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When Lloyd Walker announces an upgrade, you can be assured of an audible improvement. For me it's a conditioned response. Send a piece of equipment to Walker for upgrade and receive the next incremental step toward audio nirvana. So it was with the Velocitor S (Super?) upgrade.

The essential character of the sound remains unchanged. Srajan's eloquent analogy of his original review where he compared the Velocitor's effect to one's perception after a brisk run remains true: "... Now even faraway things seem more coincident and "louder". Everything's more articulated. More keen. More alive. Details buried in the farther reaches of the soundstage become as apparent as close-up ones. It's a slightly altered state of more profound perception, a more complete and comprehensive assessment of what's present." In my short experience with the 'S' upgrade so far, you get all the advantages of the original Velocitor plus:
  • Increased dynamic range. Carol Rosenberger's Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Opus 57 and Opus 111, one of my most dynamic, forceful and vibrant piano recordings, was transformed to another level. In the middle of the record, my wife started to quietly chuckle at the startling realism. With the Velocitor S, the startling gradations of the performance became the closest ever to an illusion of a piano in the room. You could feel the impact. Transients appeared quicker yet remain completely natural.
  • Bass impact and solidity. It's tighter, deeper and more refined, with deeper extension. Once again the character of the sound was not changed but I was more aware of the bass lines. Like others, when I get a new product I immediately pull out old faithful recordings to see how they are changed and to discover heretofore missing nuances. I don't consciously think of what records to pull. I'll hear a texture and then search out other similar recordings to see if the effect is real or perceived. Well, after playing Stravinsky's Firebird, the drum was tight but with more force than I remembered, blooming three-dimensionally into the room. Instinctively, I grabbed a variety of other records with strong bass lines, from Rob Wassermann's Duets to Van Morrison's Moondance to Hell Freezes Over's "Hotel California". Each confirmed the effect. For my room acoustics which are ever so slightly lean, the synergy was ideal.

It is my opinion that the 'S' update is a sure thing. For you existing Velocitor owners, I can't imagine a more cost-effective $150 spent that'll net bigger returns.

For the sake of a more objective evaluation of the Velocitor S, I performed field tests in two other systems to avoid personal bias. One of these system is that of my high-end audio comrade-in-arms Marvel, the other owned by another reverent audiophile, Mr. W. Leung who uses Avalon Sentinels with Zanden and Jadis electronics.

Linnman's Session
In my first session, I was using Jenalabs' latest T-Rex power cord with the Velocitor S as the AC mains source for both the Zanden 2000p transport and Zanden 5000s tube DAC. On "Stormy Monday" during the live recording of Eva Cassidy's Blues Alley, transparency and speed were the very first two terms that came to my mind. It seemed as though the whole audio system had become a very transparent window. I could clearly see the colors and motions of every outside object. The sonic panorama was vividly portrayed with front-to-back layering, each musical object positively settled into its respective virtual space. This improvement in imaging was not of the freeze-framing type. Rather, better definition and separation came by way of superior revelation of musical textures as well as the elongation of harmonic decays. In the climax when the electrifying guitar is intersecting with hi-hats, drums and double bass, the wholeness of the musical scene and the coherence and cooperation between the different players was resolved and stable despite the lightning-fast transient energy jumping at me from everywhere. Not limited to the usual deepening of the soundstage one associates with other types of AC conditioners, the improvement in dimensionality proved expansive on every front. It seemed as though the virtual retaining wall that usually surrounds the soundstage had vanished. The Velocitor S also offered me hitherto unknown insights into one of my reference guitar recordings, New Dawn by Naim Audio. Track 8, 9 and 10 clearly portrayed each of the guitarists' fingering actions in precisely delineated steps. Each of the steps radiated harmonics in a rippling manner, their transient energy clearly conveyed to the listener. Such experiences are quite electrifying to a hardcore classical music lover like me.

Without the Velocitor S in the system, the perspective of distance -- between the front-to-back and side-to-side poles of the soundstage -- narrowed notably. I retested this attribute with another recording, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart, Op.132 conducted by Sir Collin Davis on Philips Classics. The soundstage heightened, led by the harmonics from the flute ascending into midair before dissolving into clearly audible space. This was followed immediately by the reconstruction of another harmonic venue as the flute player carried on to perpetuate the lyrical expression on the metallic instrument. The massed violin section on the left side was better delineated as an organic whole, the individuality of each violin intact. I tested several more classical recordings. My findings on the Velocitor S remained consistent throughout. Bass was delivered lightning quick although on certain classical recordings, I would subjectively have preferred slightly longer decay times and more dispersion of bass energy. In this regard, the Gryphon Audio PowerZone zone suits my needs more with some material in the classical domain, albeit at the expense of the virtual reality of space that the Velocitor S offers.

Marvel's Experience
My wife didn't notice how the Velocitor S had physically replaced the original power bar when I invited her listen to some of her favorite music. Thus she wasn't biased to expect anything in particular. Her immediate comment was shocking because what she used to describe the improvement had never before been uttered during any prior evaluations of my system: Velocity. I complimented her on her listening ability by explaining what this new device had been named. With the exception of my power amplifiers, I plugged everything into the Velocitor, with my Argento SMR power cord the main AC artery feeding the unit.

Not only did the Velocitor maintain the speed and dynamics of the power delivery, it aligns the propagation of the current in such a fashion that the sluggishness of the
musical rhythm and pace is rectified. This makes the interpretive skills of the performers far more apparent. This became especially notable on stringed instruments like violin and cello where the actions of the bow on different strings were better delineated, more transparent and distinct. Harmonic decays also were far more structured and layered.

