Submitted for review to Hifi Pig we have this MS HD Power MS-EO2 SS, Star Wired mains block with surge protection and external earth point unit costing £369. Dominic Marsh takes a listen.  

Ever since I have reviewed the Audioplan Power Star and Finefilter mains conditioner for Hifi Pig way back in April 2015, I have been rather disgruntled by the performance of my extant mains conditioner and have been searching for a better unit to replace it with, at a price I could afford, let me add.MS_Audio_mains_block_Small_2

CONSTRUCTION

This is a substantially built unit made from aluminum alloy and fitted with 6 UK mains outlets.  Each of the outlet sockets is fully silver plated with high purity, high spring rate Phosphor Bronze socket clips that pass the BS Standard 30,000 times plug in/out test. The internal bus bars are heavy grade (5mm2) copper with silver plating and connecting wires are high purity copper, again with silver plating. The IEC inlet connector is a standard C14 x 10 amp rated type and is also made from copper, and silver plated.  There is no filtration fitted, although there is a surge limiter with resettable circuit breaker, so no fuse wire.  Internal wiring is catered for by a star layout and also an external 4mm banana socket at the opposite end to the inlet IEC offers an earthing point.  The case is finished off with black lacquer and the MS logo is ground through the lacquer to the metal beneath to shine a bright silver and looks attractive.

It has brass conical pointed isolation feet (which tend to slide around on a shiny surface), so I had to virtually corral it into a corner on the bottom shelf of my rack to plug and unplug cables when I couldn’t get two hands to it to keep it firmly still.   The brass feet are threaded into the bottom of the case with what looks to me like M6 threads, so alternative feet could be fitted with a better grip.  On carpet or a less smooth texture it should be fine.

Price at time of testing is £369.00.MS_Audio_mains_small

SOUND QUALITY

Or rather the lack of a sound quality, as is the case with any mains block, surge protector, or mains filtration unit, they should have no sonic signature or characteristics of their own and impinge on the sound.

The first item I will check for then is any signs of compression, that is sitting on the dynamics and limiting the sound headroom.  My first impression of the MS unit was how open and unfettered it sounded, with not a trace of curtailing or limiting of the sound.  Space around instruments was huge, bass was delivered with great weight and power, while my system’s natural ability to do yards deep imaging was enhanced even more, making it seem deeper still.  Everything sounded just so clear and insightful, with familiar recordings taking on a whole new dimension of appreciation, enjoying what was being heard and resulted in one of my listening sessions extending into the early hours, I was enjoying it so much.

Live albums especially had vibrancy and “aliveness” that really made you feel as though you were sat in the venue maybe four or five rows back from the stage, hearing all of the music clearly and being right in amongst your fellow audience members.   My recent purchase of Fink’s “Wheels Under My Feet” live album recorded in different venues around the world exemplifies that feeling of just being there each time when the tracks were actually recorded.

Despite there being no filtration circuitry built in, it certainly sounded like there was.  Treble definition was noticeably clearer, with ambience especially giving a more detailed and resolved sonic picture.   Separation between instruments was noteworthy, without showing any clashing or crashing into each other during hectic music passages and sound staging too was crisp and pinpoint precise.  I couldn’t hear any squashing or suppressing of dynamics during the review at any time.  If there was any compression effects, then the most obvious symptom is that the bass acquires a boom artefact and loss of control, but no, I give this particular mains block a clean bill of health in that respect.

CONCLUSION

Considering the MS HD Power MS-EO2 SS doesn’t have any filtration circuitry built into it, save for a surge suppressor device, it managed to convince me that it had!  That tells me a lot of thought has gone into the design and build of this component.  The sound was crystal clear without any compression and beyond that I couldn’t level any criticism against it, save its skating propensities in my rack!  I would expect this level of performance from mains conditioners costing considerably more, yet the price at £369.00 is worthy of consideration so I give it my recommendation.  I have one on order no less and that ends my current search for an affordable good sounding 6 way mains block.

Pros:  Superb sound quality at a reasonable price.  Fit and finish is very good.  Surge suppression built in.

Cons: Hard plastic feet makes the unit slide around on a shiny surface.

Price at time of testing: £369.00

Features and specifications

    • 100% Compliant with BS-1363 and BS-5733 Safety Standards
    • 6 Silver plated Premium Grade Sockets High Spring Rate Phosphor Bronze Sockets Clips Pass the BS Standard 30,000 times plug IN / OUT test
    • 5 mm² Power Transmission Bus Bars with 1.0 µm Pure Silver Plating Star Earth Wiring.

Dominic Marsh

 

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