Prior to my loaner's arrival I had to take several things into account: a suitable sparring partner, which bits of hardware to use and what additional power cords I might need. Since many Boenicke Audio products are heavily infused with LessLoss tech, my reviews about them have never included comparisons to the LessLoss counterparts or vice versa. As I see it, putting LessLoss signal conditioning methods against upscaled versions under the Boenicke banner doesn't seem fair especially whenLouis and Sven have been very transparent about their collaboration. This time around however I made an exception and felt justified.

Although purpose, passive topology and multiple Firewall modules and C-Marc wiring make Boenicke Audio's Power Gate and today's LessLoss similar, they're not identical. The Swiss dismisses mechanical connections in favor of four captive M2 cords so is meant for radicals who in pursuit of performance will sacrifice some convenience. The LessLoss features standard socketry to be the more flexible in use while its wider frame is more stable on a shelf or floor and free from Sven's internal accessory pack. With that in mind, I was interested whether these hardware differences were enough to impact sonics in any meaningful way.

To limit rotations and downtime, my review system comprised just three essentials: an Innuos Statement streamer, LampizatOr Pacific DAC and Enleum AMP-23R integrated amp. The Power Gate's three captive M2 cords powered these on their own while as many separate 1.5m C-Marc power cords (two standard, one Entropic-processed) connected to the Lithuanian atop three Bindbreakers. To level the battlefield I asked Louis for one more Entropic-processed C-Marc cord. He happily obliged. Now each box with its own four cords allowed me to run my setup from two separate power sources. After each listen I manually turned off all components, swapped cords, turned everything back on, waited several minutes then listened. Although a bit of a hassle, later changes were only necessary once a day. Lastly both contestants connected to the same wall duplex while my amp of choice made the sound|kaos monitors this gig's ideal load.

Let's start with a quote from my Boenicke Audio Power Gate review: "Although less warm than the GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+, it was quicker, spatially more expansive, tangible and texturally more organic yet just as sensual and soft on demand. It injected extra brilliance, decay and weight into highs while its greater elasticity and crackling bass netted a tauter more contoured overall feel further boosted by higher pigmentation. However, the Swiss was as relaxed and soothing as its opponent. Its images rendered a touch closer and finer outlined to feel somewhat cooler yet more alive, pronounced and moisturized. All air around them had a particularly pleasant humidity which the GigaWatt didn't have as much of. The Power Gate was noticeably sunnier and dominated on backdrop cleanliness as its distinctively posh core while its efficacy at extracting and magnifying virtual dust motes suspended in air too was higher in the process."