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I moved last year so I am still getting my stereo stuff together. I was using my Conrad Johnson preamp and thinking, Gee whiz this thing sounds weedy!
Looked over the back to check out some connections and noticed I was still using a temporary computer power cable I had kicking around. I looked around and found the heavy duty beefy power cable that originally came with the CJ. Plugged it in and well whaddaya know - sounds great.
So I do apologize for being such a disbeliever.
When I first started this hobby I tested a few cables and found very little effect good or bad. As my gear became better I was suprised to find some cables to have a huge positive effect.
When I read someone who says cables don't make any diferance in their case I respect that in fact in their case they don't. I know for me its huge.
This is a hobby to enjoy and play music.
I'm pleased you found a way to better your experiance but am now sad you may be spending some $$$$$$$$$$$$$ Welcome to that cable club! ;^)
Hi airtime. I have to agree with Duster. Recently he brought to our attention the Viborg AC plugs found on eBay. I had been wanting to reterminate the three Pangia PC's I have; two AC-14's and one AC-14SE. Well I did just that using the Viborg connectors. A very worthy modification. More music, etc. Nothing negative.
The connectors are to my senses of a high quality at a very reasonable cost. Don't be put off by the four set screws used to anchor/secure the cable. There is what appears to be a ring of silicone in which the rounded bottom of the set screws press against thus securing the cable. No way can the set screws pierce the silicone.
That particular set of Viborg gold plated brass AC connectors with rigid polycarbonate body and fully-insulated milled aluminum shells should be an excellent option for re-terminating a typical stock power cord with, since I find the sonic signature to be on the leaner-side of neutral, with a well-defined leading edge that typical PVC power cords may benefit from. At only $25 per set with free shipping, it's a big bang for the buck AC connector option. Worth at least twice the price, IME.
I got this for $100 ('demo' sale), it made a discernible positive difference used with my Parasound P 7 preamp ...
Always glad to see any change of mind towards the topic, airtime. There are a number of things you can do to take things a bit further, as well.
Plenty of folks with experience and tips to share in Cable Asylum and Tweakers' Asylum.
Thanks, I know you always seem to catch heck when it comes to cables. I do believe good cabling is important. I just don't have THAT much money to invest in to experiment and explore new options.
I think it was simply just the shear increase in gauge and shielding. That wire was sitting on a TDLink WIFI extender as well as a TripLite box, and various other cables.
Nah, I've just been around long enough to become a big target in Audio Asylum ;-)
BTW, It doesn't necessarily cost much to improve things, to a degree:
For example, if you upgrade the molded AC plug of the stock CJ preamplifier power cord, you might be surprised how much better the presentation sounds for little cash outlay.
Upgrade the molded IEC connector, and things can only get better, one step at a time...
I've read several reports suggesting the connectors can be just as important as the wires, if not moreso. That applies to AC cables, interconnects, and speaker wire. So it seems Duster is not alone with his advice.
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
I like to use the analogy of a camera lens in association with a camera. If you consider an audio cable or power cord as the camera, and the connectors as the lens, you can't take a truly superior photograph unless the lens is just as good as the camera. I don't consider one aspect as being more important than the other, since they both tend to provide an equal role in high-performance signal transfer and AC delivery functions. I/O jacks can also be of equal importance in terms of the overall gestalt.
I agree with Duster's suggestions for the plugs and IEC connector. Even replace the socket in your preamp if you are capable. I seem to forget as I build a lot of my own things and include these as a matter of course.
Are Often barely functioning.
Worthless Junk is a generous descriptor
I have a couple that won't pass Full voltage.
One passes Zero volts.. Go! china
NO surprise that there was an effect.
BIG difference between Utter Junk and 'working condition' quality.
IF you want to extrapolate this into: High Zoot power cords as being inherently better?
Then Fill yer Boots :-)
It's been said: your power cord isn't the last 6 feet of the miles of wiring, it's the first 6 feet your component sees. I guess that 6 feet is more important than 60 miles of nasties.
and report back, doctor.
For the rest of us, that's just not practical, so we rewire the house and the cords. You do what you can.
The argument that the last six feet cannot beat the fist sixty miles is a theory, based on 'common sense'.
I find it funny, as the theorists seem unwilling to accept the practical fact that plenty of folks DO find changing the six feet at the equipment can change the sound.
"I find it funny, as the theorists seem unwilling to accept the practical fact that plenty of folks DO find changing the six feet at the equipment can change the sound."
That's because after the wires come to your house off of the transformers on the poles, it is all heavy gauge wire. More than likely at least 12 gauge all the way to the outlet.
The matter of shielding is local. It is your plasma TV or the SMPS in a piece of your equipment polluting the power. There is too much inductance for something your neighbor might be running to make much of a difference.
You have seen posts right here about "If I turn on my TV I can't get some FM stations" and shit like that. Well that is pretty local.
That is not to say there is no hash on the line as it comes in. I got threatened with banishment over the DC issue on isolation transformers, and I was right. But when that waveform is not sinusodial it can make for problems.
Newer equipment with SMPS doesn't really care, but when you got real iron in there it does make a difference. Devices with SMPS make more noise than they take in anyway. It simply is not an issue.
I find this a bit hard to believe on a preamp, unless the "right" power cord is shielded. There is alot of RF in the world now and it can creep into your equipment and affect the sound in ways never imagined in the past.
On a power amp that actually has a bunch of power and the IEC jack in the back, I think it can make more difference. ?If you just stick a regular PC cord on it you are likely to lose power. I have cut them apart and found most of them to be very cheap. No shielding, very skinny gauge wire. Actually they get hot when you crank it up. Actually that is not uncommon with extension cords when you get around the 150 WPC plane. And when things get hot you know you are losing power.
But I would attribute the better sound more to the shielding than the wire gauge in your case. The engineer in me says that preamps do not pull that much current, but they do deal with low level signals. All this RF hash in the air these days from almost everything affects audio circuits in ways that are difficult to predict. I know there are capacitors in there to limit the frequency response to maybe 100 or 200 KHz, but they don't roll off at 100 dB per octave, in fact it is usually 3 dB per octave. And there is ALOT of RF out there.
These sorts of discussions always remind the engineer in me of Quad's old ad (above).
But it's not magic.
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
Recently returned from Canada. Last leg of the trip was Niagra Falls. Been there several times but always enjoy the information on the amount of hydro-electric power generated by the forces of nature.
But...The most magical thought was some of that power was actually flowing into the lovely state of Connecticut where I have the misfortune of living. The miles of high tension wires, transformers, switching stations and poles. To finally reach my over taxed house, run into the electric meter, the breaker panel, thru the romex cable in the walls and finally into the builder's grade electrical outlets. And after that great journey to be totally harmonized with nature by a 3 foot wire.
Told my wife about this on the ride home and she recommended to bring a barrel next time we visit the falls.
... perhaps you should consider finding another audience for your audio rants?
Yes, if I continued barrel it is. She was waxing on about the Maid of Mist boat ride and money lost at the Casino.
I mean they must be pooped!
And that water.. How old and tired that water must be!
I bet all the corners of those atoms are ragged and rounded off from all that usage.
(and for folks who have no understanding of humor, and irony,, sorry, I cannot help you to understand)
It's ALWAYS been here.
AND... it still works wonders.
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
Amazing, isn't it? Power Cords do make a difference.
They do make a difference but what I think he is describing is the difference between a cheapie unshielded PC power cord and cheapie shielded CJ power cord. ;-) Evidence that mega buck designer power cords aren't the only ones that can make a difference. I don't think CJ's power cords are expensive. Other audio manufacturers also use cheapie shielded power cords with good results.
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