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Affordable Reference Power Cable for Source Components, Now with Cardas Grade One Copper
Customer raves were pouring in for Pangea Audio’s AC-14XL power cable. These top-of-the-line audio cables for source components sold incredibly well until suddenly the Japanese manufacturer of the high-grade PCOCC copper used in AC-14XL announced they were ceasing production.
What to do? With the Japanese copper unavailable, Pangea Audio discovered another form of premium copper that was being produced by industry legend George Cardas, founder of Cardas Audio.
"Quite Simply the Best Copper on the Planet"
The original version of AC-14XL used OFC, Long-Crystal Copper, Litz wire, and PCOCC copper conductors. The new MkII version goes a substantial step further, upgrading to a combination of 99.99% purity OFC copper, Litz wire, and – most important of all – no-compromise Cardas Grade One Copper, which George Cardas of Cardas Audio developed for his own premium cables.
George’s copper is mined in Arizona, then shipped to a New England factory where it is very S-L-O-W-L-Y drawn into conductors in a process that includes reduction annealing between steps to further purify and meld the copper into what George calls "the most amazing audio conductor I have ever experienced. It is quite simply the best copper on the planet."
"The bottom line is that the best phono cartridges manufactured in the world, the best transformer winders, and the best cable manufactures in the world are converting to this smooth sounding Cardas Grade One Copper," George reports.
The AC-14XL MkII Story
Here’s the story behind the Pangea Audio AC-14XL (which just became the AC-14XL MkII with an upgrade to Cardas Grade One Copper).
After the HUGE success of Jay Victor's Pangea AC-14SE upgrade power cable for source components, the folks at Pangea Audio challenged Jay to do even better.
"I can think of several things we could improve," Jay answered enthusiastically. "I can use much better copper. I can also increase the shielding and improve the cable geometry to reduce the background noise. This cable will be better, but it will also be more expensive."
Pangea Audio's management told Jay to go ahead with the project. They couldn't wait to see and hear what Jay could do with a bigger budget. We work closely with Pangea, and we couldn't wait for the results, either.
Solid Copper Blades, Screw-in Ground Pin
Weeks later, Pangea received a message from Jay. "Last night, on my flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong, I got thinking about your new cable project. I want to use solid copper blades for the AC connections and upgrade to a screw-in/out solid copper ground pin. That will make the cable grip the AC receptacle tighter and make is easy for customers to cancel any ground hum [by removing the ground pin]."
Months later, a box of sample cables arrived at Pangea Audio headquarters. They quickly plugged them in. Not only did the new cables solidly grip the AC receptacles, but they also very tightly gripped the male IEC end on the components. That was unexpected. Best of all, after only a few hours of break-in, the AC-14XL made the system sound cleaner and clearer than Pangea's best-selling AC-14SE. Background noise was further reduced. The system sounded more relaxed – which made the Pangea people relax, too.
Jay called the office few days later. "How do they sound?" he asked. After receiving rave reviews, Jay said, "I'm glad you like them. I think they are killer even at a higher price." Then Jay explained, "I included a higher grade IEC connector I recently discovered on your samples. It has bigger copper blade contacts for a better connection. It will increase the price, but I think it's worth it." We've heard and tested them at Audio Advisor, and we wholeheartedly agree!
One weak link in the power chain that is often overlooked is the IEC connector. We had found a good one for our Pangea cables. It had large contacts and gripped firmly. Then Jay Victor discovered another IEC connector with massive gold-plated contacts that gripped a component's IEC better than anything he had ever seen.
"It's like a death grip," reported Jay. "We need to use it on our high-end cables." We agreed with Jay, and the DeathGrip™ IEC was born.
Just One Final Improvement…
"I have one more improvement I'd like to make to these new cables, but it will take a little time," added Jay. He wouldn't explain further. Pangea agreed to wait.
Months later a package arrived. It was from Jay. Inside were some of the coolest looking power cables that anyone at either Pangea Audio or Audio Advisor have ever seen. "AC-14XL" was printed on them. Both the AC and IEC plugs now were clad in a beautiful gunmetal grey metal casing. The cable jacket has a stealth-looking black and silverfish-grey finish that looked like it came out of a high-end Kevlar bulletproof vest. "Would it really stop bullets?" we wondered when we saw them for the first time. Then we plugged AC-14XL into the system for a listen. The people at Pangea were 100-percent correct. This cable sounded just as awesome as it now looked.
Jay told Pangea, "I thought this amazing cable needed a little something to put it over the top. The metal casing on the plugs is mainly a cosmetic touch, but also improves the grip and the overall integrity of the connector. I also designed a stealth-looking jacket that really shows off this cable. Looks good, doesn't it?"
Pangea enthusiastically agreed and promptly ordered a full run of this awesome cable.
Now Even Better Than Ever, Thanks to Cardas Grade One Copper
As great as the original AC-14XL AC power cable was, the new AC-14XL MkII is even better, thanks to the upgrade to Cardas Grade One Copper conductors. Give AC-14XL a try. You won't find any cable at anywhere near the price that offers this kind of level of performance.
Note: Each Pangea cable is individually handmade to strict design specifications.
|Write Your Own Review|
|Removes ground hum|
I replaced Cardas with this 14xl for a Passlabs x150 power amp for two reasons, one the removable ground plug is wonderful so I don’t have to use $1 cheater plug on my thousands dollars stereo, the second is the deathgrip that stays in place securely. The sound is no better than the Cardas it replaced, but no worse in my ears, maybe a bit more neutral. Cardas appears to be richer at low end. This works very well with Kimber Kable Silver Streak interconnect and 8tc speaker cables connecting Passlabs X2.5 preamp and B&W 805D speakers. Highly recommend, bought it on sale, great value.
|- A HSU, CA|
Clearly top notch in every way. Amazing construction for the price. Puts other 'High-end' power cables to shame. Hear a clear and unquestioned sonic improvement over another high-end audio cable brand I won't mention.
|- Jason L, IA|
Using with the Emotiva A-100 Amp and Wow! power cables do make a difference. Because its a thicker cable I thought I would have to break it in forever etc to notice a difference but my partner, myself and even my son immediately noticed an inky blackness to the background and an improvement in clarity to the sound. Fantastic!
|- Angelo M, PA|
|Very good for digital gear|
I was very impressed with the solid metal-clad ac connectors. To test it I swapped my wireworld stratus 7 ac cable with this pangea xl on my samsung 4D TV and noticed an improvement in color tone purity and sharper detail.The wireworld stratus 7 is no slouch in these areas and it costs several times the Pangea's price at it's price. The only drawback is its heavier and I had to move things around on the back of my rack to accomodate this - but I'm not saying this to discourage anyone from buying it because it's performance is amazing.
|- Scott A, BC|
|Shocked by this Power Cable|
Last year I upgraded by system with a new Parasound P5 preamp which - BTW is a really great sounding preamp. There's a lot going on in this preamp - from the built-in DAC to a very good MM/MC phono stage. The power cable in the box with the P5 is heavy and seems to be good quality but I decided to try the Pangea cable upgrade anyway. The 14XL construction is amazing. The connectors at both ends have metal covers. It just oozes quality. I heard a immediate no kidding around improvement. The P5 sounds quieter and the music textures are more vivid. Instruments are more 3D - more present in my room. I could go on but suffice it so say it was a bigger upgrade than I was expecting.
|- Lawrence P, VT|
This is the first Pangea cable I've tried. After reading all the great onlin reviews I decided to give it a try. The cable made a big improvement in the sound of my Berkeley Alpha DAC. Shocking actually. No pun intended.
|- Sal D, CA|
|Off the charts good|
Before my purchase I was feeling my system wasn'd sounding as good as it could be. Some recordings were not very clear and the bass was a disappointment. After installing the Pangea 'clean, deep, full and amazing depth' is the best way to describe my system now. For the less than $200 I spent I found this was an incredible steal.
|- Casey N, NJ|
|Praise for XL MkII|
I didn't think the AC-14XL could get any better. Then I evaluated the new AC-14XL Mk II cable and it was an education. My music sounds smoother and more natural. Female vocals especially just blow away, like on "Mixed Signals" where Lori Williams and her daughter break into scat singing at the end. The realism is astonishing now.
|- LR, MD|
|Good Bye To My Stock Cables|
I replaced the stock power cord that came with my British integrated amp and used the Pangea XL MkII instead. Whoa, what an upgrade. I feel like I cleaned some cobwebs out of a pretty good amp.
|- Tremaine S, FL|
|Not Broken In Yet But Still Really Good|
It must be the Cardas copper. I'm doing A/B comparison between the AC-14XL and the new Mk II version, and, after some break-in, the Mk II just sounds better than the original...and I don't think its broken in yet.
|- Christy Z, IN|
|Bought On A Recommendation|
A friend told me I should upgrade my Pangea AC-14SE power cables to the new AC14XL because, apparently, besides their rugged construction they have more Cardas copper in them than my 14SE. I'm not sure what they improved but what I noticed right away was a reduction in my system's background noise level. They must be blocking some interference or something because now my Sony HAPZ1ES sounds both quieter and smoother. The change has affected my listening habits. I'm listening to less rock and more jazz artists like Dianne Krall, Diane Schurr, and Nora Jones. They sound like they are right in the room. Good upgrade
|- PK A, OK|
Dude! Not every review has to be so serious. My review: Got the cable. Plugged it in. Yeah, I like what I heard. A lot. Fini.
|- Fini D, CA|
|Warmer, Richer Sound|
My music is very important to me. I was upset when I saw ‘Advisor was discontinuing the AC-14XL power cord. That cable made such a big improvement in my Woo WA5 headphone amp that I’ve been recommending it to my friends. Then I saw they had upgraded the 14XL to a new version with Cardas copper and I ordered one right away. The new cable is better than the old one. I hear warmer, richer sound on every recording. I’m putting my old 14XL on my Shiit Ragnorok amp to make that sound better.
|- Julio M, DC|
|Just Got These - Wow!|
I was looking for an upgrade for my Aurender music server and Berkeley DAC. When I saw these new cables with Cardas copper I ordered two. I don't own any Cardas cables yet, but I've always heard great things about them. I received the 14XL Mkii cables in two days and plugged them in. Wow! Soundstage is deeper and wider. My music sounds somehow smoother. Bass goes deeper, too. Great no fuss improvement.
|- Boris F, MD|