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Experience with the change of power cord ...


DarkAngel
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Hi,

I have read about the importance of having a good power cord. Example I have heard about improvement in sound stage, imaging, cleaner sound etc with just an upgrade of the power cord.

 

Would like to know some of your personal experience and how the upgraded power cord had improve your system and in what ways.

 

Hope to know more before I upgrade my power cord.

 

Thanks! :D

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Hi Darkangel, if your amp or cdp allows you to tweak your powercord, do it. Don't waste the opportunity, it really helps in boosting your system clarity, dynamics and stability. For my case, my amp and cdp still under warranty and the powercords are non-detachable types. But after warranty period, i will by hook or by crook tweak it. Presently, i only tweak my power distributor powercord with Belden 1860A. Believe it or not, it is all up to your own judgements. ;)

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Hi DarkAngel

 

U will get

1. opinions from people who endorsed the changes in sound using different power cords

2. opinions from people who thinks that the changes in sound is not worth the money

 

U will get

1. One side disbelieving the others

2. All others disbelieving both camps

 

The only way to see if u like it is to try. i can tell u what my power cord does to my sytem etc etc etc but the same power cord in your system may be a white elephant. The same goes for bi wiring or single wiring, using jumpers made from same speaker cables or other type of cables and so on and so forth.

 

Audiophilia is something personal and knowing some other opinions (other audiophile) is often confusing becos there are simply too many variables. Believe me u will get one camp pitting another and often the end result is inconclusive.

 

An example

If u go to Audiophile A house and he demonstrate the diff between stock cable and a $1000 audiophile approved silver power cord and u hear distinct diff and prefer the $1000 cable, what does that tell u? It just tell u in A's system, the $1000 power cord is the preferred power cord and that's it!!

Does that mean the $1000 power cord will make the same diff in your system? Yes and No and high chances is NO.

Now u go to Audiophile B and lsiten to his expensive setups. He changes the 'cheap' power cord with the same $1000 power cord and u hear no diff or very little diff. Now how do u conclude?

Herein lies your answer when u ask for opinions. Ultimately u 'choose' what u like to hear becos u do not know most of the person's system anyway so u are back to square one.

Sorry for long post.

Cheers

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Using "expensive" power cords is a journey that most in this circle would undertake. In my case, I have come a full circle - I used to spend at least 20% of total system's budget on cables (p/c accounted for up to half of this budget). In the last three years, I spent around 3% on cables and my power cords are either free (from the factory) or cost $5 a piece. Have fun.

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This is one of those things which is very subjective in the hifi world. I am a non-believer of expensive power cords, for the record.

 

My CDP is modified with IEC socket (I didn't do it, previous owner did it), but I use a cable that came from my old PC. What people call water kettle cables.

 

I feel that the most important part of the power cable is the plug. It must have good and stable contact to the power socket. Same thing goes for the other end which connects to your equipment.

 

In blind tests, most people will not be able to tell any difference between a $5 and a $1000 power cord. But if you tell them that they're listening to an expensive cord, suddenly they'll hear some difference. Strange, huh?

 

If I were you, I'll spend my cable money on speaker cables or analog interconnects. These make the most difference (for better or worse... :P), IMO. Or even send your equipment for modifications/upgrades.

 

Anyway, it's entirely up to you. If you believe, you'll be able to hear the difference.

 

;D

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Guest duckling

 

In blind tests, most people will not be able to tell any difference between a $5 and a $1000 power cord. But if you tell them that they're listening to an expensive cord, suddenly they'll hear some difference. Strange, huh?

 

 

Hahaha...this is very true and common, usually most pple thinks that expensive means better!! ;D

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My personal opinions only, on what I believe:

 

Power cords does make a difference, like other cables such as i/c or s/c. I could clearly hear the difference caused by switching power cords and pretty sure that it is not imaginery. However, some systems are more sensitive to power cords changes than others, in my previous setup, the difference is less obvious than my current one.

Please note that I use the word "difference" and not "improvement", whether it bring improvement is subjective.

I am also not saying that expensive power cords = better power cords. I have tried and sold some power cords that costs more than the present ones that I am using. I believe in using the "right" power cord in my system that suits my taste and not the most expensive ones I can afford.

If you have tried and compared $5 kettle or computer power cords against most branded ones and still find that the $5 cords are better, by all means use it, you are lucky. I am not that fortunate, in my systems I believe I hear improvements that convinve me to cough out the extra $$$.

In the end, I think the only way is to try one in your system and trust your ears.

 

 

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agree with all that the way to go is to try them all power cords in your system at home.

 

How you obtain that lot of power cords depend on how much you're willing to spend.. or maybe you have a lot of good friends who are willing to lend them to you.

 

My personal take on this:

Though I had not gone as extensive a circle as ongus or many of the more experienced audiophiles here (maybe about 5-10 different PCs), I can safely tell you that if you do not know which power cord is plugged in your system you would not be able to tell the difference, let alone which is 'better'. Yet another 'pay school fees' exercise, IMHO.

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Pardon me?., won't this be expensive to try?, for example I was using QED Silver anniv. speakers cable for my speakers, it sounded rather bright. I bought this at commercial prices from the shop.I changed them to belden DIY wires, and they were better at fraction of the cost, there was real improvement.

 

The question is, does changing the power cord make the difference?, any proof technically to back this?. Price aside, expensive ones, cheap ones, does the same job, transport electrical power to the unit right?

 

 

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If you buy new, it would be an expensive gamble indeed, try to borrow one or buy 2nd hand.

 

I have stop buying new cables a long time ago..

