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Manufacturer: VIBEX
Price (in Poland): 25 490 PLN

Contact: Vibex | Ronda de Alarcos, 18
13002, Ciudad Real (Ciudad Real)


Provided for test by: AUDIO ATELIER


Translation: Marek Dyba

Images: Wojciech Pacuła | Vibex

No 213

February 1, 2021

VIBEX is a Spanish company founded by British-born CLIFF ORMAN. It specializes in products related to the power supply of audio components, such as AC power strips and conditioners, AC cables and wall sockets. We are testing its top GRANADA PLATINUM power strip.

HE HISTORY OF VIBEX'S belongs to a category that links them to the distribution of third-party products. The founder of the brand is CLIFF ORMAN, the owner of the Cosmos HiFi distribution company, who moved to the rural circle of Ciudal Real from Great Britain. Distribution is one thing, and curiosity and restless spirit are another. That is why Cliff not only sells audio products, but also conducts various types of experiments. Like the one with the replacement of wooden cabinets of loudspeakers of the Japanese company Kiso Acoustics with cabinets made of a material called KRION.

He was not alone in this - he performed the tests with his friends from Kroma Audio, a company specializing in the production of loudspeakers. It turned out so promising that this material also was used in their speakers. But not only there. Various components are made of Krion, including the crossover housing of another Tokyo company, Kenrick Sound KRS. Let me add that a similar composite, i.e. aluminum particles embedded in the resin, were used in the Crystal Cable Minissimo speakers, which were premiered during the 2014 HIGH END SHOW.

These experiences, as well as the results of tests related to vibration reduction - more than 25 years of those are mentioned in press materials - Mr. Orman collected together and used in products for powering audio components.

| A few simple words…

Founder, designer

VIBEX WAS FOUNDED IN 1988, and started its life designing and manufacturing aluminium racks and loudspeaker stands (emphasis ed.). I personally started studying as a telecommunications engineer and worked for British telecom in the U.K. It wasn't until the late 1990s that Vibex began with power block and power filter models.

My passion for high end audio started very young with valve amplifiers, turntables and reel to reel at age of ten. In 1985 I came to live in Spain and started importing and distributing High End Hi-Fi products with my company Cosmos Hi-Fi. This I continue to do to this day. I also love design in general: architecture, electronics and anything I think can be improved upon! At the moment I am working on the design of a bio-climatic house and an extending dining table.

One the of most important factors in Vibex design is energy control, and we had gained a wealth of experience in this field with the racks and stands. This knowledge was soon incorporated in the power blocks and filters with exceptional results. We have continued to refine and improve these technologies through the years to get to where we are now.

Of course energy control is not the only aspect of design that you have to tackle. All aspects of a Vibex product are taken very seriously: component quality, wires, solder, geometry, layout, elastomers, screws and everything else that goes together to make a product that stands out from the crowd and offers exceptional value for money. You'd be surprised how every little detail adds up to make a large difference in quality when you have a complete product.

Even though the Granada Platinum is based on the original Granada, which has been our best-selling model ever, it took around two years to perfect and make a truly superior product. Everything in the Granada Platinum has been improved upon: wiring, layout, geometry, aesthetics and component quality. It is also our first design to use our direct plated platinum power socket and a platinum plated IEC socket.

The use of platinum for plating the sockets has proved to be a big advantage over the previous rhodium plating. I know some people are against the use of rhodium, but when done right it is a an excellent sounding metal. It's a bit like silver: some silver sounds bright and lacks musicality, but when done right it can sound very organic and musical.

Platinum for me has it all: detail, musicality and dynamics. The difficulty with platinum is direct plating the sockets. Most companies plate over palladium, which simplifies the process, but sounds worse. The jeweler that plates our contacts took a while to perfect the 2 micron direct method, but when he did the results were amazing. CO


GRANADA PLATINUM IS THE TOP MODEL OF Vibex AC power strips line. It offers eight power sockets - in my version they were Shuko sockets - and is powered by a classic IEC socket. It was introduced for sale in January 2019, but the manufacturer's website still does not offer any information about it, except for a short: "More information soon". So everything I learned about it comes from other sources.

As we read in the instruction manual, it is not only a power distributor, which most often power strips are, but also a filter that blocks the DC component in the alternating currente, which we use to power our devices with. DC in the power grid is actually a big problem, because its presence causes the power supplies to behave differently than planned by the designer, and some transformers simply "hum" for this reason. The producer says about it:

Even small amounts of D.C. seriously reduce the efficiency of an equipment’s power supply. This reduces dynamics, silence and information in a system [audio]. […] Removing D.C. efficiently from your system is probably one of the largest improvements in quality that you can achieve. All components in your system will take a large step forward in quality. The difference when the Granada Platinum is in your system is far from subtle!

