Furutech NCF FI-50M power-plug revised/improved!

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Marty raises a good point about the type of connector sockets fitted to pieces of equipment. I have long advocated to my customers that they upgrade their iec inlets to something from Furutech / Oyaide as many manufacturers simply use the cheapest generic crap. @$40 here achieves much the same as a $400 NCF IEC plug on your cord. That said, I understand concerns over diy / originality / warranty however the empirical evidence remains unchanged......
I have replaced stock IEC inlet on my Pass Labs XVR-1 active crossover with Furutech-09 Gold NCF one, and I completely agree with Mark, the change in SQ is very significant
It did require a lot of grinding of the 5mm thick aluminum chassis and I used filtering capacitor to replace stock integral IEC filter.
It was worth the effort.
 
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Maril555

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Can you elaborate on unnatural treble? Is it very extended and hard or bright?

I am asking because i am using the NCF duplex and was thinking about getting a DPS 4.1 with M 46 Gold NCF terminations for use with it.

Thanks
The treble wasn’t hard or bright, I felt the level of treble was out of proportion in relationship to the rest of the spectrum.
To phrase it differently, I could never avoid having an impression, that treble was “riding” on top of everything else, therefore making it to sound unnatural.
I also had FI-50 R NCF ON Furutech DPS cable into GTX-D R NCF outlet, and heard exactly the same character.
Had to sell it
Be aware
But on the other hand, all of these observations were made in the context of my system, and could be somewhat different in yours
 

marty

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That's an easy one, it's too expensive for high quality rhodium plated parts. Gear manufacturers will rarely spend the cash for pure copper connectors, and IME that's what's required for rhodium to sound good. In fact, I'd go so far as to claim that Furutech NCF parts are the only rhodium plated parts I've used that are extremely neutral. I think the question is why are so many manufacturers so cheap in their parts selection, even at the high end. But of course we can't answer your question precisely as different manufacturers may have other reasons, it's certainly possible some prefer other parts, but I'd bet 99% won't consider them due to cost or personal philosophy.

I think it's also interesting to note how DIFFERENT the FI-50 and FI-50 NCF sound! However, they have the same exact electrical contacts, but the NCF parts sound much cleaner and don't have a particular "polished" sound that most everyone attributes to rhodium plating. Well, the NCF plug doesn't have that sound, it's gone, and it leaves in it's place nothing... the closest thing to neutral we have available in AC connectors, imo. The sound may not be there with gold either, but it leaves a warm blanket over the music in it's place that maybe simply covers over the sound.

It's also interesting to note how different rhodium sounds when used to plate different base metals. Rhodium over bronze sounds MUCH different than rhodium over pure copper! But this is rarely mentioned, as if you can identify rhodium plating on it's own, but this is never the case, it's always used to plate other metals and it sounds very different in different applications.

This means the sound we attribute to rhodium may be something else, maybe it's noise in the AC or the sound of the base material that isn't being masked? In any case it's not rhodium that makes for that sound if the addition of NCF has removed it! I think in audio we tend to draw conclusions from limited evidence as we can't experiment endlessly, and unfortunately this means sometimes we draw incorrect conclusions.

Dave,
Respectfully disagree. Are you really suggesting that a manufacturer isn't going to use a rhodium plated termination available to them for a couple of hundred bucks on a cable that costs over 10K, or on a piece of gear that cost 50K and upwards? I'm skeptical. I know we disagree on rhodium but I've tried the rhodium NCFs on the DPS4.1 and couldn't get rid of them fast enough, although I'm sure I'm using them on unplated AC connectors and gold plated IEC connectors whereas you are likely using them on rhodium NCF male AC connectors and that may matter.

Readers should know that although Dave and I disagree on rhodium, what I like about Dave is like the old comedian joke about his doctor. "I love my doctor, he doesn't tell me to lose weight anymore, he doesn't tell me what to eat, he doesn't tell me to exercise. Now that's a great doctor!". So it is with Dave. That's why I'm a customer!

