Do power cables make a difference?

1246714

Comments

  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 14,283
    I have refrained on this thread since it is old news, and has been answered many times. In 2018, there is no debate. The answer is an emphatic YES!

    Other than upgrading to Magico speakers, power cables, and clean power, have made the biggest difference in my system.

    Read the article on DTCD, Electrical System Concepts, Electrical System Optimization, Power Cord Misconceptions, Power Distribution Concepts, Measurements, and Custom Parts.


    http://shunyata.com/technical-articles/
    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,290
    FestYboy wrote: »
    @ Aside from the cable's power capacity, is there any value that would help determine what the cable may or may not do with an existing rig? Something objective?

    Your due diligence in doing your own research. Reviews...maybe people who have used the same brand on similar gear as yours. There is no cut and dry way of telling what your asking, which means trial and error come into play.

    ....and really, isn't all of audio a trial and error thing ? We can make the best guess, narrow down the field in any audio product, but in the end it always comes down to trial and error.

    That's why I'm a big fan of buying used, cables or gear. Not only do you save coin on the front end, if you don't like something it's way easier to recoup all if not most your money selling it.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • Jimbo18
    Jimbo18 Posts: 2,233
    When I got the Pioneer Elite SC-63 receiver, I bought a $50 Pangea power cable for it. Not sure it makes it difference or not, but it's not much more money and it can't hurt.

    I kind of feel like "everything matters" but for a HT system, it matters less and I am not enough of a critical listener to what to spend significant money on a power cable. But something better than stock, that doesn't cost much, doesn't seem like a bad idea.
  • FestYboy
    FestYboy Posts: 3,857
    Ok so maybe the better question is: why isn't there some standard or value that can be assigned to cables?
  • FestYboy
    FestYboy Posts: 3,857
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,156
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?

    Oh it's been done -- but generally by resources with, shall we say, skin in the game.
    That gets the other side in a tizzy... and the predictable hilarity ensues.

    I think that it's safe to say that the magic, if there is some in better power cords,
    generally lies in a realm outside of L, C and R. That doesn't mean it's not
    real -- but it probably does mean it's hard to quantify or even evaluate in an objective manner.

    That's OK, IMO -- per my open ears and mind comment 'way earlier in this thread.


  • mpitogo
    mpitogo Posts: 446
    edited April 2018
    Thank you all, maybe I will look into it further and experiment but not to the extent @Joey_V with the AQ Dragon cables. Three of those @13.2K is slightly more than my LR 2.0 setup. My thoughts are more inline with @maxfrompa. I’ve upgraded all circuit paths leading to the outlet, wire service to the house, the mains panel and breakers and outlets, the most costly part in wall wire is untouched but meets code so it’s OK in my mind.


    I was thinking of looking with a scope to see the noise before and after my voltage regulator. The regulator reads typically 125v but dips to 124/123 when my LR 2.0 system is running. The regulator has an 8’ cord to the outlet the rest have a short run. Upgrade the regulator, preamp and power amp? Move the OE power amp (thick cable) to the oppo cd player. The TT drive is hard wired, I would have to desolder the mains and install an IEC receptacle or not since it is not in the signal path.
    Living Room Music-2.0 Polk Legend L800 | McIntosh C70 | McIntosh MA5200 (Treble) | McIntosh MC452 (Bass) | Sublimeacoustic K231 Active xover | Denon DP-2500A | Marantz HD-CD1 | Denafrips Aries II | Amazon Music Ultra HD via iPad Pro
    Family Room Home Theater-7.2.2 (Atmos) Polk LSiM 707, 706c, Dual DSW microPRO 3000, LSiM 702 F/X [x4], RC65i | Marantz SR7009 | Marantz PM-10 [FL/FR] | Marantz SA-10 | Sony UBP-X800 4K | Xbox One S 4K | AppleTV 4K | HTPC | Sony 75” XBR X850D 4K
    Office Home Theater-5.1 Polk RT55, CS400, PSW450, f/x 500 | Onkyo TX-SR705 | AppleTV | Samsung 55”
    Office Music-2.0 KEF Q100 | Sansui AU-6900 | Topping DX7s | Sansui FR-1080
    Office Music 2-2.0 Klipsch RP-600M | Topping DX7s (BAL out) | PASS ACA (kit) Class A balanced monoblocks
    Master Bedroom Music-2.0 Totem Hawk | Rotel RA-1570
    Patio Music-2.0 Polk Atrium8 | AMC 2445 bridged
    Airplay zones: Family Room (HDMI), Family Room SA-10 (optical), Master Bedroom (Optical), Office (HDMI), Office DX7s (optical), Living Room Ares (Optical), SR7009 (AVR direct) and Patio (analog). Apple Music multi-stream to any, combo or all.
    Spares: Polk LSi25, LSiC, CS300, 4pr T15, Martin Logan Motion 40, 50xt, Dynamo 500, Rotel RB-1590, Denon AVR-4802R, Onkyo DX-C540, DVP-S500D, PS HX-500,
    Maintenance: Pro-Ject VC-S Record Cleaning Machine
  • vcwatkins
    vcwatkins Posts: 1,994
    mpitogo wrote: »
    Thank you all, maybe I will look into it further and experiment but not to the extent @Joey_V with the AQ Dragon cables. Three of those @13.2K is slightly more than my LR 2.0 setup. My thoughts are more inline with @maxfrompa. I’ve upgraded all circuit paths leading to the outlet, wire service to the house, the mains panel and breakers and outlets, the most costly part in wall wire is untouched but meets code so it’s OK in my mind.


