Kemp Powercord Reference – Quick Impression
This is a very neat looking cable: sturdy, heavy, a bit stiff, but still supple enough to use easily. Soundwise, connected to a Wadia 861 CD player, the Kemp initially impresses with a very clean and open, yet fluid midrange and a high level of transparency and detail. Thankfully, all this resolution does not come with hard edges or brittleness. This is a highly communicative cable that lets you hear deep into the mix. Much, much different from the simpler LO and HI powercords from Kemp’s early days.
Still, after a few tracks I start to notice some tendencies that make the cable deviate from neutrality. First, the bass is strangely imprecise: it swaggers and is ill-defined and also lacks punch, especially compared to the cable’s very open and lively midrange. Second, there is a persistent shoutyness in the higher midrange that, while making for a very open and communicative sound, can also make for some listening fatigue. Still, this cable was liked a lot, and if ignoring the midrange (also a matter of taste and system synergy as well as perhaps some running in) only deviates from excellence in terms of bass solidity and articulation.