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Power Cords: I'm a believer, but HOW in the HELL can that be? - Page 2

post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubaman View Post
I took delivery of a Zu Bok about two weeks ago, gave it due play time and then tried it. It definitely made a difference, a noticeable and substantial difference - enough difference that I find annoying and it's going back.
I don't get why some "engineers" (i.e. someone with a college degree in ____ engineering?) often put down the difference PC's can make. Instead of behaving like true scientists inspired by curiosity they can't wait to put power cables down, admittedly often either for lack of experience with PC's or scientific proof (prejudice?) that PC's can make a difference.
Granted, this isn't quite engineering, but then, I'm an engineer who took an assload of psych classes, too:

Placebo effect. Without actual testing as to how power cords could make such a difference, we're forced to rely only on subjective evidence. Given how differently two people can hear the same set of headphones - one might think the highs were shrill and the bass overwhelming, while another finds the highs just right and the bass a good level - it's very hard to be able to objectively say whether they do make a difference, and if so, how much of a difference they do.

Also, remember that engineers aren't scientists. Quite a few engineers absolutely HATE dealing with new things. Most of them prefer using the tested, standard stuff, and have a rather powerful dislike for new things. Honestly, when you think about it, power cables making as much of a difference as some people claim seems absurd - see my thoughts on how the power gets to the cord as to why. Conversely, you have people who A/B test the cords and say they hear a very large difference. We have logic saying that these cables shouldn't really make such a difference, and then we have personal accounts saying they do.

Another thing to remember is that a lot of engineers are conservative cynics. Until they can actually test something themselves, they're not going to have any good reason to agree that it makes a difference, especially as common logic says it shouldn't. Now granted, if someone is going to hold a strong opinion about a subject, especially one as subjective as this, they really should test things themselves, but that doesn't always happen.

I think the biggest issue at hand is WHY power cables could possibly make such a large difference. Ostensibly, if the main power cable makes such a difference, then one should also be able to garner such changes by using different wiring inside the amp itself. Likewise, switching the power outlet out should cause a change on the sound. Again, changing the wiring that runs from the main junction box to the outlet everything is plugged in to should change the sound. What we really need, and I don't think it's been done, is for someone to actually do each of these steps. Listen to an absolute stock amp and record their opinions. Change the internal wiring, record any differences they heard. Change the power cord, record differences. Change outlet, record differences. Change wiring from outlet to junction box, record differences. It would be even better for multiple people - a sample size of 10 might work, although the experimental psychologist in me calls for a much broader cross-section utilizing both audiophiles and non-audiophiles, as well as people of different ages and races - to record their opinions at each step on the experiment. This could be done utilizing various headphones, also - use 5 different headphones with varied impedance and sensitivity.

However, such an experiment wouldn't be cheap, nor particularly easy for the average person to set up. Given that, I don't think it's reasonable to expect any cessation on the opinion war on power cables at any point in the future.
post #17 of 54
You should also change your wall cables, and your street cables, and your city cables...having a power cable with section thick enough to feed your equipment must be it. It makes no sense that a 2 feet cable changes everything (unless it is so thin it becomes a current bottleneck).
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjf View Post
You should also change your wall cables, and your street cables, and your city cables...having a power cable with section thick enough to feed your equipment must be it. It makes no sense that a 2 feet cable changes everything (unless it is so thin it becomes a current bottleneck).
I get your thinking, but the more expensive power cables are shielded so they do remove some of the emi/rfi interference within your system. Other than that I am not really sure how they work either. I think Markl who did a review on 22 power cables here said that although you are just changing a small section of the power cables compared to changing the wires all the way to the power plant, you are still improving something and that is why the sound is changed... something along those lines.
post #19 of 54
I used to be very skeptical about any cables making any difference at all. I have since compared various cables and burned-in vs. new versions of the same cable and heard differences for myself. I have never done this with power cables, but I don't doubt that it has benefit.
post #20 of 54
Soundstage is created by the mixing engineer. It can be affected by acoustic things, like the shape of your room or the distance between your speakers, but it can't be affected by electronics unless something is very wrong with your system, like your speakers being wired out of phase.

