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I'm new to this site, and am still learning my way around as to how to view different post and threads. So please be patient with me. That being said, I've looked around trying to find specific info on the effectiveness of using deferent power cables. What started this interest, is a friend of mine and I were talking the other day, as I was telling him I just bought a Panamax M5100 Power Conditioner for my main Home Theatre. He immediately told me that if I really wanted to notice a significant difference as to performance, he suggested I try changing out my power cables. Such as the power cable that came with my Denon 4308ci for instance. He told me to check out PS Audio and that he owned several of these cables, and he couldn't believe the difference it made in his system. He said he'd sell them to me for cheap if I wanted them, as he had to sell one of his HT systems. It took me long enough to buy in to the whole power conditioner concept, as some sware by them. And now, it's about the actual power cables being of interest. If I missed a thread that covers this info, I apologize. But, I'd really like to know what you guys/gals think about changing out the cables that came with my Denon receiver and Denon Blu Ray player (and anything else if it's really a significant advantage). Any feedback would be much appreciated.
 

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Hey Kevin,
My opinion,... much like the speaker cable debate. Unless the Denon power cable is undersized for the load it is intended to carry, I don't see how an expensive power cord could make a noticeable performance difference. I could see, if you are willing to pay for it, an aesthetically pleasing difference if the cord is where you can see it. I can also see that you could get a better quality built power cord. But again, unless there is a manufacturing defect or some other discrepancy with the Denon cord I really do not believe you would hear a difference. But that's just me :coocoo:
 

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I agree... I believe the expensive power cables are nothing more than snake oil. Save your money and spend it on a sub or speakers, which really can make a huge difference (not saying you need speakers, just making a point about using your money for something that can make a difference).

I believe I pointed you to a thread via email earlier... but I particular wanted you to notice this post. Not that it is the end all of posts, but a good point is made.
 

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Yup, agree with above. You could probably build your own power cable for the receiver for alot less money than buying one. The Bluray player cord will not make any difference as the draw is minimal to say the least.
If your really concerned about having enough power for your gear running a dedicated circuit would be a far more beneficial investment.
 

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He immediately told me that if I really wanted to notice a significant difference as to performance, he suggested I try changing out my power cables.
Let me ask you this. If the manufacturer of a receiver could realize a significant difference as to performance by simply using a different power cord, don't you think they would include it as standard equipment?

brucek
 

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To those of you that aren't believers in modified, aftermarket powercords, answer this question:
Have you tried them, and actually taken the time to test and compare them? If so, how many different PCs did you try before giving up? There are SO many GREAT products and far more BAD. If you haven't tried numerous different PCs, and its all conjecture, then why solidify an opinion without first hand experience?

Myself and several other friends have noticed HUGE performance increases in using high grade PCs, as well as speaker cables and interconnects. We don't stand alone. Many thousands of other people swear by their aftermarket cables as well. Myself and friends alone have tried more than a dozen different powercords over the years, and each one has its own sonic characteristics. Some produce a larger soundstage. Other PCs produce a more forward or a more layed back sound. Other PCs provide a much quicker response with greater attack, often more accurate, removing veils that are present with the stock PC. By trying different aftermarket cables, you can custom tailor the sound to fit your ears precisely. Its a beautiful thing.

For those of you that can't hear the difference, maybe its a blessing, you won't find a need to spend the extra money! LOL!
 

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Can you offer any explanation as to why you might be getting a difference? I actually have tried to measure differences with power cables that claimed noise level and dynamic improvements and could find none. I also have done extensive listening tests and could never detect a difference. I can find no plausible explanation for why there might be a difference in any but the most extreme cases of underdesign.
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For those of you that can't hear the difference, maybe its a blessing, you won't find a need to spend the extra money! LOL!
Or your just trying to convince yourselves that spending the extra cash was worthwhile where in reality it makes no difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the link Sonnie. For my home theatre needs, I already have a pretty nice system. And, if my buddy is willing to let me demo several of his hi-end cables (which won't cost me a dime), then I guess I'll have to determine this for myself. As to whether it's snake oil or not, it's obviously been a long going debate as to whether it's true or false. As for putting money in to speakers, I'd do this long before I'd put that same money into cables. I think I've got my speakers finally covered, as I've replaced my speakers (and receiver) many times over. For Home Theatre (which is what I use my system for 95% of the time) I've found that my current set up sounds very good for my size room. It's that "little extra tweak" we home theatre enthusiast continue to pursue to better our systems performance. It's half the fun!
 

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I have learned to be very cautious about differences that I "think" I hear. Spending an extra $10, $100, $1000 on a power cable might very well skew my thinking so that I can justify spending the extra money.

There have been listening tests that I have read about where people were told that the superior cable XYZ or superior amp XYZ was being used, however, the very same previous cable or amp was actually being used again. Nonetheless, because they were told the superior XYZ cable or amp was being used, they perceived a difference. If I were a betting man (I am not), I would be willing to bet that 100% of those people claiming they hear a difference in power cords are merely perceiving a difference, unless there was somehow something mysteriously flawed with their original power cord.

