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  1. #1

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    Default PS Audio XStream Power Punch - The Silk Panties of power cords?

    Not because they are soft, and feel nice against your bum, but rather due to the fact one may actually have some beads and shells left over, for other finer things in life.

    I've been intrigued by PS Audio's Power Punch offering. Looking at the price (around $70 for a 2m cord), I honestly was not expecting much. Probably a standard IEC cord, wrapped in a nice jacket, with upgraded connectors. I couldn't have been more wrong. How PS Audio can sell (and package) these cords SO cheap, is beyond me. They must truely be a loss leader, the minnow dangling on the hook - to get people to try their products (in hopes if they are pleased, they will upgrade or look at other PS Audio offerings).

    I purchased two, 2.0m Power Punch cords a couple weeks ago, and have been burning them in on my single ended 211 monoblocks. (I removed my SC power cords, for the purpose of this review). The difference was anything but subtle (compared to a standard $3 IEC). Overall, the music has more weight, from top to bottom. Every note seems to have just a little more impact, and presence. It's not as though a blanket has been lifted off the system, but rather a fine film was removed. Bass speed and attack has improved slightly also.

    My 211 monoblock power trannies crank out over 1000v, so unless you bury them in concrete - there is ALWAYS some noticeable hum from the transformers themselves. As soon as I connected the PS Audio Power Punch cords - the hum was cut by at least 50% - again, comparing directly to your standard IEC. Instant, noticeable difference.

    Build? First rate. Very flexible, easy to route, and both ends make a SOLID, confident connection to the outlet and input.

    I won't ramble on too much about a entry level product, because, well, that's exactly what it is. However, for a very small investment, the Power Punch offers real performance, at the listening chair.

    Is this the cable for everyone? Probably not.

    This is the cable for the Audiophile, who expects, nay demands a certain level of performance - but at the same time would like to have a few greenbacks in his/her pocket left over for posh undercrackers.

    http://www.psaudio.com/products/xstream_power_punch.asp

    Associated gear:
    DIY Custom Line Arrays
    Signet SP200 Subwoofer
    Radii MMS 211 monoblock tube amps (power punch 2m)
    Rogue Audio Magnum 66 tube line stage (power punch also, 1m)
    AMC CD8b Transport
    Meridian 563 D/A converter
    Sansui TU-417 Tuna

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Last edited by RuSsMaN; 02-12-2006 at 09:51 PM.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  2. #2

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    Default Agreed..............

    Hey Russ,

    I have been using the Power Punch C7 on my Pioneer Elite DV 45A for around 6 months and have found it to be the best (only) solution for that funky connection. I found quite abit more refined soundstage over that stock cord in audio for CD and SACD. Great entry level upgrade for anyone not wanting to break the bank on esoteric power cables.

    If some here can get by with the 1 meter version into their power centers etc. This guy is nearly giving them away on ebay:

    $33 offering of this cable

  3. #3

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    Default

    Nice review Russ.

    How do you think it stacks up to the SC since they are both in similar price ranges? Also, which signal cable one do you have?

  4. #4

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    Russ - are they comparable to the SC cords? I need a couple more 6' power cords, I might try these if they are comparable or better.
    DKG999
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    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  5. #5

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    Default

    I use the MagicPower cords, and MagicPower strips, and have not done a side by side comparison yet, but don't see them being a whole lot different from each other.

    The basic improvement here (again, over a standard IEC) is current delivery, shielding, better parts/termination for a solid, sure connection.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  6. #6

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    The ground lifting option (the ground pin unscrews) is a cool design in itself. The molded ends are way secure on the PS Audio cords compared to shrink tubing on the Marinco/Wattgate plugs with smaller gauge wiring on some of my other power cables.

    This is the Plus model, but the Punch looks similar.
    Attached Images  

  7. #7

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    Default

    Thanks for the indepth Russ. These types of reviews with substance are what it's all about.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  8. #8

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    Russ - thanks for taking the time to write up the review! I might give these a try. It's starting to look like a Signal Cable advertisement around my place. It's good to try something new. Doug.
    DKG999
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    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  9. #9

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    The Power Punch has been the most reasonably priced PS Audio product for awhile. It's nice they came out with something else for normal people.

  10. #10

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    Normal..?
    what`s that ?!

  11. #11

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    A distant memory, a faint stench, a greasy stain - of what we used to be Robert.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  12. #12

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    aaaahhhh !
    rriiiight..!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN
    Not because they are soft, and feel nice against your bum, but rather due to the fact one may actually have some beads and shells left over, for other finer things in life.

