It is true that a chain is one as strong as its weakest link. With that said, if you look in the archives you will find that this subject has been discussed and then discussed some more, in detail. To start, you will find knowledgeable thought from members Sean and Lak.
When most commercial recordings are made, the mics feed into a mixing console with miles of cheap wire, tons of op amps, tone contols, faders and other assorted non-audiophile approved garbage. So why even worry about a few feet of Romex?
Viridian, because we wouldn't want to further screw up the already garbage sound recorded ! :)
Since preamps don't have tone controls anymore, we have to do something.
Romex is everything the expensive snakeoil power cords are
www.diycable.com 47.00 all you need
Your power cable can act as an antenna that picks up noise from magnetic fields and radio interference which is all around. If the power cord is shielded properly, then it will minimize the introduction of noise from these EMI/RF fields.
It does absolutely nothing as far as improving "power flow" or current draw or anything to do with electric power. The improvements you hear with power cords are the reduction of the noise floor from the EMI/RF noise rejection - which is what may happen if you "run the Romex to your hifi".
Some cheap cords can do just as good a job as the ones that go for a grand a foot with respect to noise rejection. Keep an open ear before you spend the big bucks needlessly.
I find the whole subject a tremendous puzzle. Given that the signal travels through miles of garbage before it gets to your CD, or LP or Elcasette, or whatever, I am amazed that a power cable makes such a difference. But all things in Heaven and Earth are not known by science, and I trust my ears implicitly. Power cords, conditioners, interconnects, room treatments they all make very very large differences in the percieived quality of the sound. And unfortunately, my experience is that some of the high ticket wire goods markedly improve my system, YMMV.
Romex is everything the expensive snakeoil power cords are
Uh-huh. And the Olive Garden tastes just like the old country.
percieived quality of the sound
So it is all just a perception?
OK now I understand that Romex = ground noise and all those oter gremlins, but if all we need to do is shield the copper stands then why do people pay an exuberant amount of money for shielded copper strands.
I am sorry that I dont get it but it just seems totally idiotic.
I understand everything is relative hell if I was Trump I would buy those Wilsons and that $10,000 IC but even if I did I want to know why is it $10,000 what makes it different than say Franks Signal Cable Power Cord (Which is what I use)
So has anyone in the forum actually put connectors on romex cable and listened to it in their system? I would be interested to know their ideas about the sound.
Ya you got it now. Just like the $20,000 shower cutains.
The last three feet is the killer according to the subjective 'phile's bible! I lost in my attempts to have Hydro-Québec rewire with audiophile grade cable from my system back to the power generating system at the dam, damn!
Punkuk - Powercords (and digital cables, sheesh, don't get me started) are one of those things that for the most part owe their continued survival to the power of suggestion and the avoidance of blind testing.
However, as one plush digital cable owner told me, "if I think it is better and it makes my toe tap, then it is". This ain't my perspective but I think he had a point.
Of course it is all perception. Sound is just the compression and rarifaction of air, the brain gives it meaning. Surely, you must know this.
And in the end we will still buy that overpriced Power/Interconnect/Speaker/Plug/Conditoner/CD Player/Tube Amp/PreAmp/Turntable/Cartride/Record Clamp/Record Snake Oil/ Yadda Yadda Yadda and why...............Cause we fricking love it and it whats we do!!!!
Do a search and you will find a lot of drivel and a few bits of insight as to why power cords do make a difference. If you really have to have an explanation as to why they make a difference then there are a few explanations worth considering - such as the geometry being designed to attenuate high frequency noise, and designed to not radiate noise into nearby signal cables (something the miles of Romex is unlikely to do unless you run signal cables along walls). In the end, whether the explanations offered actually affect the sound in a way you will notice cannot be irrefutably proven one way or another. So why don't you just try some recommended cables and decide for yourself? Who cares what the available explanations are? Even if there is an explanation you are prepared to believe, what is the guarantee it is the actual reason why you hear a difference? Park the anal fretting and just give it a go. And Jeff, digital cables do make a difference too IME. Ever tried listening to some yourself?
Redkiwi - Interesting moniker. In any case, yes I've fiddled with digital cables and power cables. I've still got two fancy power cables and acoustic zen's digital cable connected in my system fwiw, (When I take up hours of a dealers time or otherwise cause significant expense for an audition I always feel like I ought give at least a small sale, and they look cool). On the power cable side, the cable that JPS labs markets as their digital AC cable seems to have a suppression network molded into the plug & this does seem to have a positive effect when connected to my dac. Else, theoretically and emphirically my conclusion is that this stuff is a tax on folks who won't blind test. But it does look cool, and if somebody thinks something sounds better, then it does sound better for practical purposes.
