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My DIY ultimate 3-way AC Main Power Chord

Hari Iyer

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#1
I had this in mind for quite some time - may be months and it saw the light of the day today. The idea behind this AC power cable can be explained with my own previous experience and some analogy,

I had replaced my tube amplifier cheap stock power cable some 7 months back with an 18SWG single core copper wire with superb improvement. This made me think why such a small change like an power chord has such tremendous improvement in overall sound stage. The sound stage was huge with large improvement in the bottom-end. But i was not fully satisfied with the highs with these cables. After a while, i thought why can't power cables also be made like a 3 way speaker - like woofer - mid-range - tweeter. The low frequency requirement will be catered by a thicker gauge cable, the mid frequency by a medium gauge cable and the high frequency by a thinner gauge cable.

I also believe, the sound that we listen through our speakers are just modulation of the input line AC (later converted to DC) with an audio signal passing through an active component (transistor or a triode). Hence more pure or less stress on the AC line is required for faithfull reproduction of audio. The high frequency audio if draws current from the same single core wire has a harsh effect and so does the mid-range. So if we have parallel 3 AC wires (3 + 3 wires for line & neutral) for all the 3 bands of frequency then the current will be drawn based on the skin depth of the wire.

This made me do some math for the various frequency and the approximate skin depth required. I came up with 3 frequency band - 500Hz, 5000Hz and 20,000Hz and used the following wires for them. 500Hz will be catered by a 1 +1 14swg single core copper wire which gave me net of 11swg, 5000Hz will be catered by 18swg wire and the 20,000Hz will be catered by the 25swg wire. These three wires will be paralleled and the earth wire will be with an 2+2 18swg wire.

This activity took a hell lot of time to build as these wires are quite stiff and requires a lot of bending and holding to get it right. I could finally gather strength to terminate it to my AC power chord and terminate to the tube amp power input with the help of my daughter to hold them to solder the points (these are quite heavy and very very stiff). The enitre cable now has a diameter of around 1" which looks huge to me.

The cables are currently under breakin (if any required) and i listened to them briefly for an hour or so. The immediate response was very smooth mids and highs and removal of grain from the highs.

I may be totally wrong in my thought process and may be entirely wrong too, but i can for sure find a huge improvement from my earlier 18swg + 18swg AC power chord for which i cannot find any explanation.


PS: With my past year of modifications for improvement of sound quality, i have always noticed that any major improvement in components be it active or passive, there has always been a reduction in high frequency compression, high frequency grain and reduction in extra unnatural air from the music. I am not sure if that's the right observation / approach. Will like to listen from FMs about their own experience with the modifications/ improvements.
 
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keith_correa

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#2
Can you please explain what these frequencies are that are travelling on your AC line?
How do the different bands of "frequencies" know which wire to travel through? Based on wire gauge? Or if you are claiming that skin depth causes this to happen, maybe you need to re-read what skin depth/effect is.
What you are claiming is total bunkum. Next you'll be putting a crossover on your power cord. You're technical. You among others should know better!!!
 

Hari Iyer

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#3
Can you please explain what these frequencies are that are travelling on your AC line?
How do the different bands of "frequencies" know which wire to travel through? Based on wire gauge? Or if you are claiming that skin depth causes this to happen, maybe you need to re-read what skin depth/effect is.
What you are claiming is total bunkum. Next you'll be putting a crossover on your power cord. You're technical. You among others should know better!!!
Thàts what I said in my post, I am unable to explain why it's sounding good and better than before. If you can explain then I will be happy. Just because I am or anybody else can't quantify the finding does not make it senseless atleast for me.
 

keith_correa

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#4
There's nothing to "quantify". You're using words out of context.
You hear a difference? So be it. It's not my place to negate that difference especially when I haven't heard the difference.
But I do take issue with your basis for these differences. I don't know whether to laugh or cry! :p
 

Hari Iyer

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#5
There's nothing to "quantify". You're using words out of context.
You hear a difference? So be it. It's not my place to negate that difference especially when I haven't heard the difference.
But I do take issue with your basis for these differences. I don't know whether to laugh or cry! :p
Alright
 

jls001

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#6
Great experiment, Hari.

