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POWER CABLE AC

TiGLON
MS-DR20A AZURE DRAGON

Manufacturer: TIGLON CO., Ltd.
Price (in Poland): 2750 PLN/2 mm

Contact: TIGLON CO., Ltd. | 2242-0001
2538 Shimotsuruma, Yamato City
Prefektura Kanagawa ⸜ JAPONIA


www.TIGLON.jp

» MADE IN JAPAN

Provided for test by:
L E C T O R Strumenti Audio Poland


Review

text by WOJCIECH PACUŁA
translation Marek Dyba
images by “High Fidelity”

No 237

February 1, 2024

˻ PREMIERE ˼

The Japanese company TiGLON was founded in 2008. Initially named Kryna Pro, it changed its name to TiGLON in 2010. Its founder and chief designer is Mr. KENTARO OKINO. We are testing its latest product, an AC power cable with the illustrative name AZURE DRAGON. This is its WORLD PREMIERE.

REALLY Tiglon celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2023, but the product prepared for the occasion to honor the celebration went on sale at the end of the year (the manufacturer styles the name: TiGLON). Hence the test in January of the following year. To celebrate, a special cable was prepared, not at all from the top of this Japanese manufacturer's price list. It's the extremely price-friendly, costing $2,750 per 2-meter model MS-DR20A, bearing the AZURE DRAGON designation.

According to Wikipedia, the Azure Dragon (Chinese: 青龍 Qīnglóng), is one of the gods representing the chthonic forces in Five Regions' Highest Deities, one of the canonical texts of Chinese religions. This dragon is also one of the four signs of the Chinese constellation, a representation of Wufang Shangdi. As you can see, it is a powerful symbol. The symbolic drawing of the dragon can be found on the shrink sleeve located at one of the plugs.

MS-DR20A

WHILE NOT EXPENSIVE, the MS-DR20A cable is made using most of the Japanese company's major solutions and technologies. It uses DF-OFC copper conditioned by the company's process called Hyper Saturated Energizer, uses magnesium for shielding , and Furutech's high-end plugs.

Azure Dragon differs from the top-of-the-line TPL-2000A we use, only in cross-section and the former's lack of Advanced Magnesium Filter (AMF) that cancels out high-frequency noise. It's those characteristic thickenings near the ends of the cable (test → HERE). All of these elements are familiar from other products from this company, mainly the top-of-the-line "2000" series. Readers of "High Fidelity" are probably familiar with them, but for those who are not familiar with them I should elaborate - the manufacturer deserves it.

MAGNESIUM • Tiglon, like all companies that care about development and know what they want, has developed its own set of solutions. Among them, the most important seems to be the use of magnesium in several places. As early as 2005, the company proposed speaker stands in which it used this magnesium material, and in 2008 it patented the use of this material for cable shielding. Since then, this material can be found in all its products.

MAGNESIUM (Mg), a chemical element, one of the alkaline earth metals in group 2 (IIa) of the periodic table of elements and the lightest structural metal. [...] Due to its low density (only two-thirds that of aluminum), it has found widespread use in the aerospace industry. However, since the pure metal has low structural strength, magnesium is mainly used in the form of alloys, mainly with 10% or less of aluminum, zinc and manganese.

Known originally through compounds such as Epsom salts (the sulfate), magnesia or magnesia alba (the oxide), and magnesite (the carbonate), the silvery white element itself does not occur free in nature. It was first isolated in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy, who evaporated the mercury from a magnesium amalgam made by electrolyzing a mixture of moist magnesia and mercuric oxide. The name magnesium comes from Magnesia, a district of Thessaly (Greece) where the mineral magnesia alba was first found.

⸜ Entry: ‘Magnesium’ in : Encyclopædia Britannica, → www.BRITANNICA.com, accessed: 21.12.2023.

MAGNESIUM WORKS not only as a shield, but also in the role of vibration reducing material. In the MS-DR20A cable it has been used in both ways. The vaporized magnesium tape is part of a hybrid shielding along with a solution manufacturer called D-REN Pro. It's something like an extra layer of insulation.

On the manufacturer's website, we read that it effectively suppresses noise generated by vibrations having a source outside the cable (the so-called "triboelectric noise"), thus significantly improving the precision of signal transmission. Since the magnesium foil is wound in a specific direction and this direction affects the behavior of the signal, the company's cables are directional. Although this doesn't matter in the case of the power cable, since the plugs on both sides of it are different, on the azure (!) PVC outer jacket you'll find arrows indicating the desired direction.

DF-OFC • The conductor chosen by this manufacturer is a copper called DF-OFC. It is one of the varieties of oxygen-free copper (OFC) obtained in a process called DIP Forming. This method of production was patented by the American company General Electric. In the mid-1970s, its license was sold to Japan's Showa Electric Wire And Cable Co., Ltd. which is a separate division of Tokyo Electric Company (today: Toshiba Corporation).

