Importance of power cable for Turntable?


Just purchased a Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated with the optional phono stage and DAC module.  I purchased AudioQuest Hurricanes for both the amp and my digital source.  How important would it be to do the same for a high end turntable (which I don’t have just yet)?  Would an AudioQuest Hurricane Source be a good choice for a high end turntable as well? Or is it even needed?  I do notice subtle improvements with my amp and digital source.

Thanks
nyev
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Actually turntable power supplies are one of the most sensitive areas in an entire system for power cord upgrades.  I just recently helped a local audiophile change the cord running from his VPI SDS to his HRX (so this is the one after the voltage has been smoothed and cleaned) the effect was not subtle. I get the same from changes to the cord into my EAR table supply.

If/when you get a table you can simply swap the cord from your digital source and listen, you may well be surprised!
The motor is a source of EMI which can affect  components sharing the same AC line or by direct radiation from the motor or its power cord. So if a cord provides good shielding and/or has built in filtering, its possible you’d benefit.
 
Thanks All.  I had heard the first argument already (from Elizabeth) but was also wondering about “pollution” of the AC line caused by the motor, with the AC line being the same line my amp is plugged into.  Unfortunately my amp and eventual turntable when I get it will be plugged into the same AC circuit in my house.

I wonder, would something like a Furman 8D be better than a power cord upgrade for the turntable......  essentially blocking the noise from the motor from entering the AC circuit.  And would cost way less than the PC upgrade....


While all this thinking about noise from/to the table may be true (or may be better addressed by other steps as the OP suggests) my experience is that even when the AC is treated (as in my system) by multiple levels of filtering well before the power cord to the table it still is the case that changing the power cord to the table adds benefits. The effect is similar to a good power cord on an amp -- more stability and attack, more ease as the table is subject to wide dynamic swings, a crisper presentation etc.

All of this is icing on the cake in an optimized system but if that's where you are heading, and you have a power cord handy, do try one -- the effects are likely to be additive to whatever else you are doing (and that's before getting into the benefits of footers and other vibration control effects on the TT PSU as well ...)

Of course I may well be totally lost in tweakery woo land ... but that's the territory we're operating in now
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Wow!  Okay I’m hoping not going to quite that crazy with power mgmt lol!

Have to point out the slight irony in all of your power mgmt lengths you have taken but use a stock cord to the turntable!  Probably makes sense though.
nyev it doesn’t work quite the way you think. Having everything on one circuit almost always turns out to be better, especially with a turntable where the greatest source or risk of noise is hum, which usually comes from different ground potentials. Also nothing really isolates from anything else. Oh, to a degree. But we wish it were so easy.

No idea what table you’re looking at, but the realm you are in with what you mentioned so far, you should be looking at a lot more than a power strip to plug into. You can do a whole lot better than a 8D, which is basically just a power strip. A good power conditioner, everything plugged into it benefits.

And yes, great lengths in power conditioning only to use a freebie cord the last few feet is ironic. It makes no sense. At all. DYODD.





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Looking at all you're doing there nyev, I hope you're taking the time to audition and compare several candidates for each component?

Because, at the level you're spending at pretty much everything sounds surprisingly good. But that only makes it harder. Because it turns out to be really easy to spend a huge pile of money, each time on something that sounds really good, only to wind up with a whole system you never are quite satisfied with. Happens all the time. I would even say, more often than not, considering how many people there are around who are constantly on the upgrade treadmill vs how many are real happy and have been with the same stuff for years.

I mention this because I noticed, probably from your other thread, you are really happy with the Gryphon. But then with the power cords your comment was "I do notice subtle improvement" with the power cords. Nobody putting out $1.2k for a power cord should be talking about "subtle improvement". Subtle maybe between how it works on one vs another component. But the power cord itself, well let's just say the way the Gryphon makes you feel? If your power cord doesn't do that, keep looking. Because trust me, there is one out there that will. And I don't mean for a lot more money either.

