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In what order would you upgrade cables?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

For those whom believe in cable upgrades...

 

What order do you upgrade the cables, from making the largest difference in sound quality to the smallest? Notice I say "largest difference" instead of "largest improvement," since we all have different preferences, but "more bass" or "less dynamics" are a bit more subjective.

 

Personally, I've found the biggest impact come from headphone recabling, but they're also the most expensive cables I've tried. The least difference came with power cables, though I've only tried the (relatively) inexpensive Signal Audio power cables.

 

From my experience:

 

(largest difference) headphone cable > interconnect > digital cable (coax/toslink) > power cable (smallest impact)

 

I would upgrade in this order when looking for changes. What about you guys?

post #2 of 31

I find that power cables have the most effect on the qualities of the presentation, followed by headphone, digital and interconnects equally.  

 

In my last system, interconnects for sure had their impacts, but it was a power cable that transformed that particular system from good, to amazing.

post #3 of 31

Power cable > headphone cable > interconnect cable

post #4 of 31

Power>HP>IC/DC

post #5 of 31

For power cables, does it matter if you're plugging the unit into a surge-protecting power strip, into a UPS or directly into the wall outlet?

 

I find this power cord priority curious.  Not to worry.... I'm not a trouble-making anti-anything in sheep's clothing. 

post #6 of 31

Mains conditioning, then attenuators if applicable and last cables, any cable.

post #7 of 31

Where I'm at the power grid accept a lot of grounding errors, putting a multimeter in the socket you'll see a lot of peaks, not good for Hi-Fi equipment though.. so 82 feets of Ölflex 110 CY/05 3G1,5 (going with a local brand, nothing esoteric) is a good start costing only $138. I stay away from cheap power surge-protectors as they tend to kill the dynamic, this might be a good option -> http://www.lcaudio.com/index.php?page=314

 

All interconnects are also a local no-nonsense brand, with good shielding. Changing the HP-cable are the last resort...


Edited by Albedo - 10/18/10 at 10:07am
post #8 of 31

Power cord direct to the wall outlet gives me the best dynamics for the amp. Everything else is ran through an iso. transformer on independent circuits..

post #9 of 31

yeah I wondered about how power cables could help if my amp continued to work perfectly for about 2 seconds after I unplugged it while it was pumping out music.

 

it's almost like the only function a power cable can perform is to connect the amp up to the mains.  shocking.

 

 

 

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonsosnot View Post

Personally, I've found the biggest impact come from headphone recabling, but they're also the most expensive cables I've tried. The least difference came with power cables, though I've only tried the (relatively) inexpensive Signal Audio power cables.


Signal Cable "Magic Power" I presume? That's little more than 10/3 bulk cable with some Marincos on it. You won't get much out of that. I've found the largest improvements to come from power cables, but only seriously good ones - Shunyata CX, Aural Symphonics, etc. Getting the right cord on the right piece of a equipment is critical. There are also a lot of very expensive cords that provide little to no improvement over stock, so it takes a lot of experimenting.

 

Most cheap power conditioners and strips like the Monster units sound worse than running straight from the wall, and are best avoided. The PS Audio ones aren't bad, but IMO the best are the Audience Adept Response and Running Springs conditioners.

post #11 of 31

Other good power cords include; Crystaline Alacrity's "Semporium" (only £400), Mohovic Foundries' "Black Diamond" (£750), Faith Incarnate's "Genu-flex" (around £1600) and Revolution Clichéname's "Signature Statement" (£15000+). Un-terminated, per meter.

 

As for power conditioners, ideally you should sink your own geothermal bore hole, but I had to make do with some NOS Strontium-90 radioisotope thermoelectric generators - mains power is corrupt beyond redemption to be honest.

 

Also i recently had to throw away my Hi-Fi because it was made out of the wrong kind of atoms which decombobulated the sound.


Edited by googleborg - 10/19/10 at 5:21am
post #12 of 31

Trolls don't know the local condition of the power grid, where I'm at power in some homes can fluctuate from 210V to 240V. Thought when I think of it.. solid core is not allowed other than with permanent installation (in the walls etc.), Hi-Fi is more in the gray, but checking with your insurance company might be a good idea.

post #13 of 31
I only use UL-approved power cords, usually the least expensive I can find.

If the power supply in your amp doesn't adequately clean up the power, then you bought something with a poorly designed power supply.
post #14 of 31

Most electrical components are not design for an IT (Isolated Terra)-network, a fine/ stable network as it doesn't fall out because of faulty grounding issues, but has a lot of noise. Newer populated areas here has a TN-network though... but IME older populated areas Hi-Fi equipment clearly benefit from a cleaner power supply.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I only use UL-approved power cords, usually the least expensive I can find.

If the power supply in your amp doesn't adequately clean up the power, then you bought something with a poorly designed power supply.


In the cases of some very high-end amps like Ayre with their "Ayre conditioner" or Levinson that actually do a great job of filtering the incoming power, then yes, a basic cord with a large enough gauge to get out of the way resistance wise may be enough. I don't have any personal experience trying high-end cords on the MX-R monos or Levinson xxH monos so I don't know. I've also heard that a lot of Class D amps with switching supplies are largely immune to high-end cords and power conditioning as well, and obviously battery powered RWA or Edge or Rowland components could care less what kind of cord is used to charge the batteries. 

 

In the case of the traditional Class A or A/B amp though, power cords and conditioning absolutely do make a difference and yes, even a properly designed power supply will benefit. I have more than enough first hand experience on this.

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