Power cable for integrated amplifier.

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partho

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Hello,
I have heard a good quality power cable can improve amplifier performance to a great extent. Branded power cables are very very costly. One of my friend told me that within limited budget it is possible to make a very high quality power cable at home. I am requesting to all forum member friends to give me their knowledge/advice/experience regarding making of an audiophile quality power cable for my Marantz PM 17 SA amplifier.

Regards,
Partho.
 

marsilians

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Hello,
I have heard a good quality power cable can improve amplifier performance to a great extent. Branded power cables are very very costly. One of my friend told me that within limited budget it is possible to make a very high quality power cable at home. I am requesting to all forum member friends to give me their knowledge/advice/experience regarding making of an audiophile quality power cable for my Marantz PM 17 SA amplifier.

Regards,
Partho.

This is mostly snake oil as people tend to think that somehow power cables can "clean" the current and make the system sound better. Try this experiment and let us know what happens

1. Get a expensive power cable or build one yourself
2. hook up your table lamp to it.
3. Does it light up brighter or better in any sense?
4. If no, don't worry any further


People tend to think that they can hear subtle differences on their expensive systems. I would attribute that to the placebo effect.
 

SuhasG

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How much improvement a power cord can bring in is debatable . Though I dont want to enter into or to start a debate (or war?) on cables here , I just want to share my experiences with different power cords here,

After trying several power cords in the past I decided to settle for HP Printer Power cords (Rs 300) , reasons: I couldnt notice any big change in the performance with those mega bucks power cords that justifies the money spent on the cords. Changes are very subtle and as earlier poster has said , are in the territory of Placebo effect and nothing more.

My suggestions are:

  1. Provide clean (stabilized) power to your gear. Use some good quality Servo Voltage stabilizer such as KryKrad or Vertex.
  2. Use good quality (brass contacts) terminal strip and plug pins to power the gear.
  3. Insure proper Earthling for your Electrical installation.


Now if at all you are keen to have a custom power cord for your gear/s then try Power cords made by Cadence Bangalore dealer. It is around Rs 1000 for a 3 meter cord.

You can DIY power cords by using Finolex heavy gauge cables and some good quality Plug pins such as CrabTree(Hovell).

Hope this helps.

SUhas




Hello,
I have heard a good quality power cable can improve amplifier performance to a great extent. Branded power cables are very very costly. One of my friend told me that within limited budget it is possible to make a very high quality power cable at home. I am requesting to all forum member friends to give me their knowledge/advice/experience regarding making of an audiophile quality power cable for my Marantz PM 17 SA amplifier.

Regards,
Partho.
 

dinyaar

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Hello,
I have heard a good quality power cable can improve amplifier performance to a great extent. Branded power cables are very very costly. One of my friend told me that within limited budget it is possible to make a very high quality power cable at home. I am requesting to all forum member friends to give me their knowledge/advice/experience regarding making of an audiophile quality power cable for my Marantz PM 17 SA amplifier.

Regards,
Partho.

Hi
In theory there can be tremendous improvements. How much diff it will make in your set up depends on the quality of power in the first place. It can improve source performance too why only amplifier performance.
I personally use some 'fancy' ones as i have them but frankly they dont add to much. Like suhas suggested make one from belden/finolex 3 core 4sq.mm or even 2.5 sq.mm cable and u will be more than covered.
In the earlier days components had captive leads and they sounded great too so one has to look a little deeper before one puts down the money.
Anyway no harm experimenting if u can borrow some and try them in your set up.
Rgds
 

ashishkesarwani

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Hello,
I have heard a good quality power cable can improve amplifier performance to a great extent. Branded power cables are very very costly. One of my friend told me that within limited budget it is possible to make a very high quality power cable at home. I am requesting to all forum member friends to give me their knowledge/advice/experience regarding making of an audiophile quality power cable for my Marantz PM 17 SA amplifier.

Regards,
Partho.

You can also try DAC power cords which costs around 1200 bucks and are VFM. And yes Good cables does make a lot of difference over the stock onces.
 

partho

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Thank you all for the replies. From the discussion what I understood is that :

1. I will buy good low resistance (thick) and nicely shielded wire like Finolex.
2. I will buy good quality brass connectors to fit at the end of the cable.
3. End soldering between connectors & cables is to be done properly.

This sufficient to make a good quality power cable.

