Power Cords - Pixie Dust?

As an audiophile I am always prepared to believe that almost anything can make a difference in the sound. But this one makes me wonder. I have a TNT MKV with JMW 12.5 arm. The stand alone motor turns, via a belt, a flywheel that turns, via another belt, the platter.

I have seen an add claiming that replacing the power cord between the SDS speed controller and the stand alone motor can improved the sound of the table, "increasing upper range resolution and sweetness" or some such thing.

I suppose I can see how a new power cord might be argued to improve speed stability, but for the life of me how can a special power cord improve "resolution and sweetness", when the only function of the motor is to spin a belt, that turns a flywheel that spins another belt that turns the platter?? Does this claim make any sense?
Yes, it does make sense. The better that motor does its job, the better the sound will be.

I power my motor directly from a battery, and that was a big improvement. Then I just got a Signature motor upgrade, which added high quality caps and resistors to the motor assembly, and the sound got even better.

Don't ask me why it does this, because I can't really give you "specifications" that would technically explain it. I could guess that miniscule variations in speed are reduced, and creates more fluid presentation. But I can tell you that it does sound better, and that's good enough for me.
You didn't mention whether you have tried other power cords in your system so I'm not sure if you have experienced the difference. I began as a total sceptic. About six years ago I canceled my subscription to Stereophile because they started talking about better power cords. I went for trhe ICs and speaker cables, but that was too much. About a year two years ago I got back into this crazy hobby and tried some of the better cords. They did sound better! I don't know why they work, but it stands to reason if they work in other applications the should work on your TT too. If they don't, try sprinkling some Pixie Dust. I hear audio advisor sells it now.
BTW Audio Advisor has a very good sale on Pixie Dust going on.
Ahem! I was a PC skeptic until two years ago, then tried a few $$ flavors, before building my own from Belden 83802, followed soon by a dedicated line from this magical stuff.
Indeed it provides a lower noisefloor, and thus enhanced detail subtlety and perceived microdynamics.
But for a friggin MOTOR? How can I claim that 12AWG in pure Teflon helps a motor? All right...maybe. Gotta keep my mind open, I suppose. BTW you can get one of my PC Kits for just $35, so at least it's not a large gamble...and you can put your mind to rest, eh? RSVP 781 483-3922 Ern
Acoustic Sounds' catalog had a special AC cord for use in the turntable motor application; it's about $300, I think, (if even available anymore - I don't see it one their website?). I'm about as incredulous as you about this one Jack, but then again they just might know what they're doing?
I didn't buy into the AC cord hype for quite awhile, but once I finally tried it & realized the actual audible improvements, I'm now into it bigtime. But for a motor??? I think I'm gonna try out one of my lower-cost presently-unused upgrade cords first. If that works then I just might even bite?
Is this special cord used only between the SDS & the motor? What about between the line source & the SDS?
Guess the Pixie thang & AA was just a joke? Cause I don't see no such thang (what a sucker - I actually looked!).
I agree with you, this business of identifying sonic attributes of power cords is twilight zone. Don't spend a single dollar on this until you are ready. As for me, I no longer have any stock power cords in my system.
Pixie dust. Except they are prettier than stock, which makes them sound better to some. Nothing wrong with art for art's sake, so I have some BC65s. Hell, you have to stare at the things for hours on end, no?

According to Bob Crump, the turntable motor is the MOST sensitive component with respect to a power cord change (I believe he uses a Rockport). I have not changed the cord on my table, but even changing the molded plug to a quality Hubbell male plug brought about a pretty substantial improvement; I can recall that I spent about $200 upgrading my speaker cables from Kimber 4TC to 8TC at the time and the $10 I spent changing the male plug on my Gyrodec's cord brought more improvement than the cable upgrade.
Bob recommend the Pass Seysmour and, actually, he use them on his designs (TG Audio). I changed the flimsy cable that came with my humble TT (a 22ga) for a 14/3 that came stock with a Parasound amplifier. It turned to be an improvement. Now, after changing the plugs on a pair of Audio Magic Xtream power cords I am convinced that it is a major upgrade to any affordable pc. I used a Marinco for one and a Pass Seysmour for the other. The PS seems to be more detailed and with more air presenting a big soundstage. The Marinco was less detailed in comparison but timbre was more natural.

I will swap the plug on my TT and left the inside connection hard wired as is now.

