Reference 2 and Matrix comparison. The Matrix Power cable is a top-class cable. Today I wanted to see just how good the Reference 2 power cable compared to the Matrix. That was the plan, so I contacted my trusty colleague Lukas from ‘Garso Namai’, located in Kauno g. 31 Vilnius, Lithuania, to see if he had some time to help with my task! Today was my lucky day because Lukas said ‘yes’ if I came straight over and would love to help. So without further ado, I was with Lukas within thirty minutes.
The speakers we would use were the Bowers & Wilkins 603 S2 Anniversary Edition loudspeakers. These had been tested a few weeks earlier and nicely bedded in. And it would be an excellent choice to test the cables. We decided to try each line with KEF wireless II speakers, which we heard and tested last week. And, it would be perfect for comparing each cable directly.
The Reference 2 power cable. Connected directly to one of the speakers, and the Matrix speaker cable connected directly to the second speaker. First, I will explain the difference between the two power cables. The Reference power cable, two meters in length, had a diameter of 20.0 mm and a weight of 1.057 kilos. The Matrix power cable, one meter in length, had a diameter of 16.0 mm and a weight of 0.497 kilos.
The Power cables were both new and only had about 24 hours of use. With everything happening at this moment in time, all we could do was utilise what we had available. Of course, the testing would not be quite the same if the power cables used for a month. But it was good enough for the Reference 2 and Matrix comparison!
Actually, by just looking at the pictures, you can see the difference between the two cables. But, how would they sound under the test, I wondered. Lukas was also interested to hear the results. And, so got the speakers to power up and connected to the Wi-fi so we could start.
The KEF LS50 Wireless II speakers certainly sounded better than they did a few days ago. And I think it was because they had a few days of use. The test was straightforward because all we wanted to do was compare the two cables:
- We listened to the speaker powered by the Matrix power cable. To keep it simple, we gave a score of 8/10 for overall performance.
- We listened to the speaker powered by the Reference 2 power cable, giving this one a score of 10/10.
- We tested the speakers with the KEF supplied power cables and gave them a score of 5/10.
The first part of the testing finished, and next, it was time to test the power cables in the primary system. We chose the Arcam SA30 amplifier, which offers an impressive 120W of Class G amplification for impeccable sound. And, features Dirac Live, state-of-the-art room correction technology equipped with eARC support. Delivering unparalleled performance and sound quality optimised to its surroundings. The SA30 features a full MQA decoder, enabling you to playback MQA audio files and streams, providing the original master recording’s sound in the highest possible sound quality. At this playback level, you hear what should be created in the studio—giving precise files and platform-specific DAC compensation management.
The 603 S2 Anniversary Edition is the largest and most capable loudspeaker in the 600 Series Anniversary Edition range. A floor-standing loudspeaker designed to offer outstanding power accuracy and musicality. And, perfect for larger rooms and also ideal for home theatre. The Loudspeakers are available in a new wood effect finish as well as black and white. The 603 S2 Anniversary Edition adopts a refined and upgraded version of the proven Decoupled Double Dome tweeter. And offering 38kHz breakup performance. The result?
The cables chosen for the final listening session were the Reference bi-wire from Perkune. At this point, I must state the wires used were brand new and not finished to the fullest. The components necessary were on backorder. But, The Bi-wires were terrific sounding cables all the same, and we were very pleased with the cables competence. And, Giving exactly what was required for the testing and Reference 2 and Matrix comparison.
Results – Reference 2 and Matrix
The first cable tested was the One-meter ‘Matrix’ power cable. And again, to keep it simple, we gave a score for overall performance. The Matrix scored 8/10. Both lines made the audio system sound far better than the cables used in the showroom. And, this proved yet again how vital the cabling is for the sound heard at the loudspeakers!
The Second cable tested was the Reference 2 two-meter power cable—the Reference 2 power cables made for the American market, and so crossover used in the power supply. But, it positively did not affect the superb performance supplied by the line. Reference 2 scored 11/10. The third cable tested was a power cable provided by Taga harmony – Score 7/10.
Conclusion – Reference 2 and Matrix
Another great day spent with Lukas to squeeze every last drop of information from the cables. And, to obtain the performance available from the power cables tested. We were both in agreement the Matrix is an extraordinary audiophile cable. But, the Reference 2 Power cable is something exceptional. And must be heard to be appreciated.
Author: Paul A. Goodwin (Perkune audiophile cables)
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