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What power cords do you like for your high-end headphone amp?

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 

Which power cords do you like for your particular high-end headphone amp and what is their sonic signature?

 

To me, a headphone amp needs a particular type of cord, one that does not emphasize upper mids or glare from digital sources, which is a common fault of the top headphones like HD800s, T1s, Edition 8s, HE6s, D7000s and others. At the same time, you want controlled bass and lower mids (woozy mids or muddy bass is also something I have encountered).

 

I know there is some disagreement about this topic, but I hear major differences in this area with amps I have owned. So I'm all ears here. Thank you.


Edited by rgs9200m - 5/31/11 at 8:36pm
post #2 of 79

I use black IEC cords that came with computers and coffe makers.

 

I find that equipment with good power supplies employing functional voltage regulators trumps any difference in cables. 

post #3 of 79
I use hospital grade on sources through an isolation transformer. The one "custom" cable (I won) has it's best improvement on my amp and it's a VD Power 1.
post #4 of 79

Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord

 

My amp responds best to this one.

The Epiphany works 2nd best with my amp. The sound is a night and day difference, the Woos are power cord dependent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 79
I buy used power cords for $1 or so at the W6TRW swapmeet. Always black ones and they have to be UL listed.

I also use an isolation transformer. Not sure of the brand; I originally bought it as safety gear for DIY.
post #6 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post

I use black IEC cords that came with computers and coffe makers.

 

 



Same here. If you really believe in this sort of thing, why not just use the same romex that runs from the outlet box back to the breaker? "High End" power cords may be the single biggest example of "snake oil" in all audio.

 

post #7 of 79

One time I ran a dedicated AC wire from my circuit breaker box to the AC outlets of my system. I didn't use Romex wire.

post #8 of 79

I also found that whiskey did the same effect as the power cords on sound improvement but the effects didn't last!

post #9 of 79
I use Belden hospital-grade, shielded power cables, all plugged into a 5kW Isotek isolation transformers with upgraded Hubbell sockets. All my DAC and amp have filtered IEC inlets.
Anything better than that, to me, is self-imagination.
post #10 of 79

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

I also found that whiskey did the same effect as the power cords on sound improvement but the effects didn't last!


X 2  I can confirm exactly the same results.

 

post #11 of 79

Best I've heard is Wireworld Electra 5.2

post #12 of 79

I like to use Audio-GD Exclusive power cables for my gear. They do improve the sound and they are worth the price.

post #13 of 79

"Hospital grade" is something else I see thrown around in power cable discussions a lot, and I honestly have to wonder how many people actually know what "hospital grade" means.  Probably not - the only requirement for a "hospital grade" power cord is that the plug ends have internal strain relief to ensure that the wiring cannot come disconnected inside the molded plug; often, the ends are clear, to allow visual inspection of the wiring inside the plug.  Aside from that, there's no difference between a "hospital grade" power cord and a generic IEC power cord.  It's a redundant safety function; that's it.

 

Thus:

 

UL specification 60601-1 specifically states that all patient care equipment must use power cords with hospital grade attachment plugs. The fundamental differences between normal NEMA plugs and the hospital grade versions of the same plugs are;

1.    Prong blades must be of solid brass construction without folding.
2.    A retaining strain relief type device must be added to the inside of the plug mold to prevent any potential stress to connections and ensure grounding reliability.
3.    Must be able to pass various more stringent tests UL performs before approval.
4.    Product must be marked with the green dot as well as the phrase “Hospital Grade”

 

"More stringent tests" is basically just mechanical stresses - plug insertion count, environmental resistance, and that sort of thing.  Nothing that would affect how a medical-grade power cord transfers power compared to a standard IEC power cord, nor can I find anything alluding to specific shielding requirements for medical-grade vs standard IEC cables.

 

Just figured I'd toss the information out there, in case people didn't know what "medical grade" actually signifies when it comes to power cables.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post


Same here. If you really believe in this sort of thing, why not just use the same romex that runs from the outlet box back to the breaker? "High End" power cords may be the single biggest example of "snake oil" in all audio.

 



 

post #14 of 79
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. Currently, strangely, the best are the first generation Shunyata Anacondas-- a VX on the cd player to tame upper mid glare and an original Anaconda Alpha on the amp (a Pinnacle).

This combo produces a pretty relaxed sound and good palpability without thickness and reasonably sweet highs.

A 2nd Anaconda VX on the amp produced a too-muddy undefined bass and loose lower mids, especially on the HD800s.

Stealth Dream cords had superb controlled bass but were just too hyped up in the upper mids and highs.

Some lower price cords from TG and others just didn't have the silky mids and vocals and rounded images and layering I hear from the firehose-thick Shunyatas.

But I ask because I am still looking for a cord that will do it all, meaning a very relaxed sound that never goes "over the top" with upper mids and female vocals even with poorly mastered recordings

but still has a firm grip on things.

Somehow the newer Shunyata offerings, while clearer, a little less "fuzzy" can have a bit of shout that is evident with headphones (less so with speakers).

 

Sometimes I think a power cord company should offer a cord voiced specifically for headphone listening. I'm actually surprised at the extreme difference these cords make on a headphone system,

eve more so than speaker-based systems.

 

Just though I would share my findings here and thanks again for the help.

 

 


Edited by rgs9200m - 6/1/11 at 9:49am
post #15 of 79

Shunyata Research Venom 3.  They are around $100 and sometimes you can find a deal on them.  Love them.

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