Energy is the basis of each set. It is our opinion that if the energy supply is not good, a system never performs optimally. We hear a clear difference in calmness and transparency when we remove our energy treatment. Rougher high, less air, less punch… However, the fact is that not every set reacts equally to energy treatment. We are going to see how the Audioquest Niagara 5000 holds up in our set-up.
A few years ago Audioquest recruited Garth Powell to tackle their power-line up. And with success. The new power-cables perform at a very high level. Think of the Thunder or the NRG-Y and NRG-Z. Beautiful products that undoubtedly give a good result. The introduction of the Niagara power-conditioner (the 7000) certainly stayed with us as well: the demo at the High End was convincing.
Now the Niagara 7000 is not feasible for everyone with about 9000 euros. And partly for that reason, Audioquest has introduced a couple of more affordable models in the line-up. The ‘5000’ is just under the ‘7000’ with 4500 euros. And if that’s still too generous, there’s also a Niagara 1000. It costs about 1200 euros. All models enjoy the so-called “Ground Noise dissapation” (on the picture the print with the large coils). That’s a technology that ‘cleans’ the earth. Few filters do that. That makes Audioquest unique.
In addition, the Niagara 7000 has a large ‘energy-tank’ – it really looks like it – with reserve energy (90 amps) to give power amplifiers a helping hand when they run out of breath. The 5000 can do that, but not as long as the 7000. The Niagara 1000 doesn’t have the option at all. That’s just a filter. No reserve ‘energy source’.
It is nice that the 5000 and 7000 have twelve connections. Four of them are high-power. The other eight are for sources. The high-power outputs are treated differently. This is to prevent loss of dynamics. Something that affects a lot of serial filters. Especially with high power amplifiers. And yes… our Bryston 4B does fall into that category.
We used our BlueHorizon Noise Analyzer to determine how well the Audioquest filters. Directly in the wall displays a MAX. That’s horrible of course, but our office is in a Vinyl Press factory in the Waarderpolder, Haarlem, Netherlands. The Audioquest Niagara 5000 gives on all outputs 0. That gives good hope.