Wavac AC-2 - don't try if you want to save money

Last night, I and my friend took our Power House conditioner to fight against the Wavac AC-2. We need help because the power house is so heavy. I told my friend about AE, a very mysterious dealer doing hi end stuff. Many people know them but just don't have a chance to pay a visit. Anyway, my friend is very curious to learn about AE and the product that they carry.

The thing that caught my friend's eye is the Da Vinci Unison turntable. It is very elegant. Well, sorry, back to the main story. The compariosn between Wavac AC-2 and the Power House. The power house is a much much heavier and bigger unit than the AC-2. My friend told PT confidently about the strength of power house. PT had no comment, seemed didn't care and knew the result before hand and went straight to play "Chage and Aska Unplugged Live" - track 4 as he recommended here. My friend was sitting down at a very fancy chair. Even I was not sitting at the King's seat, I was deeply impressed by the liveliless and the transparency of the unplugged concert. later on, when I sat on the king's seat, I felt as though I was actually sitting in the concert with Aska playing guitar in front of me. I truly mean this is absolutely crazy kind of performance because the speakers are so big in size but I don't feel their presence. PT reminded me Mr.DV was not entirely happy with the bass. Maybe we are just too junior to understand but I never experienced something like this.

The tragedy began when PT said to my friend, "Are you confident the swap from AC-2 to Power house can be better than what you just heard?" PT suggested we played a few more tracks before moving to compare. We played the Angel, 張敬軒Unplugged Live CD2- track 13 - 後來. I could see my friend's confidence was fading one disc after disc.

Then we did a direct swap. The Zanden CD player, Tron syren preamp (only two items) were plugged to the powerhouse. Then we played Chage and Aska again. That was an embarassing moment becasue the hall sound was gone, and Aska's voice seems like he got a cold before the concert. The lower mid bass becomes very muddy. I can see PT tries to calm my friend down by reducing the volume of subwoofer to help a little bit but no way Aska's voice has changed so much to become kind of sweet - gone are the textures and 蒼桑感. The staging has moved forward and the dynamic of guitar become dull. We moved on to test 軒仔 - his voice also thickens substantially. It sounded as though he is much older than what he is now.

I could see my friend was very down. His only defence is power company has better 音色. PT's reply was straight - 音色 is subjective, and then kept silent. He just asked should we reconnect AC-2 back? That was almost 1200a.m. in the midnight? PT said Marvel bro just called him. They were really good friends, chatting on audio at midnight?

We reconnected to AC-2 anyway. Aska's voice was just so touching melting both us down especially after went through a brief period of contamination. The AC-2 did the job in a way that you do not know it is present. Most AC conditoner including my old champion Burmester 948 adds some kind of signature and constraint on dynamics, not this one.

We cannot compete with the speed of Japanese yen rising everyday. Both of us surrendered.
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Comments

  • This kind of report on AC2 is long overdue. I have no idea why JLam/PT has been so quiet on this item. I believe it is more than 1 month after they received it according to Marvel bro's message. Does it mean it took one month for the AC-2 to warm up?
  • Don't you know Marvel and PT are lover?

    It has been quite awhile since my purchase of the Troy. The next public enemy is AC noise. Jlam, please check email asap.

    Brother Charles, where have you been? How's your Algame doing? It takes a full year for the bass drivers to loosen up and perform at ease.
  • Both PT and myself turned away from AC conditioning long time ago when we first encountered ORB, a very neutral, resourceful, raw piece of power bar beating all the power bars, conditioners that we were using/testing/owning. Then our route converge to use pure power distributor until AC2...the most neutral and transparent conditioner that we come across so far. My early worry about the possible degradation on dynamics due to energy loss over the conditioning path has totally gone after listening to AC2. As I mentioned in another thread, at one stage, I was thinking PT has connecting the Vekian DAC with his Zanden CD Player because never have I thought about this one piece player can produce such a wide dynamic range with fast transient...

    Yen is rising so price is expected to go up...

    Marvel
  • Dear 查理布朗大哥,

    I am truly propelled by your AC-2 experiences!

    Your writeup effectively projects your experiences to my soul although I haven't got luck to visit PT in HK yet.

    Milky Boyz
  • This is the mysterious AC-2.
  • To all Wavac fans in the community,

    The most worthwhile product in the whole Wavac lineup is their AC conditioning technology derived during the development of the cost-no-object SH833 amplification system.

