Longer Power Cords Sound better?

In my quest for power cords, i have noticed that a longer cord say 6 or 8 feet tends to have a nicer sound in my system that the same models that are 3 or 4 feet.
Power cords i have found this to be true include Cerious Tech, Cardas, and VH Audio....anyone have an explanation?

AND by nicer sound I mean they tend to have a richer midrange, and a more coherent top to bottom presentation.
I agree, that's exactly the reason why I have 100ft. Home Depot 12awg extension cords on all my equipment!
GT Audio claims their Absolute Power Cord comes in a standard 8 foot length because it sounds optimal, so cord length could have an affect on sound.

But, are we really going to get into evaluating the effect of power cord lengths on a system's sound? That is about the most anal retentive audio obsessing I have encountered.

Might the length have something to do with whether or not the cord acts as an antenna for picking up RF? Anyway, I've got a limit to how much I obsess about things, and this one just isn't worth it to me.
well.....obsessing or not...if an 8 foot cord "DOES" the job better thana 5 foot....would it not be worth the extra $100 or so...considering that one could spend say $2000 on a pair of ICs that might give only 10% more performance than one's old ICs.....and some manufacturers and hobbyists believe the power cord makes the biggest difference and should be the first to be upgraded....as do I
Clearly, even in audio, size does matter.
Well said Gunbei! I have ROMEX everywhere! Sorry, but shorter is better, IMO.
Me, I would think about the room first before I start to think about power cord length. the room will more difference than any cable or IC now if the room is done OK or go spend money on music YMMV Marc
ROMEX? Out done again, rats!

Ie, if you hear a difference, by all means do it! Especially if it's a VH Audio DIY Flavor cord. I like Chris's stuff. I may just buy the components to make a 20 footer to see if I CAN hear a difference. But this time I'll use a hot pink jacket and shrink tubing.
In a word; NO.
If your PC sounds better in a longer length, then you've got the 'wrong' pc. Of course, by wrong, I mean 'less than optimal', not 'horribly awful'.
I've listened to pc's in roughly .5awg increments between 9awg and 13awg, and in .5 ft increments between 3ft and 8ft (in gauges 10-12).
Yes, I'm that obsessive.
And when you find the 'right' gauge and length, that's when you discover just what your gear is capable of.
...13, 14???

Gunbei, Sonic_genius :nice maturity levels...when you grow up, get educated, and know how to respond like mature adults...yes Romy the Cat says it well....there are AUDIO MORONS on audiogon
I have herd that Shunyata was once commissioned a 30 ft length of Anaconda Alpha (original series) with amazing results. Unfortunately I have this info only 3rd hand with no additional detail, except for the resulting sound being reportedly superior to that of the standard 6ft length.
Longer PCs sounding better is an urban legend. They abound in this hobby`s gullibility quotient.
Cables have their rated electrical parameters specified per unit length, typically per foot or meter. As such, their level of capacitance (for example) will increase linearly as the length of the cable increases. Therefore depending upon a cable's specific design parameters, different lengths can offer some significant differences in apparent sound quality. In some systems and applications higher capacitance in a power cable may be a desirable attribute, while in other scenarios it may not. The same applies to a cable's rated inductance and resistance. YMMV applies well with high end audio cabling solutions.
Sorry you aren't happy with the way your thread has panned out, but no need to make personal attacks. Besides, I'm on your side! Heheh. I respond with humor, something you obviously have difficulty comprehending and you call me names? You sound like a little girl that just had her stuffed animal punched. Tell me, do you think your response is any more mature than me. How personal do you want to get? Think carefully about this.
Ie, lighten up, Gunbei's just pulling your chain. FWIW, due to placement of outlets I have 2 and 2.5 meter power cords for the amps on my right channel, and 1 meter power cords for the amps on my left channel (all Kubala Sosna Emotion), and haven't noticed any difference between the two channels sonically. Might be different with other brands or setups.
I got it. Run dedicated AC lines and solder them directly the the power supplies inside your gear. :-)
I held an 8' and 5' power cord up to my ear and I thought they both sounded the same. I guess I'm not an audiophile.
Sugarbrie, although not practical, I have wondered how this would sound. Is that an example of AudioGONE dementia? Would you offer your beautiful Sugarbrie BC21 up for experimentation? Heheh.
Gunbei are you off your pills again? :)
I am waiting for a bucket truck to come so I can get busy soldering my new power cords directly to the pole, they are not Cryo treated but do cold Ohio winters count?
There is a very simple explanation of why longer power cords sound better. This is because they represent a longer proportion of the length from the power source (e.g. the power plant, dam, or whatever). Therefore, if I am 25 miles from the power plant, a 4' chord represents .003% of the total run, whereas 8' would be .006%. This is double the effect! Clearly significant enough to be heard with our audiophile "golden ears":)
Vince at Plinius swears by 10 foot length for power cords as sounding best, I have no idea myself...
No doubt, it is a known fact that the higher frequencies are shorter wave length electrons and therefore cannot travel as far as the midrange electrons. Just like spermatazoa.
That's why the longer power cords have more midrange.
Ahhhh, meds kicking in...much better, heheh.