⸜ Instruction Manual

DC blocking is an "extra" element, but the primary role of the Granada Platinum is to distribute the AC supply and control vibration. Research conducted for many years shows that the so-called triboelectric noise, i.e. induced in connection cables by vibrations, causes the sound deterioration. Therefore, the reduction of vibrations in this type of products is one of the basic tasks of designers today. In the tested power strip, it happens on several levels: the housing, the geometry of the components inside the housing, the damping of these components and the titanium feet.

The most important seems to be related to the housing. It was made not of aluminum, not of wood, which is the most popular material, but of a material called Krion. It is said to be a response to Corian, a very popular material from the American giant DuPont. Krion is a composite invented by the Spanish company SYSTEMPOOL, a separate part of the Porcelanosa group, specializing in ceramic and composite products for kitchens, bathrooms, etc.

This synthetic material consists of 2/3 aluminum trihydrate and resin as filler and binder. In this way, a hard, but relatively easy-to-process material with very good mechanical properties was obtained. The components inside the strip are also mechanically damped. Each of the power sockets and each component is damped individually with a modern elastomer called Alpha Gel.

The choice of material for the housing, the aforementioned elastomer, but also each of the elements used, were selected as a result of listening tests. As the owner of the company says in the instruction manual: "Accurate measuring systems in the laboratory are far inadequate in the selection of components." And power sockets and cabling have also been selected in such tests.

Let's start from the place where we enter the strip with the supply voltage, i.e. from the IEC socket. The head of Vibex has extensive experience with Japanese companies, which is why his products contain many components from the there. In the tested strip it is the mentioned socket - Oyaide 320 with copper contacts plated with platinum. The voltage is transmitted through thick flat-section cables from the Taiwanese company Neotech. They are made of UP-OCC copper, i.e. cast, mono-crystalline one, with a purity of 99.999% (5N). The cables are insulated with cold-drawn PTFE (material equivalent to Teflon). They are directly connected to all sockets, without a printed circuit board, using Mundorf silver-gold tin.

The user has eight power sockets at his disposal, and these are sockets manufactured by Vibex. The contacts are covered in a direct process (without substrates) with a 2-micron thick layer of platinum. There are eight sockets and they have been connected one after the other. Therefore, the manual says to connect the amplifiers to the socket closest to the IEC, then the preamplifiers and only then the signal sources. It is important to maintain the phase of the supply voltage. For this purpose, the set includes a phase meter - a classic screwdriver with a neon lamp.

Each strip is burned-in for 96 hours, but the manual says that the full sound properties will be obtained after about 500 hours of use. The manufacturer also gives an important tip on minimizing vibrations - it recommends that every 10-14 days of listening to music, disconnect the device from the strip and the strip from the wall outlet and leave it for an hour. As he says, during normal work, the materials accumulate mechanical stress, which we will thus eliminate.

The strip rests on three titanium feet, but it can also be equipped with "wings" for mounting in a rack. Let me add that Granada Platinum comes to us in a flat case often used for musical instruments and weapons.


⸤ HOW WE LISTENED Vibex Granada Platinum is a long strip, so it did not fit on the Acoustic Revive RST-38H anti-vibration platform next to the RTP-4EU ABSOLUTE strip from the same manufacturer, to which it was compared. Therefore, I used two platforms, placed in such a way that the feet on one side stood on one of them, and those on the other side on the other one.

Both power strips were powered interchangeably using the same cable, the Acrolink Mexcel AC-PC9500 with the passive Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C filter. I also switched between strips all the cables supplying individual components. As it takes time to warm up the tubes in the SACD player and preamplifier, two minutes had to pass between each series of comparisons. The comparison was an A/B and B/A one, with A and B known.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

Five Songbirds, First Impression Music FIM048 VD, HDCD (2005).
⸜ ART PEPPER, Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Contemporary Records/JVC VICJ-42524, K2 CD (1957/2006).
⸜ EURYTHMICS, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), RCA Records ND71 471, CD (1983/1987).
⸜ JOHNY CASH, My Mother’s Hymn Book, American Recordings ‎B0002362-02 | Compact Disc (2004).
⸜ KEITH JARRETT, The Köln Concert, ECM Records/Tower Records PROZ-1087, „ECM SA-CD Hybrid Selection”, SACD/CD (1975/2001).
⸜ TAKESHI INOMATA, The Dialogue, Audio Lab. Record/Octavia Records OVXA-00008, SACD/CD (1977/2001).


THE DIFFERENCE IN SOUND BETWEEN the tested power strip and the reference strip was clear from the very first bars that JOHNY CASH played on his guitar Roseanne Cash Series Martin [OM-28], the so-called "Black Martin" (My Mother's Hymn Book; more HERE |PL|). Not because they were so different from each other in terms of class, or because they presented the same material in such a different way, but because they both did it so well, at such a high level, and yet differed in the interpretation of the musical material./p>

The Spanish power strip sounds incredibly smooth and fluid (by saying "sounds" I mean the changes it introduces to the sound). Cash's voice was full and rich with it, it also had a smooth attack and a slight decay. It was similar with his guitar, which gained something like a polish after switching to the tested strip. You know that the word "polish", meaning something smooth, polished in English, is associated with the name of our country, and this "polished" and "smoothness" would represent our aristocracy in the times of the Enlightenment. And this is exactly what this strip sounds like - "polished".