Thanks, Jose.
The pixie dust you guys are looking for can probably be found over at the IBM web site. I've seen TV commercials where they use the stuff with great success on their servers. I'm very happy with my ESP power cables. Low impedance, excellent shielding, and Dupont Capton damping. They seem to work well on just about any thing you put them on. I'm about to send all 5 PC out for cryo treatment. If anyone would like to split the cost of a bag of PIXIE dust (including shipping) I'm in. If it doesn't work on our equipment, may be we can smoke it and catch a buzzz ;-))
OK Dave sounds good - but I'm only going for it if it's that new cryo'd dust & then burned in on a cooker for 25 years or so...
Trick PC's for motors is simply a pure placebo product. However, if the TT has a PC akin to a $10 table lamp, I'd be inclined to look favorably on improved connectors.

Having used an Audience PC on a 20" Nokia 445Xpro monitor for a week for burn-in purposes, of course, I observed a moderate increase in brightness only, which I found most interesting.

Jackcob, could you please cite the location of the particular ad you mentioned?

Here is what thew add says:

All the new SAMAs (Stand Alone Motor Assembly) are supplied with an IEC detachable power cord. And while this makes installation in tight-quarters less of a challenge it has one other advantage: it allows you to upgrade the power cord. We didn't think changing the AC Cord feeding the turntable's motor would have much of an effect. That is until we tried the new VPI Super Power Cord. Improvements in background "blackness" and sweeter high frequencies were consistently noted during our listening sessions. For those using the SDS (Synchronous Drive System), the Super Power Cord will yield similar improvements over the stock cord.

thanks Jack that's the one!
now who has actually tried this? HDM & Bob Crump apparently have. Others opinions re: "placebo effect" are obviously just that & are worth exactly what you paid for it. If you have tried this to no positive effect, then that's useful information. If you have tried this to positive effect, then that's also useful information. If you haven't tried it then you have no business publishing pure conjecture because you don't know one way or the other. I'm gonna try it when I get an SDS & will keep an open mind. Whether it does or doesn't do anything for me, that's just one situation & you won't necessarily experience the same result. All systems are different; synergy is the differentiating factor. There are NO absolutes in this hobby.
Bob: Just to clarify things, I haven't actually replaced the cord on my table, as it's a bit complicated. I have an older Michell Gyrodek; the power cord connects with a very weird 3 pin connector I've never seen anywhere else essentially right at the motor and then runs to a "wall wart" kind of power supply, with the cord running out from that power supply to what used to be a cheap rubber/plastic molded plug. In my early days of experimenting with (and building some DIY) power cords, I simply cut off the molded plug and replaced it with a Hubbell 5266CCN male plug. This in itself made a pretty substantial improvement to sound quality, so I am not really too skeptical that a good cord might improve things further. If I could get my hands on a bit more 47 Labs OTA cable and guarantee myself that I could terminate at that 3 pin connector without destroying it or screwing things up, I'd probably go that route as I've used that same setup on my CD/DVD player with very good results.
Re: The ad... Curious; VPI's WebSite doesn't, AFAIK, list the product. Acoustic Sounds subtley implies it's a VPI product. E-mailed both parties for further info. Seems to me, IMHO, that it would be in VPI's best interest to supply the best pc required for the task with it's SAMA. The original SAMA came with a 3-conductor #18AWG hardwired SJT cord; (junior hard service, thermoplastic insulation.)

Considering the mass of VPI platters, I remain highly skeptical that a PC change over a stock SAMA cord would be earth shattering. I *have changed the plug on the stock original SAMA...yawn. Audio memory tells me that actually the SAMA change out was, well, subtle at best. For every system there's an opinion. For every change, there's usually a difference. Not all differences are improvements. Funny how the change/difference seems to vanish after awhile... Upgrades are the lifeblood of the software industry, and the audio industry is no different. Put it out there and someone will buy it. It's been that way since new and improved laundry detergent was invented.

I'm not saying this is impossible, but, IMHO, it has some heavy odds stacked against it. No way will I drop $300 for an experiment. That money would go a long way in the used record shop; but then, some are more interested in hardware and changes than actually collecting music to listen to.

Unaware that Forum rules only allowed posting the results of subjective field tests, which of course, result in individual opinions and observations, and that ideas and thoughts were disallowed; even with liberal sprinkling of IMO/IMHO's, which I neglected... And *that won't happen again.
Take this for what it worth (probably very little). Krell recommends not replacing their stock power cords. They sort of imply problems may result. Every time I have observed changing the power cord on a piece of Krell gear there was a dramatic improvement, not just a change. The review is for another thread, but just because VPI doesn't recommend or stock the better PC doesn't mean it will not help.
P.S. Love that Pixie Dust.
VPI confirms that the cord mentioned is a VPI branded product...
This is the best thread I have read here at Audiogon. Hey lighten up Bob, I agree with Twl (NO Bob I did not try it yet ok) but if you know anything about turntables it's only common sense that if you can help the motor run smoother you get better sound.
I will post again when I do try the pc uprrade.

