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  • Writer's pictureJim Cathey

Transparent Audio XL 20 amp Power Cables with Audio Research 160M Amplifiers

After successfully installing Audio Research Reference 160M Monoblock Amplifier, I needed to review the power cable options since the previous vintage McIntosh MC275 amps used hard-wired cables and were not compatible with the 160M’s. Regarding power cables, everyone has an opinion and yes, the power cables and power management makes a significant difference in the performance. After all, it’s the primary component that feeds all of the parts to what you hear. I wrote about the importance of power in an earlier post here.


The power for the 160M amps comes from 2 separate and dedicated 20 amp circuits from the power panel to the wall plugs. These are connected to 2 PS Audio P20 Power regenerators and the 160M amps. Dedicated 20 amp circuit, dedicated wall plug, dedicated P20 Power regenerator for each 160M amp. One might think that with this set up for power, there is no need for a significant power cable between the P20’s and the 160M amps; you do. The system still needs to hold the shielding integrity, have the correct gauge, material and resulting performance for that last 6’.


Transparent XL cable
Transparent XL cable

For me, it’s a return to Transparent Audio via their dealer Maier Shadi founder and CEO of Audio Salon. Both Maier and Transparent worked to make two cables at the XL level of Transparent’s power cable performance-tuned to my system specs. Within just two weeks, the cables arrived exercised, aka burn-in process, courtesy of Maiers team. Each Transparent Audio XL power cable was installed in its proper inlet. As I waited for the system to warm up, I had a chance to consider how the performance would change/improve. My initial thinking was more on preserving the integrity of the power for that last 6’ with some minor audio improvements, but clearly, that was far too short of what the reality turned out to be.

After the warm-up period, the Transparent Audio XL Power cables with 20amp capabilities preserved that last 6’ of power supply, improved the low-frequency performance, and slightly increased the sound stage and sharpness of the imaging. These are typical power improvement results but not expected on this last 6’. It’s also worth noting these cables and amps perform well together and are well worth the investment.


Thank you, Transparent Audio, for continuing to surprise me with your cable performance and a big thank you to Maier and the team at Audio Salon.


#TransparentXL #AudioResearchReference160M #AudioSalon #McIntoshMC275

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