Can upgraded power cords help my setup?


I have some KEF LS50 Wireless speakers and decided to use them with a Bluesound Node 2 via a Lifatec optical cable. Can I see a significant and worthy improvement if I swap out my power cords for something like Pangea cords? Do I need the AC 9SE MKII on the speakers or will the AC 14SE MKII be good for each speaker and also the Node 2 (C7?)? Power cords seem to be the only place left for me to tweak the most out of my setup.

Thanks for any input.
asahitoro
power cords definitely makes a difference... use the 10awg for the speakers/amps and the 14awg for the Bluesound... definitely get the 14SE mk2... Audio Advisor has them on sale for 75% off.. no brainer
Thanks for the reply. The AC 9SE MKII is actually 7awg so I'm wondering if that's overkill with the KEFs relative to the more substantial cost?
The Pangea Ac9 SE MK2 sucked all the life out of my system, back they went to Audio Advisor. 
Try the CableCompany and get some loners to see which PC works best for you. If you can swing it, see if you can audition some TWL PCs.

Your speakers sit higher than most amps would so I'd take into consideration the length you'll need as well as the weight of the PC. You don't want those speakers being slowly pulled down, unless there's a way to fasten the speakers to the stands.

All the best,
Nonoise

Audio Advisor will also let you return their Pangea cables (within a certain length of time), should you decide they provided no improvement (or worse, as stereo5 found). But they are reputed to "flag" the name of customers who return product, so don’t do it too often!

Just so you’ll know, that "75% discount" is a game AA plays. Pangea is their house brand, and they put an inflated list price on them, then mark them down drastically, making it seem like they are sale priced. It’s all illusory.

1. add 2 subs
2. move the speakers around
3. room treatments
4. better source material

those are what will improve your sound
I agree with all 4 points by Randy, but also think try better cords - trial is free and it might make a difference to you in your room/system.  The proper subs can be expensive, but if you want more bass...if you buy used power cords they are easy to resell at same price
You may find that just decent audio powercords which don't have to be costly will work well with a switching power supply.

I found expensive or good cords don't seem to work to the advantage in the switching supplies and not as critical as when used with linears supplies.
I have found the lower price Transparent and older Audience to be good value power cords
@justubes2.... I find your comment about PC's with switching power supplies interesting, Not really something I had considered. I've been on the fence for quite a few months, as to whether or not I should upgrade my PC's? My main reason for considering this is that the IEC connector on my somewhat high end DAC/Pre, does not make a snug connection. I'm a firm believer that any positive improvements made by PC's, are solely based on the quality of the connection, gauge and shielding, nothing more. My amp does have a switching power supply, so I'll will have to look into this more.
@asahitoro - the Node-2 responds very well to good cables -  IC's and PC's.

I used a C7 figure-8 adapter, but eliminating the adapter and installing a Figure-8 plug  proved to be much better
- I bought a figure-8 plug on the web

Some very good PC's are made by KLE Innovatons - contact them to see which ones would be best for your system

Otherwise - Signal Cables are very good value

It really depends on your budget?

regards - Steve
@chewie70 - don't forget about cable geometry. That plays a part in the performance and 'sound' of a cable as well. Even power cables. 
+1 for @Toddverone point - the right geometry is an essential element in achieving the best performance from any cable - i.e. IC's, Speaker and Power.

Regards - Steve
be sure to use a geometry matched to the coriolis force vector for your latitude
That was actually really funny Randy. C'mon though. There is loads of established theory regarding cable geometry and its effect on noise rejection, capacitance, inductance, signal integrity, etc.


why yes, and not just theory, but measurements

but....

the power cable goes to a transformer does it not?

the ICs don't matter

and the speaker cables depend on the complex impedance of the speaker with freq. - hence my usual advice to try 'renting' some cheap cables until you find what you like
I would say to check out cables of say $200 or so.

Those who understand more about switch supplies have a ton more circuitry than a linear supply, it is possibly a big waste to use say a  very expensive cable.

There's no right or wrong, there will be differences, but from my experience testing cords costing more than 2X the unit. I am very happy which a much cheaper cord. The expensive cords made a much better improvement in my dac which does not use a switching supply.

The Node 2 can sound very very good and musical without spending too much on cables.
@toddverrone - remember? - you can lead a horse to water...

