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  1. #291
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    A New Foundation



    For many years Hi-Fi has been all about boxes; How big? How many? How much? The product based approach to Hi-Fi has been promoted by magazines and online reviews heralding the arrival of the next five star rated pair of $200k speakers, $50k pre-amplifier or pair of $100k mono-bloc power amplifiers.


    With the focus on all the sexy stuff its easily to forget about the support cast – the accessories which will determine whether you hear the full potential of your beloved five star rated boxes.


    With the arrival of my new Børresen 01 loudspeakers I instinctively know I needed to pay more attention to the audio system foundation in order to realize the performance benefits of the investment.


    Accessories such as cables, cable supports, resonance control devices and AC distribution might not seem sexy but in my experience they deliver very tangible and audible musical results because they enable you to hear what your electronics boxes are really capable of.


    So along with the boxes containing my new Børresen loudspeakers was another box. The contents of this box were equally – if not more – important. This box was full with Ansuz accessories.




    Photo 1: Goodies from Ansuz. D-TC Darkz footers, D-TC cable lifters, Ansuz Darkz “Feets” & Ansuz Ceramic balls


    Photo 2: Latest 2-Series Cables from Ansuz Acoustics together with a latest 2-Series Ansuz Distributor




    My existing foundation had been respectable. It contained a mixture of Ansuz P, C & D cables; Ansuz Sparkz, Ansuz Mainz8 D-version distributor and some accessories from Nordost including Sort Kones, Sort Fut footers, Quantum’s [QX2 and Qx4] and a selection of mid/reference level cables including Heimdall and Valhalla.


    I remember years back writing something quite controversial in the Ansuz cables and accessories thread in this forum.


    I suggested to all readers then that the sweet spot in the Ansuz range was the C-series. This observation was arrived at after extensive testing of P, C & D level cables together with reference cables from Nordost including Valhalla and Odin.

    Yes, Ansuz D was better than Ansuz C with more spatial information and a weightier bass – but the difference in my opinion was not worth nearly three times the retail price.

    Well now we have 2-Series C cables (C2) and would you believe they outclass the former Ansuz D cables in every determinant, save one? Given C2 effectively sits between Ansuz D (v1) and D-TC in terms of overall performance I find myself reaffirming their position as the sweet spot in the Ansuz product range.



    Setting up the new foundation



    The heart of my new foundation is the Ansuz Mainz8 D2 distributor. Yes, I would have liked the Ansuz D-TC distributor but at US$23k retail and considering my other spending that simply wasn’t on the cards.


    To set up the D2 or any 2-series distributor optimally you need some accessories including Ansuz Sparkz TC, Ansuz Darkz D-TC resonance control footers and Ansuz Ceramic balls.




    Photo 3: The Ansuz Mainz8 D2 distributor together with accessories to set it up



    The first step is to plug an Ansuz Sparkz Harmonizer, ideally the TC (Telsa coil) version into the mains outlet closest to the incoming mains connector. Do this and in my experience you will be rewarded with a noticeable improvement in the front to back soundstage adding dimensionality and spatial acuity to instruments within their specific locality in the soundstage.

    While the Sparkz TC could be plugged into any outlet on the same circuit as the audio system I personally prefer the above-mentioned location. Alternatively, if you have a twin wall socket with one socket being used for the first power cord (from wall socket to the distributor) – then the empty socket next to it is also an excellent location for the Ansuz Sparkz Harmonizer TC.

    You may read some reports elsewhere that suggest you can’t have too many Ansuz Sparkz power harmonizers in your system. I will simply say that has not been my experience and leave it at that.




    Photo 4: Adding an Ansuz Sparkz TC to outlet position #1 of 2-Series Distributors rewards the soundstage – try it!



    Next, it is very important is isolate the distributor from vibrations – both airborne and feedback from the floor. Isolation and providing an exit path for mechanical vibrations largely associated the 50/60Hz mains AC resonances can be achieved using Ansuz Darkz footers being placed under the Mainz8 distributor. Simply place three Ansuz ceramic balls in the indent of each of the four Darkz footers and then place Mainz 8 on top.


    However, based on my observation there are two other important considerations.


