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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    Yeah, Shipping and tracking is a nightmare anymore, Amazon specifically.

    My last PS AC3 cable was just sitting in Processing for a week and showed up with no other notice or tracking. Another Amazon order recently said shipped for 3 weeks but never was and I cancelled it.

    But this guy takes the cake. I had no idea you could provide someone a tracking number days before a package actually ships.

    I may have to up my budget and try a Cullen Gold Series.
     

     

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  2. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    5,172
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    I just ordered a Cullen Gold Series cable to try. Very nice guy to deal with and he gave me a New Customer discount of $12.
     
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  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,478
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    You can print a shipping label at any time when shipping a package, so that means the tracking number was generated at that time. Since it was neither picked up by nor dropped off with USPS, the initial "origin" tracking scan did not happen.

    In fact, that could explain the issue where a package shows up with no tracking--it could be the package never received an origin scan when the USPS took possession...yet that does not explain how the package did not show up on tracking when it was scanned at all the intermediate stops. I get several text messages for any incoming USPS package (including arrival and departure at each distribution center along the way).

    Thing is, I thought that per USPS rules, when you generate a label, you have to use it the day for which it is dated. Years ago we used to have a Pitney-Bowes postage meter at the office, and the PO used to send out a nasty letter every so often if we stamped the postage one day and put it in the mail on another. The postage wasn't wasted if you didn't, as you could stamp the envelope with $0.00 postage with the correct date, and they'd let it fly; the idea is that the machine stamp is considered a dated postmark.
     
  4. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,172
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Here is the reply I got from Cullen after asking about shipping and delivery....

    "I will build it today and it will ship tomorrow. You should receive it on Monday or Tuesday. I will send you a tracking number when the cable ships.

    Thank you for the business!

    Patrick Cullen"

    A far cry from "You are a Demanding Customer and I just cancelled your order"

    Patrick went back and forth with me for 12 emails and answered all my questions including best placement based on my gear and other PCs currently in play. He also agreed that the APC would be best location if the Amp is plugged into it, or the Amp if direct to outlet.
     
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  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,478
    Location:
    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    Cullen's a great company! They're on my short list as well. ;) I like this feature of the Gold Series power cable:
    • 24 K Gold plating over 99.99% OFC Red Copper on both IEC and Plug
    Copper is where it's at. ;)

    The battery in my daughter's car died down at school, so I was chasing batteries and chargers last week. I came across a site that sold battery accessories, and found an interesting article about a rejuvenator and a neglected battery which a neighbor had bought a few years earlier, then let it sit outside unused. (Short version--the rejuvenator does a desulfation process wherein the battery is sent pulses during a controlled charging process.) Anyway, the blogger had gone through the charging and desulfating process and couldn't figure out why the battery was still testing so poorly. By any measure, it should have been maybe not quite new, but pretty close to new. This was one of those wacky GM side terminal batteries that are threaded.

    He finally found the culprit--it wasn't the charger, or the battery...it was the brass bolts he used to connect his wiring to the battery! He replaced those with the correct bolts, reran the charging process, and the battery came back to life. He noticed the brass bolts were getting quite warm during the process (heat being a sign of resistance).

    I knew prior to reading it that brass was a poor conductor (~28% IACS conductivity rating, vs 100% IACS for copper), so I kind of figured out where he was headed with that.

    This is why I want to either replace the Neutrik RCA connectors on my current interconnects, or build all new ones using copper RCA plugs and Cardas wiring. I realize it's a small thing, but having that brass in there certainly can't be helping matters.
     
  6. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    Location:
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    Even the lower series cords look great and priced very reasonably. I wanted a 10g for this one so picked the Gold. The Crossovers are what most people recommend but a bit out of my range....for now.
     

     

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  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Actually it looks like the price on the Crossover is really not too bad compared to the Gold--for a 5 ft. Crossover it's $191, vs. $123 for the Gold. The Red Copper is the cheapest--under $100. The Crossover II starts getting pricey as it's over $300, but the others really are not too badly priced considering their quality!
     
  8. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    5,172
    Location:
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    I have been told to go Cullen or Shunyata by many guys with big rigs. The Shunyata is out of my range, but these are right in there and probably just as good.

