AudioQuest Niagara 3000 AC power conditioner Review

December 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

Upon connecting the XPA-1L’s to the Niagara 3000, I was struck by an improved level of clarity and authority and perhaps a touch of previously unheard sweetness; listening through them suddenly became a more engaging musical experience. I’d been using recent SACD acquisition, the Shostakovich Symphonies Nos. 1 and 15 (SACD, BIS 7318599916439) with Mark Wigglesworth and the Netherlands RPO, as a demo disc for friends with the Bel Canto e1X and the Maggie LRS loudspeakers. With the Niagara 3000 in place, it was now possible to experience the delicacies and dynamics of this music to a degree previously unheard.

I played a few LPs with the PrimaLuna EVO 300 integrated amp connected to the Zu Omens, among them, the new Craft Recordings vinyl reissue of Collective Soul’s eponymous second album (Craft Recordings CR00290). The opening track, “Simple,” is powerful and dynamic, easily the best song on the album. With the Niagara 3000 in the loop, analog playback was the best I’d ever heard here. Even though the Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ phono pre has a dedicated linear power supply, plugging it into one of the 3000’s source receptacles vanquished the touch of electronic haze that normally appeared in my system around the midpoint of the volume dial. That haze is now gone, at all volume levels.

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