Really bad sounding power cables ?


Hi Everyone,
So out of curiosity, are there any power cables, including DIY attempts, you felt sounded really horrible?

For instance, GrannyRing has stated that he doesn't like shielded cables. Anyone else have negative stories they'd care to share? I'm particularly interested in an inexpensive, horrible sounding power cable to try in my rig, to see if I can hear any difference at all.


Best,

E
erik_squires
Never said I don’t like shielded power cables. At least that is not what I universally currently believe. I said that one specific power cable made with Duelund 12ga 600v Polycast wire sounds better unshielded. I tested several times after proper break in etc... In this particular case it closed in and darkened the sound.  I also notice this with ICs sometimes.  However, I also understand that this is NOT always the case. It depends on the conductor,  build and other variables including the home environment of a given system. 

I have made so many shielded power cords that I lost count. Some of them sounded quite good such as these Furutech bulk cables....

FPS55N
FPS032N

Connect the shield at the wall/male end only to ground. Leave the shield unconnected at the other end.

Neotech bulk power cable is also shielded and sounds good. A tad overly warm or dark, but good.

None of these approach the realism and lively sound of the unshielded Duelund after burn in. Power cords need burn in time.

Sorry, but I have not made a really terrible power cord as yet. Not really terrible 🙂
Thanks for the clarification, GR!
I'm particularly interested in an inexpensive, horrible sounding power cable to try in my rig, to see if I can hear any difference at all.


Okay, but wait a minute. Didn't you just build your own DIY power cord? So is the problem you can't hear any difference? Or you want to see if there's one even more horrible sounding? 

Serious question. Because it seems you use a lot of your own DIY cables. And seriously, the last guy I knew who did that, he had so many of these horrible sounding cables it got to the point he truly could not hear any difference between cables, until he brought one over and tried it in mine. He was shocked how easy it was to hear the differences, and how obviously inferior his money saving masterpiece was.

Also I don't see why its necessary even to ask. Every audiophile worth his salt has a drawer full of horrible sounding power cables- they include em with every component! If you have ANY power cords, DIY or otherwise, that don't make those freebies sound horrible by comparison, well then that's your problem right there.
How about really bad posts?
Okay, but wait a minute. Didn't you just build your own DIY power cord?



I did.


So is the problem you can't hear any difference? Or you want to see if there's one even more horrible sounding?


I wouldn't call it a problem. I would call it an investigation born out of curiosity.


My original, god know what it went to, black power cable and this new one sound pretty much the same to me. I mean, I could be pushed into believing it was more liquid sounding, but I can't actually hear anything I'd be able to tell if blindfolded. So, then it occurred to me, since I am absolutely not going to spend more money out of curiosity, maybe the best, most affordable way to go was to try the worst possible sounding cable, because maybe it was cheap and some one would send it to me for free. :)


Best,
E

I know they aren't expensive and it seems that many love them, but find that the Pangea power cables are incredibly dark and suck the life out of my sound.  The "cheap" stock cords sound better to my ears.  I recently tried the Nordost Blue Heaven power cords and really like them - and they aren't crazy expensive.
Pangea & Signal power cords both seemed to dull the presentation in all 3 of my systems.
Post removed 
I have tried 3 different DIY PC compared to generic cord and noticed clear differences.
The cabling (old audio cables that were replaced by something better) was entirely different for each but the general differences were :
Solid core OFC copper (2x15AWG),
Very fine stranded OFC copper (10AWG)
And a mixutre of thin stranded UPOCC silver plated and plain copper wires (6X24AWG, roughly 16AWG).

Interestingly even with a headphone amp and its small power requirements the differences were audible.
They influenced the sound in a similar way as audio signal cables, and the thinner high purity silver plated cable proved thickness is not a substitute for quality even with power cables, giving a finer sound with a more delicate high-end.

However the thinner cable also seemed to be restricting dynamics and openess of the sound, possibly indicating the reverse... that quality is not a substitute for gauge, even with low power requirements of a headphone amp.
For the other thicker copper cables it was hard to say which was ’’best’’, better thought of as different ’’flavours’’.
That said I preferred the solid core the most, with a deep organic sound... but some of that smeared quality you get with some (or all?) solid core copper audio cables.

For the purposes of the comparisons to hear the differences in just the cabling as purely as possibly I bypassed the fuses and sockets at each end with only switches to select cables and turn power....
HIGHLY DANGEROUS if you are not trained in dealing with mains.
I hate that horrible sucking sound coming for my wallet when a big waste of money is lurking around. 
Shunyata Sidewinder Helix CX12 gets my vote. First off they are rigid as rebar. I have an old Hydra 2 at home on loan with three Sidewinders, one being the one you have to use to plug into the wall outlet as it has a 20A IEC socket which makes no sense. Anyway these cords are lifeless and the Supra distribution block I picked up destroys this older Hydra; or I don’t know as I have to use their damn cord to start with so not sure if the Hydra is decent or not. The Hydra with its cords sucked the life out of my digital gear... only used it for CDP/DAC and streamer.

Tried the the other two cords on their own and all my other cords are much better. No idea how old these Sidewinders are or what they cost new but not impressed with these. Can’t get over why they are so rigid. Closed in, cold sounding cords... you should try these - you’ll love em.

As far as shielded and unshielded it depends on the equipment. On digital I use Nordost Vishnu which does not have an active shield but by the geometry of the cable reduces EM/RFI. Built my own for my Bluesound Vault 2 due to the C7 connector and went with a shielded cable tied at the wall floating on the player. My WyWires and Kimbers are unshielded for analog components and feel they are more open sounding. Any cable with a twist or a braid is going reduce noise to some extent. Put an AC noise sniffer on a Kimber PC and you won’t believe how noisy this cable is but still a very nice cable so I give but maybe why I prefer other PC’s on digital.

Debate will go on and on if PC’s make a difference or not but I will say I took home a PS Audio P5 power plant and there is no guessing if this thing is working or not. I tried it with all my components plugged in and settled with everything but my amp; left the amp directly plugged into the wall. The difference between using the P5 was incredible. You want to try something that you don’t have to play games with yourself if it’s making a difference, let alone an improvement... drag home a PS Audio Power Plant. My Supra does a respectable job for the money and does not roll off or soften my digital front end but the difference with it in my system or not is not huge but it’s there; the PS Audio is just simply incredible. Maybe try one of these instead of PC’s.
I wouldn't call it a problem. I would call it an investigation born out of curiosity.


My original, god know what it went to, black power cable and this new one sound pretty much the same to me. I mean, I could be pushed into believing it was more liquid sounding, but I can't actually hear anything I'd be able to tell if blindfolded. So, then it occurred to me, since I am absolutely not going to spend more money out of curiosity, maybe the best, most affordable way to go was to try the worst possible sounding cable, because maybe it was cheap and some one would send it to me for free. :)

Sounds like a good plan, interested in hearing the outcome.

$59. shipped. Amazon. WAudio 2 meter power cord. US connector and IEC. About what you would spend to build one. Allows more current delivery into the power amp ( power amp section ). Pure copper, shielded, nothing fancy but a good for the money cable to get into, over the stock cable.
shielding is there if you must have it...(hummmm).   If you can use cables that are unshielded, they sound more open.