THE IMPORTANCE OF AC ELECTRICAL SUPPLY

Even if a superior quality AC power cable doesn’t carry the audio/video signal, a quick comparison with any other AC cable confirms without a doubt its advantages: improved dynamics, impact and separation of instruments, impressive imaging and definition.

Historically, audiophiles discovered the importance of wiring when setting-up their loud speakers.

In the early 1970s, larger gauge, better quality wiring was used with a lot of success. Admittedly, it isn’t difficult to improve on 16 gauge lamp cord. In time, wiring became more sophisticated.

After awhile, the same thinking was applied to interconnects with the same positive results: fine detailing, image depth and less harshness.

The outcome of this approach is fairly easy to predict because the video and audio signal travel directly through these cables.

One could think that the use of AC power cables wouldn’t directly affect the end result, whether it be sound or the visual image. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The name says it all: « Power Cable »…

We want to eat well to be healthy and full of energy. We would never put poor quality gas into our cars. So why be satisfied with the mediocre power cables provided with the components that only meet the minimum standards of the electrical code, that is to say, just good enough to be safe?

An efficient AC power cable serves two functions:

  1. To bring to your component AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE all the electrical current it will require to function optimally;
  2. Because of its shielding, the cable is impermeable to interference and does not produce by itself any unwanted parasitical noise which could pollute the efficiency of the other cables or the components themselves.

A quick audio comparison will convince you of the relevance of a good AC cable…

Take the time to do a comparative audio test using the same piece of music and notice the difference in dynamics, speed of attack and the length of sound decay (end of notes)….

Certain clients that are already using good quality interconnects and loud speaker cables complain about the harshness of digital sound but would still like to have greater image definition.

The only way to have both is to clean the electrical current with shielded AC cables, a superior quality power bar and a wall socket of greater mechanical and electrical yield.

Result: the internal power circuitry of your components can finally perform to their full potential…
Greater detail without listener fatigue, warmer sound and a more articulated and cleaner bass.

The same goes for the visual medium: projectors, plasma and LED screens. You will notice a significant improvement in definition, cleaner contours, better colour saturation and less «noise» on the screen.

To conclude, in order to push the potential of your system to its limit, high quality AC power equipement should be given top priority.

A basic set-up for all audio/home theatres should include an in-wall duplex receptacle adapted to audio/home theatre systems, anAC 20 or AC 20 WG BIS power cable, and a Power BIS (power bar).

A stable building is always built on an adequate foundation. If you start with a good AC power supply, from the wall socket to the system and on each component, you can then be more discriminating when choosing interconnects and loudspeaker cables.

WHY BUY A GOOD QUALITY AC POWER CABLE?

The AC power cable serves a vital function: it transports electrical current to the power supply of your components.

We live in a world in which more and more of our devices (pagers, cell phones, etc…) transmit electrical waves, and advances in technology are creating more wireless equipment all the time.

To a lesser or greater degree, depending on the location, the electricity network is overrun by all types of interference that pollute the supply of electricity to your components and consequently, affect the final result.

Most of the power cords provided by manufacturers are of courtesy quality only and in no way safeguard your equipment from the pernicious effects of AM/FM band waves, radio frequencies and all other electromagnetic interference.

A superior quality AC cable ensures the best possible flow of electrical current (energy) from the wall outlet to the component, thus allowing a better delivery from the component’s power supply to all the electronic circuits.

How big a difference can a good quality AC power cable make? Imagine your car powered by a turbo engine.

Here are a few instances when an AC cable can really make a difference:

  • In the case of CD/DVD players or any other machines using digital technology, AC cables can eliminate radio frequencies and electromagnetic waves that have a particularly detrimental effect on the analogue/digital converters.
  • from the wall outlet to the power bar or line conditioner,
  • from the wall outlet to the TV screen or video monitor; the result is less «noise», more contrast, improved definition and better colour saturation.
  • Sub-woofer: basses that are better articulated , more nimble and without drag.

RECOMMENDATIONS – (2 families of BIS AC cables versus different types of electronics)

We suggest you replace your standard IN-WALL DUPLEX RECEPTACLE with a duplex of greater mechanical and electrical yield, especially adapted for home theatre and audio systems.

These duplexes, used in the manufacture of the , are available at all retailers.

When installing the in-wall duplex receptacle, please pay attention to the polarity of the electrical connection.

For about 10 dollars, you can get yourself a circuit tester in any hardware store. The circuit tester looks like an ordinary electrical plug fitted with three LED (diodes) of different colours that, when plugged in to the wall, will indicate the state of the electrical connection.

The use of the allows the distribution of the current to the components without any loss, by eliminating crackling and other small noises on the electrical line.

Which BIS AC cable is the right one for you?