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nyev

AC Power cords are direct conduit for *#%! feeding into

your turntable motor. Now most outboard stand alone

belt driver motors have Line filters built in the 5K up+ turntables

Thus the power cord quality may be less of a sonic factor their.

If your turntable uses a inboard ac motor. Ex: TD 124 Vintage

" Humm" radiation picked up by MC cartridge " Mu metal" is a must.

It a must for even say VPI $7K+ tables. Trust me on them.

Agree with Elizabeth, when I said I hear subtle improvements it is easily discernible for me but not jaw-droppingly so.  And it is worth the cost for this subtle improvement in some of the background detail.  One point is that my Hurricane is only about 25% broken in, so maybe more changes will become apparent.

Regarding the Diablo itself - now that is not a subtle improvement over other equipment I tested, and I will succumb to superlatives to describe the differences I hear...  And I am not of the opinion that at a certain level everything sounds great.  Of all the amps I tested the Diablo is the only one that had no sonic qualities (on certain music) that I found unpleasant in some way. 

Back to power management, I’m quickly realizing this is not a simple question that is specific to the turntable.  I need to figure out a system wide approach that doesn’t break the bank.  For example, adding a conditioner is one thing, but then there is to cord to the conditioner - things can get crazy expensive(er) fast....  I am not looking to get every last bit of performance possible but I’ll want to do something that gets me most of the way.  Perhaps I need to start a thread in a different category on a system approach to power mgmt.  Really just looking for a general direction on approach.  There are lots of theories and the brand marketing doesn’t help as it seems to not really communicate anything beyond marketing gibberish.
@nyev while I can appreciate the desire to find a cost effective system wide approach to power management, or frankly to tweaking in general, the reality is that it doesn’t work this way because the effect of tweaks is cumulative and in fact delivers increasing, not diminishing returns. 

What I mean is that the more you tweak (or tune to use another’s language) the system the more resolving it gets and the more you appreciate further changes. 

The good news is that it frankly doesn’t matter what order you do things in, especially when it comes to power management (unlike room acoustics say where one problem can mask others). Start simply with dedicated lines and outlets, maybe add a conditioner, sprinkle power cords to taste and then obsess about bases and footers for the cords and conditioners. You’ll soon learn that everything matters.

Above all have fun and listen carefully at every step on the way 😁 and don’t fall for any single manufacturers special sauce, try a few and find what you like and what works for you
One more thing that may or may not be nonsense is that I’ve heard that the Gryphon’s power regulation is “so good” and resilient to noise that differences in high end power cords with this brand is not as large as with other amplifier brands.
No idea what turntable you are considering but maybe rather than an expensive pc, consider a dedicated speed controller which may well have more sonic impact.

If your tt of choice does not already come with a nice speed controller of course.


I have a Nottingham tt and added a Walker speed controller ( home made pc, as all my equipment has tbh) and this made a decent SQ improvement imho.

YMMV.
@nyev, remember, the difference heard between two power cords (or any other component) is highly dependent on the resolving power and transparency of the entire system. Folkfreak's comments should be considered in light of the fact that his system is EXTREMELY revealing, perhaps the most highly so of any I have ever heard. You don't mention your loudspeakers, and they are of course a major factor in the ability of your system to reveal differences between pc's.
I tried high end power cord on my vpi sds....absolutely no difference
With all due respect to previous posters, I would not mess around with a power cord. I suggest the best TT power supply that you can afford. Comes with a cord. Nottingham's Wave Mechanic is very good, Walker is said to be good (for AC synchronous motors). For DC motors, perhaps Origin Live or ???.

It's good to isolate the phono stage from the TT motor, unless you get a regenerating TT power supply. One way is to drive the motor from the other leg of the 220VAC. Recall that power from the pole is 220VAC. That is split at your breaker box into 2 x 110VAC - two legs. Get an adjacent pair, use one for phono, one for motor.

