FURUTECH Daytona 303E

MJ11.11.2009

Power conditioners

The Daytona inherits its name from a Daytona GT racing car so you can expect a lot of horsepower under its hood. And it is, indeed. The internal circuitry of the unit provides a user with generous surge protection and advanced multi-stage filtering for analog, digital and high current devices for effective noise rejection and zero cross-talk between the connected components.

Function and form

90%
Ease of use
68%
Sound
90%
Appearance

The Furutech Daytona’s sturdy steel chassis is further reinforced by a layer of EMI absorbing material (a granular substance) that is attached from inside to its bottom plate and which helps to keep the unit impenetrable for any possible external source of interferences.
The inner layout of the Daytona is very neat and logical. It comes as no surprise that its internal wiring employs Furutech’s proprietary alpha-cryogenically and demagnetized conductors with anti-resonant treatment to dampen the last possible source of vibrations and that the unit sports ultimate non-magnetic rhodium-plated Schuko receptacles (the famous FI-E30R type with nylon and fibreglass body).

The front panel of the Daytona (comes in silver or black) is an austere yet beautiful looking piece of aluminum that is dominated by a large and informative display. Oversized red digits monitor current voltage and amperage and disconnect the unit when abnormal values appear, other controls inform about the status of the unit.

Overall, it seems that your money would buy you a very solid piece of equipment. Let´s move now from an exercise ground to a combat action.

Bass management

Weight
86
Slam
79
Articulation
80

I do not actually prefer the sound of Chuck Mangione‘s Children of Sanchez the way it is presented on Stereoplay sampler (Die Audiophile Hoertest-CD, GEMA, 2008). Though I admit that this version is sonically impeccable (and it really is), I still think that it is too much polished to be realistically sounding. You will probably not be able to hear such flawless sonics from any stage anywhere in the world, not even in the studio where the recording was made. However, it is a showcase of excellent dynamics, bass punch and texturally wonderful acoustic intruments of a big band so it is ideal for testing purposes.
I am not going to describe what I heard with the Furutech in place – instead I will tell you what I heard when it was removed from the power path. Without the Daytona it seemed that the music acquired better punch, as if macrodynamics would increase. Apparently, it was the one and only positive thing I could say about the system without the filter. It showed, that behind this seemingly better punch, the bass became thinner, it lost its rounded quality and plasticity and got blurred a bit. The mix sounded a bit more attractive as to a high frequency content, however, the highs were unnatural and suffered from textural malnutrition – they were excessively sizzling without any definition and became steely (as the opposite of being brassy). The same was projected into the sound of guitar at 3´20 mark that became too artificial and almost unpleasant. The mids were the area where I desperately missed the Daytona the most; it was like someone had vacuum-cleaned all the information in this bandwith, the music lost its inner drive and tension and got quite boring, indeed.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
84
Air
86
Transparency
79

Slayer‘s World Painted Blood (American) is not a usual material to start an audio review with, however, I took the opportunity of having the release on hand fresh from a shelf. After a decade Araya & Co. came with very decent compositions reminiscing the glory of unbeatable Reign in Blood and South of Heaven albums. I was looking forward to an improvement in the sound quality for which the band is not really reputable; unfortunately, it did not happen. The World Painted Blood is recorded the same way as 99% of rock music output today - it is heavily compressed (with hardly 5-6dB of dynamic range) with clipping appearing all the way. The album is closely miked and a right-in-your-face mix technique was used throughout so the whole musical event basically happens in your room and if we should discuss soundstaging then we will have to measure rather in decimeters than in meters.
When I Iistened to Americon (track #8) through the Daytona, all the above mentioned drawbacks were readily apparent, however, the energy emanating from the furious performance made up for them easily and the listening was pretty enjoyable. Once the Furutech had been removed the soundstage collapsed into a two-dimensional picture – imagine a canvas stretched between your loudspeakers with no depth at all. The sound also obviously suffered from certain boxiness and general fuzziness.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
80
Dynamics
78
Temporal resolution
80

I do not want to speculate to what extent the Daytona shares filtering stages topology with reputable Monster Power devices but I bet there is at least some inspiration as the resemblance of both is striking, especially from a rear view.
The unit’s outlets are grouped in several zones; there are 4 unfiltered outlets for amplifiers and analog devices, 4 filtered ones for digital and video (DVD, CD, projector, video display) and a variety of coaxial terminals that you may need to protect your cable TV, phone lines or even your satellite. The Daytona is here to protect the connected equipment 24 hours a day and that´s why the on-off switch is located on the rear plate – just simply leave the unit on all the time. I like the possibility to switch between 120V/60Hz and 230V/50Hz modes which makes the unit very universal and globe-friendly.

Finally, there is the above mentioned XLR output with a small toggle switch saying ´low – high – off´. Furutech supplies a convenient LED lamp with the Daytona that is powered via the XLR - it is a very nice finishing touch indeed. I found the lamp very useful not only when re-shuffling the connections behind a rack but it also came in handy to shed its light on CDs at night. The fact that the Daytona is rack-mountable is another not so usual feature that supports my conspiracy theory about the Monster Power inspiration.

Spatial resolution

Holography
88
Soundstage width
90
Soundstage depth
90

Percy Grainger’s Warriors can be found as a kind of introduction to Holstian Planets on the Deutsche Grammophone’s excellent disc (SACD 471 634-2). The score has it all: a vibrant piano, brilliant horns and trumpets, complex orchestrations and tons of ambient clues and stage noise. It is always an indulgent listening experience. However, when the Daytona was removed from the system, it was as if someone had erased all the life and colours from the music, it was like moving back in time to a black-and-white TV set. While with the Furutech I received broad orchestrations, without it the score rushed towards its finale as if musicians wanted to be out of the stage as soon as possible. The depth of the symphonic orchestra got shrunk significantly and the soundstage became disorganized. Well, the sound I was listening to would be still an audio heaven for many, so please do not mistake my comments for criticizing the gear I used – I just wanted to describe how I felt without the support of the Daytona and if you got the idea it was misery you were right.

Price as reviewed:65 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Audiostudio s.r.o., Olomouc, tel. +420 608 752 475

Associated components

  • Sources: Bryston BCD-1
  • Amplifiers: Plinius Tautoro, Plinius SA-Reference
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Silver Audio Appassionata, Silver Audio Silver Symphony, Furutech Lineflux and Speakerflux
  • Interconnects and speaker cables:  Dynaudio Confidence C1, Dynaudio Confidence C5
  • Power conditioning: Furutech Powerflux

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