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  #101  
Old 10-21-2018, 06:37 AM
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Congratulations with you power cords , and happy listening. I look forward to hear more on how they progress.
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  #102  
Old 10-26-2018, 04:43 AM
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I am thinking about going from the Premiums to the Reference myself. I have premiums on my QX-5 and AX-5 Twenty Ayre units and they are great, but I suspect Reference would be a big step up. I swear by Transparent. Good choice.
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  #103  
Old 10-27-2018, 07:31 AM
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Work and other demands have kept me from getting more time in with the Premiums, but I had a 2:11 session last Sunday, though that was primarily background music as I did other things. Sunday was various CDs, including For God and Country: Forty Hymns of Joy (organ, percussion, and brass, another reference) and a CD of Bach cello suites. Monday, I squeezed in a 41-minute session and watched video clips from Yes Live at Montreaux and Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live from Madison Square Garden; these are reference discs on the video side.

The two main tracks off For God and Country are "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and "The Strife is O'er" (one of the few post-Reformation Catholic hymns to make it into the Protestant hymnbook). "Fortress" sounded even more powerful than I remember it, especially the climax. Glorious! And "Strife" has a low organ note in the second stanza that was more hit-or-miss with other power cords; here it's more consistently present than before, "steadier" comes to mind. Then with the Bach disc, the cello sounded like a cello to me, with just that little bit more of the bow-on-string resonance. Fairly subtle, but that's how it sounded.

With the Yes DVD, there was a greater sense of clarity to the sound than with the HPPC (which wasn't bad at all). That's not to say anything sounded obscure before; perhaps "cleaner," "sharper," or "open" are better words. And the lower end filled in a bit more, enough to be noticeable, especially in the low synth note underneath the organ run just before the final verses of "Awaken." It had an increased presence. I'll probably play this again with the volume up a bit more; my standard volume is 42 on my C2300, but I was playing this at 36. Comments on the other tracks I listened to would echo the improved presence of the low notes. On "Them Changes" from the Clapton/Winwood DVD, "solid" is the word I'd use. The kickdrum had more punch, and maybe a bit more of Steve Winwood's rhythm guitar came out under Clapton's lead. This one is recorded so well that my normal volume is almost too much, so I turned this one down to 36 as well. The word "cleaner" comes to mind again, though not as much as the Yes disc.

I think that all this is due to improvement in the bottom frequencies. Evan at Transparent said that when you get to the 10–12 AWG range, geometry has bigger impact than mere gauge. The Premiums have a filter network on them; the HPPCs don't. I wouldn't be surprised if that's not the main reason for much of what I hear so far. Then, I've always believed that heavier gauge meant better signal transfer and won't discount that as a factor, recalling the improvement I heard going from Kimber 8TC to 12TC speaker cable (9 AWG to 8 AWG). With the 12TC there was more atmosphere, more air around the music, as opposed to any noticeable changes in the music itself; the music breathed a bit more.

When I get to around 20 hours I'll consider the Premiums broken in and think about whether I want to play with tubes at all. I have Gold Lion, Mullard, JJ High-Performance, regular JJ, and NOS Amperex tubes I could try.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks

Last edited by prepress; 10-29-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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  #104  
Old 11-21-2018, 04:08 PM
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Having decided not to wait for the full 20 hours (with some "influence" from others on the forum), I swapped out the Black Diamond tubes in my C2300 for Gold Lions. In limited listening, I've not heard any difference with regard to my earlier comments about the sound characteristics of the Premiums. I hear the same bottom frequency qualities described previously, and any other differences are from the tubes. That, to me, is a positive for the Premiums. If anything, the sound going forward might indicate what effect (if any) the tubes have on the Premiums' performance.

It is time to pull out the same discs I used with the BDs in the 2300 and compare that sound to what I heard before. Perhaps I'll get to do that this weekend.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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  #105  
Old 12-01-2018, 12:10 PM
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Despite having the Premiums for about five and a half weeks, they have only 18 hours on them. What has been consistent, even when I jumped the gun and swapped tubes on 11/12, is their attributes as displayed in my setup.

What has emerged overall is a fuller, slightly more detailed bottom end. Maybe "refined" is a good word to use. There was perhaps a bit more punch with the Black Diamond tubes over the Gold Lions I use in my preamp currently, but the PC's characteristics stand, still present but affected by the tube change. I wonder if, when my wallet recovers from the holidays and the heavy spending over the last month and a half (which now includes replacing two crowns, though insurance covers most of it), I might not explore the idea of putting a Premium on my preamp. That might be overkill, putting a 10AWG cord on a preamp, but the difference changing from a WW Electra to the Transparent HPPC was so dramatic, I'd consider doing it. I think a custom length (1.5m) would still be $600, though.
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  #106  
Old 12-08-2018, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrubTheHedgehog View Post
I am thinking about going from the Premiums to the Reference myself. I have premiums on my QX-5 and AX-5 Twenty Ayre units and they are great, but I suspect Reference would be a big step up. I swear by Transparent. Good choice.
I have dealt with both Evan and (mostly) Demos at Transparent and found them to be helpful, and I never thought or felt I was being "sold" anything. Demos even suggested at one point that I would be in good shape with an all-HPPC setup for the foreseeable future, and I think he's right; curiosity took over on the Premiums, not a sense of missing anything with the HPPCs.

If you haven't done it, call or send an e-mail to Transparent to discuss your intentions. I'm confident you'll get some good insights to help in your decision.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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  #107  
Old 01-06-2019, 07:34 AM
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Hope everyone's New Year was blessed. I spent Christmas in Texas with my sister (the near-constant presence of four grandkids made it interesting, and not particularly restful!).