AC II  -  AC AMP  -  AC MAESTRO II  –  * AC SPACE SAVER *

  • Without Integrated DAC
    • Stereo Receiver
    • Home Theater Receiver
    • Integrated Amplifier
    • Pre-amplifier
  • Power Amplifier
  • Mono blocs
  • Sub-woofer
  • Flat screens * Wall-mounted set-up
  • Multi zone controler

AC 20  -  AC 20 WG

  • With Integrated DAC
    • Stereo Receiver
    • Home Theater Receiver
    • Integrated Amplifier
    • Pre-amplifier
  • PowerBIS  (power bar)
  • High amperage Power Amplifier
  • Sources :
    •       CD Player
    •       Digital Analog Converter
    •       DVD Player
  • Exact audio copy on hard disk
    • Desktop computer

THAT UNKNOWN, THE INTERCONNECT CABLE

The time has come to define the role of the INTERCONNECT CABLE.

Because of majors improvements in power cables and AC power bars, one could easily assume that interconnect cables were less important. Nothing could be further from the truth! Each category of cable (interconnect, speaker or power cable) has its own working parameters that mustn’t be ignored and will, in fact, complement each other

The main role of an AC power cable is to allow each component to work at peak efficiency:

  • by supplying it with all the needed electrical current as rapidly as possible, without any impediment,
  • by eliminating the pernicious effects of electro-magnetic and radio wave frequencies that are more and more common in our electrical wires and in our every day environment (cell phones, AM/FM, WI-FI, etc.).

The main role of the interconnect is to carry the totality of a delicate, non-amplified signal from point A to point B (say, from the source to the pre-amp or from the pre-amp to the amplifier) with the least possible amount of distortion.

The interconnect must also retain the harmonics of each instrument and convey faithfully the space and the placement of the musicians during the recording.

The better the interconnect, the easier it will be to detect the sound engineer’s work, and to distinguish the different technical and artistic approaches from one recording to the next.

If that link isn’t there, no power source in the world, whatever its quality, will be able to compensate.

In other words, whatever is lost during the transport of the signal because of a poor quality interconnect cannot be recovered elsewhere.

IMPORTANT:  What you want is to hear every detail and amazing effect that has been recorded on the CD or disc. Nothing more.

Any spectacular or showy effects produced by interconnect cables that favour certain frequencies over others will misrepresent the signal and cause aggressiveness and listener fatigue – both phenomena to be avoided in the digital age.

One can be impressed at first by interconnects and speaker cables that harden sounds. But ultimately, they will disappoint the listener as he goes from one disc to another in his collection.

N.B. All the small details that make music so delightful are sometimes harder to catch during a quick demonstration session using a system and an acoustic setting different from your home environment. Take the time to listen to your favourite discs and you’ll discover all the subtleties that you might have missed up until now.

We have often heard the following: «wow…. I didn’t know that there was a triangle in that piece» or «that piece of music has never affected me like that before».

By starting with an AC power supply, each component can perform to its full potential.

Then, with interconnects and speaker cables, the signal is delivered in its entirety.

If the cables for each connection are chosen with this perspective in mind, you’ll get an unequalled synergy and an exceptional result.

The whole being better than the sum of the parts…..

P.S. Obviously, these statements are just as applicable to home cinema and screen images.

SUB-WOOFER – CHRONICLE

The “SUB” is often overlooked in many hi-fi systems. To quote Rodney Dangerfield, it just “don’t get no respect”. Poorly treated or just not appreciated for what it is, the sub usually gets relegated to a corner because low frequencies are omnidirectional, and then is just forgotten about.
For many audiophiles, the result is a lack of bass definition and articulation, which translates into an indistinct rumble that eventually becomes tiresome.

There are two main causes for this phenomenon: the signal feeding the sub and the power supply feeding the sub amplifier.

It is an error to think that interconnect cables and power cables are not important because of the limited frequency response of the sub. On the contrary, a lot of musical information is contained in this frequency range. How else could we distinguish a stand-up bass or electric bass from a passing train or the rumble of a thunderstorm?

The interconnect cable that feeds the signal from your preamp to the sub has a vital role: it must not filter any frequencies or their harmonics and it must not reduce the speed of musical attacks.

The role of a good AC power cord is to allow the sub amplifier to deliver its full power instantaneously. The result is an effective and convincing articulation while avoiding speaker cone overhang, which tends to produce buzzing and rumble that has nothing to do with the original signal.

We have testimonies from many customers who have reconciled with their subwoofers simply by using the correct cables. Some were ready to change their current subs, yet they discovered that once fed with the proper diet, they achieved the maximum performance of their component at a lower cost than replacing the sub.

Each device should be allowed to operate at its full potential. You will be surprised at the “new performance” of what you already have … it’s a promise!

RUNNING-IN (BURNING-IN)

No, it’s not a figment of your imagination.

Running-in is important!

