Going to dip my toes in the Power Cord abyss

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

  1. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

  2. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    Well, the general topic of the thread is about trying after market PCs in a known good setup with gear that is revealing. I get your point tho, wiring is always suspect in old house or new. Anyone serious about this hobby should run one or have a dedicated line installed. The noise and volume interference I used to get when on the same line as my kitchen, fridge and florescent lighting, were sound killers. I got a good improvement with just a dedicated 20amp line.

    The Power cables are icing on the cake for me.
     
  3. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    I had to run my line from the outside wall of my garage, up into the lower attic, drop it down a wall that separates my crawlspace and slab, into the crawlspace and up thru the floor in the living room. It took some time and patients but paid off.
     
  4. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    WOW - I don't think I would have the patience or anything else to do it that for. I will just have to go on the other side of a concrete wall for mine.
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    If this weren't a rental, I would have installed a dedicated line by now. (Not that the owner would mind, but I'd rather not lose out on the cost, plus I don't think there are any spare breaker locations in the panel.) It's easy here. I'd just run a 10 gauge outside from the basement, run the conduit to the family room about 15-20 feet at the most, and punch it through the wall. I just realized now that I could also do it near the cold air return, but it is nowhere near my system. It's tempting though, especially if I decided to rearrange the room. I could it with a hospital grade plug and be done with it. (I'd rather not leave a PS Audio Power Port in the house when I move. ;) )

    As fate worked out, I managed to find two used AC-3s over the past couple of days, and they are headed to me now. Now I just need another AC-5, and to find someone who an put an IEC jack into my power amp without harming anything. (C-J can do it for like $300 or something, but that doesn't include shipping both ways.)

    I am waiting for someone to develop audiophile circuit breakers. It's inevitable. :D
     
  6. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

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    Enjoy your evaluations. I specified dedicated lines for the basement listening room when we built our previous house twenty years ago. Soon after I moved to my current house, I had two 20A lines added to the music room. I puchased my first aftermarket cord after a reviewer friend lent me three of his Kimber Palladians to audition over a weekend. I was quite surprised they could have such an audible effect.

    I just have to smile every time I read speculative ramblings (especially semi-coherent ones) about distance from transformers and sub stations when these individuals don’t understand the villains live in our homes. They’re not miles away. Unfortunately, there are now legions of switch mode power supplies used by all manner of modern devices that happily spew RFI grunge back into the AC. Virtually every digital component also radiates noise which can be readily picked up by amplification devices. Even heroic sized power supplies require some active filtration.
     
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  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    There are "noise harvesters" that will suck up some of that grunge from the lines. It has me thinking that I could put a few in strategic places around the house, like on the same outlet as my power brick where I charge everything.

    Our homes, and also the homes around us, and anything along the line. That incoming power is cruddy, and our homes only crud it up more. :D

    I likely will have some sort of power regenerator in the future but not for a few years. I have other things to upgrade first.
     
  8. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

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    I tried a couple of them and found little benefit.

    I prefer direct approaches such as avoiding devices that pollute the line (switch mode power supplies) and use conditioners for sources and shielded cords for amplification devices.
     
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  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Definitely the better way to go if it's possible. So I'm already set on the shielding and conditioning. (Sounds like an ad for hair care products. :D )

    I know how harvesters work, and know of a few who have tried them with a noticeable effect (I won't say perfect effect though, as I've seen they always want to add more and more harvesters...and that's a rabbit hole!) but for sure, it's an indirect approach that can never be as good as direct.
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Both of my AC3s have arrived--great deals on both, and one was even still new in the factory box. The used cable looked like new. The only change I had to make in my rack was to swap the preamp and the Oppo, since the preamp was on the top shelf and the IEC outlet on the opposite end from where I have the conditioner beside the rack. It was only like three inches short. Once I can rearrange the room and get the Dectet behind the rack rather than alongside it, then I will have an easier time routing the cords. All I have left is to get another AC5 to use on the power amp (once I get the IEC connector installed).

    I haven't had much chance to compare cords yet, however. I did not notice an immediate difference, but I did notice on a track I have listened to a lot lately that the percussion seemed to be more "sorted," if that makes sense--I was listening as background while working, and it made me stop and take notice that I was hearing individual percussion instruments better than I had before. Highs also seem slightly smoother than they did previously, and I find I am turning up the system just a little bit more now since it sounds so good. ;)
     
  11. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    Sorted is a very good way to say it. Like any other upgrade, I am working my way thru lots of disks and hearing things much clearer. So my take again, is that the good sound was always there, but layers of interference shrouds it. Also, i agree on the volume. The better it sounds, the more volume without the grunge that makes you want to turn it down. Now I want to get a few more for other gear.
     
