The electricity is a strange phenomenon. The “objectivists” “know” that different powercords cannot possibly have any influence on the sound and they reject to be exposed to any “senseless” listening tests. Their “knowledge” is absolute and precludes continual questioning of their scientific fundamental truths.
Then there are “subjectivists” who dare to believe differently. The former believe everything is predictable and behaves according to the (known) scientific laws - no surprises here. The latter let themselves surprise, at least from time to time or shall I say, they form their opinion after being convinced by their aural experience.
OK, I just realized my portrayal of “objectivists” perhaps exposes them as quite conservative and narrow-minded beings who blindly follow their (holy) scientific books BUT...had they realized these very men and women who actually wrote their scientific books...weren`t conservative and narrow-minded at all (quite on the contrary, in order to be able to explore all these great unknown territories and reveal mysteries, they HAD TO BE open-minded and adventurous in their thinking) - they would most likely somewhat adjust their “belief system”.
It appears the “subjectivists” inherited more genuine scientific spirit than the majority of high-tech educated people. They are willing to put some effort into the listening tests, comparing various powercords and seeking for eventual differences. But why would anyone want to “listen to” different powercords and observe their effects on sound? Just to be different and to maintain odd philosophy? That would mean he/she is fooling himself/herself. What if audible differences really exist, among different powercords? Oh yes, almost forgot, audible means “imaginary” to objectivists...never ending story.
The Skogrand approach
High up in the mountain hills of Norway, Knut Skogrand has been quietly building some of the most impactful cables that the high end audio world has ever witnessed. From the outside they cannot be mistaken for any other cable family; their visual aesthetics are simply light years away from any cool looking industrial design: they reveal a profound artistic touch and evoke warm feelings. To design a mundane thing like a powercord and make it look like an artistic object, requires a true talent and surely Knut Skogrand appears to be a man of many talents.
His speaker cables have shaken the audio world and for good reasons. They represent the mixture of a perfect wizardry: science and (mystic) art and deliver the goods in a shockingly realistic manner. This approach is almost completely forgotten nowadays but in the “olden times” scientists were poets, musicians, alchemists, simply artists...and spiritual seekers. And spiritual search for growth through music is something we WANT to experience because contrary to what we see on the surface of our daily lives, deep down in our DNA there is a memory of something that goes beyond...and this ancient yearning gives our lives meaning and purpose.
Description and specification
From the Skogrand website:
Skogrand Wagner is a high performance AC power cable designed to deliver a pure energy flow to your components protecting and preserving the energy transfer in a most complete way. Skogrand Wagner is a multistrand design with ample shielding and 15A 125V/16A 250V UP-OCC Connectors.
The Wagner comes in the cable model finish of any of our cable models. Performance and pricing stays the same of course.
We offer US and Euro connectors along with the IEC plugs - you choose the termination and finish in our post sale manufacturing communication.
2 x 4 mm2 stranded UP-OCC copper conductors
1 x 5 mm2 ground wire
2 x braided copper shielding
Polyolefin cable jacket and insulation
Optional silk brocade cable sleeve or black braid with purple polyolefin shining through
Current rating 32 Amps
Voltage rating 300 V
DC-resistance 0.0032 Ohm/m
Rhodium plated UP copper connectors
Max operating temperature +90C
The Skogrand sound
I vividly remember the day when I have experienced the Skogrand Beethoven SC (speaker cables) for the first time: it was a shocking revelation. The Beethovens touched my soul in a profound way like no other speaker cables before and in my view there were three aspects of the music reproduction that made this happen: the amount of the energy transfer, the openness across the whole frequency spectrum and the incredibly natural harmonic structure (timbre) of instruments and voices. The sense of immediacy was uncanny and all this in turn added to an enhanced sense of believability of the reproduced musical events and enabled a very deep emotional involvement. What I especially liked was how the Beethovens managed to combine two seemingly opposing virtues: absolute neutrality/precision and gobs of emotions. In my opinion the energy transfer levels play a vital role here. Skimp on the energy transfer levels and...gone is the musical/emotional involvement factor.
Did the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord showed familiar sonic character of the Beethovens? Yes it did, these two products bring very much the same sonic traits to the table.
During the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord review I have had some other high performance powercords on hand, among them from Audiomica and Paradox and the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord sounded decidedly the most analog of all of them although I wouldn`t say that the difference was huge but it was important nevertheless and for this reason it became my favorite of the bunch. The Skogrand Wagner AC powercord enables unhindered energy flow which gives music a very strong foundation to build upon and results in a very authoritative overall sound.
Used on the source (DAC) it showed its virtues from the very first minute and proved that Knut Skogrand indeed is a master of the cabling crafts of the highest degree. Never did the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord sound technical or lean but neither did it sound colored or euphonic. It gave an absolutely balanced set of attributes that never stood in the way on information or emotional involvement and that`s a difficult trick to perform.
