Audioquest Niagara and Thunder
How to start, the ifi iUSB made a clear diference in the sound of the micro iDSD, then it came the ifi Gemini USB and made an improvement that is noticeable, USB cables make diference in sound, they are not cheap but they make diferences in the sound presentation, bass extension, soundstage.
The focal are very sensitive to changes in the audio chain, and they are getting better and better with each change my computer system receives.
I started plugging some power cables, I had some NRG3, and NRG5 from Audioquest, also Acoustic Arts Ferrite I and Ferrite II, Vovox Textura Power Cables and some other brands from old systems, power cables made amazing diferences on the focal and Mac Pro, the diferences are not subtile as changing a DAC, they where huge and why not trying something better in this regard.
So I called Esotérico and asked the possibility to have a listen to the new Thunder Power Cable from Audioquest, you can buy a top of the line phone or an entry computer for the price of one of this cables, but I wanted to listen what the benefits they could give to my system.
Kindly Mr. Alberto from Esotérico sent me 3 Audioquest Thunder Cables and a Audioquest Niagara 1000 and after listening to the changes I will try to describe I have purchased all the items that was sent to me.
First I connected 2 thunder cables to the Focal Speakers, I was using one pair of Vovox textura on the speakers and comparing to the Vovox textura, the first thing it came to my mind was “the textura is no match for this”.
The textura are detailed cables in the highs and with interesting presentation of all frequencies in this spectrum, but sometimes if not correctly matched they are a little too much in the highs and low on bass, with the Audioquest Thunder the sound was upgraded in all aspects of the Vovox textura but… The imagem grows a lot, buss is very present and articulatd, focus, detail, presence of voices are amazing, the texture of the sounds are incredible, it’s an amazing change and easy perceptible in this context of my computer audio system, I couldn’t believe the changes in the sound, so I listened to music 6 days only with this change of the speaker cables in the Focal Solo 6BE.
Then the Audioquest Niagara and third Audioquest Thunder Cable entered in the system, the sound my computer was more than I expected with the change in the speakers, for some years and I was using a Supra Power strip MD06 to connect my small ifi audio devices, computer and speakers, when the Audioquest Niagara was connected and started playing the first music in audirvana it made one incredible thing that is very easy to notice, with the Niagara in place of the supra power strip it cleaned the sound in a to an extreme that when compared to the supra is like very dense curtain was removed from the front of my speakers, the texture and layering of the music was upgraded a lot in in front of my ears, the separation and dimension of the presentation was up a few points, this type of upgrades on an audio system are the ones that we feel the investment justifies as the change is very perceptible, there are upgrades sometimes made that makes little diference, the sense of transparency detail, focus and added resolution is nothing I want to live without anymore, these Audioquest products deserve a serious listening to any user interested in reducing noise from mains power entering your sound, believe me you will notice the effect.
The third Audioquest Thunder was connected to the Mac Pro, the effect on the Mac Pro is also very noticeable but not on pair to the dramatic changes that the focal presented me, but elevates the same aspects of the sound to a higher level giving more of the juice, global integration of the same aspects but at a lesser scale, maybe is too much of a good thing, but for me it justified the purchase of the four items.
I am really amazed also with the ifi iDSD micro Black, the quantity of information and detail this little baby can extract from hi-res audio is really impressive, today you can archive great performances in digital audio with moderate investment that 10 to 15 years ago would cost a little fortune.
I want to thank Esotérico and special Mr. Alberto for giving me the opportunity to listen before buying.