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DIY Power Cord Project
I bought the female Watt plugs from partsexpress.com/. Then went to Home Depot and bought three sizes of CAROL Industrial power cord and Industrial Grade male plugs. The sizes were 16/3, 14/3 and 12/3. All the materials, including the Watt plugs cost around $100.00.
The amazing part was hearing the different characteristics of each size of cord.
I recently lent over a half dozen different power cords to a local audio dealer to experiment with. He took them home and played with various combo's to see what the effects were. Out of various Cardas, TG Audio, LAT, Kimber, etc... the ones that he preferred most were DIY Chris Ven Haus designs. He said that the system took on very specific and rock solid imaging characeristics. While he was 99% sure that he was not "hearing things" i.e. "fooling himself" with the power cords, what really convinced him was how his cat reacted to the situation.
You see, his cat is blind. While playing a disc that contains mostly female vocals that he uses for reference purposes, the cat immediately came into the room and started "hunting" around right where "center stage" would have been. The female vocalist sounded like she was standing in the center of the room and the cat was literally trying to find the singer. The dealer was not only amazed by this, he was quite amused. The cat had never done anything like this before, let alone confused "stereo sound" for "real person" sound. He said that the cat kept trying to "brush up against" someone that wasn't there, which had to look pretty funny at the time.
In his own words, the difference with these cords in the system was that it now sounded "real" and "believable". Not only were the results quite pleasing to him, they were good enough to fool the ears of a cat with highly senstive hearing. Sean
I recently built some power cables cables similar to the VenHaus design, although I substituted the three conductor Belden 83803 wire to simplify construction. The cables are identical except for having three 12 gauge conductors rather than two. Using Marinco/Wattgate plugs and IECs, the resulting power cables are indeed quite excellent, beating several expensive cords in my system. However, I had to buy an entire 100' spool of the cable, which is way more than I needed. If anyone in interested in any, let me know. My next power cable project will be with some large gauge, but highly flexible, robotics cable. I'll post the results when I'm done.
I would suggest sticking closely to Chris' designs as there are valid reasons as to why he took the approaches that he did. These designs can be further refined, but these will get you close to what is optimum without anywhere near the hassle, effort and cost. This is not to say that other designs using similar components will not work or offer improvements over stock or even many aftermarket cords, it is simply to reinforce that there is more to making a "killer" or "fully optimized" product than simply using "good parts".
Keep in mind that this is strictly my opinion and should be considered as such. It is worth exactly what you paid for it - $0.00 and not a penny more. Sean
I have made 2 VenHaus flavor 1 PCs and I am very happy with the improvments. I replaced the stock cords on my Rogue 99 Magnum pre amp and Plinius SA100 MKIII power amp.
I noticed the artifacts or noise in my system has apparently moved back, which is to say it is quieter and less obstructive leaving the music behind to be enjoyed. Low level nuances are more noticable too. One of the main improvements is the bass which is less thick and much punchier lending the entire presentation of the sound a presence that was not there at all before. The music has a more natural presentation and the 'window' has opened in my system from being mostly in the upper bass and lower midrange to much more of the spectrum that I really like now.
The improvements I am speaking of is close to the gain I got when I went from Nordost Blue Heaven wire throughout my system to all Acoustic Zen wire, at a fraction of the cost.
Needless to say I am glad I made the jump and paid only $50 a cord as well. I really recommend the VenHaus cords and they took me about 1 hour each to make. BTW when I emailed Chris Venhaus with questions he was prompt and a nice guy.
thanks for the advice fellow Agoners,
I've been building Belden 83802 PCs (VH design) for a couple of years now, and am routinely selling the stuff for $2.50/ft (the $1.60/ft is for a 1000' spool!), AND a complete kit with 5' of 83802, a 1/2" clear PVC jacket that finishes the cable nicely, and a good AC and the GREAT new Schurter IEC. They're $32 each set + sh. email me directly if you want to try this amazing FireWire for dedicated lines or PCs. Cheers.