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Power Cables? Are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by windbandnut, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. windbandnut

    windbandnut
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    I'm looking to "tweak" a few bits and pieces.
    Is it worth buying dedicated power cables for my amp and CD player.

    Equipment:

    Audiolab 8000a Amp
    Musical Fidelity A.3 CD player
    AE Evo 3 Speakers
    DMN Reson Interconnects and speaker cable.

    I have the standard power cables that came with the amp and cd player.
    I'm just wondering if it worth spending money on 2 power cables.

    I'd love to replace the amp (I still like it though) but, the Musical Fidelity A.3 Amp is a bit out of reach at the moment..

    Any suggestions..

    Adrian
     
  2. Knightshade

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    Hi Adrian,
    What exactly is wrong with the system at the moment?

    (You may find some useful info in the cables section of the forum.)
     
  3. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    Get a loan set before spending any money.

    Even those who say this type of cable will change the sound will say it is subtle. Work on the acoustics of a room ie speaker placement will yield far bigger changes
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Power cables can be worthwhile,but only under certain circumstances,such as when the incoming mains etc is poor,or local interference levels are high,and even then,it's worth paying more attention to things like a dedicated ring main or at least a spur,rather than cables.

    londondecca's point is also worth taking into account,as room interactions can have a much bigger effect.
     
  5. windbandnut

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    cheers.. nothing is actually wrong with the system as it is...
    Alas... where I am I cannot dedicate power points or a dedicated spur to the system. It's a bit bass light.. (the amp.. I know..!!)
    I used to own B&W S3 Speakers which were too much.. (quite a small room)

    Would a second hand 8000p power amp help?

    Just looking to do as much with the system as it is before spending loads again..
     
  6. Timmy C

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    If you pick up a second hand power cable then you won't lose much at all if you feel it was a waste of money. I've got a whole bunch which I'm going to live with for 6 months or so then take them out of the system to see if I miss them.

    I bet an 8000p will bring a great improvements though. I think it's safe to say that's a better option if you're looking for an easy upgrade.
     
  7. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    The second power amp would do far more than a cable ever would. I don't think a power cable by it self will make enough difference to warrant any expense.
     
  8. Mark F

    Mark F
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    New powercables - Russ Andrews Classic Powerkords, £75 each - have been by far the best upgrade I have ever made (which I combined with a decent extension block with mains cleaning).

    I'd recommend having a look at Russ Andrews' website. They do a 60 day full money back guarantee so you've got nothing to lose. They've also got a sale on at the moment. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Mr_Sukebe

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    I'd say it depends.
    With cheap kit, probably not worth the time of day, as money spent on boxes is more likely to be effective.

    With more expensive kit, then it gets a bit more interesting.
    From what I've seen and heard, different kit responds in different ways. For example, I tried a Eupen 05/4 cable on a Meridian 203 dac, and it was a reasonable improvement. With a Naim CD5i it changed the sound, making it a little smoother (different, not better), and with a Naim hicap, made it sound worse.

    More recently I tried what I thought was an obscenely expensive power cable (£250) on my Meridian 500 transport. Frankly I expected to tell the guy no chance. I was simply shocked by the improvement. There was a bigger different than by moving from a DVD player as transport to a dedicated unit. Using a quote from Hi-Fi drool, "the different was astouding", and I really mean it. I came away knowing that I had to buy the cable, and I promise I don't like blowing money for the hell of it.

    All I can say is make sure you get a dem with your kit before buying.
     
  10. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Which cable is that? I've a Meridian 500 too.
     
  11. Mr_Sukebe

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  12. Godfather

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    Hmm GaryG also recommended this Coherent mains cable to me. If it's so good I'll have to try it!
     
  13. nirmal

    nirmal
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    Power cables. Are they worth it? A big emphatic NO :thumbsdow
    Ignore this and you will learn for yourself the expensive way, like I did.

    Cheers,
    Nirmal
    (I'd better run and take cover before the daggers start flying at me)
     
  14. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    As I mentioned before, if you buy secondhand at the right price you won't lose a penny as there's always others looking to try them out after you. I would say there's no doubt they've made some differences to my system. I'm not saying better or worse or if I think they were worth the cash but there IS a difference. A few blind tests with my non hifi minded friends bought them to the same conclusion.

