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Power cord


KBL Sound

Manufacturer: KBL SOUND
Price (when reviewed): 16 750 zł/1,5 m

Contact: phone.: 696 551 492


Provided for test by: KBL SOUND

uite recently I had quests from Brazil and Monaco – Mr Silvio Pereira, owner of Audiopax and Geoffrey Armstrong, owner of Sound Galleries, Audiopax distributor for Europe. We had been waiting for a chance to meet for a long time and it finally happened during Vienna Hi-Fi Show in Austria, where these two gentlemen presented AudioPax products. After the Show they brought l50 preamplifier and Maggiore m50 power amp to my place. Andrea, Silvio's wife, visited the old city in Cracow (she's a photographer) and we sat together, listened to the devices they brought, and talked.

The first face-to-face meeting with people that you know already for some time but only via email, especially with ones from such exotic places, must end with exchanging tones of information. With Silvio we talked about Audiopax and about music, and Geoffrey asked me a lot of question about Polish brands. Obviously he had his reasons – he was already distributing products of Ancient Audio and LampizatOr and spoke really highly about them. Since at any given time I have several products under test or waiting for their turn, there was a lot we could talked about using 'live' examples.

Among those I could show him at the time what impressed him most were not some super-duper systems but cable stands by KBLSound. When he saw the box these were delivered in and then make&finish quality I noticed that he got excited. I have no idea whether he'll start a cooperation with this Polish brand or not, but that's not what's important about this situation. My point is that he noticed and appreciated the Product among others I showed him. What is was, what and how it did and who made it was not that important at this very moment. What mattered was that he noticed an interesting, high quality product that could suit his high profile audio salon in Monaco.

Reference Power Distributor | RPD Wood Base

These cable stands I mentioned are the latest addition to KBL Sound offer. They are made of two kinds of wood, a hard and a very hard one. A vibration damping is increased due to usage of two materials of different density with each of them having good resonance damping properties. These are quite large stands and they look great. There are no additional anti-vibration elements – just two different types of wood they should damped vibration in a contact area between them. Stands are priced at 426 PLN per piece and sold in sets of two.

That's not the only KBL Sound's novelty. Even more important one is a modification they introduced to their Reference Power Distributor. We've been using the first version for almost a year in our B reference system, and now we've ordered another for our A system, where it will work next to Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate.

The KBL power distributor is available in two versions that differ with a number of sockets. Previously a 5-socket version was offered, now another one with 6 outlets joined the portfolio using symbol: RPD-6. The sockets now sit deeper in the chassis. The new generation of power distributor uses the latest product from Furutech - IEC FI-06 (G) inlet, that allows usage of larger diameter cable. Inside from the AC inlet wires are arranged to all five slots in a parallel, 'star-like' configuration. Comparing to previous version the latest one features also a different internal cabling. There, like the predecessor, use mono crystal OCC copper that underwent cryogenical treatment, but of a different geometry. Price of a 5-outlet version is now 10 999 PLN.

If you're following test of power chords conducted by HF and you're checking out images that accompany our tests you might have noticed a platform that we use under Acoustic Revive power distributor in our main system. After so many years of doing reviews, listening to many, many devices I'm getting more and more sure that vibrations are one of the biggest foes of a high quality sound. I'm also sure that power supply elements of the system and cables we use should be treated as equally important as, say, amplifier or a source. And even such a solid, heavy power distributor as RTP-4eu Ultimate benefits from decoupling it from the surface one puts it on.

There are many others that share my believe. More and more brands offer power distributors and dedicated anti-vibrations stands – KBL Sound is one of them. The new version of their power distributor is sold together with RPD Wood Base. It's made of a solid piece of selected wood that features a particularly high vibration damping factor. This particular wood comes from trees that grow in extreme weather conditions that result in particularly high density fibers. The wood base is impregnated with special oil with strong anti-static properties.

Signature Series Himalaya

The new power distributor and cable stands were only a mere addition to the subject of this test – the Himalaya Power Chord. I had a chance to review interconnects and speakers cables of Himalaya line before and these were awarded a 2015 Product of The Year Award.

KBL Sound
Based on company's literature

When working on Himalaya products we have used costly and time-consuming solutions, as no other way exists to get exceptional results. Mass production has one undeniable drawback: it can not create the best possible. Making cables by hand has its own specific advantages, which mainly deal with aspects of the mechanical design, related to the damping of vibrations and stresses. With industrial mass production these aspects cannot be treated uncompromisingly.

