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Wireworld Cables A World Of Difference

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Old 11-12-2017, 05:11 PM
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jimtranr jimtranr is online now
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Default Electra 7 Power Cord Feeding a TEAC UD-501 DAC

Bottom Line for those averse to TMI (this is a looooong essay):

The vast majority of upgrades I’ve installed in my audio systems over the years have effected incremental improvements in perceived performance. Not this one. Replacing my DAC’s stock power cord with the Wireworld Electra 7 was transformative to the point of mind-blowing. Right out of the box.

The Listening Environment:



While the bedroom system here is technically “secondary” (and requires me to flop on the bed as my listening chair), it's gotten the lion’s share of playing time lately, owing to the presence of a flat screen in the main system’s living space and my spouse’s consuming interest in such compelling spellbinders as “The Property Brothers”, QVC’s at-all-hours culinary hardware offerings, and the cloying “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” soap operas play-acting at “reality”.

Given its frequency of use, and despite its limitations due to unavoidable furniture placement and foot-traffic patterns that preclude optimum speaker positioning (as evidenced in the diagram), I decided to see if I could bump the system’s perceptible performance up a notch by substituting a Wireworld Electra 7 for the stock power cord feeding AC to my Uptone Audio ReGen’d TEAC UD-501 DAC.

My sole program source is a laptop-connected external USB drive that stores CD rips and high-resolution (24/88 through DSD128 and DXD) downloads. My primary listening fare consists of classical, jazz, and film scores, with occasional toe-dips into vocal standards, Broadway musicals, opera, and choral music. The system itself is detailed in my signature block below.

The Audition (with a Contextual Detour):

I began my audition of the Electra 7 right out of the box Ivan sent via UPS—in other words, with no burn-in and no settling time. For the first selection I picked a DSD128 reissue of one of RCA Living Stereo’s true sonic gems, Morton Gould’s reading of his own ballet score, “Fall River Legend”. I loaded the score into JRiver, clicked the play icon, and plopped down on the bed.

It took maybe 10 seconds into the first track to realize just how far down I’d lowballed my expectations with “up a notch”. What I heard was not the proverbial lifting of a veil typical of most upgrades I’ve installed, but rather a wholesale blowing down of the bedroom’s front wall.

Hyperbole? Well, let’s take a second to explore what we mean by “soundstage”. It’s typically expressed by its boundaries, specifically how far they extend laterally and fore-and-aft. If we make a system change that expands those boundaries…whoopee. If greater image focus and specificity accompany that expansion to the point of appearing holographic, so much the better. And if we detect better frequency extension and a more detailed presentation in the bargain, we’ve really hit the jackpot. Well, perhaps. Then again, maybe it’s just a “close” that doesn’t quite approximate horseshoes or hand grenades.

If you’ve ever peered into a loaded ViewMaster, you’ve been rewarded with a three-dimensional image that’s sharply defined throughout. Or if you’ve ever put on the special glasses required to watch a 3-D movie and gotten your eye poked with a written-into-the-script arrow or a spear, you’ve experienced a semblance of tactile reality. In both instances, the images are holographic. But do you feel the space within them, that sensation of palpable “air” that actually puts you in the picture?

With the Electra 7 in place, the most immediately noticeable effect with “Fall River Legend” was the massive infusion of human-breathable air into the performing space (Manhattan Center), which not only expanded the soundstage boundaries but gave the whole presentation you-are-there life. Gould’s orchestra became a reach-in-and-touch-someone three-dimensional entity to the farthest reaches of the now-expanded stage. With that, its output became tonally richer and far more nuanced than I’d ever heard in this system. Brass evinced “body” expressed in capital-S sonority; strings, resinous bite and liquidity; winds—well, I’ve never heard a reproduced bassoon so “gutsy”; percussion, tight, to-the-nines decay-resonant, and shirt-flapping impactful. No subtlety, no “incremental” here. This was out-and-out transformative.

