If you’re familiar with Chord Company, you’ll know speaker cables and audio cables are its bread and butter. But now it has branched out into new territory, specifically power blocks. The aim? To improve the power supply to and the performance of your home hi-fi system.
Chord Company has introduced two new models available in both UK and European specifications, the snappily titled PowerHAUS S6 and its step-up sibling, the PowerHAUS M6.
HAUS stands for Hybrid Array Unfiltered Supply - these six-way blocks employ different levels of technology to try and eliminate any noise that might ruin your listening experience.
Both blocks use aluminium casings and inside you’ll find three isolated bus bars positioned in parallel in order to try and reduce the effects of high-frequency noise. Wiring is also heavily shielded to reduce the possibility of interference and all the internal cables and sockets have been chosen for both reliability and sound performance.
The S6 uses Chord’s SuperARAY conductor technology, but stepping up to the M6 introduces three of its hybrid MainsARAYs in parallel, plus Chord Company’s noise-reducing GroundARAY technology.
We were lucky enough to be invited down to Chord’s HQ in Amesbury, England to get first-hand experience of both of the new power blocks. Our listening session included switching between the two blocks while listening through Chord’s own reference system.
And, in our opinion, you could definitely hear differences in a number of areas including clarity, resolution and stereo imaging. Of course not every hi-fi system will warrant a £1000 (about AU$1900) or £2000 (about AU$3800) for the PowerHAUS S6 and M6 power block respectively, but if it does, then there's no harm in trying one out, right?
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Realise this post was from several months ago, and I agree that some mains blocks or filters may be examples of ‘snake oil’ or ‘gilding the Lily’, offering only minimal improvement, if any.
But, having lived close to commercial & industrial estates & near a Network Rail substation, I can attest to the value of dedicated mains regeneration.
And even more expensive the installation of Hi-Fi dedicated MCB/RCD feeding into Twin & Earth ring-mains & switchless sockets fitted with high grade fuses.
While their effect may have been fairly incremental on some components, the improvements ie. blacker background/lower noise floor, more articulate & coherent bass, opened up treble frequencies, soundstage dimensions etc. i’d say were more noticeable & probably more worthwhile for sensitive source electronics(ADC’s/DAC’s, CD/SACD players/transports, servers & streamers) & were audible to my ears as well as those of my friends - only some of whom could loosely be described as Hi-Fi enthusiasts.
After consulting a couple of electrician friends - who have their own modest home audio & home theatre systems - even they were somewhat at a loss to explain the improvements they’d heard.
Almost all of the components were well used ex-dem/pre-owned. Not for crazy money initially either. It’s possible that with time the internal components were showing signs of their age & beginning to deteriorate.
Anyway. Who knows how or why it sounded ‘better’?
It’s all about the music(or movies) at the end of the day.
All the best.