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Power cable

Sablon Audio

Manufacturer: SABLON AUDIO

Price (at the time of the test): 8000 PLN/1.5 m

Contact: Mark Coles


Product delivered for test by: SABLON AUDIO

couldn't believe that it's already been so long since I reviewed power cord Robusto by Sablon Audio – that happened in 2011, so it's been already more than 4 years! I remember very well the cable, how it looked like, and I remember also its creator - Mark Coles. Now, looking at his latest, top model of power cord, it seems that some things just don't change. Like the look of the cord – it's still a bundle of copper wires inside dielectric, with a sleeve, similar plugs and heat shrinks with company's logo on them.

So at first one can't really see what one pays quite a lot for. The price comes from the way cables are made. They are hand-made using several, often quite uncommon, techniques. The most expensive model, Corona Reserva, sports thick bundles of wires with a separate protective bundle. Some elements are covered with some sort of a lacquer that minimizes noise – manufacturer does not inform exactly which elements are these. The name of this lacquer – „Magic” – makes lives of „haters” easier, and ours more difficult as it tells us nothing at all.

It seems that cost are divided evenly between cable and plugs. Mark terminated his top model with expensive plugs – for European market he used Oyaide Shuko plugs, model P004/C004. Metal elements of these plugs underwent cryo-treatment. They covers sport crystals that damp vibrations and RF radiation. This is a direct link to Japanese filters RAS-14 by Acoustic Revive. It seems that Sablon used the same materials as the ones that were used for this particular filter – it is mentioned in company's materials. Corona Reserve seems to be a combination of a power cords with integrated, passive filter. Cables undergo initial break-in in Audiodharma „high power cooker”, saving users a lot of time.

Just to give you a full information Corona line includes three models (starting from the most expensive one): Corona Reserve, Gran Corona and Petite Corona. The model under review replaced in company's portfolio previous top model called Quantum Gran Corona.

Sablon Audio | Owner

It has been some years since you reviewed my Robusto power cord and the new Reserva Corona represents several model iterations of development.

Changes to the overall gauge, conductor geometry and cryogenic treatment saw the original Gran Corona cord gain in neutrality and transparency over Robusto. This greater bandwidth caused the original plugset to become a limiting factor and allowed the superior Oyaide plugs to uncork the innate performance potential. After some further noise reduction tweaks, I concluded that I had reached developmental limit of that particular conductor. Reserva Corona uses the same Oyaide 004 plugset and noise reduction techniques as before but is now based upon a higher specification wire in a different hand-built geometry. This also allows for lower weight / a slimmer form factor with far greater flexibility and a more upscale appearance.

From a sonic perspective, the evolution of the Sablon power cords has achieved considerable gains in transparency, detail, dynamic range, greater extension at both frequency extremes and a more even tonality. Robusto undoubtedly had a strong character which delighted some but did not work universally. Reserva is however much more neutral and its transparency will let you know precisely what your underlying system sounds like.

SABLON AUDIO in „High Fidelity”
TEST: Sablon Audio THE ROBUSTO – power cord, see HERE

Recordings used for this test (a selection)

  • Miracula. Medieval Music for Saint Nicholas, wyk. Ensemble Peregrina, Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennet, Tacet 213, CD (2014).
  • Carmen McRae & July London, Carmen McRae & July London Bethlehem/Victor Entertainment VICJ-61458, “Bethlehem K2HD Mastering Series | No. 8”, K2HD CD (1954/2007).
  • Duke Ellington, Concert in the Virgin Islands, Reprise/Warner Bros. Japan 8122-79598-0, “Jazz Best Collection 1000 | No. 4”, CD (1965/2013).
  • Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Mercury Records/USM Japan UICY-40025, Platinum SHM-CD (1973/2013).
  • Leonard Cohen, Popular Problems, Sony Music Labels SICP-4329, CD (2014);
  • Shankar, Songs For Everyone, ECM Records ECM 1286, “ECM Touchstones”, CD (1985/2008).
  • Vangelis, Blade Runner, soundtrack, reż. Ridley Scott, Atlantic Records/Audio Fidelity AFZ 154, “Limited Numbered Edition | No. 2398”, SACD/CD (1982/2013).
Japanese issues available at

Power cables sound different (or change the sound in different way) in every system, at least as long as it offers decent performance. There are those who claim that improvements worth spending a lot of money on power cables are reasonable only when one already has an expensive system. And they are mostly right about it: changes introduced by power cables happen on so many different levels, also very deep ones, that changing only few (classic) component would cause comparable changes.

But I also tried switching regular cable offered by a manufacturer together with a 1000 PLN amplifier to an “audiophile” one for 300-400 PLN that did wonders to device's character. So I treat changes introduced by power cables as something “normal”. That doesn't make it any easier for me to understand why such inexpensive device react so strongly to cables that cost 10, 20 even 50 times more than those devices themselves – and I know they do react, as I tried it many times. It is like the amplifier for, say, 1500 PLN had a secret potential only waiting for opportunity to be revealed.

