I am the fortunate owner of an extremely revealing audio system. It is comprised of the Magico Q5 speakers, VAC Statement electronics, SME turntable/Graham tone arm/Airtight cartridge, Burmeister CD player, etc. I previously owned several Essence Reference power cords throughout my system and was totally satisfied with their performance. At the edging of Mike Griffin, I decided to audition the Essence Reference II cords. Mind you, I was not expecting much of a difference.
Unexpectedly, I was startled at the level of improvement. First of all, the bass is more impactful, feels like it goes an octave lower, and has much better pitch. For example, when a large bass drum is struck you not only feel the impact and air that resonates around it you can sense the decay of the instrument. The next thing I noticed is that it offered a lower noise floor and because of this detail was more apparent. Changes in intonation, pitch, spatial cues were brought to the fore. Also, probably attributable to this lower noise floor, dynamics are enhanced. I was listening to a Varese recording that I knew well and there is a part in the initial stages of the performance where a tambourine is struck that almost made me spill my beverage -- it was so realistic.
Needless to say, this is a ringing endorsement for the Essence Reference II power cords. As I told Mike, "you are not getting these cords back".
Al Webb (USA)