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AC POWER FILTER • passive

Audio Replas
CPC-43ACP

Manufacturer: AUDIO REPLAS Co., Ltd.
Price (in Poland):
144 000 JPY/szt. (+VAT) | ok. 4 900 PLN

Contact:
tel.: 0778-24-542 ǀ fax: 0778-24-4310
info@audio-replas.com

→ www.AUDIO-REPLAS.com

MADE IN JAPAN

Provided for test by MuSon PROJECT, Inc.


Review

text WOJCIECH PACUŁA
translation Marek Dyba
images Wojciech Pacuła

No 217

June 1, 2021

AUDIO REPLAS is a Japanese audio company specializing in anti-vibration and power products. Its founder is Mr. RYUICHI IKADA, who is also its chief designer. The company has existed since 1994.

UR FIRST CONTACT WITH AUDIO REPLACE happened ten years ago. We then looked at several anti-vibration products and those eliminating RFI noise. Every self-respecting audio company has its own techniques for these purposes, and it is no different in the case of Audio Replace.

Its anti-vibration products are based on precisely machined quartz elements, which can be found in almost all of its anti-vibration feet, as well as in LP record clamps. A division is devoted to power supply products - both strips and AC power cables, as well as various types of passive filters. As before, this time we will look at both, and additionally we will also check out the acoustic material intended for shaping the room acoustics.

To make things easier for the readers, the article has been divided into two parts. In the first one we will take a closer look at the passive AC voltage filter called CPC-43ACP, while in the second one at the OPT-30HG20SS HR/3P and OPT-100HG-FLAT-SS HR/4P - anti-vibration feet and quartz insulators.

To better understand both the company and its products, I asked Mr. RYUICHI IKADA for "a few simple words" ... Translation from Japanese into English was done by Mr. Elia Hontai from Muson, the manufacturer's representative outside Japan.

| A few simple words…

RYUICHI IKADA
Owner, designer

WOJCIECH PACUŁA Please tell us something about yourself - for example, how your adventure with audio began.
RYUICHI IKADA My name is Ryuichi Ikada and I was born in 1969. I have been making record players and amplifiers since I was in elementary school, and was interested in audio accessories since I started to wonder how the sound changes depending on cabinets and bases that are used. I became a high-end audio salesman at the age of 20.

WP When did you found your company and what was its first product? RI I established Audio Replas Co. at the age of 25. Our 1st product was heterogeneous synthetic resin integrally molded bobbin type insulator.

WP What are the Audio Replas’ main products?
RI Isolators (anti-vibration – ed.), power strips and room tuning products.

WP What is so special about quartz that you use?
RI As I was not satisfied with the sound quality offered by ordinary quartz and crystal, after reviewing its physical characteristics I developed the HR Quartz Glass specially for audio purposes. Its (HR= High Response) "SS" (Super Surface) version becomes transparent by polishing the surface until it is flat at the molecular level, therefore, the overtone distortion is perfectly eliminated.

WP How should your products be used? Or where in the system should they be applied?
RI The insulators should be used for speakers, amplifiers, CD Players and so on. Room tuning devices: at a corner of the room where standing waves gather, but also in other places with the lowest and highest resonances.

WP How does the process of development of a new product look like for you? What does it involve - measurements or listening?
RI The steps of product development are as follows:
1) Design by simulation (theoretical examination)
2) Making a prototype and listening to it.
3) Quantifying and measurement of the improvement of sound features that are not convincing to my ear and improving them further theoretically.
4) Repeating steps 2 and 3 until we are satisfied
5) Production

WP What are your plans for future?
RI We are working on new room tuning products.

WP What audio system do you use when working on new products?
RI My system consists of following components:
Loudspeakers: YG Acoustics, Dynaudio, etc.
Amplifiers: FM Acoustics, Accuphase, YBA, etc.
Sources: dCS, MUTEC, etc.

