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Positive Feedback ISSUE 78
march/april 2015

 

Dynamic Design Heritage Challenger AE15 Digital Power Cord: Two Cords for the Price of One!
by Robert H. Levi

 

Dynamic Design Heritage Challenger AE15 Digital Power Cord

Power cords are a specialty within the category of audiophile connectivity that is mighty important. Those supplied with the gear, regardless of price, are merely included to allow the equipment to meet specifications and light the LEDs. They are best discarded and upscale cords should be used to tune your system for maximum performance. I generally employ power cords to max out definition and shade the music for timbrel rightness. 

It is said that regardless of the hundreds of miles of wire in your home and from the power line, it is the last six feet that matter. I can report that this is, unfortunately, true.

Engineers tell me this happens because the cord actually becomes a part of the AC transformer in your gear. This is too simple. Not sure why you need such a complex piece of technology adjacent to your gear just for electricity, but it is so and I shall move on. 

The Challenger has no shortage of high technology. 

Design Features from Dynamic Design A/V:

Our resonance controlled multi-layer insulation system for excellent electrical and mechanical properties. This resonance controlled, high speed insulation system offers ultra-fast signal propagation and excellent dampening performance for natural, accurate instrumental timbres while delivering great textural images.

Features U-HPBM™, our ultra-high purity bi-metal conductors for ultra-low resistance, maximum signal conductivity and, great power handling.

Dynamic Shielding™, our ultra-high performance shielding technology that combines our UMLS™ and GIT™ technologies for ultra-wide bandwidth performance that literarily transports you to the recording venue.

The Challenger is a gorgeous looking AC cord design built with enormous quality and integrity. It was built to maximize digital gear of all kinds. Its most interesting feature is an active battery powered shield you must turn on before using. You must switch it off after playing as the batteries will only last a week if left on. I say this is most interesting because when on, the cable becomes a veritable feast of sonic colors, high definition, and exciting dynamics. If left off, the cable causes the digital source to relax, the image to move a bit deeper, and the overall presentation to be warmer and sweeter. The Challenger is two power cords for the price of one! 

When switched on, the connector destined for the AC gear input lights up offering added illumination for connecting in dark corners. This is very cool as well as unique. If it is not lit up, you did not activate the shielding. The power module holds two double A batteries and sports a tiny on/off switch. Being black on black, the switch is hard to see with old eyes.

The performance of the Challenger is not subtle or restrained. With the shield active or not, the Challenger challenges any power cord I know of under $5000 for a 1.5-2 meter length. This is a break-through design and an ultimate achievement for Dynamic Design and its resident design genius, Olu Sonuga. 

Switch Shielding On

If your speaker system is laid-back, inefficient, or a two way design, then the Challenger on the digital player or DAC will light up the room. Just switch on the shielding and enjoy the extra energy brought to your jazz recordings, Wagner operas, and pop vocals. The tight, deep bass is startling and realistic. Lifelike, powerful, and slightly forward in perspective, the excitement is addictive. The Challenger mines your digital source and brings out the gold. 

I was mightily impressed by cymbals and all manner of percussion. WOW! Also, organ music is organic and thrilling. Backgrounds are black and the focus of images is finer and tighter. Did not matter whether your DAC or player is tube or solid state, the effects of the Challenger are the same. Yes, there were systems I tried this cord in and DACs that went a bit too far into the excitement range that I did a bit of tube rolling or I switched the shielding switch to off.

Switch Shielding Off

The Challenger now reveals highly detailed sophistication and intense colors. The still tight images retreat into the sound stage and the performance is less intimate and dramatic. However, now revealed are subtleties and micro-dynamics that were obscured. Musical colors are even more realistic, at least they were to me and my audiophile friends, and I was more comforted by the overall performance of the digital front-end. If your system is tuned to ultimate definition, your speakers are fast and somewhat forward sounding, the Challenger is now up to the task. 

Where before I heard cymbals with tons of silvery details slightly forward in the sound stage, they were now pushed back a bit and a golden color joined the silvery character for a more life-like image. The speed and snap, though slightly blunted, is, in my reference system, right on target. With my ultra-quick ceramic and diamond drivers in my speakers, the Challenge cord was just perfect. I found nothing to criticize at any frequency and with any audio parameter. This is two killer cords in one package. I have never heard anything like it in a digital circuit. 

Quibbles

The shielding battery box with switch is on a short cord usually near the floor and is inconvenient to switch. Dynamic Design provided a long cord I could place higher in my system. I recommend you get this for yourself. They will be coming our soon with a power strip that will automatically energize the cord and do away with the battery pack. Good. I left the cord on a sub-woofer for a week of break-in before testing it. That was sufficient for excellent sound. 

Summary

The Dynamic Design Heritage Challenger AE15 Digital Power Cord is a unique and exciting design enabling audiophiles to maximize your digital front-end. Its switchable in/out active shielding gave me choices that maximized any system, solid state or tube, I tried it in. This is a two in one design with startling advantages in either way it is used. I was surprised and delighted by its gorgeous design and performance and did not expect such a ground breaking offering. I ultimately used it with the switch off, but that is just me. 

Though expensive, its flexibility to maximize the digital circuit is unsurpassed at its price point and considerably beyond. Highly recommended and well done Olu!

$3500 1.5 meters

Dynamic Designs
http://dynamicdesignav.com

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