A new power block or, as Titan has it ‘Power Distribution Unit’, Paul Rigby plugs in, turns on and sits down
It’s been a while since I last reviewed any cabling from the specialist outfit, Titan. It’s been even longer since I last reviewed a power block from the company. Well, that’s now rectified with the appearance of the Eros. A Power Distribution Unit, I’ll have you know.
It looks like a recording console in a studio, doesn’t it? A form factor I like very much. There is a techie reason for this, though. Apparently the normal busbar approach to power blocks can result in variable current delivery. Busbars are power blocks fitted/connected with solid bars. Moving away from that approach and, instead building the block this way means that each socket receives the same current level.
Each of those sockets receives current from the same type of copper cabling you’ll find in the company’s audiophile cables like the Nyx and Helios while earthing has apparently been improved from earlier models.
You’ll also find a grounding point on the outer chassis to which you can connect things like the Russ Andrews Superrouter, for example to reduce the noise floor.
The aluminium chassis is internally coated with damping materials and is supported by isolating neoprene on the bass with each leg attached with steel fixings.
So how does this thing sound then?
I started with CD and Stereolab’s Switched On from 1992. I selected the track Changer, a relatively low key outing stuffed with quite delicious female vocal arrangements but retaining the classic indie electric/bass guitar drive. A good HiFi will also keep careful track of the delicate cymbal taps on the right channel.
To begin I compared the new Eros block with Titan’s own Styx block (priced around £150), a lower cost unit that I rate very highly indeed. In fact, I reviewed this unit a while back on this site. Check out the review itself HERE. Even so, I wondered if there would be improvements from the Eros and, if so, of what type and by how much.
From the off, I preferred the Eros in design terms. It was solid in its build with a far more stable sit on the floor of my listening room with its console-like form. The Styx, being essential a single strip of sockets with small feet at either end, was all too easily pushed over by large and weighty cabling.
On my HiFi I have two power blocks. One holds the sources (i.e. turntable, CD player, DAC) and those amplifiers higher up the chain (i.e. phono amplifier) while the Styx holds the power section such as the pre amp power monoblocks and the power sections to my Quad 57 electrostatic speakers.
Hence, this first test was essentially addressing bass and lower midrange frequencies while also looking at the overall foundation of the music across the soundstage.
The contrast between the Styx and the Eros was significant. Wholly significant. There was a drop in the noise floor from the Eros which meant that cymbal activity on the right channel was much clearer now. That wasn’t all though, the cymbals sounded further forward in the mix while the output of this one instrument was fuller in its delivery and more complex in terms of its timbre.
At the beginning of the track, band founder member Tim Gane hit a steady strum beat on the electric guitar. Via the Eros, this guitar wasn’t as scratchy or primitive in its output as it sounded via the Styx, at least in relative terms. Again, music via the Eros sounded fuller and more complex. There seemed to be a lot more going on in tonal terms while the accompanying bass guitar had a firmer hold on the music now, adding power.
As for the twin female vocal. I could still hear grain and texture, I didn’t want to lose those, but there was an extra smoothness to the vocal delivery now.
AND NOW VINYL
Turning to vinyl and listening to The King’s Singer’s Peanut Vendor from the LP, Encore (1971), the harmonies were smooth yet intricate while the low-key percussion offered precision on the toms toms plus delicacy via the treble-infused cymbals.
Music via this track was quite effortless yet was full of nuance and detail.
I then tried the Eros in the source position, connecting my turntable, DAC and CD transport. This time, the Eros came head to head with the QB6 via Nordost (£1,580).
Although the Eros performed well around the treble and upper mids for its price point, it didn’t quite have the control around those areas as the QB6. The QB6 exhibited enhanced precision and focus which again, considering the difference in price, wasn’t a great surprise. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with the midrange and bass via the Eros which competed well with the QB6 in both parts of the frequency spectrum.
Vocals were texturised and full of emotional information from the Eros while percussion was clean and crisp with real emphasis shown after each hit of the drum. Electric guitars rung with electricity and the bass guitar provided a strong foundation to the track as a whole.
Those effects were transferred to vinyl and The King’s Singers. I was most impressed, on this track, by how wide the soundstage stretched via the Eros, and how the musical space itself was maximised.
In terms of physical design, I like the compact aspect of the Eros. The mirrored, double row socket arrangement helps to keep cables tidy and in place while the sturdy metallic chassis sitting upon the sturdy legs keeps everything secure and in place.
In terms of sonics, I was very happy with the overall performance. In its price point, the Eros is a great all rounder offering a low noise, high detail response that was appreciably transparent in terms of digging into the mix to extract hidden information.
Plug your HiFi components into one or more Titan Eros power blocks and, in sonic terms, you’ll be giving your HiFi a solid foundation.
TITAN EROS POWER DISTRIBUTION UNIT
GOOD: compact and solid design, low noise, smooth midrange, expansive bass
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