To state the obvious, a power cord feeding a system of five electronics multiplies the cable's sonic influence by five. What might be more—far more?—subtle when isolated as a power cord on a single component will become far more obvious with the cord carrying current to the whole system. That's if said cord operates in a higher league than what it replaces. That's common sense. Cheapskates always hope for giant killers. Occasionally one such does rise to the occasion. Usually though, more money will buy superior parts/materials and more advanced engineering so better performance. In my first A/B, the Furutech was costlier and one look at its connectors and greater girth certainly showed differences. But as love is supposed to be blind, so are our ears. If one didn't know which cord was which, could one still identify the Furutech as being a next-level product? If so, what gave it away?
Resolution. Audible space. Dynamics. Those were the three-leafed clover aspects in the Furutech's lapel. Unexpectedly, much of these cord swaps played out on the archetypal copper/silver axis. The Irish cable was warmer, softer, its texturization matte, its space less lit up so typical copper signatures. The Japanese cord was more energetic, focused and glossy; like typical silver even though it was pure copper. I'm only using metalurgy to make a point. With the DPS-4.1, image halos which on good recordings light up space around a voice or instrument were far more apparent. With my volume displayed in super-large digits to assure perfect repeatability from the seat, it was clear also that with the Furutech fronting the system, dynamic range expanded. Peaks rose higher. Even more relevant, the little flutters of emphatic accents that fill out a melodic arc traversed more distance for greater dynamic expression. That together with clearer space coordinates—think higher focus inside the space plus a keener venue sense due to more obvious reflections aka reverb—added up to higher resolution and more musical energy.
Where the copper/silver connection fell apart as it should have since the Furutech wasn't actually silver was weight. Perceived mass nearly always favors copper. For all its more 'silvery' attributes, on weight the Furutech played it copper all the way, even eclipsed the Irish mono-crystal version. In short, even a blind listener like Stevie Wonder would have readily latched onto these differences and without fail identified the dearer cord. Once our LessLoss cord replaced the Titan, that clear and neatly tiered offset was gone. On resolution from lowest-most noise floor to fully reveal trailing edges and spatial decays, these were equals. But differences remained. Furutech's textures were glossier. They seemed to contain just a bit more upper harmonics to get us back at the silver effect. That same difference meant that furious hammer falls in a piano's upper registers acquired more of a Fazioli sharpness than Bösendorfer sonority. The strong vertical spiccato of forcefully bowed strings was wirier. To overwrite, the LessLoss focused on more wood, the Furutech more on metal. This was a slightly different voicing. [The following LessLoss video makes the general point on power priority.]
The DPS-4.1's inherent energy reflected that of a closer seat to the virtual stage. Here sound is most uncut, contrast and focus highest. The energy balance of the LessLoss was somewhat mellower so that of a few rows farther back. Depending on system status and personal taste, one or the other tuning will get the nod. For today's purposes, the ~€700 surcharge of the Furutech over the Titan moved performance up by quite a few steps. The extra €400 of the LessLoss no longer did. That played in the same league as the Furutech, albeit with a somewhat different flavor.
In closing, I'll call Furutech's DPS-4.1 alpha-OCC-DUCC power cord a quasi silver cable for its high resolution, speed, focus and brilliance but a big copper cable for its great mass, weightiness and dynamics. It very much lived up to its promise of a maximized first connection as that critical power bridge between wall outlet and power distributor (the LessLoss video doesn't show that first connection, just each component plugging into an outlet). Today's purple Furutech, no purple prose required, shall remain part of our bigger downstairs system. Meanwhile the resident LessLoss will replace the upstairs Titan Audio cord which shall now front our 2-channel video system. That reshuffling of three different first connections best dovetails with my sonic biases. What's more, it reiterates just how audible and vital the choice of right cord is here. It quite literally is what the sound of our entire system hangs on. As the video states, utility power traversing through it is the raw substance of our sound. That sound is just modulated direct current converted from electrical into mechanical energy by our loudspeakers or headphones. Paying attention to the basics—it's perhaps best if we call them fundamentals as in, weak foundations equal shaky houses—really does pay back handsomely!
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