I realized a few years ago just how critically important clean AC power is and consequently have gone through quite a few of the well-regarded conditioners. IMHO the conditioners and power cable combination can absolutely make or break a system…. they are the absolute foundation of the performance. I now realize that no matter how good your interconnects or speaker cables are, if the power is not right, you will not hear the full benefit of those cables. I’ve also heard “some” power cables having a greater effect on sound quality than some interconnects or speaker cables…. I realize some folk will probably struggle with that…! Anyways, long story short, I believe you need to get it ALL right, for it to sound right…. not just some of it, as all parts contribute to the whole.
As far as power cables go, I’ve tried and owned many of the popular flavors over the years, but draw the line generally at around $400/a piece…. I understand that parts are expensive, but more than $4-$500 just seems ridiculous to me conceptually. When you need several in a system, the cost adds up extremely quickly and knowing that high-cost doesn’t always relate to high-performance, I couldn’t personally justify more.
As some will know, Grover appears to have made a breakthrough with his cable design during the past year with the introduction of the hybrid tri-metal ribbon SX series. Grover’s previous incarnations have always been extremely competitive in their price range, but I believe the latest SX interconnects and speaker cables have put him practically at the top of the pile and easily capable of taking on cables costing MANY times more. These cables have certainly ended my upgrading bug for the foreseeable future.
For some reason, I had avoided trying Grover’s power cables for a long time. I’ve known about them and read reviews/comments, but somehow had not felt inspired to try them. About 6 months ago after happening to talk with Grover, he persuaded me to try one…. so I did. The cable was quite small physically and very flexible, but the sound quality was just reasonable as far as I was concerned. I returned the cable to Grover and after explaining my findings to him, it was like putting a red flag to a bull…. just “reasonable” to Grover is completely unacceptable…. and so his latest power cable development began and now appears complete…. for now anyway…?
Grover now offers two power cables; one standard with a copper male and silver-plated copper IEC and a more expensive reference edition with rhodium plated plugs both ends.
I first tried the latest standard cord…. I have never heard so much 3D depth and positional data before…. you could literally hear someone dropping something small on the floor fifteen feet behind the lead singer…! I was amazed at these particular qualities this cord possessed compared to anything else I had heard in my system.
Spurned on by these delights, I next tried the reference cord. This cord needed at least 50 hours on it to start sounding integrated, organic and liquid. The first thing that absolutely stands WAY out with this cord is the amazing dynamics…. I’ve never heard a livelier cord and the bandwidth is significantly larger than the stock cord at both ends of the spectrum. This wouldn’t be an issue with smaller speakers, but my Hawthorne Sterling Trio’s are very open and extended. The mid to top end is soooo clean with even more increased detail over the stock cord. This cord doesn’t seem to have quite the depth and positional accuracy of the stock cord…. but I don’t care…. this is the most life-like and “live sounding” cord I’ve yet had the pleasure to hear.... and it's so clean...!
I think synergy may have something to do with my results as I now have tri-metal Grover cables in most places. One cable was significant, but when I put a reference on my wall supply, amp, MW transporter and source…. it all just clicked into a higher gear. Its like putting larger windows in…. you need to put them everywhere to avoid a bottleneck…. these were my findings anyway…. not that just one wasn’t significant…!
So…. two great new very high-performance cables for “reasonable” money in this crazy expensive audiophile world. I am done looking and trying anymore (well for now anyway) as this system of cables gives me a VERY significant amount of natural sounding, musical listening pleasure…. and yes, I paid for all of them…!
If you are in the market for a new high-performance power cable, I would strongly recommend you try a new Grover…. he offers probably the best return/customer satisfaction guarantee in the business. If you have an interest, I would also suggest you discuss the orientation of the plugs on these new cables with Grover if your system needs specifics. Although quite flexible in one plane, they are quite stiff in the other as they are like a large flat ribbon in layout and quite stiff torsionally.
Easily the best I’ve experienced…. I’m very happy with this major contribution to my listening pleasure…. thanks Grover…!
Equipment used to review:
Monarchy Audio M150 conditioner (modified with teslaplex outlets and Furutech IEC) with Grover reference cord and 10g dedicated teslaplex wall outlet
Mayher quantum studio, shield and several PE's
Quantum Symphony Pro
Hawthorne Sterling Trio speakers
Modwright Transporter with Grover reference cord (EML and Treasure's)
Vaughn Carina SET amp with Grover reference cord
Denon 3930ci universal transport with Grover reference cord
Monarchy DIP upsampler with Kaplan HE cord
Old style Burson buffer with Kaplan HE cord
Grover SX interconnects and speaker cables