    First, the distributor needs to be placed in the equipment rack and while it might seem logical to place it on the lowest shelf of the rack I’ve found better results can be achieved by placing it higher up – say on the 2nd shelf. Now, I can’t tell you why this works better but my working theory is that there is less airborne and room floor related vibrations here. Avoid at all costs equipment racks which use spikes as base footers. The only spike in your audio system should be the turntable stylus.


    Second, Ansuz Darkz function best when placed on a low resonance, smooth and lossy shelf surface. Simple Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) or Plywood shelfs are both low cost and great as long as they can hold the weight of the equipment without sagging. Glass, granite and marble are all terrible materials (they ‘ring’) and I tend to avoid acrylic too. To optimally operate Darkz need to dump vibrations into a lossy surface.




    Photo 5: Seen here are Ansuz Darkz footers with ceramic balls. Darkz are tuned to allow the vibrations a path out of the component and to keep various components individually isolated.



    Photo 6: The distributor is the “heart” of the audio system. Set it up with care and reap dividends. The Distributor should always be rack mounted. Try out different positions in the rack.



    What power cord?



    It’s widely held opinion that the most important single cable in the system is the one coming out of the wall. If you only own one audiophile power cord – this is the place to use it. Ideally, once you have an audiophile cord between the wall and your distribution block, make sure that any further cords use similar technologies and materials even if their quality level is lower. What you are after here is consistency.


    For my new system I have settled on Ansuz 2-Series C-level cables for reasons mentioned above. Considering the new C-level cables outclass the version 1 D-series [some believe even A2 cables perform better in some determinants than D. (v1) cables – but I’ve not evaluated A2 cables] they clearly represent – to me at least – the best value for money.


    I’ve selected a 4 meter cord for the run between the wall and the distribution block




    Photo 7: The Ansuz C2 power cable. The 2-Series C-level cables make a strong case for being the new sweet spot for the Ansuz cable product range.



    Finally for the AC foundation is a small tweak which you should try if you like to experiment. Photo 8 below shows a final touch which can go unnoticed but depending on individual circumstances can have an audible impact. Did you notice the small Ansuz D-TC cable lifter? You may have seen cable lifters being used on the SPEAKZ loudspeaker cables but they can be used for power cables too. In this photo the cable lifter is positioned where the cable hits the floor.




    Photo 8: Spot the cable lifter!



    So there we have it, the basic AC portion of the foundation for my new audio system.

    What do you think? Do you agree / disagree with my findings / observations? Let me know below.

    In my next update I will discuss what electronics I am initially using and why.

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  3. #292
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    As usual Ralph another excellent write up and pictures. I agree 100% with everything you stated. My foundation is very similar to yours. As I built my foundation over the years the level of what I call a more natural lifelike sound just kept improving.
    George

    Aavik U300 - Raidho D3.1's in Walnut burl with black trim - Naim unitiserve 2tb - Ansuz DTC digital cable with power box - Ansuz Mainz8 D-TC with 1 Ansuz D-TC and 1 Ceramic V2 power cords - Ansuz Ceramic V2 speaker cables - Ansus X Ethernet - pARTicular Novus full suspension rack.

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  5. #293
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Great gear you have bought, only thing I don't understand is the extra Sparkz TC, the Mainz D2 is already packed with many TC's.
    Aavik U-300, Magico V3, Aurender N10, Wadia 381i, Oppo BDP103D (audiopraise board), Ansuz Mainz 8 D2

  6. #294
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Quote Originally Posted by imprezap2 View Post
    Great gear you have bought, only thing I don't understand is the extra Sparkz TC, the Mainz D2 is already packed with many TC's.
    I don’t understand why the addition of another TC should have an impact either.


    Perhaps being external and located close the mains inlet has an influence over and above the internal TC’s? Perhaps the results are system dependent too? What I observe for my system may not carry for others.


    If you give it a try with your system do let us know what results you observe.

  7. #295
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    HI Ralph,

    Congratulations on the new Ansuz cable & accessories acquisition. Looks like a great foundation for the rest of your system.

