I positively reviewed the High Fidelity Cables MC-0.5 and had a chance to hear a few other plug conditioners. At first blush, the upcoming MC-1 Pro ($1,599) looks like three MC-0.5s joined together.

Turns out, there’s more than meets the eye.

What’s the difference between the MC-1 Pro and the MC-0.5?

Here’s what Rick Schultz, High Fidelity Cables’ lead designer, had to say:

All of our technologies, including the MC-0.5, indeed works off magnetic conduction but in regards to the MC-1 Pro, the similarities end there. The MC-1 Pro has a new active circuit that helps strengthen the magnetic system. This “active” magnetic system exists only in our Pro Elite power conditioners but operates a bit differently. This system helps to better center electrons and functions as if it were wired in series. A simple series of capacitors are used to help the magnets center the electrons. They are used for the magnetic waveguide not as a filter themselves.

Without its active portion, the MC-1 Pro already offers up magnetic power up to Ultimate Reference levels. Due to its active portion, what we essentially have is a brand new product development with a different way of doing things.

How many MC-0.5 does it take to equal a MC-1 Pro?

That would be akin to asking: How many cars does it take to equal a plane? They weren’t meant to be compared. No amount of MC-0.5 will ever add up to a MC-1. They both filter and have different sonic characteristics. For one, the MC-1 Pro has much better filtering technologies for AC in ways a million MC-0.5s can’t achieve. Instead, it is meant to be used in conjunction with the MC-0.5 and other power conditioning products.

So is MC-1 Pro simply a better device all around?

Yes, but the MC-0.5 is an incredible value proposition. It’s a cheap tweak that will substantially elevate your system. The Pro is for very high-end systems that provides a refinement in sound. Its filtering approach is also closer to that of a traditional power conditioner. In short, the active MC-1 Pro has more magnetic power and does a much better job at cleaning the signal as well and the spinning electron wave we call power.

More to come…