Alternatively, you can use power supply filters and isolation transformers,

I built my own controller after buying a Wave Mechanic. It's based on a precision telescope controller out of Art of Electronics. Improvement was significant - should have been, considering the parts cost more than the assembled WM. (air bearing TT, ESL's).
Folkfreak, Besides the facts that you want a lot of current carrying capacity (which equates to using thick low gauge wire), particularly for a power amplifier but maybe not so much for a turntable, since tt motors seldom draw more than 20W, and that in some environments, shielding is a good idea, define a "good power cord".  Does that mean "expensive"?  I guess I am trying to say that it boils down to low impedance, heavy gauge, and +/-shielding.  What else does a PC do?
@lewm Believing in differences in power cords, and being open to hearing them, presupposes that you value many more parameters in a cord design than current carrying capacity. Choice of materials (copper vs silver for example), geometry, resistance to vibration, damping, grounding and shielding solutions (such as active shields) - all of these influence and affect power cord performance and the effect can easily be appreciated on a table supply. And the cable doesn’t need to be expensive, choosing the right cable design is the key,

For instance the best cable for a table may not be the best cable for a pre amp say. For example I find Marigo power cords work really well on the table PSU but on my pre amp the same cord seems thin and forced. The ideal cable profile for a table is one that is lean and fast it seems.

and @bdp24 while the thoughts about my system are welcome (you must come round and hear it now, it’s a world away from what you heard last year) the same impact was clear on my friends system which is much much less expensive and complex
I would agree that geometryseems to have an effect, and “grounding” of course.

Thanks @folkfreak, I’ll take you up on that offer! I found your recent comments (in Audiogon's Virtual Systems) about the changes in the sound of your system to be both interesting and encouraging. I’m used to a different sort of speaker sound (planars), and found your now-gone Magico speakers (replaced by a different model of theirs) to be more "unrelenting" than the sound I'm accustomed to. Your comments about the sound of your new system leads me to believe that you may now feel similarly about your previous one vs. your new. True? Extremely resolving, transparent, and uncolored, but more "bracing" (a splash of ice cold water on one’s face ;-) than I’m comfortable with.

There are two schools of thought about loudspeaker frequency response characteristics in relation to high frequency balance: one school is of the opinion that a speaker’s response should remain flat all the way out past audibility; the other considers the above to result in a "tipped up" balance not found in live music, that a speaker should instead slowly roll off above a "certain" frequency, at say 2-3dB/octave starting at perhaps 5kHz. Your old Magico’s sounded as if they were designed as per the former, your new model Magico’s perhaps less so? Just a guess on my part.

@bdp24 well perhaps yes and no -- its even more ruthlessly revealing, but I think in a more natural and unforced way. In a recent demo I turned the Herzan on and off and the person I was demoing it with preferred the sound without the Herzan -- its more laid back, kind of soft and wooly but it's not real, and the detail is gone. Similarly I found with the M3s that I could hear the haze and coloration in the ARC pre-amp and so that had to go. So overall it's probably not moved in the direction your panels take you and is probably more yin then the yang you may prefer. But the tonal balance is better especially without the  super tweeter which over energized the top end.

@folkfreak, "over energized the top end". Now THAT is a good way to put it. So it was the super tweeter than was responsible for that sound, not the old Magico? I had heard Magicos before (I don't remember which model---it was at Brooks Berdan Ltd. a number of years back), but in a bigger room (the shop's main listening space, built to Cardas specs, I believe) and at a greater listening distance (and of course without your super tweeter).

I prefer a more "relaxed" high end than a hyper-detailed one, especially since much of my favorite music isn't in the best recorded sound quality. Of course, I don't want a too "forgiving" sound either. That's the balancing act we all are faced with; a musical reproduction system transparent enough to let the best recordings reach their full potential, yet not so ruthlessly revealing as to make lower sound quality recordings be unlistenable! 

bdp, You wrote, "@nyev, remember, the difference heard between two power cords (or any other component) is highly dependent on the resolving power and transparency of the entire system."

