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  1. #1
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    changing the power cord on Nad 3020i

    I've been quite surprised for awhile that the power cord on the Nad is like that of a table lamp! A very thin wire. I'm considering doing a cable replacement. What kind of wire should I be using as I would have to open up the amp and solder the new wire. Would this help improve the performance of the amp?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Tony, there are going to be people here that disagree with me but I doubt that you will hear any significant improvement at all especially if the rest of your system is not extremely detailed. In my reference system I have not heard any difference in changing power cords. But I am not using $500 and up power cords. And I am using a $9,000
    preamp and a $6,000 amp.

    I have some Van Alstine gear that uses lamp cord type power cords. Van Alstine switched to IEC and heavier gauge power cords due to customer pressure and they have not noticed any difference in sound.

    If you want to build your own cord, take a look here-

    DIY Belden 83803 Mains Power Cable - Audiophile Power Cord
    Last edited by blackraven; 12-29-2014 at 08:53 AM.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I would not open a piece of equipment just to use a different power cord. Often time you will hear a difference but is it an improvement? I would not do it and I have tried power cords with previous electronics.
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  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    Tony, there are going to be people here that disagree with me but I doubt that you will hear any significant improvement at all especially if the rest of your system is not extremely detailed. In my reference system I have not heard any difference in changing power cords. But I am not using $500 and up power cords. And I am using a $9,000
    preamp and a $6,000 amp.

    I have some Van Alstine gear that uses lamp cord type power cords. Van Alstine switched to IEC and heavier gauge power cords due to customer pressure and they have not noticed any difference in sound.

    If you want to build your own cord, take a look here-

    DIY Belden 83803 Mains Power Cable - Audiophile Power Cord
    The problem with Belden 83803 cable is that it is extremely stiff.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, I'm a laymen in the subject of current/electricity. But since an amplifier would need a good source of current coming in, would a thin wire limit the amount of current required by the amp? did Nad install such thin wire would u think on their 3020 line or since I bought it used, the previous owner might have changed it.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony340 View Post
    Thanks guys, I'm a laymen in the subject of current/electricity. But since an amplifier would need a good source of current coming in, would a thin wire limit the amount of current required by the amp? did Nad install such thin wire would u think on their 3020 line or since I bought it used, the previous owner might have changed it.
    I would not worry about it. Like I said AVA HiFi use to have cheap lamp cord power cords on all their gear, including a 500wpc amp. NAD knows what it is doing.
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    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
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  7. #7
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    Since the power cord is on the primary side of the transformer chances are it won't make a difference. The voltage is then stepped down to the different voltages to supply what is needed for the circuit boards. I'm sure the NAD engineers knew what the were doing during the design phase.

    Run the amp awhile and check the cord to see if it is warm. If the gage of the wire isn't sufficient it will be. This is why house fires start when you draw more current than the wire can handle. It gets hot, the insulation breaks down and the conductors touch causing a spark inside the walls (don't overload your electrical circuits). It's why you have circuit breakers and fuses rated for currents the wire can handle.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all, really appreciate ur input always. I did check the wire, absolutely No heating while playing for hours, like BR said, Nad knew what they were doing. Cheers and happy 2015 to u all.

  9. #9
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    You might also look at the Ifi DAC which is about double the price of Emo but sounds good and has a lot of features including DSD.

    Whether you need an amp depends on how you are currently driving her HSU speakers.
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  10. #10
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony340 View Post
    I've been quite surprised for awhile that the power cord on the Nad is like that of a table lamp! A very thin wire. I'm considering doing a cable replacement. What kind of wire should I be using as I would have to open up the amp and solder the new wire. Would this help improve the performance of the amp?
    I am with the others who say don't waste your time. The minimum power cord size would be 18 gauge which has a current rating of 7 amps (840W). You amp maximum power consumption is 140W. As you can see, the power cord reserve rating is plenty. The amp internal wiring is probably 20 or even 22 gauge wire.

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