Like me, you’re probably running short of outlets in your listening room. Where’d they all go? Looking back it was a lot simpler when source components were limited to a turntable or CD player. A couple of plugs, a preamp, an amp, and you were good to go. Digital media introduced a whole new level of demand for power outlets. From wireless modems, network routers, wall-wart plugin power supplies, computers, servers, DACs…arrgh! Sure, you can grab a scary-cheap plastic power strip at a big box store—it’s a free country. Or you can be a little more discriminating and opt for something that’s consistent with audiophile expectations, is unbreakable, and is not liable to break the bank.
The Audience forte V8 Power could be the ticket. It supplies eight precious AC outlets and offers first-rate construction quality, as have all the Audience products I’ve encountered over the years. Beneath its fetching ruby-red top plate is a chassis constructed of extruded aluminum and sporting a high-quality triple buss-bar system. The duplexes are top-notch hospital-grade, each separately wired to the buss bars in star-ground configuration. Audience uses high-purity, 14AWG, stranded-copper wire throughout. The entire electric circuit has been treated by cryogenics as well as a proprietary EHVP (extreme high voltage process).
The power cord connection is standard IEC, with Audience’s new entry-level forte F3 powerChord included. Flexible and ruggedly built, the f3 features 10AWG stranded copper and a conductor geometry that rejects noise. (If you’re leaning in the direction of upgrading your stock power cords, this is a great one to consider—competitive with my current econo-reference, the Shunyata Venom NR.)
The V8 includes standard Audience RF filtration, but for surge or overload protection you’ll need to consider Audience’s line of power conditioners. To that end Audience recommends plugging the V8 into an open outlet on any Audience power conditioner—like the aR6-T4 I’ve been using—for extra noise filtration, plus surge and overload protection. Connectors are cryogenically treated and enclosed with XLPE dielectric material in a PVC jacket.
My listening comparison included running a set of components directly from the stock wall outlets of my listening room and then running them again using the V8 Power from that same outlet. In this comparison it performed impeccably, with no discernible losses, changes, or degradations versus the wall outlets. If anything backgrounds seemed quieter and low-level transparency improved. I later ran the forte V8 Power out of the Audience T4 power conditioner and was a little surprised at how many of the T4 characteristics that I’ve always found alluring remained fully intact. Bass response firmed up and conveyed greater control,; there was a little more body and air to vocal images; soundstage dimensionality and ambience retrieval were enhanced, as well.
Specs & Pricing
Dimensions: 12.875″ x 4.125″ x 1.25″
Weight: 2.7 lbs.
Price: forte V8 Power, $895 (forte f3 powerChord included); forte f3 powerChord (prices begin at $199)
120 N. Pacific St., K-9
San Marcos, CA 92069
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