In February Fred Crowder reviewed these very special power cables in conjunction with the HB Cable Design Marble PowerSlave Power Distributor. I reviewed and bought the HB Marble back in October of 2013 and feel it is far and away the best device to plug my stereo into I have ever heard. I used it with the really, really good Au24 powerChords from Audience. Now I want to point out that the Au24s cost about one fourth the price of the Krakens. So, nothing in this article should take away from how good the Au24s are and likewise if you can afford them their price does not take away anything from how good the Krakens sound.
I used the Kraken Power Cables from the wall to my HB Marble and from the HB Marble to my Wavac EC300B. I did not use the Kraken to my turntable as it has a fixed power cable from the power supply to the turntable motor. The SoundSmith Strain Gauge also has it’s own power supply.
The Kraken is a new design from Stage III and they say it “represents the culmination of 16 years of research, materials evaluation, testing.” They use Stage III’s patented AeroStrand Ultra™, solid-core conductors. The gauge of these cables is massive, supporting huge current capacity. Stage III fabricates everything in house. The silicone molds for the plugs and housings are made on a 3-D printer. The AC and the IEC plugs use individually handmade carbon fiber/polymer composite housings. The inner body of the plug is a ceramic-filled polymer made in the silicone molds.
One of the first things you will notice about the Kraken power cables is that they are wider in the middle and then stepped down at the ends. They have to do this because the gauge in the middle of the cable is too thick to fit into the plug housing. The other thing you will notice is how heavy these cables are. The third thing is that they are surprisingly limber for such a thick cable.
Listening to My System
Like the HB Marble the Krakens made a significant first impression on me. This time I thought “Wow! Who would have thought there was more?” I was shocked that my system had an even firmer and deeper foundation. It is this firm foundation to the music that sets these cables above any others I had heard at that time. There was more body to bass instruments, there was more scale, the soundstage was deeper and more coherent, and there was a more relaxed sound without any compromise in immediacy or transparency. Overall there was a fundamental foundation to the music, a substantial substance, and an overall rightness to the sound.
Voices had a wonderful vitality to them and the sound could go from very quite to very loud and stay more coherent than I have heard before. Another thing about the sound of my system with these power cables is that it sounded better and clearer at low volumes than ever before, and it could get very loud very quickly without a hint of strain.
The system sounded as fast, as transparent as ever before, but seemed to be even more listenable than ever. This is a follow up to Fred’s review so let me just close by saying, if you can afford these you should give them a try in your system. By the way if you don’t believe power cords can have much effect on the sound of a stereo system, why are you reading this review?
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