Review: Belden 8718 DIY power cord / The Grey Ghost

Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
July 2017 Issue

The Grey Ghost

Here is a nice diy power cord that performs well and can be built rather cheaply. I purchased an assembled power cord from Canuck Audio Mart for around $25 plus shipping. I have named this cable "The Grey Ghost", because it has a grey colored jacket and disappears like a ghost. The power cord is made by Belden and the model number is 8718. This is a multi conductor single pair cable made from 12AWG tinned copper conductors. It also has a 14 AWG tinned copper drain wire. Both wires are stranded. The cable is shielded with Beldfoil. It is terminated with very inexpensive seymour and schurter plugs. 

If you are just getting started in the power cable game the Belden 8718 is an excellent place to start. It is not a big and beefy sounding cable, but in the right system it sounds excellent. One thing i like about it, is that it's a lightweight and flexible cord that is easy to work with. I would recommend that you use it in a system that has well extended bass and highs. I am using it with my Magnum integrated amp and Musical Fidelity DAC.

I wanted to see how this power cord handles vocals, so i listened to Sting sing, "It Ain't Necessarily So", from the excellent Porgy and Bess cd by Joe Henderson. No problems here. Sting's voice was just as neutral and expressive as i have ever heard. The tenor saxophone had a "juicy" sound , somewhat similar to what i hear from my tube amps. The colorful tone was also reminiscent of my tube amps. The drum bass whack at the end was a little light but other than that i enjoyed the performance. 

If you are a fan of Grant Green, be sure to check out "Live At The Club Mozambique", a collection of funky tunes recorded at Detroit's Club Mozambique in 1971 with his working band and guests Houston Person and Idris Muhammad. My favorite track on this is titled, "Bottom Of The Barrel". I liked the intensity and the accuracy of the drums. With certain sax instruments, i noticed a nice sense of brassiness that i don't usually hear with some of my lesser amplifiers. I also noticed a slight golden tone and at other times i noticed a silvery sheen with some instruments. The highs were fairly sharp and clean. Regarding resolution, at the beginning of the song you can hear musicians talking in the background and one cough.  This is a song i could study over and over again. 

The Belden 8718, "The Grey Ghost", is an inexpensive diy power cord that i can easily recommend. It is not a "heavy" sounding power cord, but used in a powerful sounding system it delivers all the neutrality and transparency that any reasonable audiophile could ask for. It is a light and flexible power cord that could be just your ticket for your next do it yourself project. 

Reference stereo gear

Magnum integrated amp with rca noisetoppers
Virtue Audio Nirvana speaker cables
Musical Fidelity V90-DAC
Denon Dvd-1920 DVD player
Monster M850 DCX digital coaxial cable
Kimber PBJ stereo interconnect
Paradigm Titan V2 speakers
Atacama speaker stands