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Power cable AC

WK Audio

Manufacturer: WK AUDIO
Price (in Poland): 11 000 PLN/1,5 m

WK Audio | Plichtów 48
92-701 Plichtów | POLSKA


Provided for test by: WK AUDIO


WK AUDIO is Witold Kamiński's company, founded in 2017 in Plichtów, near Łódź. By profession, he's an architect, but also a music enthusiast, author of columns in "High Fidelity" regarding broadly understood culture, he offers record clamps, anti-vibration platform and three AC power cables. For this test we received the latest power cable, that happens to be also the most expensive one, THE AIR model.

ower cables have become an element of an audio of equal importance as a sound source, amplifier and loudspeakers. Although just a few years ago such a sentence in my tests was rather a postulate, colliding with the wall of disbelief, and often even aversion, today is a widely accepted state of affairs. And that's good, the audio system is becoming an increasingly balanced structure in which the individual components work together, rather than interfering with each other.

It's still a terra incognita, a "magical area". However, there is less and less magic in it, and more and more knowledge, which is good for all of us. However, you must know that this equation will never be without the unknowns. If it is to be a really good product, and not just an average "work", in the end man hes to step in with his highly imperfect and at the same time wonderful sense of hearing and decide what to give up, and what he doesn't want to sacrifice at any price. Audio will always remain at the interface between science and art - because only art can complete science.


THE AIR cable by WK AUDIO was developed in a similar process. The company is run by WITEK KAMIŃSKI (we have known each other for years so I can call him that). We have already tested two of its cables in the High Fidelity - The One and – covered in a micro-test - the Two, I was also impressed by his Pure Piano Black anti-vibration platform. All these products were connected by the creator's passion, idea and aesthetic make and finish. Each of these products featured a small element in it, which allowed it not to be yet another, ordinary audio product.

The Air cable is distinguished by a red, leather, fastened strap with a metal plaque with the company logo and the name of the cable attached to it. This is a nice workaround for the problem that every small manufacturer has to face - you can't put this information on the cable itself in any reasonable. One solution is to apply a heat-shrink with logos, but not everyone likes it. So Witek chose a more expensive way, more elegant in my opinion.

Owner, designer

WOJCIECH PACUŁA: It seems quite thick…
WITOLD KAMIŃSKI: Yes, but it is because inside there are three, independently run wires, which are intertwined in a proprietary braid. Each of the wires is separately isolated, each has anti-vibration layers, etc. It's quite a complex system, because all the "playing" with this cable's design was based on its mechanics. In retrospect, I can see that the power cord is more a mechanical device than an electrical one.

Well, it is true. That's another cable we prepared together with Roger (Roger Adamek, the owner of RCM a distributing company and RCM Audio a manufacturer – ed.). Whenever I come up with something new I visit him in Katowice and he tells me what he thinks about it. If we both think something may come out of it we work on it together until it fulfills our expectations.

We've spent almost 18 months working on this cable and almost all our work was related to its mechanics. So - geometry, form of braid, form of twist, elements added between individual wires. Over the past year and a half, we met almost once a week. What you see is a result of around a hundred small changes from the moment I brought the first project to Roger, and the electrical side of the project was ready back then.

OK, so how do you start a new power cable project?
An idea comes first. That's how you do it in an architecture. It's not like you sit down and "force" a project. If this happens, it is an "engineering work" - we sit at the desk for eight hours and do something. I work differently. If I have a project to do, I nurse it in me first, I work it out in my head. I can ride a bike, talk, do dozens of other things, and I'll be thinking about the project at the same time. That's exactly how it looked like with this cable. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, it ripened in my head and at some point I just knew I was ready to sit down and start to work on it.

So what exactly was the first idea for The Air?
The idea was that I wanted to run three wire bundles in parallel, completely separate, like three TheOne cables in one ... I had no idea about their future geometry and design - but that's the idea I had. First, I ran them in parallel, but Roger with toothpicks proved to me that they did not have to be parallel - he waved them and the cable sounded better.