Handcrafting cables in the Himalaya series, where the spatial topology of conductors plays a key role, is quite backbreaking and laborious, but it's finally possible - as conquering the most difficult mountain peaks. However, we hope that these products will provide for music lovers the opportunity to experience the breathless delight, compared to the thrill on the highest mountain; our special, limited edition bears such a name.

Himalaya power cable, from the very beginning, was developed for devices requiring high current supply. And indeed, it is extremely well suited for this type of application: whether the first cable from the socket to the power strip or conditioner or for large, high current tube & solid state power amplifiers. This is achieved through doubling the gauge of specially twisted copper conductors in comparison to our previously flagship, acclaimed and award-winning model, Red Eye.

Conductors have a monocrystalline structure and are additionally protected against oxidation. Himalaya has also a more developed system of maintaining the mechanical stability of conductors and leveling their own resonances caused by the flow of electrons.

It also has better plugs. They are now made to company order and the body is cut out of brass, not stainless steel. They have a carbon fiber film for protection against vibration and radiation RFI and EMI. All the contact elements are made of reinforced copper and then rhodium plated. Finally the plugs are cryogenically treated and demagnetized. An optional version with a 20A IEC connector Furutech FI-52 (R) for high current devices equipped with the appropriate socket is also available. This cable, like all others from Himalaya series, is manufactured upon order.

I performed ABA comparisons and later also AB and BA, with A and B known. I used them together with: Ancient Audio Lektor AIR V-edition CD Player and Soulution 710 power amplifier. My reference power chords for this test were:

  • Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500,
  • Crystal Cable The Absolute Dream,
  • Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version.

This cable is pretty stiff so one needs to carefully think it through how to place it to avoid any stress. During my test cables were plugged into Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, but also to the new version of KBL Sound RPD-5 placed on RPD Wood Base. I also used KBL Sound Cable Stands.

KBL SOUND in “High Fidelity”
  • BEST SOUND 2015 AWARD: KBL Sound SIGNATURE SERIES HIMALAYA – interconnect + speaker cable, see HERE
  • TEST: KBL Sound SIGNATURE SERIES HIMALAYA – interconnect + speaker cable, see HERE
  • BEST SOUND 2014 AWARD: KBL Sound REFERENCE POWER DISTRIBUTOR + RED EYE – power distributor + power chords (system), see HERE
  • TEST: KBL Sound REFERENCE POWER DISTRIBUTOR + RED EYE – power distributor + power chords (system), see HERE
  • TEST: KBL Sound RED EYE – S/PDIF digital cable, see HERE

  • Recordings used for the test (a selection):

    • Art Pepper, Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Contemporary Records/JVC VICJ-42524, K2 CD (1957/2006)
    • Artur Rubinstein, Artur Rubinstein plays Chopin, Polskie Nagrania MUZA/Polskie Nagrania PNCD 487, CD (1984/2008)
    • Frank Sinatra, Lost & Found | The Radio Years, Sony Music 8875147142, CD (2015)
    • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Rosary Sonatas, viol. Rachel Podger, Channel Classics CCS SA 37315, 2 x SACD/CD (2015)
    • Milt Jackson Quartet, Statements, Impulse!/Universal Music (Japan) UCCI-9088, “More Best 50. No 38”, CD (1961/2001)
    • Nirvana, In Utero, Geffen GED 24536, CD (1993)
    • Radiohead, Kid A, Parlophone/EMI 27753 2, CD (2000)
    • Suzanne Vega, Nine Objects of Desire, A&M Records 540 583 2, CD (1996).
    Japanese issues available at

    In my opinion a sonic character of power cable influences the character of the whole system. I'd call it a final touch that is given to system's performance. Himalaya does it too in a particularly graceful fashion. It provides a rich, full and smooth sound. When I say smooth I mean real smoothness, not a soft, round leading edge kind of performance. Percussion cymbals are agile, dynamic and sort of „gold” rather then „steel” sounding, if you know what I mean. Presentation of both range extremes is very 'competent' and I never felt like there was something missing, neither with a very deep bass on Suzanne Vega's Nine Objects of Desire, nor with fast cymbals in the opening piece on Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section.

    One of the very first impressions, that confirmed later on, was the one of particularly focused presentation. It directs listener's attention mostly to the midrange. This was one of similarities between Polish cable and a very expensive The Absolute Dream by Crystal Cable, made of silver and gold. The Himalaya focuses attention on instruments hence decrease a role of acoustic environment. No worries, these is still plenty of reverb and spacial effects in the sound. It's not about one type of presentation surpassing the other. It's more like comparing to pieces of art – both magnificent despite the fact that they present the same but in a different way. You'll find a long reverb on classical music recordings like Rosary Sonatas, but a 'dry', short one from recording studio like on Statements by Milt Jackson Quartet. Regardless of the recording or music genre listener's attention is directed rather on direct sounds.

