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Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
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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, LHY Audio SW-8 switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Enleum AMP-23R, Goldmund/Job 225 on subwoofer; Headamp: Cewn.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara, Meze 109 Pro; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf + sound|kaos DSUB15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Qualio IQ [on loan] 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 + 4th-order/80Hz; Amplifier: Crayon CFA-1.2; 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
Review component retail: €270/1m + €180 for each extra meter power cord, power block €1'800
X2 marks the entry into the Danish cable fiefdom of Ansuz. To sample the fruit of their loom not a solitary cable bedding arbitrarily into an assortment of divergent cables, factory contact Bent Nielsen proposed their own smörgåsbord. 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 we might need to wire up front to back without stepping 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 sensible and ambitious. It requires comprehensive design and production mastery. It's also solid business Why throw coin 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 and distributors too. Audio Group Denmark cover all bases to cut down the number of brands a shop or warehouse must carry. More turnover for one brand strengthens relationships. It also opens up promotional opportunities. Aside from attending numerous global trade shows, AGD fly out personnel to headline a key dealer's weekend bash or grand opening.
By now we've 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 firm's 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 undisclose provenance. Design focus mentions low resistance, curbed induction and a noise floor reduced to the minimum. RCA, BNC and power barrels of aluminium are engraved in-house, all contacts gold-plated; insulation is Teflon. The Mainz8 X-TC3 power distributor meanwhile gets Ansuz noise-attenuation tech and star grounding.
On my itemized list, I listed enough Mainz X2 cords to wire up the distributor to the wall with 3 meters then 1m lengths to my Denafrips Terminator+ DAC, Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature preamp and Crayon power amp. For interconnects I'd need one Signalz X2 XLR for DAC to pre, one RCA from pre 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 feature reviews of power, low-level and high-level signal cables. Bent: "I'm not sure I agree about cable reviews being the most boring to write and read. But I do agree with three reviews being too much. I now propose to concentrate on our brand-new Mainz 8 X-T3 with Mainz X2 power cords." So here we are with still an Ansuz loom now focused on just power delivery. The distributor's numerical suffix signifies 3rd-gen tech. To produce popular lengths Ansuz could more readily sell on, I'd get one 4m cord with UK plug to bridge wall to distributor, then 3 x 2m cords with US plugs for the main components; and a Mainz 8 X-TC3 with US plugs so I could compare my usual Crystal Cable cords which terminate US-style; and also A/B their power block to my Furutech.
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