£133 HiFi mains lead

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by KiNeL, Mar 13, 2006.

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  1. KiNeL

    KiNeL
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    I was recently reading a HiFi mag and there was review of mains leads (kettle leads for want of a better description) and there was one which cost an incredible £133 friggin quid for God's sake and several others costing £70 or £80 quid.

    Well pardon me but I think this is absolutely farcical and someone is having you over, I mean can anybody actually believe that a mains lead can conceivably contribute one iota to their listening pleasure?

    I wonder if you used one on a kettle would you get a better tasting cup of tea?

    I also remember a few years ago a similar review of speaker leads in which they claimed they sounded better after a few hours "burning in".

    Words fail me.
     
  2. GBDG1

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    I'm not 100% clued up on this, but so far as I understand it you can get quite alot of interference through your electricity supply, if the lead helps cut down on this and you have a £10,000+ sound system, then I don't think it is that ridiculous. If you have the cash and the desire then why not.

    Edit: After some reading on this £133 is nothing, you can get a £470 kettle lead :p
     
  3. GBDG1

    GBDG1
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    Apparently burning in cables is to align the molecules :p

    I am extremly sceptical about this one.
     
  4. WhyAyeMan

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    But you will get a nice cuppa:smashin:
     
  5. Nick_UK

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    Oh dear, time to remind people about Snake Oil again, I think :rolleyes: See Note 6.

    If you can remove interference with just a piece of wire, why do companies go to all the expense of filtering and UPS equipment on their PC's ? There was a very long discussion about this a year ago with someone who was selling his own cables on Ebay, and the only thing that he could say to prove his product worked was by listening to the results, and we all know about the placebo effect.
     
  6. KiNeL

    KiNeL
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    My point exactly.

    Reminds me also of those lead pellets you put in your petrol tank to allow running on unleaded petrol with improve MPG

    http://www.carbonflo.com/index.htm (well worth a read to see how they squeal foul)

    also the magnetic devices you clamped on the fuel line to the same alleged effect.

    http://www.magnet-healing.co.uk/motoflow-fuel-economy.asp

    If this stuff worked do you think there would be a single car manufactured without some such thing fitted as standard, why wouldn't they?

    Snake Oil will survive as long as there a people with more money than sense, i.e. probably forever !
     
  7. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Snake oil will survive as long as people notice a difference and believe that difference is for the better.
     
  8. sponnie

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    Hahaha!!! :rotfl:

    I don't know about the tea but if you put some spikes on the kettle and place it on a granite plinth check out the soundstage and 3d imagery of the bubbling of the boiling. It's like the bubbles are live in your kitchen! :clap:
     
  9. jackal

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    Mains Filters do work, I had a low 'hum' problem with my set up, which was cured by using Monster reference power centres. As for leads I too am sceptical. However Pioneer do include a ferrite core to be placed on the plasma panel power lead to "reduce noise".
     
  10. nightgoat

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    Hi guys,

    I know this is my first post and I hate to be confrontational but it doesn't sound to me as if you guys have tried expensive mains leads in an apropriate system (please correct me if I am wrong). £133 is a lot of money for a bit of mains cable but if it makes a difference to the sound of a hifi equal to the money spent then whats the problem.

    I was a firm believer that mains leads were all snake oil produced by people wanting to make a quick buck until I tried some out about a year ago. i didn't want them to make a difference but I couldn't help but hear it.

    These companies do have large profit margins. There are also alot of cowboys out there but don't say its all crap until you have tried it.

    sorry rant over
     
  11. KiNeL

    KiNeL
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    I'm very sorry nightgoat and please don't take offence but I simply refuse to believe that you do actually "hear" any difference when using one of these leads.

    It's just a piece of wire and as long as it is of sufficient cross sectional area to adequately carry the mains current being demanded by the equipment it's supplying and the terminations are sound there's is no more to it - period...!!!

    You may convince yourself otherwise but from my point of view as a professioinal electronics engineer with over 40 years experience the entire concept is so implausable as to be laughable.

    There is only one way to objectively test this sort of claim and that is in a laboratory with ten's of thousands of pounds worth of sophisticated test equipment, not with a pair of MK1 lugholes and I'd be willing to bet a month's wages that such a test would prove them to be worthless.

    All that said, if you are truly convinced that there is a tangible benefit, then I'm truly happy for you.
     
