amount of intelligent people that deal with facts. If you think I'm wrong check up the Head-fi for example.
Audience is well known in the realms of high end audio. I already tested their Adept Response power conditioner and really loved it. John McDonald kindly provided company AU24 speaker cables and Power cord for testing.
Audience high resolution powerChord E
What kind of difference can simple power chord make? You can get cheap power cord in any radio shack for few $ and never worry about it. Or should you? We normally understand that properly designed power cord should be safe in first place and every other characteristic is secondary, but we are in the high fidelity audio after all. Based on my past experiences every single chain in audio system matters. Usually we're talking about audio signal cables and all the advantages that you can gain from carefully selected cable. Sometimes you don't have clean your wallet totally to get good results. A bit of knowledge and some time can make your system sing in synergy.
Audience powerChord E is High-current, low impedance design which translate for a fast response. It is designed to last and give long life quality performance. What does this mean in real life or better in listening environment?
There is quite some factors that play an important role in designing quality power cable. First of all the quality of the cable itself. While testing and moving the cable constantly you can quickly damage it's core. Properly designed cable should be absent of this damages to a highest degree. Quality power chord should be designed with low resistance and low impedance in mind. This provide constant quality flow of the power and act like via media.
Audience really took time and research all the things that matter. You can check more in the specs about features. I'll go to the most important part of the review. I left powerChords in my system for past few months and compare them. I wont say my ears are golden but i learn to trust them over the years. There were no quick conclusions and i really spend quite some time experimenting and changing the various installations.
I dare to say that powerChord E is one of those products that you must try. Allow yourself an entrance to the purer, more dynamical sound and lower noise floor. This my exact conclusion after removing them from my system. The difference is subtle but more than noticeable. In high end audio we operate with nuances when optimizing and refining our bellowing audio system. I can lucidly hear the deeper bass, better attack dynamics, deeper and wider soundstage. The difference is there and it matters. What more can audiophile demand?
PowerChord E is high quality power cord that incorporate all classically proven technologies with contemporary solutions. It is really easy to install and you won't loose any quality with bending or adjusting it. Not cheap but still affordable and fairly priced. Highly recommended!
- Wattgate IEC and Marinco plugs standard
- High-current, low impedance design for fast response.
- High immunity to radiated noise with minimum radiated field.
- Improves resolution and color rendition in video playback systems.
- Delivers maximum power to your music playback system.
- Widest possible bandwidth for instantaneous response to the program signal.
- Ultra-flexible for long service life and minimum damage to conductors.
- Powerful, accurate reproduction of macro- and micro-dynamics.
- Solid, articulate deep bass response.
- Far lower background noise than possible with other power cords.
- Vastly improves imaging, restores harmonic integrity.
Audience AU24 speaker cables
Music reproduction is really complicating beast with the simple goal. To playback music as closer to the performed or studio recorded audio message. We often don't know what technology technicians used when they captured those precious moments and jet we still demand the best undistorted voyage to the sound universe.
I had mixed experiences with different companies and their cable products over the years. Many times the marketed hype simply vapor in practical test. There is often no such thing as simply connecting speaker cable into system and rest in your musical escapes. Good system demand synergy and synergy demands knowledge, time and often large founds to conduct factual conclusion.
Au24 might not shock you at the first sight. This in not a cable designed to impress you with the giant mass. I love the simple and plain black appearance. There is no need for the flashy eyesight for my taste.
Audience refined AU24 in many ways. John told me that it took them at least 3 years to conduct all the tests and prepare them for the market. Now let me dive to the music. Every serious DIY enthusiasts or audiophile that took a bit of research and listening will tell you that you can alter or correct the sound with proper use of speaker cables. Even with the cheap consumer cable you'll quickly hear the difference. There are some secrets hidden in the core of the cables. Even flat and rounded cable will change the signal between your amplifier and speakers drastically. But the hardest part is for sure construct the transparent cable that won't loose dynamics, details and most important musicality. There are numerous processes and design philosophies on the market that offers vast possibilities. But this possibilities can drive you crazy, if you're not experienced or simply cannot afford to test at least few of them in your system. It won't help to just throw cables into system and at once whole new universe will open. This might happen by chance (one in a ....) , but very unlikely. But!!!
In the past and recent few years some of the manufacturers took audio seriously enough and approach to the "problem" holistically. Their goal is a transparency that will apply to the wide range of applications. I strongly believe that Audience succeed it with AU24 speaker cable. There is some special undisturbed and musical feeling when favorite tracks are running through. Recently i exposed myself to a lot of natural, acoustically recorded music. I like all the genres but i love live performed small ensemble music. This is the music I'm mostly exposed and it's easiest to resemble at home audio system. AU24 haven't distracted me in any way to the playback material. Few of the traditional bhajan live music and simply wonderful live recordings from Iztok Zupan never sounded so lively and i hardly remember being so avid about whole audio reproduction. Sometimes it really depress me how badly recorded most of the music is. There are few individuals, labels and albums that stand out. When system and all the component really start to evaporate, you know that you're on the right track. I can go on and on with the lists of music and references, but i wont. If you are serious enough about the music and reproduction AU24 speaker cables might be one of the most transparent, optimally balanced and affordable speaker cables on the market. I urge you to try it in your system if you are in the market for one. If you're not you might be really surprised, even if you own few times more expensive cables. They're that good! Highly recommended!
Text and photo: Matej Isak, Mono & Stereo