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The Best Affordable High-current AC Cable Just Got Way Better
The best affordable high-current AC power cable in the industry has just gotten a whole lot better. Pangea Audio's AC-9SE has been upgraded as the new model AC-9SE Signature Edition MkII to include premium Cardas Grade One Copper in its conductors. AC-9SE MkII is the AC power cable of choice, for getting superior performance from hi-fi and home theater amplifiers, powered subwoofers, and other high current AV components.
Despite its name, the AC-9SE MkII isn't, in fact, a nine-gauge cable. It's actually a seven-gauge cable, which means it's even heftier than the nine-gauge! (The lower the gauge, the thicker the cable.) This difference is especially noticeable in the bass, where the AC-9SE MkII outperforms power cables costing many times more.
This 7-awg design with its advanced combination of Cardas Grade One Copper conductors, OFC copper conductors, and Litz wire conductors offers a substantial upgrade compared to the already excellent AC-9 MkII. Furthermore, the AC9-SE MkII contains several times the amount of Cardas Grade One Copper than is used in the AC-9 MkII, and this makes a significant sonic difference.
"Quite Simply the Best Copper on the Planet"
The original version of AC-9SE 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.
"It is simply stunning how using a combination of space age technology (reduction annealing) and ancient drawing process (diamond dies and a slow multi stage annealing) can result in such a refined product."
The combination of Cardas Grade One Copper, OFC copper, and Litz wire conductors makes the AC-9SE MkII Signature Edition an amazing component for the money, outperforming audiophile power cables that cost far more. So throw away the cheap, stock AC power cable that came with your AV component and make the easy, affordable upgrade to AC-9SE MkII. It will bring out the best in your system.
Because of their high-current requirements, power amps benefit from heavier gauge conductors than normal power cords offer. The AC9-SE MkII is specially designed to deliver the clean, high-current power needed by audio amplifiers – including stereo, mono, multichannel, and integrated amps. It is also ideal for powered subwoofers, power conditioners, and other high-current electronic components.
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.
Seven-Way Multi-gauge Geometry
The AC-9SE MkII uses different wire gauges consisting of a combination of Cardas Grade One Copper, OFC copper, and Litz wire copper conductors.
Counter-spiraled conductors offer superior noise rejection, and the triple-shielded design provides high-current noise isolation. The large-diameter 7-awg construction boasts seven-way multi-gauge geometry optimized for high-current delivery of 50/60 Hz AC power. The solid-blade 24k gold-plated copper AC contacts provide superior electrical contact.
The Inside Story of Pangea Audio MkII Cables
Pangea Audio's AC-14 was one of the first cables designed from the ground-up as a high quality power cable for audio gear. Veteran cable designer, Jay Victor, designed the AC-14 specifically for source components like preamps, CD players, DACs, etc. Jay kept the price low thanks to his expertise with manufacturing processes and materials and also by using high-integrity molded connectors. Introduced for only $30 for a 1.0-meter length, the AC-14 was intended as a replacement for the cheapo stock cable thrown in the box with almost any high-end audio gear.
Soon after the Pangea AC-14 was introduced, something unexpected happened. Audiophiles around the country began reporting that the inexpensive AC-14 sounded better than other upgrade power cables costing five to ten times the price. Word of the AC-14's excellent performance spread quickly among audiophiles. Over the next few years, more than ten thousand AC-14 cables were sold.
Birth of the AC-9 and Beyond
Pangea Audio's AC-14 was quickly followed by the AC-9. This massive seven-gauge cable was designed for the high-current demands of power amplifiers, powered subs, power conditions, and more. More advanced Pangea Audio cables soon followed. These newer cables featured better shielding and higher grades of copper for even better performance. These cables sold incredibly well until suddenly and without warning the Japanese manufacturer announced they were ceasing production of the two higher grades of copper used in these newer Pangea cables.
Now, what to do?
An American Solution to the Japanese Problem
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. Some years earlier, George was unhappy with the quality of the copper conductors available for his high-end cables. He decided to produce his own high-end copper, which he calls Cardas Grade One Copper.
