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Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Source: Zanden Audio Model 2000P/5000S; Opera Audio Reference 2.2 Linear; Raysonic CD128 [on extended loan]; Olive Symphony with Red Wine Audio battery conversion mod
Preamp/Integrated: ModWright SWL 9.0SE; Music First Audio; Bel Canto Design PRe3; Wyetech Labs Jade; Supratek Cabernet Dual [on long-term loan from owner]; Melody I2A3 [on review]; Eastern Electric M520

Amp: 2 x Audiosector Patek SE; Yamamoto A-08S; FirstWatt F3 and F1
Speakers: Zu Cable Definition Mk 1.5 Pro version with Rane PEQ-55; Gallo Reference 3.1
Earspeakers: AKG K-1000s with Stefan AudioArt harness hardwired to transducers; audio-technica AHT-W1000s
Cables: Zanden Audio proprietary I²S cable, Zu Cable Varial and Ibis, Zu Cable Birth on Definitions; Stealth Audio Cable Indra, MetaCarbon & NanoFiber [on loan]; SilverFi interconnects; Crystal Cable Reference power cords; ZCable Hurricane power cords on both conditioners
Stands: 1 x Grand Prix Audio Monaco five-tier
Powerline conditioning: 2 x Walker Audio Velocitor S
Sundry accessories: GPA Formula Carbon/Kevlar shelf for transport; GPA Apex footers underneath stand, DAC and amp; Walker Audio SST on all connections; Walker Audio Vivid CD cleaner; Furutech RD-2 CD demagnetizer; WorldPower cryo'd Hubbell wall sockets
Room size: 16' w x 21' d x 9' h in short-wall setup, with openly adjoining 15' x 35' living room

Review Component Retail: based on custom commission
International AC voltages range from 100 to 240V while line frequencies are either 50 or 60Hz. Unless you're dealing with a universal switching power supply; or transformer secondaries prewired via selector switch or drop-in replacement boards (in which cases the fuse rating will also change); globetrotting audiophiles will need a step-down or step-up transformer to keep their original equipment operating without modifications or transformer replacements. My relocation to Europe meant that my 117V US-optimized equipment would run off a 240V AC line voltage. Hence the need for a step-down transformer.

Peter Daniel of AudioSector to the rescue. Having handcrafted my industrial-jewelry Patek SE chip amps, I knew him to be just da man for the job [current non-SE power supply version pictured below, then production line of Patek and Patek SEs].

That his Canadian location meant proximity to -- and established prior business dealings with -- upscale transformer maker Plitron was merely an added bonus. Since I'd run my entire reference system off this AC source and future review assignments might include high-power amplifiers, I wanted a 1.5KV transformer for maximum current headroom. Peter advised on a 7395-B2-00 premium Plitron toroid. Unprompted, he then proposed to wire its secondaries such that with the flick of a switch, his fully Wenge-encased box with IEC inlet on one side and a single power duplex on the other provides either conventional AC transformer isolation or fully balanced operation. Needless to say, the transformer rating translates into a beastly shipping weight of 86 lbs.

For something custom-tailored by Peter Daniel to your specific step-up or step-down needs, expect to spend plus/minus $1,500. The final bill is contingent on what type of transformer quality and rating you specify; how many AC outlets you need; and what level of snazziness you specify for your custom enclosure. Word to the wise - let the man do his thing without restrictions on specifics. And prepare for a hefty shipping bill. That's par for the course when you're dealing with premium quality high-power iron. This stuff always weighs a silly bunch.

Since I'd given Peter complete carte blanche on the cosmetics, I had no idea what to expect. When my 1-ton air freight from Taos thus arrived, the first box of 40 to be unpacked was Peter's. What a job. Despite the massiveness of the toroid, the proportion chosen for the box, the classy Wenge wood, the aluminum side panels and adjustable footers all conspire to exude elegance rather than unchecked testosterone. Consider me one happy punter. Again. My Patek SEs were serial # 1 and 2 and the result of a commission, of something I knew was coming, eventually. As it turns out, my actual order prompted the formal launch and subsequent availability of this amp. If this custom step-down transformer follows suit because someone, somewhere, finds himself in a similar predicament to mine -- of transplanting his beloved HiFi kit to a country with non-copasetic power - and commissions another one, I'd be mighty thrilled. Supporting old-fashioned craftsmen of Mr. Daniel's caliber is way fun. It's also a small way in which otherwise powerless individual audiophiles can do something fruitful and supportive for the industry.

Monster props here are also due Plitron. Their bloody toroid is so quiet, you can't tell it's on. At all. No vibes, no hum, no nothing. Not even a momentary dimming of the lights as you plug it in. Considering the sheer size of this beast and how far far smaller -- and lesser -- transformers happily buzz away like a remote swarm of bees, this is something to write home about. I'm pleased as punch. In fact, I ordered a second step-down transformer for my headphone system, to run the Raysonic CD128 into the Wyetech Jade into the FirstWatt F1 into the AKG K1000s hard-wired with Stefan AudioArt. This came about when Peter sent me info on a smaller Plitron transformer that had garnered stellar on-line owner feedback for use as a balanced power isolation unit. Seeing that I wouldn't need massive headroom, I said "do me" once again. Peter wanted to know whether I'd prefer horizontal or vertical orientation. Just to be different, I said vertical. The other thing he needed to know was number of outlets. I opted for four -- two duplexes -- and told him that the balanced power option wouldn't need a defeat switch. Otherwise I had no idea what he would cook up. Again.
The return of the Wenge warrior as it turned out. With typical attention to mechanical construction and flawless finishing, the small 'un is another component that'll I have forever, be proud to own and which will perform its intended job quietly and reliably ad infinitum. Again.

For obvious reasons, I can't give you anything outside stoked punter commentary. If I tried to run my components wall-direct for a comparison, I'd fry 'em. Should there by any sonic downsides to these deluxe step-down voltage boxes in balanced power config, I'll never know. So consider this a mere note of availability and what things might look like if you too needed to convert your wall voltage and decided to deal with Peter Daniel. As you've gathered by now, the man gets my highest recommendation. His -- bridged -- Patek SEs have featured in every single audio review I've penned since their arrival, driving the rear-firing quartets of 10-inch woofers in my Zu Definition Pros with aplomb and zero fuss. Being utterly custom, factor on waiting a few months for your Audio Sector voltage converter especially if whatever transformer you specify isn't an in-stock Plitron item. It'll be well worth the wait.
Manufacturer's website