    Like the Tripoint, it opens up a whole dimension of sound purity once the AC noises are eliminated in exchange for tonal purity. Unlike the Tripoint, the Wavac AC-2 does the cleaning at the big picture level, whereas the Tripoint is cleaning up at the micro level. They compliment each other. It is indispensable. I have been testing the AC2 for almost two months. I plugged and unplugged equipments into the AC2 on and off. In all circumstances, I and my friends here in Taipei could not withstand 30 seconds with the AC2 in the system. There is no coloration. No contraint in dynamics. Highly recommend for serious listerner.
  • I couldn't agree more with your assessment. I always have reservation on Asian colorations from this brand. But this is definitely not the case with the AC-2. I am feeding the AC-2 by the FMR power. There are so much more perspectives into the soundstaging. My Algame never sounds so good. It is simply stunning. It's holiday season. I just need some toys to reward myself over a tough year. I dare say both the Tripoint Troy and the Wavac AC-2 are "product of the year" in this community.
  • My AC-2 finally arrived on Friday! To be exact, it arrived 3 weeks ago but I requested Wavac to change the back panel to fit the US plugs.

    PT reminded me several times that this is a marvellous tool which I must plug one component at a time to realise the material difference it brings to the entire performance. So I patiently put the Zanden transport into the AC2 immediately after the AC2 was delivery on Friday night. I was not expecting much surprise as improvement is almost taken for granted, but the scale shocked me as well as my wife who has not been involved in my gear evaluation for quite some time. The reason why it attracted her to sit down to listen was the new CD by Susan Boyle which I told her has got rave succuess in the UK. Whilst I thought my CD source cannot be further improved in my current constraints of room, etc, AC-2 throw myself and my wife to the back of sofa with our eyes staring each other...not entirely an exaggeration! Susan's voice become much more human with moisture, breathing in and out in rhythm and stands distinctively in front of the piano at the back...I immediately recall the experience of listening in PT's system with the cD source plugged in the aC2,when we listened to the vinyl without connecting to the AC2, the vinyl's performance was radically 'pulled down' to the floor...(with some exaggeration though!)

    Back to my experience with AC-2, I listened to various CDs on that night swapping back and forth with and without the AC-2, trying to identify if there is a twist on the tonality, transparency, resolution, dynamic range, transient, all I can find is a consistent and converged result: Improved!!

    On the 2nd day, ie yesterday, I first started by warming up my vinyl system and listened for about 30mins without the AC2, then switched to listen to the CD with AC2, I can experience similar things like in PT's place....using the same CD and LP for comparison Diamonds and Rust in the Bullring - Joan Baez. A reference CD/LP for me for years. Plugged the Zanden Mk3 phono to the AC2...OMG (Oh My God) I yelled out shocking my wife at the far side of my apartment. Both my Zanden transport and phono have an outboard power supplies and in my tradition wisdom of thinking, are already isolated from the 'damage' cuased by the power contamination, but the result speaks for itself! Joan Baez just flows out and floats in the virtual hall with thousands of audience surrounding her, me being one of them clapping my hands together with the audience...long time since I am so engaged in listening to Joan!!

    Bearing the exact size and similar weight of the power supplies of my 805MK2, I can imagine using AC2 on SRA Ohio platform will take it to another level! This is what I am going to do and for those AC2 users and potential users, I suggest this is something you should not do without after taking such a 'big step' in acquiring the AC2 (Charlie Brown and his friends, Bigpiece, included)...

    The next component that I will connect is the Tidal Preos...to be cont'd.

    Marvel
  • Jeff et the gangs,

    Marvel bro, our group over here had been listening to my system with and without AC2 for the whole evening after reading your comments. We happened to have the same CD that you mentioned. Everyone was amazed by the sonic improvement brought from the AC2.

    We even tried the system with AC2 on but disconnected the TROY completely - no no no - they have to go together. If the Troy is not there, most of the harmonic decays will disappear. The sound becomes a bit dry. If only the Troy is there but AC2 is not, then the overall staging becomes much less defined. It seems the overall perspective somewhat loses focus.

    If you ask me to choose the product of the year in this community, it will be a tough call between AC2 and Troy.
  • Always enjoy reading Marvel bro's equipment report. The pain is always waiting.
  • Jeff,

    I connected the 3rd component into the AC2 which is the Tidal Preos preamp 2 days ago. I still have one available socket left on the AC2 but with 2 remaining components: Vekian DAC and the DV turntable. I sort of decided to put Vekian into the AC2 while leaving the DV turntable on the Kyoto power bar. What do you think?

