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A/C power cable upgrade


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#21 of 57 OFFLINE   Armand G

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Posted March 13 2003 - 07:59 AM

I am one of the people who were a little sceptic in the first place. Now that i've tried several tweaks I am convinced it really works big time. I am not talking about subtle differences here. The improvements I got were huge. Even my parents heard the difference and they are inexperienced listeners.

My system consists of the following components:

AMP: Denon AVC-A1 SR (AVR-5803 in US)
Speakers: B&W 640i(front), MS 905C (center), B&W 604 (surround), B&W 602S3 (surround back), Rel Storm.
CD:Sony CDP-XA 3es
MD: Sony MD-500
DVD:HK DVD-1
VDP: 2 x Pioneer CLD-925
Cables monster/Audioquest

My system isn't as expensive as a house!!!

I did the following mods to all sources:
Selfadhesive lead to make the source components heavier, damped the cd tray and and covered the crystal clocks with kit. DIY powercable (Lapp cable). My CD player was upgraded with a new more precise digital clock with buffering and new coaxial digital output. My cd player is connected via the coax buffered output to my Denon.

I A-B with my modified 925 and DVD-1. A friend of mine has got exactly the same. The difference was striking. It made his gear sound flat and compressed. The bass is much tighter and controlled, the mid an highs are sweeter and the overall soundstage was wider. I have to say that the biggest improvement was with the cd, dvd, md and vdp players.

In total my system has improved considerably. There is serenity and improved coherence.

Realize that these tweaks are reasonably cheap and simple. What have you got to loose?
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#22 of 57 OFFLINE   Albert Damico

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Posted March 13 2003 - 08:25 AM

John:

Why don't you just use the cords it came with and forget about it? I don't believe you'll ever know the difference. And I agree with the argument that if any company that manufactures amplifiers could get "the largest improvment I made to my setup" by simply providing a better power cord. They would. B&K could go to market tomorrow without having invested a dime in engineering, or development, and state (truthfully) that they had found a way to dramatically improve the sound of their entire amplifier line. They could beat the competition, as their amps would now all sound infinitly better, and so much better that any ordinary person with no experience at all could instantly hear the dramatic immprovement. Wouldn't you buy one if it sounded better than anything else? Their market share would go up, they would dominate the industry, everyone there would become wealthy and all of it with nothing more than packaging up a better power cord!! Wow. I wonder why they haven't thought of it? Yeah, I wonder...

#23 of 57 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted March 13 2003 - 09:25 AM

well keep in mind Rotel sells aftermarket cords. one day send them an email asking what the nature of the improvement in say their amps is when you purchase one of them. see if they'll give you any numbers.
Armand, out of curiousity, got a link for the mods that were done to your dvd player?

#24 of 57 OFFLINE   Armand G

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Posted March 13 2003 - 09:56 AM

Chu:

I have several links for DIY:

This link is where I got my powercable from. It's a Dutch site but fortunately it's also in English:

http://www.euronet.n...e/uk_index.html

Here you can find pictures of lead bitumes I used to increase the weight and make the chassis more rigid:

http://www.ultranalog.com (look at Sony MD 500)

Clockupgrade I had on my CD player:

http://www.triode.club.tip.nl (XO3 clock)


These are other DIY sites:

http://www.audiotweaks.com/diy.htm
http://www.tnt-audio.../diycables.html
http://www.venhaus1.com/diymains.html
http://www.enjoythem...om/etmcable.htm
http://www.geocities...isch/index2.htm
http://www.audiofriends.nl (only Dutch but picturesexplain a lot)

Hope this helps.

Greetz,
Armand
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#25 of 57 OFFLINE   Armand G

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Posted March 13 2003 - 10:07 AM

Albert:

The answer is costs. The same reason why there are only very mediocre crystal clocks in cd players.

In the industry there are standards which a crystal clock should meet. They are very inacurate. Read this link:

http://www.trichordr...lockworks1.html

Regards,
Armand
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#26 of 57 OFFLINE   Armand G

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Posted March 13 2003 - 10:15 AM

Chu:

I fond some pictures of modding a Denon 1600 dvd player. My Harman was done following the same principle:

http://www.htforum.n.....=783;sta rt=0
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#27 of 57 OFFLINE   Albert Damico

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Posted March 13 2003 - 10:56 AM

Armand:

