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Fight the power with AudioQuest’s PowerQuest AC filters

  • How many power sockets are occupied by your hi-fi system? Asking this question of Darko.Audio’s YouTube community, 1,300 respondents begat the following results:

    That’s invaluable intel for a company like AudioQuest who this week formally announce the availability of their PowerQuest2 (US$199) and PowerQuest3 (US$299) AC filters, teased for some time already on the audio show circuit.

    The name of this game is affordability in which designer Garth Powell (interviewed here) brings his electrical noise reduction smarts to lower price points.

    The PowerQuest3 offers eight “application-optimized” sockets: 2 x 4K/8K video-optimised “Ultra-Linear filter outlets”, 2 x High-Current outlets for amplification devices (ideal for those running monoblocks or active loudspeakers) and 4 x “Ultra-Linear filter outlets” for source components like streamers, DACs or phono stages:

    The slightly smaller PowerQuest2 reduces the socket count to six and removes the ultra from the filtering: 1 x 4K/8K video-optimised “Linear filter outlet”, 1 x high-current socket (for an integrated or power amplifier), and four “Linear filter outlets” for source components. This smaller model offers a more cost-effective choice to the modal average of our survey:

    A captive (non-upgradeable) NRG power cord with “Directionally Optimized Concentric-Geometry conductors” (ask Powell, not me) joins each PowerQuest filter to the wall. This cable is reportedly a derivative of AudioQuest’s NRG power cable that would otherwise set us back US$100.

    Additional features include “Non-Sacrificial Surge Protection” and “Extreme Voltage Shutdown”, signal-line protection and USB charging ports. Both the PowerQuest2 and PowerQuest3 ship with a “$1,000,000 Connected Equipment Protection Warranty”.

    Direct (and ongoing) experience with an earlier model, the Niagara 1000 AC filter (review here), tells me that microdynamics and overall musical avidity just aren’t the same without it preceding a streamer, a CD player, an amplifier, a phono stage and, in its high-current socket. an integrated amplifier. (This is an audio-focussed website — I cannot speak to the Niagara 1000’s efficacy in the video domain).

    Whilst the Niagara 1000’s mirrored finish remains a fingerprint magnet and can only sit horizontally (in my case, on the floor), the PowerQuest2 and PowerQuest3 arrive as more compact plastic-shelled units, ready to be placed in a rack, stood upright or fitted to a wall.

    Interested parties demanding irrefutable proof of these AC filters’ efficacy are advised that both models are available on where 30-day returns apply.

    Which leads us to our Eurozone wrinkle: at the time of writing, the PowerQuest2 and PowerQuest3 are available only in the USA. Versions accommodating British and European plugs will follow later this year.

    Further information: AudioQuest

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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