Starting with the best available electrolytic copper mined in Arizona, Cardas very S-L-O-W-L-Y draws the copper 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."
So what started out as a problem for Pangea Audio with the loss of premium Japanese copper has turned out to be a huge benefit now that the company has upgraded to no-compromise Cardas Grade One Copper.
Pangea Audio Power Cables
Pangea Audio power cables offer the perfect balance of power, shielding, and flexibility for audiophile components. These cables have been designed, not from the AC wall outlet to the component, but the other way around – from the component to the wall outlet. The result is a cable that not only fully satisfies the 'real power requirements' of audiophile components, but which also delivers improved performance for both power and component isolation.
Pangea's 'component to the wall outlet' design results in a better cable that's designed just for the component you want to power. The cable gives you precisely what you need - no more and definitely no less.
When More Is Sometimes Actually Less
Until now, all upgrade power cables have been designed according to a 'more is better' philosophy, leading manufacturers to increase the diameter of the conductor and the thickness of the insulation in an attempt to improve performance, but at the expense of flexibility. The resulting thick, noncompliant cables put a severe strain on the chassis of connected components.
Heavy, inflexible cables can also reduce the effectiveness of component isolation and suspension systems. Because power amps do benefit from heavier gauge conductors, the AC-9SE MkII is thicker than its smaller sibling, the AC-14. However, it is only as thick as it needs to be for maximum performance, and it is still more flexible than competitive AC power cords.
Note: Each Pangea cable is individually handmade to strict design specifications.
|Write Your Own Review|
|Makes me want to listen for hours on end|
I bought this cable to compare against with two other competing cables I already own and was surprised for the first time ever at the impact of power cables on fine audio equipment. Tone, speed, soundstage, depth and detail were drastically affected. On my system and in my room, the MkII SE's tone is definitely biased on the warm side - which I love BTW. Detail, soundstage, and presence are excellent and very well articulated. Compared to the other two cables I was comparing, this one was more accurate and authentic. I think the the word "intimate" describes it best. I especially love that they are suited for most any type of music. My reference tracks include jazz - vocal and instrumental - classic rock, symphonic, and a bit of R&B. This is a cable that lets the virtues of the system shine through and you want to listen for hours on end.
|- Brian S, CO|
|Don't be fooled by the low cost|
I am fortunate enough to spend what I need to on my audio. I love my music and listen wherever I go - including in surgery. I own a collection of high-end gear including Wilsons, Krell, Rowland, DCS, and McIntosh tube gear. I also have many different of high-end cables like MIT, Transparent, and Nordost - although I haven't purchased power cords in a couple of years. It sounds like I'm just blowing my horn, but I am trying to make a point. After reading about these Pangea power cables for years in the Audio Advisor magazine and decided to give them a try. They are less expensive than what I usually spend on cables. After I received them I was amazed at their quality for the price. These are very rugged, heavy duty cables with excellent quality connectors. These are better made than some of the $1,000 power cables I own - I think I paid $1600 for just one power cable that I'm too embarrassed to name. They also look professionally made while a couple of my other high-end power cables look hand-made. How do they perform? They excell in bass power, speed and definition - especially on my Wilsons. Like others have reported, I find the mids a little on the warm side. Another surprise was in the treble range where the clarity and extension is superb. I'm hearing things in recordings I never noticed before and that's what has become my definition of the term "upgrade." These are the best power cables I currently own. My point: If you own an expensive audio system, give these cables a try before spending a lot more. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
|- Dr Rayan, TX|
This thing is thicker than a garden hose yet it's surprisingly flexible. I'm using it with my headphone amp and heard an immediate difference - more depth, less noise, and greater clarity. I've a very impressive upgrade. I also upgraded to Pangea USB cables and couldn't be happier.
|- William S, NJ|
|Good For More Than Amps|
The AC-9s were designed for high current amplifiers and are essential for those, but they make every component I own sound better. These are the best power cords I have ever tried.
