Does a Good 20 amp cable Make a Difference

Hello everyone,

Since I purchaced a shunyata Power filter over a year ago.I noticed that after I upgraded to better a/c
cables for my sources I noticed a remarkable improvement in my overall sound.Indeed it can be a long and ardous journey in the quest to find great power cable that will best suit your setup,and bring out the most in every manner possible! Thankfully Ive been quite fotunate in not having to test too many cords in finding the right one!

Now my query over bettering my cables for my components,is the one for the power filter itself! Im presently using
a Shunyata Diamondback 20 amp a/c cable for this purpose alone.I gather IMHO Its more or less at $200.00 something dollars its probably one of their entry level cable.

Now seeing im presently using a/c cables that are in the $400 $500 $600+ range.Would it not make sense to go equally for a great 20 amp a/c cable for the the power filter?

And could this upgrade bring all the other cabling on the filter brought into better perspective.and would the diff
erence be an appreciable one?

First of all, don't say that power cords make a difference. You'll have plenty of Audiogoners telling you that they don't.

But, since you're one of us that do believe they help, think about this one thing. You hear what the better power cords do between the Shunyata filter and the components. What do you think will happen when you have a really good power cord from the wall to your filter since it then feeds each of your components? I believe the answer is a very obvious 'Yes!'.
In my mind, it would seem that as long as your power filter is not hungry, and is getting all the amps and joules it requires, that just applying a more expensive cable of the same size would be negated by the filter. If it did make a subtle difference, then the filter would do its thing, and the same result would be present on its output. I'm sure you've heard the theories about how modifying the last 3 feet of a wire than goes back to the power company, and all over the neighborhood, is just wishful thinking. But what comes after the filter! Now you've got control over that! Keeping that clean signal you've created intact with large enough conductors to prevent any restrictions into your gear, I can fully see how quality wires can help! But, this is all supposition, I would be very interested to learn if indeed you did hear a difference by upgrading that cable. What we think is happening, and what actually happens can often times differ, there are variables we are not measuring involved, otherwise no wire could make any difference. What was that website? The Cable Company, I'm not sure if they still do, but they used to have a loaner system that allowed you to try cables in your system, and return them if they weren't right for you. I just looked and they do have a slew of power cables available. And of course I'm sure you'd get better prices here on Audiogon, and just buy and resell any that didn't please you.

I know I've heard others say and swear that their filter's power cord made noticeable differences, and I've heard just as many others say the opposite, no way to know except conduct your own experiment!
Dump the cheap cable as this is the most important cable in your system.You will get more detail,dynamics and bass.
Since you find the Shunyata power cords improve the sound of your system, it stands to reason that you think Shunyata knows what they are doing. If so, their advice is to put the best cord you have between your wall receptacle and their filter/conditioner. What is "best"? In this application, the heaviest gauge, I would imagine, and the one that provides the most filtering secondly. You can pick up a (used, of course) Copperhead (10 gauge) for under $200 now.
Shunyata has stated that the most important power cord is the one feeding your Shunyata Power Filter. I agree as others have said in this post get the best power cord you can afford to run from the AC outlet to your power filtration system.
And in my opinion, good power cords do make a difference.
I definitely have found that regardless of manufacturer of cables that I was using at the time, that the quality of the 20amp (or 15amp if applicable) powercord between the wall and your power conditioner absolutely makes a difference. Please do stay away from powercords that do their own filtering (IMHO); what you need is the best cord possible bringing the best power to the unit, just like your front-end and amp/pre-amp components.
Now seeing im presently using a/c cables that are in the $400 $500 $600+ range.Would it not make sense to go equally for a great 20 amp a/c cable for the the power filter?
I agree with the others that it can make a difference, and that there is likely room for improvement. However, I would not by any means assume, as you appear to be doing, that a similar price = a similar level of performance in your (or any other) particular system. Or that higher price = better performance, for that matter.

See the comments by me and others in this thread, and this one, and this one, among others.

As was suggested above, you may want to consider using the "library service" of The Cable Company to try out a variety of power cords at various price points.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
I will add my voice to the choir here and enthusiastically say that a high-quality power cord running from the wall to your filter is indeed money well spent. Al beat me to the punch in recommending using the Cable Company library, try different cables that interest you and simply listen and choose.
Good Luck,
I'll echo the sentiments of many of the above posters - but will add...
- yes - a good power cable on the power filter is a must
- a heavier gauge may or may not yield better results
- an advanced cable architecture, like the Shunyata Venom will probably yield better results.

I have tried many different cable geometries over the last couple of years and the top performers have been ...
- Braided Geometries, such as used by Anti Cables, which are pretty good from what I have read here
- Spiral Geometries, which the Shunyata Venom appears to be, which might provide the best overall performance.

I will add that I have not tried the cables mentioned above, simply because I build my own cables from scratch, but I have experimented with those very same geometries.

