The Frustration of Power Cords and Power Conditioners
Now come on and admit it : Expensive power cords and power conditioners are really aggravating. I mean who really wants to spend all that money on electrical cords, and outlets? Still, I have found that there are several power conditioners and power cord combinations that really make as big a difference in the sound of my system as a new amplifier or preamp. By far and away the two best I had heard up to now were the Audience AV aR6-T and the Synergistic Research Tesla PowerCell 10SE. In my review of these two fantastic products I said they made a bigger difference than changing a major component in my system.
I personally went with the aR6-T with their Au24 powerChord. If you add to this three more Au24 power cables for the amp, preamp, and turntable you have an investment of $12,900 in power conditioning. I really had settled into my system, so much so that when Matt of Pitch Perfect Audio asked if I would like to listen to a Shindo Mr. T, I almost said no. Then we got into a discussion about the Mr. T and how the power supplies in general work. Matt suggested I go home and put the Mr. T in and use the stock Shindo power cords.
If you have never seen Shindo’s stock power cord, there’s nothing to prepare you for it. It’s light grey, about 8 feet long, not as thick as my toaster’s power cord, and most importantly has no ground plug. It was more than I could do at first to use these instead of my beautiful Au24 power cables. So I replaced the aR6-T with the Mr. T, but didn’t change the power cords to the amp and preamp; when I changed to the Shindo 301 turntable it had its own power cord.
© Matthew RotundaThe first thing I noticed was, to my surprise, it wasn’t a big step down from the aR6-T. In fact, it did some things better. The longer I listened the more I liked it, but I wasn’t quite sure which was better. Then I thought about how emphatic Matt was that I use the Shindo power cords, so I broke down and put the Shindo power cords in the system. To my shock it was like putting the last piece in a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I mean it, everything just locked in.
When I heard the Audience’s aR6-T and Synergistic Research’s Tesla PowerCell 10SE I was blown away by the changes in transparency, soundstage, dynamics, etc. When I put the Shindo Mr. T in I didn’t think about any of those things, I just thought the music sounded more alive. Upon closer examination I did notice a few things worth mentioning. First, there has always been a little noise coming out of the speakers. I mean, the kind of noise you can only hear if your ears are really close to the drivers. I also had a little hum if I turned the volume up way further than I would ever would listening to music. I never thought anything about this, I mean we are talking about 103dB efficient speakers, what else would you expect? Anyway, with the Mr. T and the Shindo stock cables this noise is completely gone.
Now I don’t know how big a difference that makes when listening to music, but it’s nice. It’s nice to turn on your system, walk within a few inches of your speaker and hear nothing. The sound of my system with the Shindo Mr. T and Shindo’s power cords is more alive, and the music flows from note to note more like live music. It’s more explosive on loud passages and quieter on quiet passages. The scale of the music is also more diverse, some recordings sound bigger, others smaller. I don’t want to get too carried away here, the Mr. T isn’t night and day better. Heck, if I wasn’t using Shindo and Wavac gear it might not even be better, but it is definitely better in my system. The fact that it cost $8,700 less than the conditioner and power cords it replaced can’t be overlooked either.
Conclusion and description
I’ve never waited to the conclusion of a review to describe the component, but this is not so much a review as it is the conclusion of a story. Still, I should take a few words to describe the Mr. T to you. It’s design goal is simply to provide the equivalent of a stable power source, for up to 6 components. Shindo does this by separating the equipment from incoming AC power by using one of Mr. Shindo’s custom designed isolation transformer.
The Mr. T line conditioner is a simple Shindo green box that houses six power outlets and a massive transformer that rejects unwanted RF and crud that eventually comes in from the power grid. Like other power line conditioners, it reduced the noise floor. If you want to read all the things good power conditioning can do for a sound reproduction system read my review of either the Audience’s aR6-T or Synergistic Research’s Tesla PowerCell 10SE. My word, looking back I wrote over 2,600 words about the Audience and nearly 4,000 about the Synergistic. So, I’ve written plenty about what good power can do for a sound reproduction system. So the fact that this review is only about 1,000 words speaks to the truth that the Shindo’s Mr. T and Shindo’s standard power cords is the end of my story about power conditioning; at least I hope it is. The Shindo Mr. T brought my system one step closer to sounding alive.
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