I have to be honest. I used to think about power, and the relation of power & current to audio, as something of an afterthought. Something like “air — it’s only important when you don’t have any.” Yeah, I know, but we all have to walk before we run, right? I mean, how else can we set up the really big falls? Ahem. Anyway, I think it was an Audiophile APS I got about 5 years ago that really changed my mind — but my thinking really hadn’t evolved much. After loudspeakers, amps, preamps, sources, more sources, other amps and preamps and loudspeakers, power delivery systems tend to get ignored. “There’s power, right? Great. Moving on!”
Which is why, sometimes, it’s good to have your nose rubbed in the obvious. To wake you up to something you know is true, but that you’ve been studiously and steadfastly ignoring. Like my weight. Or the fact that retirement is looming and my financial portfolio is a joke. Or that my kids will, relatively soon, ask me for my car keys and not just as something to pelt each other with. Ah, life. Anyway, power delivery is like that. Ignore it if you will, but happiness and joy may well be far more difficult to achieve without it.
Which brings me to Silver Circle. From his audio kitchen, David Stanard has cooked up something special with the new Tchaik 6. Odd name? Think “Tchaikovsky”, if that helps. And the “6” refers to the Pathétique, his last completed symphony, and not the number of outlets on the back of the unit (there are 8, by the way). From David:
The third movement of this symphony encompasses all that is great in music: delicate strings and woodwinds, flowing sweeping strings, powerful low brass and percussion. It is the only time I have heard and seen an audience almost burst into cheers at the conclusion of a single movement that was not the finale.
The Tchaik uses a new approach for conditioning the current, called “Wave Stabilizers”:
The Wave Stabilizers were developed by Rick Schultz of Magnetic Innovations. Five are installed in the TCHAIK 6: two (positive and neutral) on the input side, two on the output side, and one on common ground to IEC input. When we started experimenting with this new technology, we were astounded at the sonic improvements. It took the pure power one 5.0se to a level we never dreamed possible. This presented the challenge with which we were presented with the Furutech GT-XD receptacles: upgrade or new product?
New product was the answer. This new product includes the following:
- Five (5) Wave Stabilizer modules; 2 on the input (hot and neutral), 2 on the output, and 1 on the ground
- An upgraded Vesuvius II power cord – FI-52(R) IEC connector and FI-50M(R) power connector
- Eden Sound TerraStones footers
If you haven’t been keeping track, Silver Circle has popped up in several rooms here at RMAF, including the Laufer Teknik room, both High Water Sounds rooms and the Estelon room. Shown here as a pair — more for fun than any kind of requirement as the Tchaik 6’s are completely non-current-limiting — I’ve been told, repeatedly, that there isn’t a better or more natural sounding conditioner on the market. Quite a claim, and one I hope to reconcile soon — Dave has sent me one to play with for a month. Sweet!
Rick Schultz is the guy behind Virtual Dynamics, and now High Fidelity Cables, who was also a co-sponsor of the room. The High Fidelity Cable interconnects, the CT-1, were matched here by some pre-release speaker cables. He has quite a bit more information on his website about what he does and why, but the short of it is that he’s paying attention to not just the electrical properties of signal conduction but also the relevant magnetic properties, too. Most of the explanation sails cleanly over my head, but here’s the punchline:
A testing facility in Canada contracted by Magnetic Innovations LLC tried testing very low level signals, as low as -59 dB from a full signal strength of 2 volts. They discovered that long after conventional audio cables significantly obscured test signals, High Fidelity Cables were still at work clearly transferring this low level information. In controlled tests, a system wide reduction of 14% THD and 14% IMD was measured. Signal to noise ratio improved by 1.5 dB which is significant. This test was conducted by a third party in a controlled environment, using an RCA cable with Magnetic Conduction technology (these results will vary with different systems).
This was an interesting room — in addition to everything else, I’ve never had the chance to listen to the little ART loudspeakers that Marc Phillips was so enamored of. He’s right, by the way, they’re great. Here fronted by some remarkable gear from VPI, DSA and ModWright.
- Silver Circle Tchaik ($10k each)
- Trenner & Friedl ART monitors ($4,250/pair)
- VPI Classic III w/SDS ($6,000 — SDS system, add $1,200)
- DSA Phono One ($8k, now replaced by Phono Two)
- Modwright LS-100 ($3,500)
- Modwright KWA-100SE ($4,000)