    Go for the power amp first though as I bet you won't regret it!
     
  15. Mark F

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    All I would say is that the improvements they made in my mid-range, mainly AV, system were huge and I couldn't be more pleased. As I said above, by far the best value upgrade I've ever made - much bigger and open sound stage and far more detail.

    I guess the conclusion from the above posts on whether decent power cables are worth it is "it depends" (eg on the quality of the power supply in your area, what kit your using and on the cables you use). I'd still suggest giving them a go but borrow some from a friendly dealer first or buy them on a full refund if not completely satisfied basis. That way you've got nothing to loose.
     
  16. nirmal

    nirmal
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    Remember that current flows through miles of ordinary cabling before reaching your amp, and the wiring of your house is almost as succeptible to RFI as the short length of cable between your mains plug and the component. Most of the damage would already have been done by then, and the few feet of fancy cables wont undo all that. Additional interference from these few feet of cable will be minimal in comparison to that from the wiring of you house and locality.
    A mains filter would be a better option, but remember that most good quality components have some sort of filtering incorporated in their circuitry. Infact, some reputed manufacturers strongly discourage using filters or power conditioners of any sort.
    Spend the money on upgrading your components or room treatment. You will get much better returns for your investment. Atleast that is uncontroversial, so it must be true.


    Cheers,
    Nirmal.
     
  17. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I would say their ability to work is based on the quality of supply first and foremost and only to a minor amount on the kit used. The former is different for everyone.
     
  18. slingshot

    slingshot
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    Nope no daggers but I definatley disagree, in my case changing a mains cable on a Rega CD player, made more difference than biamping (and cost less !). Try Russ Andrews and you learn the free way, he'll refund if you don't like it in 60 days.

    I don't think it's just the mains, like many people I have a lot of cables close together and maybe better cables are better shielded so cause less RFI in low level signal cables.

    Well anyway try for yourself.
     
  19. harv

    harv
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    I gotta agree with sling shot about the rega... i was using a RA yello on mine and it was a great value for money improvement... I was already bi-amping though

    I have stopped using them now though as the new amp wasn't very happy with them (or any other kimber cable) in the system.

    BTW windbandnut I used to use a tag 60i which was a 8000a re-jig and got a lot more bass and texture using a yello cable... I did try the next one up (the classic I think) and it didn't sound as good..

    the problem with this kind of topic is that its completely dependant on equipment, quality of the electrics in your house and area... Everyones got an opinion (which is great) and the confusing bit is... everyone is right. Buy some with a money back deal and give them a go, and depending what you budget is... try an isotek unit they're certainly make a difference... good or bad
     
  20. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I have most of the RA 'variants' here (he is local to me). They all do as advertise, however none now make any difference to the sound or picture quality. The mains was dealt with. All the cables used to work when my mains was less good. Most half decent kit (and even the very cheap stuff) can deal with most issues anyway, so I believe their effectiveness is limited at best and not the best solution to the problem anyway. Far better to take a previous posters suggestion of room acoustic which DOMINATES sound quality as opposed to something like this which is pretty small at best and none existant here.
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    :clap: :clap: at last somone who understands the problem :clap: :clap:
     
  22. TheBoingoBandit

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    The answer is yes.



    Tru Colours Industries do demonstrations at various hi-fi shows.



    I've twice listened to these demos and you can really hear a difference just by adding their £100 4-way mains lead.
     
  23. alexs2

    alexs2
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    They all demonstrate their wares at the various shows,and as Nic and nirmal have rightly said,they can make a difference,but there is far more to be gained from sorting out the quality of the supply first.

    Also,what works on one piece of gear may not help another...my Krells do fine with their own 30A screened cables but the sound is definitely NOT helped by any aftermarket cables I've tried.
     
  24. CJROSS

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    Power cables are very very hard to identify under blind conditions, and Im not just talking about aftermarket cables, here are 2 blind tests involving standard kettle leads & estoric aftermarket leads :

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1308545&postcount=1
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1986357&postcount=92

    You would think that these cables would be very easy to spot given all the hype about them, but truth is once eyes are removed from the “hearing” process, well even people who heard differences before (Wigwam test) struggled to do so under blind conditions.
     

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