    I was thinking of looking with a scope to see the noise before and after my voltage regulator. The regulator reads typically 125v but dips to 124/123 when my LR 2.0 system is running. The regulator has an 8’ cord to the outlet the rest have a short run. Upgrade the regulator, preamp and power amp? Move the OE power amp (thick cable) to the oppo cd player. The TT drive is hard wired, I would have to desolder the mains and install an IEC receptacle or not since it is not in the signal path.

    Measure with your ears.
    Study: Roon * ProJect Stream Box Ultra & Pre Box S2 * Pass ACA * DH Labs SS Q10 * Brines Folded ML-TQWT RS 40-1354
    Audio: PS Audio DirectStream Jr. * Belles 20a * Pass Aleph 30 - Zu Omen DW * Sunfire Sig II - Polk SRS 2.3tl * PSAudio PP3 * MIT S3
    Den: Sonore ultraRendu * Cary xCiter * Dayens Menuetto * KEF LS50
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,915
    Measure once cut twice.

    Impetigo, I am curious why you upgraded everything in the house but you are dubious about power cables?

    Sincerely
    Daktari
  • mpitogo
    mpitogo Posts: 446
    current is current and I=V/R
    Living Room Music-2.0 Polk Legend L800 | McIntosh C70 | McIntosh MA5200 (Treble) | McIntosh MC452 (Bass) | Sublimeacoustic K231 Active xover | Denon DP-2500A | Marantz HD-CD1 | Denafrips Aries II | Amazon Music Ultra HD via iPad Pro
    Family Room Home Theater-7.2.2 (Atmos) Polk LSiM 707, 706c, Dual DSW microPRO 3000, LSiM 702 F/X [x4], RC65i | Marantz SR7009 | Marantz PM-10 [FL/FR] | Marantz SA-10 | Sony UBP-X800 4K | Xbox One S 4K | AppleTV 4K | HTPC | Sony 75” XBR X850D 4K
    Office Home Theater-5.1 Polk RT55, CS400, PSW450, f/x 500 | Onkyo TX-SR705 | AppleTV | Samsung 55”
    Office Music-2.0 KEF Q100 | Sansui AU-6900 | Topping DX7s | Sansui FR-1080
    Office Music 2-2.0 Klipsch RP-600M | Topping DX7s (BAL out) | PASS ACA (kit) Class A balanced monoblocks
    Master Bedroom Music-2.0 Totem Hawk | Rotel RA-1570
    Patio Music-2.0 Polk Atrium8 | AMC 2445 bridged
    Airplay zones: Family Room (HDMI), Family Room SA-10 (optical), Master Bedroom (Optical), Office (HDMI), Office DX7s (optical), Living Room Ares (Optical), SR7009 (AVR direct) and Patio (analog). Apple Music multi-stream to any, combo or all.
    Spares: Polk LSi25, LSiC, CS300, 4pr T15, Martin Logan Motion 40, 50xt, Dynamo 500, Rotel RB-1590, Denon AVR-4802R, Onkyo DX-C540, DVP-S500D, PS HX-500,
    Maintenance: Pro-Ject VC-S Record Cleaning Machine
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,156
    Well, yes, for DC, V/R = I

    But for AC "R" isn't R per se, it's Z
    And Z (impedance) has three components.
    • (DC) resistance (R)
    • inductive reactance (L)
    • capacitive reactance (C)

    And those latter two depend on frequency.

