Review: VooDoo Cable LLC Black Dragon II Power cord
Review: VooDoo Cable Black Dragon II power cord
6ft. 15A IEC
Everything makes a difference. That’s what the man said. Everything. Really. Well. Personally I find that hard to believe. Then. Not now. Now, I agree. Everything does, make a difference. Sometimes even the smallest things make differences that belie their apparent station.
I became acquainted with Bruce Richardson, VooDoo Cable LLC, out of a prerequisite need rather than the occasional chance meeting. A seller listing and some conception that power cords were in fact my next step in creating what I enjoy as a system now, led me to him. Discussions with the seller indicated Mr. Richardson’s power cords to be of good quality and value. Super!
I am circumstantially cheap, solely from necessity, and as the cord in question was but a singular offering, (my amp requires two), consequently, out of need, I was forced to find that singular cords mate. VooDoo surely would afford me the other half of my quest. Well, I mean, they made it, they can make another.
Bruce Richardson as I came to find out during the many discussions I’ve had with him then and since, is quite the informed audiophile. Bruce has been a valued source for me on any number of audio related topics. Intelligent, affable, engaging, and with considerable amounts of real world hands on experience in fabricating, modifying, and manufacturing audio components, with his wire products, the main thrust of his present ventures. Naturally, through some of those extensive talks, I have come to respect and trust Bruce’s input very much so and his experiences have in turn aided me greatly. Apart from my esteem for Bruce, I am in no wise affiliated with him or his endeavors to any extent.
That said, the twin to the singular cord I had obtained through another member was had from VooDoo Cable. A traded in cord that for all intents and purposes save about two inches of length should have been the duplicate of the one I had
Just bought locally, seller, was quickly sent along, arrived, and was integrated into my BAT vk500 w/BP.
Time passed. Things weren’t quite right. Whatever the instance that was at the root was never determined. The cords were returned to their respective owners and a new search began. I did like some of the things the VooDoo Mana PC’s did in my system, so I asked about what other cords were made and regarding components and preferences, a decision was pointed to, and I ordered a freshly made pair of Black Dragon IIs for the amp, and a Silver dragon for my Sony xa777es. They arrived some short while later and became a part of the whole.
Time passed once more. Gee, we sure pass a lot of time in this effort, don’t we? Things sonically, became vastly more coherent. Exact duplicate power cords tend to have that effect on amps requiring two power cords. I was quite the happy camper. Briefly.
I possess an ‘unsettled self’. Something in me nags routinely that some amazing prospect, some fashion of better lays just ahead, “Don’t miss out!”, it says. Consequently as there was a built in window for returns and/or upgrades, just prior to that window closing, I made a call once more to VooDoo. Determining some upgrade in the VooDoo power cord line was in order, the necessary arrangements were made yet again, and two of the three Dragon’s were returned for credit, and two others were ordered. I kept one of the Black Dragon IIs. I ordered two Gold Dragon III’s. Those same VooDoo cords are since that time, deeply ensconsed as mainstays in my system, and have been now for well over a year or better.
I’ve tried numerous times to supplant these power cords. Given the nawing, urgent, nagging little voice inside constantly reminding me “don’t miss out, there is better available, go see!”. I’ve had little success apparently as these cords are here still. That fact, all by itself is some sort of statement, I would think..
The Blac Dragon II is a formidable looking cord. Sizeable in girth yet flexible enough so integrating it into some tight spots is easy enough to do. Black Dragon II, is constructed with #9 AWG solid-core and stranded high-purity silver-clad copper wire and terminated with the Wattgate 320i IEC Connector and the Hubbell 5266 NEMA Plug. All wire and connectors used to build the Black Dragon II is cryogenically treated on site. If some other variation of termination is required, you have but to ask and depending upon the request it shall be done… or it shall be done at additional cost if special needs are the solution. The power cords outer cover is a double layer of abrasion-resistant polyethylene. It holds up real well. Mine looks near new.
The Black Dragon IIs, can and has, been used at about every spot in both of my systems. I’ve come to find out a good bit about it’s strengths and weaknesses. It has a number of positives. I’m still looking for the vulnerability. Other than some poor component matching, I’ve no place to fault the BLACK DRAGON II. It continues to perform at each opportunity and with every component I own, from either good to very good.
I must say, as with any power cord, matching is key. Additionally, it does have a fingerprint. Prominent traits of the BLACK DRAGON II are found with presentation. the sound stage setting is more forward than a number of cords I’ve auditioned. Not a in your face or lap sort of prominence, though it sets about the speakers. Almost with them at the center, but not quite. There is depth to the sound stage as well but it’s depth in proportion to it’s width and height is not as equal. The lateral and vertical planes of the stage are great however, so some less depth as I said is not a bad thing altogether. It’s just that the other two dimensions overshadow them. So, not to worry as to the need to reposition speakerage..
Tonality is what I find most attractive about the BLACK DRAGON II. I fell in love with it’s structure of the harmonic scale in total. There are any number of smooth power cables. On the market today. Ones that render musical strains with aplomb and finesse. Finding a cord that does everything with balance, warmth, extension, and possess an open feel about them is quite the experience. Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve not tried each and every cable available. There’s only about what, six or eight thousand? But for the price of this power cord and what it maintains regularly in timberal commodity and range is most special.
Inordinately, there seems a reduction in scale. Disposition, rather. The whole of the bandwidth is played in an opposed tone, and I’d say perhaps a third of an octave approximately. The ”tilt” is towards the low end of the spectrum. Many would refer to this as more the organic applet. True. It is more the natural cast of tonality. Though it remains constant top to bottom. It’s like playing the piano. You can play any offering in an assortment of keys. The BLACK DRAGON II plays music in say “A#” or “Bb” rather than simply middle “C”. Naturally, this is simply what happens after properly introducing it into my system. The total range of the music dropped down a touch in tonal timber and I found this attribute most appealing. Many cables have a tilt towards the opposite end of the range. Up.
