Budget mains cable

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I'm looking for a good mains cable for my Naim CD5i cd player. Will a more expensive mains cable improve performance over the one that ships with the player. I'm a bit sceptical about such upgrades as there are such conflicting thoughts posted on the forums. I have found a Black Rhodium Supermains 13 13A/IEC 1.25M for <£50 would this be suitable and a good buy. I've seen the same lead going for £150 on other sights:confused:

If you could please post some links to suitable products on a fairly limited budget <£50 it would be much appreciated.
 

thxultra

Active Member
Over the past 6 months i've spent over £600 in mains cable and to be honest with you i can see/hear little or no diffrence from the supplied cables.The only thing is that they may look nicer.

The latest cable being the new kimber kord from russ andrews which has the thickest cable i've ever seen :eek:
 

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Hawklord

Well-known Member
Why did you continue to spend money if you found that there was no discernable difference?:confused:
£600 is afterall a lot of money to anyone.

looks a nice cable how much did that one cost:eek:
 

thxultra

Active Member
It cost £156 :blush:

looking back on it i wish i had'nt kept buying them it was more habit than anything else.
It wasn't only mains cables eithier i've replaced all video,speaker and audio cables as well with a total of over £2000 :confused:
Should have spent it more wisely
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
Originally posted by thxultra
It wasn't only mains cables eithier i've replaced all video,speaker and audio cables as well with a total of over £2000 :confused:
Should have spent it more wisely
owch:rolleyes:

£2000 would buy an nice piece of audio equipment- more likely to give you a performance hit imo.

I thought I had upgraditis bad:rotfl:

Still if you can afford it why not- you've got to spend your hard earned cash on something:devil:

wish my disposable income was similar to yours:(

Is the Rhodium Supermains 13 a good buy iyo?
 

rscott4563

Standard Member
Originally posted by thxultra
Over the past 6 months i've spent over £600 in mains cable and to be honest with you i can see/hear little or no diffrence from the supplied cables.The only thing is that they may look nicer.

The latest cable being the new kimber kord from russ andrews which has the thickest cable i've ever seen :eek:
Surely if your going to have a cable such as that (wow thats fricking huge!!:eek: ) and spend that much money then maybe the cheap upgrade of changing your mains outlet to an MK unswitched unit would be a wise move as these are apparently better than their switched counterparts...

Cheers

Ryan :smashin:
 

thxultra

Active Member
Yeah got the mk sockets too just have'nt got round to fitting them yet :rolleyes:
 

Mr THX

Active Member
Hawklord

Have you ever thought about making a mains cable up yourself ??? This is the real budget end of mains cables. After reading most of the TNT AUDIO site I was all up for having a go.
Parts are easily available and it doesn't take that long to put together, here's the last Main Cable I made, actually more beefed up than the original Twisted Snake specifications - this use’s shielded CY mains cable, braided to reduce RFI interference and a substantial ferrite ring on the plug end, drain tap running to the plug end as well.

IMHO I have found differences when using different mains cable, although I do think it’s all down to what kit your using and the combination of cable to hardware. Some say it sounds better, others say different....:confused: .. personal choice at the end of the day.
 

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thxultra

Active Member
Originally posted by Hawklord
owch:rolleyes:

£2000 would buy an nice piece of audio equipment- more likely to give you a performance hit imo.

I thought I had upgraditis bad:rotfl:

Still if you can afford it why not- you've got to spend your hard earned cash on something:devil:

wish my disposable income was similar to yours:(

Is the Rhodium Supermains 13 a good buy iyo?
Wish i'd spent it on my bryston upgrade now :(
As for diposable income £2000 doesn't even dent what i've spent in the last year on upgrades and it helps when you have a very nice wife

haven't tried the Rhodium cable although it was on my list to buy and try.If you can afford to try a cable with the possibilty of no improvement i would just to give you peace of mind that you've tried it.

:lesson: if you see/hear no diffrence the i would stop there:D
 

thxultra

Active Member
Nice cable Mr Thx

Your starting to tempt me again :devil:
 
F

fufna

Guest
Guys, this is lunacy, if you want real gains from upgrading your power, just fit a separate power feed for your AV system
 

Mr THX

Active Member
Got one :D AV kit is on its own ring main from the power supply unit. Had the chance when we renovated the house we are now in to do this, house needed a full rewire. Still nice to tinker about with mains cables and it still does make a suttle difference.
I know its subjective but through all the chopping and changing of cables I've done over the last three years whilst in our new house, even as I said before that the AV is on its own spur the best increase in sound quality is late at night :confused: I have a Tag / Rotel combination which really comes into its own round about 11/12 o'clock. Weird I know .....................but it is an audiable difference and it's free :D
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Why do you want to do this, what is wrong with your mains? When you know that you will be able to decide what needs to be done with it. What is wrong?
 

gizlaroc

Distinguished Member
Just a quick question, do you take the fuse out and hard wire the cable straight in ???
 

gizlaroc

Distinguished Member
Just get a £3 60amp block and hard wire all your kit into the mains ring.