    Now, I'll grant you that frequency is more or less fixed when we're talkin' about AC mains (60 Hz in the US and Canada, give or take) -- but there's more to even Ohm's law than meets the eye.

  • FestYboy
    FestYboy Posts: 3,857
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    Found this interesting (from the same linked thread above): http://www.conradhoffman.com/Low_Level_ICs.htm

    More food for thought (or fuel for fire depending).
  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,459
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?

    Two different pieces of equipment on a test bench can give you the exact same signal on test equipment, yet, sound dramatically different.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 27,156
    kharp1 wrote: »
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?

    Two different pieces of equipment on a test bench can give you the exact same signal on test equipment, yet, sound dramatically different.

    Thus HH Scott's Chief Engineer D.R. von Recklingshausen's famous line:
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, -- it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, -- you've measured the wrong thing."
    http://hhscott.com/vonrecklinghausen.htm

    original source: The Absolute Sound magazine, vol. 12, no. 50
    "While no one person is ever responsible for a major new technology, Daniel von Recklinghausen, Scott's chief engineer, was certainly a major force in the development and popularization of FM radio. von Recklinghausen, unlike his contemporaries, still has designs that are in the forefront of current state-of-the-art audio technology. The EMlT tweeter, which can be found in some of the finest systems in the world was designed by von Recklinghausen. KLH first marketed it as the DVR tweeter.

    von Recklinghausen was, and is, a rare breed of audio engineer -- one who uses his ears and has an open mind. A quote from a Boston Audio Society meeting best illustrates his philosophy:
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, -- it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, -- you've measured the wrong thing."
    This is the kind of dedication to sound quality that is only found today among High End manufacturers. For von Recklinghausen the sound of music was the reference."
  • FestYboy
    FestYboy Posts: 3,857
    kharp1 wrote: »
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?

    Two different pieces of equipment on a test bench can give you the exact same signal on test equipment, yet, sound dramatically different.

    Ok, then that begs the question: what is different? I'm trying to get to the bottom of this as objectively as possible while ruffling as few feathers as possible.
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,458
    FestYboy wrote: »
    kharp1 wrote: »
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?

    Two different pieces of equipment on a test bench can give you the exact same signal on test equipment, yet, sound dramatically different.

    Ok, then that begs the question: what is different? I'm trying to get to the bottom of this as objectively as possible while ruffling as few feathers as possible.

    Maybe not everything can be measured, or we haven't figured out what we need to measure or how to measure it.

    The ear, brain, and the way they interact is extremely complex.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,459
    edited April 2018
    I could probably assemble an amp (if I wasn't lazy) using the cheapest parts possible and measure one watt and have that one watt look pretty good on the bench. Put it under load and turn it up and it collapses on itself. EVERYTHING in the chain makes a difference. Even the chair you sit in while listening.
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,910
    mpitogo wrote: »
    I swapped out RCA cables between my preamp and amp for balanced audio cables in the LR 2.0. The difference is incremental but the RCA was’t bad, if anything there is better noise rejection.
    Every upgrade is incremental, but they add up.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • teekay0007
    teekay0007 Posts: 2,298
    kharp1 wrote: »
    EVERYTHING in the chain makes a difference. Even the chair you sit in while listening.

    Yeah, I think there's a thread around here somewhere with pics of the favorite listening chairs of CP members.

    I'd opine - take that, Hardy! - that an all important link in that chain also is that of a snuggling puppy or purring key cat in your lap during said listening session. B)

  • mpitogo
    mpitogo Posts: 446
    @kharp1 thinking amp camp?