    This really is one deep Abyss :)
     
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  9. Samac

    Samac Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    Brian,

    Very cool. I hope you like your Cullen power cable as much as I like mine.:thumbsup: Looking forward to your impressions.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
    Hyfi likes this.
  10. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    19,698
    Location:
    SE PA
    USPS tracking numbers generate when the shipping info is done on their site. It has nothing to do with the item going anywhere, unfortunately. Marrs Communications suffered from this, put the shipping info into the USPS and create a label and then get around to shipping whenever the hell they feel like it. This is NOT the way to run a business in today's Instant Gratification times that many real companies are trying to compete in by having more warehouses around the country for shorter shipping times.

    I have shipped items, Priority, and the first scan doesn't happen until it gets to Phila from the burbs and that is sometimes 30 hours after it is picked up and 12 hours before it is delivered. Goes from no info on the package to the item delivered. Don't recall if it was slow getting the info into the computer or slow getting it to Phila. Whatever the tracking always eventually showed but at times not until it was already delivered, unwrapped, installed and burned in.

    Sort of rude of the Maze organization to act like that but they probably have had dealings with some folks that didn't go well and they have decided to avoid dealing with anyone that asks too many questions. There are plenty of other vendors, real vendors making things for people to buy because they want to sell that will be happy to supply you with a cable.
     
  11. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,172
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    So here is how to do business.

    After dealing with Maze and him just cancelling my order, I emailed Patrick Cullen. We went back and forth 12 emails, and yes I asked questions. I placed my order before noon. Patrick emailed back to say he would build it that day and ship it Friday and I would see it Monday or Tuesday. On Saturday, he emailed to tell me the cable did ship on Friday but he had to go out of town and was unable to update the tracking, but again I would see it Monday or Tuesday. The package was at my door by 3pm yesterday, Monday. I emailed him just to say the package arrived and he responded shortly and for the 3rd time, thanked me for my business. That is the way it is done and Maze should take some lessons.

    On another forum it was suggested that I was too much trouble for a customer ordering less than a $100 cable. So that suggests that if I placed a $1000 order I may have been treated differently? If that is the case, again bad for business because I will have negative comments about bad business practices anytime anyone asks about Maze Audio, and as per his last email to me, he doesn't care.

    Now on to the Good Stuff!

    I purchased a 4' of the Gold Series. Nice plugs and very flexible for a 10g cable. Since it has been suggested and decided to put the best cable wherever you touch the outlet, the Cullen went on the APC unit. That allowed me to free up one of the PS Audio AC3 cables which then went on my Pre Amp. That freed up a Pangea AC14 that then went on the OPPO. I warmed up the system for an hour and then played several discs. First impressions, and unsure if it is just the Cullen or the combo of that and the AC3 going onto the pre, but it appears to be smoother with a bit more control. The music seems to flow even more fluidly than before and more so oozes out of the speakers instead of struggling or being forced out. (Anyone who has heard the 600 watt Mc Monos driving the big B&Ws at Magnolia should understand what I mean.)

    I really wish now that I had just started out ordering from Patrick Cullen and now plan to slowly purchase more and use the existing Pangea and PS Audio cables in other systems when I do.

    I highly recommend the Cullen Cables for eliminating noise and interference and having nice, tight fitting plugs. :thumbsup:
     
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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Cool about the Cullen power cable! :thumbsup:
    It never mattered if an order was $5 or $500. When I was in sales, everyone got the same customer service and respect no matter how large or small the order was. There was always the possibility that today's $5 could lead to that $500 order in the future. I freely admit we did have PITA customers, largely the time wasters who would take up a good chunk of your time only to purchase something small and still complain about the price. But still...respect, at least while they had set foot in front of our parts counter or were on the other end of a phone call! (We weren't too kind when we finally got rid of 'em, but that was for our ears only. ;) )
     
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  13. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    5,172
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    I do Customer Support for a global company and all my customers are the top Big Pharma companies. I know all about PIA customers and I have to deal with them on a daily basis.

    What ever happened to "The Customer is Always Right" even when they may not be. It is called Respect and Appreciation to have customers.

    I still have no clue how asking if I got a good tracking number even equates to a Demanding Customer. I didn't demand anything, but only asked a simple question without attitude. I guess my $69 and positive reviews and recommendations just were not worth answering a simple question.

    He did me a big favor because the Cullen Cables are worth every penny.
     
