Power Cords Rule


Just finished another DIY power cable using Ohno Continuous Cast copper. This is the third cable added in the past two months, the first two for my ARC mono blocks, this latest for my Wadia 861SE CDP, now over ten years old. I am trying to wring every bit of performance from this player, modified by GNSC. This new cable has lifted that old player to a new plateau of sound stage and clarity; there's just more information in the music not previously heard. All of these cables have first replaced Transparent Reference AC cables, and, after those, three other DIY cables containing OCC copper but with a PVC dielectric not well-suited for AC cables, but vastly superior to the Transparents, circa 2002. My newest versions have polypropylene dielectric over a combined 8 AWG OCC copper, mated to Furutech rhodium plugs. All together, these AC cables have improved my system as much as upgrading the front end would have, IMO, and that would also require a pre-amp in going away from Wadia. And so, my fellow audiophiles, this is where it's at--get that clean power and those great power cables--make 'em yourself--all else depends more on that source of pure power than your other cables can achieve, good as they have to be, as well. Every piece of your system will improve with a purer current--any way you can get it.
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128jafreeman
I wanna go to your cable school,,,,where do I sign up?
what did it cost you to DIY these cables and how much time did it take you?
You are absolutely right on major role of Power cords and how they change musicality of front end devices. I changed my previous power cords by putting new NEMA/IEC plugs and mixing them where I got an excellent result.

You mentioned usage of Ohno Continuous Cast copper. This is a processing name of copper wires invented like 20 years ago. There are different brands and everybody claims to be the best, I was wondering where did you get your copper cables?

thanks,
Jam, see my power cable report of 12/14 in this forum--just one example of making the materials work, but you can use any high-quality DIY AC cable and plugs with screw/clamp terminations--eg, Furutech. Basic tools--vices help--love the Klein Catapult wire stripper--sheath with a mesh braid--see Techflex for that. It's a fun project and not very difficult, although mine was due to the large conductor sizes I wanted to use. A 12 AWG wire is more realistic for Furutech plugs. Two 14 AWG conductors per terminal will still give you an 11 AWG cable--recommend OCC, of course. And, just ask a question on this forum for lots of advice.
Yes indeed, Jafreeman- power Cords Do Rule!

Care to post some pics of your cords? I would be very interested in seeing them. Howlong have you been building?

Happy Listening!
Michelzay, I made these cables from all Furutech materials, using their Alpha OCC 11 AWG AC cable, which I then dissected to remove the three conductors so I could use five conductors per cable. This is not necessary to build a very good DIY cable--could also build them as is. Neotech and Oyaide also offer OCC copper in their bulk cables--see VH Audio's selection. My cost was about 1K per cable, but had to use 2 meters/cable to get five conductors. I will post some pics to my system page. I did a five-wire braid between the plugs to give some flexibility and aesthetic appeal, supposed noise canceling, etc.
I found that the end plugs provide the greatest difference. The wire itself did not. Top of the line Furutech is my favorite, although Oyeida is fine as well.
I first discovered the magic of a better power cord in 1987.
I had Quad 63,but the Quad(thin as a hair)power cords weren't long enough.
So I got some cheap male ends and cobbled the old Quad IEC together with some 14 gauge solid core romex.

To my ears this was an improvement in body and dimension over the stock power cords.As it was to the next owner of those Quads who asked if the DIY PC's were for sale .

Now skip ahead about twenty years and I got into Annacondas and power conditioning and dedicated lines,with thanks to a friend who went that route a few months earlier.

I've never looked back.
It's really too bad some folks who claim to be music lovers still aren't hearing all the music they profess to love from their systems.

Power cords come in at various price points,but you can DIY .
Just don't cheap out on the connectors.

I would suggest the entry level Furutechs on some decent power cable wire.

Then as time and extra cash permit, upgrade those Furutechs to some of the better ones from them.

You can always re-use the entry cables you made elsewhere in a second system, Home theatre or to replace a few of those thrown in power cords some folks can't seem to part with.

