Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE

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rydenfan

Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« on: 15 Feb 2009, 05:57 pm »
Friday, I received my Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE. It replaces the Running Springs Audio Danielle. The SE is the highest of the three versions that Synergistic offers. It differs from the standard 10 with an upgraded internal cell, a 32A Powercon connector, and replaces the standard cord with the Precision AC.

I am not going to make too many comments on it yet as it still needs time to break-in and I am not currently able to listen to music. Look for more to come over the next week or so but I thought you guys might enjoy a few pics  :D The build quality is absolutely superb!! The pics do not begin to do justice of the high-gloss finish the entire chassis has.

OK, a little about the sound so far  :wink: While watching TV and movies over the weekend my soundstage has become very spooky. It has moved a solid foot outside of each speaker. The word that comes to mind is holographic. My speakers seem to be disappearing more and it is hard to tell what sound is coming from what speaker. Also, all instruments (even through TV) just have a more live presence. There is almost a palpability to instruments. Very cool!! I will report back once I have more time and I am back in action with my tunes  :thumb:

update

OK, after living with the Powercell for a few weeks now, this update is long overdue. Most components that I audition or own tend to typically have both positive and negatives. And if the positives are compelling enough for me to accept then negatives than it typically ends up in my system. The Powercell 10 SE bucks the trend here. I have really tried to come up with a negative sonic attribute, but in my system, it just does not exist. My only caveat is that you must be extremely careful when handling the unit as it could be easily scratched.

The first thing I noticed upon placing the Powercell into my system was the increased soundstage; sounds seem like they are coming from outside of the speakers. This has increased slightly over the last few weeks. I am not exactly sure what this can be attributed to? but my guess is true unrestricted dynamics. It is truly a holographic sound and must be heard to be understood. Due to this both micro and macro details and improved over my previous conditioners. There is a particular Medeski, Martin, and Wood track that I love to use as a demo for a variety of reason. There are some very faint backround sounds that I used to strain to hear but could tell they were there. With the Powercell in place these details were clearly heard yet maintained a very natural sound. Sometimes when auditioning various cords I have heard these details as well but along with that came a very forward and fatiguing sound, this is not the case at all with the Powercell. This track just exemplifies how the Powercell helps to add continuity to my system and sort out complex pieces of music. I almost feel as if the sound was a bit disjointed previously, now that I have heard it with the Powercell.

Bass is one area where the Powercell provides the greatest strengths to my system. It helped my bass be deep and tight and I feel became more taught and rock-solid in the lowest frequencies. Acoustic bass is still full-bodied and organic sounding while having excellent control. I believe that to be a real attribute of the Powercell as many other conditioners I have owned or auditioned tended to rob my system of those lower frequencies. Brian Bromberg sounds so organic that it feels as if you can hear the actual wood of his bass yet has all the punch and impact needed to convey the true sense of the instrument.

Over the first 100 hours or so the Powercell was ever so slightly closed in on the top end, but in this area I experienced the biggest change during break-in. The top end is now as unrestriced and glorious as all other areas. There is a very subtle and natural air that seems to exist above instruments and voices. All of this adds up to the most eased and relaxed sense of music I have heard in my system, and to me there is no higher praise I can give.

Up until now Power Conditioning has always been a necessary evil for me. Adding blacker backrounds, bass definition, etc. but always at the cost of something. In the end I would always find it worth it over going directly into the wall but never 100% satisfied; that has now changed. In my system the Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE is a significant improvement. I understand if some feel that I am overly praising the Powercell 10 SE. My only response to that would be to go out and audition one yourself and then come back to me. It is extremely rare for me to set it and forget it. Usually even after purchasing a piece of gear I am still curious about other gear out there in the world and what it may sound like in my system. I can tell you that for my system the Powercell 10 SE is a set it and forget it. If you are looking for a conditioner to balance out a deficiency in your system, look elsewhere. The Powercell will simply allow you to hear the best of what your system has to offer.