To be clear – there is no magic to it, it's pure physics that is still waiting for proper explanation and backing with measurable proof. But power cables changing sound is a fact, it is clearly audible regardless of the price of a cable and of a system it is used in. And it is possible to assess and to describe these changes. Mark Coles's cable is a perfect example – it is really easy to describe changes it introduces. It belongs to those audio components that connect. I mean, obviously, the influence on the sound and not just connecting component to power. Corona Reserve fills space between sounds connecting them into a amazingly fluid wholeness.

Sablon's presentation focuses on the middle of the soundstage. It doesn't take much time or effort to notice that but it is worth taking some time and making some effort to understand why it is so. It turns out that tonality of that cable correlates with its character. The whole presentation, regardless of what recording we listen to, gets “ennobled”, sound is really beautiful and nice to listen to. If there are some serious issues with the technical side of the recording, like, for example, there is a large compression, listener will be informed about it but rather in the background, it won't be emphasized. What will attract attention will be a wide soundstage with amazing depth and richness.

At the time of this test I expected parcels from USA and Japan, with the latest remaster of Roger Waters' Amused to Death. Audiophiles love this album as it is a great tool to test spacial abilities of audio systems. The spectacular surround effects were achieved on this album due to Qsound system, that is capable of coding full 360° environment/space into two channels. Although this is not the only album created this way – one should mention Sting's Soul Cages, Madonna's Immaculate and even Polish group Abraxas' 99 – it is Waters' album that utilized Qsystem to the best sonic and artistic effect.

I expected two parcels as the American Analogue Productions released a 200 g LP and a hybrid SACD but Sony, in Japan, released same album on Blu-spec CD2 (plus BD) and hybrid SACD/BSCD2. To remind myself the album I listen to Japanese mini LP version from 2011. The effect with Sablon Audio was unique. But considering how sophisticated material it was good results were to be expected.

The more impressive were the recordings without any special spacial effects and mono ones. Sound with this cable got amazingly spacial, but not through artificial enlargement of the images or whole soundstage, nor through artificial separation of the instruments. It was rather a very natural broadening of the “field of view” so to speak, mainly via smooth development of the perspective into the depth and width of the soundstage. Soundstage “grew” and so did instruments. The elements surrounded with a lot of space/air, even those from the front of the stage, were presented further away from a listener than in case of Acrolink and Harmonix. On the other hand these with small “pre-echo”, meaning presented up-close to the listener were actually presented close.

Both range extremes were not particularly active. It is a cable that joins, not separates. It did not bother me – just a different way of presenting music. In many systems it will work very well adding a bit of a “vintage-like” sound, i.e. rich, saturated, focusing listener's attention on vocals, guitars and so on. And yet, it's not a warm sounding cable. What I described above was not a resulted of a “warmed-up” sound, nor of extremes roll-off. Such a smoothness and liquidity of a sound are possible only with a wide frequency range and high resolution. The general sonic character of this cables causes these sound features the express themselves via other ones and not directly.


Tonality of this British cable puts is close to another European product, the Dutch silver-gold Crystal Cable Absolute Dream. They both deliver sound in a similar way due to how they convey spacing and attack phase. It is about focusing rather on the wholeness of the sound than on its details. Reserva is able to re-create complex spatial relations in a remarkable fashion which makes it also similar to both Harmonix cables - X-DC Studio Master Million Maestro (lang. Polish) and X-DC350M2R Improved-Version (lang. Polish). Harmonix cables offer more distinct sound though, with clearer leading edge and higher dynamics. Furutech NanoFlux-18E offers more open presentation. Going back to Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 brought me home: serenity, smoothness, coherence. Japanese cable takes these aspects of the sound even to a higher level than Reserva but it is also much more expensive.


Mark Coles obviously knows what he's doing as this is a much better cable – at least as far as I remember – than Robusto. Compared to the best cables I know, that were also more expensive, it didn't fall much behind in terms of sound quality. What's more, it offered a certain set of features that were in high demand among audiophiles, such as: smoothness, spacing, coherence and richness. This power cord never emphasizes resolution nor selectivity of the components using it. But it allows us to appreciate timbre and richness – these are really beautiful with this power cord.

Power cables have to be tested in a different way than interconnects or speaker cables, simply because to change one PC for other one has to turn off device that is connected with it. When it is turned backed on it needs some time before it reaches optimal working conditions, hence performance. It takes maybe 15 minutes for solid-states devices, but definitely more for tube ones. So it is not possible to run direct A/B comparisons between two cables.

Such a situation creates opens new possibilities – one listens to each cable for extended period of time, few albums at a time. And, I believe, when it comes to this type of changes that power cables introduce, it is a better method. Plugging in a different power cable introduces significant changes to the sound compared to the previous one but assessing these changes is much more difficult than when one compares other types of cables or system's components. Often one might think that a regular “computer” power cord sounds better because it offers brighter sound with more treble which makes them sound more attractive. Only when listening over a longer period of time one will notice that such sound lacks so much richness offered by higher quality cables.

