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Does power cable make any audible difference?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Just a n00b question. After convincing myself that different USB cables does make a significant and audible difference, now I'm wondering different, and the so called "audiophile" power cables, make any difference to the sound especially in headphone rigs, not speaker systems with their power amps etc.?

 

Specifically, my headphone amp is the Meier Corda JAZZ.

 

post #2 of 47

There is no objective evidence that has ever been provided to support that a power cable can or will make any audible difference. 

post #3 of 47

Yes, power cord will make different for sure.

 

Nice PCs and bring wider soundstage and improved sonic, start at $300(list price) or pass entry level.

 

Problem is maybe these PCs will expansive than your amp, find reviews and get used one.
 

post #4 of 47

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

There is no objective evidence that has ever been provided to support that a power cable can or will make any audible difference. 

 

^THIS!!!  Do not drink the audiophool kool-aid

post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 

What I get out of this is, perhaps my system is not expensive enough to benefit from such "upgrades", and that the so called "entry level audiophile" power cords are a waste of money. To experiment, I swapped between plugging my amp into your average $20 power bar full of other computer equipment (worst scenario as crosstalk and other nasty interference and EMI are part of the circuit path) and straight into the wall socket. Well I couldn't hear any difference at all. I guess power source is not the bottleneck of my system then.

 

That's not to say power source is not an important component of the audio chain. If I have a $5,000 system and have extra cash burning in the pocket, I wouldn't mind giving those $500 power cords a try to see what improvements I may get.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

 

post #6 of 47

I have a $12,000 system, and I won't spend more than $5 on a power cable.  To each his own. 

post #7 of 47

I borrowed a couple a rather expensive Nordost cords from my friend who is convinced they make a difference in his system but I wasn't able to detect any difference compared to my stock power cords, thankfully for my wallet biggrin.gif

post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

I have a $12,000 system, and I won't spend more than $5 on a power cable.  To each his own. 

 

Thanks for your reply. I am trying to humbly gather and categorize people's experience. As you know on most of these forums, you get people who claim that such and such power cords make their systems sound more noise-free, the soundstage wider, the treble smoother and the bass hits harder etc. Was your experience based on trying those so called "audiophile" power cords and didn't find any audible difference, or have you simply not heard any power cords costing more than a few bucks? I am sorry I am not trying to be offensive. Like you I have never believed in expensive power cords. I know most of our audio equipment's internal circuitry doesn't even run directly on AC power anyway, as they need DC power and the conversion (the rectifier, or transformer) either takes place inside the unit or have outboard power supplies. The quality of power received by the circuitry is already taken care of by the designers themselves during the AC to DC conversion. If AC power cords were such important component in the chain, why do some $2000 power amps only include a $5 power cord?

 

I'd like to hear your experience and input, if you don't mind.

post #9 of 47
Some people hear a difference, some don't. Whether it's golden ears, high end gear or expectation bias that makes the difference, is for you to decide. You won't learn much by "gathering experiences". You'd be better off trying to figure out the science behind it.
post #10 of 47

Power supply maybe, but the cable, no difference.

post #11 of 47
You can read all you want but nothing beats trying it out yourself.

The sonic differences between powercords can be very obvious - expensive does not mean better though, so audition before you buy.

Try those with return policy or buy used cables to minimize loses if you don't like what you hear. There are a few DIY recipes using Belden cables on the net that you can try out without hurting your wallet.
post #12 of 47

Hi GoSUV,

 

Take your Jazz with HPs and cables to visit audio shop near you, you may compare better PCs there.

 

 
 

post #13 of 47

I found that upgrading the stock cord of my LD MKIII with a not too expensive Iron Lung Jellyfish PC made a huge difference to me.  Call me a believer in PC upgrades!

post #14 of 47

If any cheap power cable is good enough for something as advanced and sensitive as a computer, I don't see how it could possibly affect the sound of any audio system.  Especially considering all of the crappy cable it has to go through to get to the socket - a lot of houses even use aluminum wiring.

post #15 of 47

GoSUV, if you can hear differences between USB cables, then I'd expect you to also hear differences between power cables.

 

On the other hand, you didn't notice a difference between your $20 block and direct to the wall. That suggests you won't notice the difference between power cables.

 

Confusing eh? This hobby is like that.

 

I think they can make a worthwhile difference, but the most important thing is that you can try before you buy. And, when you're trying them, if you can't tell the difference immediately, then just send them back and stop thinking about power cables. Just don't use that $20 block when doing comparisons. And if you have to agonize over seemingly minute differences, then stop trying and send them back.

 

PS. I've never tried any Nordost cable because the alleged Nordost house sound signature doesn't appeal to me. But from others comments, Nordost appear to have the widest range of love/hate/no difference responses of any cable company. There must be something that just clicks in certain circumstances, but I can't be bothered to find out what that is.

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