Going to dip my toes in the Power Cord abyss

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

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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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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  2. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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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
     
  3. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    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
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    I've always wanted tubes, and had an incredible bargain on a PV14L a few years ago. Then I came across this Premier 11 last spring due to someone selling it to cover medical bills. I really could use more power, which is why I still want to find a pair of Premier 12s. C-J can bridge a Premier 11 to a monoblock but it is not an ideal setup that way. I had also looked at a Premier 140, and that is still a remote possibility, but the Premier 11/12/8 series is supposedly one of the last "classic" C-J designs. (The Premier 8s are nice at 275 watts each but jeez...there are eight power tubes per side. That's ~$800 in power tubes alone when it's time to retube, and they are a utility company's dream. ;) )
     
  5. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    Wildcat, I don't know how you feel about shipping, but RHB Soundezign here in Richboro PA makes a living modding CJ and other gear but only Tube gear. They brought my Counterpoint back to life when I got it. They also have a sister company that makes killer Pre Amps.

    http://www.rhbsound.com/

    http://backertlabs.com/about-us/
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    I'm not too keen on shipping this beast--I would have to order a proper carton from C-J to play it safe, and I would worry about it making it through UPS in one piece. I can do it myself (I have a very small metal cutting wheel which would handle it)....it's just trying to find the time to do it.

    One thing I am also looking into is upgrading it from an 11 to an 11A. The modification was only in the biasing LED driver circuit--the original is said to have a little bit of noise to it.

    C-J wants about $1500 to go through it and put all new CJD Teflon caps in it. They also want $350-ish (plus parts) to install an IEC socket. Plus, they say they cannot perform the upgrade from 11 to 11A (we're trying to find out why on the CJ Owners Forum--I'm going to see if C-J can get me a schematic for the original 11 so I can compare it to the 11A and the 12 which use the same driver circuit).
     
  7. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    104
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    Hyfi, Wildcat,

    New cables settling in.
    DSC04926.jpg

    New speaker cable and coax as well. All is sounding good but there are many hours of break-in ahead.

    Cheers

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  8. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    104
    Location:
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    Hey, guys,

    Here's a shot of my C7 power cable with a Viborg C7 plug on my Bluesound Node 2 streamer.

    Cheers, DSC04932.jpg

    Scott
     
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  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    @Samac Looking good there! :thumbsup: My next step is making my own interconnects, once I get past tax season. I'm going all out this time--Techflex sleeving and heat shrink tubing included. I may even see if I can get a supplier to custom print some heat shrink tubing with arrows on it, as I prepare them with floating shields.
     
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  10. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    Hey, Wildcat, thanks. I wish I had the talent to make my own cables. My C7 cable, like my others, is made by Cullen. I look forward to seeing your cables and reading your impressions of them.

    I'm three days in with the new cables and I'm very pleased. I'll post more thoughts on them in a couple more days.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  11. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    4,990
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    I am also still very happy. I don't know which cable/s gave me the most improvement, but I am not about to start swapping the stock ones back in and out.

    I have been working on some Cable management and finally eliminated some odd static crackling I was getting randomly thru the speakers. It drove me nuts for the last 6 months and suddenly went away after re-routing lots of cables.

    I continue to be amazed with the results as I work my way thru disks I have not played in a while as well as ones I play all the time.
     
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  12. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    That is very cool, Brian. I couldn't go back to stock power cables either.

    I've done my best with cable management while also trying to avoid driving myself nuts with it. I do what I can to keep cables separated and it absolutely makes a difference.

    As I concentrate on reducing interference/noise with my system it sounds better and better. Next I'm going to work on isolating the digital signal from streamer to my dac. There is just so much more interference around our systems than there was 15-20 years ago. I think I'll try the Remedy re-clocker from Wyred 4 Sound; and one of the final things I'll tackle is the outlet. I have a cry'od Hubbel now but Im going to try the higher-end products from Furutech.

    What is great is that my system finally sounds musical and satisfying now; so I'm not desperately trying to find the next "thing" that will make my system enjoyable. It's been a long time since I could say that. It's amazing it took finding a power cable that worked well in my system to get to this point.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
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  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    I admit they do have attractively priced interconnects, plus it appears their connectors are solid copper and not brass, which is a plus. The cost between the two styles of interconnects is only $5, from what I can tell, although the RCA plugs on one of them (with the carbon fiber barrels) appear to be fatter, which could be a problem with some equipment out there. I think I'd be OK with mine though, except for the phono stage.

