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Listening Notes on the New PowerCell 8 UEF from Synergistic Research

Listening Notes on the New PowerCell 8 UEF from Synergistic Research
Listening Notes on the New PowerCell 8 UEF from Synergistic Research

As mentioned in our last Newsletter, we have just received the new Synergistic Research PowerCell 8 UEF AC Power Conditioners and we have put them through our “critical” listening process here at The Cable Company. We are happy to share with you our listening notes.

Our listening process included many different steps, so that we can accurately gauge absolute performance, and importantly, how the products stack up against the models they replace.

First we listened to our reference system without any form of AC Power Conditioning in order to establish a base line for our listening session.  

When we added the base-model ($1995) PowerCell 8 UEF, we immediately had a sense of a much lowered noise floor with better micro and macro dynamic contrasts, and a significantly improved sound stage. Not a subtle improvement at all. Smiles all around.

We went back and forth a few times to confirm. Now it was time for the next step – substituting the higher end PowerCell 8 UEF SE connected to the wall with the higher end Atmosphere Level 2 power cable that comes with it.  Like it’s little brother, the PowerCell 8 UEF SE was a solid performer, but it had more of the “WOW” factor when we hooked it up: everything felt “right” with a big, natural sound stage, and also the system sounded more exciting and revealing.  We felt it was clearly worth the extra cost. More smiles.

Comparing the PowerCell 8 UEF SE to the earlier 2015 top-line PowerCell 10 UEF SE ($6000), it is pretty much a dead heat. The PowerCell 8 UEF SE keeps up with the PowerCell 10 UEF SE, quite an accomplishment, especially at half the price!

Last but not least, we installed the new king of the Synergistic Research hill, the PowerCell 12 UEF SE ($5995).  No question you can tell that they are all family members, but the PowerCell 12 UEF SE goes far beyond in every respect.  The upgrade from the already excellent PowerCell 8 UEF SE to the PowerCell 12 UEF SE was the classic case of not knowing what more there was beyond the great sound we were already getting in the first place till we heard it. Reference level indeed.

We unanimously give these three Synergistic Research Powercells two thumbs up for the performance in their respective price classes. From a value standpoint the PowerCell 8 UEF ($1995) and PowerCell 8 UEF SE, ($2995) are both incredible “Deals,” especially given the high performance AC Cords to run to the wall which are included. The $1995 PowerCell 8 UEF package includes a Black UEF 10 Gauge AC Cord (itself a $495 Value), while the $2995 PowerCell 8 UEF SE package includes upgrade outlets and an Atmosphere Level 2 PowerCell AC Cord (a $2000 Value).

All models of PowerCells are available for in-home audition through The Cable Library.

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