I understand what you are saying. I am a business person. Thats what I do. I know that some of these companies sell aftermarket cords. I also know that to add an additional cost of goods to a product can remove a competitive advantage. But given the level of improvement that some people claim to get, this is not a marginal inprovement. This is not some ill defined, intangible, small tweak. If you look at all the improvements one can make to a HT system. New speakers, new amp, new pre/pro, HDTV, DSS, to state that the most dramatic improvement in the entire system that they ever heard was when they upgraded the power cord, means that it must make a serious, demonstrable, easy to define change for the better. Think about that statement. It wasn't when I upgraded those bookshelf JBL's (no insult meant) to Rockets, or Paradigms, or even Wilsons. It wasn't when I upgraded from my $500 receiver to a Krell amp and Anthem pre/pro. It was when I upgraded my "power cord" If I owned an amplifier company, and looked at the cost of goods, given my leverage in buying power, to upgrade the power cord, what would my wholesale incremental cost be? $50, $75, $100? Less? That raises the cost of my amp in the market by what, 2-3%. If I could get the improvements mentioned above and marketed it properly by hitting on it as the single most important upgrade any audiphile will ever hear. And could back it up with proof. And I did if first. I could own the market. I needn't say where the upgrade came from. I would rename all my prodcts to the B&K "Ultra" the Bryston "demolisher" and while my competition was busy trying to figure out how I got this huge, industry changing improvement in my amps, I would be busy selling the heck out of them. I would own the HT amp market. Does Oracle really have the best database? Does Microsoft really have the best operating system? Does IBM really have "smart servers"? Its all about a differentiator and relentless marketing. So, either all the amp companies are stupid, or its simply not demonstrable. My opinion is the second.

#28 of 57 OFFLINE   Armand G

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Posted March 13 2003 - 07:00 PM

Albert:

I know it's hard to believe a simple powercord can make such a difference. In the first place I thought it wasn't worth upgrading because of the costs. If you buy a dedicated powercord it costs about 150-200 Euro's in Europe. There are also brands which costs as much as a good amp.I have no doubt that these cords will be even better than the cord I made myself. But at what price. The cord I made myself is 12 Euro's.

You can ask yourself what a shielded powercord does. It keeps the rf influence away from interlinks and components.

Obviously you never tried it yourself. First try and then give your opinion again. On several forums there are people saying that it doesn't make a difference when they never even tried it themselves. It's a small investment. Just start with one component and listen to the results.

I started with my amp. If there wasn't a difference I wouldn't have made new powercables for whole setup. I am one of those people who say: if you can't hear differences
buy the cheapest component. But realize that if you can't hear the difference this doesn't mean that it's not there.

I provided some links earlier which you can use. If you have any questions just ask.

Regards,
Armand
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#29 of 57 OFFLINE   Albert Damico

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Posted March 14 2003 - 03:35 AM

Armand:

Actually I have tried. I have, unfortunatly, moved several times over the last few years. So I am constantly reconfiguring my Media room. When I moved to Colorado, I upgraded most all my cables, including the power cords from BetterCa***s. Was a significant investment. Did I see/hear a difference. Seemed like it. Was it profound? Two years ago, I moved to NC. Long story short, the movers misplaced some of my gear, mainly the container that my transformers, cords, wires, etc. were packed in. I knew they would be found, so I went to Radio Shack and bought a bunch of cheap cables to fill in until Graebal tracked down my box. I couldn't see/hear the difference. When they tracked it and delivered it to me. I fooled around for a month or so, trying my upgraded Component cable with the Radio Shack one, etc. etc. Couldn't tell the difference in any cable change. I had my wife change cables, at random, and not tell me. She would run them for a few days or so and then ask me to predict which ones were connected. NOT a scientific experiment, I know, but I never could tell. I have a mixmatch of inexpensive and expensive and put the rest in my spare cale box and now you know...the rest of the story! Posted Image

#30 of 57 OFFLINE   Armand G

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Posted March 14 2003 - 11:57 AM

Too bad you can't hear the difference Albert. In that case use the cheap cables and sell the rest.
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#31 of 57 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted March 14 2003 - 01:40 PM

try audiogon or the newsgroups. make sure to say you're upgrading to something or other.

#32 of 57 OFFLINE   Mauricio_BR

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Posted April 19 2003 - 09:05 AM

Guys,

Where can I buy CHEAP Marinco and Hubbell Hospital Grade outlets and plugs ONLINE ?

It can´t be Parts Express, since they don´t ship to south america anymore (those bastards Posted Image )

Thanks and Happy Easter !!!!
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#33 of 57 OFFLINE   Mauricio_BR

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Posted April 20 2003 - 12:26 PM

No tips ?

Nobody has some spares at the attic ?
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#34 of 57 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted April 20 2003 - 12:39 PM

For mail order...my guess is as good as yours, however, there must be large electronic supply houses in Brazil similar to those in the US along the lines of a Newark Electronics, Mouser, etc. I'd think you might consider looking in your telephone book for starters. The savings on s/h should be substantial. My own attemps at briefly searching in Brazil come up with too many Portuguese language sites.

