By WL Low
When I visited Absolute Transmission at Setia Walk Puchong, I was given two identical boxes home to play with – one is a DA&T audiophile grade power line filter(which retails at RM$500/unit); the other one is another DA&T audiophile power line filter, but in SE guise(i.e. Steve Sai’s modified version of the said product! Which sells for RM$750/unit) Now why would Steve see fit to modify a perfectly good standard product? Read on……
DA&T is a Taiwanese company specialising in audiophile grade class A amp, and DAC technology, amongst other things, but this power line filter is special, according to Steve. He swears that it can take on some of more expensive stuff out there in the market. So I was asked to put it to the test. This DA&T can be used in a number of ways to protect our hifi system from the harmful sound effects of the EMI/RFI polluted in coming power source from the wall. You can buy just one unit and used it as a general purpose power line filter, or just use one unit to isolate your digital source from cross polluting the rest of the analog components, like pre amp and power amp. And I think DA&T would of course be even more happier if you can buy a few units and daisy chain filter the power supply line for each and every component in the hifi system.
This DA&T Power Line Filter SE (note the custom-fitted industrial- grade US-style plug) unit is rather heavy considering its size, and with that red powder coating, it looks rather beautiful. It has two filtered power outlets.
I initially tried the DA&T as a general power line filter for my whole system, but didn’t hear much subjective differences. I proceeded with plan B, which is to use the DA&T as a power line filter for the digital source, which is to stop them from cross polluting the other analog components in my audio system, such as phone stage, and pre amp. My power amp is plug direct to wall via a Torus Power RM8A AVR.
It is here I could tell that the DA&T is working its magic. I feel like as if the sound stage is removed from its last bit of white hash, allowing imaging to pop out more convincingly then before. The sound staging is so eerily quiet that one could hear a pin drop within the its defined space, unlimited by walls or other physical boundaries. The high frequencies sound more refined and seemingly with smaller pixels (if I could borrow a term from video reviewing). All other sonic aspects of my system remain unchanged and still as enjoyable.
|Here we have the standard version DA&T Power Line Filter, note the moulded plastic US style plug.|
Now so far so good, but how about the SE version, which is modified by Steve? Here’s a little bit of clue. From the outside, there is little difference between the SE and the standard version, except that custom fitted industrial grade US NEMA plug on the power input side. Other than that, I would hazard a guess that the grounding scheme had been re-worked on the inside, but Steve neither confirms or deny that when questioned.
Oh well……. they say the proof is in the listening.
So here goes, I substituted the SE version over the standard version working as a digital power source isolator. I heard surprisingly less effective noise rejection qualities, as in some vanishing amounts of white hash creeping back in to the sound stage back ground again. Hmmm……… but on the flip side, I also heard musical notes taking their time in stage, rising up in to thin air. Harmonic textures and instrument timbres rendered with more conviction than before. Having compared back to back, I also felt the high frequencies reproduced with a naturally freer, less suppressed quality. Otherwise, the were no other changes what so ever to my audio system’s performance.
Summing up the comparison of both DA&T standard and SE versions of power line filter was easy. The standard version was more “brutally” effective in eliminating digital “white” hash, which is an artifact of EMI/RFI back bleeding in to the power stream, polluting all the other analog components shared power supply via the power strip. On the down side, there was certainly a clamp down and suppressing effect on overall subjective musical flow, which if I did not compared back to back against the SE version, wouldn’t even aware of the effects existence! I find the SE version offering a more subtle and relaxed musical presentation, at the expense of reduced noise rejection capabilities in the extreme.
So which one is right for your system?I would suggest one to pay Absolute Transmission in Setia Walk Puchong, talk to Steve, and hear for your self, how a well designed budget PLC unit, can be further tweaked to suit one’s system, depending on one”s system requirements and sonic preferences.
DA&T is sold by Absolute Transmission, call Steve Sai at 017-6689975.