    Back to the Preos on AC2, the reason why I choose to put it after the Zanden is because Preos is in itself has a very dark and quiet background pushing the noise level to a barely audible level. Before doing this, I wasn't sure if it would be a big difference but of course a few minutes later, I found out that the Preos seems to have an outboard power supplies providing the preamp with much cleaner power and energy. Nothing has been changed in terms of the entire musical presentation, just the scope of soundstage has been extended (note, not expanded in a sense that the scale of the musical instruments, performaner are remaining the same), I can feel more vividly on the surrounding, the height, the backstage and the audience...before the use of AC2, this kind of information tends to be burried and blurred...

    In hindsight, if I plugged the Preos into the AC2 the first, I think the shock would not be small!! I wll certainly experiment this by unplugging all components back to the Kyoto and start all over again by having Preos go first.

    My plan is to connect Vekian up tonight and let the whole loading of AC2 to run for 1-2 weeks with the FMR powering it. Then I will try a few power cords on the AC2 to see which one yields the best result in my particular system setup and environment, right now I have choices of SMR EE, Jorma Prime and Bertram Masterpiece, do you have any crazy cables which you think might work with AC2?

    Marvel
  • Marvel,

    I told you long before that the AC2 is crazy level product. We have compared the AC2 to virtually all AC conditioning products in Taipei. All the time, though the championship is warranted, the margin over the next competitiors is just too wide. Even some non-Wavac believers find this AC conditioner is excellent and we begin to understand why there is a need for 833 mark 2 and the SH-833. The application of AC2 to the PR-T1 saves all the hassle of changing tubes - which is playing tonality around - not really addressing fundamentals. We also tried connected the PR-T1 to the AC2 with stock golden dragon tubes is 10 times better than whatever exotic NOS tubes put inside. As you rightly pointed out, just "everything" is better without emphasizing on certain attribute. Most importantly, the sound is lively.

    The power cords to go with the AC2 is important, and we had tested over 10 different brands of flagship powercords including those you mentioned. In all cases, the FMR power cord provides the most balance presentation, period.
  • After I plugged the Zanden phono mk3 into the AC2 last night, I felt like going to heaven. It opens up so much into the depth of music. This round, I don't blame "Asian colorations" anymore. Rightly to say, my argument on asian colorations is supported by facts revealed by Uncle Ray.
  • Hey guys, the AC2 really amuses me! It really cleans up a lot of dirts at the big picture level. Though the 833 has a fat bottom, the addition of AC2 makes me see the curves and the skeleton of the fat ass. The "elasticity" feeling that Shanghai bigpiece described improves dramatically.

    I just plugged the Zanden 2000p/5000s in and I feel the improvement is beyond verbal descriptions because it is everywhere. Now, I begin to understand why there is a 833mk2. If AC2 can cleans up noises at the front end so much, imagine what it can do with amp! Damn it! It is all about money.
  • WChow,

    When I first acquired the 805Mk2, I already knew how powerful their AC conditioning would be. Because the S/N ratio is 9db more than the 805Mk1 after adding the power supply to form the 805Mk2. Of course, the difference in the circuit design between Mk1 and Mk2 would also count. I just attribute most of the improvement on the noise platform and dynamic to the addition of the pwoer supplies.

    The last component I plugged into the AC-2 was the Vekian DAC filling up the all 4 sockets of the AC-2: Zanden transport, Zanden phono, Preos preamp and last but not least Vekian DAC.

    With AC2 feeding power to both the transport and now the DAC, the CD source jumps 2 leagues up. Background quietness can further be enhanced producing more spatial cue and harmonic movements. Again, I use the CD of Susan Boyle as a benchmark. With Vekian on the AC2, I can hear, though Susan has possessed a voice from the heaven, in my view, her singing skills has still got some rooms for improvement especially on how to leverage the breathing in and out to harmonise into the rhythm of the song. Without AC2, her voice is intermingled with the noise introduced by the power (and perhaps the signal) thus producing a smooth and mellow listening pleasure.

    Does AC2 need burnin in, I firmly believe so as I have undergone the same when 805Mk2 was first installed...with my not so high utilisation, I think 2 months is not an underestimation!

    Marvel
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