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New Products, and New In The Library

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Customer email newsletter dated: February 15, 2017.

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New Products, and New In The Library
New Products, and New In The Library
New Products, and New In The Library
NEW Headphones from Focal and Audioquest in the Library
There seems to be a new high performance headphone hitting the market every few months. However few offer the history and engineering prowess that Focal brings to the table. Focal has been one of the preeminent loudspeaker manufacturers for over 30 years, and has brought this considerable experience to the design of the new Utopia and Elear Headphones.

We are proud to announce that the reference level Focal Utopia ($3999) and Elear ($999) are the latest additions to The Cable Company's Headphone Lending Library. For additional information about the Utopia please take a look at this Review the conclusions with which we concur. Consider the Elear a more affordable, somewhat scaled down version of the Utopia.

Also new in the Lending Library are the brand new Audioquest NightHawk Carbon and NightOwl Carbon, each selling for $699. Audioquest has tweaked and refined their extremely successful Nighthawk headphones, resulting in the two new models: the NightHawk Carbon (Open Back) and the NightOwl Carbon (Closed Back). High performance efficient headphones suitable for any listening environment.

Please give us a call to find out about our Headphone Lending Library and to schedule an in- home evaluation.
Audeze iSine In-Ear monitors
Audeze has become the dominant purveyor of Orthodynamic (Magnetic Planar) Headphones. Magnetic Planar is a technology that works very well for full size headphones (and large speakers such as Magneplanar), but it was thought that it would not translate well to the world of In-Ear Monitors. Audeze has now proven that it does work very well for IEM's after all!

Audeze has begun shipping their new iSine20 ($549-599) and iSine10 ($349-399) In-Ear Monitors. Both feature 30mm Magnetic Planar Drivers. The more expensive iSine20 driver has longer voice coils that result in greater drive and lower distortion. Both are available with or without Audeze's Cipher Lightning Cable as a $50 upcharge. The Cipher Lightning Cable incorporates an amplifier and 24 bit Digital to Analog Converter to allow audiophile performance driven directly from an iPhone (including the iPhone 7)!

Most IEM's are Isolating Designs that offer between 20 and 36 db of external noise rejection. This can be a good thing, but not always. The iSine designs are semi-open designs, sitting actually somewhat on-ear. This means that you can still hear some ambient sounds (phones ringing, announcements, horns, etc.).

Offering exceptional sound quality, the Magnetic Planar iSine's are unique semi-open designs that we find very cool-looking. Perhaps not a look for everyone, but all will appreciate the performance.
ENIGMAcoustics's Sopranino Super-tweeters
One of the things that is fun about working in a specialty audio shop is that we get to play with all of the cool toys. During the last couple of years we have been extremely impressed by the EnigmAcoustics Dharma D1000 Headphones ($1190), and Mythology M1 Hybrid speakers ($13690/pr), which incorporate the Sopranino Supertweeters, and are wonderful, and absolute sound-staging champs. But what about the EnigmAcoustics Sopranino Super-tweeters ($3690/pr) themselves? We decided to get a set in for our Library.

I took the EnigmAcoustics Sopranino's home, primarily to break them in before sending them out for evaluation. This is where it gets interesting. My speakers are a highly regarded large bookshelf that already incorporates an integrated super-tweeter. Because of this I was not expecting huge improvements - after all my speakers already have super-tweeters.

First, the setup and adjustments were easy.

I was expecting that maybe the very high frequencies would be somewhat better. Cymbals, triangles, the blat from horns; yes all of these were better. The surprise was that just as a quality subwoofer (like REL) ends up improving the imaging and ambiance retrieval far above its operating area, the Sopranino improved the same characteristics far below its operating area. Better midrange, sound stage, even bass?

After three weeks of extensive listening it was time to remove the Sopranino's. I knew that they would be missed, but not how much. They improved the imaging and the tone of instruments by a significant degree. Upon their removal the speakers high frequencies, which had previously been more than acceptable to me, were now somehow less: less realistic, less engaging.

Now the other edge of the sword - one of the bad things about working in a specialty audio shop: it's that we get to play with all of the cool toys, and once we hear how good our systems can sound it is difficult to go back.

The EnigmAcoustics Sopranino Super-tweeters are now available for home trial through our Lending Library. You should check these out at home. A truly exceptional addition to any high quality audio system.

Listening Notes on the New PowerCell 8 UEF from Synergistic Research
As mentioned in our last Newsletter, we have just received the new Synergistic Research PowerCell 8 UEF AC Power Conditioners and we have put them through our “critical” listening process here at The Cable Company. We are happy to share with you our listening notes.

Our listening process included many different steps, so that we can accurately gauge absolute performance, and importantly, how the products stack up against the models they replace.

First we listened to our reference system without any form of AC Power Conditioning in order to establish a base line for our listening session.

When we added the base-model ($1995) PowerCell 8 UEF, we immediately had a sense of a much lowered noise floor with better micro and macro dynamic contrasts, and a significantly improved sound stage. Not a subtle improvement at all. Smiles all around.

We went back and forth a few times to confirm. Now it was time for the next step – substituting the higher end PowerCell 8 UEF SE connected to the wall with the higher end Atmosphere Level 2 power cable that comes with it. Like it’s little brother, the PowerCell 8 UEF SE was a solid performer, but it had more of the “WOW” factor when we hooked it up: everything felt “right” with a big, natural sound stage, and also the system sounded more exciting and revealing. We felt it was clearly worth the extra cost. More smiles.

Comparing the PowerCell 8 UEF SE to the earlier 2015 top-line PowerCell 10 UEF SE ($6000), it is pretty much a dead heat. The PowerCell 8 UEF SE keeps up with the PowerCell 10 UEF SE, quite an accomplishment, especially at half the price!

Last but not least, we installed the new king of the Synergistic Research hill, the PowerCell 12 UEF SE ($5995). No question you can tell that they are all family members, but the PowerCell 12 UEF SE goes far beyond in every respect. The upgrade from the already excellent PowerCell 8 UEF SE to the PowerCell 12 UEF SE was the classic case of not knowing what more there was beyond the great sound we were already getting in the first place till we heard it. Reference level indeed.

We unanimously give these three Synergistic Research Powercells two thumbs up for the performance in their respective price classes. From a value standpoint the PowerCell 8 UEF ($1995) and PowerCell 8 UEF SE, ($2995) are both incredible “Deals,” especially given the high performance AC Cords to run to the wall which are included. The $1995 PowerCell 8 UEF package includes a Black UEF 10 Gauge AC Cord (itself a $495 Value), while the $2995 PowerCell 8 UEF SE package includes upgrade outlets and an Atmosphere Level 2 PowerCell AC Cord (a $2000 Value).

Also don't miss our February intro special on the PowerCell 8's.

All models of PowerCells are available for in-home audition through The Cable Library.
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Or call us Mon. - Fri. 10 - 6; Sat. 11 - 5 Eastern time on 800-328-9973 (or 215-862-4870).
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