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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Location: Kaleden, BC, CA
First, I know for certain that the signal cables in my system make a substantial difference in the overall sound quality of my system. There is one thing I do not understand though...

In terms of raw power, electricity is a medium, just as water or air is a medium... Regardless of the medium, if it's tainted to begin with, then that which consumes the tainted medium will be affected by it. We know drinking tainted water or breathing in tainted air is not a good idea. Either one could make you very sick or perhaps even kill you. So with that in mind, it seems reasonable that tainted electricity could have an adverse on the the device, or at least the performance of the device that consumes it.

Many people prefer to listen late at night because they say that's when their system seems to sound best. Some have suggested the reason is because there is a lot less activity and draw in the electrical grid, meaning the power is actually "cleaner" than it is by day.

In any case, since we are tapping from a tainted source, it seems reasonable that a filter could play an important role. My question is... is that what boutique/audiophile power cords are designed to do? And if not, then what are they designed to do and what exactly are they doing?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Wind Chaser wrote:
First, I know for certain that the signal cables in my system make a substantial difference in the overall sound quality of my system. There is one thing I do not understand though...

In terms of raw power, electricity is a medium, just as water or air is a medium... Regardless of the medium, if it's tainted to begin with, then that which consumes the tainted medium will be affected by it. We know drinking tainted water or breathing in tainted air is not a good idea. Either one could make you very sick or perhaps even kill you. So with that in mind, it seems reasonable that tainted electricity could have an adverse on the the device, or at least the performance of the device that consumes it.

Many people prefer to listen late at night because they say that's when their system seems to sound best. Some have suggested the reason is because there is a lot less activity and draw in the electrical grid, meaning the power is actually "cleaner" than it is by day.

In any case, since we are tapping from a tainted source, it seems reasonable that a filter could play an important role. My question is... is that what boutique/audiophile power cords are designed to do? And if not, then what are they designed to do and what exactly are they doing?

You could ask the exact same question....but replace power cord with signal cable.

So what are your signal cables doing to
Quote:
make a substantial difference in the overall sound quality of my system

:?:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:43 pm 
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True, you could ask the same question about signal cables, however signal cables transfer a "refined signal" unlike power cords which carry "unrefined crude power". That's a pretty significant difference don't ya think? Moreover signal cables most definitely should not act as a filter.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:58 pm 
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I would say it all comes down to potential.T :D
https://www.uu.edu/dept/physics/scienceguys/2001Nov.cfm


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:38 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
It’s all electricity. The cleaner your deliver it the better. A good Power Cord will do this better than a cheap PC; not unlike lamp cord wire vs. Quality speaker cables.

Oh... and while you’re at it, run a dedicated 20A line to your wall.

And a quality wall set.

Oh... and......


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:59 pm 
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I believe Richard Feynman said it best:
"Anyone who insists he knows how electricity or quantum mechanics works probably doesn’t."

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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." (Aristotle, 384-322 BCE)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:07 pm 
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NordicNorm wrote:
I believe Richard Feynman said it best:
"Anyone who insists he knows how electricity or quantum mechanics works probably doesn’t."

:lol: Thanks I needed that. T :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Location: Kaleden, BC, CA
Digital Don wrote:
The cleaner your deliver it the better. A good Power Cord will do this better than a cheap PC...


How so? Are you saying A good Power Cord" cleans filthy power?

-- 11 Jan 2018 16:28 --

NordicNorm wrote:
I believe Richard Feynman said it best:
"Anyone who insists he knows how electricity or quantum mechanics works probably doesn’t."


If indeed that's the case, what's the rational for high end power cords?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Wind Chaser wrote:
True, you could ask the same question about signal cables, however signal cables transfer a "refined signal" unlike power cords which carry "unrefined crude power". That's a pretty significant difference don't ya think? Moreover signal cables most definitely should not act as a filter.

Wouldn't something transferring a clean signal have less impact that something transferring a dirty signal?

IME cables cannot add anything, only take away...they cannot improve garbage only do less damage.

So what is the mechanism that causes signal cables to improve the signal?
There is no mechanism. Better cables will do less damage to the signal, not more improvement.

NordicNorm wrote:
I believe Richard Feynman said it best:
"Anyone who insists he knows how electricity or quantum mechanics works probably doesn’t."
.

Very apt quote.

-- 12 Jan 2018 00:33 --

Wind Chaser wrote:

If indeed that's the case, what's the rational for high end power cords?

Maybe there is none?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Location: Fairport Beach (in Pickering), ON, CA
It would always help to post your equipment. IMHE better equipment (I use Krell pre and amp in my main system) has well engineered power supplies so can cope with dirty or fluctuating power. They have good filtration and regulation. Poorly designed power supplies need all the help they can get, but there's only so much you can do with poorly designed power supplies.

