By Lam Seng Fatt
Keith Louis Eichmann, the Australian designer of the original Eichmann Bullet Plugs, was the first audiophile I met on the bus to the Munich High End show last year. We kept in touch via email and months later he decided to send me one of his power cables to be reviewed.
Late last year, the KLEI gPOWER3 power cord with US plug arrived. It was not too thick or stiff and I noticed that the metal pins for the ‘live’ and ‘neutral’ were made of different metals. I immediately plugged it into my preamp and found that it had a lot of potential, but was a bit rough. Keith recommended burning in for at least 100 hours, so I plugged it to my thermopot which is powered on all the time. Thus the KLEI gPOWER3 power cord was not ‘cooked’ but ‘boiled’ for five days.
After ‘boiling’ the cable, I took out the Siltech SPX-20 Classic Anniversary power cord from my Lamm LL2 Deluxe preamp and replaced it with the KLEI cable. Of all the power cables in my house, the Siltech made the Lamm preamp sound the best. I had bought the Siltech to match with the Benchmark DAC many years ago and it served to tone down the digital brightness of the DAC.
The KLEI gPOWER3 power cord was plugged into an MIT power conditioner along with the other cables powering the rest of the system.
There were some immediately noticeable characteristics of the KLEI gPOWER3 power cord. The bass was stronger, more detailed and tuneful; yet it was not overpowering. The bass just laid a stronger rhythmic foundation for the music. The soundstage was wider perhaps by about half a metre. There were more details and the singers were better defined and their images were brought forward by a foot or two.
It was easy to compare the KLEI with the Siltech as it was a matter of doing an A-B test while playing the same CD, which was Cowboy Junkies’ Trinity Sessions Revisited, over and over again. Since the band members were standing in a row, it was easy to tell that the width of the soundstage improved with the KLEI gPOWER3 power cord. In terms of depth, there was little difference between the two power cords. It was also easy to tell that the individual singers/musicians were better etched out and the separation of instruments and voices was better.
With the Siltech, the sound quality was smeared but in a good way like in a water colour painting which made the listening experience pleasant. That could explain why it sounded good with the Benchmark DAC years ago as it reduced the harshness of the digital-to-analogue converter. With the KLEI power cord, the bass firmed up, the vocalists/musicians were better defined, the singers seemed to have stepped forward a bit, the soundstage was wider and there was greater detail overall.
I then decided to try it out on the power amp – the Bryston 4B SST. I removed my DIY power cord with Furutech plug and IEC connector and plugged the KLEI power cord in. I did the A-B test with the same CD and concluded that there was little difference between the two…perhaps the singers seemed a bit better defined. So if you do buy the KLEI power cord, you may have to test it with various components to find out which combination offers the most improvements.
I did the review during the Christmas season and I spent a lot of time listening to Spotify. I created a playlist of Pentatonix Christmas songs and played them while I did chores in the house to prepare for the festival. The a cappella songs suited the sound system with the KLEI power cord attached to the preamp very well indeed. When I played some Christmas CDs featuring choirs, the individual singers were better defined and the festive mood was greatly improved with the wonderful music.
To get more details and the pricing of the KLEI gPOWER3 power cord and other products made by Keith Louis Eichmann, go to his website https://kleinnovations.com/