    As a fellow Ansuz power cable D & C line and Mainz D8 user, contemplating upgrade to the series 2 products, I am eager to to hear your impressions on Mainz D2 vs the old Mainz D8, the Ansuz C2 power cable vs the Ansuz D, and finally the C2 speaker cables vs the C line that I recall you have been using. Thanks & enjoy.

    Tim
    Tim

    Playback Designs mps-5, Nagra Classic Pre, Nagra Classic Amp, YG Carmel 2s, Signal: TaraLabs Muse, Power: Ansuz D & C, Mainz-8D, SRA Craz3 Rack.

  8. #296
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    I don’t understand why the addition of another TC should have an impact either.


    Perhaps being external and located close the mains inlet has an influence over and above the internal TC’s? Perhaps the results are system dependent too? What I observe for my system may not carry for others.


    If you give it a try with your system do let us know what results you observe.

    If the one extra TC works in your system, it's great, I was just interested, I don't know the exact amount of Tesla Coils in the Mainz8 D2, but it won't be less then the 16 TC's that are in the DTC-power box.
    Aavik U-300, Magico V3, Aurender N10, Wadia 381i, Oppo BDP103D (audiopraise board), Ansuz Mainz 8 D2

  9. #297
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Hi Tim
    I went from the original C speaker cable to the C2. When I first installed the C2 I didn't hear too much of a difference. It was very minor kind of like what I heard when I went to the original Ansuz cable demos and swapping out the C to a D. That said I never the D speaker cables in my home. It was about 3 -4 weeks of having the C2's in my system I really heard them open up. Somewhat warmer sounding but with a lot more 'soul' and 'emotion' in the vocals and instruments.

    Let me go back in time a bit. Lars happened to come to my home with my local dealer and Lars had a suitcase full of prototype cables. They were the A2 and C2 power cords and one pair of C2 speaker cables. He stared by replacing my C power cord from the Mainz D8 to U300 with an A2. Note I did already have a D-TC power cord from the wall to the Mainz D8. Wow the difference was huge. Everything sounded so much more natural. I wanted one. But then took out the A2 and replaced it with the C2. Another huge change unlike going from the original C to a D. Then he put in the C2 speaker cable. A nice change but not huge like the power cords. Lars said Mike was still working on the D2 versions at the time.

    When the cables went into production I ordered a C2 power cable right away. When they came in and I had it in for a couple of weeks I borrowed a D2 power cord. Wow another big jump but I returned right away. I gave it back because I was seriously considering upgrading my D2.1's to 3.1's. Both was not going to happen. In time I did decide to order the C2 speaker cables more because I really didn't care for the connectors on original C and liked the new connector better. I know it's a dumb reason but did it anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4music View Post
    HI Ralph,

    Congratulations on the new Ansuz cable & accessories acquisition. Looks like a great foundation for the rest of your system.

    As a fellow Ansuz power cable D & C line and Mainz D8 user, contemplating upgrade to the series 2 products, I am eager to to hear your impressions on Mainz D2 vs the old Mainz D8, the Ansuz C2 power cable vs the Ansuz D, and finally the C2 speaker cables vs the C line that I recall you have been using. Thanks & enjoy.

    Tim
    George

    Aavik U300 - Raidho D3.1's in Walnut burl with black trim - Naim unitiserve 2tb - Ansuz DTC digital cable with power box - Ansuz Mainz8 D-TC with 1 Ansuz D-TC and 1 Ceramic V2 power cords - Ansuz Ceramic V2 speaker cables - Ansus X Ethernet - pARTicular Novus full suspension rack.

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  11. #298
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Quote Originally Posted by 4music View Post
    HI Ralph,

    Congratulations on the new Ansuz cable & accessories acquisition. Looks like a great foundation for the rest of your system.

    As a fellow Ansuz power cable D & C line and Mainz D8 user, contemplating upgrade to the series 2 products, I am eager to to hear your impressions on Mainz D2 vs the old Mainz D8, the Ansuz C2 power cable vs the Ansuz D, and finally the C2 speaker cables vs the C line that I recall you have been using. Thanks & enjoy.

    Tim
    Hello Tim,

    Thanks and yes, I am excited about the potential my new foundation has to unlock the capabilities of the electronics and speakers.


    I own a stable of distributors including the Nordost QBase, the Ansuz Mainz8 D-version and the latest Mainz8 D2.

