by Martin Appel
It had come to my attention via an Audiophilia colleague of mine, Andy Fawcett, that I should check out this company’s power cord. Six or seven months had elapsed and I had just finished my last review and could now direct my attention to the Lessloss power cord. They had since introduced a new, top of the line cord, the SIGNATURE model for $1,149.00USD for a standard 2m length. That is the subject of this review.
I contacted Louis Motek at LessLoss and he sent me three DFPC Signature cords. DFPC stands for Dynamic Filtering Power Cable. I just love audio jargon. My system would need nine to completely outfit it with the new cords but he assured me that I would be able to judge the performance with three. I was a little skeptical but I plunged ahead.
I’ve been using the wonderful Acoustic Zen Absolute power cord as my reference for quite a while and at more than twice the price of the LessLoss, it is a very serious cord that had bested all comers to date.
I installed the LL cords on my Marantz SA-7S1 CD/SACD player, the Marantz SA-7S2 preamplifier and the third on the AQVOX phono preamplifier. The Acoustic Zen Absolutes remained on my updated DEQX processor and my four Nuforce 9 V2 SE amplifiers and PS Audio Power Plant Premier.
Visually, these power cords are an expression of the designer’s intent. Some cords are big, fat “snakes” where everything is wrapped in one big sheath that is typically rather inflexible. Louis Motek expressed the elements of the cord for all to see. All four conductors are visible, two for phase, one for neutral and one for ground, and are isolated but interwoven with each other contributing to the cord’s look and flexibility. The plugs are Oyaide which are fabricated from a ruby red translucent plastic with double gold plating. Very cool. For a full technical explanation of the physics behind the design check out the website for some far out stuff way beyond my limited capabilities to explain. Now, how do they sound?
After about 100 hours of burn in I began the serious listening and evaluation process. My first reaction was these are the most transparent cords I ever had in my system. It seemed as if all the music was coming through without any confusion or muddying. All the parts were more crystal clear than ever. I must attribute this to a tightening of the focus of the images with greater separation of instruments allowing the smallest of detail to claim its rightful place in the total musical landscape. This was true from CD as well as vinyl.
This transparency did not come at the expense of body or weight of instrumental presentation. If anything there was a gain in solidity and three - dimensionality. Instruments had that in-the-room feel with full resonance and texture. Voices had a more natural quality and were more human in size with a gain in nuance and shading that brings us closer to the real thing. In general, the instruments had a more life size image that approached reality. Some power cords produce larger than life, oversized images. Not the LessLoss.
I must also note that the soundstage became further delineated with the addition of the Signatures in the system. The air around instruments added to the separation and greater articulation of the music. Space seemed to expand.
Bass reproduction benefitted as well. Whether it was the ability to focus, with greater detail, or the cleaner presentation, the bass exhibited an increase in power and impact that was impressive. My AZ reference cords produced bigger and slightly oversized bass performance in comparison. The LL’s produced a tighter, more focused, bass presentation that grabbed me.
There is clearly a love fest going on here, and, before I go too far, I must reiterate that I only had three cords to experiment with and therefore I’m really commenting on a combined sonic presentation of the Acoustic Zen Absolute and the LessLoss Signatures. I found that the combination seemed to be ideal and each power cord contributed to the quality of the sound. The LL’s added a more natural and relaxed quality with superb resolution while the AZ seemed more explosive and larger in scale. Until I have an all LessLoss fed system, I won’t know if it’s too much of a good thing or not. I will say that introducing those three LL Signatures into my system has clearly improved it.
I want to add a few words about musical accuracy and neutrality. The LL Signature cords find themselves on the neutral and accurate side of the fence without introducing edgy or analytical qualities to the sound in the context of this review. To my way of thinking, the more accurate you are, the closer you can get to what’s on the recording. It is not a tone control or a sweetener but a faithful window into the recording.
It is without doubt that the LessLoss Signature power cords must take their place in the top echelon of power cords and at less than half the price of my Acoustic Zen Absolute reference are an audiophile bargain and I most highly recommend them. They will not leave my system.
It is always exciting to find new products that improve the listening experience and the LessLoss Signature power cord is such a product. I am therefore awarding them an Audiophilia ‘STAR’. Thank you, Louis.
Thank you very much for your great review of our best audiophile power cables yet.
Audiophiles are always on the lookout for an audio power cable review which includes the high end audio gear they know best. Usually this is equipment they own or have owned in the past, and, to many, a description of the very combination is more telling than talk of just the high end audio power cable themselves.
Thank you as well for your views about the direction that refinements in high end audio playback systems should be taking. I believe that without such focus and clarity, we don’t know what we are looking for (and wind up looking over our shoulder into our neighbor’s systems for clues…). It is nice that you share this view of audio perfection with us, and in sharing this view, we can easily compare notes and know for sure what we are talking about. “Better” is meaningless unless we first agree about what is “best.” And “best” is the reality behind the recorded material, not one of the millions of flavors thereof. Hence, the audiophile power cable now has a job, a direction, a clear purpose.
I wish more audiophile magazines would publish from this perspective. It would make things much more easy for the audiophile to understand. For text is nothing compared to music, and so we have to be careful to first establish where we are speaking from. I’m glad you did that and I think it is important.
Our high end audio power cables have been blessed with such positive reviews. And now, you bless us with yet another wonderful LessLoss review to add to our existing arsenal, and with an Audiophilia prize to top it off! Thank you so much for the recognition!
Amplifiers: 4-Nuforce 9V2 SE’s monoblocks
Processor: DEQX PDC-2.6P
Preamplifier: Marantz SC-7S2
Phono Preamplifier: Nova Phonomena
CD source: Marantz SA-7S1
Analogue source: Avid Volvere / RB300 arm.
Cartridge: Shelter 7000
Speaker cables: Acoustic Zen’s Absolute, Wasatch’s Ultama
Power Cords, Acoustic Zen’s Absolute.
Interconnects: Acoustic Zen’s Absolute(xlr)
Accessories: Herbie’s Audio Lab Tenderfeet, Black Diamond Racing Cones, Soundcare products, Acme Audio Labs wall outlets.
Surge Protection: Brick Wall 2R and 8R Surge Protectors
Power Conditioning: PS AUDIO Power Plant Premier
25264-1 Warner Bros. Records – DIRE STRAITS-BROTHER IN ARMS
TRIP JAZZ TLP-5530 BROWN/ROACH INC.-STUDY IN BROWN (mono)
CS 8192 Columbia- Dave Brubeck Quartet / TIME OUT
Reference Recordings RR-96CD Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances Oue/Minnesota Orchestra
Pablo OJCCD-744-2 Clark Terry/Freddie Hubbard/Dizzy Gillespie/Oscar Peterson: The Alternate Blues
Telarc CD-83373 Ray Brown: Some of My Best Friends…The Piano Players
Capital 72434 94756 2 5 Frank Sinatra: Sinatra Sing for Only the Lonely
LessLoss Audio Devices
Phone: +370 698 48706