Bob maybe you should try some of that cryo'd Pixie dust. I know I need some. Let me know when you guys have a batch ready out of the cable cooker.

I have a SAMA with my VPI HW19MKIV and am using the SDS. My SAMA does not have the interchangeable power cord. I assumed that it wouldn't make a difference what type of power cord feeding the SDS as long as the SDS was putting out the proper frequency. WRONG! It made a huge difference in sound by changing power cords with the SDS. I finally ended up with Custom Power CO Top Gun on the SDS. I wish my version of the SAMA had the interchangeable cords as I am sure it would effect the sound.
Just to let you know I purchased a power cord kit from subaruguru and damned if their isnt a for the better increase in bass extension and generally better dynamic contrasts.It pains me to admit it but its true none the less and I didn't get robbed by a named brand to boot.I swapped the power cord on my audio aero capitole cd player.

How long did it take to burn in Ernie's PC? Nice about the bass extension (although my Plinius-Cabasse combination has gobs of it already). What are your impressions about the top end?
DM & Shasta thank you for the reports - very interesting. Just to be clear I am not trying to disbelieve nor to believe this phenomenon - I still maintain an open mind about it. I also realize that your results may not be the same as mine would be (could be better, worse, or no difference at all). I also have the MKIV, but without a SAMA. I do have the upgrade TNT bearing & platter. Was considering buying a SAMA but read reports that it wasn't worth the $400 price of admission, which VPI won't discount. (The probability of finding a cheaper used SAMA is doubtful; once installed no one is gonna remove to sell it separately). Maybe some VPI dealer like Zhusein might give me a decent break though?
Anyway the SAMA may be worthwhile my adding anyway, especially to allow the capability of changing the AC cord. Might be able to retrofit an IEC to my existing motor assy if there's some room, but hey, this is a really good excuse to justify the SAMA upgrade. So why not?
I now have an SDS on the way. I also have a Top Gun Special sitting here unused at the moment so I'll begin there. Will try out some others too, but I don't anticipate any miracles.
DM we're not actually stuck with that chintsy factory line cord if we simply replace/hardwire in a better one. Sounds like another possible good option to try. Even HDM's report of the upgrade AC plug alone demonstrates some promise.
Not sure, but I assume that Bruce's remark re: AudioAero is off topic re: E.Meunier's DIY cords.
Expanding a bit- VPI reported that the PC is built by them in-house, has a lifetime warranty, and even was a bit appologetic about the $300 price, claiming a high labor burden for assembly. Seems to be a *very low-profile VPI product...

My initial knee-jerk, untested skepticism was engendered by the fact that I do wires, motors, instrumentation, and power distribution design on daily basis for 30 yrs now, and the thought of a 5 ft power feed to fractional HP motor driving a huge rotating weight (read:flywheel), could have much effect beyond the 'ol classic wow & flutter, pegged-out my Skept-O-Meter. Maybe, but I get a Subtle If Any change, here.

BB- Please keep everything as-is, and just drop in the SDS. I'd be curious on your experience, since it's on my list.
The difference was obvious from the moment I hooked it up.Their is no difference in the highs that I can tell.The bass extension and dynamics are such that I had to move the speakers a couple of inches out from the rear wall to bring things back in balance and I believe pc cords would make a difference in any part of the chain but as to whether its a pleasing change I couldnt say.Only my hairdresser knows for sure...never mind.
I would not put $300 into a cord made by a Turntable manufacturer. The Virtual dynamics PC's seem to be the current leaders of the pack in PC value. Right now all are half price if you will right a review for them. That's the one I will try. But it will not be soon, Thanks for a great thread, and to all the info gathered.

Thanks for the further information. I have one of those kits, too, but have yet to put it together. I'm quite anxious to hear it myself.
Well, I spent last night exchanging three diffreent power cords for between the VPI motor and SDS controller. I couldn't hear a bit of difference, even between a cheap standard cord and a $400 PS audio cable that I had purcharsed for my VPI ulimate outlet. Maybe my doubts that a power cord that has no electrical connection to the turntable could make a big difference colored my judgment, but I don't think so. In my view, in this application, PIXIE DUST!
Following questions re whether 10AWG junk is preferable to 12AWG GREAT wire like the 83802, I've just decided to double the stuff up to provide 9AWG DIY PC Kits! So that should quench those 10 gauge worry-warts, eh? Cheers.
so... some report no difference at all, while others report significant differences. Must be another one of those system-dependent & synergy-related issues? Can't help but wonder, why such contrasting variability?