Do power cords make a diffence?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JoshS, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. JoshS

    JoshS Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 23, 2001
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    A friend of mine has hi end power cords on all of his equiptment. I can add power cords to my dvd player(Toshiba 2109) and my powered sub(Mirage bps400). Would this be a worthwhile upgrade, and does anybody else use upgraded power cords?
    Thanks guys,
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Feb 15, 2001
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    Some use it, some don't. Some hear a difference, some don't. Some will be willing to kill in defense of their faith that they do make a difference, others will be willing to kill in defense of their faith that they don't.
    Whether you will hear a difference or not cannot be predicted, it depends on a lot of things. If you have a $100 DVD player, I wouldn't buy a $150 power cord for it, for obvious reasons - that money can be spent elsewhere to give more significant improvements. So, make sure you keep your investment balanced, because the improvement, if any, will be subtle. Also, make sure you have a good return policy, because no one can guarantee that you will see/hear an improvement, regardless of what your friends or salesmen say.
    Edited to correct a typo.
    [Edited last by Saurav on October 10, 2001 at 06:41 PM]
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Every electronic device has a circuit called the "Power Supply". This circuit attempts to take the 120 volts, AC, rectify it to provide smooth 12-24 volts DC to power the rest of the equipment.
    The problem with AC power is that most electric companies are allowed to let the voltage change from about 112volts to 125 volts. And it is not always exactly 60 hz (but close). But the power is designed to drive high-current motors, not electronics.
    The other problem is that your AC power is "shared" by everyone around you. This means that the voltage changes depending upon how many electric dryers are running, when the freezer compressor starts up, when the dishwasher kicks in, etc. And if you are in a inner-city apartment or near a light-industrial area, you have a lot of industry users, not just residences sharing the power.
    A power conditioner takes the outlet energy and dumps it into a large transformer, re-regulates it out to provide smooth, 120 VAC with very little variation. These units cost about $500 for the simple ones and can go to $2,000. These CAN improve your system, but only if you have "dirty" power to start with.
    Now that you know some of the real problems with AC power, how can a short, inactive (meaning no regulator circuits, transformers, etc) 6 foot power cord make a difference to your electronics?
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Mar 28, 2000
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    Interesting reply. I appreciated it. Many people ask how a power conditioner or an expensive power cord can make a difference when the power is often going through poor-quality wiring over such a long distance before getting there. The analogy I've heard to explain the effect of a "good" power conditioner or power cord is the analogy of a water filtration device. Potable water goes through old pipes, and who knows what is gets in it through it's travels to your faucet. However, run the water through a filtration device prior to drinking or cooking, and voila! Clean water (hopefully)! So, people say that a power conditioner or expensive power cord should be thought of as a filter, in a sense. I'm not saying I believe this analogy to hold true, but I have heard it before. For the record, I don't use power conditioners or expensive power cords.
    I agree with Saurav. Some people believe in power cords, but some don't (many audiophiles do; ask this question on Audio Asylum). As Saurav said, consider the equipment you have (i.e., the component you wish to get the power cord for and the quality of your amp and speakers). If a power cord is going to have a positive effect on sound, you are going to have to have a quality (read: transparent) system to hear the difference. That's my opinion, at least. Power cords can be quite costly, so as Saurav said, it makes little sense to buy a power cord that costs as much or more than the component for which it will be used for.
    Even for high-quality systems, I question how big an effect changing a power cord on a CD player will have if your amp (receiver, integrated amp, power amp, pre-amp) has a hard-wired, stock power cord. A local high-end dealer has suggested on a few occasions that I look into upgrading my power cords. I use all stock power cords. In my main stereo system, I can do this easily only on my Sony SCD-777ES SACD player because the power cord is detachable. By contrast, my NAD C 370 integrated amp has a hard-wired power cord, so changing it is quite a bit more involved. I really wonder if changing the power cord on the '777ES will make a difference in this case.
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime

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