AC Power Cords - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin_Roy, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. Kevin_Roy

    Kevin_Roy Extra

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    I'm looking to replace the stock AC Power Cord on my Denon AVR-4802. Any recommendations on a mid-priced AC Power Cord?
    I have taken a look at the Bolder Cables Type 2 AC Power Cables.

    Thanks
     
  2. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    Check out the Asylum Power Cable at www.diycables.com, you can get it in kit or finished form.
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  4. David_MSP

    David_MSP Stunt Coordinator

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    I would seriously consider the PowerLink Plus and the PowerLink Super power cords from Transparent Audio. I have both in my system and have found them to be extremely well built in addition to making my gear sound better in many ways.
     
  5. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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  6. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Also recommend Harmonic Tech Pro-AC11 CL3. Audiogon often has very reasonable listings for used HT power cords, and the Pro AC11 appears a few times a week.

    The Bolder is also a good choice, as is the Zu Birth, also found on auction this week at Audiogon. Usually ends up selling for
     
  7. HankM

    HankM Second Unit

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    I third the Harmonic Technology PRO-AC11. This is an outstanding power cord for the money.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Does anyone have a web link for the Harmonic Technology PRO-AC11? Can it be purchased online? What is the price range for this power cord (over the range of lengths offered)?
    The Asylum power cord on www.diycables.com intrigues me. It is considered an excellent power cord for the money. I've been considering it for my SCD-777ES.
     
  9. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bill, thanks for the information. I am aware of Audiogon, but the first link should provide some useful information on this power cord. Thanks again. I don't like to buy used components for various reasons, but a used power cord seems like a no brainer.
     
  11. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin

    There is nothing wrong with the power cord that comes
    with the Denon 4802.

    Robert
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    KeithH, what were your impressions when you read Harmonitech's website from the link Bill gave? As for a recommendation, I'd consider sticking with my existing one unless I had reasons to suspect there were issues with the one i have.
     
  13. brucek

    brucek Second Unit

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    Kevin,
    I have to agree with Chu and Robert.....
    I know we're advised to keep this kind of talk to a minimum, but I'm afraid you are likely throwing your money away - there is no justification for paying a lot of money for an AC power cord. Granted, some people want to make their own DIY cords in custom lengths to avoid the "extension cord" connection, and that's great - go to your local electrical store and buy some Beldon 12/3 power cable and some swell Hubbell plugs and an IEC connector and make your own power cord for under $30. This cord would be overkill, but there's no better functioning cord on the market today. As long as the power cord is of sufficient gauge to not impede the current flow for that last few feet that it is used, you're OK. It would be ridiculous to use any larger wire for your power cord than is used in the wall back to the loadcenter. In most cases this will be NMD7 #14 gauge for 15 amp, and #12 gauge for 20 amp circuits.
    Avoid any inference that shielding is required on an AC power cord - it's nonsense. This is a very low impedance circuit and will not pick up any noise. The line transformer and associated components in the DC power supply in any equipment will filter any noise that is present.
    The job of an AC power cord is to provide a good tight electrical mate with the receptacle it plugs into, combined with a cable of sufficient gauge to pass the current without restriction - job done. It's up to the equipments power supply to take it from there. Your equipments "sound" is derived from its DC power supply. The supplies filter capacitors provide the DC power needed to run the equipment. The AC wall source is there to "fill" this well. This AC source comes from a transformer outside your house. Providing your original power cable is of sufficient gauge, then altering the last few feet before your receiver would seem suspect, don't you think?
    I know it's a fun hobby, but maybe there are better ways to spend money on something for your system that will actually make a difference. [​IMG]
    brucek
     
  14. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    Just make one yourself from Partsexpress.com I tried the more expensive cords out there and there wasn't a difference from the ones you make.
     
  15. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Bruce,

    Just curious, which expensive power cords did you try ?

    What components did you have each cord connected to, and how long did you run these expensive power cords on these components ?
    To dismiss all expensive power cords, or even mid-priced cords, without letting the readers know more about your setup, your equipment list, and your power delivery configuration (dedicated circuits, line conditioners, etc) just becomes your personal opinion and particular experience. I seldom hear IMO on this subject, and , in particular, in this specific forum (regardless of topic).

    Naysaying is easy. Let us hear the specifics.

    BOK
     
  16. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Bruce, the Carol power cables carried by Parts Express are designed for sound reinforcement and for that purpose I'm sure that they are very good and is similar in design to the heavy duty extension cords carried by Home Depot and not a good choice for audio reproduction. There are much better choices that are not that expensive. If one wants to look at resources and designs that some use I would suggest looking at http://home.cogeco.ca/~audiovideozon...able_Info.html
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Personally, I don't know if Bruce intends on responding further. From many of the posts that I've seen of his, he appears to be quite knowledgeable in the field of electronics. I've found his advice and responses, measured, thoughtful, insightful, and typically walk away feeling I've learned a bit more. I myself, in contrast to Bruce, know quite little, but I've studied a bit of physics in my time, and will offer what follows as IMHO in the context of the link that was provided to the Pro-AC11 from Harmonic Tech.
    For starters I've never tried it. Nope. I have though read the link, and this is what I have gleaned from reading it.
    1) conductor is made of high purity copper 99.9997% utilizing a Single Crystal Design.
    2) its shielded
    3) it eliminates RFI interference because its shielded
    4) electricity is free of distortion and also is free from collision due to crystalline barriers and impurities.
    I'll take a stab and say the cord is 11 gauge copper due to its designation. With regards to the four items listed above, this is my take on then.
    On #1 & #4, so what? I'm assuming the manufacturer is telling the truth, but so what? Prior to entering this cord, the electricity has travelled miles, perhaps thousands, in various types of copper, through transformers, junctions, and god knows what else. If I was to shorten the internal wiring in my home by six feet and utilize my stock power cord, this would, in effect, be like plugging my receiver or whatever directly into the wall outlet. Also the Single Crystal design is quite ambiguous. The implication to the reader is that this wire is composed of one crystal of copper. That is of course a false implication and to my knowledge, impossible in the practical sense. Metallurgically speaking, the crystalline nature of copper and for that matter any metal, is a complex issue, affected by the drawing speed, the original and final temperatures, and the rate at which the temperature of the wire cools as well as its cross sectional area. Manufacturing wise, this is a technique perhaps best exemplified by the OHNO casting process, originally patented in China. The creation of larger crystals along with their orientation has as its primary benefit in improving the fatigue characteristics of a metal. In other words, its more bendable. In fact, under just the right conditions, and I do mean JUST right, you can create metal wires such as bismuth that under normal
    conditions are so brittle they can't be bent without fracturing, that now can be bent into spirals. As far as improved electrical properties such as distortion reduction, it is to my knowledge highly speculative in the context it is being used. I can find no reference in a scientific journal as to its benefit in a power cord, speaker cable, interconnect, etc. I have run across references that speak to the benefit of single crystals in the semiconductor, but we're talking about microns here and pretty small stuff. The stretch to beneficial use in a power cord appears to be just that, a stretch, and one that stretches for the purposes of reaching for your wallet and preying upon the gullibility of the public.
    On #2&3 I offer the following thoughts. Assuming one has an RFI problem, then I imagine that you're hearing it. If the RFI is getting through the power lines, which is debatable, but let's say it is, then isn't it also getting through the many feet and yards of unshielded wire in our homes? If so, what possible benefit is there in shielding the last meter or two? Is that not like attaching a piece steel cable to a rubber band and saying, 'now you can build that suspension bridge?' One needs to consider that the piece of audio equipment you're attaching this cord is probably quite capable of blocking RFI to begin with. This is of course assuming that whomever has designed the equipment has done a proper engineering job. To my knowledge, properly designed receivers, cd players, preamps, etc. have circuitry that is dedicated to keeping powerline interference out as well as coping with nominal voltage swings. Also the various audio circuitry is designed to reject RFI. Various levels of RFI rejection is built in, and this includes the transformers, regulators, and rectifiers, not to mention that even the case itself rejects RFI. And this rejection has to do whether the RFI comes through the power supply, the input and output terminals, or for that matter simply exposure to RFI in general. If you're having an RFI problem, this particular cord is not going to address it.
    in its least expensive configuration, you're looking at spending $159 and of course a bit less if buying used. some might say these items are offered for sale used because the sellers say 'i'm upgrading or i need a longer length'. They may well be but there is quite another plausible truth, and that is the owner has realized there is not benefit and needs to find a way to dump this cord. They're certainly not going to say, "i tried it, its past the time i can return it, it didn't work a damned bit and i'm looking to get as much of my money back as possible".
    Personally I find it irrelevant as to what Bruce has in the way of audio equipment, if he has any at all. As if somehow he needs to trot out his equipment list as some sort of resume that qualifies him to speak on the subject. Yes, we would certainly hear that his equipment is just not revealing enough. Maybe it isn't or maybe its just not designed so poorly that it picks up RFI. Bruce's comments to me, have more reasoning, more rationale, more sound logic, than what I read at Harmonic's site. Harmonic would do well to apply some of this critical thinking, but then if they did, and shared it, then they wouldn't be selling would they?
    I have no issue with an individual wanting a beefier look to their power cords, with perhaps replacing outlets with hospital grade ones. There's a comforting feeling for many of us to want a bit of overdesign. For that you'll pay a bit more, and if the word audio is mentioned in the same breath, you'll pay a lot more.
    I trust that Kevin will make the right choice for himself. I hope he found the lengthy replies, and even the short ones, helpful. Good luck to him...sincerely [​IMG]
     
  18. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    For those who wish to read the more technical stuff, the above link includes one to Jon Risch's page and the asociated comments at http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/ac-cords.htm
    Sound reinforcement type cords are designed to hold-up well when then are moved back and forth, stepped on, etc. I have had to fix one for someone on quick notice and it is very similar to a heavy duty extension cord. The better connectors put on vs. the cheaper molded ones that come with extension cords would certainly be an improvement. As with any cable or cord, the amt. spent should be in proportion to what it is used on. It would be silly to put a $400 power cord on a $400 amp vs. getting a better amp. The Harmonic stuff I believe is avialable online at places like www.audionut.com and I think it is about $200 for 2 meters so I guess it depends on what ones definition of a moderate price is. Belden '19364' is half decent for use as a power cord and is a drop over $200 for a 250 ft. roll in many places. For audio and those inclined to DIY this would be a decent choice.
    For those who don't believe that power cords or cables are not that much different, and theories are fine but not a substitute for trying the real thing as according to physics a bumble bee cannot aerodynamically fly (at one time the world was flat too), then perhaps anything is very minimal is the only thing that is worthwhile. A few years ago according to theory T-Rex could run. Theories are fine for academic debate for those so inclined to debate for debates sake and don't accomplish anything. I always advise to spend reasonably within the context of what you use with it and to try it for yourself and you are the person who has to put out the money and the one whose ears need to make the choice. What matter is how something sounds to a particular individual and if they are happy with their choice, whether that be more or less, theory does not come into play.
     
  19. Kevin_Roy

    Kevin_Roy Extra

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    Thanks to everyone that chimed in with responses. I am still mulling over the info.
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I agree Phil to a point. It does seem to me to be a foolish thing to spend money disproportionally. In that context though, Harmonic did state the use of their power cord will be as if you've upgraded your particular component. Some might read that as suggesting that its performance will improve audibly. Myself, I read it as audibly there's no difference between what you currently own and the model above it. Different features and capabilities, yes. Audibly better? Very sepeculative. Please do not take my comments as any sort of personal attack, they are directed towards Harmonic, from whom I've requested clarification on a few matters. Certainly it is good to try things but to my mind reasonable logic,hopefully some good solid science, and some understanding should be behind the basis for which we do try something. I personally see very little of that at Harmonic's website. Rather they weave a teeny bit of electrical information and imply a world of speculative benefit along with misinformation. Take for example their statement....
     

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