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Are Replacement Power cables worthwhile

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by falconer1, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. falconer1

    falconer1
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    I have recently purchased a new Musical fidelity Xray CD Player and its matching Amp the X-150,and they sound great to my ears,but I am constantly been told that replacing the original power leads with the expensive replacements.eg. Russ Andrews.etc.would greatly improve the sound. Is this just more HiFi hype. or are there truly Audio benefits.-I would be pleased to hear views on the subject before I get involved in more heavy expense.
     
  2. GaryG

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    The only way to find out is to try them in your system. The Missing Link Reference and Krystal Kables Silver Mercury are good value for money at around £100 for a 1m length, both are better than Russ Andrews powercord and available on a money back basis. Alternatively Maplins offer a high quality shielded cable at £30 which you could return for a refund if it doesn't work for you. Allow about a week of running in with the cable 'on load' for them to sound their best.
     
  3. Londondecca

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    The debate to will continue for years but I agree with GaryG, get some on loan
     
  4. eviljohn2

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  5. iluvlesta

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    i went to a hifi shop in an old stable and tried some unimportant kit. i asked him about power cords and interconnects. so he then showed me. he asked me want i wanted to here more of less of, attached the cable and there it was, genuine big difference. it has to be said most of the cables were so thick that they could also be used to help moor an oil tanker!

    borrow and see
     
  6. CJROSS

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    If you can see and identify power cables being changed in your system, then yes they make a difference, this is called the "power of suggestion" or "pre-belief"

    if however you listen to these same cables under "blind" conditions, miraculously you cannot tell the difference between a kettle lead or a £100 after market accessory cable. :

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

    There is a specific market that evloves around audiophiles, selling wares and via suggestion that is evident only in the minds.golden ears of audiophiles.

    IME & IMHO
     
  7. harv

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    I gotta say I was pretty dismissive of mains cables, I borrowed a RA yello cable (£30)and it made a huge difference to my rega planet and then my tags, it made the tags sound nicer to my ears and others. having said that I recently traded amps to a krell and it sounds better with a normal kettle lead. I lent the cables to my brother who said there was no difference, when I took them back he ordered the next ones up within 3 days. That was with a MF A300... Its gotta be worth trying... esspecially with a money back offer
     
  8. CJROSS

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    Hary, just to confirm what a wacky world we live in power cable wise, I previously owned a £60 RA Yellow 4 way power extension fitted with superclamp, I even added ferrite rings to it. I then tried a £6.79 Belkin 4 Way Surgemaster power block, guess what both sounded identical. I sold the RA lead. You are much better off spending your budget on better components than worrying about what “leads” do to performance. Did you ever see TAGs official line on power cables ? Ie the ones supplied were perfectly up to task ?

    I see a lot about RA 30 day money back guarantee, but at the end of the day his cables wont be returned after 30 days, why ? : well the user is looking/wanting/desperately seeking an upgrade on what they hear, thus when suggested they will get one, voila it usually occurs – I would add this has nothing to do with reality, more the users state of mind (Been there myself). The only way to actually hear what you can sense with your ears, is to use them alone.

    When people try a simple blind test they usually surprise themselves, it also leads to a much happier existence with ones hifi kit & music. YMMV.
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    CJROSS: interesting you should mention TAG. I played a home made lead to a dealer and a rep from another company at a shop. We used TAG gear. The difference in audio was profound. Everyone in the room except myself was a complete sceptic. The dealer and rep heard this difference and were very surprised. The results of this little test ended up on the TAG beta testing forum and I believe Udo and co went wild dismissing any possibility that there could have been a difference.....

    At Event2 we played a standard issue RS lead against a home made one on a DVD player playing a CD. I think only 2 or 3 folk couldn't tell a difference...out of about 120.

    Mains leads do make a difference, how much and whether you can better standard issue ones is another question. I believe you can. Having said that making them is a pain in the butt so I use standard issue on my own system at home. If I were to do a mega system in the future for myself I would be paying attention to the electrical systems. JMHO

    G
     
  10. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Gordon I had an interesting hum problem using ferrite on a coaxial lead on my old TAG DAC (I stuipdly followed Audio Notes idiotic advice to fir a ferrite clamp on a digital cable), I thus contacted TAG central about this, was quickly told to desist with the ferrite and also to use the power cord cable supplied with the unit (which I has asked about too). There was mention of the words “snake oil” & “beware” in the email I had.

    If you got people to hear differences in your demo, then great but how many proper test condition blind a/b tests have you ever seen to “prove” that there are differences in power cables ? Was your test or demo a blind AB ABX ?, was it a scientific test of some sort ? Or was it sigthed, would be interested to hear the full conditions that test/demo was done. But I cant help thinking that if a test was hled under the conditions of the Nordost blind test above, how many people would note a difference at all.

    Anyway in my home system, under blind conditions – I cannot tell when a lead has been changed, and I will opine that when these subjects appear.
     
  11. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    No probs CJ: There is no secret about the test. It was written up on the forum ages ago. Not scientific....just fun.

    G
     
  12. CJROSS

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    Gordon then in the context of mentioning it in this thread the results were purerly hypothetical personal supposition (no offence intended). As I said Im all for power cables to be shown as different or any cable FTM, reason being I cant tell the difference under blind conditions. Surely these differences as described under sighted conditions are there under blind conditions.

    Surely ? why are they never proven as such ? Sceptics get a real hard time on hifi AV forums for pointing this out, yet all it takes is a blind test to prove them wrong. Never happens.
     
