Power Cables

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by cskippy, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Let me clairify, not aimed at knocking out the last post about power cables but rather the last post in the General Audio Discussion when on the home forums page. That last post was a long spam post about peru soccer and showed as the last commented topic in the general audio discussion. I just picked this thread in that topic to post cuz, I have a little experience with power cables.

    cheers.
     
  2. Johnston98

    Johnston98 Facebook Friend

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    Ah. Got it. Thought that was a pretty severe response to a Nordost product pic.

    Anyway. Anyone got a pic of their home brew cables?

    I’d like to think there’s a spectrum of cables from functional and ugly (think tin foil on rabbit ears fugly) and audio jewelry.
     
  3. JenniferT

    JenniferT New

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  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Tonight I finished doing a bit of a long-term PC overhaul on my speaker rig. Prior to I had a rag-tag band of gypsy PCs. Mostly VHAudio DIY and Furutech FI-11M connectors, and some Oyaide P-079s. Strangely the plastic on the cable clamps on more than a few of the Furutech connectors became brittle over time and the clamps ended up separating from the connector bodies. Anyhow, I took that as an opportunity to try some newer cable and connectors. What I ended up with, spread over about a year of buying a cable at a time, parts-wise, was a mix of Oyaide Tunami V2 102 SSC for amps, DAC, and preamp, with Oyaide Armored 004 connectors, and Black Mamba V2 102 SSC with either P-079 or Hifiking connectors for other components. I'll say the most surprising change was the Oyaide Armored 004 connectors. Subjectively, they bring an immediateness and effortlessness to the sound without affecting the upper frequency registers that's quite nice. The V2 of both the Tunami and the Black Mamba cables seem to add a good bit of punch and heft to the bass, too, with better delineation and pitch definition. These cables, imho, offer good value for the money if you're into this sort of thing. A single DIY 1m Tunami V2 with Armored 004 connectors will run about $275 from Rakuten.

    NB - if you don't think power cables make a difference, I'm not here to argue. Feel free to continue to enjoy the music.
     
  5. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    The Supra Lorad 2.5 Power Cable parts from Madisound get a thumbs up from me. You can order the bare cable by the foot and order the matching Supra plugs. The wire is 13awg and shielded.

    I made a 5ft cord for around $65. Not bad at all for a high-quality cable with all Swedish parts.

    Does it sound better than the stock cable? Um, no, it sounds the same but at least I know what wire is inside and I know the connections are good because I did them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  6. dietwater

    dietwater Acquaintance

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    I certainly don't have first hand experience with power cables, but I can see why they "could" make a difference. Basically has something to do with transient power curves of transistors/semiconductors and their modulation performance changes in analog circuits, apart from noise filtering. I doubt a headphone amp can benefit from one, but speaker amp that's supposed to draw a lot of power, not impossible.

    I'm not well versed in this, but I can post some technical demo/measurements from shunyata. They talk quite a bit about the trade offs between different noise filtering techinques and the transient penalty for slapping in just a cap. Shunyata even has a medical supply division afaik.



    There are many videos that demonstrate these differences both as measurements along the power line, and also sound demos of power cables are around online. I don't know about their systems, but often these changes are very audible and even the waveforms show significant difference.

    There is also another article by burson, where they discuss their power supply, and while not relating to cables, they do mention things that are a compromise with a transformer. Marketing speak should be treated as marketing speak, but in this case, the amp also sounds wonderful, so there could be some truth to it.

    https://www.bursonaudio.com/about-us/max-current-power-supply/

    I think these stuff may be system dependent, and also depend on the line transmission networks in your area. Most lines are more than capable of great power delivery so the deciding bottleneck could boil down to house wiring or these cables. Who knows, maybe, sound might be cleaner at night lol .

    There is also something these guys talk about connectors/termination. I can't talk about it's relevance in audio though, since it's not a rf cable to deal with termination impedances. What I do know is that I have often encountered memory leaks due to bad electrical contacts on my old RAM (DDR2 days). I never got around to fix it other than removing, cleaning and inserting back, but it seems like there's something called stabilant 22 that's recommended to ensure proper electrical contacts. Often spotted in some pc magazines in the old days, and apparently even nasa uses it.

