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
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
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 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.