    Polish cable delivers a highly detailed sound. As I said, sound is smooth, silky so the abundance of details does not come from emphasis on a part of the range. Selectivity of Himalaya is really good, better than of Crystal Cable and Acrolink. Even Harmonix, that delivers very open, active sound, tended to present details in less distinctive way, with less impressive accents on drumroll, with electric guitars in Nirvana's In Utero being pushed bit more towards the back of the soundstage. What I'm describing are details from the front of the stage particularly powerful, energetic ones.

    OK, it's time for a twist in a story – Himalaya present music from some perspective. All three reference cables I mentioned, bring music closer to the listener, especially everything that's happening in the front of the stage becomes more three-dimensional, more tangible and more expressive with them. The cable under review will convince different type of listener, using different type of a system. It creates a more distant presentation putting listener further away from the front of the soundstage. It's a perfect way to present classical music, but also large pieces of electronic or rock music.

    In Nirvana's Rape Me the band was put by sound engineer in some distance from a listener, like it performed in a large, though not particularly high room. The vocalist 'stands' closer to us. Himalaya rendered those spacial relations in a particularly good way. It also didn't create huge depth of the stage and the back of the soundstage was 'moved' bit closer to the listener which resulted in this particularly 'focused' sound I mentioned before. Harmonix, for example, creates a deeper soundstage, because it offers more open sound, less focused on instruments.

    Let's forget the context for a moment – this will help us to see Himalaya for what it is. It's a really well balanced cable offering great performance. Its sonic character seems similar to that of Siltech and Crystal Cable products, which is curious, because these two brands use silver and gold as material for conductors, while KBL Sound power cable is made of copper. At the same time Polish cable offers very dynamic sound, with particularly active midrange, which is something associated rather with copper cables. I should add that its presentation tends to focus listener's attention on the middle of the stage, just like it usually happens during live concerts.


    There are more resolving cables on the market than Himalaya, there are also some capable of more distinct presentation of upper treble and lower bass. This Polish cable charms listener with something else – there is a slight emphasis in mid-bass and lower midrange area which focuses listener's attention on a direct sound. The leading edge is a bit velvety but dynamics is quite impressive. Soundstage begins behind the line between speakers. It's a really good, solid performer that will stay in our A System, to support Acoustic Revive power distributor and other cables.

    Specifications (according to manufacturer)

    Signature Series Himalaya
    Conductors: high purity multi-stranded mono crystal copper, anti-oxidation protected
    The multi-layer insulation system, vibration damping for the whole cable and the individual wires
    Anti-vibration ring of selected wood
    Termination: highest quality plugs AC Schuko and IEC company's custom-made of brass with rhodium over copper plating on all conductive parts, massive brass body with carbon fiber film for better damping and RFI rejection
    US plugs available upon request
    20A IEC connector option for high current devices
    Standard length: 1.5 m, 2m
    Other lengths upon request

    Reference Power Distributor
    Outputs: 5 or 6 outlets Furutech Schuko FT-SDS (G) 16A/250V. 24 k Gold Plated Non-magnetic conductors, α (Alpha) Pure Copper main Conductor (t: 0.5mm). Material: Nylon/fiberglass body and
    Polycarbonate cover. 1.0mm thick Zinc/steel brace plate Base Bracket. Total attention to detail and build quality extends right down to a specially designed patent-pending pressure plate that
    increases the contact area of the Alpha Conductors.
    Input: High Performance Furutech FI-06 (G) IEC inlet α (Alpha) Pure Copper Conductor, gold plated, Nylon and fiberglass housing
    Highest-grade chassis CNC machined from solid block duraluminum, with massive and thick walls, effectively absorbs internal and external vibrations, also shields against RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). The boxes maximum thickness is 35mm
    Internal wiring: Star-wired conductors using monocrystal OCC copper 10 and 12 AWG for low electrical resistance and better sockets separation. Each FT-SDS socket separately “star-wired” to IEC AC input. Separate conductor sets on each socket.
    Carved out phosphor bronze feet to further improve vibration control effect
    Rated: 15A/250V, 1850W
    Net Weight: 5.5 kg (RPD-5), 6 kg (RPD-6)
    Dimensions (s / g / in): 36.5 x 9.5 x 11 cm (RPD-5), 42 x 9,5 x 11 cm (RPD-6)



    - 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