Wow! A 10 foot cord could get expensive. At that length I'd definitely rather just DIY one.
Everyone knows it's not the length, but the girth that counts.
Gee I always thought longer was so I could posistion my equipment farther from the outlit if need be.
TVAD, ma' power chordses're real more thicker'n yourns. . . them's 7 incherns rounds! Wanna make somp'n of it huh, Huh, HUH?
Michaelwolf, yes you are right, and bad AC can give AIDS to unprotected equipment. That's why all my PCs will hence be protected by a Silver-based contact enhancer, which of course has also beneficial antibacterial properties. . . . oops, forgot that HIV's a virus. . . perhaps I should try a latex sheeth on all male IECs after all.
Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata offers an excellent exposition on the topic: Why shorter is not better
Since frequency extension, at the top and at the bottom, is the watchword of true hifi (hence the name) I have found that simple EXTENSION CORDS available at ACE hardware (they are paying me to say this) do the best job. Cascading them makes it even better--until the fire marshal shows up.
You mean to tell me that listening to a "high quality" PC in a 6 foot length and then replacing it with the same manufacturer's PC (same break in time etc) in a 3 foot length would make an audible negative difference? If you actually believe that once you exchange these two cords you actually hear a negative difference than, like the barnyard animals that sense a storm before the farmer does, I want to be hanging around with you so I am saved from the impending doom! I heard that part of the movie "Anaconda" was filmed in the listening room of someone who is convinced that longer PC's always sound better.
C'mon you guys, be serious here. Everyone knows it's how you 'make contact' that counts. I find plugging n' unplugging really fast for a minute or so to do the trick...
You guys are all off base. Battery power is where it's at
Which batteries sound best?
How many batteries is best?
Are there audiophile battery posts?
:):):):):) LOL
"Battery power is where it's at."

I think a lot of women would agree.
Actually, Caelin Gabriel doesn't say shorter is not better. He say's shorter is not automatically better.
And I still disagree. If a pc sounds 'worse' in a shorter length, then it's the wrong pc for that application.
If you're sticking with one specific brand and model of PC, it may sound best in a longer length, but that's not to say that a different model of pc that has a better 'synergy' with the component won't sound better in a shorter length, because it will. Every time IMO.
If you ask me, there's a bit of the 'one size fits all' mentality in the pc biz.
That's right, shorter is never automatically better, it does depend on the competence and integrity of the PC design.

All being equal however, with a competently designed power cord, his point is that yes, longer is _always_ better, and he went fairly deep into the physics of the equation and reasons for that. Considering that the only other technical rebuttal in this thread relates to male anatomy and sexual positions/mockery, I'd say his explanation is fairly in depth and well elucidated. As was his other post in that AA thread, circa 2000.

Of course, you're welcome to your opinion and in your context, it may well be true.

Shunyata Research
I love that Samuel used both "longer" and "deep" in his post. But then, even in the NFL positive progress is described by "penetration", "going deep", and "scoring".

Yes, men are pigs. It's amazing any women put up with us, and yet the population explosion indicates it all works on some twisted and beautiful level.

Oh yeah, longer cords sound better...
you mean the TV remote in our bedroom doesnt eat batteries every 3 days? say it aint so! :(
"...twisted and beautiful".

My imagination is conjuring up the most diabolically gorgeous she-devils wrapped in scaled power cords.
Perhaps I missed the 'Physics' to which you are referring Grant. Where in the linked item did Caelin elaborate on why "longer is_always_better"? I read an opinion that he doesn't recommend PC's shorter than 3ft. That's not really a practical problem, since most folks can't place their gear that close to their outlets anyway.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but since none of the differences we power cable 'believers' hear can yet be verified by standard measurements, then any "technical" explanations as to why PC's "always" sound better in longer lengths is just theory attempting to support subjective experience, yes?
However, a person can easily buy measuring devices that will show that a shorter PC does indeed have superior electrical characteristics over a longer one of otherwise identical design. So it would seem the 'shorter is better' camp have more evidence on their side, for the time being at least.
Of course, you're welcome to your opinion, and in your context it may well be true that longer sounds better. I firmly believe in trusting one's ears as the absolute judge of quality.

