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  1. #1
    Tide Guy
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    Power cord questions

    I am wondering if anyone can tell me if upgrading your powercord really makes any difference in sound quality. I am using a stock powercord with my equipment now and am wondering if I should purchase an Audioquest cord because I just bought Audioquest cables and interconnects. These made an unbelievable improvement in the soundstage and I was blown away. Could a powercord really help? I am also wondering about the actual outlet. I saw that PS Audio makes a replacement recepticle. Would this help my sound quality and how? Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert but I'll take a shot in the dark here. I think that under certain circumstances, there is definately a difference, but in some ways, if you're not using a power conditioner, then what's the point of a high-priced cable. Also, I think the outlet can in some ways have a negative effect if it's worn down and you might be getting a less than ideal connection, but a new outlet could also solve that for under a dollar. Even beyond the outlet and the power cord, keep in mind that there's probably 100 feet of cheap wire bringing the power from the circut box to the outlet, along with hundreds of more feet on the other side of the circuit box. I personally have a hard time believing that that last 3 feet of the run would make a very obvious difference (unless of course your current cord has really been limiting the connection quality). Im sure it also depends on the quality of your system as a whole, and the higher quality it is, the more likely you probably are to hear a difference. I had a similar dilemma, and ended up just putting in a new outlet and buying economically priced decent cables. I personally haven't heard much of a difference, I just like thinking that I've got good solid connections. I also started using a power conditioner recently, and that DID make a big difference. Maybe you might want to consider a power conditioner along with the upgrade in cables. Together I think you will probably hear an improvement. Good luck!

  3. #3
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I heard that if you turn your receiver on its side,the elect flows easier and is as good as any upgraded,super duper power cord.
    Look & Listen

  4. #4
    Nobody Special LeoFenderBender's Avatar
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    Yes a different power cord will make a difference. You can get even more of a difference when you rewire your house with the same cord back to the breaker panel.
    Cary Audio Designs SLP-05 Preamp [Sylvania 6SN7GTB]
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  5. #5
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    Don't know - yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by blairphillips7@yahoo.com
    I am wondering if anyone can tell me if upgrading your powercord really makes any difference in sound quality. I am using a stock powercord with my equipment now and am wondering if I should purchase an Audioquest cord because I just bought Audioquest cables and interconnects. These made an unbelievable improvement in the soundstage and I was blown away. Could a powercord really help? I am also wondering about the actual outlet. I saw that PS Audio makes a replacement recepticle. Would this help my sound quality and how? Thanks
    I have an opportunity this weekend to audition a Kimber Palladian, a Nordost Shiva and a PS Audio Statement power cord. As of now, I'm using the stock cord that came with my power conditioner... and I'm only replacing that one rather than each cord from each component, all of which feed into the conditioner. I'll post my observations.

    There are plenty of discerning audiophiles that can hear differences in power cords. I also know a few that swear by the PS Audio receptacles. I've never tried one, however - and probably won't. But I'm curious about power cords and will perhaps solve that curiousity this weekend.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    As you noticed changing speaker and interconnect cables changed the sound of your system. Power cables will also change the sound. The difficult part is deciding if the change is an improvement or not. I recommend that you try a less expensive power chord first as some can be quite costly.
    JohnMichael
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  7. #7
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    I have an opportunity this weekend to audition a Kimber Palladian, a Nordost Shiva and a PS Audio Statement power cord. As of now, I'm using the stock cord that came with my power conditioner... and I'm only replacing that one rather than each cord from each component, all of which feed into the conditioner. I'll post my observations.

    There are plenty of discerning audiophiles that can hear differences in power cords. I also know a few that swear by the PS Audio receptacles. I've never tried one, however - and probably won't. But I'm curious about power cords and will perhaps solve that curiousity this weekend.
    Hi,
    I have got the Kimber Palladian PK10 and PK14 in my rig. To these ears they made a difference. The best way to explain would be effortless. This was even more enhanced when I added the Isotek Titan and Minisub.
    I did try the Nordost powercables and found them too bright for my liking.

