Harmonic Technology AC-11.
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I also use VansEvers line conditioners in my system. I have tried many different cords but have not come up with one that is particularly "warm" sounding. After going through the Synergistic Research and Shunyata lines, I plugged a BMI Whale from the wall into the VansEvers...wow what a great cord. They are very neutral, deliver excellent bass response, enhance detail, and open up the soundstage. Several of my components are tubed and deliver a warm sound anyway so all I wanted was a power cord that did not change the way the system sounded, just enhance it. In my experience, I have found that power cords with Leviton plugs tend to be more neutral and maybe a bit warmer than most others I've heard. Gold plugs like the Wattgates appear to be a little bright and somewhat forward sounding (in my system anyway). Maybe others have found a warm power cord that might fit your needs but the Whale is unbelievable with the VansEvers line conditioners and I give them my very highest recommendation. Best of luck in your search...
Since Slowhand was kind enough to direct you to some info on the TG Audio products, all we have to do is worry about Luxor now. While they do show a website for Luxor in TAS, it is incorrect. They do have a toll free number though and it is 800 - 795 - 8975. They are located just outside of Chicago in a town called Skokie, so they would be Central Standard Time. If the 800 number doesn't work, you can look up their info here on Audiogon under the "manufacturers list". Their corporate trade name is Custom Power Cord Company. There is another number listed there that should go through, but isn't toll free. Sean
847-329-8975 is David Blair's # for Custom Power which is valid. Dave is great to talk with & will help you out if he possibly can, even to the point of building custom cords as he has done for me. While I liked his Model 11 on amps, the Top Gun HCFI is even better. For source component he has a different Top Gun model available, or will build you a "special" per your custom requirements. All of his AC cords are heavily shielded & filtered in standard configuration. They are not the cheapest around, but if you want quality & performance I highly recommend Luxor Group.
Something you might be aware of is that the capacitor based line filters are normally bright as the devil for about five days even if unplugged for a few seconds....If you want to try different power cords on the unit then allow the time or you will get a false reading of where the cord and filter are going......Kevin Haskins' Asylum cord would be a good match for the Vans Evers units keeping in mind I designed it twenty years ago and also pay Mike Vans Evers a royalty on the line filters I manufacture as mine are essentially a cherry picked version of Mike's design built to a higher standard.....
Yeah, I've seen the Custom Cords in the Music Direct catalog. Pretty pricey if a get a high current one to fit the PLC...worth it? Thanks for all the info so far. Any more suggestions always appreciated.
BTW, Mike Vans Evers is a REALLY GREAT GUY. I had the chance to chat with him on the phone before I bought the PLC and he was really helpful. What scares me most is this...my system sounded SOOOOO much better after the 83, I started obsessing about what more potential could be locked up inside, waiting to be brought out by cables, cords, etc. Wonder what Bob's PLC sounds like? Arrgh!!!! It never stops, does it?
Bob, did you design Kevin's cord or Mike's PLC 20 years ago? Not clear from your text.
Bob, thanks for emailing me. I think I'll look into your HSR i squared (spelling?). Would it be good for a PLC too?
I designed what is now called the Asylum cord twenty years ago....I pay a Royalty to Mike Vans Evers for his electrical design of the line filters for all units sold by TG Audio.....The Asylum cord is the one to use with the PLC if you want warmth as the CPCC and TG would not be as sweet or call Mike as he probably has some suggestions.....The HSR-Squared is hard wired into my line filters known as LineSuckers or BybeeSuckers....
If you want a warm power cord, get one thats very very thin and I guarantee it will get warm. ;-) Any decent power cord of large enough wire gauge to supply adequate current to your gear should be sufficient. Having an engineering background, I don't subscribe to the idea that a power cord should be used to taylor the *sound* of your system. To me, this is bogus nonsense. I *do* understand the differences that interconnects and speaker wires can have on your system but to spend more than $50 or so on a power cord is a waste of money, IMHO. AbeCollins
Abe, see my response to your comments over in the Dunlavy thread. What you and i were taught in school is "theory", not "reality set in stone". Obviously those theories do have some validity, otherwise we wouldn't be where we are today with the level of electronics that we do have. Nonetheless, we know a lot less than what we think we do about a LOT of things. When we stop learning as a individuals, we're doomed as a race.
As an electronics tech that has worked as a design consultant for over half a dozen manufacturers, i used to have a similar point of view as you. Then i actually tested some cords and found that "common sense" need not apply to everything that happens with electricity.