Gauge should only a factor if you have
- many source components plugged into the filter, or
- the power cable is used for high current draw amps

My system uses a NAIM 5i 50 watt amp and for that 12AWG is ample, but for 100watts or higher 10 awg and even 7 awg for 250 watts might need to be considered

As proof of the effectiveness of the more advanced geometries - a friend brought one of his conventional power cables over, which I then rebuilt in a braided geometry. So, same conductors, same connectors - just a different way of positioning the individual conductors...
- The results were a noticeably quieter noise floor, improved dynamic performance and wider and more detailed image when used on the very same source component - his words, not mine.

Personally - I make my own PC's in the Spiral Design and have compared and prefer them to cables using silver/copper alloys costing as much as $1500 for a 5ft cable. (see my "System" link below for details)

As for the exotic materials - all of my power cables are copper - no fancy alloys or silver - just some very good quality copper from Furutech and DH Labs

Hope this helps
yes, but little to nothing.
Czarivey - if your comments pertain to my post, then I guess the point I was trying to make is...
- simply moving up to a larger gauge will often do little to improve performance unless you are dealing with a high current draw devices.
- however, based on my experiences, my investing in a different geometry resulted in significantly better overall system performance.

Shuyata Venom and Anti-cables are two that I know of that are reasonably priced and incorporate a more advanced geometry which results in a lower noise floor, providing better clarity and dynamics.

They "should" provide better performance, but like anything else in this hobby - ya never know until you try them.

One cable that I have tried and believe may provide better performance over the Shuyata Diamond Back is the Signal Cable Silver Revelation - it is a very competent performer considering it's modest price - beating out my Furutech 10 gauge performance for dynamics, image and clarity.

I hope you all find this post more useful

My previous post was a bit verbose and more geared to DIY brethren :-)

Apologies for that ;-)
Williewonka, my comments pertain to general and not only to your post. ROI in power cable is always worst.
Cz - your statement "ROI in power cable is always worst"

In general, I would agree with that, since many companies still utilize a more standard cable architecture and use pretty poor connectors, especially in their entry-mid level products.

But having experimented with several different architectures and materials on my own DIY Power Cables over the last couple of years I now believe that there are a few companies that utilize either braided or spiral architectures such as Anti Cables and Shunyata which would possibly provide a significantly better ROI.

For example - one experiment I tried involved braiding the conductors of a Signal Cable Silver Resolution PC - this change alone resulted in it providing faster dynamic performance, deeper bass with more control, more clarity and wider/deeper image.

Another thing that I tried that did provide more details and punch was my choice of connectors...
- Vanguard Connectors with Gold Plated Copper contacts - were pretty good to start with
- But Sonar Quest connectors with silver plated copper contacts were noticeably better and now my only choice.

Both can be obtained from Ebay for a reasonable price and even when placed on the Silver Resolution power cable provided an audible improvement again.

Other members have found the Furutech/Oyaide brands provide very good improvements, but I'm all about "bang for the buck" and they are just too rich for my wallet :-)

Replacing the wall outlets with Pass and Seymour MRI grade outlets provided surprising improvements to dynamics and image.

So - combining improvements to power cable architecture + connectors + MRI outlets has resulted in a significantly better audio performance - i.e. from just the "power side" of my system - and as it turns out - it had a pretty good ROI to boot :-)

I do concede that my DIY approach does give me an advantage in that I can build to a specific geometry with select parts, but there are some companies out there that do provide very high quality leading edge power cable designs that perform to a very high level for a pretty reasonable price.

Well Willa Wonka,

Would Cardas Golden pcs fall into the category of "Best Bang For the Buck"? I could have a Furutech 623(I maybe off with one of my numbers)20 amp pc.But that will run me $400.00 including tax.Im willing to go as high as $300.00 for a used 20 amp power cable.

I suggest 'trying' an MIT Oracle AC3, available for $600 used on the 'gon. It will surprise you; and you'll want more. Cheers :)
Zyac39 - not having experienced Cardas Power cables I am unable to provide any value as to their capabilities.

Information on the Cardas Golden pcs architecture seems a little sketchy at best, since I have found multiple architectures for the same cable on the web. There also appears to be several counterfeit versions out there, so I would stay away from a second hand Cardas cable unless I was VERY sure of it's origin.

I think I would have to stay with Shunyata and Anti-cables for "Bang for the Buck" and of course, Nordost for a TOTL solution.

I have heard first hand the difference Nordost Power Cables can make, so I have confidence in their abilities - they are just a little pricey and they may also have counterfeit versions out there, so beware of resales.

Another interesting looking cable architecture similar to Anti Cables, is from Less Loss - which should perform better than most cables having conventional architectures. They seem to receive very good feedback from most users, but again, a little on the pricey side

Hello again Willa Wonka,

I just looked into a Level 3 series reference cable (which I am not mistaken in an Anti cable?)

Do you think IYHO that they could perform as well as Shunyata?

At $450.00 they say that they are the best cable for the buck

Out there!


