If I may ramble a bit, I?d like to discuss power in general and on various components in response to your inquiry as well as the R9SE/Aluminata combination. I also invite you to see further thoughts regarding power delivery in P.A.U.L.?s November e-zine at: http://www.precisionaudioonline.com/e-zine.html
Power in general and the R9SE:
I?ve recommended to both of you (R9SEv2 customers) not to shut off the 9?s. I, however, have been on an austerity budget and have been shutting down the system whenever not listening. Last night while preparing for a production of Swan Lake, I will be attending today; I listened through the six sides of The Boston conducted by Ozawa on an admittedly and routinely disappointing DG pressing. Nevertheless, it was quite enlightening vis a vis my behest.
Side one was so disorganized I thought the pressing and recording were simply botched. No bass or highs, forget about harmonics. Wandering image?it was almost unlistenable. I persisted even though I had an admittedly superior production on a USSR Melodiya/Angle pressing with Rozhdestvensky and the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. Well, by side four bass had returned as had highs, albeit no harmonic structure, imaging vastly improved but?not all right. Dramatic improvement by the end of side four and by side six, most if not all had returned. It was amazing to hear the system come together over the course of this listening session. I cannot express the importance of keeping, at least transistor, components on all the time. Interestingly, my tube gear does not exhibit the dramatic transformation I heard with the 9?s. Generally, I find the LAMM, Artemis and Music Reference sound right in less than an hour. Once fully broken in of course.
Power cords, interconnects and the Nu Force P9 Pre-amp
On another note, I have been spending more time in the Eminent Technology High End room and have this to report: First, the Nu Force P9 is dramatically more musical connected to the Music Reference amp with Purist Audio Design Proteus Provectus balanced interconnects. And though I liked it, it is a far, far better pre-amp than I had originally thought when driven by the JPS Labs Aluminata AC cord. Shockingly so! And second, while I have not found the RM 200 amp to be very sensitive to AC power cords the Isoclean Focus power cord has changed my opinion. The VI power cord, obviously, was not the synergistic match for the RM 200.
The P9 took on a warmth, mid-range and high frequency sweetness and coherence I?d expect from a far, far more expensive transistor pre-amp. And it retained its admittedly great strengths of frequency extension, powerful drive and crystalline clarity. I just wish it didn?t take a $3650 interconnect and a $3500 on a $3150 preamp to achieve this! Still, I?m very impressed. As for the RM 200, the bass, in particular became testicular, if you will (with the Isoclean Focus AC cord). Quite surprising even for its Russian KT88 output tubes. This was apparent on all tested pre to power interconnects.
Tue 10/28/2008 12:47 PM
JPS Aluminata AC cord on the Lamm LL2 Pre-amp
The Omega (full range ribbon speakers) sounds more coherent than I?ve ever heard. The Aluminata AC (and interconnects) on the LL2 (and JPS Labs AC cords on the 9SEv2?s) seems to have added, literally, another octave and a half to the bass. Though, I hate this word it is ?awesome?. The entire spectrum is now of one piece of cloth. The slight reticence I reported before (admittedly with 40 or so hours less on the pre-amp) is now perfectly balanced. A direct comparison with the previous AC cord (on the Lamm), the JPS Kaptovator and a very good cord itself, reveals an even greater sense of space. While the mid-range was good, exceptional actually, with the Aluminata (AC cord) it is as close as I have experienced to a live performance of a live performance. I no longer have any reservations on the high frequencies or harmonic structure (of the Lamm). I could close P.A.U.L. down today and for the rest of my life be happy with this system.
I must now ask myself ?What more might I achieve and at what cost?? I doubt, without perhaps spending an additional $70,000 to $100,000, an improvement of the magnitude I have achieved with the incremental upgrades I have made to this system would be gained. The only improvements left might be the $5000 DAC upgrade for the MSB, some $5000 or $6000 moving coil cartridge with an equally expensive phono amp, $16,000 for the LAMM L2, $24,000 for the LAMM M2.2, $10,000 to $15,000 on a equipment rack and SRA shelving, $10,000 in power conditioning and finishing the entire system in Aluminata cabling for around $50,000. Oops $100,000? I guess not.
