Rick Schultz is the president of the Canadian high-end audio cable company, Virtual Dynamics, and he is also a dynamic hub of information on audio cable designs. Having spoken to him at Shows and on the phone numerously over the course of last four years, I found him to be a humble man, also possessing a rare, coherent vision and open-mindedness in a variety of subjects, and I found his company’s website to offer a wealth of design details, reflecting his passion for knowledge, the depth of it and the extent of his pursuit of it.
Rick’s company creates interconnect, loudspeaker cable and power cable designs that are widely-known for their super-thick and super-rigid constructions, which make for a cable much less nimble than those from most other companies. I had the opportunity of auditioning the earlier edition of Rick’s Nite Series of cable system three or four years ago, and they were the first cable products I had used that featured extra rigid and thick construction, whereas cable products from all other companies were vastly easier to bend during those years by comparison.
This experience conjured up a lasting and overwhelming personal response of reluctance, especially from within someone like me who was still reluctant about bending thick cables, finding it an alien prospect that was more difficult to accept when there were much nimbler ones around.
Today, after having auditioned many cable products of considerable rigidity and thickness, I am becoming increasingly receptive toward cables with definitive sound quality regardless of their physical maneuverability, and I have become more determined to learn to utilize stiffer designs in order not to dismiss and become remiss of the sonic benefits they may bring to my music listening experience. When an opportunity of an official Dagogo audition of Rick’s Testament 2.0 arose from a recent conversation between Rick and I, I considered it to be a second struck of lightning not to be missed.
The secret to using a bendable stiff cable, thin or thick, lies in bending the mid-sections and areas near its AC connector and IEC plug into form, to exert only straight, inward pressure into the AC outlet and equipment. When bent accordingly at the two ends, stiff cables, especially power cables, exert no extraneous pressure on the contact points, and become an ultra-stable conduit between the AC outlet and the equipment.
Such was the case with Virtual Dynamics’ Testament Series 2.0 Power Cable.
Rick’s company offers power cables from its $153 CAD (Canadian Dollar) Basic Power in 6 feet, to its top-of-the-line Genesis 1.0 of 5 feet at $13,416 (CAD). The company’s intermittent Testament 2.0, the subject of this review, represents the lowest-priced series that is constructed of 10 gauges of the LiniPur conductors used in the 6-guage Genesis 1.0 series.
For $456 (CAD), the 5-foot Testament 2.0 Power Cable is incorporated with Virtual Dynamics’ Level 1 of the Speed Of Light technology which utilizes calculated applications and placements of rare-earth magnets to optimize transient signal delivery, 4 layers of dielectric plus an air dielectric layer for additional protection against external electrical interference without current stifling, the True Float Ground Technology for a 99% EMI/RFI noise rejection ratio, Cold Crimped Terminations for solder-less connections, ProtecX Treatment for oxidization prevention, series of cable-cooking via the Audio Dharma device, and on top of all, the 10-gauge LiniPur Conductor.
Most impressively, this $456 (CAD), 5-foot power cable’s 10-gauge Hot, Neutral and Ground LiniPur Conductors are each wrapped individually for maximum shielding and vibration control, contributing to the stiffness and thickness.
The accumulative effect of all of the aforementioned elements working in one cable was quite remarkable. Initially, I put the Testament 2.0 in the place of the $2,100 Isoclean Super Focus reference power cable in powering the $24,000 Harmonix Reimyo PAT-777 SET stereo power amplifier. This $456 (CAD) power cable, that had each of its three 10-gauge conductors separately wrapped with the exotic materials and technologies mentioned earlier, compelled the PAT-777 in driving the Bösendorfer VC 7 loudspeaker system into creating a dynamic contrast remarkably similar to what the Isoclean could offer. The experience made me question Rick’s pricing rationale.
Yet, the competency of the Virtual Dynamics power cable became more prominent when a second Testament 2.0 was used on the Accustic Arts Preamp I Mk3, which I reviewed in Dagogo’s July Top-Of-The-Month Issue. The concurrent application of the power cable in the Accustic Arts preamp and the Harmonix Reimyo power amp brought forth a purer signal background for an incredible level of low-level details to emerge.
The combined effects of the two Testament 2.0 working in tandem with each other created a more punctual dynamic and resolution capacity that was in the league of the Isoclean Super Focus. Whereas the $2,100 Isoclean offered concentrated dosage of sonic improvement for the single equipment it was connected to, the two Virtual Dynamics for less than $1,000 (USD and CAD) offered both the preamp and power amp the opportunity to reap the benefits of higher power potency, so as to realizing a higher level of sonic excellence collectively.
Thus, in the context of sub-$5,000 equipment, the resultant dynamic clarity, tonal opulence and spatial richness as offered by two Virtual Dynamics Testament 2.0 provided an immediately compelling case against putting all of one’s investment into acquiring a single power cable at around $1,000 for just one component.
The separate wrapping of conductors in the Testament 2.0, in addition to a suite of other techniques, was most likely the contributing factor in the cable’s ability to render low-level resolutions so vividly. With that most likely being the case, then imagine what three or four of this cable can do.
Rick explained that his naming this series the Testament was to show, especially at a comparatively meager $456 (CAD), what his company’s technologies can offer audiophiles. Now that I had experienced it, the Testament had become a class-setter in my mind. With the Testament 2.0 powering the preamp and amplifier, energies in minute-level dynamics and vast transients, namely micro- and macrodynamics, became more distinct as both were projected with more extended dynamic thresholds.
Retrospectively, the rational audiophile would be more inclined towards applying a $2,100 power cable than a $456 (CAD) one to his $100k+ audio system for the sheer aspect of complimentary system-building. In this case, Isoclean’s $2,100 Super Focus and the $4,000 Supreme Focus, as well as Rick’s $3,195, five-foot Master Series 3.0 Power Cable and above, would be a more rational choice for the owners of such systems.
But it would be sheer lunacy if one with a $5,000+ budget audiophile system, who has been planning and saving to buy a $1,000+ power cable, and currently using entry-level power cables of another make, to not audition the Virtual Dynamics Testament 2.0 at $456 (CAD). For what the Virtual Dynamics can do for your equipment, this is the biggest bang you can get in audio investment.
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