The process involves producing a thin wire and passing it through a trough of molten copper. Once the thick core is formed, it is then hot-rolled. This type of material formally has a purity of 99.99%, but actually has a higher conductivity than comparable OFC cables; for more on contemporary copper types used in audio → HERE and → HERE |PL|.

HYPER SATURATED ENERGIZER • The conductor used in Tiglon's top-of-the-line cables, but also in the Azure Dragon model, is processed in a device named Hyper Saturated Energizer. The technique was jointly developed by Tiglon and "a group of engineers from Europe, the United States and Asia." The tested cable uses its latest version, HSE Grande (Hyper Saturated Energizer Grande). There are three devices (previously there were two), specialized in improving various aspects of cable performance.

Although we don't know their exact principle of operation, presumably they are generators of various types of signals, used to form the crystalline structure of cables - audiophiles speak of "breaking-in" in this context. The manufacturer says of them:

„White HSE” is a dedicated device that improves the ultra-high frequency range and the overall sense of S/N and speed, the “Gold HSE” is a dedicated device that specializes in full bandwidth and a sense of depth(…). And the “GMR-3″ is a dedicated device that specializes in the power and dynamic range of the sound quality.

Introduction of new run-in technology, → TIGLON.co.jp, accessed: 18.04.2023.

PLUGS • For the tested cable, the manufacturer chose Furutech plugs, whose translucent body is dark blue in color. All metal parts of the FI-E11-N1 (R) and FI-11-N1 (R) models are made of non-magnetic materials: Alpha cryogenically treated phosphor bronze and rhodium-plated OCC copper. Plating was done in a new way for the company, which it says:

The new FI-11-N1 series feature a new plating technique which delivers sonic improvements and a more durable finish. Also new to the series are metal cable clamps for firm grip and resonance control.

⸜ → www.FURUTECH.com, accessed: 22.12.2023.

The cables from this company come in modest, nice boxes, lined inside with foam. The cables themselves look neat, and their appearance is not exaggerated. The tested model is quite flexible.

SOUND

HOW WE LISTENED • The Tiglon MS-DR20A AC power cable was assessed in a "High Fidelity" reference system, powering the Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition SACD player (№ 1/50) in an AA/BB/A comparison test.

The reference point was the SILTECH TRIPLE CROWN POWER AC power cable. Both cables were plugged into an ACOUSTIC REVIVE RTP-4EU ABSOLUTE power strip (review → HERE, standing on an Acoustic Revive RST-38H anti-vibration platform.

The AR power strip was powered by a 2.5-meter Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 AC cable. The Acrolink was connected to a Furutech NCF wall outlet, to which a separate power line with HPA's own fuse runs. This line is made from a 6-meter section of Oyaide Tunami Nigo cable.

» Recordings used for the test ⸜ a selection

⸜ ISAO SUZUKI TRIO/QUARTET, Blow Up, Three Blind Mice/Impex Records IMP8307, Gold HDCD (1973/2004).
⸜ FRANK SINATRA, Where are you?, Capitol Records/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2109, SACD/CD (1957/2013).
⸜ TAME IMPALA, Currents, Universal Music Australia/Hostess 4730676J, 2 x CD (2015).
⸜ DEPECHE MODE, Black Celebration, Mute Records/Pony Canyon PCCY-00578, CD (1986/1994).
⸜ PETER GABRIEL, I/O, Virgin/Virgin Music Label and Artist Services Japan UICB-1023/4, 2 x SHM-CD (2023).

TSUYOSHI YAMAMOTO, ONE of Japan's best-known jazzmen, has just released a new album, entitled A Shade of Blue (reviewed → HERE |PL|). It's an extremely successful album that is a really good listen. Which doesn't change the fact that his best and most important albums were released in the 1970s on the Three Blind Mice label. The same is also true of another well-known artist from this label, namely ISAO SUZUKI and his Blow Up album.

Released in 2014 on a gold HDCD by the Impex label, it is a perfect example of what digital can do. Its opening track ˻ 1 ˺ Aqua Marina is a slow blues and the sounds of bells, double bass and the leader playing a second double bass with a bow. The Japanese cable reveals its agenda rather quickly. It is playing with flair, dense and focused on the midrange. The dynamics of the drums and the "presence" of the double bass were also excellent.

I could also hear that the cable prefers direct contact with the musicians, that the direct sounds are more important with it, given admittedly without warming up, but in a quite saturated way and close to me. Reverberations are slightly abbreviated in the name of "here and now." Interesting, but I did not perceive this as a flaw, but as a feature of its own, which serves to create a particular type of sound.

If I understand it correctly, it's about combining dynamics with silky tones. This targeting of the midrange, or rather its lower part, makes everything more "concrete". But at no point did I get the impression of sound being pulled out in front of the line connecting the speakers. Although the volume of the instruments was large and the phantom images were dense, this did not cross the boundaries of good taste, or even the boundary of neutrality.