WP Could you name 10 favourite music albums that you’ve listened to recently, and tell us why did you choose these ones? RI
1) FOURPLAY, Fourplay:  You can judge the approximate energy balance, speed and tension within 2 minutes.
2) Rachmaninov Variatons, piano – Daniil Trifonov: Determine the size of the instrument, the fixed position of the hole tone and depth.
3) ERIC CLAPTON, Unplugged: Live feeling, realism of stepping.
4) HERB ALPERT & LANI HALL, Anything Goes: Judging the cheers of live concerts, the realism of the sound of tableware, the liveliness of low frequencies, and the range of tension.
5) JACINTHA, Autumn Leaves: Texture and wet-feeling of vocal, tonal-width of piano.
6) LINA NYBERG, Close: Realistic feeling of piano, real feeling of vocals.
7) AOI TESHIMA, Collection Blue: Vocal texture,  realism of the sound field.
8)HIROMI IWASAKI & HIROKO KOKUBU, Piano Song: Tonal width of vocals and piano.
9)JACK LEE & BOB JAMES, Botero: Good guitar body sound, bass scale accuracy.
10) BRIAN BROMBERG, Come Together: The sense of speed and realism of the base, the influence of standing waves.

»«

CPC-43ACP

CPC-43ACP IS A PASSIVE FILTER for AC supply voltage, designed to be used on an AC power cord. It is passive, and in addition located outside the power line - the manufacturer calls it "Inlet Noise Silent Cover" and adds "contact-less noise filter". It was launched in September 2021, so quite recently - the company is extremely conservative when it comes to replacing products in their range with new ones.

The filter has a form of a large, quite heavy cylinder with a hole for a Schuko plug; a different version of this product is provided for the IEC plug. An element with a clamp that compresses the cable is screwed to it from above. The cylinder has four layers made of: aluminum alloy, copper foil, another layer of aluminum alloy and the inner surface made of a polymer which the manufacturer calls "engineering" (so it is probably a modern hi-tech polymer). The alloy layers eliminate RFI-induced noise, while the inner layer eliminates EMI noise. The manufacturer measures each of his products and, based on the measurements, makes the necessary corrections.

Let me remind you that this is not the first filter of this type that we tested, because the Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C filter works in a similar way. The appearance is similar to the NFC BOOSTER BRACE SINGLE |PL| by Furutech, but it is used primarily to dampen vibrations.

The CPC-43ACP has an outer diameter of 60 mm, an inner diameter of 43 mm, a height of 74 mm, and accepts cables with a diameter of 10 to 30 mm. It weighs 365 g and its metal parts have undergone a process known as ULTRA SC. It is a type of cryogenic treatment. The workmanship is brilliant. The only problem may be the size of the filter. In a classic power strip it will fit only on every other cable.

SOUND

˻ HOW WE LISTENED As I’ve already said, the CPC-43ACP is to be mounted on Schuko plugs. It consists of two elements: a heavy cylinder and a polymer element that is screwed into the roller and onto the cable. There are two sliding elements locked with hexagonal screws; the set includes a small key of this type.

Since it takes about a minute to take the filter off and put it on, comparisons cannot be made without turning off the powered device. So the listening session was an A/B/A comparison, with A and B known, but about two minutes passed between each cycle. The CPC-43ACP filter was mounted on the Siltech Triple Crown power cable, equipped with a Furutech NFC plug. The cable was connected to the Acoustic Revive RPC-4EU Absolute power strip. The filter did not touch the strip or the plug itself, and it was connected to it only through the aforementioned clamp.

Recordings used for the test | a selection

⸜ MAGDALENA HOFFMANN, Nightscapes For Harp, Deutsche Grammophon 486 1724, COMPACT DISC (2022);
⸜ THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET, Pyramid, Atlantic Records/Warner Music Japan WPCR-25125, „Atlantic 60th”, CD (1960/2006).
⸜ DIRE STRAITS, Brothers in Arms, Vertigo/Mobile Fidelity Labs UDSACD 2099, „Original Master Recording, Special Limited Edition | No. 1808”, SACD/CD (1985/2013).
⸜ PINK FLOYD, The Dark Side Of The Moon, Harvest SHVL 804, 1E 064 o 05249/Analogue Productions CAPP 81033 SA, SACD/CD (1973/2021).
⸜ CAT STEVENS, Three – Numbers/Izitso/Back To Earth, Island Records/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD 3-661, 3 x Gold-CD (1975, 1977, 1978/1996).

»«

The CPC-43ACP FILTER AFFECTS THE SOUND in a quite clear and specific way. For its use to make sense, you will need a well-arranged, resolving and tonally-balanced system. It doesn't have to be a very expensive system. It just so happens that the corrections that we get thanks to the Japanese filter will be the more important, the more the system is sensitive to RF and EMI noise, and this does not depend on its price, but on the design of individual components and how they work together.