The bass had power, heft and control; the extension of the lowest registers was remarkable and the upper bass was punchy and rhythmic. The lower midrange had a proper sense of weight and control and without this parameter we cannot talk about the sound being realistic. The vocal range was very open, either with solo voices or in case of massive choral works. The separation of individual voices was exceptional in lateral and depth planes. The presence region lacked any signs of hardness or glare; it was smooth, open and unforced in its sonic signature. The treble region was very much the same, it possessed excellent transparency but was still not edgy or forward in character.
The orchestral instrumental timbres were rendered with a broad palette of colors, harmonic richness and properly extended overtones. The micro and macro dynamic responsiveness was excellent and the resultant dynamic range was top notch.
One of the greatest musical discoveries lately was certainly Orquesta El Arranque, a Tango orchestra whose “Clásicos” album crossed my way quite unexpectedly. Founded by double bassist Ignacio Varchausky and bandoneonist Camilo Ferrero and starting off as a quintet, El Arranque developed a repertoire that was readily embraced by the tango community and has quickly earned an international reputation as the most important young tango orchestra in the world today. They have played a series of concerts with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center, and at the tango festival in Paris in the National Theater of the Palais Chaillot. They are also an integral and vibrant part of the Buenos Aires tango scene, playing in both theatrical settings and in the most popular milongas (tango dances).
The aforementioned album “Clásicos” (recorded in 2002) is filled with dynamism of the highest order. The music is highly spirited, touching and played with extreme virtuosity and passion.
On top of it, the recording quality is simply breathtakingly realistic...and I`m talking about a CD format, yes. This album is a must have for all Tango music lovers and also for all those who think the CD disc is dynamically restricted and crippled. The recording wizards who made it, should really be applauded. Although all instruments sound incredibly dynamic and realistic, it is the piano that shines throughout. I can`t remember when was the last time that I have heard this big and difficult to reproduce instrument sound so immediate and lifelike - on the recording. It was a pure joy to almost “have it” in the room in front of me. Let me put it this way: on this recording the piano sounds scarily realistic! Want more? Buy the album, you won`t regret it! I couldn`t resist the magic it offers and listened to the whole album in one go. Through the Skogrand brothers duo (Beethoven & Wagner), it sounded simply magnificent - I was mesmerized! When great music and great components “collide” - the results make the listener surrender instantly. If you love music regardless of origin and genre, this album will enchant you, it`s pure magic.
Norwegian music? Try this, Beady Belle - Lose & Win from her Home (2001) album.
The voices at the beginning sound incredibly realistic and immediate, just scarily so - provided you have a capable enough system and the Skogrands were really helpful in this regard. The vocals have a sizzling quality that was reproduced amazingly authentic, through the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord.
Beady Belle (established 1999 in Oslo, Norway) is a Norwegian Jazz/Funk band founded by Beate S. Lech in collaboration with her bassist and future husband Marius Reksjø, after having been encouraged to make a record by Bugge Wesseltoft at Jazzland Recordings. Lech and Reksjø studied music together at the University of Oslo, and as music students they started several bands together. Their music flows in the landscape between jazz and acid-jazz, using upbeat and downbeat electronica roots, using vocal harmonies, piano, and strings. However, the music also incorporates elements of several other genres.
Listen to the April Fool, a beautiful song from her “Cewbeagappic” album:
This album is packed with emotion and spirited musicality and without such REAL music, our almighty systems are worthless. Luckily, the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord worked hand in hand with the musical message; it fully supported it and helped to bring out its essence.
And since I have mentioned him, Bugge Wesseltoft is another Norwegian pearl that must be mentioned. His albums are a constant source of amazement - to me. Jens Christian Bugge Wesseltoft (born 1 February 1964 in Porsgrunn, Norway) is a jazz musician (but not limited only to Jazz!), pianist, composer and producer, son of the Jazz guitarist Erik Wesseltoft. His solo albums and collaborations with other musicians are really colorful and vary in style and mood; from meditative to more energetic but always engaging and inviting. Here, an upbeat tune “Leave My Head Alone Brain” from Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrik Schwarz - Duo (2011):
The bass lines were reproduced with spectacular heft but also sounded VERY controlled through the Skogrand Wagner AC powercord. Spectacular music reproduced in a spectacular way!
The Skogrand family of cables brought something refreshing to the world of state of the art audio cabling and this in every regard, soundwise and in terms of artistic visual impact. They look special and they sound special.
Like all the other Skogrand cables, the Wagner AC powercord is characterized by powerful, energetic, effortlessly transparent and emotionally highly involving sonic vocabulary. The music just sounds so RIGHT and REAL through them and my only verdict thus can be: highly recommended!