Luminous Audio Technology Mega Power Lynx
A few months back I gave a very favorable review to Luminous Audio’s Axiom II passive preamp with Walker Mod because it provides superlative performance and a ridiculous amount of bang-for-the-buck. After the review, Luminous Audio’s CEO Tim Stinson kept urging me to try his Mega Power Lynx (MPL) AC power cords.
I resisted at first but finally I gave in mainly because of Stinson’s steadfast enthusiasm for the product. After trying the Mega Power Lynx in my two reference systems all I can say is that it was very fortunate that I gave in and decided to review this truly excellent AC power cord. In addition, Luminous Audio offers the following 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee:
The MEGA POWER LYNX is available with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. We promise you will be completely blown away or we will refund every penny of your purchase*. The Mega Power Lynx is the only cable currently in our line with this offer. (* Standard/domestic ground shipping applies. International or expedited shipping fees will not be refunded).
Part of the cause of my reluctance to commit to a review had to do with Luminous Audio’s design choice of using a very powerful neodymium magnet in each plug end of the cable. This is mainly because magnets this powerful can be harmful to magnetic media storage and to computer hard drives if they are used in close proximity. Luminous Audio claims performance gains in reduced noise and enhanced micro-dynamics, and in restoring proper phase alignment to the music signal, which is what made me take the risk. Also Stinson explained that the magnetic fields are “very tight and contained,” and will only do damage if the plug ends are placed within 2 to 3 inches of a hard drive or other magnetic recording media.
I also noticed in the Stereo Times’ Core Audio Audio Kenai Light AC Conditioner review that Core Audio seems to be onto this same passive-magnetic technology in their own AC conditioning products. Core Audio claims this technology is based on a branch of Physics called “Spintronics,” which I first learned about from Bob Smith when he was running a company called SP Technology that mainly manufactured loudspeakers. Bob Smith invented the “Smith Cell,” based on principles of Spintronics, which he incorporated into a speaker cable phase correction product that he dubbed the “Black Box.” Smith later licensed this technology to NuForce who then produced their own lower cost version of the Black Box they named the Magic Cube (reviewed quite favorably by me). I still use the NuForce Magic Cubes in one of my reference systems because I believe they provide worthwhile sonic improvements. But I digress.
The Mega Power Lynx is an extremely high quality, 9 gauge composite, 99.7% OFC stranded copper power cable. It is designed to maximize the transfer of AC power to connected audio gear. Natural rubber insulation is used for its excellent damping characteristics. A star quad configuration is utilized for the Mega Power Lynx because Luminous Audio has found it to be a very effective topology for AC power transfer. There are large 18mm high-gauss neodymium magnets with damping rings are installed in each plug end of the cord. These strong rare-earth magnets establish a passive motor circuit which reduces cable noise while actually boosting micro dynamics in recorded music, according to LAT. (ed: We’re spinning a web of Spintronics here.)
The MPL cables are terminated with Japanese made, silver-plated copper plugs, Audio Grade Edison and IEC connectors. Custom plug sets are available upon request(Euro, 20 amp IEC, etc.).
One more interesting tidbit is that the Standard version of the Mega Power Lynx is ungrounded by design. To put it simply, Luminous Audio’s position is that having an ungrounded AC cord allows noise and grunge to exit through the return of your interconnects instead of the AC cord and this results in less audible noise and greater soundstage depth.
If you prefer to buy a grounded Power Mega Lynx with LAT’s proprietary ground wire solution, thankfully, there is no extra charge.
There isn’t much set-up involved in installing a power cord other than trying to figure out where it will do the most good. But as I said, with the Mega Power Lynx I was careful to keep the highly magnetic plug ends away from my recorded tapes and computer drives.
In my Small Room System, I installed the ungrounded version of the Mega Power Lynx on my Monarchy Audio Power Regenerator that feeds the PS Audio DirectStream DAC. I had been getting a kind of ground-loop hum from the Monarchy Regenerator and so I was using cheater plugs on the power cords feeding my DACs, which worked to quiet the hum. But using the ungrounded version of the Mega Lynx did the same thing without the need to go through the potentially sound-degrading brass prongs of my cheater plug.