    Have fun

    Bernd
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  8. #8
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    All the hype on power cords has made Monster and others rich at some A/V fans expense. Some even talk of using silver wires. Kind of like buying all that stuff at J C Whitney's or Autozone to improve your cars gas mileage.

    Get your ears tested before spending a nickel on new cables of any kind. Most ears are not capable of discerning a difference in sound if one existed.

    Charlie

  9. #9
    nightflier
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieBee
    Most ears are not capable of discerning a difference in sound if one existed.
    This is what I discovered after trying different power chords: no real difference in sound. I did notice that the better amps come with heavier power chords, and so there may be a reason for that, but I have not hear the difference. Maybe my ears are not that good.

    That said, I did see a difference with video when I added a power conditioner. Maybe it's easier to see a difference on a screen than to hear it through a pair of speakers and maybe that is the reason why there is such a debate over this.

  10. #10
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    What i want to know is whay so many people can't spell "cord", *especially* music lovers, apparently!!

  11. #11
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Whay?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    maybe that is the reason why there is such a debate over this.
    I think the debate stems primarily from one camp basing their beliefs not on experiences but on what science tells us cannot be discerned and the other camp experimenting and allowing their senses to decide. And I think that it's our *listening* ability rather than our hearing ability that determines if we can hear sonic differences. I believe most people can hear differences if they know what to listen for and how to listen.

    That said, I didn't hear a dime's worth of differences among the three aftermarket power cords I tried this weekend and the stock cord I currently own. As I can hear differences in interconnects and speaker cables, I take my failure to mean that I apparently have no interference problem in my home or system that my power conditioner hasn't already solved. So the audition cords will be returned to their owners.

  13. #13
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    Power cords vs power chords

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryB
    What i want to know is whay so many people can't spell "cord", *especially* music lovers, apparently!!
    I think the best power cord is the one that performs its function the best in an audio system. I think the best power chord is the open E.

  14. #14
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blairphillips7@yahoo.com
    I am wondering if anyone can tell me if upgrading your powercord really makes any difference in sound quality.
    My experience is that some can. Contrary to those who really don't understand the subject, the miles-and-miles-of-wire argument doesn't address the reason why. You are not trying to "improve" the quality of the signal from the power station. You are trapping RFI interference caused by many devices found in modern homes such as computers, digital cable boxes, DVD players, wireless routers, etc.

    The differences are subtle and depend upon your system resolution, the type of music you listen to, your environment, and your hearing acuity. The overall result is a lowering of the noise floor allowing more musical detail to be evident. CD players radiate RF and inject some of it back into the AC which is then picked up and amplified by your receiver or amplifier. Power conditioners work in a similar way, but are generally not suited for high current amplifiers.

    As with everything, it is a matter of system matching. It makes no sense putting a thousand dollar PC into a modest system. In a high resolution system, however, such provides another level of refinement. I have a couple of modestly priced cables from DIY Cable that work well. If you are an electronics hobbyist, you can make your own using good components. I built one using Belden 83803, a double shielded 12 gauge recipe intended for fire alarms, with Marinco plugs and IEC that ran around $70 in parts.

    rw

  15. #15
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernd
    Hi,
    I have got the Kimber Palladian PK10 and PK14 in my rig. To these ears they made a difference. The best way to explain would be effortless. This was even more enhanced when I added the Isotek Titan and Minisub.
    I also find the Palladians to be excellent. A friend brought over his two PK-10s and PK-14 to try with my mono tube amps and CDP. After deciding to buy a couple, I found another cable that I find a little better, the Harmonic Technology Magic.

    rw

  16. #16
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Low cost options against RFI ??

