Separate conductors for separate frequency ranges in cables


On this issue, I'm both skeptical and open minded. I'm approaching this in a good faith manner. I saw an ad on Agon for PS Audio power cables and the description reads, "Inside the AC12 are three hollow PCOCC conductors for the treble regions, one massive PCOCC rectangular conductor for the midrange and multiple gauges of PCOCC bundled together for the bass." I read that and just thought to myself, what does PS Audio mean? There is no crossover within the cable that literally separates frequencies and delivers them to separate inputs of a component. I can understand how different types of conductor materials/geometries can optimize different frequencies, but I don’t see how this would work in a single cable. Not too dissimilar are “Shotgun biwire” or “single biwire” speaker cables, but at least in that application you end up with two separate connections at the speaker – one to the bass woofer, and the other to tweeter and midwoofer. Is there anyone out there that can more fully explain what PS Audio is trying to accomplish with this cable construction? Honestly, I’m just seeking to understand, not cast aspersions. I really dig a lot of what PSA does.


Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje0otyymjm0nzcsimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=6450b6a277533ee67f178ae6aa3a0dfb7c5920e209f6e4412504e91242d74eb8&w=128blang11
I don't think you're going to get a solid answer. We really have no idea how PS Audio came up with all that. Did they sit down and engineer a cable with those exact properties, or did they just try combinations until they got it right? We'll never know the answer to that, but I would guess it was a combination.

You can't control what PS Audio does, but you can control your own actions. Listen to the cables before you buy them, and don't rely on anyone but yourself to make a decision.
Is there anyone out there that can more fully explain what PS Audio is trying to accomplish with this cable construction?
I certainly can't, despite having an extensive background in electronic design.  What can be said with certainty, though, is that a significant fraction of the current that may be present at any given frequency will utilize each and every one of the aforesaid conductors.  The total current that may be present at a given frequency will divide up between all of the available paths within the cable in inverse proportion to the impedance of those paths at that frequency.  And that impedance will be very small for all of the conductors at all audible frequencies.

So if these cables sound better than some others which do not use a similar approach, it will not be because currents at various frequencies follow their assigned pathway.

Regards,
-- Al
 

Electrical current flows through your speaker wires.  More current flows thorough wires with less resistance (i.e., wires with larger cross-sectional area....or smaller gauge).  Therefore, the larger wires will carry a proportionally larger amount of current.  However, in the absence of a cross-over, and ignoring any hysteria about skin-effect, I cannot think of any reason why the different wires in the cable you describe would be carrying different frequencies if they are all connected at the same place at both ends.  The frequencies certainly would not be isolated to different wires as is somewhat implied by the marketing blurb.

As to your question about
"what PS Audio is trying to accomplish with this cable construction"
my thought would be that they decided to try something they could advertise as being somewhat revolutionary and cutting-edge in order to create interest and sell more cables.
Many (including AQ) claim that skin effect is audible in audio. Perhaps because of that they use hollow conductor for the tweeter, In my opinion it would be sufficient to use wire gauge 18 (100% skin depth at 20kHz in copper), but there might be something else (inductance of the wire?). Why they use square conductors for the midrange I have no idea. As for the separation of the cables - the main purpose in my opinion, is to lower interaction of back EMF produced by different speakers at different frequencies. With separate wires there would be divider consisting of the wire inductance and amplifier’s output impedance. Only portion of this back EMF will go back to the other speaker. There is, of course, Xover but it isn’t perfect. It was observed that some speakers sound better bi-wired while others don’t. It might be related to Xover design.

Getting back to skin effect - common way of eliminating it is to use multiple strands, but as long as they are in magnetic field of each other there will be skin effect. Wires placed on hollow tube or arranged as flat "tape" are mostly in magnetic field of neighboring strands.

I’m not sure what is audible and what is gimmick. In my opinion it would be sufficient to use gauge 20 for the tweeter and 16 for the rest. On the other hand I had cable like that (AQ Indigo) and when I switched to Acoustic Zen Satori Shotgun (insulated strands on large hollow tube) sound changed dramatically - imaging improved, highs became "silky" while lower midrange became more pronounced. Cello started sounding more resonant, male voices got "chestiness" etc. while the bass got even better control. Overall gauge of this cable is 6. I’m not sure why they need it. I can only suspect that they try to reduce inductance.
They also use zero crystal copper (cooled in hot forms to avoid crystal formation), but many people claim that plain oxygen free copper is OK (thousands of crystals).

Like you, I’m trying to understand, but am getting more and more convinced that there has to be an element of magic in the audio. How otherwise explain stronger lower midrange of the cable in terms of RLC?

Using different conductors in one jacket for speaker cable has been done for many years by numerous manufacturers, however the OP is talking about an ad for POWER CABLES, not speaker cables. I'm having a very difficult time understanding how different conductors in a POWER CABLE affect specific frequencies. The power cable feeds the power supply of a component, then the AC is converted to DC. I would love to hear a reasonable explanation of why a power cable needs different conductors.