The Black Dragon II beats a different path, one towards more normalcy and naturalness. I continue to find it vastly more realistic. Fullly extended, and very pleasing. If fault is to be layed here, and it has to be a fault born of preference only, it has to do with the softened leading edge of transient material yet in no way is it sluggish or lackluster there, simply not a striking presence, and is by comparison only to a cable costing near four times as much to buy as does the Black Dragon II. This does lend itself to use on digital devices, or as supply cord to filters/conditioners for attenuating aggressive components or enhancing the depth of the blackness of the background, or simply driving off the grunge gremlins inhabiting the incoming power. Regardless the application the resulting picture is one from which the music will then emerge with startling results. The Black Dragon II’s background is uncannily dark. Spooky. dark.
Its ‘predominate character’ is warmth. Warmth, and a softer leading edge on transients, and the whole of the music is nestled in a deeply black and sensuous cloak illuminating the elements of the music without spotlighting them. There is indeed great resolution noticeable in the lows for example. The mids retain ease and texture. If the music requires representational dynamic thrust, the Black Dragon II will supply. If the recording passage is airy and swirling with blends of strings, for example they are given their rebirth with fidelity and grace and no strain to discern.
I have used the Black Dragon II on every device I own at some point or other. It works well in each instance. It always adds warmth, an open and wide sound stage, and very good extension at either end of the scale. The bottom end does have some softness to it, and though this lessened some degree of impact there may appear a disadvantage, it blends quite well overall.
The BLACK DRAGON II is not what I would call an extremely high resolution cord. Truth be told I am not a high res sort of guy either. I’m about the music and the emotive drive of it. Detailed? Yes, it is that. Images are depicted easily and with range. If it’s musical content you want the BLACK DRAGON II will render it with easy dynamics and a natural recreation of the articles within the performance. I currently use it as a supply power cord for one of the passive conditioners in my main system. Occasionally, I’ll stick it on the BAT VK5i preamp. For some time, it dwelled quite at home, on the Sony SCD xa777 es, and initially it and one other drove the BAT VK500 w/BP with excellent results. It does an outstanding job on receivers too. It’s additional bass extension, warmth, and immense sound stage make the Black Dragon II a very good all around the camp power cord.
One further and most notable aspect that bears emphasis and repetition, is past its’ grand sound stage, and extended musical abilities, is the background characteristics of the Black Dragon II. It’s, well, black. Way black. Eerily black. I’ve heard some conditioners that did not provide quite an absence of ‘light’ the Black Dragon II provides. It’s one of the darkest cords I’ve yet to hear… and in it’s price range I have yet to hear it’s equal.
The Kimber PK10 Pladiam does a likewise job in the elimination of background noise, but at a far greater expense, coming in at over twice the cost of a Black Dragon II. Yet in the upper ranges I found the Black Dragon II surpassed the PK10 in providing less a spotlit timberal quality, the PK10 being more the biting performer.
It’s taken quite some time and experimentation to set the Black Dragon II aside for a more rightly fitting power cord. Some time indeed. Though supplanted it will not be cast off. Simply relegated to do that VooDoo, that it do, so well in yet another system with other components… for some time to come I believe. From Audience Shunyata and many points in between, PAD Venusta, Kimber pk10 pladiam, Taipan, Taipan Helix Alpha, and others I simply can not recall… and still the Black Dragon II has found a notable place in my system besting many whose price points are double or more that of the Black Dragon II. Get the notion I enjoy what it does? You should.
Supple, flexible, reasonable in price, musical in context, Voodoo Cable LLC has a versatile overachiever in moderately costing power cord with the Black Dragon II. Try one, or two. I recommend it highly. Once you get one, it’s hard to let go of it. Maybe it’s the voodoo in the VooDoo, I don’t know for sure, but there is sure something going on with these power cables mr. Richardson is making.
BAT VK5i w/Matsushita 6DJ8’s, Amperex PQ US 7308 white label w/emblem, telefunken ECC188, & Tung sol 5881’s
BAT VK500 w/BAT pk.
Sony SCD xa 777 es CD Player
VSA VR4-JR (cherry)
Phase tech PC 10.5
Phase tech PC 6.5
M.I.T. Magnum 3 III RCA 1.5m (source IC)
Nordost Blue Heaven 2m (source IC)
Monster M1000 (source IC)
Synergistic Resolution Ref X2 Active 1m XLR (MAIN ic)
Synergistic Signature 10 X2 Active bi wires (shotgun to top of JR)
Synergistic Alpha Quadd series X Active on JR bass driver only.
Elrod Signature 3 20A 6ft.
Shunyata Python helix VX 6ft. 15A (CD)
Shunyata Taipan helix alpha 6ft. 15A
VooDoo Black Dragon II II 6ft. 15A
VooDoo Gold Dragon III 6ft. 15A ((X2 for amp)
PS Audio UPC 200
PS Audio Duet (s)
Sony STVR 444es
Sony DVD/VCR combo player
Sony 400 Cd carosel
Sony S30 61” RP TV
HD cable box
Dell optiplex 620 Desktop
Dell Dimension 4600 Desktop
After market spikes for JR’s.
Herbies Audio Labs halo tube rings
Herbies Audio Labs Iso cups w/Ebony ball footers
Mother Nature wood footers (Mahogany, teak, Coco, and others)
All devices draw power via 4 dedicated 20A ckts. Using hosp. grd duplex outlets
Shunyata Python VX; Shunyata Python Helix VX, Kimber PK Pladiam; PAD Venusta.