    Regardless, there are abstract concepts of this we are taught in Electrical courses - line harmonics, power factor compensation, and the fact that everything connected to a grid becomes a part of the grid etc. But most are taught from an energy efficiency point of view than fidelity point of view. Power factor compensation imo is something everyone should be aware of, to reduce energy losses. I am unaware of books/materials that deal with this from a fidelity point of view.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  7. farbinator

    farbinator Facebook Friend

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    I'm going to post this in the "good deals" thread too, but figured I'd also put it here seeing as it's subject appropriate. Newegg has decent pricing on what appear to be extremely high quality power cables, good enough for medical use anyways. I don't make any claim as to sound improvement (personally not my viewpoint, but I certainly won't belittle anyone who does).

    If you're in the market for good quality power cables, these might just fit the bill:

    https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812576123?Item=N82E16812576123

    Kaybles Hospital Grade Power Cord - 6 ft. 14AWG 15A, NEMA 5-15P/C13 $3.80

    * All include free shipping *

    - Safe, reliable power solution for hospital environments
    - Connects computers and peripherals to a grounded hospital-grade AC outlet
    - Ideal for replacing an old or lost cord
    - Features C13 and NEMA 5-15P connectors
    - Conforms to hospital-grade power cord standards
    - UL, CUL Listed and CSA approved
    - All cables are 100% RoHS compliant

    Also available:
    18 AWG/10ft https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812576122?Item=N82E16812576122 [$3.75 ea]
    16 AWG/6ft https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812576119?Item=N82E16812576119 [$3.46 ea]
    16 AWG/10ft https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812576120?Item=N82E16812576120 [$4.10 ea]
    14 AWG/10ft https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16812576117?Item=N82E16812576117 [$11.40 ea]
     
  8. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    @dietwater
    Personally audio involves signals being amplified. It is impossible to have anything without some form of noise. The purpose of the cable like Supra Lorad 2.5 is low radiation in and out of the cable. While you can fully shield a power cable that has drawback. I know of 1 it may burn longer during a fire others might exist too but I stopped worrying about them and built some myself. While others will have thick shields the lorad is different. It appears to be a Helix style implantation where you have the drain wire wrapped around the others.

    I read enough to think " yeah its good enough" . Many here love the cable and it does look good.
    [​IMG]

    I opted for this Connector through the many recommendations I have read even personal suggestions from those on this forum. Plenty of information on how to build your own cable. Will it solve problems for you, I can't say. Can you build one and upgrade other your stock yes.

    What does matter is gauge. Buy some 14 gauge wire. Decide if it improves the sound for yourself. I like the thought of worrying less about where my power cables are in my rat nest so I went with the lorad and the affordable SonarQuest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  9. fastfwd

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    FYI, the North American "hospital grade" power-cable standards are ONLY about physical ruggedness and size of the plug body. The green dot that signifies compliance with the standards doesn't indicate any special electrical property; it only means that the wires and pins won't break as easily if you trip over the cable or tug on the cord to unplug it.
     
  10. dietwater

    dietwater Acquaintance

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    @Gazny thank you for the suggestion. In my house, the wall adapter that I use itself is a bottleneck that I am not worrying about power cables at the moment. I am instead trying to build a portable system, and will be exploring further there - different types of batteries, soldering techniques, filtering, etc! When I get back to having a good supply chain at my house, I will use your suggestions.
     
  11. farbinator

    farbinator Facebook Friend

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    Fair point, thanks! Even basic IEC power cables are more expensive generally and these look well constructed at a good price, particularly for 14AWG, overkill factor aside.
     
  12. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    And hospital grade means nickel coating on the metal to prevent corrosive disinfecting cleaners used in hospital environment from corroding the metal. As to how it sounds?? That is up to your ear. :)
     
  13. TommyD

    TommyD New

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    Personally, I go with 14 gauge or larger, for power.
    Check-out Cullen Cable, good prices, excellent cables.
     
  14. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I held up a "hospital" grade power cable and a regular monoprice cable to my ears and they sound identical. :)
     
  15. Jdriver

    Jdriver New

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    No matter how exotic or expensive a power cable you’re considering just remember, the outlet you’re plugging it into is connected to hundreds of feet of the cheapest possible commodity 12 gauge house wiring and there’s not a lot you can do about that, practically speaking.
     
  16. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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  17. wormcycle

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    Agree but what I like are hospital grade plugs and outlets. They seem to have better grip and more secure connection than regular consumer stuff.
     
  18. billbishere

    billbishere Facebook Friend

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    I recntly upgraded the power cable on my Lyr3 with a Pangea AC14. I use Pangea cables for USB as well, they are high quality and don't break the bank.

    [​IMG]
     

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