  13. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    It was, as I said. JMHO......The tests were unsighted but not scientific. It was for fun.

    I do not need to have blind tests to form an opinion based on my own experience. I'm sure at some point I'll get around to trying to do a scientific test. I noted when TAG did their blind abx test of the amps that one of the panel got every test correct.....however most of the panel didn't. The scientific result was that there is therefore no difference whereas to me it says that with training you can be taught to perceive differences others cannot......I'm not a statistical analysis specialist so I don;t know whether my interpretation is valid or not....I do find the whole mains lead thing fascinating....only because I didn't think it could make a difference either until I heard a lead that did....(it made the sound worse)....

    All the best,

    Gordon
     
  14. eviljohn2

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    As with all things cable - I think that the correctly designed and engineered cable is the best answer and product. That can often be very different from the most expensive particularly when it comes to mains cables which carry a low power, low frequency signal so are not at all difficult to design. :)
     
  15. Mr_Sukebe

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    I'll add the the comments that it really is system dependant.

    I bought a Eupen 05/04 and used it to nice effect with a Meridian 203 dac.
    However, tried it with Naim kit, and it made most of it sound worse, certainly so the amps, which sounded like they'd had all the life sucked out of them.

    Consider them as a nice tuning option with certain bits of kit.
     
  16. harv

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    CJ, I can't say that it was done in blind testing, but people who quite frankly think I'm crazy for spending more then £200 (for a nice mini system!) can tell the difference in my set up then there must be some noticable effect. When I first started getting into hifi and would read about improvements by changing cables or using a mains conditioner I would think yeah right like I would be able to tell... but you know what it might not be scientific but I've learnt to trust my ears.
     
  17. Londondecca

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    As far as I can tell there has been no validated experiments into this area but I guess it is healthy to question beliefs about how/why/if cables can or cannot alter the sound quality.
     
  18. GaryG

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    Just for fun, if anybody fancies paying a visit I'd be happy to swap a 'kettle' lead and a £100 power lead around to see if anybody can hear the difference, hopefully I can, otherwise I'm going to have a bad case of buyers remorse! :(
     
  19. Nic Rhodes

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    I am happy you could detect something in your place Gary but I bet you couldn't do it at mine now ;)
     
  20. harv

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    Why's that Nic... does your equipment run on batteries? No seriously Nic have you got a completely pure mains supply ?
     
  21. mikeoxsmall

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    mains cables are a rip off ,they make no difference it's in the mind of the person wanting to believe it sounds better,
    if you want a better sound change the kit not a cable, just think about the cable in your house going to your system that is cheap copper cable ,so how can a mains cable make a difference.
    speaker cables make the biggest difference, silver is the best by far.
     
  22. Nic Rhodes

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    My mains is compleyely silent. The mains sniffer does nothing it sits silent with perhaps a solitary low level click every 30 mins (most mains is like white noise on this box). I think Elliot from PJ HiFi got a bit of a shock the other day, he tried to show some friends the dirty mains using the sniffer box only to find no noise from it. I think it fair so say he had never come across that before. I can't make any cable sound any different now.

    Fix the issues with the mains and you will find a far more successful solution (and loads cheaper).
     
  23. GaryG

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    Nic, I love a challenge! However, after a quick look at Autoroute, at 160+ miles and 3 hours 40 minutes, I'll have to take your word for it. :D
     
  24. CJROSS

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    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Troll alert.

    But I'll bite 7% improved conductivity over copper, thus instead of 1m of copper you will need 1.07m of copper cable at exact same cross sectional area.
     
  25. alexs2

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    An apparent paradox.....

    In any case,with certain amps,mains cables can mae a difference,and not always for the better.
    I've tried a variety over the years,and was interested to find that a set of fairly expensive aftermarket leads utterly deadened the sound from my Krells,as opposed to the equally heavy guage cables supplied with them.

    There are cases where these things work,and others where they dont,but Nic's point is the most relevant...if you pay attention the mains cabling etc in the house,then a lot of the other issues surrounding mains cables become less important.
     
  26. mikeoxsmall

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    we have a really good mains supply here in sweden, and when we moved from london to here, the difference when playing vinyl was incredible, no hum at all it is amazing,
    sort out the wiring in your house not the mains cable,
    try and get it on a seperate main, then u will see an improvement, but mains cable change i'm not convinced
     
  27. harv

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    so whats everyones view on mains conditioners then? beneficial or pointless, I'm currently using an Isotek mini sub with a missing link mains cable :D with good results.
     
  28. Nic Rhodes

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    Pointless if you have clean mains which is the cheapest solution by far. Find out what your problems are if any and solve them rather than throwing after market cables / conditions at the problem which may or may not work for you but ARE expensive. They may be good at solving a problem but if it isn't your problem they are pretty well useless!!

    If you had a problem with your car, would you find out what it was and solve it or swap out every component on the car?
     
  29. GaryG

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    Nick

    If you take the view that rubbish is getting into the mains from the equipment itself then mains conditioners serve a purpose to isolate the rubbish from one piece of equipment from affecting others.

    This is also a reason why shielded mains cables can sound better than standard cables even if you have a clean mains supply to start with.
     
  30. Nic Rhodes

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    Good point Gary but up here I can detect no evidence of dirt going onto the mains from electrical equipment. All I get is a solitary click every 30 mins or so. I am unconvinced it is a big issue from evidence here where I can look at each item largely in isolation.
     

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