What is the point of speading all this money on cables when you have a switched wall socket and a tiny fuse in between it all.

Spend the money on a dedicated ring and hard wire the lot :)
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
whats the point spending all this money on something when you don't have a problem? :)
 

suzywong

Standard Member
Interesting, this question of mains cables.

Being an electrical engineer (satellite systems) I sit uneasily in both camps namely (a) I know that all cables have different characteristics: voltage drops, impedances etc but (b) does it make any real difference at all or "can you hear the difference in the audio band (20-20KHz)?". I can only cite my experiences, as follows:

1. as you'll see from my profile our audio system has three power amps (treble, mid & bass). My old Linn Aktiv crossover has a fault in that during warm-up it goes unstable for a time and starts buzzing (good square wave on a 'scope on all outputs), but quietens down when good and warm. I've not bothered to have it fixed as I now keep it switched on all the time and it's quiet when warmed up. During the investigation into the buzz, I had everything turn off or disconnected upstream of the XO (i.e. preamp, CD, turntable etc); I also had a Russ Andrews mains cable - one of the 50 quid jobs. One of the (many) things I tried was swapping standard mains leads for the RA lead. Without doubt the tone of the buzz changed between the standard and the RA, and it was repeatable and very obvious.

The most noticeable effects were on the treble amp, and I also tried different "standard" mains cables (which all sounded pretty much the same). So case proven here.

2. Fired up with interest, I bought a couple of RA £30 cables on a two for one offer (OK, I can hear the cries of "cheapskate"...guilty as charged!). I put them on the Meridian CD/DAC and was somewhat shocked by the result; much more top end, and I mean quantitively more, such that I opened up the Aktiv XO and decreased the gain on the treble outputs (which I had previously set higher than "flat"). I confine myself here to the obvious differences, other aspects bandied around in the hi-fi world may be considered subjective (but no less valid).

3. My colleagues at work have been making their own cables based on the RA/Kimber/others woven cables ideas. Today, by co-incidence, I was given one of these and told to try it (yes, Boss!). I put it on the media box of the Pio504. I found I had to re-adjust the picture controls to get back to where I had been ... curious ... especially as I then found that I could decrease the sharpness and actually get a better picture than with the standard mains cable.

curiouser and curiouser.
 

Dfour

Well-known Member
Mr THX where did you buy the cables you used from?? I wanna build some cables myself:D
 

fraggle

Active Member
So what do people actually think these "high quality" cables do?

I don't think "high quality" has anything to do with it, after all they're plugged into a £2 wall socket wired on a bog standard 30A ring mains 3 core cheap house wiring cable taken to a standard junction box.

Surely if the high quality came into play the whole feed, right back to the incoming mains feed would need to be of similar quality?

I recon they are acting more as a "mains conditioner" removing/reducing anything else but a pure 240V 50Hz sine wave.

I know that loads of devices in a typical home inject interference back into the mains supply, computers, fridges, washing machines, microwaves, mains clocks, central heating timers, the list is endless. Even all the AV gear, unless the PSU is a very high quality, will allow some of its electronics clock frequencies back into the mains supply.

So, ideally, getting an "active" UPS (uninterruptible power supply - an active one is in line all the time, reconstructing a pure 240V 50Hz output from its batteries) on each one of your AV components would give better results.

Or even a mains plug with built in RF filter and just 30A cable to the other ends power connector?

Anyone played around as opposed to just buying off the shelf products or building things from the "recommended list"?
 

suzywong

Standard Member
Originally posted by fraggle
So what do people actually think these "high quality" cables do? QUOTE]

I spoke to one of our resident EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) experts about this. His view is that the woven mains cables don't stop conducted transients & noise, but do stop radiated emissions from the cable.
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
Just had a VERY brief comparison with the packaged mains lead against the AUDUSA-EUPEN GNLM 05/2.5 mains cable . To start with it's very well built and about 3x as thick as the shipped lead but still fairly flexible.
In real listening terms I haven't noticed anything major. It apears to have tamed the very high frequencies a tad, the vocals on a few tracks seem to be a bit clearer or less coloured and bass seems deeper. (could this be pshycological though )
I was also aware that a very slight (hardly audible) hum when using my hc receiver is no longer apparent (work that one out ). I don't know whether this is down to this cables sheilding or not but hey I'm not complaining.
I wasn't expecting too much it is only a mains cable after all but a worth while purchase for someone looking for a well constructed meatier lead with good sheilding. If your expecting it to work miracles then you'll be disapointed.
I probably won't be investing in any more but I do have a cardas headphone lead winging it's way to me from the USA for my Senn HD600's. It'll be interested to see how that fairs as a lot of people have sung it's praises and feel it's a very worthwhile upgrade to get the best from these headphones.
 

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