|High End Audio Reviews
"Champs in bass reach, womp & articulation"
Analysis Plus Oval Ten Power Cord
I played Joanne Shenandoah's Eagle Cries [Red Feather Music 70052, 2001], her over-enunciation of the letter "s" was still present. However, these sibilants were better controlled. Compared with stock Beldens, the Oval 10s slightly softened the highs to keep the music from sounding too edgy. I say slightly because I could still hear how the strings on the guitar were fashioned from steel. The beautiful tone of Joanne's voice was as embracing as ever. Still, the bass grew fuller, became more articulate and defined.
Another trait that revealed itself through repeated listening? The Oval 10s lowered the noise floor of my recordings. With stock Belden power cords, the music was slightly grainy and uninvolving, as though the noise telegraphing through the power-cords-as-antennae turned the tunes bland. The Oval 10s did a decent job of keeping this noise out. They certainly made my equipment more involving
I decided to play to the Oval 10's strengths and spin some Rock and Roll. "You're My Best Friend" from Queen's A Night at the Opera [Hollywood Records 61065, 1991] is a sufficiently bombastic pop number. The Oval 10s brought out as much bass as my source equipment could muster. The kick drum was big and punchy, the heavy electric bass guitar lines dipped a bit lower. I could discern how the bass was being played, rather just hearing bass notes. These cables enticed my system to get up on stage and rock.
The mixing techniques used in the recording were also more apparent, whether panning Freddie Mercury's voice from right to left, or the spatial dimensions of the instruments presented during more complex passages. The lead guitar was in-yer-face just as it should be. After hearing the music swing this well, I could only hope that Queen hasn't been relegated to elevator music duty at the Hard Rock Café.
The Oval 10 power cable is a well-assembled, thoughtful design, with flexibility superior to any other after-market power cable I've tried to date. It is also relatively inexpensive. For $199, you get a 6" power cord that has the hallmarks of other Analysis Plus products; smooth yet robust, with less background noise and swingin' bass.
What systems would shine with the Oval 10s? Well, if the smoothest part of your system were the faceplates on the components, the Oval 10s should definitely be on your short-list. This includes systems that tend to sound too bright, beamy, over-etched or hyper-detailed. For such systems, the Oval 10s become the requisite spittoon to avoid messiness. Love bass? The Oval 10s were champs in bass reach, womp and articulation and would definitely benefit systems whose midbass was tipped up.
Imagine stretching out on a supportive table in a softly lit room. Nothing distracts you from the simple pleasure of listening to your breathing and the sound of your heartbeat. A masseuse walks into the room, rubs a little oil between her hands and starts carefully working you over from head to toe. When matched to the right system, the overall effect of the Oval 10 power cables was similar to a deep body massage. These purple Analysis Plus cords may thus just be what's needed to help ease and relax the tense and knotted muscles of your own audio system.
For the complete review at 6moons.com, click here.
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