The next step was the braiding. But it is not so obvious that the braided cable sounds well. In the case of a power cable, the most important variable is the electromagnetic field and how these three runs interact with each other. I don't know if anyone measures it, and if they do, it's the internal knowledge of large companies. Besides - the measurements alone don't say much. What you see on the oscilloscope, spectrum meter, is purely technical. The human ear, however, is better, it is the most sensitive human organ - we are still small mammals that run from a predator, we have evolved in such conditions for millions of years.

But some measurement is necessary, right?
If you really need it, sure. However, each measurement must be complemented with listening sessions. Each audio product is, in a sense, a piece of art. For me, audio devices are not engineering "lockpicks". In each of them engineering is the basis, it's obvious, as in architecture. One must have some technical knowledge to have a foundation for such project. All the rest, however, is an intuition of the architect, each creator, his sense - this is, in my opinion, what distinguishes a real work from an ordinary utility object, which can be both a building and audio component.

And audio and architecture are related fields for me. Unlike many people imagine, in all "professional" professions knowledge accounts for about 40%. You use it like pliers, it is a tool. But you have to be able to use it, add to it this strange, irrational brain "defect" called intuition. So without the listening element, without this - say - "soul", there no good sounding devices. ▪

The Air is quite thick - in the blue PVC braided sleeve there are three separate wire runs, each individually isolated, which results in a large overall diameter. The wires are twisted together, and between them - in strategic places selected during listening sessions - elements were placed that separate them from each other. A similar arrangement you can find in, among others, Argento cables, Flow Master Reference model, LessLoss from the DFPC series, and KBL Audio in the Synchro Master Power. However, each company applies its own solutions. Although they look similar, they give different effects.

Their shape in The Air is a result of the analysis of processes occurring in the power cable during its operation. All three runs are "twisted" into a special proprietary braid with selected geometry. In total, there is as much as 13 mm2 of copper there. It is OFC copper of high purity, which comes from the Polish and Italian factories. Before the product bought from manufacturers is used in this cable it undergoes special, proprietary processes aimed at its further refinement and only then it is used in the cable. The assembly process involves as many as 134 activities that must be performed in a strictly defined order and with a strictly defined force. Work on each unit from the moment one takes a single run in one's hand until the whole cable is finished takes up to four days.

The Air is terminated with Furutech I-E50 NCF (R) and FI-50 NCF (R) NCF plugs - it is a plug with rhodium plated contacts and a housing made in the Nano Crystal² Formula technique. Let me remind you that this Japanese company uses a special crystalline material in them, with some special "active" properties. First of all, it generates negative ions, eliminating static electricity. Secondly, it converts kinetic energy into infrared radiation. So it is a piezoelectric material that directly converts vibrations into heat. As Witek says, the cable from the start was to be paired with these particular plugs:

It is very important to make such a decision at the very beginning of the project! The plug used for an audio cable is its integral part and has a fundamental effect on the sound of the cable. Unfortunately, sometimes "better" plugs cause particular cable to sound worse! Sometimes using the best plugs actually exposes defects, deficiencies of the cable.

The cable is packed in a nice wooden box with a metal plaque.


The reviewed cable powered my Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition (№ 1/50) player during the test and was compared to my reference, the Siltech Triple Crown, also to Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500 and Acrolink 8N-PC8100 Nero Edition (№ 1/15).

It was an A/B/A comparison with A and B know. I used short, two minutes long music samples from each disc. Taking advantage of the fact, that Witek brought his cable to me personally, we had one session together comparing The Air to Siltech, and later I performed the second part of the test comparing it to all three aforementioned power cables.

WK AUDIO in „High Fidelity”
  • TEST: WK Audio PURE PIANO BLACK | anti-vibration platform
  • TEST: WK Audio THE ONE | power cable AC

  • Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

    • Depeche Mode, Home, Mute Records LCDBong27, „Mastered by Nimbus”, maxi-SP CD (1997)
    • Dominic Miller & Neil Stacey, New Dawn, Naim naimcd066, CD (2002)
    • Mark Knopfler, The Trawlerman's Song EP, Mercury 9870986, EP CD (2005)
    • Pat Metheny Group, Offramp, ECM/Tower Records PROZ-1095, „ECM SA-CD Hybrid Selection”, SACD/CD (1982/2017)
    • Sting, The Soul Cages, A&M Records 397 150-2, CD (1991)
    • Tomita, Clair De Lune. Ultimate Edition, RCA Red Seal/Denon COGQ-59, SACD/CD (1976/2012)
    • Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly Trio, Smokin’ At The Half Note, Verve/Analogue Productions CVRJ 8633 SA, SACD/CD (1965/2013)