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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Luckily I have little left to add a power cord to--just the power amp (for now, and no rush there until I convert it to an IEC input). I already had these components going through separate zones on the Dectet, so it could be the difference I heard was not as audible since some of that crud was already being cleared away. My weak link, other than the in-wall wiring, is the $1 wall outlet--it just about holds the AC5. I will just upgrade to a hospital grade outlet there, so I get better grip.

    If I end up with speakers that I want to bi-amp and need to use a second power amp with, or get speakers with powered woofers, then I suppose an upgrade in cords will be needed for those as well.

    My phono stage needs a linear power supply--for as good as it is, the cheap wall wart with the skinny cable is not giving me much confidence. A linear power supply might have its own captive cord, and I could see myself having to make my own DC cable to go from the power supply to the phono stage. (I am considering a change to a different phono stage, but that one I believe also might use a wall wart, which is why I am waiting before making a change here.)

    The turntable also uses a wall wart, although a much higher quality unit. But since the TT uses a DC motor and has the on-board speed control, there really isn't a need for improvement there.
     
  13. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    How about a battery pack? Batteries are generally considered better for phono stages as it isolates it from AC current.

    Wall Wart for a charger> Battery Pack with cable > Phono Stage

    You can even disconnect the battery from the AC source when using the stage.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  14. Mojo Warrior

    Mojo Warrior Reality Star

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    For less money, you might want to try a Hubbell Hospital Grade receptacle. I was a sceptic but was surprised at the improvement on my highly resolving main system. Disclaimer: My old house has 80 year old electrical wiring.
     
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  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Not far behind. The house was built in 1940. But the addition on the back was built circa mid 80s, according to the neighbors. So it is a mix of old and not so old. There is also a ground problem in that room I need to address.
     
  16. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    And yes, I'm checking out the Hubbell receptacles--there are many. :thumbsup: Leviton has some as well. Not sure if one would be preferred over another, but anything has to beat the current $1 outlets in the room.

    My problem with the ground issue is that it is disconnected somewhere in the house. I believe all of the outlets in the family room are on the same circuit, but I am not sure if others are. The family room and the kitchen expansion both extend the back of the house by about 14 feet (inside), so both have the current wiring (as opposed to 1940 era wiring in the rest of the house). I am thinking the new kitchen outlets should be on their own circuit. They likely are not, however, tapped into the old kitchen circuit. But at any rate, the way the seven outlets are daisy-chained around the family room, the loose ground could be anywhere at any of those outlets. The grounds are all connected at the breaker panel, so that leaves a disconnected ground somewhere else.
     
  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Found the ground problem, right at the outlet in the middle of the room. Two lines lead to elsewhere in the room (one incoming from the breaker panel, and two outgoing left and right to the other outlets), so there is a lot of wiring crammed into the box. They used a single bare copper wire to go from the outlet to the wire nut, so that wire nut has four wires stuffed into it. But it's all tightly reconnected so we're good to go now.

    This is how I found it when I pulled the outlet:

    IMG_20171216_233044-01.jpeg
     
  18. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    So I procrastinated a bit before ordering another Pangea cable after someone pointed me to Maze Audio. I read some reviews and looked at the connectors and construction.
    If you order from the web site with Paypal, the same cables are $10 cheaper.

    I just ordered a 4' Eden Power cable in Black/Blue for $59.95 plus $9.95 shipping.
    http://www.mazeaudio.com/power-cables.html

    I should have it in about 1 week and will probably use it on my APC, which will free up a PS Audio AC3 for my Pre Amp and that frees up a Pangea AC14 SE MKII that I will use on my Oppo.

    The Maze cable is 10gauge but per reviews, way more flexible than the Pangea AC9 and better results

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    They do have some interesting products--the speaker wiring caught my eye. I just hate to order speaker wire since, if I move the system in the room or reconfigure where everything is located, or move to another house, the lengths will be off.

    Their Reference4 power cords caught my eye as well...

    upload_2018-1-22_13-31-7.png

    I missed out on a killer deal on a PS Audio AC-5, but, I'm sure there will be others. My Oppo 105 came with a nice cord, and I ended up using that on my little tube amp on my desk, as it was a few inches longer and allowed me to put the amp in a better place.
     
  20. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    Yeah, all the cords look decent, but most out of my budget. But reviews are specifically claiming better results over Pangea and I wanted something thicker than 12g so the Eden makes perfect sense and not to costly to give a try.

    Pretty sure the one you posted is all Hand Braided.
     

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