And the changes in question went in a slightly different direction than I had imagined. Though I should really have anticipated this, since noise reduction almost always shows up in a similar way, i.e. it is a darkening of the sound and its saturation. Here it was also the case and MAGDALENA HOFFMANN's harp sounded darker, was placed a bit further away from me and had a more "rounded" attack.

But the way its body was built changed as well. The producers of this recording decided to deepen the sound of the instrument in order to give it more "meaning". When listening to full-range loudspeakers offering a nicely extended, deep bass, such as the Harbeth M40.1, it gives the effect of increasing the volume and shifting the center of gravity down. It's great sound, but we know perfectly well that it is a deliberate attempt by the producers of the album.

The CPC-43ACP did something interesting with these recordings - it showed them as I’d heard it before, but at the same time, in a way known only to it, improved its tonal balance. It was still a "wide", dense sound, but there was more subtlety in it and less "box" at the bottom of the scale. The bass was still clear, because the space was very large, but now more was happening in it, the delicate sounds that were part of the playing technique, shaping the presentation, they were more audible, had more "weight".

I perceived similarly what happened in the other band’s extreme. The high tones of the drums and the sound of Milt Jackson's vibraphone from THE MODERN JAZZ QUARTET’s Pyramid were clearly better defined, there was more information in them, and at the same time they seemed a bit less emphasized . It is very interesting, because both low and high tones are more audible and it seems to us that they are better defined when the attack is stronger in them, when they are clearer. And here it was the other way around - less clarity, and yet the energy and credibility of the presentation with the Audio Replas filter were greater, even much greater.

This album, released in Japan for the 60th anniversary of Atlantic Records, has a lot of treble, you can even say that it is quite brightly produced. It is an open recording and mix, but also mastering, trying to emphasize the openness of this sound. So I was surprised to listen to how from a fairly bright disc, where I had a lot of information, which was clear and incredibly energetic, after putting a filter on the Siltech cable it turned into a more refined, deeper, I would say - warmer version of itself.

On the one hand, everything moved towards the back of the stage - it got bigger and lengthened, but at the same time the presentation became more tangible, because the instruments recorded with close microphones and placed by the producer close to us had a greater volume and "presence", they were more "here and now". And yet, as I said, both the treble and bass seemed less dominant with the filter on the cable, not so strong. In fact, when you listen to them, there are more of them, but they are also better defined, better differentiated. Perhaps that is why they do not give the impression of a dominance, but are an extension of the midrange.

The DIRE STRAITS’ Brothers in Arms sounded very similar. The filter deepened its sound, but at the same time better defined and smoothed it. Sting's voice as a guest vocalist on the Money for Nothing was darker and denser, and the guitars on both sides of the stage had more mass and less clamor. It was still quite sterile recording, after all it was made using 16/48 digital tape recorders, but the mix was made to analog ½” tape, and Mobile Fidelity's mastering went in a similar direction. Audio Replas simply showed these procedures better and differentiated this version more clearly from the digital remastering released on the XRCD2 disc.

The effect of these measures was that with Audio Replas it was possible to listen to music 1-2 dB louder without being overwhelmed. With the filter we get a more tangible and resolving sound, but at the same time it is more revealing than without it. This was also the case with The Dark Side Of The Moon by PINK FLOYD, which played from the 2011 SACD version of Analogue Productions sounded denser than previous releases. The CPC-43ACP showed this property better and stronger.

SUMMARY

The AUDIO REPLAS FILTER introduces to the sound something that is usually called "differentiation". Reducing the noise in the audio system always produces a deeper and warmer sound, and the sound - at first glance - gets darker. This is why you need to have a lot of experience with audio systems, not to be indifferent to it, or even to treat it as a bad thing. This is because it is darker, but not by extinguishing the treble, but by having more information regarding the sound and not its attack, which is always better.

And that's what the Japanese filter does. Its influence, based on common sense, should not be so clear - yet it is. The changes it introduces should not go that deep into the sound - but they do. It is simply an excellent product that can help you to bring out deeper layers of sound from your system. If they are not there, it will not do anything, it will not add information by itself. But even then, it will set the tonal balance better than if it were not there. It is a valuable addition to any audio system, regardless of its price.

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Reference system 2022



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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|

Cables

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|

Anti-vibration

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

Isolators:
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  • FRANC AUDIO ACCESSORIES Ceramic Classic
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Analogue

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

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

Record mats:
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  • PATHE WINGS

Headphones

Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC