Amps and AC Power Cords. How many use one?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin. W, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    I've read about people using custom made AC power cords for their amps and was wondering who on this forum uses them. What ones do you recommend and why? Have you noticed a difference between it and the one that comes with your amp. Thanks

    Kevin
     
  2. Duke

    Duke Stunt Coordinator

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    This is one tweak I don't believe in, I do like to looks of them but don't go for this snake oil.
     
  3. David J L

    David J L Auditioning

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    I replaced the stock cord on my two-channel amp with a fancy-pants cord that I bought used, just to see if it would make any difference. Honestly, it did improve the bass response and the noise floor, but not by a huge margin. For me, the small improvement is worth the $100 I spent, so I did the same for my CD player.

    Building a home theater now, and will buy better power cords for the amp and maybe the dvd player.

    I have not tried different brand cords, but would guess that you would hear an improvement using cords from any of the top brands (Cardas, Harmonic Technology, Kimber, Nordost, etc., etc.).
     
  4. Mike Brantley

    Mike Brantley Stunt Coordinator

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    What does this do? Should I upgrade the wiring in my house, too? What about the stuff hanging outside on the utility pole?

    Sorry to sound so skeptical, but I'm unclear what changing power cords will actually do. My Yamaha RX-V3000 receiver was shipped without a cord by mistake. Rather than complain, I grabbed an extra cord off an old, unused computer peripheral. The Yammy makes good sound. Am I missing something? Really?
     
  5. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    All I gotta say is....show me unbiased lab test results and Double Blind A/B testing and maybe I'll believe that a power cord makes a difference. You've only really got resistance and noise to worry about. AC power is 60 hz so that ain't high frequency. Even after seeing tests, I'll still have to hear the difference myself to really believe there's a worth while difference [​IMG]
    Good point below about the power conditioner. I like that idea better [​IMG]
     
  6. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    FWIW, I do believe that this tweak/upgrade does work, but I think the effect in the vast majority of systems would be so small that any improvement would be inaudible. If I heard a noticable improvement in my system after installing shielded power cords I would immediately start looking for other power problems. But if I were building a $30K+ custom sound system from scratch, I would probably consider including shielded power cords.

    IMO, a far better upgrade for the vast majority of systems would be a good quality power conditioner. If the A/C from the wall is nasty an expensive power cord will not do much good.
     
  7. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I use after-market powercords (Synergistic Research A/C Master Couplers) on all my gear (except my TV which has an attached cord). I noticed a huge and immediate improvement in all areas. If you have a receiver-based system I wouldn't bother, but if you have mid-fi or better separates, I think it's worth the investment. Powercords made a bigger difference in my system than speaker cables did.
     
  8. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    MIKE, LOL, I can see it now, some audiophile sneeking out in the middle of the night and "tampering" with his power box. Classic.

    I must admit, this is 1 upgrade I am a little unclear on.
     
  9. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    kevin:

    not trying to be anal but in your signature you did not spell separation correctly.

    kevin t
     
  10. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    In the same boat as Justin. I have Synergistics (bought mostly used). HUGE Difference when I used them on my amp. A noticable difference on a receiver, but slightly less so than on the high current amp. Synergistics recommend upgrading the AC power cord to the SOURCE component first, but I happen to have tried it first on my AMP, which takes a 20 amp plug.

    HTF did a comparison of voodoo prducts almost 4 years ago. They are very skeptical about any tweaks, but went ahead to endorse the Synergistics AC Master Coupler as the product that made the biggest difference. I even reamined skeptical for the next 3 years until I decided to try it. I even tried a blind test using my girlfriend. SHe even noticed a huge difference, thinking that I had changed CDs while switching the AC power cords.

    Elbert
     
  11. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Maybe the last three feet are the magic or most important three feet. . . I don't know.
    Makes an obvious difference in my system though.
    I replaced the stocks cords on my Krell amps with Granite Audio 560 cords and definitely/obviously/immediately found greater focus, detail, blackness, etc. Putting the stock cords back in removed all benefits. Non-audiophile friends also immediately perceived the difference.
    Could be that the torroidal filters Don uses on his cord cleaned up the power a bit.
    But I like the idea that for that much money you're buying a magic cord. [​IMG]
    Mike
     
  12. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

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    Let me kinda throw something out there,Ive grown up and built (Street Rods) ever since I was a pup and in my opion detailiverything.What I mean is just this if you polish that last little bolt in the tiny crack under the carb just left of the fuel lines nobody may notice it at all but you will defently know its there,& if you crank the timeing just one degree postive more you may get just a fraction of a hp increase but all those little thangs add up.....
    To me this is a hobby and your hobby should be fun and if spending a bill on that one last detail makes you feel better than do it, you never know what the binifet may be at first but a power cord here and a speaker cable there may just make your system what it is.
    Cars have alaways been a reflection of my personality and I think thats what a hobby dose in a since is show who you are... Just my .02
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    yeah, thats fine. I'm just curious whether something makes an audible difference and whether that difference is BETTER. If I have the inclination, I may try to compare some cords like those, but I guess I'd need to do a double blind test to prove it to myself. I believe double blind is best because not only do you not know which is which, but when you switch, you also don't even know for sure whether there has been a switch or if its the same. Thats for you to judge when listening.

    What exactly is the technological improvement these people are selling anyways?

    Anybody have any website links for these power cords?
     
  14. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I make it a practice never to use my amps without power cords. The difference is like night and day.

    No need to stop with power cords. Some people will gladly take your money and do all kinds of things to improve your equipment. Disable displays. Replace parts such as capacitors etc. Put wooden blocks under your speaker wires so they don't touch the floor. $1,000 per foot speaker wire.

    This craziness can go on forever. Even those with the money to try all this stuff eventually burn out. How crazy do you want to make yourself, and at what cost?

    If you want to read about big time tweakers, go to Audio Video Science and the forum hosted by Steve Bruzonsky, called Audio Video Improvements. Steve has delved deeply into what sceptics call tweaks. Be careful though. You might find yourself wondering about what else you can replace in your system to make it sound better.
     
  15. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    I use "Bob Crump"(Audioasylum) recipe power cords on both of my Aragon amps, cost $70 for 2 meter cord. I use these same PC's on my Magnum Dynalab tuner and REL Storm III sub.I also use Kharma cords on my Classe pre/pro and EAR tube preamp. These cords are a little more money, they're basically silver plated copper, nothing fancy. All of these cords are made with better terminations allowing better contact with their receptacles. I have compared them with their stock counterparts and noticed improvement, otherwise I would not bother. [​IMG]
    If you would like to try custom PC's in your system, start with your source components and work forward. CD player, DAC, preamp, then amplifier.
     
  16. chung

    chung Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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  18. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Well said Brandon, anytime snake oil or Double blind test is mentioned, the original subject matter of the thread is forgotten and turns into the believer vs. non-believer debate, it really gets old! [​IMG]
     
  19. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  20. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    "Some people will gladly take your money and do all kinds of things to improve your equipment. Disable displays. Replace parts such as capacitors etc. Put wooden blocks under your speaker wires so they don't touch the floor. $1,000 per foot speaker wire."

    I hate to burst your security bubble, but all the stuff you mentioned makes a difference. My preamp, SACD/CD, and DVD/SACD/CD players all have dimmers for the display. When the displays are off, I hear a very slight improvement in sound, mainly that everything seems more focused. Granted, it's not huge like the difference with aftermarket v. stock powercords, and casual listening or inexperienced listeners can't discern the difference, but it is there. And if you don't think the quality of capacitors in audio equipment matter, you're in the wrong hobby. And yes, lifting your cables off the ground with wooden blocks or ceramic cones also makes a slight improvement in high-end audio systems. Just because one person doesn't hear a difference doesn't mean it's not there.

    Regarding "fancy" cables, I've found that, unlike with speakers or components, price doesn't matter as much as synergy (of course this is also true with speakers and components, but with these, generally speaking, the more expensive the better the performance). With cables, however, it's been my experience that it's not uncommon for a cheaper cable to sound better than a more expensive one in a given system. If you put the same two cables in two different systems, however, you'll most likely get two totally different results.

    When I was auditioning audio interconnecs for my DVD player, I found that a $30 Tara Labs interconnect performed better than a $150 Audioquest and a $150 Cardas interconnect in my system. But in another system, the more expensive interconnects might perform better. In another comparison that I participated in (along with four other audiophiles) a $2000 Synergistic Research Designer's Reference interconnect soundly trounced my $500 Nordost Red Dawns, but the Red Dawns sounded much better than the $1000 Transparent Super.
     

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