What it is: The Noise Harvester is a small (roughly matchbox-sized) device that plugs in to unused AC outlets and that converts electrical noise on your AC lines into a different form of energy: light. Note that the Harvester provides noise reduction, but does not provide spike or surge projection of any kind.
Practical benefits: The Noise Harvester yields a relatively small but noticeable reduction in background noise. PS suggests even greater benefits can be achieved by using multiple Harvesters in parallel (or by placing them on the same AC circuits with known noise sources)—something I was not able to test since I only had one Harvester on hand. PS offers a price break if you buy a five-pack of Harvesters.
What it is and does: The xStream Statement SC is a “power cord of the Gods” built from premium materials with maximum performance as its only goal. No detail has been overlooked. The Statement SC delivers maximum available AC power while significantly reducing induced noise.
Practical benefits: Used with higher- end A/V components this power cord helps reduce background noise, promotes deeper and more solid bass, and fosters a smoother, more three-dimensional presentation overall. I can’t comment on how or if the cord affects displays, since the reference HDTV in the Playback A/V lab doesn’t fit a standard three-prong cord like this one.
Is this (or any) power cord worth nearly $500? Well, value is in the eye or ear of the beholder, and this cord can meet or beat the performance of others I’ve tried that are more than twice its price. But, if you are starting out from scratch with $500 to invest in power delivery/conditioning equipment, there is no question that a better and more broadly beneficial starting point would be to get a power conditioner such as the Quintet. Power cords, in my view, make great icing” on the high-end A/V “cake,” provided that they fit your budget.
But in an absolute sense, the benefits that power cords offer are rarely as dramatic as those that come with adding a good power conditioner (and normally they affect only one component at a time). But note: it’s a smart idea to use a high performance power cord to connect your power conditioner to its AC outlet, because that way the benefits of the cord will affect all the components connected to the conditioner.
Caveat: The xStream Statement SC power cords can be difficult to use because they are dauntingly thick and stiff and feature connectors/plugs that are extremely bulky and tight fitting (so tight fitting that they can be hard to remove from components after they are installed). While there’s no arguing with the Statement SC’s exemplary performance, I’d like to see PS Audio make these cords more flexible and compact, and to offer right-angle adapters to make them easier to use in tight spaces.