Going to dip my toes in the Power Cord abyss

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by Hyfi, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    I have had some decent gear for many years that came with quality ICs and Speaker cable (Synergistic Research) but have been using the same PCs that came with everything. Of course, I know there are 2 camps when it comes to this discussion so I am un-interested in hearing that wire is wire and the thinnest wire they supply you with new gear is good enough.

    I have been reading reviews and observations on PCs for years and decided that with free shipping to me, and a 30 day return policy, it will be cheap enough to test this all out and return them if they do nothing to improve my current sound.

    Last week, I rearranged some of my gear so the main 2ch system was all together and also made sure all the PCs and ICs were routed as good as I could get them. I also noticed that all the PCs I have are 16 gauge, except for the PC for my APC unit, which is 12 gauge.

    I ordered 2 Pangea 14SE MKII cables for my Pre and CDP and a PS Audio PerfectWave AC 3 for my Amp. (I was a little worried about the diameter and stiffness of the Pangea AC9 so opted to try the PS Audio instead.)

    I just ordered them on Saturday so waiting their arrival so I can get them in place and see if they help or not.

    I have also read that running your gear thru a Power Conditioner or Surge Suppression may negate any real or perceived improvements if the cable from that unit is not also upgraded. I can play with that by swapping the stock cable with the PS Audio cable as a test.

    I will update this thread with my observations as soon as they arrive and get swapped into my setup.
     

     

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  2. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Excellent. Folks do talk about improvements with power cords. In my experience, I had a couple amps (using only one channel from each) plugged into the more than capably rated switched outlets of a preamp. When I moved those power cords to the wall the dynamics and ultimate power increased a good bit. I try better cables on those units that offer the option.

    Let us know what you hear.
     
  3. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I said this in another similar thread and got crickets and tumbleweeds. Consider investing in a pure sine wave power source for your system first before going down the boutique power cord rabbit hole.
     
  4. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    A power regen conditioner is a highly recommended upgrade based on the guys I know that have them. Guessing 1980 adds to that list of folks saying get one.
     
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  5. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    Can anyone link me to what is being suggested? I am finding DC to AC units for Auto
     
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Well, in talking with McIntosh Audio engineers, at a local shop where they were showing new amps, they do not suggest any of that shenanigans for their amps (power regen or a power conditioner). The reason being amps need to pull the power when they need it and those units delay that. This was at Paragon Sight and Sound, last year, at the McIntosh audio event.

    They said power conditioning only for the pre and sources, no regen. They also said better cables than stock do not hurt.
     

     

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  7. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    So my APC H15 should be fine. I will try the Amp plugged into the APC and directly to my dedicated line to see if there are differences.
     
  8. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    They said since the amp has transformers, etc, no conditioning is needed. In fact, it may degrade the sound.
     
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  9. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Unless it is pure sine wave regeneration with adequate reserve power, no.
     
  10. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    And most are not.
     
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  11. Mojo Warrior

    Mojo Warrior Reality Star

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    Well after 50 years of being involved in this hobby, I can make a couple observations.

    1) Prior to any experimentation, clean all your contact points.
    2) Coming from a rigorous science background, do all testing in a double blind fashion, to remove bias.
    3) Trust your ears, if the sound improvements are not obvious, they probably don't exist.
    4) Remember "The Law of Diminishing Returns".

    The biggest pitfall is the "price is no object" opinion. People who are wealthy, inherently assume that their hearing is better. (They are also better looking in the mirror, smarter, more successful and are much more attractive to the opposite sex) They have the cash to throw back at the marketing departments who are happy to exploit them.
     
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  12. Mojo Warrior

    Mojo Warrior Reality Star

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    After all, I always thought that this hobby was about the enjoyment of music, not wires and electronics.
     
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  13. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

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    The hobby of High Fidelity was always about the electronics. It was the hobbyists and engineers building gear at home that created the entire industry that we saw develop, decline and desperately try to re-invent itself to stay relevant.

    BS is right, a pure sine wave generator of adequate capability would be the best place to start. Mains waveform distortion is absolutely terrible these days.
     
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  14. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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  15. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

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    Okay; let me put it another way.

    if you are thinking of spending a lot of money on an audiophile power lead, you might also like to consider the nature and condition of your house wiring, and the relative lengths of wiring from your consumer unit ('fusebox') to the socket, and from the socket to the audio device.

    Just like with the audio devices themselves, there is a need to consider the weakest link.
     
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  16. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    I am buying entry level cables so there won't be too much diminishing. If they don't make a positive difference, they will be returned and I will try making a few of my own just to have more than 16gauge cords. If they do help, I will be out only $238 for two Pangea 14s and a PS Audio AC3 (12g). The Pangeas will arrive on Saturday but the PS is delayed a week. My plan is to use the two Pangeas on my Pre and CDP and the PS Audio on my Amp. I will try direct to my dedicated line and with my APC H15 to see if any differences also.

    Even if I get a subtle positive change I will be happy with my purchase and the cost is covered by an Amp I sold yesterday.
     

     

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  17. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    I ran a dedicated 20amp line for my AV gear.

    But, I have always asked this question myself.
    How do Power Cords, Hospital Grade or more HE Outlets, make that much of a difference when at the other end of all your money, the power is terminated to a cheap $10 breaker?

    I am going into this with a very skeptical attitude, but I have been surprised in the past by things others say didn't or can't happen.
     
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  18. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There are a few ways of looking at cabling. Many posters over in the McIntosh area use the supplied power cord. They seem to find it sufficient. I like to think of cables as icing on the cake. If the cake itself is burnt, all the icing in the world won’t help. I also like plug my power amp directly into the wall socket avoiding my power conditioner. I hope your experiment works out for you.
     
  19. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    Two of the three cables arrived on Friday. The 2 Pangea cables went right into play for my Pre and CDP.

    I really didn't want to believe and thought for sure I would be spending money to ship them back.....But, there was an immediate and noticeable change from the first track. The system had been on for hours so I shut it down for 5 minutes to swap the two cords. So far I am just running them thru the APC H15.

    What I noticed so far is that instruments sound more real, vocals are clearer, seems to be less background noise or grunge in the way. Maybe they dont change the music, they just get noise and interference out of the way so you hear the music better.

    Bass lines from Primus as well as Morphine were more tonally correct.

    I am looking forward to getting the 3rd cable for my Amp because if the changes I already heard are as real as I think they are, it can only get better.

    For those who say that they cannot do anything different than any other power cord or stock cord besides have better shielding, then stock cords are not adequate because there is a definate change in the sound.

    I have plenty more listening and evaluation to do, and hoping to get the 3rd cable soon to continue this fun journey.

    I also just sold my Hafler 9180 so that covers almost the cost of the 3 cables so either way, I am not feeling like I wasted any money at this point.
     
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  20. rogerfederer

    rogerfederer AK Subscriber Subscriber

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