This is a paradoxical statement.  It is true in one way but it also leads to an "Emporer's new clothes" way of thinking.  Because the logical endpoint is that if you cannot hear a difference, then your system is lacking in resolution relative to the system owned by someone who can. That's the thought process that leads to $150 fuses.  One of the dilemmas of this hobby.
a musical reproduction system transparent enough to let the best recordings reach their full potential, yet not so ruthlessly revealing as to make lower sound quality recordings be unlistenable!

Actually my experience is that a transparent system will bring out the best in any recording, no matter how flawed. I want to hear what the artists were doing, warts and all, I can listen through recording errors and would much rather it was given me straight than sugar coated. Certainly in my current setup I've yet to find a disc "unlistenable" and am enjoying lots of things I'd previously written off

As to the Sopranino -- while it added extra clarity, air and space there was certainly some discontinuity between it and the Be tweeter on the Q3 and in the room interaction I found the need to tone things down -- since then I've gone to more transparent settings on the SR gear (silvers vs golds) and no longer feel there's any high end discontinuity -- but it's certainly still on the "hyper detailed" end of the spectrum, kind of what I like I think
A hearty +1 to @folkfreak 's statement, copied below:

Actually my experience is that a transparent system will bring out the best in any recording, no matter how flawed. I want to hear what the artists were doing, warts and all, I can listen through recording errors and would much rather it was given me straight than sugar coated. Certainly in my current setup I've yet to find a disc "unlistenable" and am enjoying lots of things I'd previously written off

@folkfreak, I was speaking specifically about the reproduction of the very highest frequencies, where a super tweeter usually operates, where bad recordings are their worst, and our ears most sensitive to any nastiness. At frequencies below that, I don't think any degree of transparency is excessive! I do require high frequency reproduction capable of doing justice to the "sizzle" cymbals (those fitted with rivets) in my music collection. One of my favorite drum sounds, a sizzle cymbal has been in my kit setup for many years.
Good point @lewm. It is not a symmetrical situation; if a difference between two competing components---in this instance power cords---is heard, the system is then ipso facto transparent enough to reveal that difference. On the other hand, if a difference in NOT heard, that does not necessarily prove a lack of transparency, for, as you imply, there may in actuality be no difference to be heard.
I would hazard a guess that system resolving power is one of many variables that could bottleneck the performance of a power cable or make differences in cords less noticeable.  I’d think it also depends on how noisy an environment is, how clean the AC input power is, and also how good the regulators are in the components that the cords are connected to.  In a hypothetical (and probably not realistic scenario), if you have a highly resolving system, clean power, no material EMI to speak of, and high quality regulation built into the gear, maybe you wouldn’t notice differences between cords.  Some very high end gear comes with power regulation in a separate chassis.  Is it possible that such components, if implemented right, at least partially negate the effects between a lower end and higher end cord?

I have a VPI Aries Scout and I hired a local dealer who also happens to be a real analog guru to make a house call to set it up properly.  He said the outboard power supply on my particular table was in no way in need of an expensive power cable.  Interconnects are the key and as for the expensive power cable? Better used elsewhere in the system. 
Power cord is an extension of the power supply not of the wall wires. Good well-matched cord will improve the performance of anything that has it. If you can't hear it something is wrong. At higher level one can clearly hear that different cords have different sonic signatures with the same component, not necessarily better or worse. Also, some cords do tend to work better with source components or/and preamp and others with power amps and conditioners/regenerators. My Nottingham turntable's motor has captured cord so I can't upgrade it. Motor controller is a different thing and no substitute for cords, in fact it will benefit from good power cord too.
Anyway, when it comes to turntables I don't know what doesn't matter, it is a very sensitive thing, like it or not or both.
It makes absolutely no difference what so ever. Use whatever comes with the table and spend your money on something more important like a Pizza.
Hi,
TT power supply (especially if it is an outboard one) will most likely benefit from a better quality mains cable and material, so yes it sounds better in many ways.
Why only power cord, just do like this person
bdp24 reiterates and clarifies lewm:
It is not a symmetrical situation; if a difference between two competing components---in this instance power cords---is heard, the system is then ipso facto transparent enough to reveal that difference. On the other hand, if a difference in NOT heard, that does not necessarily prove a lack of transparency, for, as you imply, there may in actuality be no difference to be heard.


