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does a transport need a fancy power cable? - Page 4

post #46 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
X2

Most people have no idea how important the power supply is.

A quality power supply removes all the nasties off the line and turns AC into very clean DC.

If you need some magical mystery power cord to "help" a device, then it probably has a crap power supply. That goes no matter what the MSRP of the device is - even some kilobuck devices have awful power supplies.
Well I fully understand the importance of the power supply [inside the main components]. However, I disagree with the conclusion that only a crap power supply can benefit from separate power conditioning.

I can't comment on dedicated transports, but over time, I've owned CDPs from Copland, Krell, Nagra, and preamps from Naim, Audio Reasearch, and also various Stax Energisers. All very different designs and all from respected manufacturers that have stood the test of time. And every single one of them has benefitted from better power cables - my considered subjective opinion of course.

In my current setup of Nagra CDP and Stax Energiser, I have an Audience Power Conditioner on a month's trial (expect a gushing review to be posted later. Broadly, a competitor to the Furman). I was taken aback by the improvement this seemingly simple capacitor-based conditioner has made to both components. The science of this doesn't make any sense, but the sound improvement is beyond any doubt.

Sticking just with Nagra, this company has a long standing high reputation amongst professionals for their studio equipment, and is not known for their frivolity or lack of attention to detail. I for one will not be visiting their design centre in Switzerland to tell them that they produce crap power supplies.
post #47 of 83
Thread Starter 
nagara is top of the line. recommended by mark levinson himself!

right now in the middle of the night when power should be better there is so much voltage that this darn computer keeps overheating! the apc is for some reason not turning on the avr or going to battery. i have to call apc right now. don't start me on everything that has blown up around here. the power company does not care. i wish i was a attorney!

music_man
post #48 of 83
Thread Starter 
intresting. according to some cable manufacturers, use the lower end cables on the source and digital equipment!

music_man
post #49 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
nagara is top of the line. recommended by mark levinson himself!
does that mean anything?

you do know that ML was NOT an engineer. not at all. he was a business guy. so his 'choice' is just some rich suit-and-tie guy talking.

so what?

ML was more name than anything else, when it came down to it.
post #50 of 83
Thread Starter 
huh? as far as i know ml was a brillant enginner. he designed the first ml products in his fathers garage as legend has it. he is also an acomplished musician. unless i have always just blieved some line of bs? this is not true you are saying? i always thought he designed the original few pieces then madrigal bought the name, then harmon.

there were two other engineers with madrigal that designed all their stuff i forget their names. they have their own companies now as well. unless i just am mislead by what i have read. ml's new company mostly sells over priced junk from china i have heard.

madrigal or harmon ml are good quality components, if not way over priced imo. maybe krell or mcintosh is better i don't know. most of my stuff is ml and krell reference and i am happy with it.

regardless, nagra is very high quality.

anyhow, i have found patrick82 for once made some sense! the power cables did exactly as he said. the big fat ones did not help the sound. i settled on a very good 14awg one.

music_man
post #51 of 83
at any rate, if I designed a power supply for commercial use (inside a product) and someone got a benefit from a 'power conditioner' in front of my PS, I'd consider my job a failure.

the job is: take wall current, convert to whatever the application needs - and KEEP IT THERE. that's all a power supply does. it has 1 job in life.

if it needs 'pre help' I still argue that it was not designed well from the start. as long as your wall current is within typical specs for homes, you should not need special cords before the PSU.

if I wrote a sort algorithm and it needed 'help' in order to fully work, did I really do my job completely and well?

sorry but as a designer, I would be ashamed if one of my products would be improved by SUCH a 'tweak'.

engineers know this. but many of them who work for the 'very high profit' sector just won't come clean.
post #52 of 83
linuxworks, your reasoning is very logical, but it doesn't explain the conundrum I mentioned earlier - that it is inconceivable that a wide range of respected, successful companies could be so clueless as to consistently mess up their power supplies.

One possibility that would explain the conundrum is that, as the PS in the component improves, then so does the component's transparency to the tiny details that are a key part of high end sound. The more the tiny details become "visible", the more they will be damaged by ever decreasing amounts of noise that still gets through on the mains line.

So the designer may well improve the PS in their component and be well pleased with the better sound at any given incoming mains quality. And the sound at that price point may be better than anyone elses. But that doesn’t stop the potential of even further improvements being provided by external help.
post #53 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
linuxworks, your reasoning is very logical, but it doesn't explain the conundrum I mentioned earlier - that it is inconceivable that a wide range of respected, successful companies could be so clueless as to consistently mess up their power supplies.
or maybe they cut corners. a lot of products are designed right but then 'undesigned' (my word, lol) to cost optimize.