I'll agree with you that the stock power cords will sound alright,but if the music really matters, you should investigate the power products that are needed to bring that music to you.
If you are into DIY give these a try

http://www.image99.net/blog/files/category-cable-construction.html

Got them on all my components...
- deeper better controlled bass
- bigger image
- improved dyamics

They are a little more complicated to make, but get easier after the first one :-)

The sonar quest connectors are great value also

Also upgrade the wall outlet

Regards
Yeah i've found in my system attention to AC power really pays off. In the last 6 months i've added a Furutech GTX-D(G)wpo, Gigawatt PC-3 SE Evo power conditioner & plan on upgrading my 3 main Jorma Prime pc's with cryo'd Oyaide M1/F1 connectors which should take those cables to the next level. So I can relate to wriging every last bit of performance out of your front end. Each part in the chain plays an important part in achieving a clean, stable power supply with excellent impulse response.
It might seem to be a bit of a troll but I have eliminated all of my power cords (I'm using portable battery powered players) and the sound quality is much better in every way. I'm out there and loving it, Jerry!
I like the concept of battery power.I enjoyed my time with a Sutherland PHD,and at one time toyed with the idea of using gear from Vinnie Rossi and get off the grid.

But I'd already invested too much time and money on dedicated lines, upscale power cords and conditioners.And I finally got the Acoustats with the servo amps, so I am tied into the grid.But no regrets.I enjoy my system.

For someone just getting into the hobby or looking to upgrade from a modest set up, I think it would be well worth looking into.

But,nothing is perfect.
You have to eliminate AC noise at some point, no matter how good your cables are....I have not found better solutions than those offered by Transparent and MIT. Perhaps a well designed PC combined with a power conditioning system would yield good results? I use the Transparent PLMM2 and MIT Oracle AC2 into a Transparent PowerIsolater Duo with phenomenal results.
I've been pleasantly surprised with the improvement in sound my system, now that I've done some more tweaks to the power delivery.

I've found that Stillpoints ERS cloth works for me, and so does a couple of Nordost QV2.

My sound is now more coherent, better focused,and less harsh sounding.

But I never would have used any of those descriptors before.

I felt things were about as good as they could get.

I had paid attention to the power delivery.

Three dedicated 20 amp lines on 10 guage wire from the panel.

One into a Hydra 2 for CD,
one into the large HYdra for TT and phono stage,and volume control, and the last one for the power amps.

I use Shunyata RZ1 and Furutech GTX D outlets.

The power cords are all Shunyata Annaconda.

So how could some cheap cloth and two relatively inexpensive power tweaks make any difference to what I had already done?

I was sceptical, but I've been surprised before when things that shouldn't make any difference do.

Did I mention I've been using HiFi Supremes throughout the system?

Some folks say they don't hear any changes using them.

I do, and I hear a much sweeter sounding system since I've done the last(?)round of tweaks.

Please don't expect too much from that fancy expensive power cord.

It can only do so much.

You shouldn't stop there,because when all the pieces of the puzzle come together, the picture is so much clearer.
I agree that power cords RULE.

I have fiddled around with my system for the past year and could not get it to sound 'just right."

I tried low budget power after market power cords (Pangea), that were OK, but still lacking. I didn't relish the idea of spending thousands more just to try to find a few that worked well for my system and tastes.

I FINALLY found a 10 gauge silver power cord that was perfect for my amp, and put together a DIY cable for my digital using Acrolink power cable and Oyaide connectors. Had everything cryoed and left the system powered on for a couple of weeks.

TA-DA !! Nirvana ! Or at least a perfect "lock" for my system.

I would normally recommend budget after maket cords, but in my case they just wetted the appetite and fell short of where I wanted the system to be. In that sense, they were kind of a waste of money.

Anyway - yes I agree.. POWER CORDS RULE, and are very important to making your system go from just so-so - to very good.
Should probably mention my system to provide some reference:
Wyred 4 Sound Dac 2 DSD
Musical Fidelity Tri=Vista Integrated Amp
PMC PB1i loudspeakers
Tek-Line AG10 power cord (amp)
Acrolink DIY cord with Oyaide 004 connectors (digital()
Cabledyne and Clear Day speaker cables
I have a question for Melbguy1. Can you describe the sonic character of the Jorma Prime PC's? Are they on the detailed side of neutral or the full bodied/lush side? Can you compare them to a few other High end PC's for context? What are you trying to change/improve by adding the M1/F1 connectors. Thanks for you response.