    | The AIR with Witek

    WK: In my opinion, compared to Siltech, The Air introduced more order to the soundstage. I have the impression that Siltech tries to show everything at once and "in parallel". At first it seemed to me that my cable is quieter. But it happened precisely because it began to present sounds in a more spacious way. With Siltech everything is presented more in the front, and my cable presents the sound more in the back, behind the speakers. I also have the impression that the Air is better in terms of organizing the sound stage.

    WP: I hear it differently. I mean, I can hear what you hear, but I tend to interpret it differently. But that's why I prefer the manufacturer to hear it himself, at least we know how we are different :) I think it is all about the fact that every product tested in my system is a "foreign" element. I like to think of my system sounding “right”. And I immediately hear the differences, i.e. what differs from what I look for, what I expect. In turn, the manufacturer hears above all his product and it is also the reference point, base for him.

    WK: I must add that this cable is simply too good for my system. Of course, I use it at home, I can't use anything else anymore, but here I heard exactly the same things as in other reference systems. I mean every time the sound gets more spacious and more orderly. On Enya with Siltech I had the impression that the bass is somewhere on the edge of breaking out of control. With my cable it wasn't that it didn't go as deep, but I didn't hear this “on the verge of control” effect anymore, it was more in check. This is the biggest difference for me. The Air sounded more like a “gentlemen”. Only with jazz my cable sounded worse. ▪

    | THE AIR and me

    This year, many special events have been prepared in many places related to the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. One of the cities that considers the master as "his own son" is Milan, where he spent eighteen years, during which he painted, among others, the Lady with an Ermine (and Italians seem extremely jealous of us having it) and the Last Supper. Especially for this occasion, something special was prepared in the city that no one except Italy has - you can again admire the fantastic decoration of one of the apartments at the Sforza Castle, a room called Sala delle Asse (Board Room), which da Vinci was the author of. This year, the restoration of this masterpiece, which lasted since 2012, was completed.

    It was one of the main events of our visit to the city this year. But inspired by the multimedia presentation, we just needed to see more. We did not have to look long - not far from the castle, in the Ambrosian Pinacoteca, one can see one of his last works, the Musician, as well as cards from the Atlantic Code with his sketches. Among them there are also sketches of the canals – Da Vinci was employed by the Sforza not as a portraitist, but as an engineer, specialist in fortifications.

    One such canal, Naviglio Pavenese, was built later by Napoleon. Right next to it there is the older water route, Naviglio Grande, where the cruise ships sail, and on its banks one can find several great antique shops, music shops and comic book shops. Since I didn't have space for LPs in my suitcase, I left one of the second-hand music shops with two CDs bought for pennies: The Soul Cages by Sting, an Italian version with an additional mix of the title song, as well as the promotional version of the maxi-single Home by Depeche Mode.

    I really like this Sting's album. It is interesting not only because such musicians as Dominic Miller on the guitar, Branford Marsalis on the saxophone or Manu Katché on the drums participated in its recording, but also because it is the second and last album of the former Police vocalist, encoded in the QSound system. It allows you to play stereo sound as if you were using a multi-channel system.

    Witek Kamiński's cable showed the space on this disc splendidly. The sound was wide coming out towards the listener, spread out on the sides, and when needed - like a bass passing in the Mad About You (in the left channel), or the saxophone in the right, were very clear, far on the side and slightly in the back. Interestingly, The Air also showed more strongly the special feature of the Italian version of this song, namely that the background was presented in a bit quieter manner than in the original, and the vocals were more powerful. What does it mean? Well it means that it will deliver a presentation with a highly differentiated sound in terms of contrasts.

    The Polish cable owes its extraordinary spaciousness to a slight shift in the tonal balance towards the upper part of the band. Manu Katché's percussion cymbals were heard more strongly with him, Martin Gore's vocals on the Depeche Mode disc were also clearer. I have it since its release, even before the Ultra album it comes from was released, but the version found in the Milan second-hand shop I simply "had to" have, because, first of all, it has a sticker on the box saying that it is a promotional copy, and secondly, that this album was pressed by the British company Nimbus, one of the best companies of this type.

