I've owned my first Essence for almost four years, and connected to my Bryston 3B, it proved to be the most worthwile audio upgrade I have ever made.
In that time, I've upgraded my cables, my cd player, my interconnects and speaker cable, got a Richard Gray Power Company, and even after all that, the ESP is STILL the most positive upgrade in my system.
A couple of months ago, the opportunity came for me to purchase a second for alot less than I paid for my first, so I jumped on it. It came on Christmas Eve, and after plugging it into various components, it finally found it's home on the back of my preamp.
My preamp is the new Parasound Halo P3, which I think is probably the best preamp I've ever heard under a grand. Very musical, rhythmic, and rich yet open sound with an honest midrange. What it lacks in multi buck transparency, it more than makes up for with it's ability to make music sound damn good.
The Essence helped take these qualities to a higher level. The sound remained rhythmic, yet the music became more full and rich, without losing any of the openess or midrange purity. The highs became beautiful. Musical textures, like the resonation of the brass from a saxaphone, or a cymbol, sound more realistic in my system than I have ever heard them sound before. Mostly, I notice that the music has more weight and body, without robbing the preamp of any of the virtues it had before. The rhythm is still spot on, the bass is deep and resonant without suffering from bloating. The midrange soundes even more gorgeous than before, and the highs went from clean to delicate and sparkling.
Admittedly, the difference in sound with the ESP on my preamp wasn't as overwhelmingly obvious as it was with my amplifier, but it was obvious. I tried plugging it into other components, and every component benefited from it's incersion, even my RGPC.
Hell, I've even taken it over to my dad's house, and plugged it into his reciever, just to show him how good the damn thing works.
Eventually, it ended up on the Halo, which provided the most benefit to the audio signal in my system.
Oddly, with other cable companies coming into the forefront, I hear precious little about the ESP anymore. It seemed like a lifetime ago, that the Essence seemed to be taking the stereo press by storm. Now they seem like a forgotten trend. Which is sad for the company, but great for guys like me, who can buy them used from people looking for the next hot cable. Let them sell them, and I'll keep saving up money till every component in my system has The Essence plugged into the back of it. I'll even drill into the back of my DVD player, and insert an IEC outlet on the back to put on of these on it, when there's nothing left to plug one into.
At it's new price, I enthusiastically recommended it for amplifiers. After more than three years, I have yet to discover ONE WAY this cord does not improve the sound of my amplifier over any other cord I have ever used.
At the prices these can be purchased used, I can't imagine why ANYONE wouldn't want to get as many of these things as they can. For amps, for preamps, for CD players, for their computer monitor...
I've heard skeptical people say that power doesn't matter, because it doesn't exist in the audio chain.
Power cords DO matter, because power (electricity) exists in EVERY LEVEL of the audio chain! Those low level signals don't amplify themselves! Power touches every IC, every Op-Amp, every resistor, every output transistor, taking the original signal (which is electricity), all the way through the speaker cable, until it touches the drivers of the speaker. It has far MORE affect on the sound than any other type of cable I have ever used in my system.
Quality of power is EVERYTHING in audio.
And, with the Essence, the quality of power is the best I have ever experienced.
Borrowed a broken-in Essence power cord from DejaVu audio to test on my modified Jolida 302b. Noticed an immediate and significant improvement from the stock AC cord. The bass sounded tighter and better integrated into the music. The mid and high ranges seemed to blossom. The added depth and "airiness" were particularly noticeable, especially on female vocals. Bought the cord the next day.
Spending $400.00 on a power cord may not be for everyone, but the improvement in sound was worth far more than that to my ears. It was almost, but not quite, the revelation I had when I first replaced my doddering Onkyo SS with tubes.
Can't think of any significant weaknesses, at least for the amp. DejaVu audio highly recommended the Essence for use on amps, but was ho hum about its benefit to sources. I'd have to agree. Didn't have as much impact on my CD player.
Overall, if you're looking to upgrade your power cord - at least for your amp - this is a good one.
Jolida 302b (modified) Arcam Alpha 9 CD B&W CDM9NTs REL Strata III sub XLO Pro 1200 speaker cables XLO Pro 125 interconnects
Put it on the back of my Bryston 3B-ST, and IMMEDIATELY noticed a difference. Treble energy became more relaxed, mids seemed to open up, and the bass got subterrain! Voices (male especially) became richer, and drum shots resonated longer. Almost makes my Bryston sound like an entirely different amp, but that's not right...it keeps all the virtues of my amp (speed, detail), but adds richness and harmony that were only hinted at before I added the cable. I'll keep this thing for life!!!
Five overall, and I debated a four for value, but honestly, I can't think of anything even in it's league, so five for value as well (may be the best 500 you spend on your system ever!)
I recently auditioned several power cords for use on my amp (Plinius SA100III) and found the ESP cord to be the best. It seemed to energize the sonics of my amp in a way I can hardly describe. It just sounded real good used with my amp. I was not as impressed used into my linestage however.
This is a seriously good product that can radically improve most systems, requires a break in time and works, in part, by reforming the power caps on the unit it is plugged into to hold a bit more voltage, but more importantly, incease its release times. The result is cleaner faster sound with much augmented dynamics and lower extension and smoother, more dynamic highs. I use it with a Blue Circle BC-84 line conditioner plugged into the wall beside it (usinging parallel circuits only) and the difference of the combination is very substantial. The very lower bass is made more weighty. One consequence, though, is that the Illuminations D-60 digital interconnect now sounds too thick and full bodied, and I have gone to an old Brasfield digital interconnect I keep and found sounded the best of all cables I tried on the Theta DACs while searching out the Audio Logic M 34. This ESP power card is very highly recommended. Of the few I know who have tried it, they are blown away. One said it was very much better than the Synergistic Master AC coupler he was using.