I put the Metrum Acoustics Hex DAC on first and revelled in the clarity of leading edges, this meant that timing improved – which it seems to with a lot of components. Subtleties of phrasing and character came out in John Lurie’s voice (The Legendary Marvin Pontiac – Greatest Hits) which sounds richer and at the same time cooler than usual, and it always sounds cool. I also tried it with a Canary Audio CD300, a big tube powered CD player that already sounded pretty special but suddenly unearthed loads more space and delivered a far wider image. This was pretty dramatic. It sounded like the noise floor had literally disappeared below the threshold of audibility.
Going back to the Hex and then moving the Naim UnitiServe from standard to Genesis supply was also pretty dramatic, I didn’t expect that the server would benefit as much as devices that process analogue signals but I was wrong. Again there was acres more space and far more depth of tone, high notes had real shine and vibrancy because so much grunge had been removed. Now there was a radiance to the sound of Michael Hedges ‘Aerial Boundaries’ that you usually have to spend a fortune on a vinyl front end to achieve.
Which reminds me, when you switch on Genesis its display tells you how many volts its receiving and how much THD is coming in and how much going to the output. The display turns off after about 10 seconds because it needs to connect in and outputs in order to display the information. It runs quite hot, much as you would expect of a 300 watt amp and has a near quiet onboard fan that comes on when a lot of power is required. I can’t say that I heard them once.
Back with the music I dropped Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Never Going Back’ (the highlight of Rumours in my opinion) and discovered the way that echo and reverb was used to create the impression of a wall of acoustic guitars from only two. It sounded superb that was for sure. There is always a danger with extra transparency that detail can take centre stage and usurp the music but because the Genesis merely improves the hardware you have its musical capabilities remain as strong if not more so than ever. There were a number of occasions when timing became clearly stronger. Power and dynamics are likewise reinforced, there is less hash so the power is cleaner and this had an unexpected side effect. I started playing at higher levels than usual, not significantly nor deliberately but it became clear at the end of the session that the volume was quite a bit higher than usual. Of course the source material needs to be clean enough to encourage this but with a hi-res file of Samuel Yirga’s superb new release Guzo (24/48 on Society of Sound) that is very much the case and I revelled in the sound of his piano and a great sounding rendition of Black Gold of the Sun at pretty serious levels without discomfort.
I tried the Genesis on all the source products that came through the listening room and in every instance it allowed them to produce significantly superior results. If I had an active preamp rather than the Townshend Allegri I have no doubt that it would have benefited to the same extent if not more. Genesis is extremely expensive for a power conditioner but the fact that it can do so much for a system means that you really don’t know what any component is capable of if you are just plugging it into the wall. It’s also a lot cheaper than a self powered mountain top listening room, and easier to install.
Number of outlets: 4
Type of outlets: UK, EU, US, CH, AU, ZA
Mains inlet: C20 IEC High Current
Mains voltage: 230V 50Hz
Maximum current: 16Amps
Total power: 600W continuous
THD: between 0.05% and 0.17% (typical).
RFI reduction: +85dB extending down to zero Hz
Voltage stabilisation: 230V +/- 1%
Dimensions (WxHxD): 500 x 300 x 500mm
Tel: 01276 501392