If you think that the power coming into your house is "clean", better break out your scope and do some measurements. Just as a filter can be built from electronic components, why couldn't this be done with a power cord ??? By manipulating the inductance, capacitance, etc... through the use of specific materials, geometries, shielding, components such as caps, etc.. this is completely possible and is done on a daily basis. Think about it.
As to the cost of such devices, i agree that they are quite exhorbitant in price. Then again, they are specialy items made on a limited basis in most cases. As such, show me a specialty market and i'll show you a high mark-up. Sean
Interesting dialogue on the above two threads; I appreciate your input Abecollins. I, too, am a person of the scientific community. Unfortunately, things I see everyday at work do not fit into the scientific "mould" that I was taught. Yet these phenomena undeniably exist.
Yes, I am new to audiophilia nervosa. I don't claim to have as much experience or technical background as others. Yet, despite my healthy skepticism of many things in the stereo world...I have heard things I cannot deny (cue X-files music).
I agree that things like cables and cords are outrageously priced. My dealer wanted me, at the beginning, to audition some Kimber Silver Streak. I balked at paying THAT much for wire and bought PBJ's instead. Now I am plunging deep into stuff I would've mocked myself for several months ago. I think that although profit margins are large, most manufacturers exist on relatively low volume. I can't begrudge them for trying to make a living. The high volume-high price guys are the ones that bug me (are you listening Sony SACD players? Mr. D'agostino?)
I also know this...My very own tin ears, as do those of my non-believing, mocking wife, HEAR differences in cords and cables. Are you saying that you don't at all?
I don't want this to turn into cables do/don't do things type thread. I just wanted to hear about other peoples' listening experiences with power cords on their PLCs!
Mapleleaf, we seem to share a similar perspective on cables. Somewhere there has to be a point of diminishing returns, though I don't claim to have pushed the envelope enough to know its boundaries. I have explored enough to know that cables can make a marked *difference* (sometimes better, sometimes not) in a system's sound and that experience has been supported by those familiar with the evolution of mine. What I am willing to pay for the right cables (and everything else audio oriented) has increased with the passage of time, but that's attributed to a mild case of audiophilia nervosa more than anything else. Certainly not common sense. ;-)
As to the original question, I, too, have a VansEvers Model 83 and put a Synergistic Research Master Coupler on it. Didn't add or subtract any warmth, but it certainly "unclogged" something. There was an improvement in overall dynamics over the "stock" cord (the Model 83 was bought used and I strongly suspect the cord wasn't the original one). Everything but the amp is plugged into it, so there's more than a nominal draw through it. It was well worth the money spent, even more so since it was bought used here on AudiogoN.
Fpeel, the Model 83 is indeed excellent. I bought mine recently from Mike VansEvers directly; no deal but he did some extra "special" stuff to it...hee hee hee. It sounds amazing, I thought that my gear was great at music before but the 83 blew me away.
Unfortunately, the 83 also triggered a viral like illness...I became, and still am, obsessed with the question "Can I make my stuff sound EVEN BETTER?". I am thinking that if I had never met the 83, I would've been so much happier and content. Now I am locked into a never-ending quest for improvement. (Is this a metaphor for life?)
The 83 shoulda had a VansEvers cord with it; its got red jacketing and yellow wall plug. Pretty distinctive looking. Nothing wrong with it...I just want MORE. More dynamics, more forever sounding decay, more soundstaging, more warmth....greedy greedy greedy!
I've got a Marigo Reference cord on the 83 right now. Improvement over stock VansEvers cord.
Mapleleaf, what bothers me about the whole AC power cord debate is why someone would spend hundreds of dollars on a colorful fat cord when most homes have standard cheap wiring behind the AC outlet. The power cord carries 60-cycle AC current to the gear (in the U.S.) and it surely cannot be the focal area for making tone adjustments to the sound that comes out from the speakers. There can be benefits from an AC power cord of sufficient wire gauge to handle the current draw but beyond that (mysterious wire geometry's and such), I refuse to sample the expensive snake oil. What is the benefit of a fat colorful AC power cord of enormous conductor size or fancy "geometry" when plain solid 14 or 12 gauge copper (at best) is typical in most house wiring?