« Last Edit: 17 Mar 2009, 02:57 pm by rydenfan »

audio 1

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Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #1 on: 16 Feb 2009, 12:44 pm »
Awesome!

golfugh

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Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #2 on: 16 Feb 2009, 02:39 pm »
Sounds incredible, looking forward to further information! :D

Philistine

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #3 on: 11 Mar 2009, 01:12 am »
Hi David, any update on the Powercell?
I'm also interested if you feed your Plinus from it - most of the power conditioning equipment (mine included) are not recommeded based on current limiting issues, and my understanding is that the Powercell should not limit current.  Even though the Powercell is not inexpensive it has received great reviews so far, consequently any feeback you have with your equipment (and tubes  :lol:) would be valuable.
Phil

richidoo

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #4 on: 11 Mar 2009, 01:44 am »
New review in Absolute Sound arrived yesterday.

Philistine

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #5 on: 11 Mar 2009, 02:23 am »
New review in Absolute Sound arrived yesterday.

Thanks, I let my subscription lapse - now they send me heartbreaking letters :cry:
Looks like a trip to Borders.

zybar

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #6 on: 11 Mar 2009, 02:24 am »
New review in Absolute Sound arrived yesterday.

And???

Not looking for a paste and copy of the entire review, but just some basic comments.

George

arthurs

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #7 on: 11 Mar 2009, 02:31 am »
I just got one here today, I'll post some thoughts after it runs in a bit and I get a chance to do some listening with it, without it, and with my Running Springs back in...I'm off next week so will have a little time...

rydenfan

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #8 on: 11 Mar 2009, 02:43 am »
Nice Art  :wink:

I will post some long overdue thoughts tomorrow. They will be quite favorable  :D

rydenfan

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #9 on: 17 Mar 2009, 02:58 pm »
Listening impressions updated  :thumb:

zybar

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #10 on: 17 Mar 2009, 04:32 pm »
Nicely written David.

I am glad that things worked out for you and that you found a "set it and forget it" piece.

George

ted_b

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Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #11 on: 17 Mar 2009, 04:35 pm »
Good update David.  I loved the Powercell while it was here for demo, and it was not quite the SE.

jwes

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #12 on: 17 Mar 2009, 04:45 pm »
David,

Nice review, and better still that the site is sill alive and kicking!

Have you had active power conditioners in your past?  I've been using the PS Audio Powerplant Premier to a pretty nice result.  But due to the fact the fact that it regenerates AC (AC to DC to AC), I've wondered about restrictions in dynamics.  It seems somehow that the filtering approach might allow current/power flow more freely.  Don't know for sure, but just curious how what the Powercell compares to a regenerator approach.

Jim

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Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #13 on: 17 Mar 2009, 04:51 pm »
Quote
The first thing I noticed upon placing the Powercell into my system was the increased soundstage; sounds seem like they are coming from outside of the speakers. This has increased slightly over the last few weeks. I am not exactly sure what this can be attributed to? but my guess is true unrestricted dynamics. It is truly a holographic sound and must be heard to be understood. Due to this both micro and macro details and improved over my previous conditioners. There is a particular Medeski, Martin, and Wood track that I love to use as a demo for a variety of reason. There are some very faint backround sounds that I used to strain to hear but could tell they were there. With the Powercell in place these details were clearly heard yet maintained a very natural sound. Sometimes when auditioning various cords I have heard these details as well but along with that came a very forward and fatiguing sound, this is not the case at all with the Powercell. This track just exemplifies how the Powercell helps to add continuity to my system and sort out complex pieces of music. I almost feel as if the sound was a bit disjointed previously, now that I have heard it with the Powercell.