But was it a one-off?

To test that, I next put on a different composition conductor, ensemble, recording venue, label, and recording team—Aaron Copland’s “Danzon Cubano performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in Philharmonic (later Avery Fisher) Hall on Sony (originally Columbia), SBM’d 16/44. It was easy to detect the change in venue, but the end result was the same in terms of soundstage expansion, image sharpness, instrumental body, tonal definition, transient quickness, and, above all, that same sense of almost-touchable air filling the performing space.

That close-to-your-are-there phenomenon repeated itself with opera (Alexander Borodin’s “Prince Igor”, Sony, 16/44, with much improved layering of the male and female vocal choirs in the “Polovtsian Dance with Choir”), Broadway (Leonard Bernstein’s final iteration of “Candide”, DG, 16/44, ditto on the layering) and filmscores (Robert Farnon’s “Captain Horatio Hornblower”, Reference Recordings, 16/44; Jerome Moross’ “The Jayhawkers”, Milan, 16/44; and Richard Rodgers’ “Victory at Sea”, RCA, 16/44).

For solo vocal in a more intimate studio recording venue, I put on Jane Monheit’s “There’s a Small Hotel” from her “Home” album (16/44). There was no artificial space enhancement here, but Monheit’s image was sharper and her tonal inflections better defined to the point where she could have been in the room (and I’d have been in a lot of trouble—I live in a shared space, remember).

How about a soloist singing to an audience in a larger venue? For that I selected Sarah Vaughan’s outing with Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in “Gershwin Live”, recorded live in the Chandler Pavilion (CBS, 16/44). Sarah’s subtle vocal nuances (not least in the lowest registers) were far more clearly in evidence and she was more differentiated from the now-better-delineated orchestra behind her than I’d heard pre-Electra 7.

My Take:

Feeding the TEAC DAC with the Electra 7 is easily the most significant upgrade to the bedroom system since I converted what are supposed to be sleeping quarters into a mini-Stonehenge of four-foot tall GIK megaliths. That round of room treatment transformed the problematic room into a considerably more listenable space. The Electra 7 has gone beyond that, transforming the listening experience itself to the point where quality-engineered recordings all but put this listener in the performers’ laps. Too bad my Sonographe amp is captive-corded, or I’d slap an Electra 7 on it in a heartbeat.
__________________
Main: Win 10 AMD A12 laptop, JRiver Media Center 22 audio player, with music fed by 3TB external drive, Wireworld Starlight 7 USB cable, TEAC UD-501 DAC, upgraded SOTA Sapphire III, Origin Live Encounter Mk3c/Ortofon 2M Black, Graham Slee Era Gold V, McIntosh MR77, Oppo BDP-83, conrad johnson Premier 17LS (6922EH) & MF2500, Paradigm SE-3s. Wireworld Eclipse 7 ICs, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP SC. PS Audio Dectet, Wireworld Electra 5/2 PCs (BDP-83, PR17LS, Dectet), Hubbell HBL5362 duplex outlet. GIK standard 244 and scatter-plate 244 and Soffit traps.

Home Office: Win 10 PC/JRiver Media Center 22 audio player, with music fed by 4TB external drive, Wireworld Solstice mini-to-RCA IC, c-j Sonographe SC-25, Sonographe SA250, Paradigm SE-1, WW Equinox 6 IC, Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable, Shunyata Hydra PLC.

