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REVIEW: VH Audio Flavors 1, 2, and 3 Cable

Model: Flavors 1, 2, and 3
Category: Cable
Suggested Retail Price: $129
Description: VH Audio Power
Manufacturer URL: VH Audio
Manufacturer URL: VH Audio

Review by highendman (A) on March 14, 2003 at 15:17:00
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for the Flavors 1, 2, and 3

These are my preliminary findings on the Chris VH Flavor 3 cord, designed for digital gear. First of all, I received the cord less than 2 full days from when I placed the order -- talk about fast service. I was anxious to give it a spin, so I gave the contacts a good scrubba-dub-dub with Flitz and then Caig ProGold and went for a listen.

I first tried the cord on my DAC PS in place of my Marigo Reference C cord. I listened to a few songs and felt it was a mixed bag. The Flavor 3 seemed more quiet and was a bit more sophisticated in way it sorted out the digits. The Marigo seemed more transparent or more forward -- perhaps a better match for my system at this time. The Marigo had a Shun Mook Cable jacket, a Highwire Power wrap and an ERS wrap on it, and the ChrisVH still had less glare. It's likely that with break in and optimization in the application that I would have clearly prefered the Chris VH cord. I haven't investigated this yet, because of the good fortune that happened next.

I put the Flavor 3 cord on my transport -- a modded Pioneer DVD440. WOW! That's the first time I've ever said that about a cord on my transport. For the most part, cords on my transport have not done a lot. I had always assumed this would be the case because of the large filtered IEC jack and extensive additional filtering in the power supply. I have had the Marigo Reference C,B, the Virtual Dynamics P3 and the Custom Power Cord Company Hi-Value cord on it in addition to the stock cord (briefly!). There wasn't much of a difference between them. The VD P3 was a bit better, but is so heavy that it would tilt the DVD player too much on its isolation system. The CPCC Hi-Value worked well and that's what I have used primarily. I removed it for the Flavor 3 cord and was quite surprised.

The sound was more relaxed and better sorted out -- very similar to the super turntables sounding slower. CD's such as ABC's "Look of Love" have less glare. The already relaxed and outstanding Blind Boys of Alabama, got comatose relaxed, an even bigger soundstage, and instrument lines became even more distinct. The noise floor is lower and dynamics are excellent -- my wham bang CD's still take my head off at least as well as they ever did (Maxell called, they want to do another poster). Very good CD's like Dianna Krall's Love Scenes (I almost never use this as a reference or demo CD as it sounds too good -- it sounds good on most everything. I often prefer lesser recordings -- my all time fav being Johnny Clegg and Savuka "Cruel Crazy Beautiful World" which I have found to be about the most telling in the greatest number of sonic traits for my system) or my new favorite "enjoying music" CD (LOL!) the wonderful Sunny Sumter on Mapleshade have more air around the vocals and are more palpable. These vocals in addition to the staggeringly transparent and hefty soulful lead on "People Get Ready" by the Blind Boys are dripping with added texture.

In this application, the cord excels in every category and is very nicely balanced. Most significantly, it has encouraged me to listen to entire tracks of certain reference song that I have played hundreds of times and almost never listen to more than the first 20 seconds (I know, a sad bit hard core). As if I needed more of it -- I have even great ass-in-the-seat disease. Another real world benefit of this sound for me is on the very much lesser sound quality CD-R of songs from internet mp3 files. The tracks are fine for background listening or working out to, but generally don't play them from the listening chair. Out of curiosity, this time I did. I cued up "Shaft" and the reduction in glare let me sit there and bask in a Sea of Symphonic Coolness. I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft!

This is all right out of the box folks -- an assembled 5' cord for $69 that uses a Marinco Male AC plug and a Wattagate 320. I'll have to try the cord on my DAC again as soon as I get over the paralysis from the goofy grin on my face. Nice job! An outstanding value.

Product Weakness: Nada
Product Strengths: Reduced glare, lowered noise floor, great music from digits. Outstanding value.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Aranov 960 w/mods kt88s
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none. no volume control either
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Pioneer DVD440, Monarchy DIP2, MSB LinkII w/ Monolithic PS -- all with lots of mods.
Speakers: GR Paradox 3, souped up
Cables/Interconnects: Mapleshade Ribbon, Goertz MI-3
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz vocals, 70s
Room Size (LxWxH): 18' x 21' x 7'6
Room Comments/Treatments: Corner tunes
Time Period/Length of Audition: day one
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Dedicated line w/ FIM, chang 9600, DIY
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: VH Audio Flavors 1, 2, and 3 Cable - highendman 15:17:00 03/14/03 (0)

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