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The high frequencies on the Gold were smooth and detailed but proportionally downplayed slightly in comparison to the cable’s mild prominence in the mid through lower mids. Overall the Classic G was big, expansive and airy, with attention directed a little lower in the spectrum. Instrumental positioning and soundstaging were pushed back a little in comparison to the Rhodium version, with the exception of instruments in the lower spectrum. Those were slightly enhanced in size and weight, thus given a little extra forward projection.

So where did our two new Classic power cords fit in? Lets draw an analogy. The Audio Art Cable Classic series and SE power cables perform very much like a group of martial arts competitors. The basic Classic is the fresh recruit, well muscled with huge potential, a little rough around the edges and lacking a bit of technical finesse but still powerful enough to knock you into next week. Our middle two Rhodium and Gold FI-11 variations are more seasoned and nimble. They hit hard, throw out combinations with speed and control but demonstrate different styles. The SE takes those abilities a touch further and attempts to achieve the Bruce Lee approach of no fixed stance, embracing all other attributes but doing so with a little more fluidity and seamless transparency.

Now we proceed from broad analogy to actual detail. The original Power1 Classic remains an excellent jump from a stock cord and will satisfy many but each of the two more expensively terminated versions constitute legitimate upgrades well worth the extra money. Both Rhodium and Gold connectors add improved focus and control over the entry-level Basic and rival the results of the Special Edition given optimum system integration. The two cords were about equivalent in the midrange and both kept the family trademark of articulate powerful bass but there the similarities ended.

The two put entirely different spins on how they interpreted the music not only from each other but also from the rest of the family. The SE was the most linear improvement in a system already balanced towards neutral. The Gold and Rhodium Classic directed attention to their own specific areas of the frequencies, qualitatively spotlighting the presentation in slightly diverging fashions. These differences were more than subtle and merely shifted the instrumental weighting. Choosing one or the other determined which instruments you wanted to bring to the forefront.

Did these attributes total up to any distinct characters or flavors? It would be comforting to say no but the levels of individual character went beyond 'good, better, best' that one could attribute to simply progressively better power delivery. So yes, flavors. The fact that my observations pretty much mirror Mr. Fritz’s own descriptions also indicate repeatable results in differing systems. So yes, repeatable and predictable flavors. All real. No snake oil.

Conclusion. By conventional wisdom a power cord is not formally an audio cable. My results indicated that they most certainly act as if they were. So much for conventional wisdom. Power cables now come in audio flavors. The two Classic Furutech FI-11-N1-based cords are sophisticated entries that join the Audio Art Cable line with powerful individual strengths. These two approach all the advantages of the SE cable with a little extra character to balance systems that require a little extra push. Showcase your brasses and strings? Rhodium’s the thing. Is your Steinway’s too clinical? Go for the Gold. With his range of Classic-based power cables Mr. Fritz proves conclusively that one size does not fit all and that tuning by power cord is viable. Here’s an opportunity to build and fine-tune core aspects of a system with a choice of exceptional and affordable products. These two Furutech FI-11-N1 Classic variations are musical winners and will be welcome additions to a lot of good systems seeking greatness.

Who should be interested? People looking at cable upgrades may want to regard the power cord as their first purchase in system building. With the Rhodium and Gold Classics they can predictably tailor where the heart of their music will lie to create compelling synergy. Who should look elsewhere? The audiophile whose system is already in fundamental balance and who wants the least amount of additional flavor. Such folks should look at the SE or move even higher up the ladder.

Quality of packing: Sturdy single-box cardboard. Cables were individually labeled and bagged and protected by poly foam nuggets.
Reusability of packing: Yes.
Condition of components received: Perfect.
Delivery: USPS.
Website comments: Informative and extensive website. Home page features current specials and pricing.
Human interactions: Courteous and responsive.
Warranty: 1 year parts and labor, 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. Available Internet direct from the company website and through authorized international distributors.
Final comments & suggestions:
Here we meet the new frontier, the power cable as audio cable. With its ability to alter the sound of a component, the lowly power cord has the potential to take electronics into new realms. No longer simply a matter of better when there exist different flavor solutions to meet your need or whim, the right choice becomes your choice.

Audio Art Cables website