Adding some “Flare” to your system: The high-powered upgrade everyone can afford!

By Anthony Chiarella

Tired of reading about audiophile upgrades which make noticeable improvements but will set you back a week’s salary…before taxes? Relax! We’ve found a tweak which delivers massive performance dividends for a very small investment.

I first used Nordost’s Purple Flare AC Power Cord to power my video display: an application in which it made a profoundly positive difference. Replacing the stock cable—a cheap affair with molded ends and conductors the thickness of a shoelace—with Purple Flare, I had seen an impressive increase in resolution, color saturation and black level, combined with a lowering of video noise. Still, it took a completely unrelated event before I got around to using these cables in other parts of my system.

Picture 481A few weeks ago, we were preparing a dealer demo of Dynaudio’s Xeo 6 Wireless Loudspeakers. For those of you who don’t know, the Xeo 6s are full-range, biamplified tower speakers that offer massive performance— orders of magnitude better than any other wireless speakers. Coincidentally, these speakers use “Figure-8” AC sockets on their back panels. We had to demonstrate the Xeos for a high end integrator in the Hamptons and, since this was a demanding customer, we needed them to sound as good as possible.

At that time, I only had one Purple Flare AC cord on hand, so I connected it to one of the speakers (the other was powered with the cheapo, stock cord), put the system in Mono and placed the two speakers next to each other. The result: The speaker connected with the Purple Flare had deeper bass, better dynamics and was at once more relaxed and more detailed. It was faster and more transparent and everyone heard the difference. In short, the Purple Flare cord kicked the speaker up a notch. A BIG notch!

Image: Hi-Fi Choice

Image: Hi-Fi Choice

Once I heard how much Purple Flare improved these speakers, I started experimenting, plugging-in these cables wherever I found “Figure 8” AC sockets— powering my Sonos Connect, BluRay Player and most especially my cable boxes, where the cords made a startlingly large improvement in both sound and picture quality. It seems that “Figure 8” cables are quite common in video products and, since there are very few high quality alternatives, consumers are forced to suffer with crummy power cords in otherwise excellent systems. Swapping out these stock cables for Purple Flare offers remarkable upgrades for what are probably the lowest quality cables in most AV systems.

Naturally, Purple Flare Power Cords use many of Nordost’s “Core Technologies” including Micro Mono-Filament dielectrics, hyper-pure OFC, FEP insulation and mechanically tuned conductors— science you can see as well as hear. Since the Purple Flare Power Cord was specifically designed as a two-conductor cable, it is available as a “Figure 8” AC Cable ONLY, which keeps production simple and pricing low. So here’s the best part: in the Grand Scheme of things, seasoning your system with a few Purple Flare cords is—at $187 for a 1 meter cord—a high-end bargain. In my experience, there’s nothing else you can do to your system for so little cash that will make anywhere near this great an improvement in your system’s sound…or image.

2 thoughts on “Adding some “Flare” to your system: The high-powered upgrade everyone can afford!

  1. Great review, I found it very informative. Like you, I start experimenting also with a Purple Flare power cord. I plugged the Purple Flare power chord into 4k apple tv unit using the wi-fi connection plug directly into my LG OLED 55″ C6 TV. Amazing picture results similar to yours, large improvement to color saturation and contrast. It wasn’t even a hardwired to the 4K Apple TV unit.

    Question I have for you is, have you tried the other Nordost power chords in the figure 8 configuration? I’ve read you can terminate Odin to Red Dawn power chords with figure 8 connector. I would love to demo a Heimdall power cord with that connector
    on 4k apple tv and the modem its connected to( both hardwired with Heimdall Ethernet cable and without). I think there’s a huge untapped market out there for Nordost figure 8 Power cords. There’s tens of millions of Xbox and PlayStation users out there. As a gamer, anything that makes the gaming experience more immersive and increases long-term play ability ,better sound and picture would be a hit. Also not to mention AppleTV and Roku users.

    • Yes, we absolutely have built and tried many of our other model power cords with Figure 8 connectors. The results are exactly the same as when using those same power cords with standard IEC’s. As you go from Purple Flare, to Heimdall 2, to Frey 2, you experience an improvement at every level. Both on the video level as well as the audio level.

      Figure 8 connectors are available all the way through Valhalla series 2.

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