#35 of 57 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted April 20 2003 - 05:28 PM

Firstly, this review might be of interest to the original poster as it is about a very cheap power cord that could probably only be bettered in cost by DIY or sticking to the stock cords.
http://www.positive-...signalcable.htm

Secondly, I am still undecided on PC's as I have not been able to hear enough of a difference in my system to justify the costs. I have tried a Tara Labs Prism AC, Synergistic Research AC MAster Coupler, and DIY yourself Cryo Treated 10 guage PC. However, as I continue to improve my system I will still seek out PC's to see if they do end up improving things for my new level of system.

Thirdly, each of you should seek out the last issue of Inner Ear Report as they did a PC comparison. Not only do they get into the science side of things with graphs, but they also set-up a blind listening test between the various cords which includes a basic 10 guage stock cord. One of the best comparison tests that I have ever seen in any sort of audio magazine.

FourthlyPosted Image , as to why a manufacturer would not include a boutique PC with their product if they felt they made a difference, please consider this. Remember I have still not made up my mind, but am open minded on this matter. However if a manufacturer believes an aftermarket PC can improve the sound of their design, and with that belief also thinks that different PC's can have a different effect on the sound. Then in order to appease all the various sounds of systems out there due to all the different pairings of equipment, they would be best off to allow each end user to tailor the ultimate sound of their purchase to suit what they need for their overall system sound. Say someone has a "warm" system and they end up getting a warm sounding amp which when added to the existing components makes everything sound too soft, so this person would probably seek out a power cord that might add some "zippiness" to the sound. Then a different person could purchae the same amp but add it to a system that they feel is too "brittle". So this person could look for a PC that would add to the warmth of the amp to continue to help tame the "brittle" sound of the system. Now if the amp manufacturer included a boutique power cord that had a "zippy" character hence added $500 to the price of the amp to cover the additional cost of the PC, then the second person would end up having to pay for a PC that does not work well with his system. Therefor by not including a boutique PC the amp manufacturer ultimatley allows the end user to tailor the final sound of the amp to suit his system's needs. Again if you don't think PC's can possibly make a difference to the sound of a product, then you would certainly not think that PC's can have different sound characterisitics and all of the above is absolute rubbish. But I will state again that I am only throwing out a hypothetical, for me I personally believe in letting my own ears hear a difference (if any) and then using my own value system to decide if the difference heard (if any) is worth the asking price.

#36 of 57 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted April 21 2003 - 01:17 AM

That's a lot of faith and assumptions! BTW, is there a link to that blind test that was done?

#37 of 57 OFFLINE   Albert Damico

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Posted April 21 2003 - 02:56 AM

I must apologize in advance. This is not a flame, or rant, or anything of the like. It is also, just my opinion. But the notion that a super power cable can make an amplfier sound "warm", "brittle", or influence the sound in any way, to me, is just an absurdity. I have seven amplifiers in my home that range from tube amps to ss amps. (Sherbourn, NAD, Peavey, AR Acoustic, Fender, Vantage) And I have owned many more than that over the years. As I previously mentioned, I have tried them (upgraded power cords). I expected them to work. Despite the fact that they clearly made no difference at all in my guitar amps, I still believed they did in my HT and music amps. But they didn't. (see earlier post) In the end, regardless of the cord or amp that it was attached to, there is simply no difference in the sound. Some would say that there is something wrong with my ears. Maybe there is. I won't rule out the possibility. But I can pick out each individual instrument in any piece of work, regardless of the genre, and tell you the pitch, key, parameter, and clearly define its timber and what it brings to the whole composition. Also, if it is a guitar, keyboard, flute, or harp, I can play the piece with very little practice time. I have been playing for 34+ years and despite studying music composition in the last few years, played the greater part of those 34+ years completly by "ear". So I trust my ears as well as my brain, when they and it tells me there is no difference. IMO.

#38 of 57 OFFLINE   Mauricio_BR

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Posted April 21 2003 - 03:23 AM

Quote:
there must be large electronic supply houses in Brazil similar to those in the US along the lines of a Newark Electronics, Mouser, etc.


Yup, but the few ones that sell these brands may charge you up to 80 bucks for a single Marinco 15A power plug. So, sometimes its a lot cheaper to buy online an still pay the S/H.

Thanks though !
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#39 of 57 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted April 21 2003 - 03:53 AM

well then check out Mouser, Newark Electronics, and perhaps others will chime in. i note though that you say 'may'. so best to find out for sure and besides, you might have 'local' brands whose quality is commensurate. Sorry Mauricio, that portuguese makes it really tough for me to track down things over there!

#40 of 57 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted April 21 2003 - 07:00 AM

Chu, no link that I know of, but it should still be on the shelves at your local bookstore that carries the Inner Ear Report. After doing a google search, it might have been in The Audiophile Voice and not in IER can't remember for sure.