How does length affect power cable sound quality?

Wanted to bug y'all about a basic power cord question: How does the length of the cord affect sound quality? My gut says that shorter is better, but maybe there is some form a filtering required that makes length a necessity. For me, a standard 6 foot cable is estheticly 3 feet too long (at least--I could use some one and two foot cords).
Does an 8 footer sound better than a 6? is 10 better than 8? How much worse is 3 feet instead of 6?
In short, what is the optimum length, and how does sound quality suffer when that length is shortened or lenghened? Obviously, the exact type of cable used must be considered. Specificly I've ordered a "$200 msrp, $150 retail, cord for $50" for a Virtual Dynamics Power 3 Power cord, currently on AudiogoN, and available at that price for about 30 days, according to Rick.
I've read that longer is better [ well just ask the ladies :-) ] but seriously now...
Why longer lengths are considered to sound better I don't understand, but that's how those who have experimented have answered this question. I recall that it does relate to the filtering action of the longer length being more effective. How much longer & how much difference(?) is better answered yourself, in your own rig, with a particular cord connected to a particular component. Order a 6' length of Power 3 for comparison sake would be my suggestion. Any other cable, of any other length, in any other rig, is not necessarily legitimately comparable with your own results.
Unless you are talking about an extremely long run of power cable, or a cable with really bad quality wiring and/or construction, there should be no audible difference between a 3 foot and a 6 foot length.

Consider that the power coming from your wall socket has just completed a trip of hundreds, maybe even 1000 miles or more, and gone through how many switches, transformers, etc., and the distance from your outlet to your audio system pales in comparison.

I have tried various lengths of power cords and so far it appears that six feet to ten feet sounds best. A reviewer and an audio shop owner have told me that the better power cords are designed to dampen/filter "mechanical" resonances, amongst other things. And that if the cord is too short (less than six feet) it is physically unable to accomplish this purpose. One designer used an analogy of comparing a power cord to an attachment you put at the end of a garden hose in that both change the character (focus/filter, etc.) of the what comes out at the end.

Therefore, it does not matter how many 1000s of miles the electricity goes through before it gets to your outlet- it is the last six to ten feet that really counts.
OK- here's what I understand so far: A power cord designed for the purpose of altering the perceived sound quality is usually best at a length of 6-10 feet.
So do quality power cords work in conjuction with power filters? I'm currently running Monster Power HTS-2000 for my Stereo rig, and a Monster Power HTS-5000 with a Monster Power HTS-1000 plugged into it for my Home Theater. I also have 8 AudioPrism Quiet-line Filters stategicly placed.

I guess the answer in in the hearing. It seems to me that power filters should clean things up so that further filtering with a 10-foot power cord would be redundant. But my ears say this isn't so.

Maybe what I'm asking hear is WHY does a quality 6-10 foot cord make a unit sound better. I'd like an answer with all the physics involved fully explained. The point is that if it were possible to mathematicly describe why one piece of equipment sounded better than another, it would be easy to just design it. But it's not, because there is too much magic involved. (Magic, or voodoo, is just another term for science that no one understands.)
There's a couple of people you can call for an answer and I'm sure they'll help you:

1) George Tice (
2) Bill Parish (

Tice's line conditioners include a fixed TPT treated power cord--which *does* enhance the musical signal. Bill Parish markets the Absolute Power Cord, which was designed to be tuned exactly at a length of 8 feet.

I think this is what's happening with Tice's treatment:

Electricity exhibits the behavior of both wave and particles. So what's in the conductor as impurities will cause particle collisions and the way the lattice is arranged will also influence the wave/particles. TPT treatment rearranges the lattice--it's a materials treatment, like cryogenics. One works by tempering, the other uses voltage/magnetic field manipulation. And Tice uses *the* best copper available--he's a fanatic!!! What's going on, in my layman's opinion, is that TPT in conjunction w/ Tice's top quality copper sends a very unique waveform to the electronics. And that waveform is indeed the raw material from which music is made...
I had some 3 foot and 6 foot Vansevers cords of the same make. The 6 foot cords were a little warmer to my ears. I also found at least 6 foot was best for my REL sub. I have some other brand cords, but only in 6Ft or more, so can only speak about the VE cords.
Since some cords use specific geometries to achieve desired impedance characteristics, it is possible that altering length could alter their overall performance. With that in mind, doubling the length of a cord could double the effective capacitance. In a reverse situation, using a cord that was half as long would cut the capacitance by 50%. Same can be said for inductance too. Whether or not this would come into play at all would vary from system to system and location to location.

Another factor that could come into play is susceptability to RFI. A longer cord makes for a better antenna. As such, if you're going to run long cords, make sure that they have adequate shielding or take advantage of geometries that offer "natural" shielding to RFI.

Also make sure that you're using a cable that is heavy enough for the device that it is connected to. Whereas an 18 gauge cord might be fine for a CD player, tuner, etc... it is not suitable for any reasonably sized power amplifier. Sean

In systems like the power feed or amplifier feeds, the output impedance of the power source is very low. Because of this, the capacitance between the two conductors is not important. The series inductance is important because current transients that surge through the wires will meet with extra resistance due to the inductive reactance. This will create a transient voltage drop over the length of the cable. For instance 117VAC becomes 116ACV momentarily. The length of the cable is proportional to the inductance. Longer cable, more inductance.

In the case of the power cord to a power amplifier, anything that limits the current inrush that would normally recharge the amplifier power-supply capacitor bank after it is momentarily discharged, can cause a voltage droop at the power output transistors. Any significant momentary droop at the output transistors can cause audible distortion. You can think of the capacitor bank as both a filter to eliminate 60 Hz (to create DC) AND a battery of sorts that stores DC power potential to be expended when the power transistors demand it during high-power transients. When high-power is demanded, the capacitor-bank (battery) actually depletes, the voltage at the transistors eventually dropping as a result. To counteract this, the rectified AC power directly recharges the caps every half-cycle when the recitifiers are conducting. If the power-cord is inductive (as most rubber cords are), then this recharging action can be limited. If there is no high-current demand from the music, the caps just get charged initially and then very little additional current is drawn from the AC power cord.