I appreciate everyone's input. @tls49 yes, perhaps I should have emphasized the point that this PS Audio product description is for a power cable, which generates additional bewilderment. 
it is BS

people who claim that skin effect is audible in interconnect or speaker cables do not understand electronics; that confusion is worse for AC cables

but why go thru all those equations using actual numbers when you can do a double-blind listening test?
Blang11 - sorry for my long rant on speaker cables.  Perhaps my brain refused to even admit word "power" in your post  :)  

Most of linear power supplies draw current in narrow spikes.  These current spikes of very high amplitude contain a lot of harmonics.  That would suggest that cable should have very low inductance and resistance and many principles I described before (including skin effect) for speaker cables might apply.  On the other hand I suspect that small resistance and inductance can sometimes play beneficial filtering role. My power amp came with long plain factory cable, that I replaced with very short (8") teflon insulated cable, I made myself.  I cannot hear any difference.  Is it because it is plugged into Power Factor Correcting Conditioner or perhaps because this amp has regulated SMPS?  It is also possible that my hearing is less than perfect (and it is not going to get any better)?
Tony (Tls49), thanks for pointing out the reference to power cords, which I had missed.  Which just adds to the bewilderment, as Blang11 aptly points out.  Although as Kijanki alluded to, in some applications, especially in the case of power amps and integrated amps, frequency components as high as several tens of kHz may be drawn through a power cord by the component being powered.

Regards,
-- Al
 
I've never seen a PC claim quite like this one, so I went to PS Audio's web site and had a look at the cable. Its definately an odd design, but the one quality that stands out most is the price. With 3 different types of conductors and whatever else they put in those things, I was expecting to see a much higher price than $129.99. I would have been a lot less suprised if they were selling for over 1k.
I’m an unofficial non-paid non-actor spokesman for the Interplanetary High-End Audio Speaker Cable Manufacturers and Wire Recycle Association, LLC (pending). We feel that it’s a great idea to use very long runs of the most expensive speaker cable available and to use separate conductors of identical lengths for each individual driver in a speaker system.
The $129 price is for the lowest level and shortest length, not an unusual lead in to the pricing structure. 




Yeah, I definitely missed the power cable reference and mistakenly assumed they were speaker cables. However, that they are power cables really doesn't change anything.  Particularly the part about what PS Audio is trying to accomplish, i.e., generate interest to sell more cables.  BTW, Pangea uses different gauges of wire in their PCs, also a mix of stranded and solid core wire, as well as different qualities of wire (i.e., OFC and OCC), but not square wire.
60hz one frequency why do you need to address more. Yes there is noise on the power line and other artifacts but this seems like the marketing side of ps Audio going nuts. I've never got why a few feet of power cable can make any difference with the power company's miles of cheap cable from generation to substation to local transformers. And yes I have PS Audio power cables sigh. 
"The $129 price is for the lowest level and shortest length, not an unusual lead in to the pricing structure."

No mystery there. They have to charge something. My point was, as high end products goes, its hard to find a PC for $130. Go to Cable Co's website and display all of their PC's. They always give the lowest cost first, just like the $130 PS Audio cable. The vast majority of PC's starting at the lowest point of entry cost far more than $130.

I'm sorry, but the skeptic in me calls this 'marketing BS'.  With the lack of a crossover at the 'upstream end', I can't see electrons self-sorting themselves to any appreciable degree.  Physics is physics at the end of the day.  Blind listen if you absolutely think this might be 'the ticket', but be critical about it....IMHO...

Heres one for you, a mere $1700. https://store.wireworldcable.com/collections/power-conditioning-cords/products/platinum-electra-7-power-conditioning-cord-1?variant=957248655

 I would have to buy 2 of them for my Anthem P5 amp. I am going crazy right now worrying about what to put in the wall, since I'm remodeling the home down to the studs. Then there is the so called hospital grade plugs. And the wife wants all the speaker wire in the walls, and can't seem to find much high end choices for that. I agree with glennewdick, miles of crap from the power company to the pole, and then make it better with 3 ft of power cord????? BS to my ears.

So included in the cable price is a certified electron trainer that they will send to your home to teach the electrons which path to take depending which frequency they are transporting at that time.

Holy moly, you have got to be gullible to believe this kind of drivel.

Skin effect has no significance at audio frequencies that can be heard by humans.
I'm not knocking power cables - I hear they really work, as do many things audio that make little logical sense for the magnitude of change they produce.  But I have to wonder how a power cord could sound better than removing the outlet completely and wire-nutting a Romex lead directly to the house wiring, with an IEC connector on it, in essence extending the house wiring directly to the amp.  If the cord and outlet sounded better, THAT would be mind boggling - unless the ability to contain stray EMF fields near the equipment is the primary source of improvement.  OTOH I've tried nickel plated and gold plated outlets and there is a definite sound to each.  So, are power cords a combination of connector plating and EMF control?  And in that light, varied conductor size?  Are they "letting the sound through" or actually sculpting the sound?  I suspect both.

Why not just ask Paul at PSaudio for a explanation. I have used several of their power cords over time and they never do not answer my questions.
Enjoy Pete

@68pete Capital idea. I didn't mean for this thread to go negative. I genuinely thought folks might have some answers but it seems we're all stumped. I'll reach out to PS Audio and ask. I'll report back if I get a response 
I looked at their website, their range of cables have different gauge, Someone can explain what is  gauge and what is the difference between gauge specification range ?
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