Tboooe - I can't comment on the cables you mention, but I tried something similar....
My setup is as follows
Imac(running Audirvana) --- DH Labs USB cable --- Schiit Bifrost Dac
I first tried a furutech power cable on the imac, which sounded better than the cable that came with it
The furutech was a little too thick and hefty, so I tried a 14 gauge power cable from home depot on the iMac with a quality IEC connector one end and the standard moulded mains connector on the other - much more manageable at the back of the iMac.
I found there was no difference in sound quality, probably because the demand on the supply is satisfied sufficiently by the home depot cable
Audirvana is setup to stream the actual audio file without modification
I stream up to 24/192 and the sound is exceptional with the cheaper cable
Also tried the same thing with my apple TV with the same results
Seems computers do benefit from a certain amount of power cable/supply "augmentation", but are maybe not quite as finicky as audio
Hope this helps
Thank you Williewonka. This is precisely why I want to make an AC cable versus buy some high priced one. I also have some nice Oyaide P4/C4 connectors I purchased years ago that I never used so I figure I would spend a few bucks and make a cable. I guess I will just buy the Acrolink as I have read its easier to work with.
I recently bought an Acrolink 7N with the Oyaide P-/C-004 connectors and find them to be quite neutral. With the Acrolink 7N what you're basically "hearing" is the connectors much more so than the power cable itself. I have the same P-/C-004 connectors on the Acrolink 6N cable and find it a little warmer sounding and not quite as good at disappearing.
One point to keep in mind regarding my comments, I'm using Oyaide's R-1 outlets so there may be some synergy going on with the connectors since they follow the same plating structure of palladium over platinum over beryllium copper.
Have you considered bulk cable from DH Labs Silver Sonic? They have two different power cord options, and I've read good things about the Power Plus cable at $8/ft. Thinking of doing some DIY cords too, but still undecided.
Neotech and Furutech both make a number of bulk power cables so gets complicated as some are shielded, some are not. Also different purity of copper and size of conductors, etc, etc.
I've found that the larger the conductors the more difficult to build the cable so go only as large as you need. Maybe shielded for source components and larger, unshielded for amps.
I like the Neotech cables because they come wrapped in Techflex which is another cost with other brands mentioned.
I've built 2 Neotech NEP-3001 and 2 NEP-3002 (all shielded).
Thinking about building a Furutech FP-Alpha 3 (unshielded) for my amp soon.
Joe, I also have the R1 outlet though in my case I wil be plugging this cord into my PS Audio P3 ac regenerator.
Rja, would you suggest going the unshielded route for my linear power supply? I have heard that amps need unshielded power cords though I have no idea why.
I have 2 R1s in my power supply but just my digital source components are plugged into it. My power supply has shielded NEP-3001 going into it.
As far as shielded/unshielded depends on your environment and what you're plugging into the power supply. Possible it may not matter.
Also, shield on shielded power cables has to connect to one of the connectors so you will have to unbraid it and twist into a wire to connect to ground (if I remember correctly the male connector, floating on female end). Some cables have a shield drain wire which makes it easier but should not be connected at both ends.
Caveat: Hope this helps BUT I am no expert, please consult other sources before building your PC.
Tboooe - I think you misunderstood - I found the home depot cable to be as effective as the furutech cable, but only in this instance
So, for computer power cables I think you can used a much cheaper cable.
My findings for all my other hi-fi components was exactly the opposite - quality power cords are essential as you well know
Heyimderrick - FYI you can also find the Red Wave cable in bulk on ebay - source is in the UK
Howver the price is up there with all the other "established" brands, so I think I would go for them first
Also - beware of fakes - I've seen Acrolink 6n for $20/half meter on ebay - seems a little too good to be true? Sourced in Hong Kong :-)
I've also tried DH Labs Power Plus and Encore and like you found them both to be very good - but my Favourite is still Furutech.
Back to the tunes
In my experience the cable itself is far less important than the connectors.
I agree that the connectors make the difference in power cords.
I run direct 10 guage solid core romex from my breaker to the gear and found that the pricier Furutech gave better sound than the cheaper copper entry level IEC connectors.
I suggest you try the best connectors you can with some soild core #10 romex before you spend the big bucks.
Closely related to this topics and some have touched the subject: which are the best AC plugs under $250? I would like also to know about the best wall socket under $250 but there is a long outstanding thread (a bit idling at the moment) on that one.
You may like the $45.00 Furutech plug ends.
I did, that is until I tried the plugs further up the line, though they weren't quite $250 a piece,I did need two and so will you.
And for the extra money there was an improvemnt in the sound and the build of the better plugs is also much better, steel housing compared to thin plastic.
I have used 4 different wall sockets- hospital grade Hubbels which is a nice place to start for well under your budget.
Still under your limit is the Shunyata RZ1, and I felt it was a bit of an improvemnt, perhaps the cryo treatment?
I also have used the FIM blue/gold receptacle, and this was great when I had solid state gear as it seemed to take a bit of the edge off.
Now I use the Furutech GTX D gold receptacle and can't find a thing to fault with it.
It's solid constuction, has a solid connection and delivers a solid sound, it doesn't colour the sound as far as I can tell, it just seems to let more energy into the gear as silly as that sounds.At the same time it does seem to offer a little less background hash behind the music and there's more force and speed, more decay after the notes trail off than I've noticed with other recptacles that I've used.
I believe this is still in your budget,and one area where I wouldn't scrimp.
I have found that sourcing the wall receptacle and the ends of the power cord from the same company and in the same price category works better than splurging on the IEC's and scrimping on the wall receptacle.
If I had to decide which way to go, it would be to spend the most money on the wall plug.
Having said that,I would assume you will also be running dedicated lines?
