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DIY Power cord reviews (long)

A month ago I decided to make up a power cord for my B&K ST 140 amp. The one I had been using was a decent generic cord commonly supplied with Bryston amps.(14 ga. non shielded with a safty ground that was not needed for this amp). The first cord was made using 6' of Belden 19364 with a soldered
Shurter 4300.0603 IEC at one end and a Marinco 8215T wall plug. The drain wire was connected to the ground pin on the outlet on the wall plug, and the cable was covered with polyester expandable tubing. All were purchased at Take Five Audio Canada(with excellent service I might add.)The immediate improvements in sound were an improvement in transient attack with better detail. They were also bright and over-sibilant, with thin but better defined bass. As the cable broke in the bass filled in nicely and the sibilance went away, while retianing all the extra detail noticed at the start. Also, the immaging, which had been slightely compressed, filled out agian with a more precice location of instruments than there had been with the generic cord.
I was impressed enough with the improvements that I thought I would do some more research and see if improvements could be made in design and materials. After researching on the Cable Asylum and noting the high praise given to Chris Venhaus's designs and materials, I ordered 18' of his shielded 12 ga. cable, and made up a 10' flavor 3 for the cdp and a 6' flavor 3 for the power amp. (neither use a safty ground in thier design). On these I used Shurter
4781.0100's and Cris's 81290 wall plugs. Agian the cables were covered with polyester expandable tubing. Pro Gold was also used at the terminals.
I installed the 19364 cord on the pre-amp (it does need a safety grond), the 10' Cris Venhaus cord to the Rotel 971 cdp, which has it's own isolated ground dedicated circuit, and the 6' Cris Venhaus cord to the power amp, which is on an isolated ground circuit used for the rest of the equipment.
The sonic improvements right off the work bench were equivalent to an equipment upgrade! Much better levels of detail, dynamics, and immage focus. Somthing else I noticed was that before the new Cris Venhaus cables were used vioces had moved forward in the soundstage as the volume was turned up. With the new cables the vioces stayed right where they should be. And they hadden't even broken in yet.
As the cables have broken in the continue to improve, particularly in the areas of image focus and dynamics. When they were new they had a slight tendancy to emphasise over sibilant cd's- that tendancy has now disapeared.
So impressed was I that I decided to rewire the power bar that the turntable, tuner, preamp, and tape deck are connected to. This is a WireWorks 9 outlet bar that I had purchased from a local hi-end shop some time ago. I changed the internal wiring from 14 to 12 guage solid core wire, and made up a Cris Venhaus 6' flavour 1 power cord using Belden 83802 and 9912 ground wire, with a Hubble 8215 ATCN wall plug. Pro Gold was used on all mechanical connections.
The sonic improvements here were not as dramatic as with the others, with the most noticable improvement being a drop in the noise floor.
All in all it was money very well spent.
A note about Cris's VH Adio: The general consensus regarding an indiference to customer service in the audio industry (and elswhere) DOES NOT APPLY HERE! Cris was very helpfull at all times, and what really impressed me was that he anweres his e-mail very quickly. He must sit by his computer 24-7!


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  Michael Percy Audio  


Topic - DIY Power cord reviews (long) - oddmanout 06:57:21 05/17/03 (1)


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