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Power cord upgrade. Worth it??

 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 163
Registered: Apr-04
I was thinking of building my own power cord to upgrade but was wondering if this is really worthwhile? Has anyone noticed a difference or is it hype?
 

Silver Member
Username: Stu_pitt

NYC, NY Pakistan

Post Number: 101
Registered: May-05
Like all other cables, it's a can of worms. Some have heard a difference, some haven't. I think addioholics.com has a section on it if you want to research it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4172
Registered: May-04


Are you using a design from another source or making this up as you go along?
 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 172
Registered: Apr-04
Buying from parts express and building myself using 10/3 wire. Why do you ask? Do you think it is a good idea? May give me something to do!
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4179
Registered: May-04


Can you provide a link to the parts you are considering?
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4180
Registered: May-04


Can you provide a link to the parts you are considering?


 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 174
Registered: Apr-04
Go to partsexprees.com and you will find the connectors and cable in various places. I was going for a 10/3 power cable with the connectors.

I am still wondering if this is a good idea or not. There is so much hype about cables!
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4216
Registered: May-04


If you are expecting the "jaw dropping" results you read about in the reviews, I'd say forget about power cables giving this result. If you think that subtle changes add up to an overall improvement in your system, then power cables might be what you need.

How about telling me two things. What do you think is the most important part of a system? And how do you judge whether there is an improvement when you change out a piece of equipment?




 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 567
Registered: Sep-04
Danman

You need to be careful with making this kind of change. Your current components have been designed to be used with their power cords. After market cords may introduce improvements, but can just as easily introduce problems (such as RFI) into the system. There are usually differences but these are rarely 'night and day'.

That said, it looks like you're just out to have some fun, so provided you stick to the same minimum requirements or better that the original cord provides, then you are unlikely to harm your equipment. Highly recommended connectors (IEC and plug) come from Wattgate and MK. They're not cheap though! As to gauge, use the largest gauge you can, but try to introduce a shielded wire to see if this reduces noise in the equipment. Noisy environments often introduce noise at the AC cord stage. This lowers the bandwidth of the system since the general quiescent noise level is raised. However, although you may gain in bandwidth, the cord may introduce other differences which could make the system as a whole less musically satisfying. If this happens (and you can't put your finger on it), just accept your gut feeling and at least retry your original cords.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 177
Registered: Apr-04
Well Jan, I think the most important part of a system is the speakers. This is one area that you can tailor to your spacific liking with the type of sound you are looking for.

As for the power cord question, I was just curious as to what to expect from those that have tried it. I would definately have a better quality than the one that came with my 272's as basically it is nothing special and I doubt if it is shielded more that a quality extension cord as it is 16 guage I believe and not very thick. The plugs are basic whereas the ones I would get are large and hospital grade able to take 10 guage wire.

I still have trouble understanding how this would really improve sound since I am still plugging it into the same socket in the wall as well as my surge protector!
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4224
Registered: May-04


There are several improvements a better built power cable can offer. The first, of course, is some way to minimize RFI - whether coming into the power cable or being distributed out to the other cables in the system. How much of an improvement this makes in your system can vary tremendously. RFI is something that can disappear when equipment, or even cables, are moved a small distance. RFI at the power supply input will also affect each piece of equipment differently.

Other improvements, beyond and including the use of exotic materials, are most likely to occur when the overall impedance of the circuit is lowered. When the inductance or capacitance of the cable is affected so will the impedance be affected. When the resistance of the connections is lowered, the impedance is altered. The desire is to allow more current flow vs. time element by lowering the impedance (or restriction) of the circuit.

I can't guaranty what you will hear if you alter the power cord. The change is somewhat subtle and if you judge a system by the larger changes that occur with speakers, my guess would be the subtle effects of power cables will be largely lost in your system. If marginal changes and improvements are what you are after now to tweak your system (along the lines of adding your surge protector), I would say go ahead and try. A DIY power cable is more labor/effort than dollar/cost.

Do report back if you try the experiment.




 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 181
Registered: Apr-04
I will try it. However my last comment is that even if I do involve shielded cable, what is in the wall is NOT shielded at all since it is basic 14/2 wire used for electrical hook up. After careful observation, I can tell you that the cables that came with my 272's are NOT shielded other than a cardboard type material.

I will let you know what I hear (or not!)
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4232
Registered: May-04


Cardboard doesn't make a very useful shield against anything.
 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 184
Registered: Apr-04
Most stock cables are built this way! Even YBA!
 

Anonymous
 
You might also want to read this:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/feature-article-blind-test-power-cord s-12-2004.html
Lots of long reading but the conclusion is, in a blind test many so called experts could not tell a major difference!
 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 336
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks........I read and believe almost all of it however, I believe my ears more than they seem to. I work in the psychology field and I guess I am one of those that bases my tastes on specific perceptions of things.

I have done the A B thing with cheap and very expensive interconnects and never noticed a damn thing........whether this is my ignorance or reality, I am not really sure. All I can say is, I would never buy a 2000$ interconnect even if I had 100 million dollars!
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4402
Registered: May-04


You know what? I think anyone who changes any cable and expects a "major difference" has been reading too many magazines.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 124
Registered: Apr-04
There is a product called power wraps that is supposed to reduce RFI introduction to any power cable. They sparked my interest.

http://www.audioconnect.com/html/power_wraps.html
 

Silver Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 130
Registered: Apr-04
Danman,

Have you looked into a Volex 17604 power cable? They can be had for about $12 at www.newark.com. I have one ordered and am waiting for it to arrive. It is made of 14AWG shielded belden IEC cable. IT will be replacing the stock 18awg gauge cable my receiver came with. For 12 bucks you can't beat it to see if your equipment will even show any positive affects of a better cable.
 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 410
Registered: Apr-04
Let me know your thoughts when you get it and thanks.........very helpful.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 133
Registered: Apr-04
Danman,

CAble arrived today and I got it plugged up. It is definitely an improvement over my stock 18AWG cable my AV came with. Nothing night and day as Jan pointed out but there are some noticable improvements. A bit wider soundstage, less glare, imaging seems more focused. I read in one thread where someone said it takes about 200 hrs break in for things to really open up. If you beleive in that type of thing. Well anyways, my first impressions are positive. I feel the $11 plus S&H was worth it. MAybe later down the road I'll snip the ends off and put better plugs on.

Not sure if you will get the same affect since you stated the cord your amp came with was already 16AWG and this volex is 14AWG. Might be worth a try though. You could maybe use it for another IEC device you might have.

Hope this helps.
 

Silver Member
Username: Danman

QUEBEC CANADA

Post Number: 414
Registered: Apr-04
I was thinking more into the 10awg size. For me to build my own would cost about 40$ with good hospital grade plugs. I am still tempted but just have not had the time these days. Thanks for the info.
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