POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 38
Magic Reference II Special Edition power cord
as reviewed by Robert H. Levi
After recovering from the high-end audio shock of reviewing the new HT Photon Interconnects, now we have new Power Cables from the same company using some of the cutting edge computer technology for AC purification and refinement. Power cables with computer chips on board…what will they think of next? That’s right! Each Magic II has a small computer on board contained within a slick metal module that is self powered and totally contained. Jim Wang, CEO of HT, tells me the chips evaluate, so to speak, the AC from the wall and do their work in the highs, mids, and lows to eliminate those nasty distortion causing products we hate. Since the only constant is the universal sound of wall current, the chips are designed to repair and enhance that sound. I am here to report that, when plugged directly into the wall then into front end/source gear, the HT Magic II is the state of the art.
Compared to many AC cables ranging from $1000 per meter to $16,000 per meter [no joke!] plugged directly from the wall to your equipment, the Magic II was consistently superior in some or every sonic parameter in all three systems I tried. It is superior to every other model cable HT has made or currently makes as well. Where the Bybee $3000 Extreme AC cable refined mostly the mids, the Magic handles all ranges consistently and evenly. The best AC cables work mostly in the bass and overall dynamics…some in the mids …but the Magic II’s create near perfect response across the board. They sound purer, smoother, blacker, MORE detailed, and enhanced musical tambour like a $3000+ deluxe power line conditioner!
Results when plugged directly into your power conditioner will vary. Unless the conditioner is really nothing more than a glorified power strip, the Magic may sound less beneficial. That happened to me. Jim Wang said they could not adjust the chips to every situation. They used the wall current as a constant and set the chips from there. The cable has a capacity of up to 800 watts and plugging it into gear that pushes this is not recommended. I just was compelled to plug it into the wall then into my World Power Wing which has 1200 watts of gear hooked to it. My entire system improved including imaging and distortion/grain across the board. The cable module got hot so I unplugged it. I would really love a high voltage version of the Magic II.
Nevertheless, plug the Magic II into the wall then into your preamp, CD player, Turntable front end, FM Tuner, tape deck/recording gear, etc. and be supremely delighted. This is astounding performance for the money. There are very few power line conditioners that approach this level of refinement …very few! I hesitate to say my reference conditioner is less effective than plugging the gear directly into the wall with the Magic II, but the Magic is somewhat cleaner and more sophisticated sounding overall than my best references in house. At $1500 for a meter, it is a boon to the finest high-end toys on the planet maximizing their benefits.
Manufacturing of the Magic has just been finished and HT has included in their construction extra Teflon insulation for optimum sound quality and isolation. They are a bit stiff, but flexible, so you may want to order 1.5 or 2 meters instead of the minimum. The high-end plugs are super robust and grab like crazy. The Magic IIs are set and forget. No adjustment, special powering, or special wiring is necessary. 20 amp terminations are available.
One of my many hobbies is astronomy. When I acquire a new, higher powered eyepiece [ocular] and focus in a celestial object better than ever, I feel real joy. It’s all about focus, light gathering capacity, and resolution. The Magic IIs are the analogous equivalent to the new eyepiece. They refine, define, enhance, and involve you in the musical experience like no other power cord or most power conditioner devices I’ve heard. The Magic IIs have breakthrough written all over them.
I tried the Magic II between my Rel Sub woofer and the wall …it has a 250 watt amp on board. Compared to my reference power cords including the top $1200 Kimber Palladium, the performance overall was substantially improved! No, I didn’t say somewhat or a bit improved. I said substantially improved in every way you might evaluate it. I am mightily impressed. If your amps are moderate in power, I’d try these for sure plugged right into the wall.
The new Harmonic Technology Magic II Reference Power Cord with Pure AC Module redefines what is possible when plugging your top equipment directly into the wall AC. Recommended for source gear only or low powered amplifiers, the added clarity and refinement throughout all ranges is astounding and sophisticated. Compared to a range of power cords at price points up to the stratospheric plugged directly into the wall, the Magic II was, at the very least, a bit superior overall. In some cases it was embarrassingly superior! I have never owned a power cord with a computer inside, but it’s time! The new Magic II pushes the envelope once again and is, in my opinion for power cords in this application, the state of the art. Well done Harmonic Technology! Robert H. Levi
Technical details received from HT
Retail: 1 meter $1499, 1.5 meter $1599, 2 meter $1699