Ahh, men with lots in common. Can't beat it.

Nobody here has posited a reasonable argument for why a shorter power cord would ever sound better (kinda like the phallic analogy, no?). Although I don't think "longer is better" can hold true without limit (ditto!), and obviously for the vast majority of systems we're only talking about a range of a several feet difference at most, still it only makes sense that if a power cord does anything good for the sound at all, then it needs some length to get that effect accomplished. Of the power cords I own, two varieties (from two different brands) are in more than one length (ranging from 1m to 2.5m), and although I haven't done rigorous audition tests comparing the sounds of the different lengths (instead just going with whatever length works best from a cable-routing standpoint), my general, informal impression is that the length-is-good argument actually does have some degree of sonic merit to it. If I decide to do further listening investigations, I'll report the results here...
Yeah, let the lockeroom towel snapping begin.

>>>I firmly believe in trusting one's ears as the absolute judge of quality. <<<

On that point, we are in complete agreement.

Happy listening!
Zaikesman, if you plan to compare the effects of PC length, I'd suggest changing the PC that connects your power conditioner to the wall. By affecting a number of components at one time, the sonic effects of the change in length should be somewhat more pronounced. It also makes clear that the change in sound isn't solely due to reduction in EMI near your gear, or RFI filtering, since the PC should at that position be both farther away from your rack, and before the much heavier filtering of your powerline conditioner.
Differences of over 3 feet should be very easy to hear, while lengths shorter are useful for 'tuning' once you've got a handle on the difference length makes.
Tplavas: Please forgive me when I note that you seem like you're coming from about 6 different places at once with your arguments. I glean from your posts that you feel: A) measurements will show that shorter is better; B) we cannot measure the effects of power cords; C) listening will show there's an optimal length that may not be the shortest; D) if listening does show that this optimum length is not the shortest, then you've got the wrong cord; E) offering technical explanations for what we hear with power cords is merely theorizing to support experience; F) technical theories support how you think I ought to do power cord listening tests.

I agree with you on one thing, with apologies to Grant, which is that Caelin's article cops out in the end (athough I liked some of the points he made before then) by recommending that power cords not be shorter than 3 feet, the shortest cord anybody offers anyway. That's bold. (BTW, I use some Shunyata cords.)

To tell you the truth, until only about 2 months ago, I probably wouldn't even have repsonded to this thread, because it would've simply struck me as silly. Of the cords I owned in different lengths -- which were all 3-5 ft. -- I just assumed they either sounded the same or that shorter would be incrementally better, but basically I didn't think about it. Then I got an 8 1/2 ft. cord as a good deal on demo, thinking I would try it out and buy a shorter length if I liked it well enough. It was instantly the best sounding cord I owned, and I began to suspect that length had something to do with it. So I got another one in a 5 ft. length, and do plan to formally compare the two once I'm sure everything's broken in and I get the time. FYI, I will compare them in all system positions, because I need to know how they perform where they'll be used, no matter what the reasons for how they do.

Hi Zaikesman,

Caelin's recommendation of no shorter than a 1 meter length has to do as much with practicality than anything else. Although shorther than three feet essentially just adds connecting points and puts you kissing distance from your Romex--so what's the point of a nice PC, then?

Often times the IEC of a component is inverted (upside down). If you say, order a two foot length measuring fom IEC to the wall. You get the cord, then realize than you have to turn or invert it to match the outlet in the wall, guess what, it's too short. That, and the loss of resale value and in our opinion, a performance loss, are the reasons I warn customers that want a one-meter or shorter power cord.

Regarding Guido's reference to a 30 foot power cord we made: Astoria Studios (Pink Floyd) requested a 6ft Anaconda to try with their Studer Master Deck. We supplied a 6ft length for eval. hey were skeptical that it would make _any_ difference because all the power supplies of their electronics were heavily modified by Tim Diparavacini.

They had to wheel the Studer deck across the floor for the eval because the 6ft length of the power cord was far too short. Based on listening results, they ordered a 30 foot Anaconda to allow the distance required for the Studer's normal place on the floor.

