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Positive Feedback ISSUE 53
january/february 2011

hardware.jpg (10798 bytes)

 

luminous audio

Mega Power Lynx AC Power Cord

as reviewed by Michael Wechsberg

 

luminous mega

 

 

 

 

MICHAEL WECHSBERG'S SYSTEM

LOUDSPEAKERS
Marten Miles II.

ELECTRONICS
E.A..R 890 amplifier and E.A.R. 868 preamplifier.

SOURCES
VPI Scout Turntable with JMW-9 Tonearm, Dynavector Karat 17D3 Moving Coil Cartridge E.A.R. Acute CD Player Music Hall Maverick SACD Player.

CABLES
Harmonic Technology Pro-9 Reference speaker cables Harmonic Technology Magic Link Two and XLO Signature 3 interconnects Harmonic Technology Magic Reference 2 and XLO Signature 3 power cords.

ACCESSORIES
Black Diamond Racing Isolators for VPI, Marigo Labs TXi and VXi Mystery Feet for electronics PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Conditioner.

 

I donít know about you, but I hate to spend lots of money on power cords. I just wish the component manufacturers would provide a good cord with their equipment and that we could all live with that. Unfortunately power cords do make a difference in the quality of sound you get from your system and the guys who specialize in making electronics sing are not similarly gifted in optimizing power cords. Then again I suppose if the component guy provided a real good cord, which is probably going to cost some extra money and force the price higher, most audiophile types are not going to use it anyway in favor of some exotic aftermarket cord. This is going to happen, if for no other reason, because everyoneís taste is different and power cords do make a difference. The best approach seems to be to provide the electronics with a modestly priced power cord, keep the price down, and let the user decide whether to keep it or upgrade to something else. This is how things are in the audio marketplace today and hence we have a very vigorous and competitive market in power cords. My E.A.R. components each came with a very pedestrian power cord that you really did not want to use. On the other hand, Luxman provides very nice power cords with their gear that sound perfectly fine, although even their sophisticated sound can be improved with a different cord.

This is a preamble to saying itís always nice to find a power cord that does a good job and does not cost the same or more than a new power amp. And such is the case with the Luminous Audio Technology Mega Power Lynx Power Cord (quite a mouthful) that comes in under $600 for a 1.5m length. Not what I would call cheap but read on for more about what this cord gives you for the money.

First, the Mega Power Lynx does not look like a throw-off power cord. It appears to be well made, looks nice with its silvery outer jacket and is fairly heavy indicating no skimping on materials. It is fairly flexible and easy to handle compared to many other cords out there. The Mega Power Lynx sports some interesting technology that sets it apart from the competition. Here is an excerpt from the Luminous Audio Technology web site:

In an upgrade from the POWER LYNX ULTRA, the MEGA POWER LYNX has a large, high-gauss neodymium magnet installed at each end of the cord. These strong rare-earth magnets establish a passive motor circuit which reduces noise in our cable while actually boosting micro dynamics in recorded music. Our research has proven the extremely strong magnetic field encourages the current and voltage to arrive at the load in phase resulting in many positive effects. They also serve as a mechanical vibration damper to control the micro-vibration caused by the flow of AC current. As you listen it will become obvious that the timing of each instrument will be in phase, resulting in a tremendous increase in sound stage width and depth. The cables are terminated with Japanese made, silver-plated, 120 Volt Audio Grade Edison and IEC connectors.

Although I have an electrical engineering background, Iím not enough of a physicist to comment on the veracity of the claims for the magnets. It makes sense to me that magnetic fields affect current flow so I have no doubt use of the magnets is doing something to the quality of the AC current getting to your components. The magnets in the Luminous cord are quite strong such that if you coil the cord the two ends snap together and it takes more than a gentle pull to separate them. In any case, these cords will require a little caution in handling. Make sure you keep them away from any speakers in particular as that could lead to a disaster. However, the sonic performance of this power cord merits the small risk.

I started out by using the Mega Power Lynx on the motor of my Townshend Rock 7 turntable. As Iíve mentioned in other reviews, this turntable is extraordinarily sensitive to power cords with a large range of performance coming out of it depending on the cord. The manufacturer does not even supply a power cord with the turntable. I was most pleased when I engaged the Mega Power Lynx. Bass response was excellent and transparency through the mids and highs was quite good. The balance was a little tipped up at the high end and a little lighter in the midrange compared to the more expensive cords normally in the system, i.e. a bit cool, but the overall impression was very positive. Spatially this cord moved singers and solo instruments forward and foreshortened depth compared to my reference but everything was in the right place from recording to recording.

I moved the Luminous cord over to my E.A.R. preamp and replaced the cord on the turntable with its normal partner. The resulting sonic signature playing vinyl was almost the same when the Luminous was on the turntable alone. I thought the perceived dynamic range of the music was very good as if the cord was adding a little extra oomph to loud music. Horns were reproduced particularly well with power, character and nuance. On the other hand on some jazz recordings the piano was a little flat and lacking in sparkle across the frequency range.  Although the highs were clean and a little on the bright side I did not hear the level of air and transparency in the highs that I heard in the bass and most of the midrange. Used on the preamp, this cord flattened the sound a bit and moved some instruments towards each speaker rather than spreading them out behind the speakers as I normally hear them. The Luminous produced a coherent sound that occasionally sprang forth from the speakers with great vigor, but on some other recordings with known good musicality I had to work harder to hear the detail and to get myself swinging with the music. Iím certain this effect is highly system dependent so your experience could be different.

I can say I enjoyed recording after recording with the Luminous Mega Lynx power cord. It may not be as good as the multi-kilobuck power cords but it delivers more than its share of detail and transparency with good timbral accuracy and especially fine dynamics. It certainly was not embarrassed in the company of more expensive cords and is probably better than some of them. Like always I advise audiophiles and music enthusiasts to experiment with power cords much more so than with interconnects or speaker cables. Although power cords certainly affect the sound you get from your system, the performance in one system combination may be significantly different in another. The quality of power coming out of the wall may also make a big difference. At times I am at a loss to hear differences between cords and then suddenly there will be one that makes a huge difference. It is easy to overpay for power cords so starting your quest with a reasonable priced cord like the Luminous Audio Technology Mega Lynx is a good first step. I would bet this is all the power cord many of you out there need. Try it in particular if you are looking for more powerful bass response and more dynamic range out of your system. Michael Wechsberg

Luminous Audio Technology Mega Lynx  
Retail: $599 for 1.5 m

 

Luminous Audio Technology
1312 N Parham Rd
Richmond, VA 23229
(804) 741-5826

web address: http://www.luminousaudio.com/power.html

 

 

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