Is it possible to use the same thick Finolex wire (red, green, blue colour) used in domestic wiring?
Anything is to be done for minimizing noise due to electro magnetic interference ?
I use V-guard voltage stabilizer for amplifier & CD player. Is it sufficient or servo controlled voltage stabilizer is a necessity?
Shielding on the wire should be only polymer or polymer + metal wire screen type?
Regards,
Partho.
 

rsud

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This is mostly snake oil as people tend to think that somehow power cables can "clean" the current and make the system sound better. Try this experiment and let us know what happens

1. Get a expensive power cable or build one yourself
2. hook up your table lamp to it.
3. Does it light up brighter or better in any sense?
4. If no, don't worry any further


People tend to think that they can hear subtle differences on their expensive systems. I would attribute that to the placebo effect.

Power cables make a huge difference in high end components and some self assessment (try it, jeez) will get one beyond the hype (both the pro and con hype).

I speak from careful evaluation I have done on my system and many other high end systems far exceeding my own. There are clear differences. I admit it defies description at this point since the physics/mechanics are not understood. How can miles of wire be enhanced in the last few feet?!?!? But the differences are quite audible on a good system. If you have crap for a system well..., you could sound like the person above.

I also find that the prices charged by high-end companies are unjustified. After trying several manufactures of high-end cables versus stock wire I found that buying good cable and connectors (male and female sockets) I can build my own with very good performance.

My experieniece shows that solid core cable is the first thing that makes a difference. It seems multi-strand wire for a power cable has a detrimental effect. I also note that tranmission cables (the miles of cable from the power company and then the cable in my home) is all solid core. All regular power cable that you use to plug your components into the wall is multi-stranded. So I purchased some audioquest solid core power cable by the foot, good hospital grade copper male and female sockets for about $100 cost (US). The performance easily matches many high-end cables to the $500 price range (I could not try cables that were more expensive). Solid core cable is not ergonomic since it is stiff hence, I imagine, the preponderance of multi-strand cable. But if you are a true audiophile you know what choice to make. A US source for wire (and other things high-end) at reasonable prices is www.percyaudio.com.

But perhaps the place to start is just by using market available solid core cable.

In India I expect the power is quite bad (I am in the US) so I don't know if solid core power cables can provide benifits. It should....

And we should start a discussion on power conditioners, etc where half of the ones on the market suck or give mixed improvement results (loss of bass but the mids/highs are clearer, etc) but others actually make an overall positive difference.
 
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marsilians

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Not bad in terms of flaming for someone who has had 23 posts so far on the forum.

Outside of the choice terms you use to identify me, all your explanations are subjective at best. Come up with tangible facts, and I will buy your power cables at 5 times the cost. Also, tell me where you are at in the US and I will visit you to audition your system within 6 months at my own cost with and without the cables to see if it makes a "huge difference" as you suggest.

To be fair, you can call up some of your audiophile friends as well for the sessions and if you end up not being convincing, just be ready to pay up the ticket cost to Rochester as thats where I wil be located at for about 3 weeks.

Are you on?

By the way, your post is smattered with factual errors and you may want to re-read and fix if you know what you are talking about.

Power cables make a huge difference in high end components. I don't know why folks like this gent above even read these forums since they are inept at any level of self assessment (try it stupid) to get beyond the hype (both the pro and con hype).

I speak from careful evaluation I have done on my system and many other high end systems far exceeding my own. There are clear differences. I admit it defies description at this point since the physics/mechanics are not understood. How can miles of wire be enhanced in the last few feet?!?!? But the differences are quite audible on a good system. If you have crap for a system well..., you sound like the moron above.

I also find that the prices charged by high-end companies are unjustified. After trying several manufactures of high-end cables versus stock wire I found that buying good cable and connectors (male and female sockets) I can build my own with very good performance.

My experieniece shows that solid core cable is the first thing that makes a difference. It seems multi-strand wire for a power cable has a detrimental effect. I also note that tranmission cables (the miles of cable from the power company and then the cable in my home) is all solid core. All regular power cable that you use to plug your components into the wall is multi-stranded. So I purchased some audioquest solid core power cable by the foot, good hospital grade copper male and female sockets for about $100 cost (US). The performance easily matches many high-end cables to the $500 price range (I could not try cables that were more expensive). Solid core cable is not ergonomic since it is stiff hence, I imagine, the preponderance of multi-strand cable. But if you are a true audiophile you know what choice to make. A US source for wire (and other things high-end) at reasonable prices is Michael Percy Audio Ordering Information.

In India I expect the power is quite bad (I am in the US) so I don't know if solid core power cables can provide benifits. It should....

And we should start a discussion on power conditioners, etc where half of the ones on the market suck or give mixed improvement results (loss of bass but the mids/highs are clearer, etc) but others actually make an overall positive difference.
 
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venkatcr

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Power cables make a huge difference in high end components. I don't know why folks like this gent above even read these forums since they are inept at any level of self assessment (try it stupid) to get beyond the hype (both the pro and con hype).