Soon after recieving the 30 footer (we took pics before shipping as its the longest we've made), the studio manager called us to ask what the new, incredible model was as it was light years better than what we had sent for test. We explained why the difference existed and they understood. Since then, they have been our greatest protagonists in the pro realm and ordered more than $150k worth of product. Anectodal, sure. However, in such a high rez application, it speaks loudly to our point. Wont be true of all PC's likely, but it is with ours.

LOL, I guess I left you scratching your head eh?
You understand my position clearly on points D and E of your post. Let me clarify the rest: For A), I said electrical measurements would show a shorter cord to be better. Meaning better performance in regards to inductance and capacitance. Those may not be the only factors that affect PC performance, but they are indeed measureable, while others are not. For B), we can't currently find measurements to support the audible changes we 'believers' hear. Meaning you can't use a Db meter, frequency analyzer, etc. to 'see' proof of differences. For C), listening may well reveal that a PC sounds best (to you) in a longer length, given your personal preferences and system-specific sonics. But as I said in D), if that is the case, then you've got the wrong (less than optimum) PC. Chances are a different PC of shorter length (and probably of different gauge), will accomplish the same sonic change you preferred, plus may do so with improved dynamics. (Whether such a PC product is currently available on the market may limit your choice). As for E), some of the more exotic explanations for why PC's affect changes on audio gear, while they might be perfectly plausible, can't be proven with measurements, so they are, for the time being at least, just theories to support what might be causing the changes we hear.
As for point F) of your post, I'm sorry if I left you with that impression, it certainly wasn't my intent. I was merely suggesting a method that might make it easier for you to hear the differences between 2 otherwise identical cables.
I'd also like to add that I think Shunyata makes excellent PC's, and that their efforts to improve upon PC performance are greatly appreciated by 'true believers' such as myself. The very fact that they are one of the very few cable companies to use cryogenics tells me all I need to know about the quality of their products, and the sincerity of their efforts.
Maybe next someone could start a thread asking if cryoing PC's makes them sound better?
(The answer, IMO, is a resounding yes)

The post you refer to is circa 2000 and was not an "article", but just a posted response to an antagonistic diatribe from a someone that was casting stones at anything that related to power products.

Caelin stated his opinion in response to several people that were calling all power products BS. It wasn't intended to be any complete answer to the question in this thread. Sorry, I don't see any cop out there, we're talking _six_ years ago and an unrelated thread and generally, unrelated questions.

The term "Cop Out" as you used it, is grossly unwarranted in this circumstance, and brings my knee up a bit, maybe my fault, but it is grossly misapplied.

You want to debate physics, science and power cord length or anything else power related? e-mail me and I'll send you Caelin's contact info, or contact me, I promise not to "cop out".

There's no "cop out" here Zaikesman. I get tired of such snide comments from anomymous posters that have nothing to lose in name calling and defaming any company they choose. The term "cop out" tipped me over, and it was unfair to use it in this context. Of course\ this is just IMO---feel free to judge my affiliation since I'm the marketing and sales director for Shunyata.

Compared to what get's propogated on these forums as legitimate info that is actually baseless speculation, covert marketing, nonsense technobabble, or chest puffing, Caelin's circa 2000 respose to antagonists posts is a--" cop out"? I beg to differ.

You claiming that bothers me. You're judging a "post" from six years ago that was not intended to answer anything in this thread. Your use of the term "cop out" simply doesn't fit, and I'm asking you to take it back. Reference us any which way you want, we're no "cop outs."

We're much more accessible for judgement than the moniker "Zaikesman" or any of the other "moniker" or fake name on this site. Shouldn't that make people act more responsibly in their comments/attacks on companies that can't hide their names? I guess not.



Grant: Discretion's often the better part of valor, and you're nothing if not valiant, but I'll bet you a Helix no one here owns a cord less than 3 ft. long unless they DIY'ed it -- probably for the reason you mention -- however the question here is about sound and longer cords, not what's the shortest cord that won't fail to make the connection. I'll agree it makes sense that if a particular cord doesn't do beneficial things for the sound at 3 ft., then going to 8 ft. probably won't be an improvement -- another "it should go without saying" point.
Sorry Zaikesman,

I stayed up far too late last night and was feeling punchy after spending too many hours composing new web content.

I overreacted to your cop-out comment and replied with a vigor I should reserve for more important things.

Funny, to wake up with a fresh mind one day, and be surprised at what you wrote with a sleepy, work addled mind the night before.

My apologies.


Tplavas: Cryogenics? More fodder for lots of circular argument. I'll stear clear of that one. :-)