It came out really cool with the ˻ 8 ˺ I Am Fool To Want You! I'm talking about FRANK SINATRA's version featured on the 1957 album Where are you?, a beautiful mono release, beautifully remastered by Rob LoVerde for Mobile Fidelity in 2013. Although when thinking about that title in my head I hear the Billie Holiday version from the Satin in Blue, it is, after all, a song written for Sinatra. The opening strings, generally slightly distant and quite bright, with the Japanese cable had a really high volume and were creamy. And then there was that voice....

Sinatra's vocals were dark, warm and low, but did not seem magnified at all. You could hear the so-called "pops" accompanying some of the sounds he sang, which shows that the cable does not compress the lower tones. It lets them sound strong and deep, even though their energy at the very bottom is not as strong as what is above. And the bass itself is naturally warm rather than contoured.

Following this direction, I listened to the Currents album by TAME IMPALA (what a cover!), especially the opening track ˻ 1 ˺ Let It Happen. The low, electronically generated bass had a soft edge with the Tiglon cable, and yet it was clear. It did not go as low as with the reference cable, and was not as selective. Yet it paired perfectly with the midrange - warm and dense. So if you're looking for a cable that will tidy up your sound, mellow it slightly color-wise, but open it up dynamically - the Azure Dragon will be a great choice for that.

It's a cable that doesn't allow a bad top into the system, so to speak. It is always "golden," always on the warm side, more in the style of a sunny morning than an scorching hot noon. It's playing in a pastel way, with big phantom images and showing big assumptions rather than details. This is not a cable that will appeal to lovers of the latter. It won't boost, open up or - even less so - bring out the background details of a recording. Instead, it brilliantly shows the producers' intention for the whole, the mood and atmosphere of the recordings.

Even if they are quite dark and not very selective, like DEPECHE MODE's Black Celebration album from 1986. I'm talking, of course, about the original mix, not Kevin Paul's much more upbeat 2007 remix made for the mostly multi-channel SACD edition (more → HERE). The version I listened to this time to of the ˻ 6 ˺ Question of Time, a track recorded in Fleetwood Mobile's mobile studio, is the 1994 Japanese release.

Gahan's vocals were slightly approximated, but neither the electronics underneath nor the reverb were shortened. This is interesting, since the entire track is immersed in long reverb. But the "s" sounds on which the effect superimposed on the vocals is based were slightly lowered. That's why Depeche Mode's vocalist seemed closer to me, and was clearer and had a bigger "body". And that's because the tested cable, on the one hand, plays low, plays warm, and on the other is resolving and differentiates recordings well in terms of tonality.

And it plays a "wide" sound. Both in terms of dynamics and so-called "punch", as well as panorama. The opening sequence of PETER GABRIEL's latest album I/O, released twenty-one (!) years after the previous one, Up, from 2002, was shown very wide, but also quite deep, although this is not the forté of this cable. And yet, thanks to the excellent phase relations, Gabriel's singing, shown very far into the scene, was really far away and was clear.

It was with this album that I finally confirmed that the MS-DR20A is not a cable that would discipline the bass. So if you have problems with it, Tiglon will not help you, and may even do the opposite. It will, on the other hand, do a great job where everything is laid back and perhaps even too lean, as it will add mass and volume to the system. Admittedly, I listened to the aforementioned album using the so-called Dark-Side Mix, prepared by Tchad Blake (five Grammy awards, collaborations with Pearl Jam, U2, Suzane Vega, Tom Waits and all the saints of rock), but I had a similar impression when listening, for comparison, to the Bright-Side Mix version.

Summary

I LIKE CABLES FROM TIGLON. They are not the most expensive ones, nor at all - objectively - perfect, they have something in them that makes the music have "heart" and "soul". I use quotation marks because it is a physical expression of tonal and time inter-dependencies, but that is how it is perceived. And it is precisely these small changes in the signal that are brilliantly communicated by these cables.

And yet the tested cable sounds rather warm, dark, and calm. Nevertheless, it goes deep into recordings and pulls out what makes them recordings of bands, instruments, rather than a collection of sounds. It prefers forefront, strong vocals and dense bass. The higher treble is softened and pulled back, although this does not close off the sound, but only slightly calms it down. The whole is coherent and logical in its form. A very good, cool and inexpensive cable from an extremely interesting manufacturer from Japan.

THIS TEST HAS BEEN DESIGNED ACCORDING TO THE GUIDELINES adopted by the Association of International Audiophile Publications, an international audio press association concerned with ethical and professional standards in our industry, of which HIGH FIDELITY is a founding member. More about the association and its constituent titles → HERE.

www.AIAP-online.org

  • HighFidelity.pl
  • HighFidelity.pl
  • HighFidelity.pl
  • HighFidelity.pl
  • HighFidelity.pl


Reference system 2022



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|

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:
  • PRO AUDIO BONO Ceramic 7SN |REVIEW|
  • FRANC AUDIO ACCESSORIES Ceramic Classic
  • HARMONIX TU-666M "BeauTone" MILLION MAESTRO 20th Anniversary Edition |REVIEW|

Analogue

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

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

Record mats:
  • HARMONIX TU-800EX
  • PATHE WINGS

Headphones

Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC