Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref as USB bridge/SD transport, JAVS X7-DAC MQA, X7-DDC Femto & Clean Power [on loan], Nagra Classic DAC [on review]
Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature, Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, COS Engineering D1, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module), LTA MZ3 [on review]
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, SIT3, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos; Bakoon AMP-13R; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Simon Audio i5
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Acelec Model One; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V, VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Fram Midi 150 & 120
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL 3000 & 5000; Zu Event; KingRex uArt double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub, LessLoss Entropy C-MARC between wall and rack for upstairs & downstairs systems
Equipment rack: Artesania 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
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: TBA
IRA. Irish real audio. As our adopted home country, Eire is strangely bereft of domestic hifi manufacture. Meanwhile the Brexiteers one island over sit in the fat of it. But there's one brand which does operate in the land of the Irish, in Belfast. Dia dhuit Titan Audio? Hello local power cords. Here's the news items that tipped then ticked off today's gig.
"Titanic news. Alas, nothing's sinking. Rather, Gary Campbell believes that something big is rising to the top. Titan Audio are delighted to announce a new range of mains cables. We have a new dedicated range of both source (low power) and high-current cables each built for purpose. The new cables retain the existing model names but follow a new format. The high-current versions will carry the 'Signature' suffix like Nyx & Nyx Signature, Helios & Helios Signature.
"In a world first, the models Helios, Helios Signature, Eros and Eros Signature add the option of our patent-pending Forcefield Tech to bring a new level of RFI/EMI protection. This has never been seen in the audio industry. It offers an invisible shield around the cable while maintaining the power delivery characteristics our cables have always offered. Forcefield may be optioned when purchasing a new cord or be added later as Helios and Eros models now come with Forcefield Technology connectors."
When I confirmed that I'd posted the above press release, Gary asked whether I'd do a review. I'd covered some of their product before. It had turned out to be no-nonsense performance for a fair price. It'd done me a solid.
Why not? Cén fáth nach bhfuil. Using Google translator really is badly cheating. So is claiming that power cords make no differences without doing any actual listening.
Naturally I was curious about the Forcefield Tech. I foresaw a plug-in module which perhaps related to Ansuz dither tech, NordOst QRT or active bias à la AudioQuest by setting up some sort of counter field. Being able to unplug it added interest to a power cord assignment. Ditto getting patriotic and taking one for the home team.
Saying yes was pretty much foregone conclusion. Would I cotton to the invisible force field? How much would Gary spill about its MO? Many manufacturers clam up when it's about their intellectual property. That's perfectly legit. Why give away the farm? But reviewers are expected to translate novel buzz words. Forcefield certainly applied. My inner marketeer could just see the campaign: Super hero hifi. The theme to Superman comes on badly distorted. Galactic gunk fires at a hifi. Suddenly Titan's shield graphic pops up in front of it to deflect said gunk like a water cannon. The theme to Superman loses its distortion, then gains in SPL and heroics. The camera hones in on a power cord behind the hifi. Titan Audio saved the day. Titanic, that! Gimme three? At £2'500/1.5m for the high-current Nemesis range topper below, that's a tall order. For the entry-level Nyx Sigature, £450 already buys three so there's a serious stretch. The Helios Signature gets £300/ea., the Eros Signature £600 and the Chimera Signature £1'250. Those mark clear stepping stones in ever doubling price points just how retailers like them.
Titan Audio believe in unrestricted current delivery from low transmission impedance and single-crystal conductors. Nemesis features 6.7mΩ/m on neutral, 5.4mΩ/m on ground, more affordable Elektra 7.1mΩ for either. Add low noise from effective shielding and low contact resistance from superior plugs. As one moves up, connectors get costlier and cryo-treated, copper turns silver-plated copper then pure silver and overall gauge increases. Most models run external drain wires, Nemesis and the forthcoming Apollo go braided. Three passive power distributors use Nyx, Helios and Eros conductors for their star-grounded hookup wiring. There's a no-nonsense focus and relatively little bling to this company's approach. Here's a link to the their design credo.
… to be continued…
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