Bedroom: Win 10 i7 laptop/JRiver Media Center 22 audio player, with music fed by 4TB external USB drive connected via Wireworld Starlight 7 USB 3.0 cable; Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 USB cable to Uptone Audio ReGen via USPCB A>B Adapter; Uptone Audio LPS-1 power supply; TEAC UD-501; Luminous Audio Axiom Mk. II passive preamp; c-j Sonographe SA250; stand-mounted Paradigm Studio 20 v.5s; WW Eclipse 7 ICs; Blue Jeans/Belden 5T00UP speaker cable; Blue Circle Thingee FX 0e PLC; WW Electra 5^2 power cord (from wall to PLC); WW Electra 7 power cord (from PLC to UD-501); PS Audio Power Port; Stillpoints Ultra Minis under laptop, LPS-1, and SA250; rubber-and-cork isolators under 4TB external drive; GIK 244, 244 Scatter Plate, 224, and Monster traps; DIY 4"-thick 12"x15" traps.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2017, 05:29 PM
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Yamaki Yamaki is online now
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Thanks for the review and your observations!

I've experienced much of the same changes in my system when upgrading the OEM power cords to WW products.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2017, 08:45 PM
apogee apogee is online now
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Wait till you move to silver electra and then platinum electra
apogee
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2017, 10:14 AM
Formerly YB-2 Formerly YB-2 is online now
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Have always found the first place to put a new power cable/IC is in digital gear. Whatever power 'grunge' it cleans up is most apparent in the digital domain as opposed to analog. The Silver 7 is a great cable to show this.
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2017, 10:25 AM
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For The Love of Music For The Love of Music is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtranr View Post
Bottom Line for those averse to TMI (this is a looooong essay):



The vast majority of upgrades I’ve installed in my audio systems over the years have effected incremental improvements in perceived performance. Not this one. Replacing my DAC’s stock power cord with the Wireworld Electra 7 was transformative to the point of mind-blowing. Right out of the box.



The Listening Environment:







While the bedroom system here is technically “secondary” (and requires me to flop on the bed as my listening chair), it's gotten the lion’s share of playing time lately, owing to the presence of a flat screen in the main system’s living space and my spouse’s consuming interest in such compelling spellbinders as “The Property Brothers”, QVC’s at-all-hours culinary hardware offerings, and the cloying “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” soap operas play-acting at “reality”.



Given its frequency of use, and despite its limitations due to unavoidable furniture placement and foot-traffic patterns that preclude optimum speaker positioning (as evidenced in the diagram), I decided to see if I could bump the system’s perceptible performance up a notch by substituting a Wireworld Electra 7 for the stock power cord feeding AC to my Uptone Audio ReGen’d TEAC UD-501 DAC.



My sole program source is a laptop-connected external USB drive that stores CD rips and high-resolution (24/88 through DSD128 and DXD) downloads. My primary listening fare consists of classical, jazz, and film scores, with occasional toe-dips into vocal standards, Broadway musicals, opera, and choral music. The system itself is detailed in my signature block below.



The Audition (with a Contextual Detour):



I began my audition of the Electra 7 right out of the box Ivan sent via UPS—in other words, with no burn-in and no settling time. For the first selection I picked a DSD128 reissue of one of RCA Living Stereo’s true sonic gems, Morton Gould’s reading of his own ballet score, “Fall River Legend”. I loaded the score into JRiver, clicked the play icon, and plopped down on the bed.



It took maybe 10 seconds into the first track to realize just how far down I’d lowballed my expectations with “up a notch”. What I heard was not the proverbial lifting of a veil typical of most upgrades I’ve installed, but rather a wholesale blowing down of the bedroom’s front wall.



Hyperbole? Well, let’s take a second to explore what we mean by “soundstage”. It’s typically expressed by its boundaries, specifically how far they extend laterally and fore-and-aft. If we make a system change that expands those boundaries…whoopee. If greater image focus and specificity accompany that expansion to the point of appearing holographic, so much the better. And if we detect better frequency extension and a more detailed presentation in the bargain, we’ve really hit the jackpot. Well, perhaps. Then again, maybe it’s just a “close” that doesn’t quite approximate horseshoes or hand grenades.



If you’ve ever peered into a loaded ViewMaster, you’ve been rewarded with a three-dimensional image that’s sharply defined throughout. Or if you’ve ever put on the special glasses required to watch a 3-D movie and gotten your eye poked with a written-into-the-script arrow or a spear, you’ve experienced a semblance of tactile reality. In both instances, the images are holographic. But do you feel the space within them, that sensation of palpable “air” that actually puts you in the picture?