I don't know the reason for the improvements you're hearing. One probable means of figuring out if the improvements are due to doubling/tripling of conductors is to make one more cord using same gauge of wire in double or triple runs for each pole, and see if the same subjective improvements are perceived. Alternatively, sit back and enjoy your new findings:p (which is not a bad thing, IMO --- too much monkeying around can sometimes be bad).
 

Hari Iyer

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#7
jls001, you could be correct in your analysis as earlier it was just a single 18swg solid copper wire, but now it's 14swgzx2 + 18swg+ 25swg, which ultimately gives around 12swg. The size of the conductor is way bigger. But what I am not able to figure is why do high frequency grain and harshness reduce with the conductor size. Especially listening to vinyl is very holographic and very less grain. Also I am yet to get fully adapted to the new tubes.
 

Kannan

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#8
So if we have parallel 3 AC wires (3 + 3 wires for line & neutral) for all the 3 bands of frequency then the current will be drawn based on the skin depth of the wire.

This made me do some math for the various frequency and the approximate skin depth required. I came up with 3 frequency band - 500Hz, 5000Hz and 20,000Hz and used the following wires for them. 500Hz will be catered by a 1 +1 14swg single core copper wire which gave me net of 11swg, 5000Hz will be catered by 18swg wire and the 20,000Hz will be catered by the 25swg wire. These three wires will be paralleled and the earth wire will be with an 2+2 18swg wire.
This is a classic example of pseudoscience.
First of all as @keith_correa mentioned how does the frequency know to travel by which wire path , secondly audio information is carried not in power cables, but in either in the digital or the RCA path.
 

surfatwork

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#10
Come on guys, this is seriously getting ridiculous. I can make myself believe anything, but that doesn't mean I should. Or that it's a real thing.
Atleast don't attempt to attribute some science to it by quoting random frequencies and real scientific terms like skin effect. Someone gullible might actually even believe it!
 
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keith_correa

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#11
Come on guys, this is seriously getting ridiculous. I can make myself believe anything, but that doesn't mean I should. Or that it's a real thing.
Atleast don't attempt to attribute some science to it by quoting random frequencies and real scientific terms like skin effect. Someone gullible might actually even believe it!
Exactly! Look at the number of new members on the forum - while I'm not belittling their intelligence by saying they WILL believe nonsense, some might actually do because it comes from a senior member. I do some pretty zany experimenting myself and hear or think I hear differences due to those experiments but I don't write about them and never would attribute the differences I hear to some techno babble.
I can now die in peace - now that I've heard it all. And I'm not talking about music here.
 

Sumanta

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#13
I don't know why but I am missing some simulation charts here....just kidding. You might have done some.

Hari, enjoy the betterment, that's all that matters!
 

mpw

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#14
jls001, you could be correct in your analysis as earlier it was just a single 18swg solid copper wire, but now it's 14swgzx2 + 18swg+ 25swg, which ultimately gives around 12swg. The size of the conductor is way bigger. But what I am not able to figure is why do high frequency grain and harshness reduce with the conductor size. Especially listening to vinyl is very holographic and very less grain. Also I am yet to get fully adapted to the new tubes.
A change to a 12 gauge power cord should give the same results.

Try with a 10.gauge too.

Rest is in the. Domain of the scientists alone not us Audio lovers..