Oh what the heck! You only live once!
Sat 4/11/2009 6:36 PM
NuForce Reference 9SEv2 with JPS Labs Aluminata interconnects and adding the PS Audio Power Plant Premiere supplied first by PAD Purist Anniversary AC cords and followed by changing to the JPS Labs Aluminata AC Cord
At 6 hours of running in I sat to take a first serious listen to the Purist Anniversary AC cord supplying power to the Power Plant Premiere. I did here a significant difference (from the PAD Aqueous Anniversary AC cord) upon first turning on the system but held judgment.
The change I?d liken to installing an Acapella Plasma tweeter into the system. There is a lightness or illumination to the sound previously not heard. The definition of notes is far more clearly delineated across the entire frequency spectrum as though the notes are filled in from the inside out. For example when listening to piano the initial hit of the hammer had previously overwhelmed the sound. I think what has taken place is a correction in the time domain. Now I hear each note as whole in time. That is, it has put the sonic character of the instrument back together, if you will.
This characteristic is obvious up and down the audio spectrum. Bass notes have taken on a more solid form. Lines are clear in a way piston speakers, like the Wilson, reproduce so well albeit at the expense of the sonority of an instrument. The explosive percussive sound, now in many Audiophiles and reviewers crosshairs, has led to the reportedly ?best? piston speakers such as the Wilson which tend to capture the texture of an instrument?s sound but loose the feeling of naturalness. The Omega has what I hear as one of the most natural sonic signatures I?ve yet experienced. The problem some have with planers is the lack of that percussive, overpowering in my opinion, bass and mid-bass. Interestingly, with the Power Plant on the PAD power cord the Omega has gained the visceral impact of a great piston speaker through greater delineation. The combined effect of the speed of the planer driver with the impact I now hear creates a much more complete representation of power and drive at low frequencies.
This character is carried up the frequency spectrum. I have spoken of this system previously as having a whole cloth presentation. What has been added is a transparency at the micro level of musical reproduction without creating a sense of discontinuity. This discontinuity to which I refer is most apparent in overly analytical components. Exciting yes. Real? Hardly.
The cables will burn in over the next several hundred hours, I expect. I am most curious to see how they mature. This has led me to the inevitable conclusion that I must get two more Purist Audio Design Purist Anniversary AC power cords and one more JPS Labs Aluminata AC cord so I can run the entire system from each set to compare the whole as well as try different AC cords on different components.
To be continued?
Moving the JPS Labs Aluminata AC cord to the Power Plant Premiere introduced me to?the real thing. Everything the PAD Purist Power cord offered (on the Power Plant Premiere) was improved upon and some aberrations (in this particular system) not noticed before were revealed. The Aluminata revealed an ever so slight but clearly audible dryness to the room acoustic as well as a suppression of sibilance. Frequency extension did not change enough to comment on but where I heard a ?lightness or illumination? before I now heard each individual note illuminated from within. The Aluminata showed the PAD to have had a hole in the middle of the note, if you will. Each note now was full yet clearly defined as an individual contributor to the whole. If I were to translate this into a visual image I?d say I could now see the texture of the instrument; its color, shape and the grain of the finish. During listening to various pieces I had a relaxed sense of awe. I found myself smiling as I do during a live event.
However, I do want to be very clear. Final analysis was using the Power Plant Premiere as the AC power distribution source. The overall results of any system are ultimately dependent on the quality of the AC provided to the equipment. That being said, it is extremely rare to hear the same attributes for any component or cable, for that matter, in various system configurations. The JPS Aluminata AC cord is one of those very rare and in my experience the only component I have found improves every system on every component I have installed it. The evaluations I spoke of above were all done with v2 of the R9SE amps. I have not had the time yet for detailed evaluation of the v3 iteration of the R9SE. But what I can say with absolute confidence is you have not heard your amps until you?ve heard them, at least, with the JPS Aluminata AC cords. Period!