Bart
In MY experience, the plugs are the most important part of the cable.  I used top of the line Furutech ends with great satisfaction.  Oyeida is also very good, but Furutech in MY system is best.
posbwp554 posts11-03-2016 6:41pmI have a question for Melbguy1. Can you describe the sonic character of the Jorma Prime PC's? Are they on the detailed side of neutral or the full bodied/lush side? Can you compare them to a few other High end PC's for context? What are you trying to change/improve by adding the M1/F1 connectors. Thanks for you response.

Bart
Hi Bart, I wouldn't describe the Jorma Prime pc as lush at all, nor the other extreme of ultra resolving, etched, analytical. I would describe the Jorma Prime pc in similar terms to a Conrad Johnson Gat preamp. "It just sounds right". One word to describe Jorma is natural. The Prime pc has a touch of warmth compared to Origo which is neutral & sounds harmonically rich, resolving, sophisticated and musical. By musical I mean instruments have body and sound tonally correct.

I have compared Jorma Prime to the Andromeda pc which comes with Vitus gear & Acoustic Revive Power Reference. Prime is more resolving, transparent, yet more resolving, sophisticated & musical. It's in a different class altogether as it's price suggests. Mihalis here on A'gon compared Prime to Nordost Valhalla and Odin in his reference system & preferred Prime in every application except transformer-phono. Not bad considering Prime is half the cost of Odin. Otoh, Fred Crowder from Dagogo uses a mix and match approach in his system & preferred a Jorma Prime pc on his phono, hence it is system dependent.

Apropos which, Fred told me the Jorma Prime pc's "generally work well on front end components, somewhat less successfully on high powered amps but that is a generalization.  As I said, they work spectacularly on the EAR electronics, EMM Labs and Ypsilon. You will need to find what works best on your electronics".

Compared to other flagship pc's, the only perceived weakness I could find in the Prime pc were the factory Oyaide P-004/C-004 connectors vs other reference pc's which use Furutech FI-50(r) connectors. So I had 3 of my Primes re-terminated with the M1/F1's. I wanted to reduce the noise floor & improve dynamics, and the cryo'd M1/F1's certainly delivered. I got a nice improvement with those connectors, though note: they don't change the basic tonal balance of the P-004/C-004's (using the same metallurgy on the pins). Others would argue the factory connectors are good enough. And for most folks, in most systems they would be. But I wanted to push mine to the max ;).
Melbguy1, Thanks so much for the excellent and detailed explanation. It is exactly what I was looking for. I am currently using CH Acoustic X-20 (2) on my Bybee Stealth PC and APL Master (modified Esoteric X-01), Valhalla (2) on my Esoteric Grandioso C1 preamp (it uses 2 PC's) and one Argento FMR on my Esoteric Grandioso S1 amp. The weak link are the Valhalla PC's. The PC's I am considering are: Mexcel 9500, Ch Acoustic X-20 and Jorma Prime or Origo. By the way, I added the F1/M1 connectors to the CH Acoustic from the Synergistic Black outlet to the Bybee PLC. It was a noticeable improvement. Thanks again.

Bart
You are the Man! Melbguy1
YW Bart. To offer another anecdote, my friend who owns Marten Coltrane 3's & Vitus Masterpiece series gear was using Siltech Double and Triple Crown cables and was not happy with the sound. Here is some of what he had to say..

"just be careful if u go down Siltech ruby double crown route. I just plugged Ruby Double Crown into the dac and the transport. Not good. Sounds much better with the Primes. Unless u want clean analytical - clinical sound. If you go around looking for the biggest bass and “see through” clarity and detail you will pick Siltech every time, but over the longer term and especially with speakers that need a little warmth somewhere in the chain then Siltech may not be the best answer."

"Yesterday i decided to try my last remaining Jorma Prime power cable on my Vitus MP Dac. Previously it was using an Andromeda, and I’ve also subbed in a Siltech Ruby Hill 2 a couple of times. I had never put the Jorma on the Dac before - it was instead feeding the gigawatt.

Well I’ve got to say, it was the single biggest change I’ve had for a while. Voices became noticeably smoother, especially through the Vitus amps, and also through the Cary. So once again your theories play out to be the truth. Don’t overlook any aspect of your system , synergy , and jorma for midrange!!"

Ps: Cheers jafant.
 
