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Unwanted frequencies are those which ride atop the 50 or 60Hz AC signal to cause noise and other disturbances once they interact with your audio equipment. Results are obscuration of fine details which should contribute to timbre, placement and dynamic cues. Where do those unwanted frequencies come from? Many sources are commonly known as cell phone transmitters, radar, power lines and satellites. These sources of ultrasonic radiation create electro smog. Other pollutants are injected into the AC line on its way from the power utility plant through all manner of transformers before power is finally tapped at your home. Next to these mostly external influences is self-generated noise. In our listening rooms we stack all kind of electronic equipment in close proximity and couple them with many cables. This equipment radiates electromagnetic fields to create interactivity between all gear. Despite CE approval, radiation is all over the place. Now add your household appliances, computer and sundry.

This radiation happily penetrates into the power cables and from there into our critical audio equipment to compromise performance. What’s more, power cables aren’t merely antennae receivers but transmitters. The Original DFPC was rather effective at defeating high-frequency noise riding on the AC line. Its three conductors hot, return and ground were of equal diameter and composition. The cables were beautifully terminated with US or EU Oyaide connectors. When we reviewed these original cables, we calculated that each conductor had a surface of 4.72 mm² or 2.25mm Ø. LessLoss then added their undisclosed porous conducting material to increase dimensions to 6mm² or 2.76 mm Ø which made the porous conductor skin 0.255mm thick.

Adapting to the sound with the original cables was easy, being smooth and with zero fatigue. Bass was sumptuous, the midrange delicate and the treble airy and fast. There was absolutely nothing wrong with their performance in our system. But how did the original DFPC compare to our own ASI LiveLine power cords? With the system denuded of power line accessories, we had the perfect opportunity to conduct a clean comparison. Physically the ASI LiveLines are no match for the LessLoss cables. ASI connectors look like the cheapest you can find at the corner shop and in fact are. When held next to the ethereal $100+ Oyaide plugs, the price difference is blatantly visible. Where LessLoss uses three heavily insulated artfully braided conductors which remain surprisingly flexible, the LiveLine is build up of three individual Teflon-insulated solid-core conductors slipped inside a loose-fitting generic sleeve. The solid-core construction makes the cable prone to damage if excessively and repeatedly bent. Where LessLoss uses high-tech porous metal plating on top of their copper leads, ASI pursues a different direction altogether. The French manufacturer uses his jeweler’s skills to splice minute gold, silver and platinum segments into the solid copper hot and return wires and then does the same for the solid silver ground, albeit in a different sequence of splices. ASI’s goal for their cables was sound quality only, hi-tech appearance and high-end acceptability be damned. The only way to compare such opposing design approaches was to listen.

Just as different as the cables were in their makeup so they differed sonically. The LessLoss was smooth and delicate - nice. The LiveLines gave the system a jolt and spirit. Both filter noise and not necessarily in such different ways. Both display minute details but the LiveLines make them come on more instantly by being faster. These cables make you more involved with what’s going on. This characteristic can be tiresome as it asks more of the listener than sitting back passively and enjoying what’s happening to you. With the LiveLine it’s about what’s happening with you. Audience participation if you like.

After the system had been changed back to the full LessLoss complement, our earlier opinions were confirmed. The LessLoss/LiveLine wires changed the musical output of the system. They cannot really  add something, only subtract. That has got to be noise, EM or RF. The LiveLines had superior timing and shorter rise times. The original DFPC eased things out to make the sound smoother and more relaxed. Having gotten this fix, we could now change the system’s cabling once again and for the DFPC Signature cables now. The Signature is Louis Motek’s response for a more dynamic cable. He left the symmetrical layout of the original but added one extra wire. This becomes the new ground while the former ground wire is added to the hot. The addition of a visually thin fourth conductor makes the cable no less flexible. It is still easy to route. Doubling the hot conductor should however have increased dynamic capabilities. But there was more to the difference between Signature and Original.

To quote Louis Motek from his website "…we implement further skin treatment featuring overlapping high-frequency absorbance and reflectance spectra to maximize this high-frequency noise suppressing faculty. The result is not simply a ‘poorly conductive’ skin but one which combines poor conduction with refined and highly tuned high-frequency spectrum manipulation to inhibit electronic noise more than in the original and to bring the nature of music more to the forefront." Amen to that. But would this more dynamic forward cable now meet or exceed the LiveLine characteristics?