Power cable testing nearly drove me crazy!!

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,302
8
38
Switzerland
#1
I spent several hours yesterday and several more over the weekend trying to make up my mind on an NBS Omega Extreme I power cord. I also had on loan a NBS Monitor III and some basic Vovox power cables. I was trying to decide if the Omega Extreme worked best on the amp (Ayon Crossfire III) or the DAC (Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref II) and in the end it is staying in the system on the DAC where it gave great resolution but did not impact the overall weight of the tonal balance. In the amp it was lightening things up in comparison to the Monitor III and the Vovox, which were surprisingly similar. The Omega had better resolution but a less solid bottom end. On the DAC this did not manifest itself so much and the tightness and drive to the bass as well as superb resoution and depth layering won the day.

What was challenging was that the budget (Element cable Red Storm, which is based off a very good shielded Belden cable) cable I was running from my Monarchy Power regenerator to my DAC was putting up a surprisingly good fight. In the end though it was the relative flatness of the soundstage (only relative as it is not really bad at this) and a bit of dynamic loss that convinced me to switch to the relatively pricey Omega. Also, the Monitor III is a beast in the bass but ultimately loses a bit of low level resolution and is slightly "darkish" in the upper ranges...not really but in comparison again. On the amp this was really good but on the DAC it served to veil things a bit and soften too much the overall picture.

On the amp it was really a toss up between the Monitor III or the Vovox. The Monitor had a bit more depth layer and more explosive dynamics, the Vovox a bit more extended on top...both have great bass punch and weight.

So for now, I will have the Omega on the DAC and either Vovox or Monitor on the amp...however, the Omega on the amp was also quite good IF the Monitor was on the DAC; however, the other way around seems to work a bit better.

Lots of permutations here because the Monitor on the amp and the cheap Element cable on the DAC was also superb...just losing out in the spatial aspects.
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,142
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#2
Morricab, I have used NBS cables through out my high end journey. Once in a while NBS will close out very good cables on their website. I especially favor the Statement level cables. With my grounding scheme I find them very lucid,natural,dynamic and balanced.
 
May 9, 2015
272
5
18
Cologne, Germany
#3
love the NBS Black Label III powerchords.
I use them as input chords to my Vibex Granada power splitter

give them a try, much better as omega extreme I
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,302
8
38
Switzerland
#4
Morricab, I have used NBS cables through out my high end journey. Once in a while NBS will close out very good cables on their website. I especially favor the Statement level cables. With my grounding scheme I find them very lucid,natural,dynamic and balanced.
I tried some statement III in my system but did not like the warm, somewhat darkish tint it gave to the system. My friend has all Black label II in his and that in my system was great but more than I want to spend.
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,142
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#6
I tried some statement III in my system but did not like the warm, somewhat darkish tint it gave to the system. My friend has all Black label II in his and that in my system was great but more than I want to spend.
My grounding scheme has removed all coloration nasties imho.
 

morricab

Active Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,302
8
38
Switzerland
#8
My grounding scheme has removed all coloration nasties imho.
Let me see if I understand your grounding correctly, You have a large gauge mesh "wire" going from the chassis of each component to a common earth ("star")? Or are you also going from Chassis to Chassis?

We compared Statement III, Monitor III, Black Label II+ and Omega Extreme I in my system. Black Label combined the best of the other three into a superior (but pricey) cable. Monitor was slight warm but with really good weight and attack but less refined than the others and slightly veiled on top...just a touch. Statement made the sound voluptuous and rich...not a bad thing per se but it also seemed to soften and round the transients making the sound significantly more laid back overall...it was not so much to my liking and I preferred the Monitor. Omega Extreme lacked some of the weight of the other three (at least on my amp but not so much the DAC) but was highly resolving and defined in the bass right up through the range. In this aspect it was nearly on par with the Black Label II. Where it fell behind the Black was the weight and attack, which the Black had without losing the kind of resolution that the Omega had. So, Black was like having the cake and eating it too! In the end I felt the Statement III was not quite right for my system. Monitor III is quite good on my amp and might stay for a while...not sure.

Any experience with models like Master, Professional or Signature?
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,142
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#10
Let me see if I understand your grounding correctly, You have a large gauge mesh "wire" going from the chassis of each component to a common earth ("star")? Or are you also going from Chassis to Chassis?

We compared Statement III, Monitor III, Black Label II+ and Omega Extreme I in my system. Black Label combined the best of the other three into a superior (but pricey) cable. Monitor was slight warm but with really good weight and attack but less refined than the others and slightly veiled on top...just a touch. Statement made the sound voluptuous and rich...not a bad thing per se but it also seemed to soften and round the transients making the sound significantly more laid back overall...it was not so much to my liking and I preferred the Monitor. Omega Extreme lacked some of the weight of the other three (at least on my amp but not so much the DAC) but was highly resolving and defined in the bass right up through the range. In this aspect it was nearly on par with the Black Label II. Where it fell behind the Black was the weight and attack, which the Black had without losing the kind of resolution that the Omega had. So, Black was like having the cake and eating it too! In the end I felt the Statement III was not quite right for my system. Monitor III is quite good on my amp and might stay for a while...not sure.