There is a "review" of the Anticables Level 3 Reference Power Cord here:

I have not found much information on it.
Max - I watched the review you posted (most of it) and the one thing that stood out for me was that the reviewer seemed to think that he should be hearing improvements that another person had experienced.

He talked of not being able to hear an appreciable improvement in dynamics the other person believed he should be getting.

Unfortunately, his system was probably not identical to the other person's system, so how could they hear similar improvements?

One thing I have learned over the last few years is - your system will only perform as well as your worst component or cable will allow - i.e. the weakest link!

So if your interconnect does not provide a good dynamic performance, then adding a great power cable to an amp will probably not yield any significant benefits in that area either.

This is unfortunately the issue with replacing any cables in a system. For example - I recently had the opportunity to test some extremely good IC's and speaker cables - I tried the interconnects first and found they provided little in the way of improvements, but when I connected the speaker cables as well I instantly heard appreciable improvements across the board. The issue was my speaker cables were not allowing the extremely fine details being conveyed to/by the amp and IC combo, to be passed on to the speakers.

We tend to report improvements (or disappointments) on the latest cable (or component) we have just installed and don't consider that many of the changes experienced (or not) may actually due to other cables and components in our system.

Power cables are perhaps the most contentious cable related topic of all, since people have reported widely varying success and there is no hard and fast rule for the cable selection process.


I do know that well designed power cables make for some considerable improvements and from that perspective if I had to recommend one of the three cables I have mentioned - I would probably go with the Shunyata, only because they "appear" to share similar design principles to my own DIY cables and other members have posted some very positive comments about them.

In addition - I have heard several Nordost power cable products and they all offered appreciable improvements - so if you want a "guarantee" - get a Nordost.

HOWEVER, the system they demo'd those PC's in probably had extremely good IC and SC's - so you should not use my comments as a gauge as to their effectiveness in YOUR system.

If you find it does not "impress", then I would urge you to take a look at the other cables in your system before selling the PC's off at a loss - it could be your IC's or SC's are not performing up to the capabilities of the rest of your system/cables!

My experiences with power cables were very positive and this led me to upgrade what I refer to as my "Power Corridor" i.e. the wiring from the mains breaker panel, the wall outlets, power distribution box and of course all power cables.

With that out of the way I then moved my attention to SC's and IC's (in that order) knowing that the power side was no longer my weakest link.

One last comment - todays components tend to perform to an extremely high level of fidelity and as such are seldom the weakest link, but they do need good cables, especially power cables in order to achieve their very best.

As an example - my DAC cost around $400, but when connected with excellent cables (costing several times its price) it performs to a very much higher higher level of fidelity.

I have also experienced similar benefits by applying "power supply improvements" to other modestly priced components over the years

If possible, audition the cables first or deal with companies that allow full refunded returns.

Sorry I could not be of more assistance, but if you have any further questions please ask.


Actually Willa Wonka you've been more than helpful.I fully concur with the fact that if your SC and IC cables are not up to par,theres only so much a pc cord can do! But this is not the case in my situation.I have (for what I believe)are excellent sc and was when I tried a very good powercord (Shunyata) that things started to change and for the better.I am most likely going to end up with Shunyata pcs.Because those have impressed me the most.Its just my 20 amp Diamondback pc going from power conditioner to wall that could be upgraded.This is why I was considering Anti Cables.
Just having a hard time finding a Shunyata 29 amp used.So I was looking for an appreciable alternative!
Zyac39 - what are you planning on plugging into the power conditioner?

If the amp is not going into the conditioner you may only need 15 amp cable.

What make/model is the conditioner?

I have all my low current devices into a power distribution box - the amp goes into the wall.

I didn't notice any difference between a 13 gauge and a 10 gauge power cord connecting the distribution box to the wall. Both were identical architecture and quality of materials.

There was only marginally less bass when I put the same 13 gauge PC on the amp - a 50 watt NAIM 5i - not a huge current draw

Well I'm planning to use a 20 amp pc by Shunyata Python Helix straight into power filter to dedicated line.

ZY - OK - but what plugs into the conditioner ?

The amp(s) or just source components?


I have a Black Mamba CX going from amp to power filter.
A Venom Digital AC from player to powerfiler.
Than I want to either get a Python Helix or Black Mamba HC CX
20 amp cable to go from power filter to dedicated line.

Oh,and I also found out that it's important to get top notch sockets rather than hubble than I'm presently using.
I was suggested Shunyata outlets ot OED RO at $150.00 than can
really make a difference!
Zy - if I had your investment in Shuyata products I would personally keep with them.

The Black Mamba HC CX would be a good choice for outlet to the power filter link and from the power filter to your amp

You could try buying just one to start with and try it...
- first on the power filter
- then on the amp.

Depending on the current draw of your amp - the existing power cable my be more than adequate.

Personally, I plug my amp directly into the wall outlet - which is a dedicated line with Pass and Seymour MRI grade outlets - they clamp like a vice.

You could try making one from #10 and great connectors.