The take-away is that all of this stuff is about personal taste and is system dependent. No right or wrong. Just preference. Like ice-cream flavors.
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Although it may sound overly simplistic, I have often found that connectors to sound similar to their physical appearance. Unplated copper is direct, raw and earthy. Silver metals will sound brighter and tonally whiter, with the tightness of transients being related to the brightness of the metal eg silver will be softer whereas rhodium and the platinum family metals will be sharper yet tonally grey. Gold will be like a burnished sunset, rich / warm / soft focus.

The trick is to match with the wire / geometry used and don’t be afraid to use a mismatched plugset.

That’s a great description Mark,
And where Bocchino power plugs fit in?
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Dave,
Respectfully disagree. Are you really suggesting that a manufacturer isn't going to use a rhodium plated termination available to them for a couple of hundred bucks on a cable that costs over 10K, or on a piece of gear that cost 50K and upwards? I'm skeptical. I know we disagree on rhodium but I've tried the rhodium NCFs on the DPS4.1 and couldn't get rid of them fast enough, although I'm sure I'm using them on unplated AC connectors and gold plated IEC connectors whereas you are likely using them on rhodium NCF male AC connectors and that may matter.

Readers should know that although Dave and I disagree on rhodium, what I like about Dave is like the old comedian joke about his doctor. "I love my doctor, he doesn't tell me to lose weight anymore, he doesn't tell me what to eat, he doesn't tell me to exercise. Now that's a great doctor!". So it is with Dave. That's why I'm a customer!

The take-away is that all of this stuff is about personal taste and is system dependent. No right or wrong. Just preference. Like ice-cream flavors.

Yeah, I'll give you details privately if you want, but there is indeed high end gear out there with fake or look-alike connectors and I can give you examples of stuff marked up 20x parts cost or more. I also don't understand why manufacturers don't use higher end parts as the RCA jacks and signal wire have about the same effect as an interconnect cable. I think in many cases frugality determines their beliefs and design philosophies. When people get into business sometimes they have a whole different system of ethics and morality.

I was hoping you'd like the FI-50 NCF a lot more vs the non-NCF, but not surprised you don't... I think it's very interesting to hear the differences between the two though!

Agreed on tastes, it's all different and there's no reason a person should settle for something other than what they really like. In the end preference has to determine what you buy and not a possibly flawed philosophy about what should be best, or what's more accurate. This is why I offer different lines of cables for different systems and tastes that are not necessarily higher or lower end vs the other, they are simply tonally different. I have a neutral/reference level as well as a warmer than neutral line of ICs, SCs and PCs.
 

Sablon Audio

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That’s a great description Mark,
And where Bocchino power plugs fit in?

Maril, could I refer you to the description given in the link below as it gives a good overview of the differences in presentation conferred by the Bocchino mains plugs. In a nutshell, within my range the NCF plugs are where high resolution begins however the Bocchino plugs are where true high end starts.

They take the resolution of NCF to a higher level whilst injecting greater more enjoyment and natural tonality. Somewhat of a tease mind as they are OEM supply only and not something consumers can otherwise buy.......

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/sablon-power-cords.28502/
 
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Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Dave,
Respectfully disagree. Are you really suggesting that a manufacturer isn't going to use a rhodium plated termination available to them for a couple of hundred bucks on a cable that costs over 10K, or on a piece of gear that cost 50K and upwards? I'm skeptical. I know we disagree on rhodium but I've tried the rhodium NCFs on the DPS4.1 and couldn't get rid of them fast enough, although I'm sure I'm using them on unplated AC connectors and gold plated IEC connectors whereas you are likely using them on rhodium NCF male AC connectors and that may matter.

Readers should know that although Dave and I disagree on rhodium, what I like about Dave is like the old comedian joke about his doctor. "I love my doctor, he doesn't tell me to lose weight anymore, he doesn't tell me what to eat, he doesn't tell me to exercise. Now that's a great doctor!". So it is with Dave. That's why I'm a customer!