Quote:
One possibility that would explain the conundrum is that, as the PS in the component improves, then so does the component's transparency to the tiny details that are a key part of high end sound. The more the tiny details become "visible", the more they will be damaged by ever decreasing amounts of noise that still gets through on the mains line.
after seeing how some 'simple' diy dacs and preamps/amps perform, I now fully believe the performance or initial capture and recording and editing does FAR WORSE damage than any of our even mid-fi playback systems do. I fully believe this. I've seen ultra low noise levels from even 'crap' power supplies. want to get really specific: emu 0404usb. amb and I both use this as TEST GEAR. its that good. and look at its crappy power supply. the lowest switching (!!) wallwart you can find. yet the internals filter that well enough so that you get test-gear level performance from a $2 wall wart and a $200 adc/dac usb box.

nope, after seeing the inside view of electronics design, implementation and service I'm fully convinced that 'power cords' are hoopla and your mind is the ONLY thing going on, here.
post #54 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxworks View Post
or maybe they cut corners. a lot of products are designed right but then 'undesigned' (my word, lol) to cost optimize.
Yes, this is true. Any commercial concern must compromise on the ultimate solution in order to deliver to various price points and stay in business. The successful ones compromise more wisely than average. But this doesn’t negate my specific point. Assuming I’ve carefully done my research and listening trials, then the component I choose must be the best in its price range for the sound I’m after. It therefore has the best compromise of PS quality (along with all the other parts). So if a cable or Power Conditioner further improves that component, then it doesn’t help to blame poor PS design, because it’s already better than all the others I could find in that price range.
Quote:
after seeing how some 'simple' diy dacs and preamps/amps perform, I now fully believe the performance or initial capture and recording and editing does FAR WORSE damage than any of our even mid-fi playback systems do…
Yeah, a completely logical train of thought. I too come across such conundrums that just don’t make sense to me. I can’t give an answer without going into total speculation, or going into “trust my ears mode” neither of which will help. I will say though that it's one of the joys of high end that it can get the best out of poorer quality recordings. If all my albums were perfectly recorded, I would have stopped upgrading long ago.
Quote:
I'm fully convinced that 'power cords' are hoopla and your mind is the ONLY thing going on, here.
This is the start of the usual unproductive downward spiral, so I’ll bow out now.
post #55 of 83
Thread Starter 
part of the problem is the "suits" always have their own ideas for us and they know very little about engineering. of course i am in recording but it is the same thing with ee's. marketing ultimately decides.

i will say that regardless of what you think, if you are in a noisy environment shielded power cables are a must on difital equipment. of course, those start at $6.

music_man
post #56 of 83
the amount of noise that a power cable (unshielded) gives via simple radiation to nearby wires does not, in my digital experience, matter one bit to the spdif cabling. opto does not care, of course; and the very tiny amount of ripple that a coax 75ohm cable picks up is totally dwarfed by the .5v or even 5v (if aes/ebu and 110 TP cable used) signal on the wire. the maths just don't add up, mate. sorry. but the numbers don't support your claim.

you can then talk about the induced hum from the power cord to the analog section but that has nothing to do with digital and you were talking about 'digital equipment' and I'm quite sure that hum coming from power cords won't affect spdif one tiny teensy bit.
post #57 of 83
Thread Starter 
honestly i have never tested this. i was just repeating what i have always read. that is stupid of me, i know. sorry.

music_man
post #58 of 83
how much radiated power would an ac power cord need in order to actually skew bit timing on the spdif 'square waves' (they're not even square on coax; can't be, in fact) ?

would you say that maybe 1/10 of the signal (peak to peak) would be needed in order to 'mess with' the spdif receiver? maybe 1/4 of the wave would have to have 'jiggle' on it? what value do you think?

now, given that a cord might be inches away from spdif cabling, how much coupling would be needed to get this 1/4 (or whatever) of .5v to be induced? ie, the ac cord has to act like an emf antenna of sorts to transfer a lot of signal interference to the spdif wire.

on analog, even a tiny bit is picked up - no argument there!

but on digital, please folks, this is an oft-repeated wives tale. the physics just aren't there to support 'interference by ac' as anything to be concerned about.

besides, shielding a wire on the receive side is much more effective than trying to shield on the transmitting side. if anything, you'd want to shield the weaker lines and NOT the 110vac lines!
post #59 of 83
TheAttorney, the conclusion is not tha poor power supplies benefit from conditioning. It's that pretty much all power supplies don't need conditioning in the first place.

As for that list of manufacturers, are you sure you actually heard a difference? Or is this like when people rate the same unknown wine differently based on what the researcher told the subject it cost? If you truly have an open mind, you must consider that it is possible that you are imagining the difference.

music_man, Mark Levinson lost a huge amount of credibility a few years back. He got caught rebranding some cheapo Chinese amp as his own Red Rose unit that was like $5,000.

He's just another audio scam artist as far as I'm concerned. If you open your eyes, you'll see people pulling this kind of crap everywhere in audio. Not the least of which the cable industry.

A lot of this industry is fanning hype and lies in order to make a buck.

What's more likely:

There are mysterious, unknown and unknowable forces in the universe that somehow only arise in audio cables.

Or

Someone is bending you over for a quickie while lifting your wallet at the same time and whispering in your ear that this is the best thing that will ever happen to you.
post #60 of 83
Thread Starter 
yes, agreed about the cables. if you check another post of mine, there are some expensive cables that are really poor quality in comparison to a $5 cable! there is a sucker born every minute. plus you remember the thread of the torn apart cable as well.

i have very old ml gear. harmon stuff is way overpriced. red rose is not to be trusted. he completely sold out. once, like in the 70's he was about high quality audio based in science. slowly but surely he decided to make himself more and more money. do you know he does not even own his own name! talk about bending over!

music_man
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