I remember contacting Velodyne shortly after I purchased my HGS-15 many moons ago. I was connected with the techs who actually design the units. I was discussing a few things with the guy and mentioned changing out the power cord to a heavy duty cord. He asked why I would want to change out the power cord, explaining that if there were any improvement by adding a different power cord, they would have done so. Those guys up there are scientists... they have thoroughly studied this stuff.

If someone wants to spend money on something that makes them think they hear a difference or they perceive to hear a difference, then I suppose that is their option. As for me, I'll stick to spending my money on things I know for a fact can make a difference. :T
 

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Power cables are easy to double blind test. Get a helper to randomly switch them while you listen to the same recording for each test. Do it is such a way that you don't know which is which and the order is random using a number of trials. If you can reliably tell the difference use the one that you think sounds better. Most likely you will not be able to do any better than flipping a coin.
 

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Power cables are easy to double blind test. Get a helper to randomly switch them while you listen to the same recording for each test. Do it is such a way that you don't know which is which and the order is random using a number of trials. If you can reliably tell the difference use the one that you think sounds better. Most likely you will not be able to do any better than flipping a coin.
The hardest part of evaluating any change is the bias of knowing which item is connected, getting someone else to do the changes is essential.
I would suggest finding cables which are thinner than either the manufacturers or the custom ones and see if any difference is consistantly heard between the three.
You would need to make a scoresheet with items graded from, say 1 to 5, and label them with attributes like - prescence. sound stage width, clarity etc.
A lot of listening and I am sure we would all like to see the results.

As said before: If you are happy that it improves the sound then that is all you need to do. In the long run it's your listening pleasure you are after!
 

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I am going thru my power cords now to get my theater back up and running after a remodel. I view pcs as components in and of themselves; as they have characteristics of their own. They can affect the flow of the electrical current thru the cable in many ways. At minimum capacitance, inductance, resistance, etc. Like speaker cable each brings difference characteristics to the table. When we listen to these cables connected to our systems we are listening to the "interaction" of these characteristics across the audio spectrum.
That's why we are told to take it home and "listen".
John:bigsmile:
 

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I view pcs as components in and of themselves; as they have characteristics of their own. They can affect the flow of the electrical current thru the cable in many ways. At minimum capacitance, inductance, resistance, etc.
While in an absolute sense, this is true, it seems to me that it is neccesary to identify how these characteristics vary, how they interact with the sound of a system, and at what point they become significant. Has anyone documented any effects? These factors are rather easy to measure compared to sound quality differences and it seems that it would be a good place to start. If any of the vendors of these power cords would like me to make some measurements to test their claims, I would be happy to do so, but I have not been able to detect them in the past. Maybe with their expert guidance I can find something?

That's why we are told to take it home and "listen".
John:bigsmile:
Are you doing objective listening tests that isolate the well-known psychological variables such as expectation bias and placebo effect?
 

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I am going thru my power cords now to get my theater back up and running after a remodel. I view pcs as components in and of themselves; as they have characteristics of their own. They can affect the flow of the electrical current thru the cable in many ways. At minimum capacitance, inductance, resistance, etc.
Hopefully, you've replaced the fifty feet of standard electrical cable back to your service panel with cable offering the same characteristics.

brucek
 

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Hopefully, you've replaced the fifty feet of standard electrical cable back to your service panel with cable offering the same characteristics.

brucek
I don't think that is good enough. You really should demand the power company run a dedicated line for you straight back the power station. :R
 

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Not sure that's necessary; I installed balanced power transformers in the wall near the av center... so transmission line be what they may; once they get to my house and near my equipment - WATCH OUT- I'm going to tame you! A less expensive and significant impact can still be made with PS power outlet. I was redesigning the whole rool from scratch- running in-wall speaker wire, under floor cables, and with the horrible ac where I live something had to be done with the incoming line.
Once you tame it; keep it tame to the device. Should be fine from there. All electrical components can handle some degree of variance; question is how much and to what effect. I get so much bad vlotage at certain times of the day, I can hear my coffee machine transformer hum very loudly; that's mechanical vibration caused by the bad electrical signal coming into the house. The coffee machaine doesn't need clean power- but, my audio does.
John
 

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I don't think that is good enough. You really should demand the power company run a dedicated line for you straight back the power station. :R
Well, actually the transformer outside your house provides the low output impedance that is required to do a proper job of supplying ample current. The problem is that you have quite a few feet of electrical wire from the pole, through the service panel, and through the walls until you get to the wall socket that your equipment is plugged into. This in-line impedance can actually be lowered with a proper transformer local at your equipment, but the cost can be quite high (something like the Bryston Torus units or similar are quite good). It has to be a large low output impedance transformer that will be able to provide a lot of instantaneous current.

Even replacing the rather limp 99 cent wall receptacles that most people use at their equipment can help quite a bit in lowering the impedance to your equipment. Or, installing dedicated lines are a big help by reducing the number of connections used in regular circuits.

As far as the effect of after market power cords - forget it.

brucek
 
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