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Are your cables as expensive as your system?

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
I bought 1600$ amplifier and right now I'm considering between power cord cable around the same price as amplifier (it sounds damn nice with the audition test) and 350$ cable that sounds reasonably nice comparing to my current 700$ ones (more balanced). Is it too crazy idea buying cable that as expensive as amplifier?
post #2 of 67
I get (and hear) such significant improvements to audio with investments in the power chain that I've come to think of them as improvements to the source or amp units themselves. I mention this because it leads to the question which MAY help you to think about your decision. If you look at what you spend on the power cable as an improvement to the amp you're powering, would YOU think it crazy to spend the cost of the amp+power cord on the amp alone, if doing so gave the sound quality you heard from the amp+power cord combination? Forget, for a moment what specific item you're spending the money on and focus on the question: is the sound quality you're getting worth (to you) the money you're spending to get it?

A nice benefit on spending money on separate power chain items (like external PSU's or power cords) is that they can be transferred to, or shared between, multiple audio units. A better PSU or power filtering circuit permanently built into a particular audio unit cannot be so easily transferred and shared. So, there's actually a frugality (in terms of not wasting an investment) to purchasing separate power chain items over having them built into the audio units themselves, and paying more for the audio units.

Now, the original question about what I've spent:
I've spent $300 on a Brickwall Audio surge protector (which I actually purchased for its power filtering capabilities), $200 for each of two Black Sands Cable Violet power cords, $20 for each of three Iron Lung Jellyfish power cords, $7.50 for each of 8 Volex power cords, $125 for each of two STEPS PSU's (one 24V, one 12V), $40-ish for each of three Elpac PSU's, and $300-ish for a variety of rechargeable NiMH batteries and a few chargers for them to provide better power to my full stable of stationary and portable amps. Total Power Chain investments: $1500. Total Amp Purchases (which benefit from the Power Chain expenses): $1400.
So, overall, I'm spending a little more on investments to the power chain for my audio gear as I'm spending on the audio gear itself. If all of my audio equipment got wiped out in a fire and I had to buy it all again, I'd repurchase all of the power chain investments again with the insurance settlement. I just think of the power items as an integral, valuable and needed part of my audio chain.
post #3 of 67
Quote:
Are your cables as expensive as your system?
No.
post #4 of 67
No, they are not as expensive as my system.
But I say that cables are very important, and fully understand those who spend the same amount on cables as ex. amplification.
post #5 of 67
Thread Starter 
Because of its importance, it's giving me a hard decision about making up my mind buying great ones or reasonable ones... Of course I prefer the sound from great cord but cord and amp with the same price idea is killing me...
post #6 of 67
It IS a tough decision. New interconnects and power cables can have a great effect on the sound of your system. Audio upgrades are a never ending journey...

Great or reasonable cords now? Save up and go for the better cord. Buying less than you want will make you wish for the better one...
post #7 of 67
I've been heavily into audio since '86.

I started out in car audio. Beefing up incoming power makes a huge difference. In car audio, power fluctuations create havoc on the sound quality. Capacitors help, but Jacobs Accuvolt makes a bigger difference. You can maintain a constant voltage in which car amps thrive for. And power supply wire gauge also makes a huge difference. Using too small wire is catastrophic for the sound quality.

Home audio, power fluctuations are a much lesser problem. The main importance I have found is simply protection from over-voltage spikes/surges, which don't really affect the sound, but will kill your components.

Now, interconnects. I've found that cables make more of a difference in car audio. It's such a noisy environment. I've done just as much experimentation with home audio, just to find out that's there's much less change in the sound quality between interconnects. But I'm not saying that el-cheapo is the route to choose, but anything more expensive than Canare, has little cost-to benefit ratio.

As far as portable audio goes I'm a noob.
post #8 of 67
I guess. My ALO Silk dock is about the same price I paid for my 4g (used) iPod.

Ed
post #9 of 67
Thread Starter 
Thinking about my source, it's just iMod G4 with grace m902... That's why I'm so afraid of spending money recklessly for poor source. But if I buy that power cord, there won't be any better ones since Valhalla's IC is already one of top-notch that I ain't going to change. Really really really hard decision T_T
post #10 of 67
You could sell the amplifier, save the money from the cost of the power cord, and buy something even better-sounding for the $3,200 you'll have.

I have a question. What makes a power cable worth $1,600? I'd like to know what sort of voodoo they put inside that can't be duplicated with less-expensive cords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbulack
I've spent $300 on a Brickwall Audio surge protector (which I actually purchased for its power filtering capabilities), $200 for each of two Black Sands Cable Violet power cords, $20 for each of three Iron Lung Jellyfish power cords, $7.50 for each of 8 Volex power cords, $125 for each of two STEPS PSU's (one 24V, one 12V), $40-ish for each of three Elpac PSU's, and $300-ish for a variety of rechargeable NiMH batteries and a few chargers for them to provide better power to my full stable of stationary and portable amps. Total Power Chain investments: $1500.
So, for $1,500 you have over 19 pieces of power-related gear, some of which is for different types of equipment. Imagine selling all of it and buying a single power cable for $100 more. Justifiable?
post #11 of 67
NO!

Cables = Source + amp = DUUUUUH
post #12 of 67
No, didnt know there was that much of a differance

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsX View Post
I bought 1600$ amplifier and right now I'm considering between power cord cable around the same price as amplifier (it sounds damn nice with the audition test) and 350$ cable that sounds reasonably nice comparing to my current 700$ ones (more balanced). Is it too crazy idea buying cable that as expensive as amplifier?
post #13 of 67
PFFFFT. My cables came with the rest of my system!

Translation: they're all stock crap. Ignorance is bliss!
post #14 of 67
In the scale of my system, my cables are shoelaces.
post #15 of 67
No cable is going to magically improve the sound of your system. Cables carry the signal from one component to another. They do not make it sound any better or worse. Spend your money on music
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