Those that want to - will !

Steve :-)
@williewonka - ha!

My amps have no transformers.

IC geometry will affect sound. An example that can’t be validly argued against is an IC made from two wires and no shield is much more susceptible to picking up noise than an IC with a braided shield neutral or coiled neutral..

I'm sensing your hatred for 'cables' is in direct proportion to the price of the cable.. I think you and I may have more in common than it first seemed..




Those that want to defraud consumers with horse doo - will !
Just because some can't hear a difference doesn't they don't work.  Try some to see if you can hear a difference.  I've tried things that didn't do a thing for me, but work great for others.  Just because it didn't work for me doesn't have me preaching it's snake oil.  
What about those of us experimenting and building our own? Are we defrauding ourselves?
The Analysis Plus Pro Power Oval goes for less than $100 bucks on line, one meter length and comes with Better than Hospital grade connector. $130 for 2 m length. Excellent value, no?

From Analyis Plus web site,

"Analysis Plus new PRO POWER OVAL uses better than hospital grade plugs that have a Perma-Lock Terminals, Large, high spring-rate contacts, Glass filled high temperature nylon front housing, Polycarbonate rear housing, Stainless hardware mated to a true balance cable for lower common mode noise. The 12 AWG gauge cable design has hot and cold leads that are symmetrical with a full shield around the hot and cold conductors to eliminate EMI/EMC. The cable also has the lowest inductance on the market for the lowest noise voltage of any pro power cord."




I own Krell, Bryston , McIntosh, electronics!
Spent thousands on national brand cables ! Stick to custom made cable makers! Same or better results for 1/3 the money!
My cables from Walter Wegrzyn Cable Co in Mesa Arizona! Custom cables , incredible quality, won't bankrupt you! 
Cullen cables is also a small custom company the does high quality work
I just use Zu audio Birth cables that I purchased from Ebay store that I use with Kef LS 50W cant tell much of a diffidence the stock cables supplied by Kef also seem to be of good quality
NO.

Power cords do absolutely nothing.  Think about it, what do you think you are plugged into?  As long as you are delivering the volts and amperes you are done.

All audio equipment runs on DC.  So what does matter is if your power supplies in your equipment is doing a good job of converting AC to DC.


Agree with David Clarke 100%. Power cords will do nothing. Instead of wasting money on expensive cables, buy a good book about electronics and learn it. It will send you tons of money in the future, because you will see through audiowoo.
David and Mr Kaic,

I invite you to come listen to my system, a moderately high end system and see if you can determine (blindly) when expensive power cords are being used and when they are not.
Everyone that has listened easily determined when the expensive power cords were being used - and many of these listeners weren't audiophiles, just "regular" people who easily heard the difference.
And the "difference" was a dramatic improvement - again, easily recognized.
Here's a link to a past post I contributed to regarding power cords:
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/still-mystified-by-mega-expensive-power-cords
And here's my past power cord contribution pasted:

I'd like to explain why power cords are important. I�ll be using a minimum of technical terms and I�d like to over simplify things � so we can identify what is really important. Please realize I�ll explain things without being too detailed � using simple assumptions to make getting to our conclusion easier. So please don�t reply and invalidate something said � I�ll ask everyone to follow along to the end.

For the record, I have an engineering degree � but I will humbly state there are MANY individuals who know SIGNIFICANTLY more than I do. 

Here goes;

Power stations generate electricity and distributed it through miles of power lines, switching stations and transformers. These power lines, switching stations and transformers are called the power grid. Relatively to our audiophile use, electricity traveling through the power grid gets SEVERLY contaminated. In this instance, contaminated means the electricity is no longer pure, but has many other parts or components in it that cause problems. 

Many things using electricity can crudely filter out some of the contamination and / or operate without removing the contamination without a problem. Simple on / off electrical motors (like attic fan motors) are a great example, and operate fine using contaminated or �dirty� power. 

Oversimplified, electronic equipment is more sensitive to contamination and requires more filtering � and digital electrical equipment is the most sensitive and requires the most filtering. 

How does the electrical power become contaminated?

The electrical power grid�s power lines act like antennas and experience Radio Frequency (RF) and Electro Magnetic Induction Interference (EMI) and these are two things that contaminate the electricity. This contamination becomes significant over the many miles of a power grid. This contamination also occurs in our house.