 

Buying Belden cables is a good and cheap alternative, the initial outlay is low and u usually get respectable results. However, bare in mind that these DIY cables has very low or no resale value. Anyway if it happens that u change to other cables in future u can still use the belden power cords on your kettles or computers ;)

 

Popular branded cables fetched certain resale value, so if u get it at a fair price, the likelihood is that u might not incur direct loss when u sell it in future. However, downside is that the carrying cost is higher (interest & opportunity cost perhaps?).

 

BTW, FYI I am using both Belden stuff and branded ones.

 

I have no comments on the technical part, there are many others that can put it better than me.. maybe u can visit the website of those cables makers, be sure that they will have lots of writings quoting the technical support and lab proof, so that they can convince buyers that their cables are the best in the market ;D ..

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Guest powerman
I feel that the most important part of the power cable is the plug. It must have good and stable contact to the power socket. Same thing goes for the other end which connects to your equipment.

 

another camp might pop-in!

 

no plug better than with plug.

 

oh! might be the one man-camp only! ;D

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DarkAngel:

 

Once upon a time, I never believe in the changes wrought from different power cable albeit I believe in interconnects. This view has since changed after several system upgrades. I can hear the difference in sonic qualities of power cords as clear as interconnects.

 

If this applies to U, by all means take the path to power cords domain. Believe in what U can hear and shun away from reviews. It's not economical to pay $1000 when U can hear no difference from your exisiting stock or $100 power cord. I fact, this applies to all the components in your setup. Just some peanuts for thought. ;)

 

 

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Also, don forget the socket! Both male and female gotta be good to produce good results!

BTW, if you bother, u shd also clean the ends of the cable that run from the MCB and also the MCB contacts.

I feel that the most important part of the power cable is the plug. It must have good and stable contact to the power socket. Same thing goes for the other end which connects to your equipment.

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Yah, u must pay a visit to powerman for the ultimate treatment .. ;D

 

hardwire from mains to equipments.. real power man!!

 

I guess the only way to better this is perhaps:

No cables better than with cables??

 

Wonder how to do this, batteries?? Or maybe build a power generator plant attached to your sound room?? ;D ;D

 

 

another camp might pop-in!

 

no plug better than with plug.

 

oh! might be the one man-camp only! ;D

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Power cords tend to appeal to the emotional audiophile.

 

To the scientific/technical audiophile, powercords can't improve much other than using the thickest guage mains cable. It may be better to understand why things improve the sound for these group of audiophiles.

 

But the degree of change in powercords is small, compared to say, EQs.

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Power cords tend to appeal to the emotional audiophile.

 

To the scientific/technical audiophile, powercords can't improve much other than using the thickest guage mains cable. It may be better to understand why things improve the sound for these group of audiophiles.

 

First time i come across this "emotional/scientific/technical audophile" terminology. Where did you pick this up from?

 

But the degree of change in powercords is small, compared to say, EQs.

 

I think it's best if you qualify your statements whether these are based from your personal experiences and the circumstances leading to your conclusions or you are simply regurgitating a generally accepted fact learnt from somewhere else or ..........

 

I take it from your defintion, you fall in the "scientific/technical audiophile" group?

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[quote author=TOOL Though I had not gone as extensive a circle as ongus or many of the more experienced audiophiles here (maybe about 5-10 different PCs), I can safely tell you that if you do not know which power cord is plugged in your system you would not be able to tell the difference, let alone which is 'better'. Yet another 'pay school fees' exercise, IMHO.

What made you so sure just because you can't tell the differences others must also have similar experience. You are not safe. I and my group of audio 'kaki' has no problem detacting differences make by a power cord whether informed or not informed.
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Then you mistake is even more severe. There are a lot of people who refuse to buy the more expensive power cord = better idea.

I am in your camp on this! My recent experiences after some expensive 'school fee' is that power cord do make a difference whether for better or worse and that the key is not getting expensive power cord but getting the RIGHT power cord. In some instance the stock cord may be the one but my experience indicate that most of the time a not too expensive power cord that is carefully matched will do a better job. I have since 'downgrade' in price for my power cord from a $1k plus range to something below $300 and have achieve massive improvement in sound.
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Agree with SM on this.....

 

My experience in my system, the various power cords i tried all changed the sound. Some make it better to my ears and some don't. And those that did are not necessarily the expensive ones. And not all power cords necessarily sound different from each other.

 

I feel that there are equipment out there that sound best with the stock power cords and there are those that can be much improved with aftermarket power cords. And some actually may sound worse off compared to stock power cords. Price is not the real determining factor but proper matching is.

 

As examples of those i tried and was additionally told, Conrad Johnson gear sound best with stock power cords, for a long time, their power cords are supplied captive and you should not bother even changing them. Some of their newer preamps, the premier 16LS and 17LS for example are now supplied with IEC sockets, however they do already sound very good with stock power cords. Can it be improved further? This will probably boil down to personal taste. In fact, most of the "expensive" power cords i tried on the CJ made it sound bad. Only one bettered the stock cable.

 

On the other hand, the PS Audio Classic 250 power amp - sounds bad with stock power cord. The designer from PS Audio himself recommends to replace the stock power cords with something better. Some might say this is because he sells after market power cords? Nonetheless, i tried something like 5 different power cords on this amp in my system for over a month and ended up with a personal choice that is not a PS Audio power cord. But one thing i definitely noticed on this amp - each power cord i tried made the amp sound very different. Bad design of the amp or neutral....you decide.

 

As always, trust your ears and YMMV.

 

 

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