Rsud, one of the advantages of a public forum is the exchange of information. The second major advantage is the beauty of different opinions on the same subject. We generally leave it to the OP to decide what he wants and what advise to take. This is, in particular, in cases where we cannot back up what we write with solid scientific evidence.

One of the most beautiful things about HifiVision is that we are all very civil to each other here. We have members who are scientists in space research, electrical engineers, audio designers, electronics engineers, and people who work with some of the most well know audio/video who-is-who in the world.

I would request you to be patient while disagreeing and make sure your posts are all very civil in language. Marsilians is a very respected member of the forum and has experience in auditioning and installing thousands of systems across the world.

There is nothing wrong in disagreeing, but let us do it as gentlemen and with dignified civility. I would request you to be careful about your choice of phrases and words in the future.

Cheers.
 
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dinyaar

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Hi Guys,
Somehow these kind of threads always head in this direction.

Why dont we believe what we hear and let others have their opinions too. If one wants to spend 1000 USD and claims there is a drastic improvement (not difference) then so be it. Finally it should appeal to one mind/ear and finally the pockets.

Basically if one uses a power cord keeping the components current draw in mind he should be ok. If someone uses a 3 core 1.5 sq.mm on a 600 W monster mono he is heading for trouble.

Use a good 3 core 2.5 sq.mm finolex/belden cable and get decent IEC sockets and mains plugs. This WILL work well for most equipment. Its not that i am a non believer rather i just try and achieve similar performance using the DIY route.

Rsud since u mention the poor quality of power in India VS the US, an exotic power cord which claims to really filter should have a more pronounced effect here. I have never had the good fortune of trying a solid core power cable so cant comment but i have tried tons of cables from Transparent, cardas, Vandenhul, Kimber Select, PS audio and lastly my good old supra. There are differences in the sonics but not as pronounced as made out to be and the benefits definately did not justify the added cost in MY SET UP. I continue to use a few branded power cords simply cause i have a few. If u were in bbay i would definately lend u some DIY experiments for your opinions as tons of my friends are using them happily in their set ups.

As i said its not that i am a non believer in the benefits of upgrading to exotic power cords, rather the above is simply my opinion. I would not go as far as calling the non believers stupid or insane or whatever as they have as much of an opinion on the subject as u do.

Rgds
 
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square_wave

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My experience:
From the freebie cord to a decent quality DIY power cord with good connectors there is a difference (definite improvement when I do very attentive listening especially with western classical and music created with natural instruments).
Beyond this point, any power cords change makes my system sound slightly different. But the question is, Is different better ?? This is where most audiophiles lose their money :D
I tried a few well known recipes and found the sound that I like and forgot about the power cords:cool:
Try a DIY cord and see if it makes any difference to you. At least you will know which camp you fall into :)
 
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ashishkesarwani

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and could you enlighted us as to how?

In my setup I was using the stock cable for my AVR as well as the power amp, then someone recommended me to try out better cables than the stocks ones and if I find any difference (improvement) towards the SQ then I would pay for them, I tried with the QED, costed me 5000 bucks for the power cable and I attached it to my AVR then I found a change in the SQ in terms of openness and overall detailing after this experiment I changed the power cable of my power amp with the DAC and the results were much better than what I use to listen, that way it made me believe on the benefits of the cable upgrade.
 

rsud

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In my setup I was using the stock cable for my AVR as well as the power amp, then someone recommended me to try out better cables than the stocks ones and if I find any difference (improvement) towards the SQ then I would pay for them, I tried with the QED, costed me 5000 bucks for the power cable and I attached it to my AVR then I found a change in the SQ in terms of openness and overall detailing after this experiment I changed the power cable of my power amp with the DAC and the results were much better than what I use to listen, that way it made me believe on the benefits of the cable upgrade.

While you need no thanks from me, I commend you for doing the experiment and finding the result that becomes obvious when one actually listens instead of spouting opinion. :clapping:
 

rsud

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Rsud, one of the advantages of a public forum is the exchange of information. The second major advantage is the beauty of different opinions on the same subject. We generally leave it to the OP to decide what he wants and what advise to take. This is, in particular, in cases where we cannot back up what we write with solid scientific evidence.

One of the most beautiful things about HifiVision is that we are all very civil to each other here. We have members who are scientists in space research, electrical engineers, audio designers, electronics engineers, and people who work with some of the most well know audio/video who-is-who in the world.

I would request you to be patient while disagreeing and make sure your posts are all very civil in language. Marsilians is a very respected member of the forum and has experience in auditioning and installing thousands of systems across the world.