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    My experience is that some can. Contrary to those who really don't understand the subject, the miles-and-miles-of-wire argument doesn't address the reason why. You are not trying to "improve" the quality of the signal from the power station. You are trapping RFI interference caused by many devices found in modern homes such as computers, digital cable boxes, DVD players, wireless routers, etc.
    ...
    If you are an electronics hobbyist, you can make your own using good components. I built one using Belden 83803, a double shielded 12 gauge recipe intended for fire alarms, with Marinco plugs and IEC that ran around $70 in parts.

    rw
    How about a surge protecter with RFI filters between the component outlets, e.g.
    And/or this sort of ultra-cheap noise filters; stick one on both ends of whatever cable you;re using now:
    I have made Belden/Marinco cables as E-Stat suggested but found they made no difference in my case.

  17. #17
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    How about a surge protecter with RFI filters between the component outlets
    Those work pretty well for low powered components. I use them in my video systems. They suppress the dynamics, however, of high powered amplification. .

    rw

  18. #18
    Tide Guy
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    Powercord questions

    Thanks everyone for your advice. I think I will hold off on the powercord and recepticle for now. Will a power conditioner make a difference if I am using a stock powercord?. Or is it suggested that you run both. I am considering a monster power conditioner ($150). I hear that they help alot with the sound stage. What exactly do they do? Thanks again for everyones help.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    I heard that if you turn your receiver on its side,the elect flows easier and is as good as any upgraded,super duper power cord.
    What a bunch of crap..

    Rotation of the receiver or amplifier, causes a 1/4 rotation of the helical dipole of the line cord. This in turn alters the faraday coupling coefficient of the line cord to the ground loop formed by the sources connected to the receiver. By altering this, you change the loop susceptibility to line cord haversines, line cord coupled high frequency currents, and externally generated audio range magnetic field slews.

    It is necessary to rotate the receiver in increments from level to 90 degrees in either direction. There will be one, and only one, angle, where the internally generated haversines (odd order supply current ahrmonics) will be nulled out at the input ground. Luckily, as this is a sine function, the null is actually very shallow, plus or minus 5 or ten degrees won't make too much difference. (note that a balanced input configuration will be far less susceptible to this effect.)

    The electron flow explanation is entirely bogus..

    And there is no guarantee that the rotation will null external stimulus at the same angle as internal stimulus..there is no free lunch..

    However, my explanation is based on Faraday's law of induction..glib as your post was, there actually is a relationship..

    Cheers, John

    PS...testing testing...

    &#8747 E . &#948 s = - &#948&#934 /&#948t

    Putz...this site doesn't support normal html code..
    Last edited by jneutron; 11-08-2005 at 09:32 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryB
    What i want to know is whay so many people can't spell "cord", *especially* music lovers, apparently!!
    Perhaps because they are so worried about spelling "why" correctly, that they forget..

    John

  21. #21
    nightflier
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    Hey

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryB
    What i want to know is whay so many people can't spell "cord", *especially* music lovers, apparently!!
    Sorry, but I'm not a book editor. Forums are like email, there will be errors because it is done fast and with the content as the primary focus, not grammar/spelling. I'm sure people get the gist of what I'm saying. And who here types 100% correctly anyhow.... Let's get back to the topic, shall we?

  22. #22
    Nobody Special LeoFenderBender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jneutron

    Rotation of the receiver or amplifier, causes a 1/4 rotation of the helical dipole of the line cord. This in turn alters the faraday coupling coefficient of the line cord to the ground loop formed by the sources connected to the receiver. By altering this, you change the loop susceptibility to line cord haversines, line cord coupled high frequency currents, and externally generated audio range magnetic field slews.

    It is necessary to rotate the receiver in increments from level to 90 degrees in either direction. There will be one, and only one, angle, where the internally generated haversines (odd order supply current ahrmonics) will be nulled out at the input ground. Luckily, as this is a sine function, the null is actually very shallow, plus or minus 5 or ten degrees won't make too much difference. (note that a balanced input configuration will be far less susceptible to this effect.)
    Can I quote you? Oops, I just did...
    Cary Audio Designs SLP-05 Preamp [Sylvania 6SN7GTB]
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  23. #23
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jneutron]What a bunch of crap..

