AudioQuest's New Niagara 5000

Virtually identical in appearance to the Niagara 7000—the only outward differences are two little lights and one button—AudioQuest's new 38-lb Niagara 5000 ($4000) "Low-Z Power/Noise-Dissipation System"(shown sitting atop the Niagara 7000) is one-half the price and 50 lbs lighter than its big brother. AudioQuest's Kevin Wolff characterizes it as "an extremely high-value piece that offers 90 percent of the 7000's performance at half the price."

To get a bit more specific, the Niagara 5000's high-current power-correction circuitry is identical, and ideal for systems where source components are a distance apart from the amps, and only amps are plugged into the unit. This is because the 5000's low-current circuitry is different, and does not offer as much noise reduction as the 7000's. To quote Wolff, "As with so much in high-end audio, the last 2 percent improvement is the most expensive."