I’m always on the lookout for deals. Since I first compared different power cords in my system I’ve also been continuously on the lookout for power cords that improve my system and match my personal tastes. Since I discovered that great power cords can be made by small but ambitious companies located in obscure places, I’m cautiously adventurous about trying them in my system.
With those points in mind, several months ago I became intrigued by a series of very positive Audiogon threads discussing a power cord by a company named “LessLoss”. I became even more intrigued when I read that the cord was being offered at a promotional price of $350 (shipping included!) by a company that had established a bit of a reputation with a high-perfomance, low-cost DAC. Finally, I was completely surprised when I discovered that it was made in Lithuania.
Some of the reviews I read recounted initial concern about ordering a product online form a small Baltic country they hadn’t heard of. I, however, had no such concern. My parents came from Lithuania in 1947; I grew up in Marquette Park, which was the “Little Lithuania” of Chicago; I learned to speak Lithuanian before I learned English; and I have relatives there. So I placed an email inquiry to the manufacturer – in Lithuanian. I got a rapid and warm response from Liudas Motekaitis (Louis Motek for Americans who can’t be bothered to learn the proper pronunciation of “foreign-sounding” names), who asked about my system and tastes and assured me that the LessLoss would give me more of what I wanted. I ordered a power cord.
The power cord arrived very quickly (three days, although you really should allow for five). However, even before I received it, I read excerpts of a very positive review of the LessLoss by Martin DeWulf of Bound For Sound. I normally do not read other reviewers’ reviews of a product if I expect to review that product in the future. I find it better to audition the product and write my own review without preconceptions, and to only read other reviews after my own has been completed. However, I did not expect to write a review of the LessLoss power cord, so I read the DeWulf’s review – and it really raised my expectations for the LessLoss.
The LessLoss was very carefully packed and looked very well constructed. In fact, I’d even say that it is attractive, if that’s possible for a power cord. Its’ wires are separately insulated and interwoven and the plugs are the great-looking and highly regarded dark ruby colored Oyaide, model 079.
I own or have owned the following power cords: Silent Source Signatures and Signature High Currents (the main cables I’ve used in my system for the last 2 years), ZCable (now Clarity Cable) Cyclones, Silver Audio Wattmasters and PowerBursts, PS Audio Statement, a Kimber PowerKord Model 14 and the Bybee Power Cord. I’ve also auditioned (all for more than three weeks) the following power cords: Nordost Brahmas, Nordost Valhallas and Transparent Reference Power Link. Leading up to my purchase of the LessLoss, the Silent Source Signatures (distributed by Walker Audio) have been my favorite power cords. I have not tried the new top-of-the-line Silent Source Music Reference power cords.
I want to make two quick points about equipment reviews in general and power cord reviews in particular. First, the power cord is just one component of a system. If your system is highly resolving, highly extended in the top-end, delivers highly articulate, nimble bass and is on the analytical side, you may want more of the same, or you may be looking to add a bit of richness to the musical presentation. On the other hand, a rich, euphonic and languid-sounding system might need a little more speed and definition to resemble live music. Particular power cords can help accomplish these goals. Second, it is essential that a reader understand the personal preferences of a reviewer as those preferences relate to his or her system.
My system is very close to neutral, but leans slightly to the warm and musical side. No one would call my system “analytical”. It has lots of body, but is not euphonic. I do not want my system to be more analytical, and I have no desire to be euphonic. My reference is live music, and I tweak my system by direct comparison to live instruments (yes – live in the same house as my system) and by sonic memory of live performances in good venues. For example, I have found that the Nordost Brahmas and Valhallas shift the sound slightly to the analytical side of neutral. I’m not saying that they are not great power cords – they just don’t work for me in my particular system.