Electricity also becomes contaminated from electrical devices within the house. Light dimmers are a good example � a light dimmer being used in a house can contaminate the electricity within the house. The same goes for the neighbors in your community, especially commercial and sometimes industrial neighbors. 

So, now that we�ve explained how we have contaminated power at the plug we use for our stereo � how do we fix the problem? Power conditioners and / or power cords.

Power conditioners seem obvious but designing and building one to perform well is tricky � very tricky! The same can be said for power cords.

First, we�ll need to understand a few things about electricity to understand how and why power cords will or won�t work well. To keep things simpler, we won�t consider the metallurgy, configuration and insulation of wire and plug.

The job of the power cord is to deliver power. In theory, a perfect power cord will eliminate all the contamination and the worst possible power cord will add more contamination to the electricity it delivers.

A perfect power cord will use wire and plugs that are designed and constructed to eliminate contamination (in our example Radio Frequency and Electro Magnetic Induction contamination and contamination from within one�s own house). Doing so isn�t impossible � it just requires applying proven scientific principals and being able to identify and measure the specific parameters that are critical to eliminating the contamination so pure electricity can be fed to our audiophile equipment. It also requires repeated iterations and testing of a design until the desired performance is obtained. The finished power cord product allows electronic equipment (especially digital electronic equipment) to operate at peak performance.

Many people consider the ability of the wire to deliver a larger amount of current, which leads to the �bigger is better� mantra or �size does matter� view, but this is only one role of the power cord. Providing LOTS of contaminated power isn�t what we want. Providing reasonably more pure power than necessary is what we desire, and is exactly what a quality power cord is designed to do.

Creating a good performing power cord is reasonably easy. As we strive to improve performance further, more issues become critical � and executing each successive stage becomes more difficult, complex and expensive. Periodically, technology makes leap advancements, sometimes cost effectively � which result in a significant performance improvement becoming available to more people.

Similar to other commodities, our audiophile industry has a point where spending more yields significantly better performance. Continuing to ascend the performance ladder, becoming more difficult, complex and expensive � yields further incremental gains. The law of diminishing returns applies and there�s usually a price / performance point that provides exceptional performance at an �acceptable� expense. At the pinnacle of performance, subtle gains may be extremely expensive yet make the dramatic difference in the illusion (of a real performance) we strive to create.

Technically, how does a power cord provide pure power? Explaining the many parts of a well designed and constructed power cord requires a good technical understanding of electricity, metallurgy, dielectrics, electro-magnetics and physics. Power cord design and construction become critical for premium performance � which are topics for other discussions.

So when someone asks why power cords sound different, you now have a conceptual understanding of why � and can realize it�s not �snake oil.� I hope I�ve allowed everyone to realize why power cords make a difference.

Music is a profound part of my life, and I�ve been involved in our audiophile industry for more than 20 years, and I�m involved in it solely for the love of music. I will be creating a website addressing these and other issues and will invite anyone interested to visit once it�s operational.

Kindest regards, Thomas Foti
The AC 14SE MKII !    Those are class D amps in the Kefs. .

The AC 9SE MKII's are for high current, high power, analog amps.  You'd be surprised how Class D will save you on your electrical bill. I tried the 9's on a regular powered amp and it did not sound as good as the 14's.
@tjassoc, 

Where did you obtain your engineering degree? Electrical?
I obtained my undergraduate chemical engineering degree from Manhattan - I worked in the pharmaceutical field developing drugs a few of which were successfully brought to market. This required learning about and becoming proficient in computers, electronics, electrical systems, all types of control systems, a LOT of mechanical systems.
You can say I've got a lot of processing experience.
Well said tjassoc, but way too much effort for a couple of blockheads who have obviously never tried quality power cables but only "think about it"...

Dave



No
 I said No. Because you talked about this wire Panaga. Thats why its on sale.  Try that wireworld 
But you need to spend some money. 
  
@dlcockrum 

"Well said?" What did tjassoc say that proved anything? Quite the contrary in fact. A power cable is not going to dissipate "contamination" from a light dimmer, or any "contamination" that made its way to the outlet. It's the same garbage that perpetuates through these forums by those who claim to be jack-of all-trades engineers. 