The take-away is that all of this stuff is about personal taste and is system dependent. No right or wrong. Just preference. Like ice-cream flavors.

Marty,
What was your take on DPS 4.1 with NCF plugs?
Inquiring minds would like to compare notes
Thank you
 

DaveC

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marty

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Marty,
What was your take on DPS 4.1 with NCF plugs?
Inquiring minds would like to compare notes
Thank you

Maril
The DPS 4.1 is an outstanding AC power cord. I just don't care for its sound with NCF rhodium connectors and this is potentially important, when plugged into an unplated copper AC receptacle and a gold plated IEC receptacle in my gear. I think rhodium plating is timbrally incorrect, although under certain circumstances such as a PC for subwoofers, it's fine. But these things are nothing more than personal preferences. I just prefer the DPS 4.1 with different connectors.
Marty
 

mikey8811

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Dec 24, 2014
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Maril
The DPS 4.1 is an outstanding AC power cord. I just don't care for its sound with NCF rhodium connectors and this is potentially important, when plugged into an unplated copper AC receptacle and a gold plated IEC receptacle in my gear. I think rhodium plating is timbrally incorrect, although under certain circumstances such as a PC for subwoofers, it's fine. But these things are nothing more than personal preferences. I just prefer the DPS 4.1 with different connectors.
Marty

So far, it seems like both Maril and Marty do not like the DPS 4.1 with NCF Rhodium connectors.

Maril also doesn't like the DPS 4.1 with NCF Gold connectors, while Marty doesn't like it with NCF Silver.

The nitpicking seems to be about the highs.

Of course in their respective systems and with their subjective tastes. That's probably a good enough barometer for me to think I will not like the above either given my readings of Marty's previous posts.
 

marty

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I would suggest that the old saying YMMV applies here. Don't be so quick to take my recommendation as necessarily meaningful. but here's a wacko recommendation that works pretty well, at least for me. Start backwards. Figure out what AC outlet you like or are currently using. For your male connector, try to match its plating (or non-plating). For the IEC connectors on gear, these are typically phosphor bronze or gold plated. Gold plated IEC females seems to work well there, as does unplated brass (Oyaide 029 series). (Phosphor bronze has a bit more grain than I'd like to hear). But this is guidance only if you are a bit over the top in leaving no stone unturned in your approach to these things. Of course, you can always use the fabulous and rarely bettered Ching Cheng cables for about 10 bucks, and spend the difference on psychotherapy.
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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So far, it seems like both Maril and Marty do not like the DPS 4.1 with NCF Rhodium connectors.

Maril also doesn't like the DPS 4.1 with NCF Gold connectors, while Marty doesn't like it with NCF Silver.

The nitpicking seems to be about the highs.

Of course in their respective systems and with their subjective tastes. That's probably a good enough barometer for me to think I will not like the above either given my readings of Marty's previous posts.

I need to clarify something:
I only tried DPS 4 with FI-50 NCF (R)
Fi-46 Gold NCF i have on Oyaide Black Mamba V2
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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In all of my trials so far I tried 3 different AC outlets:

Furutech GTX-D (R) NCF
Furutech GTX-D (G)
Oyaide R0 unplated contacts.

2 different bulk AC cables:
Furutech DPS 4
Oyaide Black Mamba V2

5 different AC/IEC plugs:
Furutech FI-11/12 ML Copper
Furutech FI-50 (R) NCF
Furutech FI-50 (G)
Furutech FI-46 (G) NCF
Oyaide P/C 004 Unplated Berillium Copper

Now, try to picture all the possible combinations of the above on 4 different components (preamp, active crossover and two power amps).
I'm not a mathematician, but the number is HUGE.