    Since the distributor is so important I am fully intending to write a post comparing them. I’ve read elsewhere that plugging the Mainz D8 into the 2-series distributors or D-TC distributor can lift the performance further. I’m intrigued by that and would like to test that for myself. That evaluation will take place once the new distributor has more hours on it.


    Regarding the 2-series cables, they appear at first glance to be a significant advance over the earlier generation. Ansuz claim that an A2 power cord can challenge and surpass the old D-level power cord in some determinants and the C2 completely surpasses the D level. My cable evaluation was not at home and the earlier generation of cables are no longer with me so I’m not in a position to offer further comment.

    Where are you located Tim? Is there a nearby Ansuz dealer? Would the dealer be prepared to loan you some 2-series cables in order that you can try them in your system? I’ve been fortunate that an Ansuz dealer has allowed me home trial of product prior to purchase.

    You should never buy product blindly on the recommendation of others opinion – including mine.

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  13. #299
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Hi Ralph,

    I am a new member here.....I registered because I am amazed and utmost respect to the things that you are sharing with all of us especially me......the level of depth and detail in your thread is a lifetime of tinkering experiences. Once again....amazed and respect......

    Boa

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  15. #300
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    Re: Music from a farther room

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    Hello Tim,

    Thanks and yes, I am excited about the potential my new foundation has to unlock the capabilities of the electronics and speakers.


    I own a stable of distributors including the Nordost QBase, the Ansuz Mainz8 D-version and the latest Mainz8 D2.

    Since the distributor is so important I am fully intending to write a post comparing them. I’ve read elsewhere that plugging the Mainz D8 into the 2-series distributors or D-TC distributor can lift the performance further. I’m intrigued by that and would like to test that for myself. That evaluation will take place once the new distributor has more hours on it.


    Regarding the 2-series cables, they appear at first glance to be a significant advance over the earlier generation. Ansuz claim that an A2 power cord can challenge and surpass the old D-level power cord in some determinants and the C2 completely surpasses the D level. My cable evaluation was not at home and the earlier generation of cables are no longer with me so I’m not in a position to offer further comment.

    Where are you located Tim? Is there a nearby Ansuz dealer? Would the dealer be prepared to loan you some 2-series cables in order that you can try them in your system? I’ve been fortunate that an Ansuz dealer has allowed me home trial of product prior to purchase.

    You should never buy product blindly on the recommendation of others opinion – including mine.
    Ralph thank you for your reply. I am located in Athens, Greece and currently I am using 3 Ansuz (series 1) D level and 2 C level power cables along with their Mainz D8 distributor. I had a Odin ver. 1 power cable but I though that in my system the Ansuz D was better. I definitely like the sound enough to be considering an upgrade within the series. As my electronics took a more resolving course (Nagra Pre & Nagra Classic and YG Carmel 2 speakers) I noticed a faint "metallic" signature in the Series 1 distributor or the power cables or both. I am currently using an Acoustic Revive Eu-4 Distributor, which tamed most of the "metallic" sheen on the high frequencies, but lost some of the dimensionality of the Mainz. I've read that the series 2 cables & power distributors from Ansuz have changed slightly their sonic signature towards a more full sound. I don't know if that is a characteristic of the new cables, the new distributors or both. The reasons I am looking for further opinions is that our quest for the absolute sound is usually within the context of our system, so opinions of fellow audiophiles with different systems, matters to me since the next solution needs to be more "universal" and justify the upgrade within a multitude of systems.

    I am currently considering the upgrade of the Mainz 8D to a D2 (or a DTC) and the purchase of a D2 series power cable to power the distributor. The 3 Ansuz series D (ver 1) cables will remain powering the components from the distributor.

    Would be interested to find out the difference between the D2 and C2 for powering the distributor, since another solution is to go for a C2 power cord (perhaps longer length as it is reported to be even better) and a better distributor. Lots of different options, but unfortunately can't try all....
    Tim

    Playback Designs mps-5, Nagra Classic Pre, Nagra Classic Amp, YG Carmel 2s, Signal: TaraLabs Muse, Power: Ansuz D & C, Mainz-8D, SRA Craz3 Rack.

 

 
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