While away, this idea of upgrading the power cord on my C2300 preamp gained some traction in my mind. I have laid out an incredible (for me) amount of money the past few months so it may have to wait a bit, but I'm contemplating putting a Kimber PK10 Ascent or Transparent Premium on it. The Kimber's a more appropriate length (4 ft), more flexible, and less expensive than the Premium. Yet, I can't say with honesty that I have a problem with what I hear now, using a Transparent HPPC. Last night I played my system for the first time in a few weeks and listened to two CDs: Early Venetian Lute Music (Naxos) featuring Christopher Wilson with Shirley Rumsey on some duets, and Gord's Gold, a Gordon Lightfoot anthology. I liked what I was hearing, though I was back and forth to the kitchen for most of the lute CD and about half of the Lightfoot CD (cooking then eating dinner). And, most important, I was listening to the music more than the sound or the equipment.

Still don't know if I'll actually do it, but it's become a legitimate consideration at this point. I do have Kimber 12TC speaker cables, so the PK10 wouldn't be a total outlier. I could get a custom 1.5m Premium cord, but it'll cost the same as the standard 2m cord. I like the idea of the same cord on pre and power, but the PK10's flexibility is a huge factor for me; the Premium's stiffness was a bit of a challenge when I connected them. Plus, the preamp sits on the shelf immediately above a power conditioner, so flexibility and length matter.
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  #108  
Old 01-06-2019, 09:07 AM
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You may want to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with this change. You seem to have a nice collection of video and FM gear. In NYC there is still great FM to listen to. You are fortunate. I moved to Sarasota, FL five years ago and FM here is all Pop junk and of little quality. Finally pulled my beautiful gold Magnum Dynalab MD108 tuner out and bought a new dCS DAC. The tuner now lives in it's cool aluminum suitcase... need to sell it.
So, is there some sound change you'd like to make or maybe you'd just like to match things up with a new cord for cosmetic reasons. If so, go for it. Always fun to buy something new... until the bill comes in. It's cold in NYC, a new purchase may warm you up a bit. Enjoy.
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  #109  
Old 01-12-2019, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coppy View Post
You may want to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with this change. You seem to have a nice collection of video and FM gear. In NYC there is still great FM to listen to. You are fortunate. I moved to Sarasota, FL five years ago and FM here is all Pop junk and of little quality. Finally pulled my beautiful gold Magnum Dynalab MD108 tuner out and bought a new dCS DAC. The tuner now lives in it's cool aluminum suitcase... need to sell it.
So, is there some sound change you'd like to make or maybe you'd just like to match things up with a new cord for cosmetic reasons. If so, go for it. Always fun to buy something new... until the bill comes in. It's cold in NYC, a new purchase may warm you up a bit. Enjoy.
I come from the idea that more gauge means more (or better) signal transfer because there's more room for the electrons to flow freely. I now recognize that geometry plays as big or bigger a role as gauge; according to Evan at Transparent, it's more about geometry once you get to 10–12AWG or so. I'd never want (or need) anything heavier than 10 gauge anyway. It's noted also that my C2300 came with a 14AWG cord, so I'd be dubious of the super-heavy gauge cords out there on a preamp. So what I'm wondering is if I can get a bit more out of my preamp, given that a PC change did the trick before. But that was a strictly geometric change, as both the Transparent HPPC and the WW Electra it replaced are 12 gauge. The cosmetic angle would play if I got another Premium cord for sure, as pre and power would match and sources would all be HPPCs (except for my LD player, which has a C7 PS Audio on it).

But even as I type, I realize how much sheer curiosity is playing into this. It would be an experiment, and a potentially expensive one as $600 (Premium) seems a bit much for me right now and a PK10 is more attainable, more quickly, at $200 less. I also tend towards a sense of balance, symmetry and of completeness, which the Kimber would violate. The PS Audio Jewel AC on my LD player bothers me if I think about it enough; that the LD player is a lightly-used source doesn't seem to mitigate things much. I've not found an adapter that gripped the LD player's IEC tightly enough to replace the Jewel; so far everything sags and sometimes loses connection. If I did find a good adapter, I'd probably replace the Jewel with another HPPC.

Perhaps I'll try leaving the whole thing alone for a bit.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks

Last edited by prepress; 01-12-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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  #110  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:37 PM
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All right. I've been deliberating, kicking it around, and am not in a big hurry, but I've pretty much decided to go after the PC upgrade on my preamp. I could still be talked out of it so feel free to try, especially since I'm not in a huge hurry, what with other bills having inserted themselves just now.

I lean toward another Premium for completeness' sake; pre and power will thus match. I've been in e-mail dialog with the guys at Transparent once again, and that's helped push me in this direction. One of the techs there has a C500 preamp, and experimented with different PCs. What he got out of that was greater openness and impact, which is quite like my experience when I moved to the HPPC I have on my C2300 now (he also has a Mac amp). I don't imagine the change to a Premium would produce as dramatic a change as the HPPC did before mainly because there are Premiums on my amps already. When I put HPPCs on my amps after putting one on the preamp the improvement was not as profound.

If I get the Premium and the openness increases, that may bode ill for those bright-sounding CDs I like to play and now have to turn down the volume for with the Gold Lion tubes in the 2300. My answer would be to replace the Gold Lions with the warmer JJ High Performance Gold Pin tubes to offset/smooth out any significant increase in openness and transparency. To balance things out, in other words.

I'll need to clear a few bills first, but it's closing in on a done deal. Will report once I do it and spend some time with the new PC and possible tube swap.
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VPI, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP, TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner; Day-Sequerra antenna; Oppo backup BDP; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh CD, preamp, power amps; Gold Lion preamp tubes; Kimber, Transparent IC/SC, IC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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