Abe: We have been through this debate a zillion times before here. I am certainly not an advocate of the thousand dollar cords as I have a very modest system; I have however purchased 3 cords for use in that system at around $200 (used) a piece, and view those cords as critical components after hearing the difference between them (and numerous others) and the stock cords. My suggestion to you would be to go to the Audioasylum web site, pick up the recipe for the Bob Crump DIY cord (or Asylum cord as Audiogon member Kevin markets it) and build one for the sum total of about $25 in parts. Try it out and see if you can hear a difference-if you can't you're out $25. If you can, then you can get into more expensive snake oil, as you put it.
It's actually pretty simple, Abe. It improves the sound. That is the goal, better sound, right? Don't knock it if you ain't tried it. Maybe the view of a fairly non-technical type might help. That being me, of course.
Let's just stick with physical differences and basic electrical theory for the moment. I only got as far as the second year of high school electonics, so this will be pretty basic. The cords that came with every component in my system were the standard grade 14 AWG issue. Cheap connectors, low grade wire, PVC insulation (my guess), etc. Take one apart sometime and look at the construction. It's amazing these things don't cause fires more often! The wall wiring is 12 gauge Romex and the wall sockets were el cheapo grade Levitons with push connections for the Romex; nice for a builder in a hurry, but not the most solid of electrical connections. Based on the amount of paint, dirt and dust on them, these sockets date back to when this place was constructed.
There's lots of potential problems with the stuff above, the biggest being the power cords are incapable of handling all the juice the Romex can carry to a power hungry amp. All those loose connections are bad, too. We were taught in basic electronics that efficiently moving power from one place to another required clean, solid connections and a conductor capable of carry a sufficient current to meet the load. Hopefully this is all still reasonable stuff.
After some basic system upgrading the power cables are now significantly larger and capable of carrying more of a load than the Romex. They're no longer a smaller gauge bottleneck like the original cords. They also have high grade connectors on each end which equates to a better connection to the wall socket and the equipment. The sockets are hospital grade (orange and ugly) so they hang onto a plug like nothing else. They're almost a necessity with the heavier cords if a good connection is desired. Oh, don't forget they're cleaner, too. ;-) So, now there are overall better connections at the equipment, socket and inside the wall and sufficient current carrying capacity for what the house wiring can deliver. Nothing to hold the equipment back from a power perspective, right?
Any improvements from any of this? Yes. The better (heavier) cords on the amp and pre- made very noticeable differences, especially on the amp. My guess is the 14 AWG was a bottleneck between the amp/pre- and the Romex, especially on demanding musical passages where the current draw can be very extreme. There was also a difference on the power line conditioner where the pre- and several other pieces are plugged in. Got to feed the PLC to feed the pre-,...even if it's doing nothing more than playing high priced power strip. The differences on the rest of the gear was noticeable, but mostly minor. Blacker background, more musical, the usual 'phile claims. Again, my guess is that at very least the better connections decreased things like micro-arcing, a source of noise, and resistance that limits power carrying ability. Simply going for good electrical connections and power carrying capability is still acceptable, right? To go a bit further, is it reasonable to think that using better materials or different grounding schemes can bring their own improvements? We won't get into some of the real esoteric claims as that really isn't necessary. Hopefully you're still with me and none of this reeks of voodoo.
Let's say each of the upgraded items added an average of only a 2% improvement each which is actually pretty conservative, especially considering what it did with the amp. Yes, trying to quantify these to a number is a reach. Just hang in there for now. In my system, given an average of just a 2% improvement per item equates to a 14% increase in performance for a 5% cash outlay. Not a bad investment if it's the cash that's the concern. If the average were only 1% it'd still be a good bang for the buck.
But it isn't about money with me, at least within certain boundaries. It's the music, the sound and what it does for the soul. Some things are hard to put a price on, but when a passage of music relaxes me, raises goose bumps on my arms or brings a tear to my eye it was worth every penny and all the time spent getting it just right. Making sure that what sits between the gear and the Romex was adequate did make a difference. Not all of them were big, but they add up when considered as a piece of the whole. If I owned the place there'd be dedicated circuits with better wire, grounding, fuses, etc. But I rent, so do what I can without breaking the lease. Hope, too, that this was helpful in some way.
PS - Most of my cables aren't colorful. They're mostly all black. Wish the speakers cables were...instead of purple!
Well, there goes everything I wanted NOT to get into.
"To those who believe, no proof is needed. To those who don't, no proof is enough."
If you don't hear any differences in using different cords or cables, then DON'T TRY THEM OUT. If you do, and find it fun and enjoyable, then tell me what you've tried and what you thought! (Especially if you own a Model 83 or Bryston gear).