In doing so, I think I can pretty safely identify some common characteristics:

(R) NCF plug into (R) NCF outlet- too bright in my system.
(G) FI-50 into the same (R) NCF outlet- much more acceptable treble, but the bass can be soft on some recordings
Oyaide R0 plug into (R) NCF outlet- still bright, but very well controlled bass.
FI-50(G) AC plug into (G) GTX-D outlet- treble is very organic, but the bass is way soft.
I feel, that Furutech FI-46 (G) NCF into Oyaide R0 outlet is the most acceptable (but not ideal) to me in terms of tonal balance, but is not as refined, as Furutech GTX-D outlets.
I do have a few more combinations to try and I have two sets of Oyaide P/C-004 Armored plugs to try.
In summary- I have eliminated three combinations, as unacceptable in MY system:
Furutech FI-50 (R) NCF into Furutech GTX-D (R) NCF outlet and
Furutech FI-50 (G) into Furutech FI-50 (G) outlet.
Oyaide R0 Special Edition unplated Berillium Copper into GTX-D (R) NCF

I forgot to mention one more combination:
Furutech FI-12 ML Copper into GTX-D (R) NCF- and ideal tonal balance for my taste, but unfortunately, not as resolving and refined as FI-50 plugs
Just a thought- imagine the possibilities of mixing and matching various AC and IEC plugs!!!
 
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gabler

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cześć jestem z polski, nie mówię po angielsku, używam tłumika gogli. Mam nanolityczny płyn Furutech, zapytam, czy użyjesz go do smarowania wtyczek AC. Na złączach niskoprądowych działa rewelacyjnie, na AC mam obawy
 

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gabler

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Rozmazałem transport IEC CD za pomocą Licuid, nastąpiła poprawa przejrzystości i lepsza kontrola basów. Polecam ten zabieg. Teraz czas na dac.
 
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marty

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Just a thought- imagine the possibilities of mixing and matching various AC and IEC plugs!!!

Maril
Welcome to my world! I admire your "leave no stone unturned" tenacity. It takes real work to find the sound that frames your system best for your taste and needs.
Marty
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Maril
Welcome to my world! I admire your "leave no stone unturned" tenacity. It takes real work to find the sound that frames your system best for your taste and needs.
Marty
Great timing Marty,
I’m just planning to combine FI-46 (G) NCF AC plugs with FI-11 Copper IEC on my monoblocks cables.
I feel having NCF connectors on both ends is a little bit too much of a good thing.
BTW, which connector in your experience makes the most difference, AC or IEC?
 

DaveC

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Great timing Marty,
I’m just planning to combine FI-46 (G) NCF AC plugs with FI-11 Copper IEC on my monoblocks cables.
I feel having NCF connectors on both ends is a little bit too much of a good thing.
BTW, which connector in your experience makes the most difference, AC or IEC?

I'd do it other way 'round... FI-11 IEC is bronze, FI-11M is copper. Both FI-46 are copper.
 

marty

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I'd do it other way 'round... FI-11 IEC is bronze, FI-11M is copper. Both FI-46 are copper.

I agree w Dave. I've tried the FI-11 on both ends. Dave pointed out that the IEC might have some grain as it is phophobronze, not 100% copper, and that I might prefer using a gold plated copper IEC such as FI-28(G). He was absolutely correct. The FI-11 male and the FI-28(G) IEC is a superb combo on the DPS 4.1 for me (using an copper AC wall receptacle and gold-plated IEC female in the Soulution gear).
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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I agree w Dave. I've tried the FI-11 on both ends. Dave pointed out that the IEC might have some grain as it is phophobronze, not 100% copper, and that I might prefer using a gold plated copper IEC such as FI-28(G). He was absolutely correct. The FI-11 male and the FI-28(G) IEC is a superb combo on the DPS 4.1 for me (using an copper AC wall receptacle and gold-plated IEC female in the Soulution gear).
Got it. I'll try that FI-11 Copper AC and Fi-46 Gold NCF IEC
 

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