    Russ
    Thanks for clarifying, but we're still left with the visual of you with a power cord riding up your ass...
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    Default

    Question, i noticed these are nickel plated, irecently posted questions on other forums about upgraded electrical outlets and the number one thing was to get outlets that were not nickel plated but rather brass. so why is nickel plated on the power cords ok?

  15. #15

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    In my opinion, nickle plating is not a bad thing, as long as everything (outlet included) are nickle plated. You start getting down to the nitty gritty with audiophiles, and certain metals - and it has been proven (to a degree) that going with different metals on connectors, beit speaker wire terminations and binding posts, or wall outlets and power cables - that a miss-match will actually excellerate corrosion.

    I've yet to experience it myself, and I'm somewhat versed in real world cable experience. The fact is, this power cord isn't marketed to the hardcore, it's marketed to the common man - and power outlets are a thing of lore (at this price point - short of a PS Audio Power Port ;) ). That being said, the benefit of proper, tight, solid fit, outweighs the negative of a matching conductors, in my opinion - but you do state a valid point.

    Bascially, it is a concern, but not at this pricepoint.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  16. #16

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    Another thought on the nickel plating. The IEC sockets on most gear are nickel plated and if one were to upgrade the power outlet(s) to PS Audio's Power Port, then you would have all nickel contacts. No worries, mate.

    BTW, brass oxidizes, nickel doesn't.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  17. #17

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    The audiophile powercords job is to shield, clean and filter out mains noise from coming into the system and muddying the sound. Plating shouldn't be a big issue. :)

    I think of all cable upgrades, the powercord going to the pre-amp should be the first in line.

    I'm looking at Ps Audio cords too since they have a lot more options in space saving connectors.

    Nice review Russman. :D

  18. #18

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    Nice review, and great tip on the ebay link.... I sent the seller an email asking if connectors were IEC or C7....not specified on the description.
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  19. #19

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    Nice Russ.. I really considered these before I went the Harmonic Technology route but we have to be careful....threads like these may actually give people the impression that power cords do make a difference. ;)
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  20. #20

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    Russ, you should pick up on the "Statement" offer if you get the chance before it ends. Half price with the return of an old cable. I wouldn't outfit my whole rig with them because I can't afford it but it is cool to see the one sitting there going to the phono pre. I've been considering some of the Power Punch ones for the other stuff though.
    madmax
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  21. #21
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    Nice write-up, Russ... Borderline eloquent
    More later,
    Tour...
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTrookie
    Nice review, and great tip on the ebay link.... I sent the seller an email asking if connectors were IEC or C7....not specified on the description.

    They are IEC...
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  23. #23

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    Thumbs up

    The Power Punch is hard to beat for the money. It looks great and sound great and the removable ground pin is a plus. If you buy direct from PS the shipping rates seem high. I ordered my second one from MusicDirect and the USP was 1/2.

  24. #24

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    Just ordered two of them. One Power Punch will replace my PS Audio Prelude which is too long and bulky for my application. The other one will replace a Custom Power Cord with Furutech connectors. The Power Punch appears to be "downgrade" from what I already have, but the price, length, look and build quality should make up for the differences, if any, in sound quality. If things work out, both cords will be up for sale soon.
    Last edited by Early B.; 02-13-2006 at 03:43 PM.
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  25. #25

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    Hey EB, want to sell that Prelude? Which one is it? Sent you a PM.
    madmax
    Last edited by madmax; 02-13-2006 at 05:10 PM.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  26. #26

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    Does anyone know the difference between the Super Punch and the Power Punch? Is it just the right angle plug?

    Super Punch

    Power Punch
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  27. #27

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    They're the same cable internally: 12 AWG OFC wire, double shielded. The only difference is in the terminations, with the Super Punch having more expensive wall end plugs.
    1. JM Labs Electra 920.1 and CC30; MB Quart Vera Sub; Pioneer SC-57; Squeezebox Touch; Panasonic BDT-500 Blu-Ray; Samsung 52" LCD; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S3 cables
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  28. #28

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    The SP is also not available in a C7 termination.

  29. #29

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    and....

    Only the C7 has the right angle term.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  30. #30

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    The website says they work for small to mid-size amps. Does a Parasound HCA-1500 qualify as mid-size? The SC power cables appear to be a little heavier guage. Not sure if that really makes a difference?
    DKG999
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    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

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