|- Buzz N, NC|
|Very Good results|
I'm using this heavy duty cord between my power conditioner and the wall outlet - which I also recently upgraded to Pangea SE. This is the best power cord I have heard. Period. I had a Pangea AC-9 in the same connection but moved that one over to my amp. Noticeable improvement on both my audio and video performance.
|- Marco L, FL|
|Great on my system|
These are great cables for amplifiers. The improvement i heard on bass extension and definition is not subtle on my BelCanto REF1000 amp. My THIEL 3.7 speakers sound better with cleaner bass notes. I agree with another review I read not to order these cables too short - they are very heavy beasts. Highly recommended imho.
|- Andy, NJ|
|Ultimate cable comes to mind|
I purchased the 1.5M version of this cable along with two other competing cables from other stores. Which one won? Let me just say I returned the other two cables from highly regarded brands. I was surprised at the impact of power cables on fine audio equipment. Tone, speed, soundstage, depth, and detail are drastically affected. THese cables seem to be biased on the warm side. Detail, soundstage, and presence are excellent and very well articulated. Compared to the two other cables I tried, this one was more accurate and authentic - the word 'ultimate' comes to mind. They are well suited to any type of music - my reference music includes jazz, contemporary, classic rock and symphonic. This is a cable you immediately gravitate to and want to listen to for hours on end.
|- MS, SC|
Against my better judgment I ponied up $600 for four of these cords. Two to power the bass ICE amps in my Whisper XDs and two to power my black beauty Carver tube 305m amps. The increase in bass read on the SPL meter +6 db over the stock lamp cords. Amazing increase in bass to where I had to readjust all my gain levels. Anyone who is a non believer is welcome to come to Allentown PA and hear for themselves with and without.
|- Jeff Z, PA|
|One Super Power Cord..|
I've tried power cords from some of the best manufacturers out there. This includes the well received Power Snake cords , Cobra ,Black Mamba , viper . The AC 9mkll se is there most musical sounding of all . After 20 years of over priced , over rated cords I'm done..
|- Mario, WI|
|So Much Improvement For Few Bucks|
As soon as I connected the Pangea AC 9 to my power amp, improvements in bass impact, clarity and space started to emerge. It is like I own a different and better audio gear. It quickly outperformed a very good power cable I own and all this for a fraction of the cost of my old cable. This power cord is unbeatable at this price point.. I encourage you to try it... You won't be disappointed!
|- CRUZ ENRIQUE GONZALEZ, PR|
|The perfect addition to my 2ch set up!|
I've always loved music, who doesn't? As I've been putting my 2ch rig together over the years, I've come to realize how important the right cable can be. Interference is no good when you're trying to relax and listen to your choice of tunage! Not only is the AC 9SE MKII toting quality materials, it's triple shielded as well. My music is clean, detailed and sounds fantastic!!! Recommended!
|- Geoffrey L, WA|
|Hate this cable!|
Changed my system from transparent to non-existent! People wonder where the sound is coming from, because it certainly doesnt seem to be coming from the speakers! If I knew this two years ago, I wouldnt have spent all the time and money on the more expensive stuff.
|- John V, AZ|
|Pangea Audio AC 9SE MKII Signature Power Cable|
I think its one of the best cable I have ever heard. The voices are so definited. The sound is very cool. In syntesis the ratio quality/price is very high. I recommend it. Truly.
|Worth every penny!|
I ordered the 2-meter version of the AC 9SE MkII simply because I needed a longer cable between the wall and my Furman Elite 15PFi power conditioner, replacing a rather expensive older cable from a very-highly-regarded company that sells a number of power-related products. There was already an earlier version of the AC 9SE between the power conditioner and my amp. So frankly, I wasnt expecting too much when I plugged it in and fired up my system. Wrong! I had to listen to a couple of different recordings to reassure myself that the improvement was real, because it was so unexpected and so significant. The sound stage is broader and wider. The depth and breadth of Roger Waters Amused to Death is more defined and definitely more detailed. Shelby Lynnes Just a Little Lovin sounds more spectacular than ever. I cant wait to listen to the rest of my library to hear what Ive been missing.
|- Wil W, VA|