In my Large Room System I wasn’t quite happy with the silver Stealth AC cord feeding my Medusa amplifier, so in this system I substituted the grounded version of the Mega Power Lynx to feed the Medusa. I also thought about putting the grounded Mega Power Lynx on my PS Audio P3 Power Plant because that way it would involve all the system components that the P3 is powering. I may do this in the future, but for the sake of competency in the reviewing process I only made the one substitution.
The Mega Power Lynx worked very well powering my Rogue Medusa amp on the VMPS RM40 speakers in my Large Room System. The sound became less congested and instruments sounded more natural (more like the real thing) than they did using my MAC SoundPipes HC power cord. What also struck me is that the soundstage depth and width increased and the presentation of many of my CD’s became much more holographic. It was like I could walk amongst the instruments and performers and touch them. Hugh Laurie’s Didn’t it Rain CD [Warner Bros. 535893-2] sounded more organic and the pace and timing of the tracks improved. This experience is what led me to try another MPL in my Small Room System.
As excellent as the improvements are in my large room with only one MPL on the power amp, I was blown away by the stunning realism it elicited in my small room when I plugged it into the Monarchy Audio power regenerator that is feeding my PS Audio DirectStream DAC.
Certainly the bass had improved. All I had to do was to put on Lindsey Stirling’s self-titled CD [Lindseystomp Music 6892157540] and play “Moon Trance” with its sustained synthesized bass notes half way through the track (as if the powerful driving bass beat were not enough!). But it was not only the power and depth of the bass that got me, it was the solidity and quality of the articulation. If I think of the power delivery as food, my diminutive Grand Teton speakers ate it up big time!
Listening to Sonny Rollins’ version of “I’m and Old Cowhand,” I was amazed at how I could hear the tuning of the drum skins as well as the echo inside the drums themselves. And it didn’t hurt that the cymbals sounded airy and perfect and added a breath of space to the sonic venue; all this while the sax belted out its reedy and dynamic voice (yeah, just like a real saxophone!).
As I mentioned, the MPL allowed the midrange instruments to sound more authentic and real, and nowhere was this more evident than when I played female vocals. Eva Cassidy’s version of “What a Wonderful World” sounds nothing short of inspirational with the versatile Mega Power Lynx in the system. The tonality and character of Eva’s voice is spot on. One can peer down her throat, see what she ate for lunch and then hear it echo in the recording venue. Spooky forsooth!
No matter the instrument, whether it was piano, horns, strings, organ or percussive, the Mega Power Lynx delivered the goods in such a plausible and enjoyable way that it sucked me into listening far longer than I had planned. I think this is the mark of a true Hi-Fidelity component.
When buying the Mega Power Lynx AC cord you need to be aware of the powerful neodymium magnets in the plug ends and not get them too close to your computer hard drive or audio tape or any other equipment or media that can be erased or otherwise harmed by strong magnetic fields.
Stinson eased my concerns regarding this caveat by e-mailing me the following statement: “There are a number of reasons that this is not such a big deal. For one, the “flat doughnut” style of this neodymium magnet really keeps the super strong field very tight and contained. The fields only become dangerous about 2” away. Even if someone accidentally allowed it to stick to the side of his computer, the drive is likely more than 2” away from the inner chassis.”
Another thing to be aware of (as previously mentioned) is that the Standard version of the Mega Power Lynx is not grounded for purposes of the greatest audio purity. Those who prefer normal grounded AC cords must select this custom no-cost option when ordering. ‘nuff said!
I’m sure you can tell from my comments on my listening experience with the Mega Power Lynx that I am VERY impressed with its sonic attributes. Honestly, I thought my PS Audio DirectStream DAC was the bee’s knees before installing the MPL, but with the Mega Power Lynx feeding it (via the Monarchy regenerator) the performance of this already magnificent sounding DAC jumped up another rung. The Mega Power Lynx is that good!
The Luminous Audio Mega Power Lynx has made me a believer in the power of Spintronics. Its ultra-quiet background allows low-level details to emerge and be perceived like never before, and its holographic 3D soundstage imagery is truly outstanding. Very highly recommended indeed!
Luminous Audio Technology
1312 N Parham Rd
Richmond, VA 23229
Phone: (804) 741-5826
Mega Power Lynx AC power cord
Price: $649 per 1.5 meter ─ $50 per each additional half meter
Please visit: http://luminousaudio.com/power/mega.html for more information on specs and features.