LessLoss Audio are an American/Lithuanian based company headed by Louis Motek and a team of individuals who are extremely passionate – bordering on bonkers about audio! The LessLoss website has enough technical information, graphs and tables about their products to give even Steven Hawkings a headache!
Louis comes across as an extremely personable guy, friendly and easy to chat to, but if you get him started he will blind you with science in a matter of minutes (well he does me), all with absolute relevance to his products, tried and tested methods behind the technology utilised, not to mention other tweaks and experiments he will have you doing.
Not being of a techy/geeky nature as such, well not to Louis extent, I will provide you guys with the key information on the cables and proceed to conveying their sonic signature.
The Products Under Review
Louis sent over a few of each range of power cables for me to have a play with, the DFPC Original, DFPC Signature and the DFPC Reference. For this review I’m going to be concentrating on their middle of the road DFPC Signatures $1152 1m, further reviews of the cables either side of these will be published later in the year.
Bling bling is the sound of the doorbell when the courier arrives with these American lovelies! The cables are extremely sexy and exceptionally substantial. Made up of four conductors each in a separate outer braid and weave which is perfectly symmetrical and finished by hand to a very high degree.
I will add that the Signatures are made up of three large cross sectioned solid core copper, doubled for the live, and single for the neutral. Looking a little dominated by its partners there is a fourth 6mm cross section conductor of a similar type for earth duties.
LessLoss opt for Oyaide at each end and a Furutech 1363 on the UK version of the cable as Oyaide still to this day have not manufactured a UK power plug – why, I have no idea!
So you can now imagine the considerable size of the Signatures! Each one I received was 1.5m and to be honest I expected them to weigh a little more than they actually did. The flexibility of the cable is fantastic and very unexpected, as soon as I looked at them in their packaging my immediate thoughts were “oh Christ I’m going to have problems here!” But it simply wasn’t the case at all.
I placed all four Signatures into my system at the outset and had an initial listen. First impressions were pretty good, nice detail, deeply layered mids and an informative bass. Soundstage width was good and there was nice harmonics outside of the speaker boundaries. An overall ease to the nature of the sound, a little gentle in the bass but extended.
I left three cables in my system, one for the mains block and one each on the Totaldac and SqueezeBox Touch to burn in while I had some household DIY to get on with. The fourth was removed altogether and placed onto the television. There was no way I was going to leave the valve amp on for any long period of time (imagine the electricity bill) and my other half watches so much TV I thought it would probably burn in before the other three!
Every few days I would take the fourth cable and plug it back into the amp and have a listen to the system briefly. After about 75 hours the cables opened up further revealing more expression to the midrange and air in the upper registers and after about 150 hours the bass began to fill out further too. A matter of about two weeks in total passed by before I sat down to have what I would call my final listening days where I noticed a greater liquidity to the midrange and a slightly more fleshed out upper-bass lower-mid. Top-end was a little more atmospheric and controlled but during these days of critical listening I really didn’t notice any further changes.
Playing Loreena McKennits ‘Raglan Road’ it was immediately clear that the midrange of the Signatures were highly developed, her vocal sits back in the soundstage and has a strong projection of width which can be localised from it’s source point in the performance. Her tones were very liquid and silky and the upper registers had a quality of control that gripped me into the performance. The album is of a live performance and the atmospheric presence of the stage could be felt – airy and spacious.
Contrasting her vocal with a male artist such as Nils Logren and the ‘Acoustic Live’ album, the fleshed out lower-midrange is expressed very naturally indeed and the liquidity heard previously didn’t wash over his tonal character.
The speed and attack of Nils’ guitar solo in ‘Keith Don’t Go’ highlighted a strong degree of control in the upper frequencies and the layering of decay on notes where a fresh note started was easily heard. I felt I have heard the guitar with a little more richness to lower notes in the past, maybe a slightly more accentuation of cabinet tone on a lower notes, but the ease of presentation across the board made for such an interesting and harmonically complex listen focus was drawn primarily to other areas of the music.
Chris Jones’ ‘Angel From Montgomery’ is one of the most addictive of tracks for me, an extremely musical and enjoyable piece which is actually fairly complex in micro details and harmonic artifacts on a nice system, it’s one of these songs you can have a good singalong to when busy with something else, but when you sit down and really analyse it, it has some good key aspects to use for auditioning components. The Signatures made good work of the extension in bass, again a little gentler or easier in the upper bass but informative nonetheless. Chris’ vocal comes across wonderfully with the enhancement the cable adding to the quality of midrange sculpture. The cable also seems to extract a certain magic from the ambiance of the recording, helping to give a natural nature and almost lifelike take on the music.
I haven’t mentioned a black background in this review and have just thought about this, I don’t believe there is one, or one that stands out to me. What there is though is a lifelike atmosphere instead, not noise as such rather an organic sense that something is clearly heard or not. Don’t get me wrong, there are quiet passages in the music, but there’s always that sense that the music is alive.
I went on to play a variety of dance music to look further into the bass. Playing music from Tiesto, Mikado and Armin Van Buren gave good slap and kick to the music. Firm bass registered, as did extended bass notes, but there wasn’t a real solid driving force to the sound at lower levels, crank up the wick and the cleanliness, pace and kick of those upper bass registers were fantastic, a real metallic feel. Ambient harmonics and dynamics were great and the processed nature of the music really showed off the layering ability of the Signatures.
Listening to some of the big film soundtracks from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra the Signatures displayed a window to each instrument that was never closed and allowed for reverbs and decay from the neighbouring musicians to wash through with me noting that complexity of rhythm and structure is a key accomplishment of the LessLoss cables. Cymbals shimmered and were well controlled with the first hit but had enough presence to loosen and dissipate the sound correctly. Large dynamic shifts (in bass especially) sat across the performance rather than explode in height and confusion which linked nicely with the atmospheric presence.
The LessLoss DFPC Signature Power Cables have a sonic signature of ease and stability; they open a window to individual portions of the music yet still remain locked on to the performance as a whole. The midrange has a sense of liquidity, the upper frequencies are fleshed out and controlled, with good insight into a layered performance and there’s good extension to the bass leaving me to conclude that these are indeed an extremely well accomplished cable. I would have liked to be presented with all of this and a little more driving force in the upper bass regions, however there is a wonderful sense of musicality as a whole and a great sense of connection to the music.
The cables look and feel great are very well made and you do feel that pride of ownership when you have one in your hand.
Author – Danny Worth