I've worked alongside actual electrical engineers who have been dealing with electrical noise issues for 40 plus years. They laugh at all this power cable nonsense, but I guess they're just a couple of blockheads.



Someone / something is most certainly getting things mixed up - I'd like to converse with the senior electrical engineers you're referring to.
After about an hour of discussion, there would certainly be an acknowledgement of proven fundamental scientific principals and properties. It would also be entertaining to let them enjoy some well recorded music while blindly switching power cords in a modestly high end system.
My 2 cents.
Pick your cable manufacture, then look at the used market and go for the highest one in their line up that is within your budget.
Also look at upgrading your outlet and last but not least
for a dollar or two each replace the glass fuses for ceramic ones.

EVERY time I read a power cable or speaker wire thread the same conclusion is drawn-
The o.p. learns to-
 NEVER ask the question ever again because there is no
"correct" answer.
Blockheads are those that speak out about topics, either positively or negatively, without any actual personal experience, almost always citing what un-named "expert" sources have supposedly told them. Like looking in a mirror, aye, helomech? The italics were a nice touch though.

Almost every seller offers an in-home trial audition with a money-back guarantee. Try a couple of the good ones (Pangea is not one of those) and then report back with an opinion that has something to offer other than your indignant and unqualified speculation.

Dave
The most common problem that happens with house AC interfering with audio is DC offset. Yes, you can have DC offset in an AC line. It happens during peak consumption hours. Try this, does your system sound better at certain times of the day? Say early in the morning or late at night? A new power cord will not solve this issue, and compared to what's in your walls a common hospital grade cord is plenty for audio equipment. Like other's have said a PC does not in any way reject the type of "contamination" you would actually hear to get that "pure" power.  
Upgraded power cords helped every component I upgraded...some much more obvious than others, but all to at lease some degree.
I have Pangea power cords on my system and I am extremely happy. The AC-9 and the upgrades are for your power sources... amps, integrated, etc. The AC-14 and the upgrades are for your source components... turntable, network audio player, etc.

It's worth a try, you have a 30 day home trial to decide.
@dlcockrum 

I should've mentioned that I have tried cable "upgrades" in various forms, including power cables. I had my girlfriend swap them for me in an attempt to be objective. My conclusion was that if there is any difference, it's too insignificant to justify even a $50 outlay, let alone hundreds. I actually wanted to believe in cable magic, but even the old audiophile expectation bias didn't cause a perceived difference. 

The engineers I mentioned design and repair avionics systems for a living. EMI noise is a frequent problem in aircraft communication systems. When it comes to the wiring, other than grounding, shielding, and routing, nothing eliminates the problem.

Now if someone tells me a shielded cable can better reject EMI than a non-shielded cable, I'd agree, of course. If someone was using a cable of too small a gauge and switched to a larger gauge, I can buy into that as well. Maybe tjassoc can explain how a an aftermarket cable will outperform a shielded, well-made OEM cable. Other than EMI rejection, he is basically claiming that high-end power cables do something to filter noise that originated upstream of the outlet. Funny, I don't see any filtering components on 98% of aftermarket cables. 

It doesn't matter I suppose, no one here is going to concede to the other side. Enjoy wasting your cash on cables.
Hey guys, I apologize - never did I intend to insight the dispute that has ensued.
I won't be contributing to this discussion further.
I hope everyone enjoys their music - life is too short not enjoy music that moves our senses and stirs our souls.

How about this affordable approach? Buy a sturdy 14 or 12-AWG power cord from a retailer that sells guitars, amps and other instruments. Then install a ferrite choke on each end, 6-inches from each connector. Done. Ferrite chokes reject RF and EMI contamination. This is not snake-oil or voodoo science; it’s a proven fact.

Btw I use Nordost power cords but only on certain components...the rest of my gear uses the inexpensive cords that I described above.

@tjassoc 

You use a lot of technical terms which makes your post sound official, but you back up none of your claims with specifics on how a "audio PC" solves those issues.  There are a few types of power noise (RFI, EMF, switching PS noise feeding back into your house AC (see light dimmers and anything else that uses a switching PS), AC phase and amplitude changes).  

Unless a PC has active or passive components in it, or shielding, or twisted wires (canceling common noise), a cable does nothing to clean up the AC power.  Also, why hook up a mega bucks PC to house wiring or a mega buck outlet socket.  That is nonsense.  Its like paving 1 foot of pavement on a street in gold to solve the other 200 miles of pavement full of potholes.

