The C-MARC goal was to end up with a cable quieter than DFPC. To arrive meant exploiting a geometry based on two counter-polarized coils of the same diameter and step which then fractally replicate on C-MARC's conductive core. The most interesting bit is how these coils interleave. One turns clockwise, its equivalent twists in the opposite direction. Mutually superimposed, this forms a bucking-coil connection originally developed in the 1930s. Noise induced on these balanced strands is electrically cancelled due to opposing polarity/geometry. And that translates into enormous S/N ratio. The conductor itself is based on 0.125mm Litz to have each wire hair individually enamelled. This is not your basic braided job with two OEM plugs disguised as end game. Whilst the C-MARC power cable might look inconspicuous on the outside, its construction fully detailed on their site is anything but. The core of 2×24 strands of white cotton fiber is surrounded by 16×12 strands of copper conductor followed by 2x3x16 strands of gassed and mercerized black cotton. Now the copper part replicates, is coated by a clear thin-walled polyoelefin skin and lastly all sections tuck into a protective braid of 32 polyethylene terepthalate monofilaments. The math nets us 560 strands of material which then needs to be multiplied by three for the three legs of the main braid. That arrives us at 1'680 strands total.
Such a complex concoction of copper, cotton and synthetic seems to be impossible to DIY, hence is quite copycat proof since even duplicating it on an industrial scale would involve a serious financial commitment. And who'd bother if any desired length of this cable is already available without middle men directly from LessLoss? If OEM wire of hyped but realistically unverifiable purity sold in bulk off a spool in China occupies one end of this spectrum, C-MARC designed from scratch and available only from LessLoss sits at the far less crowded other end. Louis doesn't play the six nines purity game but still employs measures to net the desired effect on performance. That's why prior to construction, C-MARC's raw copper Litz conductor is subjected to 3-day cryogenic processing as are both plugs with their 24K gold-plated copper contacts. The translucent plug housings aren't really there to show off the innards. Louis explained that colouring or solidifying additives impact performance, hence the gorgeous red of the DFPC series was dropped. Cotton insulation isn't that typical in cable manufacture either. The cotton which LessLoss use is subject to mercerization, a process which swells up and straightens out the micro fibres to increase strength, flexibility and appearance. The last bit is irrelevant for the power cords which sheath in a synthetic jacket but the rest of the C-MARC cables do show it off.
Upon receipt, my two 2m loaners made a very solid first impression. I found them very light but just a touch stiff. The tri braid looked and felt nice whilst reliable connections visible through the translucent plug casings indicated professional assembly. The Schuko pins felt normal, less so the abnormally strong grip on the IEC end which secures a tighter fit to improve current transfer. Louis also pointed my attention towards the hot leads represented by red markings positioned to be visible through the translucent shells of the Schuko heads. He wants you to get phase polarity right without guess work. This power cable can be terminated with several types of plugs up to 3.5m in length. Each additional half meter past the 2m mark gets $94 extra and orders for two and three-plus items enjoy rebates of 5% and 10% respectively. The C-MARC power cord's total conductive cross-sectional area is 13.824mm2 and its internal resistance is said to be very low. To review the LessLoss C-MARC power cords, my trusty Asus UX305LA laptop fed the LampizatOr Pacific DAC which then passed signal to either a Kinki Studio EX-M1 or Trilogy 925 integrated into Boenicke W8 floorstanders. Fronted by Gigawatt's PF-2 power strip and their LC-2 Mk2 cord into the wall sockets, the Lithuanian cords powered my DAC and whatever integrated was in use. Additionally the British iFi audio iGalvanic3.0 + iUSB3.0 team did its usual magic between transport and converter. Comparator cords were two Audiomica Laboratory Ness Excellence power cables with Amber modifications. These have been on duty at my place for more than a year and I know them intimately.
Prior to evaluation, both Lithuanians were in constant use for a bit more than 12 days to net about 300 hours of burn-in. All power cords had their polarity checked and were plugged into the same sockets of my power strip. The C-MARC power cable's web page talks of quiet backgrounds, increased resolution, neutral timbre and focus, accuracy, dynamics and transients and says good-bye to compromised agility, listening fatigue, a strong sonic signature, bloated imaging, harshness, brittleness and artificiality. In other words, just the facts and the promise of a relaxed natural ride. I initially thought these descriptives to be the usual marketing fluff. Nonetheless, after a week of growing familiarity with the C-MARC power cables, this propaganda morphed into a spot-on characterization.
To that list I'll simply add potency of effect. That's because the C-MARC power cord wasn't about introducing mild or subtle changes in my setup. The changes were surprisingly audible. The more I listened to music with the two Lithuanians on and off, the more obvious this became. I consider my system rather revealing. It has never caused any issues in my hardware evaluations and any previous adventures with power cords led me to think that, although they couldn't be labeled as mega changers, they were nonetheless meaningful performance enhancers. Having said that, my reference cords became mainstays for a reason. The LessLoss versions simply introduced changes of an even higher magnitude which were very well balanced and the best I'd heard to date.
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