I enjoy this hobby/illness, and am, not by choice, a firm believer in cables and cords. I don't believe I have anything to defend or to apologize for.
Fpeel, I'm with you up through paragraph 5 of your last post and hdm, $25 DIY sounds reasonable to me. If you read again my original post I have no problem spending about $50 or so on a good power cord and AC connectors. I would also assert that everything Fpeel talks about through his paragraph 5 can be done for $50 or so. I agree that $25 to $50 spent on a decent cable and connectors may be beneficial over the stock power cord but a few hundred or several hundred dollars for an even "better" power cord? I don't think so. Or using the 60Hz carrying AC power cord as a tone control? No. Lets just agree that we disagree. ;-) I'll gracefully back out while I have nothing more to contribute.
The only thing I'll add, and with apologies to Mapleleaf in advance, is one also has to have a firm understanding of the effort and cost involved in bringing a product to market, especially in a low volume speciaty item. This has a *tremendous* effect on the end price. Get past what the basic materials cost, particularly what you *think* that might be (believe me, it's likely much more). Instead, consider what it cost to deliver the final product; go big picture. That is largely where some of the prices we see originate.
Most importantly, listen to the end result. It's the only way to determine the true value.
That's more than enough from me on the subject. What do I know anyway?
Anybody think the Stanley Cup finals were rigged? I'm glad Bourque won the Cup and all finally, but why was the series so odd? Colorado looks invincible to start, the collapse as New Jersey looks invulnerable, and then the Devils proceed to look like they quit for the last two games.
Do Patrick Roy and Scott Stevens have seizures?
We know Roy does. They even taped one that eventually led to his leaving Montreal... ;-)
As for the Cup being fixed, it may be that the Devils just ran out of gas. They're such a "blue-collar" group (that's said admiringly). It was amazing when they won it all last year against a team with supposedly twice the talent. Which only goes to show how much the chemistry of a team means in hockey. What else can be said but that top to bottom the Devils' system is one of the best in the league.
BTW, Borque deserved to win the Cup at least once. Ray retiring without at least one Stanley Cup ring would have been like Dan Marino with all those records and great years in pro football, but no Super Bowl ring. A crying shame.
Couldn't agree more with Bourque holding the Cup aloft. His face was that of a kid in a candy store.
I think the Devils are much more skilled than people give them credit for. They have a power play and a transition game as good as anybody's.
The best thing is when the Devils score, the camera guys like to show Melanie Brodeur jumping up and down and up and down. Wow.
Well, the blue-collar moniker certainly wasn't meant to infer a lack of skills. More that they lack the extreme star quality, big name players like a Dallas Stars or NY Rangers. So, instead of riding a few big horses they are more focused on playing as a team. That shows in their transition game: go to the open man and make it happen. No one guy is hogging the puck. That they built a contender largely through the draft is also admirable. It's part of their system of doing things and my team (Sharks) started emulating a few years ago. That it's beginning to pay off is no surprise.
As for Melanie Brodeur, she couldn't have happended to a nicer guy. ;-)
Nolan gone? First I've heard of it. The hockey reporting here may be almost non-existent, but surely it isn't that bad! Actually, we just signed Nolan to a new contract at the beginning of last season.
Friesen we traded, along with Steve Shields, to Anaheim for Teemu Selanne. Freeze was one of the two most popular Sharks players ever (Arturs Irbe being the other), but he was quickly becoming little more than a fast checker. Very predictable on offense, steady on defense. Somehow he lost the ability to finish plays. He has SO much more potential than that and apparently Paul Kariya has already done a lot to motivate him to step up his game. Hated to see him go, but we did get a good, even better, player in return. For Jeff's sake my hope is the change in scenery turns things around for him.
One of the really fun things in San Jose the last few years has been the steady flow of quality first year players. First there was defenseman Brad Stuart who finished second in the Calder voting. Last year it was Evgeni Nabokov, Rookie of the Year candidate for 2001, and Miikka Kiprusoff, his back up. Both are goalies. Next up will be Jeff Jillson, another D-man who played last year at the U of Michigan. Fourth leading scorer on the team as a Junior. Supposed to be stellar. Hmmm, back to back Calders...
What's even scarier is there's a third goalie on our minor league team who's supposed to be even better than Nabbie and Kipper. His name is Vesa Toskala. Double Hmmmm...a Calder hat trick? Don't expect much, do I?