I’d like to say this was planned as the second of two parts of the Audioplan power product concept, but the reality is less planned. I mislaid a box full of power cords! Fortunately, this didn’t majorly undermine the performance of the PowerPlant, FineFilter, or PowerStar tested in last issue, but the combination of all of them really bring the Audioplan power concept into sharp focus.
The PowerCord uses four conductors instead of the usual three in every regular power cord; the fourth being a second ground conductor placed opposite the first, making the whole cable act quasi-symmetrically, the conductors are all silver-plated copper Litz designs, alongside Audioplan’s own Conductor Resonance Control and Conductor Damping Control systems, with a Sicomin-derived carbon fibre composite damping outer sleeve.
PowerCord S (for ‘Special’) was the first example of this new generation of power cord from Audioplan, and it features four 1.25mm2 conductors, with a 2.5mm diameter shield. The PowerCord U (for ‘Ultimate’) effectively doubles that, with eight 1.25mm2 conductors and a 5mm diameter shield. The cables are provided as 1.5m as standard, but longer lengths are also available. There’s potentially good reason to use 1.5m as a minimum length, because shorter lengths of shielded cables can act as microwave antenna, picking up signals from your cordless phone, mobile phone, microwave over, and so on. Better grounding of components makes this less likely, but with no guarantee that the audio component has sufficiently expert grounding, keeping the cables beyond 1.5m is staying on the safe side of RF pollution.
Like the other power components in the range, the Audioplan cables are ‘first do no harm’ designs. This means, they help lower the background noise, but more importantly they do two very strong and paradoxical things to the sound; they make you turn the sound down (because you don’t need to play it loud to overcome low-level hash), which allows you to play loud (when you want to play it loud). The other big indicator of goodness in power products is a desire to sit in front of pieces of music for longer, and here both Audioplan cables shine. Tonal shifts are not expected (and seriously not to be encouraged) from power products, and instead the best products (like these) simply tie the system’s sound together.
The difference between S and U is simply more of the same, but the Ulitmate is also better disposed toward handling more power-hungry products like power amplifiers. Used with a DAC or a solid-state phono stage, the differences are negligible, but with a honking great valve power amp, go for the U version.
I was tempted to just continue to keep the cables ‘lost’, but that wouldn’t be fair to the distributor. More importantly, each one has its own serial number, so any attempt at trying to pull a fast one would likely end badly for me. But that’s how good these cables are: they are real keepers, and come strongly recommended.
Price and contact details
Audioplan PowerCord S: £195/1.5m
Audioplan PowerCord U: £625/1.5m
Manufactured by: Audioplan
Distributed in the UK by: Ikon Audio Consultants
Tel: +44(0)7956 476299