Any experience with models like Master, Professional or Signature?
Right now my config is all the original Statement cables except the speaker cable which is a Master IV. I do use Pro and Master IV IC's on a few components. On my mono blocks I use the original Master PC's. I did use a original Master speaker cable but needed a longer length. My favorites are original Master and Statement cables. Walter told me once that the original Statement was the biggest selling cable he ever made, but that was ten years ago.
I always evaluated the cables by which ones threw the largest sound stage which was the original Master.
Having to deal with incremental cables led me to my chassis grounding. Since then all cables sound equally....which is exceptional. The noise floor is tremendously low...a bottomless pit.
I really can't speak to the individual qualities as I can't recall...but the Master and Statement were always my favorites.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,051
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#11
I spent several hours yesterday and several more over the weekend trying to make up my mind on an NBS Omega Extreme I power cord. I also had on loan a NBS Monitor III and some basic Vovox power cables. I was trying to decide if the Omega Extreme worked best on the amp (Ayon Crossfire III) or the DAC (Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref II) and in the end it is staying in the system on the DAC where it gave great resolution but did not impact the overall weight of the tonal balance. In the amp it was lightening things up in comparison to the Monitor III and the Vovox, which were surprisingly similar. The Omega had better resolution but a less solid bottom end. On the DAC this did not manifest itself so much and the tightness and drive to the bass as well as superb resoution and depth layering won the day.

What was challenging was that the budget (Element cable Red Storm, which is based off a very good shielded Belden cable) cable I was running from my Monarchy Power regenerator to my DAC was putting up a surprisingly good fight. In the end though it was the relative flatness of the soundstage (only relative as it is not really bad at this) and a bit of dynamic loss that convinced me to switch to the relatively pricey Omega. Also, the Monitor III is a beast in the bass but ultimately loses a bit of low level resolution and is slightly "darkish" in the upper ranges...not really but in comparison again. On the amp this was really good but on the DAC it served to veil things a bit and soften too much the overall picture.

On the amp it was really a toss up between the Monitor III or the Vovox. The Monitor had a bit more depth layer and more explosive dynamics, the Vovox a bit more extended on top...both have great bass punch and weight.

So for now, I will have the Omega on the DAC and either Vovox or Monitor on the amp...however, the Omega on the amp was also quite good IF the Monitor was on the DAC; however, the other way around seems to work a bit better.

Lots of permutations here because the Monitor on the amp and the cheap Element cable on the DAC was also superb...just losing out in the spatial aspects.
I am impressed you had the patience and determination to do this at all!
 

marty

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,108
4
38
Far Hills, NJ
#12
Try the new Furutech DPS-4 w/ NCF plugs.
Dave,
I fabricated a PC with the Furutech DPS-4 cable about a month ago. As you know, I'm not a fan of rhodium power cords plugs or outlets so I am using the Oyaide 004 plug set. I think the cable is superb. It's now my reference PC for my VTL 7.5 III preamp as it just exhibits less "grain" than any other cord I have used. Even better, it's affordable! I'll probably add some more shortly and at the same time, explore some other plug set options. I have a craving to try the humble Furutech FI-11 copper plug set. (It's often damn hard to beat copper connectors!)
Marty
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,178
0
36
#13
Dave,
I fabricated a PC with the Furutech DPS-4 cable about a month ago. As you know, I'm not a fan of rhodium power cords plugs or outlets so I am using the Oyaide 004 plug set. I think the cable is superb. It's now my reference PC for my VTL 7.5 III preamp as it just exhibits less "grain" than any other cord I have used. Even better, it's affordable! I'll probably add some more shortly and at the same time, explore some other plug set options. I have a craving to try the humble Furutech FI-11 copper plug set. (It's often damn hard to beat copper connectors!)
Marty
I agree, it's an amazing PC. The FI-11 are bronze afaik, I'd go with FI-28... I think the NCF plugs eliminate anything objectionable from the rhodium plating, you might like them! The DPS w/NCF could be the best PC out there, it's the best I've ever used or tested.
 

marty

Active Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,108
4
38
Far Hills, NJ
#14
I agree, it's an amazing PC. The FI-11 are bronze afaik, I'd go with FI-28... I think the NCF plugs eliminate anything objectionable from the rhodium plating, you might like them! The DPS w/NCF could be the best PC out there, it's the best I've ever used or tested.
Dave
'Tis a puzzlement indeed! Ordinarily I would agree with you that the connectors of the F11 series must be phosphor bronze. However. the Furutech 2017 catalog says very clearly that the Male F11 plug use pure copper conductors while the female end uses phosphor bronze. How weird is that?

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 3.41.27 PM.png
What is even more perplexing is that a few pages earlier in their catalog Furutech says:

"Of course everyone would love to make pure-copper receptacles, but its malleability – lack of stiffness – makes pure copper a poor choice. That’s why you’ll find phosphor bronze or brass in most receptacles".

So bottom line, it's hard to know exactly what the players are, even with a scorecard!
Marty
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,178
0
36
#15
Gotcha, so with the male ac plug the only difference is probably the wire clamps. IECs and receptacles are more difficult to make in pure copper as they require a spring to maintain tension. In any case, pure copper is the way to go!
 

Stacore

Industry Expert
Feb 23, 2017
414
0
16
Gdańsk, Poland
#16
Having to deal with incremental cables led me to my chassis grounding. Since then all cables sound equally....which is exceptional. The noise floor is tremendously low...a bottomless pit.
Roger, do you ground each of your chassis individually via a power cord ?
Cheers,
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,142
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#17
May 30, 2010
13,959
38
48
Portugal
#19
I wish I had the time. I tried bonding but was getting unpleasant hf harshness.
Cheers,
As the Lamm's signal ground is floating from the mains power ground and they have strong ground binding posts, I bonded all pieces of my system to a common ground - five separate wires going in an brass busbar connected to mains ground. The whole system became sensitive to mobile phone interference and more susceptible to WiFi noise, I gave up. Probably I would need a true Tripoint troy ...
 

RogerD

Active Member
May 23, 2010
3,142
0
36
BiggestLittleCity
#20
I wish I had the time. I tried bonding but was getting unpleasant hf harshness.
Cheers,
I do not bond equipment together. I wish I could tell you everything you need to know,but the learning curve is so long and steep. Good luck
 

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