    The single sounded strong, dense and low, which is how it should be. It also showed well the shift I am talking about - the bass was strong, but not as low as with Siltech and Acrolink '9500', but it reminded me of what the '8100' from the latter company offered. The cymbals were more open than with all three reference cables, and the upper midrange was more pronounced. The sound wasn't brighter, though. Neither with the highly commercial Sting, nor with the Depeche Mode, I had any problems with sibilants, nothing was hissing or shivering there. What's more, the treble was vibrant and dense, but it was "sweet" rather than "metallic".

    And just because of a slight emphasis in the upper part of the band, on the sound attack, the presentation is vivid, clear, transparent, resolving. This is not the same resolution as with Siltech or Acrolink's '9500', in the presentation there is simply less sounds, so in a short comparison you may get an impression that The Air has a better structured sound. But with the '8100' model it could compete above all in terms of midrange and treble. It also helps in building dynamics, which is really unique with The Air. Drum transitions on the Pat Metheny Group's Oframp, I'm thinking about the track called Eighteen in particular, the guitar strings on the New Dawn by the Dominic Miller & Neil Stancey, everything rocked, pushed forward.

    In fact, this cable sounds a bit like the Furutech plugs it comes terminated with. It's a special combination of opening and richness. In poorly configured systems this creates an impression of sound getting bright, in good one it brings resolution. This is not a cable that would hide anything, sweep bugs under the carpet. It does not "throw" everything in your face, but it also does not hide anything.

    Comparing it with many cables from a similar price range, and even more expensive ones, we will hear the music as if it played for the first time, as if it had been played from under a blanket before. And this is due to the open treble, resolution, but also something that could be described as "accuracy". This is an accurate and reliable cable. But also different than the ones I use in my listening system. If I were to compare it to a some loudspeakers, and I mean in terms of timbre and dynamics, it would be the fantastic YG Acoustics Carmel II, while both, the Siltech and Acrolink '9500' would be equivalent to Harbeth M40.1; if Siltech were a 300B tube, the WK Audio would be KT150.

    Both of these ways of playing music have advantages and disadvantages, but both are excellent in their class. The advantage of The Air, which many other manufacturers can only dream about, is that it brings life and vigor to any system without brightening it. The presentation with it will be a bit lighter than with darker cables, you have to know that. But not lighter because of the lack of bass, there is a lot of it, but by stronger emphasize of its upper range and lighter its lowest range.

    It will also have a slightly less saturated midrange, which could be heard with the vocal of Mark Knopfler from the The Trawlerman’s Song EP, as well as with the Wes Montgomery guitar of from the Smokin at the Half Note in the Analogue Productions version. However, these are not disqualifying differences, I'm just talking about comparisons to the best power cables I know, many times more expensive than the reviewed one.

    However, there are few power cables that could match Witek's in terms of space presentation. I started this test with it and I would like to finish with it. We get a wide panorama with it, with precisely-located elements in both planes. It shows sound sources without blurring them, although it does not try to cut them out of the background, which is a huge advantage, because no sound exists in isolation from others. With both the Sting's album and the Clair De Lune by Tomita in the SACD version I heard a huge, expansive panorama with well-shown layers, but always with clearly indicated instruments.


    The Air is a high-end cable that fully deserves its name. It is immediately obvious that was developed by people who know what they are doing. However, this is a cable with its own sonic signature, and thus not entirely versatile, which can be said about any high-end cable. The Air focuses on transparency, space and arrangement of all sounds into one, compact whole. It presents advantages of good recordings, and is rather mercifully for the lesser ones. But it doesn't go deeper into their DNA to show what's good about them.

    For a cable costing PLN 11,000, it is more than one would expect. A cable that lets air into the system, literally and figuratively, with such a polished sound for such (relatively) reasonable money? You just have to try it out in your systems. It will not replace the best ones, so - as it happens - the most expensive power cables available on the market, but this was not the point, it doesn't work that way. It seems to me that it was supposed to prove – and it did - what a good system can do, when you add to it the "something" that causes listening to the beloved music to give you shivers your back.


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