Interconnects, speaker cables and even AC cables and power bars that do not carry audio signal, need to be run in.

Do you remember the disappointing first few days with your new amp or CD player that had been a delight in the shop demo? Then, suddenly after several listening sessions, the music was back, even exceeding your expectations? It’s the same for most of the sophisticated mechanical or electronic devices that we own.

Our tests have shown that there are two important stages: after 48 hours and after 300 hours.

A new quality cable peforms at about 60% of its capability. After 48 hours, several elements settle into place and the sound becomes less aggressive and more open. The overall performance is much more detailed while remaining more “relaxed”. Listening fatigue has usually gone by this point.

After 300 hours, the designed level of refinement finally appears. Numerous testimonials from our customers attest to this ; the change often described as unexpected or incredible. At last, the urge to listen to your records over and over is back!

To run in interconnect cables, we suggest using an FM receiver (tuner), which prevents premature wear of your CD player.  Just use a constant signal to your integrated amp or pre-amp, with or without volume.

The same method applies for speaker wires, except that the volume should be at listening level. Some owners let the system play at normal volume while they are away… neighbours permitting, of course.

For running-in AC cables, you can use a male IEC adapter with a conventional AC female plug. This small adapter allows you to plug your new AC cable in series with any household appliance that runs regularly in your home, such as the refrigerator, dehumidifier, fan, etc. Running in is more convenient and faster because these devices consume more power than some audio devices.

If you are patient – and a bit curious – you can simply connect everything and follow the gradual evolution of the process according to your listening. Do not forget to choose a piece of music that you know well, to serve as a reference point.

We regularly receive testimonials from customers who thought they had reached the end of the running-in period only to discover subtleties never noticed before … and this after several months of listening.

LISTENING TESTS

Over the years, we have found that many customers doubt their abilities when faced with the task of choosing equipment or cabling that will provide the most satisfactory performance.

I suggest two methods that are complementary:

1) A / B TESTING (it helps to be rigorous!)
When testing cables, you should keep all other variables in your system constant during the tests: the same equipment (except the cable!), the same volume and the same listening position.

From your record collection, choose a segment of music that contains just enough information that you can easily remember for a few minutes. This extract should not exceed 1 to 1.5 minutes. Within this passage, identify some key reference points that are meaningful to you (e.g., voice, drums, piano) and focus on these same key references for the second listening.

For convenience, I suggest you stay in your listening position and let someone else make the equipment change for you. This way you can maintain your concentration throughout the test. Make sure that the two cables you are analyzing have undergone the same break-in period.

It helps to have someone else make the change without you knowing which cable is really in use. If you can reliably identify the new cable under “blind” listening, then you’re on the right track.

2) LIVING WITH IT
If after your A/B testing you still have doubts, we suggest you install the new cable and leave it in your system for several days.

In everyday life, we ??live with music and we often listen to our favourite albums while doing something else. Some discoveries are made when our attention is elsewhere, simply because we do not force our brain unnecessarily and we are more relaxed.

For example, I have often observed that a note can seem longer and more direct during reading when accompanied by music.

If in everyday life with the new cable, your system gives you more pleasure, or that you find yourself or your partner spending more time listening to music, then it’s a sure sign that you’ve made the right choice.

Last of all, having lived with the cable for some time and after assessing the results, try returning to the old cable you were using before … you may be in for a shock !

PROPAGATION OF ELECTRICAL WAVES

All waves, whether sound, electrical or of another kind, react the same way.

As an example, take the situation of someone hitting the surface of the water in a bath tub.

The wave remains unchanged as long as it does not hit an obstacle. When it reaches the edge of the tub, some of the wave is absorbed, some of it will bounce back. The behaviour of the wave varies because the material in which it is travelling has changed.

The same thing happens with electrical waves in a wire when they hit the plug. You do not want a wall-up.

Eichmann Bullet Plugs work in a straight line with the wire. The ground in the plug is a pin instead of a massive ring. It is made of copper or silver like the wire to which it is attached. Brass, which is only 28% conductive, is not used.

Mechanically, electrically and chemically, Eichmann plugs are the prolongation of your wire. One step closer to « direct wiring ».

If you were to hard-wire your CD to your amp or pre-amp, which would be the best case scenario, you would do it with a p.c. board (by a single point) or a small terminal at both ends.

Given that fact, why would you want to use a big plug with a huge mass made out of a low conductivity material (like brass)?

When our business included a repair and restoration shop, we performed many months of tests on a large variety of equipment and we found that Eichmann products were mechanically and electronically compatible with most of the gear out there.

During testing, we combined high end interconnect cables and speaker cables to a selection of RCA plugs (Eichmann RCA Bullet Plugs in copper and silver as well other brands) and banana-type plugs (Eichmann Bayonet speaker plugs as well as other brands). The other brand-name plugs tested ranged in price from $1.50 to $75.00.