Before spending any $$$ on cables, I would recommend upgrading any components that use a switching supply to ones with a linear supply.  I would also invest in a  power conditioner.  Not an "audiophile" one.  A lab grade one used in a testing lab that measures RFI and EMI on customers equipment.  Ones with big capacitors and big transformers (preferably toroidal as they tend to add less EMI).   

Then for power cable from your power conditioner to your equipment look at ones with enough gauge to carry the current (watts) you need and ones with twisted hot and neutral (unless you power conditioner puts out a balanced AC signal (google it)) and a good overall shield that is grounded on one end only to the ground prong (third pin) on your AC outlet (not to your amp) you do not want any noise left on the cable shield getting anywhere near your amp.  Ferrite chokes on either end is not going to hurt, but not really needed after the power conditioner unless you live next to high tension power wires or a radio station tower.

Also keep your PC away from your interconnects or if they must cross have the cables at 90 deg to each other.

Keep your interconnects short and go with longer speaker cables.  The signal in your speaker cables are carrying a much higher powered signal which is less susceptible to noise interference.

The aircraft guys know what they are talking about... bad or  noisy signals when you are flying are very bad.  In your pharma business, talk to your instrument techs about how to maintain high quality Analog input signals to their PLC, DCS, or data acquisition, especially in an industrial environment.  Ask one on them if they ever solved a noise problem by changing  a power cord.  Smile when you ask so they know you are joking.

Enjoy audio, but make good friends with a radio, signal, or low voltage instrumentation electrical engineer if you want to learn how to make your system better based upon scientific principles and not someone trying to make a house payment selling fat PC cables.

One last thing.  (At your own risk of course).  Pop the cover off your amp or pre-amp and look at the wires coming out of the other side of your IEC plug that you just plugged your $5K cable into.  Notice anything special?  Nope.  Looks just like some wire I could pick up at radioshack.

Have fun all.


Wow. We have three contributors with a grand combined total of 19 posts and helomech who claims to have tried an un-named $50 power cable emphatically denying the possibility that any power cable can effect the sound of a audiophile system. None have their systems posted here nor name the power cords they have tried. That's credibility at its best. ;)

Then you have another writing of $5000 power cables (who recommended that?) and the ole' "the power from the utility is so dirty that 5 feet of power cord can't make a difference" assertion.  That is akin  to claiming, "why use an in-house water filter since the water from the utility is already full of chemicals." 

Friends, there are power cables that do clean up RF/EMI noise coming from the utility (try Synergistic Research's better power cables as well as several other well-known brands) and also digital hash reversing into the line (SR's digital power cables for example). How do I know? I have them and have conducted many comparisons over the years.

Please expand on your own personal experiences with some specifics if you care to continue beating a dead horse.

BTW - add-on ferrite chokes not only kill the RF/EMI/digital hash (if they do) but also the sound. Try them and see.

Dave 

I'd always been very much in the "how can a 1m power cable make a difference compared to the wiring in your house/street etc" camp, but here's a bit of reading on the subject that at least explains a bit of the rationale. The articles are written by a power cable company, but even my sceptical brain can see a degree of sense to it.


https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/electrical-delivery-systems-overview/

https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/why-power-cables-make-a-difference/


Asahitoro, many of those who have posted above have tried to offer helpful suggestions based largely on experiences with their own systems. Some have also advocated one way or the other based on what I would classify as generalities, the applicability of which is doubtful given the pretty much unique nature of your speakers. Each speaker containing two drivers and two different class D power amplifiers, with an A/D converter, a D/A converter, numerous digital interfaces, an analog interface, sophisticated digital signal processing, and preamp functionality also being incorporated. Not to mention that AC line voltage and noise conditions vary considerably among different locations.

So with due respect to the others, I would not assume that what has been said has much if any applicability to these particular speakers, at your particular location and in your particular setup. What I would suggest that you do, if you already haven’t, is some Googling to see if anyone has reported trying upgraded power cords with the wireless LS50. And beyond that, as some have suggested just try a pair of cords, or perhaps two pairs, that you can either return or sell with minimal or no loss if they don’t help.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al