If not, make that your priority, and scrimp on the connectors if you have to.
Your budget of $250 to $500.00 should include the cost of running dedicated lines, and then spend waht's left on the plugs.
thanks for your comments. I mentioned $250 as I want not to exclude good alternatives. Which Furutech model would you recommend that has the best value in the upper end?
As a rule of thumb I never buy the most expensive ones, though IME the GTX-D(r) is my favorite for audio and SR TeslaPlex SE for home theater application. Per my system description, I have dedicated lines for all my systems.
I use the Oyaide P4/C4 which I find to have a very clean, clear sound though I am very curious to try the Furutech F1-50 too.
I purchased the Furutech FI 48 R because they were 25% off.
I think they are one step below the top model.
They are a good match to the Furutech rhodium top level IEC in the amps,the only connectors in the line from the panel.
That line is simple 10 guage solid core Romex, and a generic 20 amp breaker.
I've had good luck with Furutech, but there are other brands that would offer similar improvements over stock power cords.
I have long runs so I use romex.
If the distance from the panel to the gear was short I would improve on the wiring,but I think better connectors can improve cheap wire, whereas cheap connectors will compromise the expensive wires.
Just to follow up to my earlier comment, I ended up making 4 PCs using the DH Labs Power Plus AC Reference bulk cable. Purchased from the Cable Co and was shipped direct from DH Labs to me. The cable is very robust, looks amazing, and it 'fairly' easy to work with. The outer jacket is pretty stiff at first, and you have to be careful cutting it because the jackets on the internal wires are pretty thin and easy to nick. Overall, a really nice cable. Very neutral in tone. Just gives you pure, noise-free power delivery.
Heyimderrick - since you seem like a handy guy - are you game for a
simple cable tweak ?
Once the cables are burned in, instead of just inserting the bare cable into
the connector, crimp small spades onto the conductors and then insert
those into the connector.
I first tried this on my 10 gauge cable - it was quite cumbersome, but the
spade made installation of the connectors easier.
The effect however, was immediately noticeable.
I found this improves detail, image and dynamics, especially on my source
I used inexpensive spades ($1.20 for 10) from an electronics hobby store -
just make sure the spade is a fairly tight fit on the wire. The spades
normally have the gauge on them.
Why does it make a difference? The only reason I can think of is the spade
provides a larger area for the connection.
BTW, I also have pretty good crimping pliers - the crimp width is about
I have tried this on DH Labs Encore cable and it worked well.
The spades take about five hours to burn in completely, but you should
notice some improvement right away..
Something to try on these long winter nights :-)
Williewonka, that's actually a great idea. Of course, I didn't think of it until after I finished the cables. Two cables aren't in use yet, so it would certainly be fine enough to disassemble and put the spades in. Since you've done it and noticed a difference, I'll definitely give it a shot. I'd like to find a pure copper spade. My whole goal of DIY was to avoid connectors with brass base metals...going for pure copper all through the power path.
I know that solder can have an effect on making a connection,so srew on or crimped is best,but isn't adding a crimped spade,adding something akin to solder?
Instead of a bare wire screwed to the connector,now you are introducing a third variable and disimilar metal to the mix.Maybe brass or tin?
I have thought that all the strands of copper may not make exactly the same connection to the connector.Hence, perhaps not a 100% perfect contact of all wires to the connector,and even some strands with minor cracks or breaks which could lead to a non uniform connection.
Just speculation,however,but it has come to mind.
That's why I like solid core wires.
But I might try flatening the ends so that more of the copper connects to the receptacles.
I believe some interconnetcs and speaker wires promote an oval type wire geometry as being a better conductor.
Although I have no experience with them to know for sure.
Instead of cheap dimestore spades,have you ever tried DIY and using silver or gold and fashioning your own type of spade?
That sounds interesting to me.
Perhaps the next tweak venture start up company?
Lacee - I initially thought the same as you, but I tried the spades on the 10 gauge cable because it was very difficult to install the connector.
The improvement was so noticeable I did the same for the rest of my cables, which resulted in the same improvements.
All of the spade connectors I have used are copper - the plating is very thin and probably does not have much effect on overall resistance. They also more than double the contact surface area, which will halve the overall resistance of the joint.
I've now tried this on both Furutech and DH Labs cables with the same results - a deeper more precise sound stage, improved dynamics and enhanced details.
Bottom line - with the spades I have used, it pays dividends
We all know - not everything in this hobby always makes sense :-)
Heyimderrick - I can't guarantee the result, since our systems will respond differently, but if you construct your own cables it is worth trying.
I think the smaller spades are pressed from sheet copper and may not be the absolute purist copper - but it's much better than brass.
Before adding the spades I filed off the plating to make sure it was in fact copper - that nice bright pink colour.
Please be sure to allow at least 100 hours burn in if the cable has not previously been used - that's about how long mine took for the improvements to be apparant - and after about 200 hours they were at their best. If adding to a used cable the spades take about 5 hours to burn in.
I think my most immediately noticeable improvements were on my DAC
If it works, be sure to let the rest of us know your findings :-)
Haven't tried spades yet, but I did improve the connection of the stranded copper wires from Furutech into Furutech power plugs.
Simply twisting the strands together using pliers(clockwise-counterclockwise,you decide)made for an almost solid core wire connection.
The wire is now firmly locked into the connector.
Probably not news to most folks here.
Furutech also offers a number of bulk AC cables worth considering.
Taboooe, Oyaide Tsunami, is just too stiff very awkward to bend and twist, I have used it exclusively until now but I've switched to Nanotech, also 10 gauge, not shielded, but good quality copper with gold and something else (nano) embedded. Terminated with Furutech Rhodium I think it sounds good, possibly a little warm. For it's size very flexible. The trick is getting all the wires into the plug!!!