Regards
 

keith_correa

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#15
I still strongly believe that current is drawn from surface of the conductor for high frequencies and will stay with my belief no matter what others think.
Current is not "drawn" from any surface!
Though I think what you are saying is right, you are using incorrect terminology. I suggest that you read about skin effect/depth.
There's nothing to believe or disbelieve - there's a word for it and its called Physics.
I believe that microscopic unicorns carry electrons through my wires and speed of electron delivery depends on how fast the unicorns gallop. That doesn't make it true. ;)
 

Madhu1199

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#18
I had this in mind for quite some time - may be months and it saw the light of the day today. The idea behind this AC power cable can be explained with my own previous experience and some analogy,

I had replaced my tube amplifier cheap stock power cable some 7 months back with an 18SWG single core copper wire with superb improvement. This made me think why such a small change like an power chord has such tremendous improvement in overall sound stage. The sound stage was huge with large improvement in the bottom-end. But i was not fully satisfied with the highs with these cables. After a while, i thought why can't power cables also be made like a 3 way speaker - like woofer - mid-range - tweeter. The low frequency requirement will be catered by a thicker gauge cable, the mid frequency by a medium gauge cable and the high frequency by a thinner gauge cable.

I also believe, the sound that we listen through our speakers are just modulation of the input line AC (later converted to DC) with an audio signal passing through an active component (transistor or a triode). Hence more pure or less stress on the AC line is required for faithfull reproduction of audio. The high frequency audio if draws current from the same single core wire has a harsh effect and so does the mid-range. So if we have parallel 3 AC wires (3 + 3 wires for line & neutral) for all the 3 bands of frequency then the current will be drawn based on the skin depth of the wire.

This made me do some math for the various frequency and the approximate skin depth required. I came up with 3 frequency band - 500Hz, 5000Hz and 20,000Hz and used the following wires for them. 500Hz will be catered by a 1 +1 14swg single core copper wire which gave me net of 11swg, 5000Hz will be catered by 18swg wire and the 20,000Hz will be catered by the 25swg wire. These three wires will be paralleled and the earth wire will be with an 2+2 18swg wire.

This activity took a hell lot of time to build as these wires are quite stiff and requires a lot of bending and holding to get it right. I could finally gather strength to terminate it to my AC power chord and terminate to the tube amp power input with the help of my daughter to hold them to solder the points (these are quite heavy and very very stiff). The enitre cable now has a diameter of around 1" which looks huge to me.

The cables are currently under breakin (if any required) and i listened to them briefly for an hour or so. The immediate response was very smooth mids and highs and removal of grain from the highs.

I may be totally wrong in my thought process and may be entirely wrong too, but i can for sure find a huge improvement from my earlier 18swg + 18swg AC power chord for which i cannot find any explanation.


PS: With my past year of modifications for improvement of sound quality, i have always noticed that any major improvement in components be it active or passive, there has always been a reduction in high frequency compression, high frequency grain and reduction in extra unnatural air from the music. I am not sure if that's the right observation / approach. Will like to listen from FMs about their own experience with the modifications/ improvements.
Hari your invention is great, I think you should also try Busbar instead of wires that may work better...
 

Kannan

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#19
@Hari Iyer the science or physics of audio reproduction mandates that the power section should be completely isolated from the audio signal path to minimize the impact of EMI, noise, ripple etc.
The audio signal path is totally isolated from the pre-power section (220 or 110 volt as the case maybe), and you are experimenting with power cables which carry no audio signal.
This is getting completely ridiculous, but who can argue against faith.
All I and some other FMs are stating here is not to try and justify it scientifically.
 

Kannan

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#20
There is physics behind how different frequencies travel across the wire, the higher frequencies are supposed to skim across the surface while the lower go through the full cross section, but these are all way beyond the audible range.

Even so, I can understand such an experiment as above in an active setup where each frequency band has its own audio path, power section and amplification section and isolated pairs of speakers like say tweeters for highs, a midrange for the mids and woofer for the lows.
Even in such a scenario, you can possibly play around with the thickness of the interconnects in an increasing order from the tweeter chain to the woofer chain.

Let us just keep faith and science apart.

Happy listening
 
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