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REVIEW: VH Audio DIY Flavor 2 Cable

Model: DIY Flavor 2
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $35 for materials
Description: 2 wire power cord without ground
Manufacturer URL: VH Audio
Manufacturer URL: VH Audio

Review by bartc (A) on October 29, 2005 at 11:49:46
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for the DIY Flavor 2

First let me say that I am absolutely satisfied with both this power cord and with Chris Ven Haus. My DIY is a bit unusual, but following Chris' recommendations and other inmates' it is very easy to duplicate and might be applicable to many systems. Because I don't solder I didn't even get the full sonic benefits, so I would expect that those who do solder will get even better results.

Sonically, I got a lower noise floor, more subtle detail was revealed, dynamics and pacing improved, and most of all I got a marked inprovement in LF reproduction. Once burned in, the cable's presentation is very balanced with zero loss or negatives. The HF is detailed and not bright, the mids are improved with nice reproduction of male and female vocals. The bass knocked me over, because it comes through with a tautness and definition I had never expected from this project. It's not boomy or bloomy, it's just detailed with authority. Any audiophile would have noticed the other more subtle improvements, but anybody at all would catch that bass change; it's delicious!

I have a 2 wire system, so I did not use a counterspiraled ground wire, but Chris still calls it his Flavor 2. I bought the cryoed 12 AWG unshielded wire to use with my NAD C740 receiver and the cryoed Wattgate plug. Because I don't solder, I implemented the cord by cutting the existing 16AWG captive cord down to the last few inches, then wirenutted the two together. I also wirenutted in a cap array, which I do with all my PCs now. CAIG, etc. So, I skipped any degradation that might have resulted from the male/female IEC connections, but I added any degradation that may result from the wirenuts and that little old captive tail. This is where a more skilled artisan can make greater gains than I did. For my 1/2 hour of easy work, I'm very satisfied.

Burn in was necessary. The lower noise floor and bass improvements were immediately apparent, but for the first day or so the soundstage seemed to have contracted. After that it opened back up again with nice width and depth and improved separation between instruments too. After the first week of 24/7 it was about as balanced and sweet as you could wish; after 2 weeks of continuous burn in I think it has maxed. (This is a lot of wire and a lot of Teflon, so the recommendation is up to 400 hours and I'd concur.)

Chris himself is a delight to deal with. Over the years he's been generous with his advice and knowledge. I would recommend both his products AND his service to anyone unequivocally. In fact, I'm planning a shielded version for my CDP next.

Product Weakness: Not the most flexible of cables, but no discernable weaknesses at all.
Product Strengths: Great taut and defined bass, nicely detailed and balanced, looks good and easy to work with. Great service!

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: NAD C740
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none
Sources (CDP/Turntable): NAD 541i
Speakers: Von Schweikert VR1s
Cables/Interconnects: Silvery First Ys; Auricle Audio Encores; PNF bass cables; other DIY PCs.
Music Used (Genre/Selections): jazz, world, classical, rock, ethnic, roots
Room Size (LxWxH): 24' x 14' x 9'
Room Comments/Treatments: JR Q&D bass traps, DIY room lens clones
Time Period/Length of Audition: 2 weeks plus
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): JR Quick and Dirty Iso Trans; cap arrays
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: VH Audio DIY Flavor 2 Cable - bartc 11:49:46 10/29/05 (6)

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