Melbguy1,

Thanks for the added info from yourself and Jafant. I am guessing in my system, based on the differences described here and in online reviews,  the Origo would be a better fit than the Prime. I am generally very happy with the sound and balance of my system. If I were to nitpick, I would think it could be nudged slightly in the direction of more detail. I have been a lifelong tubeoholic until fairly recently. I have a large collection of high quality NOS tubes. In the past I could experiment with minor tweaks inexpensively (relative to PC, IC and SC swaps) through tube rolling. I currently have only two E182CC's in the output stage of my APL Master SACD player. There are only two options here and one clear winner. Tube rolling is not an option in this family. It is possible with patience to pick up high quality cables used and if they don't work out, take a small hit on resale. Clearly, I am not in the financial league of Melbguy1 and Jafant. No jealousy, I am actually grateful that they can afford to experiment with components and cables regardless of price. I also trust their opinions and recommendations much more than audio magazine reviewers for obvious reasons. With patience and the information gleaned from the experiences of high end users on this and other sites, I can find a used PC here and there that I can try with some confidence it will be the right fit. Have you guys tried the Origo vs Prime PC's? Am I right in assuming that the Prime is a tad warmer than the Origo? Thanks.

Bart
@posbwp55 , I haven’t tried the Origo power cables, though I have one Unity pc which is very good for the money, with the only weak point being its fairly cheap connectors (which I re-terminated with Oyaide P-004/C-004’s borrowed from from one of my Prime pc’s). I previously had a full loom of Origo cables (sans pc’s). Origo uses similar technology as Prime, but has once less shielding. Yes, in my experience Origo is more neutral, but there is not a really bid difference in tonality. Jorma cables are basically neutral, though Origo is the most neutral of the top models.

Given the relatively small difference in price from Origo to Prime, and the fact I was planning an all-ss system, I decided to go for Prime pc’s when I upgraded to Jorma. If you are aiming for a bit more detail in your system, bare in mind Prime’s extra and more comprehensive shielding & slightly higher spec copper wire should give you a lower noise floor & improved resolution/detail. And you could always re-terminate the P-004/C-004 connectors later on with cryo’s M1/F1 connectors if it’s a keeper. Then if you wanted to subtly dial back the warmth from there, I would install a Furutech GTX-D(R) wpo.

My pleasure- Bart.

TY- melbguy1 for your continued support and sharing. It appears that your system is pretty set. Must be a great feeling of accomplishment.

I still want to demo and audition a few more cabling options before I finally set my mind into my system- that will be a great feeling of accomplishment as well.


Happy Listening!

@jafant , Actually i’ve got a few big upgrades planned in the next 14 months or so aimed at removing any weak links & further optimizing my system. Mind you, my system will still remain fairly simple, being based on cd & 4K Bluray for movies. I’m picking up a nice Tivoli dab+/Internet radio for background music at home next week.

Good luck with your cable demo'ing!
Melbguy1,

Good idea on using a Furutech GTX-D (R) for the wall outlet to gain detail. I am going to run three dedicated lines using the following outlets: SR Red, SR Black and Furutech GTX-D (R). I have three different Bybee Stealth PLC's that use SR Red, Furutech GTX-D (R) & (G). This will give me the flexibility I used to get from tube rolling. Jafant, keep us posted on your PC demos. 

Bart
I have the Neotech NES 3001 Speaker Cable which is 8AWG wired as a Power cord and it improved clarity and bass overall. Very happy and they are cheap too.
Much Thanks! melbguy1-

what are your planned upgrades to your system?
@posbwp55 .Good show. In an ideal world, running dedicated 20a lines into audiophile wpo’s is the way go go. In my situation, I only got into high end audio after moving into my current apartment. And retro-fitting 20a lines would be a dog of a job, so I installed a Furutech GTX-D(g) wpo & am planning on adding a Telos GNR & QNR next year which will achieve similar goals & maybe even take it a bit further. @jafant, that is one of my planned upgrades next year. The other biggie is on the amplification side, but i’m keeping that under wraps for now ;).
I understand melbguy1.

I certainly want to demo Vitus, Soulution and AudioNet gear.
Happy Listening!
Jafant, carte blanche my audition list of amps would be a bit different to yours..
- (future model) Vitus Signature series integrated
- Absolare Passion integrated
- Pass INT-250
- Gryphon Diablo 300 &
- (future model) Vac 160 SE with IQ technology.
That said, I'm pretty sure I know which one I'd take home for synergy with my Vitus SCD-025 Mk2 ;).