  12. KiNeL

    KiNeL
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    Ferrite cores are fitted to many types of lead to prevent unwanted RF (Radio Frequency) pickup which can cause unwanted effects, not quite "noise" but near enough a description I guess :D
     
  13. GreenBars

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    Why bother spending £133 for the short piece of cable between your mains socket & your (for example) plasma television, when the cable from the mains socket to the fuse box & thereon will have cost a fraction of that amount per metre.

    As they say, fools & their money.......
     
  14. CJROSS

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    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168467

    An excellent thread that documents the only 2 cases of a blind test of these cables ever being undertaken, post # 92 is worth a read. :rotfl:

    Funnily enough when eyes are taken out of the equation these cables cannot be told apart from £3 kettle leads.

    FWIW there are cables on sale for £1000+ never mind £133. (which is £130 too much IMHO)
     
  15. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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  16. Repton

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    Surely you must have a really high end system to notice these differences?
     
  17. KiNeL

    KiNeL
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    STUNNED and AMAZED

    As an experiment this morning I gathered together about 5 different kettle leads and tried them out one by one and was absolutely shocked to discover that my kettle sounded subtely different with each one.

    Unfortunately my wife was unable to detect any difference but that was probably due to her being passed out on the kitchen floor having never ever observed me putting a kettle on before.

    Obviously I now need to carry out several more days of exhaustive testing under controlled circumstances, i.e. same position on worktop, same amount of water, same batch of tea bags etc. etc. to decide which one...

    A: sounds best
    B: boils the quickest and
    C: (crucially) if there is any difference in the cup of tea.

    Got my spreadsheet prepared and I'll keep y'all all posted..................;)
     
  18. GW43

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    You should compare and contrast your results with this study that has already been undertaken. Don't forget to wear your magic tasting trousers when carrying out this experiment. (They are similar to your magic listening trousers. You DO have a pair of magic listening trousers don't you?)

    http://www.avihifi.co.uk/Important/kettle.html
     
  19. CJROSS

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    Hey Per-Sony-Fied, well dude, sounds like you can manage something I (or the chaps in the secrets or wigwam blind tests) cannot then. Identify cables blind that is. Have you tried a blind a/b test ?
     
  20. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    I wouldn't say it is big big bucks but certainly no entry level stuff.
    We're talking PT Litural CD, Krell KAV-300, Naim SBL mk2. I generally find the better the equipment the less "enhancement" it requires.

    The difference is not mind blowing but I say every little helps to produce a better quality sound and if it costs nowt you have something for nothing.
     
  21. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    No I have done no blind test and it would be interesting to attend one to see what the end results would be. The only "blind" test I did was at a Hi-Fi show when I got distracted and didn't know which cable I was listening too (to be honest I didn't really have my full attention on listening) and when they switched cables I heard no difference which really shocked me.....so further investigation is certainly on the cards.

    What I find odd tho' about cables everyone seems to hear the same signature for a given cable whether they know anything about the cable prior to listening or not (except those who are non believers of course).
     
  22. Marcus Geezer

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    Although I'm not as experienced as some of the people who have posted on this forum I have to agree with the general principle of 'snake oil' that companies are trying to sell regarding mains lead.

    The biggest thing about all of this which someone mentioned was the fact that you have loads of 'cheap' industry standard wiring in your house, which is connected to the local mains supply via a standard SWA cable to a distribution centre, which in turn is connected through various switchboards & transformers to the National Grid using sometimes miles and miles of 'standard' cable.

    The cabling in your house isnt anything special, it is just twin and earth of varying sizes dependent on the duty, nothing special at all.

    As always a circuit is only as strong as the weakest link. So.... spending a squillion quid on a 1 metre cable to improve the sound quality sounds amazing to say the least when you got all this 'standard' cable conencting you in the background to the source of supply, the National Grid! :rolleyes:

    :lesson: I would say that to make sure you get the best sound if indeed it does improve the output, is to get a mains filter to ensure all the spikes and noise present on the local electricy supply are reduced and make sure all connections/plugs/terminations etc are tight, free from oxidisation, etc.

    Or... you can go mad like the living voice demonstration at the Bristol Show and bring in your own DC battery supply and convert this to AC for use by the stereo!! :rolleyes:
     
  23. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Well, all I can say is that if the power supply in your amp is so poorly designed that a subtle imepedence change in the mains feed can make an audible difference, then I would suggest that your money would be better spent in upgrading the amp to one with a better designed power supply.
     
