Today's test is on the 1500W model in the Elite BAC range (Elite BAC 1500). Its balance transformer core material is not the common EI laminate, but a custom toroid core from England (Noratel). Besides common mode rejection of noise, it is also effective in eliminating DC current from the AC mains.
Noise's influence on sound quality is not in its audibility. In fact, most noise voltage are small. Even if you amplify only the noise component in your system, it will not translate to an appreciable volume on your loudspeakers. Noise's harmfulness to music lies in its modulation of the music signals, causing among other things, reduced musicality, loss of inner details and resolution.
The power capacity of the Elite BAC 1500 is not considered high at 1500W though it should be enough for most setup. The concern before using the product is that dynamics will be affected and curtailed, but this has to be judged with actual usage. The test setup consisted of Mcintosh C46 Preamp, MC402 power amp, Esoteric X-03 SACD player all plugged into the Elite BAC 1500 conditioner and Zu Audio Soul Supreme loudspeakers.
When the system is turned on the initial impression is quiet, VERY QUIET. The background is pitch black. Quiet as though the ambient is devoid of all substances. And the music is suspended in this emptiness, each note full, rounded and perfect. Playing Tsai chin "Love is like a song" CD, The previous concern with dynamics limitation is removed. On my favourite 4th track on the disc, the Elite BAC 1500 totally uncovered all the nuanced detail and musicality on this dynamic track. The rhythmic feel of the track is extremely strong, the vocal separation extremely good. The guitar and percussive instrument's imaging in the soundstage very solid and life like. Tsai Chin's voice is full and gentle, musicality and harmonics filling all the spaces in the air.
Indeed, rather than limiting, the Elite BAC 1500 actually ENHANCES and IMPROVES on the frequency range and dynamics of the music replay. On 2014 HK AV Hifi show CD track 3, Vivaldi's 4 seasons, the 8 violin's speed and strength is maximised to the extreme. Under Elite BAC 1500's control, the CD player, amplifiers and speakers moved in unison, recreating a lifelike portrait to the scenic picturesque of Vivaldi's summer. The sound of the 8 violins blend together, yet each distinct and not muffled. Although the music is too fast to discern any "favours" to the violin sound, the violin timbre is excellent, with none of the squeaky, shouty sound that is easily rendered when violins are replayed under huge dynamic swings.
In conclusion, what the Elite BAC 1500 can do with 1500W is simply killer. We can only look forward and imagine what its 3000W flagship brother (Elite BAC 3000) can achieve. Based on the test however, the Elite BAC 1500 will be suitable for most application and setup, with the best cost to performance ratio. Worthy of consideration.
Original in Chinese. Translated by James Soh