For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
Interlude. By mid December we syndicated Dawid Grzyb's Silence² review. In it he slaved two power distributors with passive LessLoss noise-attenuating tech in series just because he could and was curious. Despite extra cabling and connectors so extra material junctions, he found clear audible benefits from additive/multiplying noise filtering effects. Designer Louis Motek then added this interesting reply: "Once I had access to about 30 of those for-digital type filters based on caps and coils. They were modular and my inquisitiveness got the better of me. Adding one of them on my CD player and DAC was at first very nice. Smoother sound overall, calmer and somehow more analogue in nature. So I added a second. Then a third, then more and more. I quickly become disillusioned. I was left with a muddy far cry from natural dynamically interesting audio. Everything sounded steeped in rubber and unfree. Dead is the word that came to mind. It so obviously displayed the faults of traditional caps-and-coil filtering. Around the same time we developed our first skin-filtering power cable through which we gained all the stable silence but none of the dynamic muddiness and tonal shifts towards the dark and lifeless. Today with our Firewall 640x tech, we don't know of a limit in its usage which would raise such doubtful results as in the aforementioned cap-and-coil filter series. In fact we have 28 of these in our top DAC. So more of a good thing is good under the condition that whatever the filtering mechanism may be, multiples of it should never reveal a core coloration. Used in multiples, if a solution portrays a skewing away from what would be considered simply better and better, there's something wrong at its core."
Use mouseover for loupe enlarger; or open image in new tab to see it full size.
That's an interesting claim. Medical terms call it a non-invasive or non-intrusive procedure. It leaves no or fewer marks. It also applies to today's noise-filtering box. It's why dearer AGD models pile more and more of the same Ansuz tech into one enclosure. Benefits compound without the extra contacts and wiring of multiple boxes slaved in series which Dawid's experiment created. More of a good thing becomes even better because it comes without unintended side effects. It's probably likewise true that to be harmless in the first place requires a gentler approach than brutal brick-wall filters. Rather than act drastically invasive, the gentler homeopathic procedure requires/benefits from far higher quantities. Each filter elements on its own does very little to leave no scars. Could this be a techno peasant's best way to look at the Ansuz approach? End of conceptual detour and back on the Main Street of actual A/B comparisons. With Qualio's IQ speaker, 250-watt Kinki monos make a decisive difference. It's not about attainable loudness. Here the 25wpc Enleum AMP-23R gets louder than I'd ever want. It's about driver control from higher damping since the 6" Satori midrange runs open-backed dipole like the Mundorf AMT. Across its 600Hz-8kHz bandwidth with shallow -6dB slopes on either end, the extra stopping power of scaled-up output transistors and the resultant higher precision across music's heartland really translates. Below 80Hz, I run a 2×15" cardioid subwoofer from sound|kaos off a Goldmund/Job 225 amp. Traffic cop aka signal router and sub-gain controller is an icOn Gradient Box 2. Its convenient remote-triggered bypass switch makes for instantaneous A/B between full-range speakers and hi/lo-passed stereo 2.1. All this by way of itemizing that the Ansuz power loom fronted three power amplifiers to test its impact on subjective dynamics. What Ansuz replaced was a passive Furutech RTP-6 power distributor; and costly Allnic Audio ZL power cords plus one Titan Audio Labs long-grain copper lead to the wall.
Comparisons were easy. Leaving all component cords plugged into their respective distributors, the latter's wall leads into them, I only had to swap one wall plug and three component IEC. A minute later I had sound again. Hanging off another spur, the source kit remained live throughout and simply went on pause in-between. This readily clarified how the resident loom/box combo had bigger lungs. It felt spatially more expansive, dynamically more vigorous and in the most basis sense, bigger and freer. The Dansk take was spatially and dynamically more subdued, stiffer, tighter so less elastic and generally not nearly as gushing. Crasser coin trumped more careful coin. Having been at this for 20 years, the resident choices proved well curated. My next task was breaking down whether the Mainz 8 X-TC3 or its corded siblings were more influential in this offset. It turned out that the stiff Mainz X2 cords shouldered the responsibility. Once they left the battle ground, scale and breath reset to the Ebaen normal. The next comparison was down to my own cable loom slurping AC either through the Furutech or Ansuz distributor. Now Viking trumped samurai and Denmark beat Japan. The Mainz 8 X-TC3 cast even more stage depth, retrieved still more ambient cues and imaged even more specific. I'd probably call the core difference higher contrast ratio as the dominant decider. Even in our most rural setting of sparse single-unit residential dwellings or farms along the Shannon river estuary, the Ansuz noise filtering did more than the pre-NCF $800 Furutech. That had no bearings on tonal balance whatsoever. It was purely down to an extra click on a virtual lens adjuster. It drove focus and depth of field up enough to be noticeable.
Considering how the Danish 2022 component costs €1K more but adds two outlets then sonically improves upon my 2002 Furutech, inflation plus experience call the Ansuz Mainz 8 X-TC3 a good value and effective performer. It packs all the well-known passive-power virtues of speed, energy and openness then digs still deeper into the noise floor. That retrieves more minutiae of recorded ambiance. What improves are spaciousness and the specificity of images floating within it. Because these are short sentences, casual observers may feel that they don't sound like much. 20 years on the review beat would challenge such reactions. The passive power distributor credo is that of the doctor. First do no harm. To exceed that mandate without in turn causing even minor harm in trade—the small print of known side effects which medicinal pills must list—is quite the mean trick. But it's one which the latest Ansuz power juice bar has mastered. That makes it an easy recommendation for those who favor passive power distribution to isolation transformers or sundry caps'n'coils approaches because they prioritize musical energy transmission. It matters naught that here there are some active parts. Whatever traces they leave are all beauty marks. Perhaps you best think of this 3rd-gen Ansuz as passive-plus kit. That's a perfect view to manage correct expectations for this intriguing black box. It falls into the accelerator category which prompted the late Lloyd Walker to call his passive distributor Velocitor. My '+' suffix then points at extra micro detail from unconventional ultrasonic noise reduction.
Would you like to download the current image?
Would you like to download the current image?