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High Fidelity Cables MC-1 Pro vs. MC-0.5 Power Conditioners

I positively reviewed the High Fidelity Cables MC-0.5 and had 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…

Jay Luong

Mr. Audio Bacon himself. An open-minded electrical engineer and software developer by trade. I have an obsession with the enjoyment of all things media - specifically in the realm of music and film. So much heart and soul (and money) go into the creation of this artistry. My aim is to find out which products get me closer to what the musicians and directors intended.

View Comments

  • I can't wait to see how each compares either. Yet I'd like to know at a bare minimum just how many MC-0.5s should I be looking to use in my listening area?, as I've been told 3 should be where one starts and ends. I ask as I'd like to invest in them, but can't remotely think of buying upwards of 30!.

    • We use one in our reference traditional two-channel setup, in the same circuit that the power conditioner is plugged into. Occasionally we may pop a second one in based on tweaking variables and maybe the type of music we're listening to.

      Hope that helps,
      Siao

  • My two High Fidelity MC-0.5 are truly special at their price-range: separation、clarity、black background、a liquid and dense presentation, the lowest octave becomes more apparent. It is as if the magnetic-field is driving the speakers along with the power-amp. The High-Fidelity-Cable sound signature is simply different from any other things I've heard.

    On critical listening I also take the MC-0.5 out for a change. Because the High-Fidelity-Cable sound is so different from any other components, without them I feel I am more listening to my other components (especially my power-amp), there is a more "original" speed contrast (the quick v.s. the slow) and much blander sound that I can sometimes also appreciate.

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