Arrival lounge. The immigration official will look at you either friendly or suspicious. It all depends on your passport. Where does it say you're from? Likewise power cords. If you're from the Virgin Islands and new to the genre, you're naturally suspicious. The power light already comes on with the free stock cord. Why spend extra on a fat designer job with shiny plugs? If you're a member of the frequent flier's club to have been there and done that a lot already, you know. Of all the hifi cable types, power cords can make the biggest difference. Experience needs no 'why' and 'how' but if you want that silly passport stamp for approval by the authorities, recall that the music signal we hear is just modulated AC power. Power cords are extensions of our equipment power supplies. Where noise filtering is concerned, your cord is the first not last stretch the kit sees. Your kitchen faucet cares neither about how many miles of dirty pipe precede it if you install a first-rate water filter beneath the sink. As far as current goes, conductor mass matters. As far as contact resistance goes, quality plugs with superior contacts and tight fit matter. And so forth.

Vermöuth Reference on Pass Labs XA-30.8

Like the matching XLR interconnect had versus our Allnic, Ocellia and Zu, the Vermöuth Reference cord versus Zu and Crystal now gave the overall sound a darker tint because it opened up new doors in the bassment. The first thing to note was this more powerful low register without any loss of control. It simply expressed more gravitas, growl and grunt, quite as though the burly amp had more current to play with. On our Audio Physic Codex 4-way which downstairs is good to 25Hz, this was as evident as it was upstairs on the smaller Italians. As it always does when one builds out the low frequencies, this imparted more scale, physicality and material presence. Such a bottom-up consideration played natural counterpoint to faux resolution which brightens up the sound from the top down.

On the "Moreno Soy" rumba of his Indestructible album, it gave the long-haired gypsy with the golden voice and his Cuban backup singers more earthiness whilst the emphasis on the long congas was more on their cavity redolence than skin slaps.

However and again like with the interconnect, this didn't cause any perceived portliness or drag as though a runner had put on weight to move slower. Clearly Hendry's strategic voicing had paid attention to balancing out LF gains against good speed to maintain musical tension and adroitness. Hence nothing grew murky or ponderous. By the same token, nothing acquired artificial sheen or gloss as can happen when the top end goes forward. On texture, I heard the contributions of this big power cord as slightly dry like a warm but decidedly non-humid summer day. That differed from the film-noir effect when a director hoses down a street for a night shoot to give it that reflective wet quality.

Vermöuth Reference on FirstWatt SIT-3 driving Living Voice R25A

To stay with the summery vacation theme now in Trinidad, I spun up Andy Narell with big pan orchestra. The following video not from that particular album conveys the general idea. This is boisterous clangorous party music that rumbles, clanks and clatters like a mad metallurgical workshop of intoxicated dwarves tasked with building medieval weapons for the Nibelungen. Played back loud as 28 steel drummers would be if they fit into our room in the first place—not!—the big bass pans' watery warbling came across like a living force of nature. Which, to mark the key point, was the benefit of Hendry's power cord. It played against dynamic and tonal shrinkage to particularly shine on complex agitated stuff that wanted to scale up and expand, then lock and grind. But this bottom-up perspective allied to good speed also mellowed out the potentially 'nervy' aspects of tuned trash cans being hammered at by a full class.

That this ability to go big and bold wasn't bought at the expense of tracking fleet fretworks in smaller settings was brought home on Joscho Stephan's incendiary acoustic cover of the Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe" fave. I could easily hear the many tone modulations he coaxes from his guitar as though in passing. That included the occasional deliberate steely blister.

Vacation over? It needn't be. To stay on this sonic beach, the Vermöuth Reference power cord simply demands a cool $1'300. What it does besides being a bit unwieldy is connect your power amp to the utility power without strangulation effects. You will be unaware how those are in effect if you still use lesser cords. From our inventory, this Balinese top-line effort was equivalent in most ways to the $2'000 Allnic ZL5000 power cord, thus tonally beefier and more dynamically exuberant than our slinkier Zu Event and Crystal Cable equivalents. Their smaller to very much smaller diameters make them consecutively easier to route and dress. But particularly high-power amplifiers with hulking power supplies deserve linkage to your power grid over a high-current connection. To not add noise roaming on your AC to the system, good filtering is essential as well.

From experience, I believe that cable upgrade funds should first go toward power delivery. Start at the wall if a conditioner or outlet multiplier is involved. Next get your power amp/s sorted. This will do more and far more obvious than allocating funds on interconnects, speaker cables and digital specimens once those are of basic quality. Like vibration control from engineered performance racks not pretty furniture or those add-on footers with their arbitrary hence unpredictable effects, power delivery has a big impact on a system's sound. That means proper power cords. Today's Vermöuth definitely fits that description in a big way and in our digs belongs right adjacent to the costlier Allnic ZL5000 from Korea. Yes, Bali really is home to truly upscale hifi product. Pickup in person preferred…