With the Electra 7 in place, the most immediately noticeable effect with “Fall River Legend” was the massive infusion of human-breathable air into the performing space (Manhattan Center), which not only expanded the soundstage boundaries but gave the whole presentation you-are-there life. Gould’s orchestra became a reach-in-and-touch-someone three-dimensional entity to the farthest reaches of the now-expanded stage. With that, its output became tonally richer and far more nuanced than I’d ever heard in this system. Brass evinced “body” expressed in capital-S sonority; strings, resinous bite and liquidity; winds—well, I’ve never heard a reproduced bassoon so “gutsy”; percussion, tight, to-the-nines decay-resonant, and shirt-flapping impactful. No subtlety, no “incremental” here. This was out-and-out transformative.



But was it a one-off?



To test that, I next put on a different composition conductor, ensemble, recording venue, label, and recording team—Aaron Copland’s “Danzon Cubano performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in Philharmonic (later Avery Fisher) Hall on Sony (originally Columbia), SBM’d 16/44. It was easy to detect the change in venue, but the end result was the same in terms of soundstage expansion, image sharpness, instrumental body, tonal definition, transient quickness, and, above all, that same sense of almost-touchable air filling the performing space.



That close-to-your-are-there phenomenon repeated itself with opera (Alexander Borodin’s “Prince Igor”, Sony, 16/44, with much improved layering of the male and female vocal choirs in the “Polovtsian Dance with Choir”), Broadway (Leonard Bernstein’s final iteration of “Candide”, DG, 16/44, ditto on the layering) and filmscores (Robert Farnon’s “Captain Horatio Hornblower”, Reference Recordings, 16/44; Jerome Moross’ “The Jayhawkers”, Milan, 16/44; and Richard Rodgers’ “Victory at Sea”, RCA, 16/44).



For solo vocal in a more intimate studio recording venue, I put on Jane Monheit’s “There’s a Small Hotel” from her “Home” album (16/44). There was no artificial space enhancement here, but Monheit’s image was sharper and her tonal inflections better defined to the point where she could have been in the room (and I’d have been in a lot of trouble—I live in a shared space, remember).



How about a soloist singing to an audience in a larger venue? For that I selected Sarah Vaughan’s outing with Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in “Gershwin Live”, recorded live in the Chandler Pavilion (CBS, 16/44). Sarah’s subtle vocal nuances (not least in the lowest registers) were far more clearly in evidence and she was more differentiated from the now-better-delineated orchestra behind her than I’d heard pre-Electra 7.



My Take:



Feeding the TEAC DAC with the Electra 7 is easily the most significant upgrade to the bedroom system since I converted what are supposed to be sleeping quarters into a mini-Stonehenge of four-foot tall GIK megaliths. That round of room treatment transformed the problematic room into a considerably more listenable space. The Electra 7 has gone beyond that, transforming the listening experience itself to the point where quality-engineered recordings all but put this listener in the performers’ laps. Too bad my Sonographe amp is captive-corded, or I’d slap an Electra 7 on it in a heartbeat.


Power, power, power...does amazing things channeled properly, happy to read the excitement!
__________________
Power Conditioning and Filters: Nordost QRT Power Products, PS Audio-P10, Furutech Flux-50 NCF Filters & PSA Noise Harvesters
Cables, Isolation, Reflection and Absorption: Nordost Power, Speaker & Interconnects, HRS's M3X Platforms, Vortex CNR, Damping Plates, Stillpoint’s Isolaters and Vicoustic Room Treatments
Power and Sound: D’Agostino Pre Amplifier to D’Agostino Momentum 300’s driving Wilson Alexia’s
Source: Aurender N10, PS Audio Direct Stream and Memory Player
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