    @jdjohn AQ Mackenzie 1M replaced Monolith 3” RCA IC.
    Living Room Music-2.0 Polk Legend L800 | McIntosh C70 | McIntosh MA5200 (Treble) | McIntosh MC452 (Bass) | Sublimeacoustic K231 Active xover | Denon DP-2500A | Marantz HD-CD1 | Denafrips Aries II | Amazon Music Ultra HD via iPad Pro
    Family Room Home Theater-7.2.2 (Atmos) Polk LSiM 707, 706c, Dual DSW microPRO 3000, LSiM 702 F/X [x4], RC65i | Marantz SR7009 | Marantz PM-10 [FL/FR] | Marantz SA-10 | Sony UBP-X800 4K | Xbox One S 4K | AppleTV 4K | HTPC | Sony 75” XBR X850D 4K
    Office Home Theater-5.1 Polk RT55, CS400, PSW450, f/x 500 | Onkyo TX-SR705 | AppleTV | Samsung 55”
    Office Music-2.0 KEF Q100 | Sansui AU-6900 | Topping DX7s | Sansui FR-1080
    Office Music 2-2.0 Klipsch RP-600M | Topping DX7s (BAL out) | PASS ACA (kit) Class A balanced monoblocks
    Master Bedroom Music-2.0 Totem Hawk | Rotel RA-1570
    Patio Music-2.0 Polk Atrium8 | AMC 2445 bridged
    Airplay zones: Family Room (HDMI), Family Room SA-10 (optical), Master Bedroom (Optical), Office (HDMI), Office DX7s (optical), Living Room Ares (Optical), SR7009 (AVR direct) and Patio (analog). Apple Music multi-stream to any, combo or all.
    Spares: Polk LSi25, LSiC, CS300, 4pr T15, Martin Logan Motion 40, 50xt, Dynamo 500, Rotel RB-1590, Denon AVR-4802R, Onkyo DX-C540, DVP-S500D, PS HX-500,
    Maintenance: Pro-Ject VC-S Record Cleaning Machine
  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,459
    Amp camp is low power, but good power. If you have efficient speakers go for it.

  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,915
    Amp camp is not like Band camp for tweakers?
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,290
    Dang it Tom, you had to go ruin the party by injecting common sense stuff. :) I was hoping to hit 20 pages, just cause we can.

    Power cords don't keep me up at night anyway.....but those flashing displays, must be aliens trying to communicate while I'm trying to fall asleep. Little suckers are chatter boxes I tell ya. ;)
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,459
    tonyb wrote: »
    FestYboy wrote: »
    kharp1 wrote: »
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I understand the patent end of things, but afaik, every power cord or IC has an in and an out. I'm wondering why no one has taken a known "signal", put it through the cable and measured the difference, and we're then able to correlate that difference to a sonic signature.

    I get that there will be a change based on the other equipment within the rig, but it'd be a start?

    Two different pieces of equipment on a test bench can give you the exact same signal on test equipment, yet, sound dramatically different.

    Ok, then that begs the question: what is different? I'm trying to get to the bottom of this as objectively as possible while ruffling as few feathers as possible.

    Your asking the impossible. By that I mean your asking for everyones subjectivity to be more aligned. Audio is too subjective to place things in black and white boxes.

    Like asking for specs to tell you how a speaker will sound. It may give you some parameters as to it's abilities, but certainly won't tell how it will sound to your ears, in your system, in your home.

    Cables are no different. Which is why trial and error play a huge roll in the industry. Measurements don't correlate into sound signatures, they can be used to help define how it will interact with pieces it's connected to.

    The crux of the matter, when it comes to cables, is that some want a guarantee that by spending x amount of dollars that they will hear positive improvements. There are no guarantees in audio. You can spend 3 times as much and hear worse sound, price doesn't always dictate good sound.

    That's why we have audio forums, to share experiences. What works well with what, to narrow the field and lesson the chances of dropping coin on a turkey. More so, it's a journey of learning with an open mind.

    For instance, if I was to dive into the DIY arena of audio and start building my own dacs, one might assume caps wouldn't matter aside from their values. However I would tap those with experience building dacs, like Rich, before dropping coin on caps to see what works well and sounds better given the same or similar values.

    In other words, the way to move forward in this hobby is to keep an open mind, tap the wealth of knowledge we have here collectively, and experiment a bit with trial and error. That's part of the fun, part of the journey, part of what makes all us audio forum nutjobs like family.

    That's just about a "sticky" quality post, pretty much wraps it all up.
  • mikeyb128
    mikeyb128 Posts: 2,887
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    Dang it Tom, you had to go ruin the party by injecting common sense stuff. :) I was hoping to hit 20 pages, just cause we can.

    Power cords don't keep me up at night anyway.....but those flashing displays, must be aliens trying to communicate while I'm trying to fall asleep. Little suckers are chatter boxes I tell ya. ;)

    And we still have a VCR flashing 12:00! Will an upgraded power cord stop that?

    :#

    No, but it might keep time better :lol:
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!