    Rotation of the receiver or amplifier, causes a 1/4 rotation of the helical dipole of the line cord. This in turn alters the faraday coupling coefficient of the line cord to the ground loop formed by the sources connected to the receiver. By altering this, you change the loop susceptibility to line cord haversines, line cord coupled high frequency currents, and externally generated audio range magnetic field slews.

    It is necessary to rotate the receiver in increments from level to 90 degrees in either direction. There will be one, and only one, angle, where the internally generated haversines (odd order supply current ahrmonics) will be nulled out at the input ground. Luckily, as this is a sine function, the null is actually very shallow, plus or minus 5 or ten degrees won't make too much difference. (note that a balanced input configuration will be far less susceptible to this effect.)

    The electron flow explanation is entirely bogus..

    And there is no guarantee that the rotation will null external stimulus at the same angle as internal stimulus..there is no free lunch..

    However, my explanation is based on Faraday's law of induction..glib as your post was, there actually is a relationship..

    Cheers, John

    PS...testing testing...

    &#8747 E . &#948 s = - &#948&#934 /&#948t

    Putz...this site doesn't support normal html code..[/QU

    Thats my point,its crap just like better power cords improve sound.
    I'm not dumb enough{dumb somewhat} to turn my receiver on its side,invest in a $$$$ powercord or $5 afoot speaker wire.
    Look & Listen

  24. #24
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Sorry, but I'm not a book editor. Forums are like email, there will be errors because it is done fast and with the content as the primary focus, not grammar/spelling. I'm sure people get the gist of what I'm saying. And who here types 100% correctly anyhow.... Let's get back to the topic, shall we?
    There's always a 1" penis person that needs to rag on grammar where its not required.
    Look & Listen

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Thats my point,its crap just like better power cords improve sound.
    I'm not dumb enough{dumb somewhat} to turn my receiver on its side,invest in a $$$$ powercord or $5 afoot speaker wire.
    It seems I was not clear enough. My fault perhaps??

    What I explained is accurate. Re-read what I posted..rotation of the receiver WILL alter the coupling constant between the line cord and the input ground loop..

    Let's go through a few questions, shall we?

    1. Do you believe a "ground loop" is a real entity?

    If the answer is..yes, go to question #2. If your answer is no...then, you don't get out much, do you?

    2. Do you believe a ground loop is ONLY capable of picking up 60 hz? If NO, go to question 3..if yes, you need to learn the equation: Voltage = - N times the rate of change of trapped magnetic field..this is Faraday's law, one of Maxwell's equations, and is also used for transformer design, hence the number N in the equation. And, if you look carefully, the equation does not state: " this applies ONLY to 60 hz signals.."

    In point of fact, this equation states that the voltage generated is proportional to the rate of change of magnetic field..so is also directly related to the frequency of the harmonic which is intercepted.

    3. Do you believe an amp draw is ONLY 60 hz? If NO, proceed to question #4. If yes, you need to learn about bridge rectifier current haversine draw, and the fact that an amp draw is odd order harmonics from the wall.

    4. Do you believe a line cord is capable of ignoring the entire spectra of current drawn through it, somehow supressing the magnetic field dipole that is generated, so that the ground loop does not see it?? If the answer is no, then go to question #5. If yes, then you are implying that MAGIC IS involved when it comes to line cords.

    5. If you answered correctly the first 4 questions, then you are here. Congratulations, you have applied e/m field theory accurately...theory which is older than I, at five decades..

    Unfortunately, by getting to question #5, you have contradicted yourself...you have made it to the point where you agree that a line cord does indeed have the ability to alter the signal that is presented to the input of an amplifier..

    Now what are you gonna do??

    Cheers, John

    PS...yah I know, #5 is not a question..

    PPS..shokhead, I was having fun posting this, it is not meant to be a criticism of you. Please do not take it as such. It is meant more as a learning vehicle, to allow others to understand the sequence of logical constructs that get to the conclusion. It was fun, though..
    Last edited by jneutron; 11-09-2005 at 08:58 AM.

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