I also rebuild vintage tube gear and am constantly upgrading and modifying power supplies. Its one of the keys to better sound.

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Tom

Collecting vintage tube Pilot (Pilotone) HiFi gear.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:57 pm
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Location: Etobicoke, ON, CA
your analogy does not apply to electricity - 95% of the folks here have never seen the output wave on an oscilloscope.

the marketing companies always omit the real facts and tests.

The thing that most folks miss is that the Alternating current from the wall receptacle passes along the cord to the power supply of the said equipment and is transformed, rectified, filtered and regulated - thus Direct Current

if you look at the before and after waveform on an oscilloscope you will see that it's very difficult to influence the Direct current from the power supply via the Alternation current waveform.

but this does not sell expensive power cords and power conditioners.

Master Electrician

-- 12 Jan 2018 01:00 --

your analogy does not apply to electricity - 95% of the folks here have never seen the output wave on an oscilloscope.

the marketing companies always omit the real facts and tests.

The thing that most folks miss is that the Alternating current from the wall receptacle passes along the cord to the power supply of the said equipment and is transformed, rectified, filtered and regulated - thus Direct Current

if you look at the before and after waveform on an oscilloscope you will see that it's very difficult to influence the Direct current from the power supply via the Alternation current waveform.

but this does not sell expensive power cords and power conditioners.

Master Electrician


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:02 pm 
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
I don't claim to know how any of this works. What I do have are my observations that not all equipment sounds the same; that putting in decent power cables, interconnects and speaker cables make a system sound better. If you don't believe this, that is your choice.
Yes, there is lots of snake oil and ridiculous claims.
To get good quality you need to spend money. HOWEVER, just spending money is no guarantee of good quality.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:15 pm 
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Location: Thornhill, ON, CA
Signal cables have significant potential to change the sound due to varied resistance, capacitance, skin affect, EM interference, induction...did I forget anything?

It is fairly easy to observe changes in sound to the ear when switching those cables. This is especially true with lower voltage signals such as a phono cable.


On the other hand, power cable provides 60 cycle A.C. power at ~120 V +/- a bit. Most circuits and receptacles in a home carry 15A max. The highest power consumer in most systems will be the amp which could use anything from maybe 100 to 1000+ watts.

So, let's look at what could be less than ideal in a power source and whether a cable can remedy it.

Voltage fluctuation is common. My home power swings from 117-123V. Will a cable affect this? No.
Another issue is the accuracy of the 60 Hz cycle by local utilities. The component that can be affected by this will be an asynchronous ac motor in a turntable. Does a cable affect cycle accuracy? No.

How about resistance in the cable? Considering my entire system powered up and playing uses a combined maximum of 2A current and the receptacle can provide 15A peak, not sure sure a few milliohms has any affect.

I am not an ignorant person. I do have some education in science/physics. However, I have yet to hear a plausible reason for super expensive power cables. Pretty much all the power filtering and stability is provided by a component's power supply. There are components such as rectifiers, transformers, filter caps and sometimes voltage regulators that are configured to provide consistent power for the circuits. I don't believe the power cable would hold any significance in most if not all cases. That is, unless manufacturers are using cables of incorrect gauge for the power or fail to provide any shielding.

Incidentally, I have a cryo treated cable from my surge protector to the amp. Also, a long aftermarket cable from receptacle to surge protector. Why? I love my system and enjoy the bling factor!

I would be interested in hearing the pitch for a $3000 power cable, except I am in sales and it probably would sound like finger nails on a chalk board to me!

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No matter how much water you can soak up with a sponge, you can always break a window with a hammer!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:06 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Anjou, QC, CA
Best power cable I tried is a Shunyata Alpha digital , it propelled the sound of my dac for sure.

1200$


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:17 pm 
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Posts: 131
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Vinyl Guy wrote:
I don't claim to know how any of this works. What I do have are my observations that not all equipment sounds the same; that putting in decent power cables, interconnects and speaker cables make a system sound better. If you don't believe this, that is your choice.
Yes, there is lots of snake oil and ridiculous claims.
To get good quality you need to spend money. HOWEVER, just spending money is no guarantee of good quality.

The original post did not mean to dispute that power cables matter, rather to ask whether someone can explain why they matter if they do. In my own experience power cables seem to matter, or at least I believe I heard a tiny improvement. May have been real, may have been placebo. I heard a few very reasonable explanations why they don't matter and would very, very much like to see one properly explained why they do. Since we always make car examples, wouldn't this be like saying that using better pipes at the gas pump makes your car run better?


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