Although EVO-S has been specifically designed to be used with one of our Technical Ground cables - to integrate it into the Russ Andrews Grounding System - it can also be used beneficially as a stand-alone mains cable. Indeed, Paul admits that, on the basis of the cable’s substantial build quality, he “would be happy to review the thing on that basis alone”. In fact, he does both, first testing the cable by itself and then by adding the Ground connection.
This is an interesting move. We’d always recommend integrating the cable into the Grounding System because – as you will read from Paul’s experience – that will bring you the biggest improvement. However, it’s also useful to assess what each aspect of the cable is doing; the cable in its ‘raw’ form, so to speak, and then with the connection to one of our SuperRouters or RF Routers. It’s also useful to know if you are thinking of upgrading to the EVO-S and looking to add the Grounding System at a later date.
Testing the EVO-S as a stand-alone cable
So, beginning with the EVO-S in isolation, the first thing he noticed was clear improvements to the lower frequencies, with greater heft and weight to the bass on tracks by Emmylou Harris and Frank Zappa.
Not surprisingly, the effects were obvious in “the drums and bass guitar” but he notes that they were also present in “the electric guitar and, in Harris’ case, the vocals. The latter offered a sense of thought and introspection and, above all, a real notion of control. The lady sounded like she was in the driving seat with the EVO-S”.
Construction of EVO-S PowerKord showing, right to left: Ground Screen Technology, Noise-reduction sleeving, braided live and neutral conductors and the helically-wound earth.
He also found there to be a greater surety in the upper frequencies, whilst the “mids were firm [and] there was sense of authority and discipline from the midrange so the vocal performance was a little more believable”.
Overall, “a good start” as he says; now to see what happens once the cable is connected into the Grounding System…
“I was rather excited to check this one out”, he writes, “because I rather like both the RF Router and the SuperRouter grounding accessories. Both enhance my HiFi, helping to boost clarity and more. In fact, the SuperRouter has never left it. It’s part of my reference, I’m happy to say”.
Testing the EVO-S with the Ground Cable
The first impression upon adding the ground tells an interesting story. On first listening, there was no perceived improvement, leading him to observe that all “ground wire set ups need to sound their best as noise drains away but I especially recommend a run-in period on this one”.
Why? Because, “after the bumpy beginning, what [he] heard was an expected lowering of high-frequency noise. Vocals were clearer in their delivery while instruments that often have a rather boomy attached bass or flabby midrange… certainly tightened up".
Picture above shows two EVO-S PowerKords connected to a SuperRouter.
In addition to “enhanced clarity”, one particular aspect of Paul’s experience we could relate to was his observation concerning the positive effect the Ground cable had on specific music tracks which had a tendency to sound “confused and muddled”. Here Paul describes the effect as bringing a “sense of calm” to the music.
This was very much our own experience when developing the cable; it brought a calmness in the sense that, where there had previously been an edge, an aggressiveness to some music, it was now completely engaging to listen to. That’s certainly not to say that it lacked excitement – if excitement was there on the original recording, the EVO-S would reflect it. What we are talking about here is an unpleasant aggressiveness which seemed to be negated once the Ground Cable is added.
The genesis of EVO-S goes back to the development of the Russ Andrews Grounding System which has been evolving over a number of years. We wanted to be able to integrate a mains cable into this system and see if it benefitted in the same way as the existing casework grounding. It did.
During our listening tests, we also found that the external ‘floating’ screen of the EVO-S brought sonic benefits even when the Ground cable was disconnected. However, because the improvements were subjectively so much greater with the Ground cable attached, we did not envisage it being used in its ‘stand-alone’ guise.
Paul’s review is therefore intriguing, because he has approached it from the perspective of a cable which could be used either way. Certainly, assessing the cable without the Ground connected gives and interesting insight into the difference that connection makes. Like us, he’s clear which he prefers, though: “I like both but I especially like the dual cable and ground wire set up".
He puts the difference like this:
Publication date: 28th October 2022
Verdict: Groovy Award
GOOD: strong bass, commanding presentation, ground wire addition, low noise
Buy EVO-S PowerKord here
Click here to read about the Audiophile Man review of the Russ Andrews SuperRouter and here for the RF Router