Key element of this test were other reference products that included:

  • Harmonix X-DC Studio Master Million Maestro (2 m)
  • Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version (2 m)
  • Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m)
  • Crystal Cable Absolute Dream (1,5 m)

Polish distributor


Rymarska 45/1
53-206 Wrocław
606 312 189

Szósta po południu

Released: 2015
For-Tune 0064 (041), CD

Ed Cherry born on September 12th 1954 in New Heaven is an American jazz guitarist. He's best known from his long-term association (1978-1993) with one of the greatest jazz trumpet players of all times, Dizzy Gillespie. No wonder that Cherry is considered to be one of top guitarists from New York. He recorded his album Szósta po południu on November 6th 2014 in a club called... Szósta po południu together with two Polish musicians – bass player Adam Kowalewski and a drummer Arek Skolik.

These two Polish musicians also have interesting CVs. Adam Kowalewski graduated from Wydział Jazzu i Muzyki Rozrywkowej Akademii Muzycznej im. Karola Szymanowskiego in Katowice, and since 1999 he also teaches double bass and bass guitar there. He worked with many best Polish jazz musicians like: Janusz Muniak, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Tomasz Szukalski, Tomasz Stańko, Piotr Baron, Piotr Wojtasik, Leszek Możdżer, Adam Pierończyk, Jarosław Śmietana, Eryk Kulm, and many others.

Arek Skolik has occupied for years one of the top places in „Jazz Forum” magazine's yearly survey for the best jazz drummers. He's one of the musicians who don't push hard for being innovative at any cost, he rather adheres to dozen of years of tradition combining it with his own musical temper.

This album was released as part of “pink” series under number 041.


Live recordings in small clubs significantly depend on the quality of sound system used in this club. Usually stage microphones are used, not studio ones, and signal is mixed to capture the sound/acoustics of the room. Sometimes, of course, also high quality microphones are used, like AKG 414 B-ULS for example, signal might be split before mixer and recorded on a multi-track, leaving mixing ans mastering for later.

I have no idea what microphones were used for this recording but the volume level and the size of each instrument is always right – and I mean in terms of timbre as well as of placing on the stage. The leading instrument here is Ed Cherry’s electric guitar – that's clear from the very beginning. It is a little bit warm and gently rolled off – it seems it used an effect adding a pre-echo even before guitar's amp. This sound reminded me a lot Pat Metheny's guitar on his album Beyond The Missouri Sky.

Music also seems somehow similar and I truly enjoyed it. I suspect it will sound even better during long, autumn nights, but even during hottest (registered) August in Polish history it was pretty enchanting. The music flows, feels the space, relaxes listener.

Sound is good, although not particularly resolving nor selective. Both range extremes lack some richness, on the range as a whole seems a bit “over-damped”. On the other hand there is a fabulous harmony between instruments, they together tell stories, switching voices and leadership. That reminded me a lot what I knew from 2011 Speak To Me album by Marc Copland and John Abercombie they recorded in Munich for Pirouet. To be honest Ed Cherry's album offers at least the same artistic, musical level as the above mentioned recordings and similar sound quality, too. Bravo!

Sound quality: 7-8/10


Released: 22.04.2015

For-Tune 0054 (038), CD

Quantum Trio is a band with a background in improvised music. They take their inspiration from classical music, jazz, avant-garde, but also in part by pop music and they express it using saxophone, drums and piano. One can feel some movie ambiance in their compositions, but also some sort of trans from deep meditations. On the album one will find intense ballads, punk jazz as well as explosive, enthusiastic piece about... chocolate. Making of such music was only possible because these three musicians met in the right place at the right time.

Album was recorded by two Polish musicians – Michał Ciesielski on saxophones and Kamil Zawiślak on a piano, together with a drummer, Luis Mora Matus. These gentlemen first met in 2012 in Rotterdam, at Codarts University for the Arts. A year later within just 3 days (July 7-9th) they recorded material for this album in Radio Gdańsk. They are authors of all compositions on this album.


Music proposed by Quantum Trio is the best recommendation for this album – it is easy and pleasant to listen to, it is surely also immersive. But there is an element that constitutes an added value – it's they way that drums were recorded and mastered. Do you remember Qsound used on Roger Waters' Amused To Death, Sting's The Soul Cages and Madonna's Immaculate? All these albums uses this special system that by manipulation of an amplitude, phase and lags created an impression of a surround sound.

I don't think they used this system for this particular album, as there is no Qsound logo, and it would also require an analogue signal to be processed (today almost all recordings are digital), but sound engineers must have had something similar in mind because percussion sounds in a very unusual way. Sitting in the middle between two speakers one will find oneself inside a “bubble” created using direct sound and its reflections, just like one sat in one space with the band playing live.

The spacing is remarkable, although sound doesn't seem to be particularly resolving nor selective. Also the size of the instruments is not particularly big, especially of the saxophone that I perceived as if it was recorded separately, or in a separate “box”.
Sound has a solid bass foundation which most of people should like a lot. It is smooth and coherent – nothing sounds too bright, I also found no coloration. Saxophones are nicely differentiated from one recording to another – sometimes they sound a bit “damped”, sometime more direct. One has to know though, that the lead instrument is piano – it delivers dark, deep sound and it is usually presented in front of other instruments.

This album is a must-have because of great music and spectacular spacial effect.

Sound quality: 7-8/10



- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
- Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One