The Japanese strip, which I use as a reference, showed both the voice and the guitar in a slightly rougher way. I was not at the recording of this track, I do not know the material from the ADAT digital tape, so I can only speculate, but it seems to me that Acoustic Revive in its straightforwardness, if I can say so, showed this material in a more raw, but also more truthful way. Of course, I would not exaggerate with this "truth", it is a relative term when it comes to the recording, but you could hear that Vibex does it differently, that it tries to give the material a common frame.

But I started with the fact that these were such a similar presentations, and now I show you the differences ... The point is that these strips - as I said - are at a similar level of quality, despite the differences between them, and do what music equipment should do first of all, that is, they convey emotions in an equally refined, equally unique way. However, they do it in their own way. The Spanish Granada Platinum approaches the matter from the point of view of something greater than the "naked truth", adding to the sound a kind of additional filling, finishing the sounds, saturating them.

It worked also great with a recording from 1975, originally released by Three Blind Mice, namely Georgia On My Mind. Originally presented on the album entitled Mari Nakamoto, it was remastered in 2005 and released on HDCD by Mr. Winston Ma for his First Impression Music label, on the Five Songbirds compilation.


Five Songbirds

First Impression Music FIM048 VD
HDCD (2005)

MR. WINSON MA, who unfortunately passed some time ago, was one of the visionaries of the audio world. This was a man who not only saw problems, but knew how to deal with them. The recordings he released were proof of this.

The album that I would like to recommend to you is a "compilation". However, it was prepared very carefully, with attention to detail and you can listen to it as a if it was a regular album, not a sampler. It includes twelve tracks from albums remastered by the First Impression Music. Their common denominator is a female vocal being the focal point in each of them. It features such artists as: ESTHER OFARIMS, JACINTHA, PATRICIA BARBER, AYAKO HOSOKAWA and MARIE NAKAMOTO. The recordings cover a wide time range, i.e. from 1972 to 2000.

Another common element is that the material for the remaster had come from original, analog master tapes. They were all recorded this way, except for the Barber’s Café Blue, recorded on the Mistubishi X-850 digital tape recorder (more HERE). The release is very nice, it's a four-piece foldable cardboard box with a description of each disc prepared by Mr. Ma. The disc was pressed by Sony and looks like a black vinyl record; I once wrote in the review that it was a CD-R, which Mr. Winston corrected in one of the e-mails.

Importantly, it is not a COMPACT DISC, but an HDCD, i.e. HIGH DEFINITION COMPATIBLE DIGITAL. It is encoded with a signal with 20-bit resolution, which is decoded by HDCD players. Classic CD players "see" a classic 16-bit signal. And yet even then the sound of this disc is fantastic! Full, saturated, but extremely resolving. It is also extremely dynamic, which we can hear only with the best audio systems.

You can find the last interview with Mr. WINSTON MA HERE.

THE SONG Georgia On My Mind BEGINS with a double bass located in the left channel. With the Vibex it had a large volume, was deep and saturated. It was not as resolving or selective as with the AR, but I did not miss it. In return I got better fluidity and higher density. The perspective with the tested strip was closer, because both the voice, with a long reverb, and the guitar heard from the right channel were placed quite close to me, they had a tangible character.

With the Spanish power strip I also got rich timbre and full sound. It is broadband, that is, it is not based on the midrange, although it may appear warm. Interestingly, with a material with a lot of upper treble, let it be ART PEPPER and the Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section disc, Vibex showed stronger cymbals than AR. The Japanese power strip sounds in a more precise and selective way, but it seems to withdraw the treble slightly, it is just a bit darker - more neutral, but also darker.

The dynamics of the tested Granada Platinum is perfect. The differentiation of details, such as the piano, double bass and drums, placed by the producer of Pepper in the right channel, which is an extremely difficult task for the playback equipment, did not make any impression on it. It showed the differences in their timbre, size and dynamics effortlessly, without closing the sound to the saxophone heard from the left channel.


BY THE END, I LISTENED TO the Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) from the EURYTHMICS duo from the first digital remaster (just after Japanese one), dating back to 1987. With the Vibex strip it sounded smooth, nice, but also had an open treble. The Spanish strip modifies the sound, that is, it smoothes its edges, emphasizes the harmonics and hides the dirty face of the recordings. At the same time, it is extremely resolving, and although the AR goes a step further in this regard, these are not big differences.

It is interesting that with all the warmth that Granada Platinum proposes, the recordings have an open, clear treble with it. Slightly delicate in attack phase, but with high energy. So it will not be an element "covering" the tonal problems of the system or recordings. It will be something else, something more: a kind of "personal coach" that will guide us through any recording so that we are satisfied with it. So: density, colors, fluidity, smoothness and perfect dynamics - a simple recipe for high-end and total satisfaction with life :)


Reference system 2021

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

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Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC