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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.