Liudas suggested using the Dynamic Filtering Power Cable on digital, so I first tried it on my Lyngford RP-1. The improvement was very obvious – I want to say phenomenal. It replaced a Silver Audio Powerburst, which was already a significant upgrade from a stock power cord (and itself a very good value). I then tried a Kimber Kable PowerKord Model 14 on the Lyngdorf for comparison. The Model 14 was different but no better than the Powerburst in my system, and clearly not in the same league with the LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable. I then switched out one of Silent Source Signatures from my DAC, put it on the Lyngdorf, and put the LessLoss on the DAC. The improvement was less dramatic, but still clearly discernible. It was immediately obvious that for $350, the Dynamic Filtering power Cable was an absolute steal. The question was going to be how much of a steal…
Despite the obviously superior performance of the LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable, I didn’t have enough high-end power cords to do a true head-to-head comparison of the system. As though by a miracle, I received another LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable the next day. As it turned out, the LessLoss shipping department made a mistake and sent a second cable. I couldn’t resist. I now had enough cables to switch the LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable with the Silent Source Signatures for direct comparison. After some testing, I found that the LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable was more extended both in the treble and in the bass – not by much, but it was clearly so. And it wasn’t just more extended in a vague way. It was also more resolving at the extremes, all while bringing out the body and dynamics of the music in the way that made me really like the Signatures. This was a cable that had it all: body, speed, dynamics, microdynamics, bass and treble extension, absence of glare, etc.
I emailed Liudas to report that they had inadvertently sent me an extra Dynamic Filtering Power Cable (after playing with both of them for three days). He apologized and sheepishly admitted that their inventory control had not been up to the large number of orders they were receiving. I told him that no apology was needed, but that I would like to buy the second cable. I also asked him whether he would come to the U.S. on business, upon which he informed me that he grew up in Texas, has an uncle who lives in the Chicago suburbs, and was planning a trip to Chicago in a few weeks. I invited him to my home and he accepted.
When Liudas arrived, he brought several additional Dynamic Filtering Power Cables and we played with various configurations, including on my amps. Virtually every combination produced great sound. In particular, I found that moving my Silent Source Signature High Current power cables (I have 2 of these for my amps) to feed my Walker Velocitor and then my MBL preamp and then inserting the LessLoss into my Electrocompaniet Nemos also produced excellent results. The upshot of this is that I am now using four LessLoss Dynamic Filtering power Cables in combination with several Silent Source Signatures, and I am hearing the best sound my system has ever produced.
I have to mention that Liudas also brought a big long wooden box with electrical connections at each end. He told me he wanted to try it on my amps using the Dynamic Filtering Power Cables at both ends. The results were absolutely stunning, and I do not use that word lightly – I am rarely stunned. He told me it was a power filter that is nearing completion and that he hoped to be selling it soon. The soundstage shrunk just a bit, but the tonality of the sound coming out of the speakers was incredible. You need to watch for this product!
Like the Silent Source Signatures, the LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable allows the listener to hear all richness of the music without sacrificing speed, but it is more extended and resolving at both the top- and bottom-ends. It is a product that would typically fit in the $1200 to $2,000 range but which sells for $569 on the LessLoss website, including shipping. This is an absolutely superb value. Anybody who got these babies when they were being promoted at $350 can rightfully brag that they were ahead of the curve. Moreover, anyone who buys these at the current regular $569 will have one of the best cables available at any price. Even if you later find some $3,000 power cables that suits your taste a little better, you will never want to sell these cables because there will always be a component which will be improved by using the LessLoss on it. Buy them.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Constantine Soo of Dagogo for publishing this positive review of the LessLoss Dynamic Filtering Power Cable. It is a joy to see that the pleasure of creating and amking available this high performance after market power cord finds resonance in one of the most prestigious online publications in the audiophile business. To be accepted in this way is to come one step closer to acceptance in the ever-critical public eye, and we are very grateful for this opportunity that only well established publications such as Dagogo can make possible. Growing in scope, but remaining loyal to our core philosophy, is something shared by both LessLoss and Dagogo.
I’d also like to personally thank Ed Momkus for his work in preparing the article in such a reasonable time period. This is a very welcome thing in a business that is sometimes known to be sluggish in coming to press. Hat’s off to Ed Momkus, Constantine Soo, and everyone at Dagogo! Thank you very much!
LessLoss Audio Devices
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