There is nothing wrong in disagreeing, but let us do it as gentlemen and with dignified civility. I would request you to be careful about your choice of phrases and words in the future.

Cheers.

Thank you Venkatcr and I will concede that my post was bit flaming when the intent was more to rouse folks up. I will edit to be more cordial.

As far as the gent being "respected", to make an analogy, I know lots of people who drink far more Budweiser than I drink beer. But that gives them no opinion of value when it comes to beer. I don't see much different here as of yet.
 

rsud

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And where do you note this from? The cable in your home, sure, it's solid core if you want it to be - though I prefer 3x1.5 or 3x2.5mm. There is no 5 or 8mm solid core domestic mains wire anybody makes, and if they did it wouldn't bend through the walls. If you could pull out your calculator, you'd see a 5mm radius wire will take about 8 inches to bend 90 degrees without a kink, and last I remember they didn't make holes in walls that wide. Specially not in the US (the walls there are less than 6 inches thick), and not even in India - the walls are max 10 inches thick, and not even that sometimes.

Power company cables are usually never solid core, they are multistrand for sure. One strand is 4mm or 6mm, but it is stranded. Have you heard of thermal fatigue? If power cables were indeed pure solid core, they would crack apart in a few years. Stranding is necessary for thermal relief. Just like a railway line is not a continuous line. You'd see this if you were a pigeon crapping from one, though from the ground it does look like solid core. Be assured it is not.

As for power cords, just because you hear what you want to hear (most high-end audio is placebo, beyond a point) does not mean everyone will. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. I don't see why I should believe it as gospel truth, number of posts aside. Your ears are not proof enough for me.

The fact is that power cable does make a difference. Without it, systems will be totally silent. But if it presents a low enough impedance to the mains, its job is done. More than the cable itself, the quality of the contacts and mating surfaces may cause problems with high frequency arcing, and it is recommended to keep them clean and free of oxidation. Which is why brass is used for these connections, as it resists oxidation and is self-cleaning on mechanical insertion. The other metal that does this is silver, and that is the only reason for preferring it, not because of some snake oil audiophile property.

And FYI, most Cardas wire, for example (sold by Percy) is actually multicore, golden ratio wire - I have quite a stock of it (I'm in India). You need to be a little more thorough in your research. I have a copy of the Percy catalog, I can't find any solid core wire suitable for a mains application, maybe you would be kind enough to point out one? Apart, of course, from Goertz, which cannot/should not be used as mains cable. And which connectors? Be aware that the Audioquest mains cables are multistrand too, except the strands are individually insulated and are thick - I guess 1.5 or 2mm each. It is still multistranded, though. The interconnect wires are pure solid core.

Also, a solid core wire will have lower capacitance, but higher inductance than an equivalent multicore wire. There is no magic bullet, and a heavier guage of wire and better connectors may be all that is required to ensure the mains into the equipment is clean enough. The cable assembly can do no more than this, so if you are experiencing an improvement by switching cables, it's likely your earlier cable was junk (you'd be surprised at how many of them are actually junk, specially the free ones).

Or, more likely, you are hearing the dollars leaving your pocket. This is not meant to be derisive. It is a real phenomenon, and happens to the best of us. Experimenter expectancy led Neils Bohr awry, we are but mere mortals. As long as you are happy, it's all good. Just don't expect people to believe you because you say so.

And yeah, get a spellchecker. It is part of the Firefox browser. It looks ridiculous that you would indulge in name calling when you can't even care to spell right.

Mr Cranky, I have no need for you to believe me. I believe my rant was basically "Try it stupid" (before editing). I see no where in your post that you actually have tried different power cables on any sort of credible hifi system. So I question which orifice you are speaking out of (ahhh... I just can't resist, so sorry Venkatcr!!)? At most I am "leading the horse to water" if you know the expression.

I purchased the solid core power cables from percy several years ago. You are correct that his current catalogue no longer lists them.

My house is wired with 8 gauge copper solid core cable. While stiff it is quite easily bent (we all know copper is quite soft) without kinking. So I have no idea what cable you are talking about.

As for transmission cable it is typically 4 or 6 gauge aluminum or copper solid core but there are many strands reinforced with steel cable. So I suppose in a macro sense it is multi stranded. But experiments seem to show AC current flows on the surface of a wire and that thicker gauge is better for AC current flow.

So between you and the other guy, when will you actually try different power cables on a good system???? Wouldn't it be nice to speak from experience?!?!?
 

neutral

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This is mostly snake oil as people tend to think that somehow power cables can "clean" the current and make the system sound better. Try this experiment and let us know what happens

1. Get a expensive power cable or build one yourself
2. hook up your table lamp to it.
3. Does it light up brighter or better in any sense?
4. If no, don't worry any further


People tend to think that they can hear subtle differences on their expensive systems. I would attribute that to the placebo effect.