Park the anal fretting and just give it a go
Was not fretting even anally just was looking for a reasonable explanation as to why does a cable costing more than my whole system make a difference.
I am genuinely interested in the theory behind this phenomenon and not being Stephen Hawking hoped that someone could explain the reasoning.
I use Signal Cable from my head, TT, Amps, processor and to me it is worth the money cause they look really cool.
I just have not got around to spending hours trying to plug unplug powercords to see if I can perceive the difference that companies and individuals rave about.
OK now I am being anal Sorry
Punkuk, Aside from the theories/benifits of powercords, I'd recommend armoured romex to go from your main panel to your outlets or main panel to sub panel. Armoured cable helps in decreasing RFI and MFI. I upgraded from non armoured to armoured romex and it made a big improvement in sound. Also, for my 70' run of romex (now armoured romex) from my main panel to my subpanel, I went from 8 gauge romex to 6 gauge armoured romex and saw a significant difference in sound---especially dynamics and low level detail. Gauge size and being armoured has helped the system as much as an upgraded component change... and it's cheaper. As far as the powercord issue, as Jeffcott said, look up Lak or Sean's responses. They're both pretty sharp gentlemen. Stan
"Your system is as good as its weakest link"
I read this a lot, but I think it's wrong. An audio system is not a chain, it is a system. If it were only as good as its weakest link, then why is it that I can upgrade ANY part of my system and improve its performance?
Sorry for the diversion from the topic, but I feel this phrase needs to be dropped from audiophiles' vocabularies.
Excluding the power input, the entire audio system IS a series of components ("chain"). Just try upgrading everthing but your 5 watt/chnl - 10% distortion amplifier, or everything but your tiny Radio Shack speakers, or even 24 AWG speaker wiring into your new Wilson Watts.
Same thing goes for your AC supply wiring. To small of a gage, and see how that 300 watt/chnl high current amplifier performs during heavy bass rifs or explosive LFE. Sure a larger gage of 3 foot power cord is better than 3 foot smaller gage Romex, but barely makes a difference over a 35 to 50 run of inadequately sized Romex from the breaker box.
It is JUST a descriptive phrase.
But it doesn't describe an audio system very well at all. You don't benefit by strengthening the links in a chain that are stronger than the weakest one, but that does not hold for an audio system, that is my point. You could choke a system with the extreme examples you give, but you could still improve it substantially with upgrades elsewhere. That has consistently been my experience as an audiophile.
I appreciate and think I understand your opinion. Although, in large, power-hungry systems like mine and others, typical Romex wire gage is undersized for my amp's ideal requirements, thus the weakest link in my audio system. Me adding a 3-foot several hundred dollar power cord isn't going to help overcome my lengthy Romex's limitations, thus my remaining upgrade.
Maybe I'm NOT understanding your POV, but that's how I and many others (not everybody) view it. Nobody has to win their opinion, but just glad we're able to voice them :)
Thats my point but not to say "it wont help" as that seem to upset some poeople but how or why will it help.
How does adding a Radio Shack vs $45 vs $100 vs $500 vs $1000+ 3 foot power cord improve the sound of a system.
Try the Radix Power Solutions Cables. The Quiddity is $249 and rejects noise very well. Deep black quiet sound field. Go to RadixCabkes.com
It's RadixCables.com oops....
Punkuk: Pick up a 12 gauge or 14 gauge IEC power cord at your local electronics shop for around 10 to 15 bucks. It has 3 to 4 times the conductivity of regular power cords.
The problem with RF and EMI is that after you spend a few hundred bucks to rewire your house with armored Romex; you forget that the shielded Romax is made for mechanical protection and general earth grounding, not EMI shielding. If you want to shield for RF and EMI, then use some 3/4 inch copper pipe as your conduit and run 10 gauge stranded wire inside it. Also run an earth ground as well. Aluminum conduit isn't conductive enough to shield well. But, it is way better than the armored Romex.
Of course, you have miles and miles of bare wire outside your house picking up EMI, RF, etc that this setup won't eliminate.
Given that, you might add a 300 amp 400 Hz screen room line filter at your main power panel where you connect up your copper conduit. Once you filter it there, it will clean everything up. Those filters are really effective and mondo expensive.
Spatialking, Actually, the 6 gauge armoured romex that my electrician bought at Home Depot for my 70 foot run from my main panel to my sub panel has a flexible ALUMINUM conduit sheath. How can Aluminum conduit be "better" than armoured romex? From everything I've seen at Lowes, Armoured romex means that it has a flexible aluminum conduit. ie.)Armoured=Aluminum conduit. Stan