Now my first thoughts were couldn't this holographic attribute actually be looked upon as adding something? At least I can see some purists looking at it as such. For me personally tho, this is the 1 feature that I crave for in my system, to get torn away from that front row seat and be totally immersed in a room of sound w/o speakers. This SR Powercell could actually be the conditioner that I'd give up my BPT for, that is if i could afford one. aa I'm glad you found your power conditioning nirvana Dave and thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. :thumb:

Cheers,
Robin

ted_b

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Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #14 on: 17 Mar 2009, 04:56 pm »
I had P300 Multiwaves for many years (PS Audio regenerators) before going passive (Audience Adept Response AR12, Powercell) and the passives won hands down for me.  Active induced too much grain and hash in my system.  The background/noisefloor dropped to black when I went passive, and the soundstage opened up (probably a by-product of the noise floor).

Philistine

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #15 on: 17 Mar 2009, 05:06 pm »
Thanks for taking the time to write your experience with Powercell David.

I have questions related to how you used it - did you use it for your amp or not?
The reason I ask is many conditioners, including my Richard Gray, do not recommend using them to supply amps due to current limiting issues.  My understanding is the Powercell is not current limiting and can be used in this manner.

rydenfan

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #16 on: 17 Mar 2009, 05:08 pm »
David,

Nice review, and better still that the site is sill alive and kicking!

Have you had active power conditioners in your past?  I've been using the PS Audio Powerplant Premier to a pretty nice result.  But due to the fact the fact that it regenerates AC (AC to DC to AC), I've wondered about restrictions in dynamics.  It seems somehow that the filtering approach might allow current/power flow more freely.  Don't know for sure, but just curious how what the Powercell compares to a regenerator approach.

Jim

Jim, I have not had the Power Plant but I did have the APC S-15 which is also sine wave based. I did not have good results with that piece in my system. It was extremely restrictive and felt like there was a choke hold placed on my system. Obviously YMMV

rydenfan

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #17 on: 17 Mar 2009, 05:12 pm »
Thanks for taking the time to write your experience with Powercell David.

I have questions related to how you used it - did you use it for your amp or not?
The reason I ask is many conditioners, including my Richard Gray, do not recommend using them to supply amps due to current limiting issues.  My understanding is the Powercell is not current limiting and can be used in this manner.

Phil, I have not played too much yet with my amp plugged into the Powercell versus my amp plugged directly into the wall. What I can tell you though is that I replaced one of my Pass & Seymour outlets with the Teslaplex that Synergistic provides for your wall when you purchase the Powercell, and there was a nice improvement there.  I noticed a quieter backround and deeper bass extension by plugging my amp into the Teslaplex.

rydenfan

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #18 on: 17 Mar 2009, 05:14 pm »
Nicely written David.

I am glad that things worked out for you and that you found a "set it and forget it" piece.

George

Thanks George  :thumb: I hope it works out for you to hear one.

*Scotty*

Re: Synergistic Research Powercell 10 SE
« Reply #19 on: 17 Mar 2009, 09:25 pm »
First a comment on rydenfan's observation of increased holography and his loudspeakers disappearing better. How well your loudspeakers disappear and how wide,deep and holographic your sound-stage is are basic bench marks of stereo system performance. The speakers ability to disappear is a primary function of the driver design and secondarily the crossover design.
When both are done properly the speaker will disappear when a only single speaker is played. It will appear to be like a region of space with sound emanating from it. When the speaker is doing it's job properly it's performance is now dependent on the source signal reaching it intact for the accurate reproduction of spacial information to occur.
David's experience with the Powercell is due to it's reduction of intermodulation distortion resulting noise from the AC line making it's way into circuitry with signal in it.
By reducing the noise and the resulting loss of information his results are right in line with the goals of a purist approach to High Fidelity reproduction the of the signal.
In essence he hasn't added anything to the original signal he has only lost less of what he originally started with.  The Powercell sounds like a very effective device with no negative impacts particularly in the field of dynamic range restriction. Thank you for the concise report on the Powercell, it is useful information.
Scotty