Using the Velocitor S in my system was a nearly ghostly experience of transparency alongside utterly unconstrained sonic expressions. I believe the following is a good analogy for my experience. When one drives across an expressway or tunnel, one always has to stop by the toll booth to pay before continuing on. The speed of the car has thus been slowed down and it takes time to regain the original velocity. The overall traffic flow is certainly not as uniform and smooth as using an auto-toll booth where one can drive across without stopping. The Velocitor gave me a feeling of driving across an auto-toll booth in the arena of power distribution.

Our experience in W. Leung's system
Tube electronics from Zanden and Jadis drive Mr. Leung's system. During our test, a Purist Audio Design flagship power cord RLS-JG became the AC mains. All the components connected to the Velocitor including the active bass units of his Avalon Sentinels. Only the Jadis JA800 reference mono blocks driving the midrange and above were powered separately. The overall improvement proved consistent again with mine and Marvel's system. The most notable improvement occurred in bass control and resolution. LF delivery was more direct and flowed better than before. Harmonic decays for various instruments became more apparent, especially in the upper register. However, Mr. W. Leung felt that the woodsy feeling of string instruments had somewhat diminished, prompting him to readjust the crossover point of his speakers. After two days of extensive listening, Mr. W. Leung really admired the transparency of the Velocitor especially in the bass. As a hardcore tube audiophile, he however also questioned whether the sonic picture hadn't become too clean despite revealing subtler contrasts. He believes that more time is required to tweak and fine-tune associated aspects before the Velocitor S will integrate perfectly with his system.

Linnman's final observation: I find that the Velocitor's distinctively fast and transparent character remains intact regardless of which power cord
is used to connect it to the wall. PAD's RLS-JG power cord has always had a darker and warmer tone whereas Jenalabs' T-Tex and Argento's SMR are quite neutral in timbre. Still there are differences. The former is very dynamic and resolute, with a very solid delivery of the bottom end. The latter proved the most resolute in this comparison, adding an extra dimension of silence and calm without compromising either macro and micro dynamics.
Publisher's concluding comment: The opportunities for such multi-faceted observations on a single component arise only rarely. It is thus with a great deal of personal satisfaction that we present you with the above findings. Perhaps most gratifying is that the core attributes or essential quality of the review subject found itself captured by each experienced listener regardless of personal preferences or system. It's in the smaller specifics as a function of system interaction and 'tuning' that differences remain. How often does a component's name reflect honestly and accurately what it does? It seems that in the Velocitor's case, Lloyd Walker's christening ceremony was blessed with the magic touch..

Walker Audio comments: My thanks to Srajan Ebaen, Mike Malinowski, Mr. Linnman, Mr. Marvel and Mr. Leung for taking the time and making the effort to do such a comprehensive and extensive review of the Velocitor S.
The design principle behind the Velocitor as with our other products is “keep it simple” wherever possible. The Velocitor does not present your electronics with a transformer, inductive or resistive values, capacitance, surge protection, on/off switches or LEDs. All of these hurt the sound dramatically. The Velocitor just gives fast clean power unimpeded. This allows you to hear quickly any changes you make to your system.

I would like to comment on something Srajan mentioned about parallels with speaker construction and speaker stands. Think about this: the music signal is being applied to the speaker drivers and they are creating the sound. If the enclosure vibrates, it creates sound also but out of phase with the driver. This may add warmth to a dry or poorly recorded musical performance but this same distortion will destroy a great recording of complex music.

If a speaker cabinet or stand can flex or move, you’ll lose the leading edges, dynamics and impact and gain false decay and overhang. The same problem applies to other components and the stands or racks they are sitting on. In a high performance system, everything affects the sound. And, in our experience, resonance control is critical. There are vibrations in all equipment that must be controlled.

The Velocitor Power Line Enhancer and Dedicated Stand come with four ½ inch resonance control discs. A good way to experience the effect of resonances in your system is to experiment with the four discs. First, remove the resonance control from the stand and listen to get a base line. Choose a well recorded complex music piece. Now take the resonance control disc and sit it on top of your CD player or preamp. Listen again. You will be surprised at the difference. If you have our larger 1-inch discs, you can place one or two on top of your speakers to help control the case resonances.

If you try the Velocitor and think it may have a bright spot somewhere, I can assure you it's not the Velocitor. Rather, the Velocitor is revealing a resonance problem in your system and now that you can hear it, you can find and correct it. We believe that the magic is in the details. We all know that one person may love one component while the second person does not. This does not mean that one person is wrong or that the component is good or bad. Instead, it demonstrates that a component works within a system and is affected by the other parts of it. For instance, the rack it is on, the quality of the power, other components in the system, and most often, resonance problems throughout the system.

A high performance component can reveal flaws in your system that you were unaware of before. While it can be time-consuming to tune your system and work out the flaws, the results are worth it. When you get everything right, it’s magic. The same hold true for video, perhaps even more so. We have a modest video system with the Velocitor S, a good power cord and we’ve applied Extreme SST (E-SST) to the connections. We’ve stunned those who have seen it and depressed those who have spent much more on their video system and gotten much less.

If you do nothing else, we strongly recommend you treat all your connections in your audio and video systems with E-SST. Our Velocitors are assembled with it. You’ll be amazed. After all, anything worth having is worth a little effort. The magic is in the details.

Again, many thanks to Srajan and the others who participated in this review.

Lloyd Walker
Walker Audio website