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Power cable AC

Price: 3450 euro/1,5 m

Contact: East West Audio


Manufacturer's webside: East West Audio

Country of origin: Holland

Text: Wojciech Pacuła
Pictures: Wojciech Pacuła
Translation: Marek Dyba

Live Cable power cables were recommended to me by a Dutchman I met couple of years ago - Ron Wevers who delivered for a test a modified E-Sound CD player (HERE). He is an owner of a strong distribution company. Every now and then we exchange emails discussing interesting products and in one of such emails he asked me if I would be interested in a test of very good power cables made by Live Cable company. Name of that firm told me absolutely nothing but I already knew that if Ron recommended something it was surely worth interest. Following that email I contacted the designer of these PCs - Peter Sluiter.
Him entering the world of high-end audio is a great example of love for music being a hobby for people of all trades, crossing all borders – everybody who has some talent and is truly committed can achieve success in that field. Peter works as a consultant for huge corporations, even for government. As he says none of the power cables he put his hands on satisfied him fully, and that's why he decided to make his own cables. He bought as many different cords as he could and started to study them trying to identify relation between their design and how they sounded. He tried them all starting with inexpensive van den Hul and ending with quite costly Nordost Valhalla. His professional background made him so called „trouble shooter” - a man whose job was to identify different kinds of problems within companies, agencies and so on, so he did exactly the same thing when comparing power cables. He tried to identify particular problems with each of different designs and thought about solutions. It sounds simply but to consequently follow these assumption and to achieve reasonable conclusions it took a lot of hard work and time.

That's how his story goes:
„My system included at the time Parasound products – A51 power amp, Halo C1 preamplifier and D3 player, and I used Nordost Valhalla power cords then. I built my own PC during one day and tried it immediately with my preamplifier which resulted in a big smile on my face. So I had to build two more cables quickly for the other devices and when I did I left the system on for a week for a break-in period (without any listening during that time). After that week I started to listen and found a huge soundstage with perfect bass, midrange and treble. All the cables I'd tried before were good in some aspects but none of them fulfilled all my expectations.
A year later I met Peter van Tuyl, who used FIM Gold PCs but he was curious about my cables and was willing to try them in his system consisting of class A Research Reference (100 W) tube power amps from Italy, Marton loudspeakers and Linn digital stream player. Few weeks later we met at his place and replaced his FIM Gold cables with mine. It was a wonderful experience to see this beautiful smile on his face. He sold FIM PCs quickly and started to use Live Cables. That's how my company was born.”

Cables are thick, heavy with white sleeving with purple details. Conductors are made of pure silver (99,99%), shielding is made of silver too. There is also a second shield – but this is a copper one plus there is a layer of Egyptian cotton. At both ends there are pieces of heat-shrink tubing. Cables are equipped with great plugs – the inside looks like Wattgate’s, but the body is made especially for these of turned and milled aluminum. For shipment plugs are hidden inside purple (different purple from sleeving) velvet protective bags.

That's how Peter Sluiter describes the process of building his cables:
„First silver solid-core wires are rolled in a special way I developed basing on many listening sessions. There are six identical conductors 2,4 mm2 each – two for hot wire, two for neutral and two for ground. These are twisted together in a special way and one of them, the one in the middle, acts as a shield. The actual shielding is made around a core and then pulled onto he bunch of wires. Next it is wrapped with cotton and placed inside PET tubing. Plugs are made on CNC machine of one solid piece of aluminum.”


Recording used during test:

  • Stereo Sound Reference Record. Jazz&Vocal, Stereo Sound, SSRR4, SACD/CD.
  • Tron Legacy, OST, muz. Daft Punk, Special Edition, Walt Disney Records, 9472892, enchanced CD + CD.
  • Cassandra Wilson, Silver Pony, Blue Note, 29752, CD.
  • Depeche Mode, Hole To Feed/Fragile Tension, Mute Records, CDBONG42, MS CD.
  • Donald Byrd, The Cat Walk, Blue Note/Audio Wave, AWMXR-0009, XRCD24.
  • Linda Ronstadt, What’s New, Elektra/Lasting Impression Music, LIM PA 046, Gold-CD.
  • Norah Jones, …Featuring, Blue Note, 09868 2, CD.
  • Santana, Abraxas, Columbia/Mobile Fidelity, Collectors Edition, No. 06452, UDCD 775, Gold-CD.
  • Suzanne Vega, Close-Up, Vol 1. Love Songs, Amanuensis Productions/Cooking Vinyl, COOKCD521, CD.

Japanese issues available at CD Japan.

Cable is very stiff so you need to consider leaving minimum 20-30 cm behind any device you want to connect with this cable. Otherwise you will have to bend the cable strongly which might not serve it to well.

Sound of this Dutch cable is as distinct as its look. Plugging it into the system makes the sound incredibly rich, smooth, there is more bass, and treble becomes more delicate – more „golden” rather than „silver”, if you know what I mean. For me it changed the sound of my system in a very, very similar way as Acoustic Revive RAF-48 (description HERE) platform did. I can't find a better description than sound becoming more „analogue”.