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  14. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    954
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Just an FYI per my local UPS store owner. UPS doesn’t update their shipping records until 6-7 pm every evening. When you see messages such as “a label has been created” etc. you need to be patient. The person you bought it from can tell you nothing more than UPS at that moment.
     
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  15. Samac

    Samac Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    Brian,

    I'm glad to see you received your power cable and are enjoying it. From my experience with Cullen cables I find them to be neutral and balanced. They are also extremely good at lowering the noise floor of my system. You'll enjoy them more and more as the settle-in over the next few weeks.

    Patrick is a pleasure to deal with. I'll be adding another Cullen power cable and speaker cables to my system which will then have all Cullen Cables in it. I'm really looking forward to it.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  16. Samac

    Samac Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    Hey, Hyfi and Wildcat,

    Any more thoughts on your new power ccables now that they have had a couple more weeks of break-in?

    Cheers,

    Scott
     

     

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  17. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    5,172
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    Hi Scott. My thoughts right now are that it sounds like I have a completely different system running. I am having a blast digging deep into my collection and havings so many disks sound like I never heard them before.

    Oddly, the loss of volume I thought I experienced in the beginning seems to have returned but I can still crank it louder without fatigue or the wife yelling because it just sounds so good.

    I have also had a chance to watch several movies with the robust APC cord on my Integra 30,3 and a Pangea AC14SE on the OPPO. The sound quality has improved and I am not struggling as much to find a mode where I can hear the dialog better.

    I have also been on a mission to tidy up all my cabling which is difficult when your rack holds 3 different systems as well as a TV, VCR, and Digital Converter box. One thing I seemed to have resolved was a very odd crackling static noise I was getting thru my speakers on and off. I ruled out tubes, I ruled out the speakers and amp but it was still driving me nuts. Then along with swapping PCs and making sure all ICs crossed PCs at 90 degrees, I also repositioned the Power Supply for my VAC pre which is a 20lb box on the floor behind the rack. It so happened that I am using TrendNet thru the wall networking boxes and had 2 ethernet cables going to Integra and OPPO that were draped over the PS and the umbilicle power cable from PS to Pre. It seems to turn out that the random chatter that goes on with networked items was leaking into my stereo somehow. With the cable tidying, that seems to now be eliminated.

    I now wish I bought more Cullen cables and not the Pangea and PS Audio cables, but overall I am very happy with the money I spent for the upgrade in SQ I got.
     
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  18. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Location:
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    @Samac Mine are all good so far. I noticed less difference due to the power conditioner already being in there cleaning things up, than if I were using a simple power strip. But the hospital grade wall outlet really clamps down on that power cord nicely now and things seem to be a bit more solid. I will say that everything sounds clean, tight and focused now. I still haven't had time to deal with the power cord going to the power amp (I have to modify the chassis to install an IEC socket), but am keeping my eyes open for another bargain on an AC-5. No complaints though--the PS Audio cables are coexisting nicely.

    I'm going to be ditching the switching mode power supply for the phono stage shortly, replacing it with a regulated linear power supply. For long-range planning, I'm trying to wrap my head around how I am going to power two tube monoblock amps--I likely will be moving the amps between the speakers if I do that. And if they are like my current amp, both of those would need to be modded to install an IEC socket. (I have a Premier 11 currently, but my goal is a pair of Premier 12s, once I get other upgrades out of the way, or I find a killer deal I can't pass up.)
     
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  19. Samac

    Samac Active Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    That's great, Brian. I'm very glad the power cables are working so well for you, especially the Cullen. I'm always a little hesitant to recommend something because it can be so system dependent.

    Like you I have been paying more attention to cable management and that in itself makes a very worthwhile improvement.

    I should have a pair of Cullen speaker cables and another power cable sometime next week. I also had Patrick put a new C7 power inlet on my streamer. He sent pics of his work and he did a beautiful job. I can't remember but have you installed new outlets? I didn't go nuts with one but I did install a cryo'd hubbel. Insane grip and nice improvement.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  20. Samac

    Samac Active Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    That's great, Wildcat. Yes, better outlets do make a fine improvement and it's great not having power cables sag when plugged into them.

    Man, Premier 11s, that's sweet. I can't imagine how good the Premier 12s would be as well. CJ makes some outstanding gear. You have a well thought out upgrade path.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     

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