“I know not of any other upgrade at any price that gives (relatively) so much for (relatively) so little.” –– to this day, my closing statement on AudioQuest’s US$995 Niagara 1000 ‘Low-Z Power Noise-Dissipation System’ holds true. Having the chrome tube strip away mains-supplied (and airborne) electrical noise from a hi-fi/head-fi system nets clearly audible results — I’d liken the improvement to a remastering of every album played through it.
In this Darko.Audio podcast episode, Niagara series designer Garth Powell explained why:
However, the Niagara 1000’s single high current outlet – essential for loudspeaker amplifiers – meant only integrateds or power amplifiers could play. Active loudspeaker and/or monoblock users were left to ponder the US$4000 Niagara 5000.
This week, AudioQuest add 200 to the entry-level Niagara’s model name but keep the internal tech and price the same: the incoming Niagara 1200 will sell for US$995.
From the press release: “Like the 1000 before it, the Niagara 1200 includes AudioQuest’s patented Ground-Noise Dissipation System for a full 18 octaves of Level-X Linear Noise-Dissipation. Common to all Niagara products, the 1200 features AudioQuest’s Non-Sacrificial Surge Protection and Over-Voltage Shutdown, ensuring that all associated A/V systems are thoroughly protected from AC surges and spikes.”
However, the new model adds two key features:
1) A second high-current outlet. Hello 2 x Schiit Aegir. Hello Kii Three. Hello ELAC Navis.
2) A completely reworked enclosure, none too dissimilar to that of the Schiit Gungnir DAC, that accommodates floor placement and in-rack positioning where the power outlets point at the wall.
Further details on the Niagara 1200, direct from the press release (click to enlarge):
Read my extensive coverage of the Niagara 1000 here.
The Niagara 1200 is available now to US customers. European, UK and AU/NZ versions will follow in due course.
Further information: AudioQuest