    As much as I like Cardas, the only thing of theirs I can afford is the bulk cable. Fortunately their copper litz wire is available in bulk (via the Crosslink), and I have a source for all-copper RCA plugs (which may be plated in gold or rhodium). Litz wire has each individual strand insulated (like a transformer winding) to help combat skin effect, and Cardas uses a "golden ratio" for the size of the individual strands within the bundle (smaller diameter in the middle strands, larger in the outer strands). Seems like an interesting concept and I'd like to hear it in my system.
     
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  14. Samac

    Samac Active Member

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    Cardas makes really great cables. Years ago in a system I no longer have I had all Cardas Golden Reference cables (exept power cables, which were stock). When I made the switch to Cardas It was very obvious to me that cables made a difference.

    I believe the Crosslink with good RCAs will make fantastic interconnects.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    I would prefer using Cardas connectors but they have none that are pure copper, last time I checked. Many of the connectors out there are brass (which is a very poor conductor) or some sort of bronze alloy. My current set uses Silver Sonic cable--it's well made, but I'm looking to try something that is not silver plated, and the litz wire in the Cardas is another change in construction where I want to see how it affects what I hear.

    I plan to tackle speaker cables one day, but I'm using a pair of 14 gauge OFC cables in a bi-wire setup (largely because Vandersteen recommends it) and it's sounding fine to me. And my issue with speaker cables is that if I move the system around drastically, or decide to put my amp(s) close to the speakers, I'm having to change the length of the wiring. Like with the interconnects, I'll buy bulk and terminate the cables myself.
     
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  16. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    4,990
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    Here are a few updates pics of my cabling
    IMG_9960.JPG IMG_9961.JPG IMG_9962.JPG IMG_9963.JPG IMG_9964.JPG

    IMG_9965.JPG

    And this is my other 2ch and HT mess still to deal with

    IMG_9966.JPG
     
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  17. frankbooth

    frankbooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Looking tidy!
     
  18. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    I’ve been researching power cables and found this thread. I have PS audio AC five and a Pangea cable too, for amp and CD player. Morrow audio IC’s for everything else, MA 3 and 5.

    But I wasn’t getting a wow moment. The MA5 was the newest, but broken in, and since the summer I’ve replaced the speakers, amp and pre. I’ve also regularly changed cables and speakers until about two weeks ago when I added a shelf to my Pangea audio rack. Then I stopped tinkering and just played the music, somewhat disappointed with the sound.

    About two nights ago, after the system warmed up some what, it started sounding amazing. This was with my Bifrost DAC, which has the MA3’s, and my iPhone as source using a plain USB cable with the Apple camera/adapter cable.

    But the sound has been jaw dropping since then. It needs to warm up first, but then all of these extra details pop out. It’s holographic and the soundstage so real. And this is with mp3 files! I’ve never heard any system sound this good, though I don’t get out to audio trade shows, and my friends have mostly AVR systems. But I used to have a system that retailed for over 10,000(sold it off as I was disenchanted with how it sounded, started over), and this current system eats it for lunch.

    I don’t know if it’s the power or IC cables, probably both, but now I don’t dare move anything! My dac and pre have stock power cables still, and my CD player has a lesser RCA cable which I’ll be upgrading. Also I’m upgrading the USB cable. Audioquest has some good options there, and their NRG 4 power cable looks tempting.

    But with cables, yeah, it’s real. My system is Parasound P5, Adcom 555se, Totem Rainmakers, Schiit Bimby, and Nad C565BEE. Speaker cables are Wireworld Oasis 7.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018 at 12:52 PM
  19. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    4,990
    Location:
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    Thanks for chiming in, runnin'

    I had a little back and forth with SQ and perceived volume changes. I swapped out 4 stock cables in one shot so unsure which one had the most impact. I already have decent, but older Synergistic Research ICs a SC so happy with those.

    Cheers!
     
  20. jbailey930

    jbailey930 AK Member Subscriber

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    @Hyfi have you looked at Isotek products or similar for conditioning? Several of my pieces are older, 2 pronged power MC2255 and a CJ tube pre. My TT is wall wart power Clearaudio model. I added an isotek power bar based on a friend’s recommendation to reduce noise. My wife (my double blind tester ) noticed an improvement.
     

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