The results were always the same. Eichmann products, connected to any of the cables, always gave superior performances.

INTERVIEW WITH ROB WOODLAND, CEO OF THE ETI (Eichmann) COMMPANY

Excerpts of an interview with Rob Woodland, CEO of the Eichmann company, makers of the Bullet Plug™, as published in issue 71 of Ultra High Fidelity Magazine,  www.uhfmag.com.

…Eichmann was the first manufacturer to design most of the metal out of its phono plugs and bananas…

Woodland:…”The Company now exports products to over 30 countries, and our connectors are used by over 60 cable manufacturers around the world”…..

…”Keith Eichmann’s philosophy is to preserve electron flow“…

…”Bullet Plug and Bayonet Plug connectors deliver electrons in the most efficient manner to sockets and binding posts.

The philosophy involves thinking small. Very small! At the electron level, and then designing a methodology to enhance electron flow. However, the proof is always in the listening, and this is where I was convinced the Eichmann philosophy is correct. In fact, the first time I listened to a prototype Bullet Plug, I was amazed by the detail, dynamics and transparency that was completely hidden when using standard RCA connectors.”…

…”our objective is always to use the “optimum” rather than “minimum” amount of metal. That is, the right mass and thickness of material to support current flow but to minimise skin effect problems.”…

…”when you listen to music via an optimum thickness of metal connector rather than a large thickness of metal connector, it is evident that some electrical phenomenon is taking place.”…

…”In the Bayonet Plug (banana) connector, we again use the optimum amount of metal — but this time to support genuine current flow provided by the amplifier. One of the more popular banana plug designs on the market is a laboratory connector with an extremely thin metal contact pin. This is an example of too little mass, where the contact pin doesn’t support current flow. The result is a thin sound, lacking in bass foundation. On the other side of the coin we have huge connectors that sound slow, colored and bloated.

In most standard RCA and banana plug designs, electrons have to travel through large amounts of metal, in many cases poor conductive brass. During that process electrons are impacted in a negative sense. For optimum electron flow, we require an optimum mass and thickness of the metal.”…

…”Over the years audiophiles have been conditioned to think that a quality connector needs to be large and chunky with a layer of thick gold plate, the bigger-is-better philosophy. When people hear the Bullet Plug and Bayonet Plug connectors, they hear their cables in a new light, and realize that “optimum” mass is perhaps a better philosophy”.

UHF: You’ve done listening tests against more traditional connectors?

Woodland: Yes, comparison testing plays a big part in the process, and helps in the understanding of how different shapes and thicknesses of metal impact on sound quality.

UHF: Can you be specific? What sort of differences could you hear?

Woodland: ”The issue of connectors having an influence on sound is the new frontier of audio. Most people, including manufacturers, have never extensively listened to connectors. We all agree capacitors, resistors, transistors, tubes etc have a sonic signature, however we overlook the importance of connectors. Anyone who has hardwired a system will attest to the sonic improvements achievable with connectors removed. But in real life, we need connectors.

Most connectors rob the music of detail and add coloration and texture to the sound. Large-mass connectors tend to have a bloated, sluggish bass with an overlay of dark coloration that extends into the midrange. They sound veiled and congested with limited separation and sound staging properties. Music lacks excitement. Some low mass banana plug connectors sound thin, bright and flat with a lack of bass foundation and dimensionality.

In comparison, a hardwired system is likely to sound clean, transparent and open, with a wealth of detail. Images are separated and solid in a three-dimensional sound stage. The stopping and starting of notes is more precise, leading to an engaging, exciting sound.

In the development of our connectors, we set out to design “no plug” at all.”…

…”One theory used with great effect in our Bullet Plug design is replacing the standard RCA ground collar that surrounds the socket with a pin-like ground that makes single point contact with the side wall of the socket. We immediately eliminate eddy type distortion where the signal enters and exits the collar from multiple directions.

We also place a great deal of importance on the conductivity of material. For example, most connectors are made from brass, due to low cost and ease of machining. Brass offers around 28% the conductivity of 100% IACS copper. Cable manufacturers and audiophiles take great pride in the use of high conductive wire for cables, yet terminate the cables with a lump of low-conductive brass. It defeats the purpose!

In our connectors, we use either high conductive tellurium copper, which is 99.5% oxygen-free with the addition of 0.5% tellurium for hardness, to allow machining, or hard drawn 4-nines pure silver. Both materials offer huge sound quality advantages over brass.”…

…”a certain amount of pressure is necessary to provide secure contact between conductive elements, and to avoid capacitive problems. For example, the Bullet Plug is a firm fit onto RCA sockets, so the polymer collar can force the ground pin against the side wall of the socket. A loose connection inevitably means poor performance.”…

…”We select engineering grade polymers that exhibit good dielectric qualities plus high temperature deflection.”…