  24. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Ok you can take the P I don't mind. At least your reply was laughable too.

    It was an experiment I was prepared to undertake. Ordinary looking and cheap throw away kettle leads... all in persuance of improving the sound at minimal outlay. As they say nothing ventured nothing gained.
    It seems to many electronics engineers have a blinkered view through their test bench equipment.... who knows there may have been a good scientific reason why I got better results but without tagging some expensive test gear on it one will never know.

    OH BTW you really need to change your kettle if it's one of those old release type kettle leads..... move on it's 2006 :D
     
  25. CJROSS

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    psf – I would definitely recommend trying it, it transformed my views of audio cabling, to the point of that well screened cable & decent CSA (whcihc can be had very cheaply from Belden-Van Damme et al) be that IC, Speaker or Power, is all identical to me. YMMV of course but that is where its worth trying. I know now that personally heard what I wanted to before I did this. And it cost me a fair few pennies over the long run.

    One last point, Im not sure if you read the Wigwam power cable test, this to me is a very important one, why ? well the 3 chaps under test were/are all believers in different power cables sounding different, yet once their eyes were removed from the equation a £3 lead was a “valid” as a £500 one. Now remember that when you see 2 cables described against each other under sighted (pre-knowledge) tests.

    Nick UK – good points, but its not just power amps or int amps these claims are made for about power cables, look at CDPs for example – these are transformed into new devices with tone effects – bass/treble being affected by a cable change. I tried a simple visual test recently on the standard kettle lead, supplied with my Toshiba player, now going by all the accounts of what a power cable can do, I simply added 4 Audio Note Ferrite ring clamps to the cables as I was watching a DVD. Effect none at all. I can easily spot visual deterioation or improvement, there was none. A simple test I would ask anyone to try if you see and effect then your power cable is not working optimally due to RFI effects.
     
  26. Pezerinno

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    Lol, you guys crack me up. I won a main power kettle lead (which was worth around £45 apparently) and I couldn't hear the difference (not that I was suprised by this). I sold it on ebay for £30 and bought 3 CDs with the money - no doubt more musical improvement that any cable can give me.
     
  27. Marcus Geezer

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    That is the best post in this thread. Well done mate!!

    :smashin: :clap: :) :thumbsup: :) :clap: :smashin:
     
  28. per-Sony-fied

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    That's what I like about cable threads the two views are so wildly opposite and it is near impossible to convince the other way of thought to yours.

    I almost find it not worth talking about as disccusions go on and on and on.

    Anyone doing a blind test?
     
  29. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Well I'm trying the cheaper options, all unknown non Hi-Fi branded types and so far the only cable to me on a sighted test to prove to come close to the more well known esoteric cables as regards to speaker cable is Maplins twin 79/0.2 stranded wire......


    I read it sometime ago but can't remember to much about it other than what you say. Whilst this test is interesting I find it hard to go with the flow on the sake of a few test results. Unless I experience it for myself (as I need to for everything audio) I won't be convinced. Even then it's always best conducting these things with your very own set-up..... what works for the goose may not work for the gander.

    As for the sighted tests I'm not sure where the mind goes when comparing different cables....... where and why does it come to a satisfactory choice of cable?
     
  30. ailean

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    Well.... I did buy my first screened mains cable at the weekend... plugged it into my integrated amp... and without paying any attention to quality switched on everything to see what was on tele... while messing around with some menus I was suddenly aware of a very good sounding sound-stage that appeared more real then my normal listening. On closing the menus down I saw that I was watching D.A.R.Y.L. (sp) of all things, on SciFi I think.

    So either this film has a more real mix then most stuff or as I wasn't sitting down properly I'd just stumbled across a sweat spot in my room or maybe, just maybe the new screened mains cable had actually made a difference without me even paying attention. :D

    Now I'm definitely in the snake oil camp but do believe in the difference that a well made cable can make over a cheap bit of cr*p (Scart leads are probably the best example that are difficult to denie ;) ) so I'm finding it tricky to judge if this has really made a difference.

    I may even attempt a blind test if I can convince the gf to venture into the snake pit that lives behind the AV gear but it still won't convince me to spend more then £20 on a cable that's less then 2m long. :nono: :D
     
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