Review: Revelation Audio power umbilical for Pass XP-20 preamp

BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 11,528
edited June 2014 in Electronics
As some of you may know, over the last few years I have become a big fan of upgraded power for my stereo and home theater. This goes from dedicated 20 amp circuits, to power conditioners, to power cables. I have just been amazed at the audio, and video, detail I have been able to extract from my gear by upgrading the previous items.

So, when I became aware of a power umbilical upgrade for my Pass XP-20 preamp, I was immediately interested. This umbilical is from Revelation Audio (RA) in FL.

http://www.revelationaudiolabs.com/cables-power/#PassageDB-25

The Pass preamp is a two chassis component, with the power supply in one chassis, and the rest in another chassis. I have them stacked on each other with the preamp on top, so the standard .75 meter cable was what I ordered. While I don't know what Pass sends over this cable, I am assuming it is just DC and ground. As an FYI, the AC cable is a Shunyata Zitron Cobra plugged into a Shunyata Triton/Typhon combo on a dedicated circuit.

Supposedly, this cable is built with pure silver conductors. Whether true or not I don't know, but it is a well built cable. The stock Pass cable is just a throw away cable with plastic DB-25 connectors. The RA is a solid, thick cable with metal Mil-Spec DB-25 connectors, so at least in appearance it is a step up. However, appearance is only good for initial impressions, the real metric is does it make the stereo sound better.

Technical details:
http://www.revelationaudiolabs.com/design/index.htm

The answer to that is yes. Most emphatically. I installed it Wednesday morning, and now (Saturday night) I am sitting here listening to it and am just amazed at how much better the preamp is now sounding. At first it seemed to really separate the L/R channels, but now the soundstage, musical detail, background, etc. have all improved. Plus, I don't have to turn it up quite as much to reach my preferred listening level for either classical or rock songs. Vocals are clean and clear, instruments are at specific locations in space, and I keep hearing 'sounds' I do not remember hearing before. Granted, I am only using my musical memory for these observations, but I have been listening to this preamp for a year now, so I am comfortable with how it sounds. And now it sounds better. Much better. It is like getting a new piece of gear, at a much lower price.
I can't comment of the other cables sold by RA, but I am tempted to consider them if I ever decide to try something different.

If you search you can find info on RA. Some of this info mention it took months for their order to arrive. I asked the owner about this and he admitted there was a problem in the past, but that has been corrected. Whatever was going on then doesn't seem to be happening now. I placed my order and received it a week and a half later. This included some amount of time with the newly built cable on a cooker.

Anyway, I am a happy camper, and will definitely be keeping this cable.
Bud - Silicon Valley

Lumin X1
Sony XA-5400ES SACD
Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
Three 20 amp circuits.
Post edited by BlueFox on

Comments

  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,335
    edited June 2014
    For sure cables do matter & can definitely make a difference, no argument there. As you stated you are one happy camper & the cable is a keeper. The only thing that gets my goat though is that you would think a company like PASS would supply an optimal cable to connect there two pieces for total synergy & performance. I understand the manuf. PC cord being adequate because no matter how good the manuf. might say it is the end user will still probably play around with what they feel is better. But not a cable that you just replaced, that should be the ultimate & should be stated by the manuf. His gear is by no means inexpensive & one would think that they can at least get one cable right. Just my own thought.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    Crown XLS 1002 DriveCore 2 Series - center channel
    NAD Dac
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS Music System
    KEF Q300 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Extensive room treatments
  • WilliamM2WilliamM2 Posts: 4,703
    edited June 2014
    Doesn't the Shunyata gear already clean up the power before it gets to the DB25 cable?
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,098
    edited June 2014
    Nelson has never weighed in on the cable debate. Preferring to stay neutral. He has always encouraged people to experiment with cables and be happy with their own experiences. I'm sure the cable supplied was more than adequate, but you can't please everyone so that's why there is an aftermarket for stuff. Many manufacturers do this, Pass or BAT or Manley or Parasound are no different. They supply an adequate cable and let the customer decide if they want a different flavor.

    H9

    Just because Blue Fox prefers a different cable doesn't mean the one supplied is WRONG. How can you say in one breath I'm sure they provided an adequate power cord but not umbilical cord? I'm sure they are both equally up to the task. There is no right and wrong.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,335
    edited June 2014
    Maybe Nelson & others need to rethink what adequate is. I just think it's a shame that one has to pay remortgage the house type of money for their gear only to find out that they might need to even spend more $$$$ to get it to perform to it's highest level. I don't know maybe it's just me.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    Crown XLS 1002 DriveCore 2 Series - center channel
    NAD Dac
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS Music System
    KEF Q300 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Extensive room treatments
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 11,528
    edited June 2014
    The stock cable works fine, and I enjoyed it for a year. However, the Revelation is definitely an improvement. This is one of those upgrade where I just start laughing at how good it now sounds. With the preamp being the center of the stereo this upgrade has raised the performance of the entire stereo. All pieces are now working at a higher level.

    I'm not sure how a manufacturer should approach this issue. As an umbilical cable just carrying DC (I assume) between units they might not even give it any thought. If the correct voltage shows up at the other unit they might consider the job done. I know I didn't really expect such a big jump up in performance, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since other small items, such as speaker jumpers, have also made a significant difference.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,098
    edited June 2014
    Maybe Nelson & others need to rethink what adequate is. I just think it's a shame that one has to pay remortgage the house type of money for their gear only to find out that they might need to even spend more $$$$ to get it to perform to it's highest level. I don't know maybe it's just me.

    Most things cheap or ultra expensive can be modified to be differently. It's a hollow argument Phil. People do this with cars, motorcycles, houses, etc all the time. There are lots of choices and combinations out there, can't please everyone, every time with every product.

    H9

    P.s. Did you also read Raife's answer to this question he posed to Pass Labs? I guess that's your answer and no need to ponder further.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
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