Try LISTENING instead of watching BULBS :D For a change:indifferent14:
 

rsud

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Hi Guys,
Somehow these kind of threads always head in this direction.

Why dont we believe what we hear and let others have their opinions too. If one wants to spend 1000 USD and claims there is a drastic improvement (not difference) then so be it. Finally it should appeal to one mind/ear and finally the pockets.

Basically if one uses a power cord keeping the components current draw in mind he should be ok. If someone uses a 3 core 1.5 sq.mm on a 600 W monster mono he is heading for trouble.

Use a good 3 core 2.5 sq.mm finolex/belden cable and get decent IEC sockets and mains plugs. This WILL work well for most equipment. Its not that i am a non believer rather i just try and achieve similar performance using the DIY route.

Rsud since u mention the poor quality of power in India VS the US, an exotic power cord which claims to really filter should have a more pronounced effect here. I have never had the good fortune of trying a solid core power cable so cant comment but i have tried tons of cables from Transparent, cardas, Vandenhul, Kimber Select, PS audio and lastly my good old supra. There are differences in the sonics but not as pronounced as made out to be and the benefits definately did not justify the added cost in MY SET UP. I continue to use a few branded power cords simply cause i have a few. If u were in bbay i would definately lend u some DIY experiments for your opinions as tons of my friends are using them happily in their set ups.

As i said its not that i am a non believer in the benefits of upgrading to exotic power cords, rather the above is simply my opinion. I would not go as far as calling the non believers stupid or insane or whatever as they have as much of an opinion on the subject as u do.

Rgds

The key part of your post here, if I may, is that you tried it, there was a difference but not large enough for you to justify the cost. No problems here. While I do not know your setup, it is the case that the higher the quality of the equipment the more pronounced the perceivable change. Higher quality equipment (note that I did not say more expensive equipment) will have more resolution (which is what makes it higher quality). I expect over time you may upgrade your equipment and find the difference in power cable more compelling. Thank you (while you need none from me) for being a good audiophile. :clapping:
 

rsud

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My experience:
From the freebie cord to a decent quality DIY power cord with good connectors there is a difference (definite improvement when I do very attentive listening especially with western classical and music created with natural instruments).
Beyond this point, any power cords change makes my system sound slightly different. But the question is, Is different better ?? This is where most audiophiles lose their money :D
I tried a few well known recipes and found the sound that I like and forgot about the power cords:cool:
Try a DIY cord and see if it makes any difference to you. At least you will know which camp you fall into :)

Another good audiophile (be still my heart) !!! :clapping:

The objective goal of audiophiles as we upgrade equipment is to get closer to the sound of an unamplified acoustic instrument. This is your only objective gauge for determining if the sound you hear is better or worse. There are no equations or specs that will help you as all equations and specs are crude and generally meaningless.
 

rsud

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Hi Guys,
Somehow these kind of threads always head in this direction.

Why dont we believe what we hear and let others have their opinions too. If one wants to spend 1000 USD and claims there is a drastic improvement (not difference) then so be it. Finally it should appeal to one mind/ear and finally the pockets.

Basically if one uses a power cord keeping the components current draw in mind he should be ok. If someone uses a 3 core 1.5 sq.mm on a 600 W monster mono he is heading for trouble.

Use a good 3 core 2.5 sq.mm finolex/belden cable and get decent IEC sockets and mains plugs. This WILL work well for most equipment. Its not that i am a non believer rather i just try and achieve similar performance using the DIY route.

Rsud since u mention the poor quality of power in India VS the US, an exotic power cord which claims to really filter should have a more pronounced effect here. I have never had the good fortune of trying a solid core power cable so cant comment but i have tried tons of cables from Transparent, cardas, Vandenhul, Kimber Select, PS audio and lastly my good old supra. There are differences in the sonics but not as pronounced as made out to be and the benefits definately did not justify the added cost in MY SET UP. I continue to use a few branded power cords simply cause i have a few. If u were in bbay i would definately lend u some DIY experiments for your opinions as tons of my friends are using them happily in their set ups.

As i said its not that i am a non believer in the benefits of upgrading to exotic power cords, rather the above is simply my opinion. I would not go as far as calling the non believers stupid or insane or whatever as they have as much of an opinion on the subject as u do.

Rgds

When one is objectively wrong and speaks without actual experience one is stupid. Look at the trend in posts here. Everyone who has tried cables has espoused there is a difference including you. Is it worth it to them is another matter.
 
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