See ya
Steve
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjf View Post
You should also change your wall cables, and your street cables, and your city cables...having a power cable with section thick enough to feed your equipment must be it. It makes no sense that a 2 feet cable changes everything (unless it is so thin it becomes a current bottleneck).
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed View Post
Work of art picture
^ Are you an artist? ;-)

And, yes, I would have to agree with your argument.
post #23 of 54
Stop bashing and go see if a hi-fi store will loan you one to test

I was as cynical as you all were

But now I'm a beliver also
post #24 of 54
Again...??? OMG! This horse must be ground meat by now!!!
post #25 of 54
If you never bought a cable from a reputable company and gave it a fair chance? How can you know Chri5speed? LOL
post #26 of 54
Thread Starter 
I know a certain woman who cannot sing.

I mean it's *real* bad ...

We both have been off and on members of a certain amateur choral group (bach/mozart stuff) and this gal simply is not wired to carry even the most simple of tunes/melodies with her voice.

She's been practicing with us for five years now and she's only marginally improved.

The ability to tune her physical organism to the task of vocally producing music is simply and quite nearly, non-existent.

Even when singing with a single other person, where her job is to simply mimic the same line/melody sung by the other person ... she's ALL OVER the place ... horrendously off key wailings.

That said ...

There are others in our group who sound like angels. (really)

They effortlessly harmonize, separate and project perfect vocal melodies when reproducing tried and true pieces that we perform, or even the most foreign and new (they, generally, are also rather adept at reading music).

...

The point of that little diatribe is to express my opinion that I believe such singularities may also exist in the realm of hearing music (just the same as vocalization of music).

Perhaps my vocally challenged friend would also have a problem discerning the sonic differences of one cable/component over the other? Perhaps she wouldn't prefer the sound of a transistor radio over the sound of the uber sickest and most expensive hi-fi listening station? Perhaps she'd never ever by any means find herself in the most painful but fun predicament of having to compare the two?

I mean ... I'm just hypothesizing here...

...

But the fact remains ...

The difference between the plain jane power cord and the Zu Birth, when applied to my DAC, specifically ... is just crazy apparent to my ear (and yes, I can carry a tune!).

I too was a die hard skeptic of cable impact, power ... IC ... or otherwise.

I also don't like spending money ... even for masturbatory OCD driven pursuits such as trying to perfect my headphone rig.

That said ... and as my title implies ... and as with general interconnects ...

I am now a believer.



(the Zu has mellowed out a bit after 20 hours or so ... for now, and until I get the jelly cable next week ... it's staying in the system)

post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed View Post
IMO you really don't have to change the entire world to improve your bit of it.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG POPPA View Post
If you never bought a cable from a reputable company and gave it a fair chance? How can you know Chri5speed? LOL
Gil you know that this is a no win situation for the skeptics, it has never been and will never be, the believers always want everybody to beleive, regardless of experience, and outcome, and period, there is no single evidence that could prove the believers to be right, and still they believe....Faith, mythology???

That leads me to the next question: How about the ones that have tried a couple and had reported that there is no changes/differences at all....Just mark with an X:

__ Cable X made no difference, but that does not imply that cable Y will not do it (so we have to try all cables in the market to have a qualified opinion)
__ Our systems are not revealing enough...
__ Our ears are not able to hear the differences as they are not trained enough...
__ We are deaf...



Or maybe we have no problems that could be improved by a cable
post #29 of 54
Thread Starter 
Perhaps the best and most tempering thought to keep my humble post from dwindling into the proverbial realm of common 'basuda' ...

From Sovkiller's sig, ...

" Disclaimer: Please assume every single of my statements, to mean: “in my system”, “to my ears”, "in my experience", “in my opinion”, etc...(otherwise stated). "

...

Just a friendly reminder.



Personally ...

Being one that believes cable impact is something significant ...

I'd like to hear other similar experiences from fellow head-fi members (this as opposed to proclamations of dissent or disbelief).

This thread's not about belief vs. disbelief. It's simply to discuss a tripe-ish little revelation I personally had regarding cable/cord impact and the hopes that others experiencing similar things might reciprocate.

post #30 of 54
I use the JellyFish. Never noticed a difference, and never looked for one. I change up my system so frequently that the power cord is not something I worry about. I just bought it because it looks like it can take a beating.
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