Close. Still begging the question though, and leaving out another explanation. If you can't hear it, it might not be the system at all. It might be you.

Why not? Isn't this something we've all gone through? I sure have! Back some 30 years ago I had been convinced by Julian Hirsch, et al, that there was no difference between wires, or even a lot of CD players for that matter. And when in fact I first went to listen and compare and see for myself I wasn't at first able to hear any difference.

At first.

But I kept at it and before long was not only hearing but able to describe and reliably evaluate differences between CDPs, transports, interconnects, power cables, speaker cables, cones, footers, capacitors, diodes, resistors, CDs with green pen vs CDs without, wires of all kinds, wires that had been cryo'd vs wires that had not, wires that were jumbled vs wires that were spaced and dressed, on and on and on. Not to mention speakers more than 1/16" out of alignment, whole systems demagnetized recently vs long ago, contacts recently cleaned vs long ago, and yes fuses and yes even which direction the freaking wire is going. Appliances turned on vs turned off. Breakers connected vs disconnected. Late night vs mid-day.

Are we there yet?

Not even. 

Speaker cables elevated above the floor on porcelain insulators called Cable Elevators. Speaker cables elevated above the floor by wood, plastic, paper, carbon fiber, other devices. Interconnects and power cords, ditto. CD player sitting on phone book. CDP sandwiched between phone books. CDP held in hands. CDP resting on Cones. CDP with cones in one place. VS another. Sitting on this. VS that.

There's four different methods I use before listening: warm-up the tube amp, play the XLO Test CD demagnetizing tracks, run the Radio Shack Bulk Tape Eraser over everything, and spray everything with Static Guard Anti-static spray. Why I do this and how often has nothing to do with anything anyone told me, nor was it determined by thinking, nor definitely not by typing on a keyboard connected to the interweb. How often I do this was determined by ME by LISTENING and COMPARING. I simply tried going different amounts of time between treatments, noting the difference, and deciding based on that how much deterioration I was willing to take as the price for the convenience of doing nothing.

So are we done beating this dead horse?

Not even! The corpse may be rotting but watch me beat the meat off the bones and the bones to dust!

In the beginning when I discovered BDR Cones they were so amazing I would take 3 with me to annoy and impress my friends. Richard had a dirt cheap one-box player with some hair-thin wire going to crap-box speakers. First we sat him on the sofa and moved the speakers to where he was surprised to find he could actually hear imaging. Then we put the Cones under the CD player. No problem whatsoever, he was amazed. Stupid Cones, $60, cost more than his whole stereo.

Another friend Doug, all through high school and college he was the only other guy I knew with any real interest in audio. So I brought the Cones down to show Doug. Who had such an enormous pile of mid-fi you could hardly believe it. I mean imagine a 1970's Pioneer integrated, and tuner, 1980's Sony Beta, Sanyo CDP, Comcast cable box, Playboy Channel decoder box, couple other no freaking clue what they are boxes, all stacked one on top of the other. Connected with patch cords. Connected to 1970's JBL speakers with lamp cord. 20 ft on one, 30 ft on the other. Probably 5 ft of it snarled around in the tangle of wires behind his pile of mid-fi crap.

It was the biggest challenge ever just figuring out where and how to get three Cones in there without bringing the whole mess crashing down.

When we did though, and I still can hardly believe this, but they did make a difference. Not much. But shocking, in those circumstances, to hear anything at all.

Not only me but others on this site have heard improvement moving just one wire just a few inches.  But whatever. There is still the slight possibility that something someone somewhere can dream up is different yet sounds exactly the same. There might even be some system somewhere so incomprehensibly unimaginably seemingly impossibly opaquely muffled and congealed and untransparent that everything comes out the same.

But for the most part, it seems pretty darn clear to me anyway, if you can't hear any difference at all its not the system, or any part of it, or anything even remotely having to do with it.

Its not the system. Its there. If you can't hear it, well there really is only the one thing left that it could be.....