I got similar results with more conventional electronics when I made smaller changes, using the ARIES G2 streamer and VEGA G2 DAC on Isotek power cords. Switching from the wall to the Niagara brought more kick to the bass and enhanced transparency, which in turn increased the separation between instruments. More importantly, timing was not undermined; if anything it was slightly enhanced. It’s not unusual to get lower noise and thus greater resolution with mains conditioning but timing can often suffer in the process; however, the Niagara cleverly avoids that pitfall. I also contrasted it with a similar product in the Puritan Audio PSM136, which looks like better material value for money. Here, using the NRG Y3 to feed the Niagara delivered a slightly more open and well separated result that was better timed and thus more involving, so looks can be deceptive.
When I switched the big ATC P2 power amp from the wall to the high power output on the Niagara, I got a very worthwhile increase in soundstage depth and width, with increased separation between instruments and no sense of dynamic compression; the former was expected, the latter a relief. It also seemed worthwhile to contrast the NRG Y3 with the Isotek EVO3 Premier I usually use on the amp. This did something very similar to the Niagara by calming and adding weight without undermining timing, a perceived reduction in volume level suggesting that distortion and noise had dropped.
The Innuos Zenith SE server should benefit from this sort of power conditioning and the Niagara did not disappoint. A veil was lifted from low level detail which opened up the room and further enhanced musicality, turning a good piece of music into an inspiring one. As a vinyl lover, it was necessary to see if the AudioQuest would improve the sound of my Rega RP8 turntable and Tom Evans Microgroove phono stage. Here the change was more subtle, and it mainly consisted of a slight darkening of the balance alongside a slight calming with quieter backgrounds. There was an improvement but not one that matched the price.
The Niagara 1000 may look a bit shiny but it’s sound is as black as a very black thing. It has a remarkable ability to reduce noise and deliver a calm, musical result that encourages high-level listening. If I could keep it in the system, I would.
Type: AC mains power conditioner.
Outlets: Six outlet 13A UK (inc one high current outlet)
Dimensions (H×W×D): 100 ×120 ×508mm
Tel: +44 (0)1249 848 873