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Power Wraps with Wadia 861

I've run my Wadia 861 with an NBS Signature II power cord for about a year now. Replacing the stock cord with the NBS made a slight improvement. Adding a dedicated power line for the Wadia made a larger improvement.

Recently I had the chance to audition the Highwire Power Wraps. Since I had several available, I put one on the NBS cord, and gained a major improvement in sound-stage accuracy and tonal purity. Adding a second Wrap, so that the two meet at the center of the power cord, made almost as much improvement over the single Wrap as the single one made over no Wrap. Adding a third (again with the Wraps centered on the cord) improved things slightly over two Wraps. The larger size Wrap is required, and still makes a tight fit over the NBS cord. The smaller Wrap would fit easily over a stock cord, but the extra mass of the larger Wrap may make it more effective.

These $25 devices were designed primarily for non-detachable power cords on modest gear. It is surprising how much better my Wadia sounds with a couple of them on the NBS cord. Another way to look at this is to entertain the possibility that much of the controversy over the sound of Wadia 861X players has to do with deficiencies in the design of the power supply. It is possible for the supply to provide inadequate isolation from RFI on the power cord, to inject RFI on to the power cord, or both. Part of the issue with RFI on power cords is that the power cord looks like an antenna, and has a resonant frequency determined by its length and speed of propagation in its insulator. Even a little stimulus from, say, rectifier diodes, may set up a strong standing wave on the cord, like a little breeze can stimulate an organ pipe. If this standing wave corresponds to a frequency that can get past the power supply filters, it will affect the various circuits inside the player. The Power Wraps absorb RF energy and make it difficult for the standing wave to be sustained.

I don't know if other CD players would respond this well to the Power Wraps. I think it depends on the care and skill exercised in design of the power supply, and whether the power cord employed used RF-damping technology.

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  Michael Percy Audio  

Topic - Power Wraps with Wadia 861 - Leisure7 19:51:42 12/17/03 (20)

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