The biggest change in sound of my system caused by replacing Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300 with Live Cable was shifting tonal balance bit lower, slight accent on mid-bass, and this goldish treble. I think everybody will love that! It's a very similar sound to this of previous Acrolink's flagship - Mexcel 7N-PC9100, that I used for two years.
All the instruments that play mostly in low range sound great – bass guitar, percussion instruments or double bass. Resolution of this part of the range is amazing. And that is something exceptional as bass is quite soft but in a very natural way, it seems to be absorbed by the whole body in a physiological, very pleasant way.

There are some consequences of such a way of presentation but they don't really decide about how we perceive the sound of Live Cable. I really loved recordings like Abraxas by Santana, or Silver Pony by Cassandra Wilson. The first of these two was issued by Mobile Fidelity on a golden disc and it offers very rich, organic sound. Live Cable enhanced performance even further. But – and that's it's real advantage – it didn't make it more “goldish”, more syrupy. Cassandra Wilson's If It’s Magic was a great example of that. Her voice was really huge, deep and low. Dutch cable did something unexpected – slightly lifted timbre of her voice, adding some energy around 800 Hz-1 kHz. His made vocal more clear. It seems that tested power cord not only adds some mass in lower range and gently smooths treble but offers lots of energy in a midrange (and not only in it's “warm” part). It was nicely presented in Linda Ronstadt's What’s New, where she sang together with Nelson Riddle’s orchestra. This issue came from Winston Ma's Lasting Impression Music label, on a gold disc in „Pure Analog Mastering. 32-bit 192 kHz Capture!”. Long story short – it is about delivering very “analogue”sound. Well … it is, analogue – I'm not going to claim it's not. This sound is very similar to what Live Cable offers. But these similar characteristics of sound didn't superimpose, they rather complemented each other – and that was probably because of this high energy of upper midrange that allowed presentation to be clear, transparent.

Manufacturer's description of this cable praises huge soundstage – yes, that's true – it delivers huge, dense, continuous soundstage. Holography isn't so remarkable as offered by my reference cable, but on the other hand Live Cable is the only one I know that could really try to compete in this aspect. Space is built not only between speakers and behind them but also to the right and left of the speakers and (when listening to monitors) also below them. Thanks to powerful bass range even small shelf-speakers sound like twice as big ones, and what's even more important it's not like with most monitors that you don't hear anything below them – there is also sound there. So the soundstage is huge and expansive.

Trying to compare it with other PCs I would say that what it offers is totally in contrary to Nordost products, but also to Acrolink 7N-PC7100 and 7300. On the other hand it reminds me a lot Mexcel 7N-PC9100 (also by Acrolink). The latter is even smoother but it's not as rich as Live Cable, and it doesn't offer as tight, extended bass and also its resolution isn't as good as Live Cable's. So is this Dutch power cord the best one in the world? I can't tell – I haven't heard them all, and there are some aspects where Mexcel 7N-PC9300 seems to be better. First of all Live Cable slightly slows the presentation down. This will probably fit to very fast systems, but in mine it resulted in small decrease of dynamics and liveliness of presentation. This is not about micro-dynamics as it's excellent, but about dynamics that transfers energy of the recording. Top end is slightly softened which means that not all the sounds of cymbals, trumpet and so on will be delivered in such a clean way as my Acrolink can do.
Even though I'm really impressed with the achievement of just one man, who dedicated his own time, money and passion to create this product. Obviously had had to have “good ears” too – creating such a good sounding cable wouldn't be possible without that. It's a fantastic … all right I'm going to say “analogue” sounding cable with remarkable bass range.

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  • CD player: Ancient Audio Lektor Air (previous it was Prime, tested HERE)
  • Phono preamplifier: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC (tested HERE)
  • Cartridges: Air Tight Supreme, tested HERE, Miyajima Laboratory Waza, tested HERE.
  • Preamplifier: Ayon Audio Polaris III with Re-generator Power Supply; version II tested HERE)
  • Power amplifier: Tenor Audio 175S, tested HERE and Soulution 710
  • Integrated amplifier/headphone amplifier: Leben CS300 XS Custom version (reviewed HERE)
  • Loudspeakers: Harpia Acoustics Dobermann (tested HERE)
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD800, AKG K701, Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, 600 Ω version (reviewed HERE, HERE, and HERE)
  • Interconnect: CD-preamp: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, article HERE), preamp-power amp: Wireworld Platinum Eclipse
  • Speaker cable: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, tested HERE
  • Power cables AC (all equipment): Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300
  • Power conditioning: Gigawatt PF-2 Filtering Power Strip (reviewed HERE)
  • Audio stand Base – under all components
  • Resonance control: Finite Elemente Ceraball under the CD (article HERE)
  • Pro Audio Bono platform under CD