September
2022

Country of Origin

Denmark

Mainz X2 + Mainz 8 X-TC3

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn 80Hz/4th-order hi/lo-pass; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 mono, Enleum AMP-23R; Headamp: Kinki Studio THR-1, Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf + sound|kaos DSUB15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Cube Audio Nenuphar Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Soundaware D300Ref SD transport clock-slaved to Denafrips Terminator +; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro SE; Amplifier: Goldmund Job 225; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini or Acelec Model One + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature;  Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Headphones: Audeze LCD-2 & LCD-XC; Final D-8000, Sonorous III & X; HifiMan HE-1000 & Susvara; Meze 109 Pro [on review]; Raal-Requisite SR1a

Review component retail: €720/1m +25% for each extra meter power cord, €1'500 power block

X2 marks the entry into the Danish cable fiefdom of Ansuz. To sample the fruit of their loom so not a solitary cable bedding arbitrarily into an assortment of divergent cables, factory contact Bent Nielsen proposed their own assortment; a smörgåsbord if you eat out. What did I need for power cords, digital/analog links and speaker cables to go full berserker? My stash of mood-altering mushrooms ran low. I looked at my simpler upstairs system to break down the required lengths and portions.

Except for Toslink and HDMI, the Ansuz X2 range covers all cable types you might need to wire up front to back without stepping out to another brand. That includes power distributors. Audio Group Denmark are freaks for control. They want to control everything to insure that the sound we make mirrors what they get in Aalborg. It's as sensible as it is ambitious. It requires comprehensive design + make mastery of all of it. It's solid business, too. Why throw money at competitors when all sales involving the assembly of a hifi system can stay in-house from electronics to speakers, accessories to wiring, resonance control to power delivery and component supports? That goes for dealer/distributors too. Audio Group Denmark cover all bases. That cuts down the number of brands a shop or warehouse must carry. More turnover for a brand strengthens relationships. It also opens up promotional opportunities. Aside from attending many global trade shows, AGD will even fly out personnel to headline a key dealer's weekend bash or grand opening. Audiophile celeb sightings and selfie ops in your home town? If you live in the right metropolis, quite possibly so.

By now we've also heard of a radical 3D-printed zirconium driver basket whose raw manufacturing cost is said to eclipse all the drivers in a pair of big Wilson speakers. We're read up on more silver thrown at a driver magnet than an oligarch's wife treasures in her jewelry collection; of the resident cryo tank; of the magnetron sputtering unit at the local university lab which can grow molecular very hard skins atop metal parts; of an incoming turntable and arm plus a flagship speaker with active bass system and shape-changing mains. We've heard of Ansuz anti-aerial construction, active dither, Tesla coils. For today's wires, it's about none of it. Today is about humble silver-plated copper conductors and connectors of undisclosed pedigree or provenance. Design focus mentions low resistance, curbed induction and a noise floor reduced to the minimum. RCA/BNC/power barrels of aluminium are engraved in-house, all contacts gold-plated; insulation is Teflon. For published propaganda, that's all she said. To see whether there's any more to know—stranded vs. solid core, coaxial vs. twisted pairs, shielding choices—I grilled Bent. After all, chief designer Michael Børresen holds very specific ideas about every single aspect of the hifi obsession. Even his entry-level cable range might have some unexpected distinctiveness baked in. It didn't hurt to ask. There's also his Nordost connection which weighs heavy on the cable experience scale. The Mainsz8 X-TC power distributor in its HDF casing of course gets Ansuz noise-attenuation tech by way of 47 square PCB-based active Tesla coils, three passive cabled Tesla coils plus standard star grounding.

For power, I'd get that plus enough Mainz X2 cords to wire it up to the wall with 3 meters then 1m lengths to my Denafrips Terminator+ DAC, Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature preamp, active analog hi/lo-pass and Goldmund Job 225 power amp. For interconnects I'd get one Signalz X2 XLR for DAC to pre, two RCA from pre to filter to amp. The MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini speakers would see a 3m pair of Speakz X2. That consistent loom would replace my mix of Furutech GTO 2D NCF passive distributor, 1st-gen Crystal Cable cords and interconnects, one 3m LessLoss cord to the wall and AudioArt's best speaker cables. Subsequent partial subtractions would attempt to tease out which cable category in the Ansuz lot had the most impact on the overall Danish sound in my four Irish walls. This struck me as a far more sensible tactic than their request to break it all down into three separate mini reviews of power, low-level and high-level signal cables. "I'm not sure if I agree about cable reviews being the most boring to read and write. But I do agree with your thoughts on three reviews being too much. I now propose to concentrate on power delivery with the brand-new Mainz 8 X-T3 and Mainz X2 power cords. Will this work for you?" It did.

… to be continued…