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Explain to me the importance of a quality power cable (if any)

post #1 of 329
Thread Starter 
I've been hunting around and reading various amp reviews and have noticed a couple comments on upgraded power cables. Now I understand and have heard the advantage in upgraded IC's but I'm a bit lost on the power thing. Would anyone care to comment on this? Is there a value in picking up something like the K|A|S Primus?
post #2 of 329
My humble informed opinion:

There is no point to using anything other than normal, copper wire. Lowe's extension cord would be fine. All the power cable does is conduct the electricity from the romex wire running through the wall to the power suppy of the amp. Note that this is 'only' based on knowledge of physics and electronics. I'm sure lots of people will show up to discuss how power cables really do make a difference in sound, which I never have doubted. Placebo effect is very real.
post #3 of 329
You'll prolly get a few different replies for this. I am of the opinion that with a properly designed power supply, the only factors needed in a good power cable are shielding, and wire gauge adequate to the current draw. You can get such cables for under 20 dollars in lengths appropriate to most systems.
post #4 of 329
well imo it all depends on where you're getting your source of power. Ok i live at home and my parents house is under 5 yrs old. Our lines are new and clean and i think the transfer is pretty new its a new sub division built all at the same time. My friend lives with his gf in a mobile home in the next city over. Its a run down nieghborhood 30+yrs and i think the mobile home (not a trailor with wheels, the double wide i think its called)

ok im my house i hear no buzzing and power anomilies what so ever. However, in his house, i soon as a plug in, i hear buzzing. It really sucks sound wise to try to listen to something while hes got a cheap walmart lamp plugged in on the same circuit as my rig. It sounds like im outside near a powerstation in the summer. Its that bad. So i think conditioning will only help relative on how clean your power is from the start. The cleaner it the less filtering you need, just like water.
post #5 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolshot
The cleaner it the less filtering you need, just like water.

The ultimate audiophile power tweak...solar panels?
post #6 of 329
I have seen my fusebox. No fancy power cable is going to make up for the fact that it looks like crud. I also know that the wire inside the walls is nothing special either. Let's not get started with the power grid, and so on and so forth. A nice 12-14ga power cable is more than enough. If placebo could be bottled...
post #7 of 329
That KAS is a nice cable, I've owned one. But I like the Black Sand Violet better (and it's cheaper).
post #8 of 329
Anything that costs more than $5 is a total waste of money. I would be suspect of anyone who recommended an expensive power cable to me. Even assuming they mean well, it shows a lack of understanding of simple physics that might indicate that they don't know what they're talking about in other areas as well.

See ya
Steve
post #9 of 329
The replacment of power cables in my system substantially reduced some sibilance I was experiencing. Power cables may indeed make a difference in your system. It may be worthwhile to give it some of the offerings a try, especially if you can do so on 30-day or 60-day return, in which case you really may have nothing to lose. As for the categorical statements to the effect that they make no difference and nobody should ever spend more than $X for a power cable, some people who make such statements have no experience with the product. Others seem to have no purpose in life or on this forum other than to troll for these types of threads and make dogmatic statments about what something is worth to others. Ignore it and make up your own mind.
post #10 of 329
$3k Nordost Valhalla power cord is great, I use it for everything. Amp, CD player, DAC, power conditioners, computer, projector, LCD monitor, you name it!

It didn't make a big difference for my video gear though, but I love it for audio!!



Acer AL1914











Videos

Computer: http://poollogics.is-a-geek.net/pictures/f...08.01).DivX.avi

Projector: http://poollogics.is-a-geek.net/pictures/f...09.06).DivX.avi
post #11 of 329
Hi Bigshot,
some will listen, some won't. As I plan to build an alt/energy home I thought that as I will not be connected to any mains grid - end of problem but I've been assured by pros who know on another forum, that, even using a pure sine wave converter I will never get absolutely 'pure' juice. Certainly using solar/wind/water produced 'juice' will make a huge difference.

Filters - I made some and though they can make a real difference for video etc. I just found they 'muddied' the sound so removed them.

I do think that well designed PSUs WILL make a difference and that is where money can be usefully spent.

Stuart
post #12 of 329
Quote:
I would be suspect of anyone who recommended an expensive power cable to me. Even assuming they mean well, it shows a lack of understanding of simple physics that might indicate that they don't know what they're talking about in other areas as well.
I'd be suspect of anyone with an opinion on anything he's never heard. It;s the First Rule of Head-Fi. You risk looking like this:

"Grados suck!"

"Oh yeah, which models have you heard?"

"Erm, none, but I mean they're so *ugly* and I don't like the people who like them, they have Kooties...."
post #13 of 329
Power cords absolutely do make a difference. Call it shielding, geometry, materials whatever it is... I'm just glad the cord I settled on is cheap ~$5 14AWG shielded and readily available.

Other quite a bit more expensive cords also made a difference just not all positive in my rig so the $350+ was hard to swallow. But they did make a difference.

For filtering, less is best. I like the Monster 1000 series for no nonsense minimalist filtering and isolation. Anything more and it chokes the gear. What I'd really like is a power bar like the Hammond or PS Audio without filtering but with surge protection. No one seems to make that. You want surge you get filtering, no filtering well no surge.

Touching base on a few other claims... Romex is actually very fine power cable. If you cut open some audiophile retardly difficult to flex cable you'll find Romex in a new dielectric. Actually one of the more effective DIY cords is a Romex braid.

For the physics and electrical gurus in house, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you're likely bachelors of X and not PhDs active in the field of conductor development. Might be wrong but generally the my textbook says types are students which makes them at best someone with the potential to know more than the jist of it someday. Today though, all you know is the bare bones minimum they tell you so that the world makes sense
post #14 of 329
I'd go for a volex 17604. It's like what's in your walls, 14AWG wire.
post #15 of 329
Without power conditioning, I don't see how a power cord can make a difference. There are hundreds of miles of plain copper wire in your house and suspended between telephone poles. Changing the last 3' of that wire to something more expensive is not going to do anything.

Now, if you do have a power conditioner, I can see a power cord making a very, very, slight difference due to the guage of the wire and the shielding. Whether it is audible is up for debate.
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