Shielded or unshielded power cables for class-D monoblocks?


I am moving to a new house in Europe where I will be having a dedicated hifi room. Two separate power lines have been installed, still undecided on the wall socket, they will be either Furutech SWS Rhodium NCF or SWS Gold or one of each.

I was thinking of the power cables to my Class D amplifiers (Ncore NC1200 based), for other classes of amplification I normally prefer unshielded power cable but since my amplifiers use SwitchMode power supplies should I try shielded power cables? What do you think?
greg_f
The EMI radiating from your amp is going to affect the other nearby components so I would focus on the digital source IC's and power cord more so than the amp.  Balanced IC's with some sort of shielding is the first thing that comes to mind.
If your low level cables are shielded, most noise issues should be covered. I have the same power amp "problem". My current configuration is an unshielded star quad geometry for my power cable, that is self shielding by design. My TV, decoder and PC have shielded power cables. This works for me. 

Maybe you want to check the puritan power cables, because their shielding is about dissipating instead of draining noise to earth. 

http://www.puritanaudiolabs.com/products/mains-cables/





The amps are driven directly from a Weiss DAC 202 connected with balanced ICs. The front end is currently powered from a power conditioner and I think I will be using shielded power cables there. I currently use DIY supra lorad cables with wattage connector at IEC end and Neutrik power connector. I would like to upgrade them.

The power cables will be almost certainly DIY again, the cable either something from the Furutech range or DIY helix style. For the power amps I was thinking of using the Nanotec 308 wire which seems to be not shielded.

tantejuut , I think you are using the Viborg connectors, how do they compare to the Furutech ones? Which ones do you recommend?


Shielded, and in a separate zone.

You want to keep the EMI/RFI from radiating out of the amps and into the other devices.

I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on this, DIY cables with nice plugs will do. Make sure you run the ground from end to end, but connect the shield at the wall only.
The Viborgs are a real steal. You get 80% of Furutech quality for way less money. I have dissected a Neotech 3003 cable, removed the shield, made star quad out of it and combined it with Viborg 511R on the Schuko side and Oyaide C-004 on the IEC side for my amp. But I like it fresh & detailed. The Viborg 511G gives more warmth as the unplated one, if that is your goal. 

The Furutech NCF FI-50 ncf is about as good as it gets at the moment. If cost is no object and you want the last bit of performance. Go for it. 

With the Nanotec 308 you have a very good foundation. I haven't used this cable but a lot of people are very content with it. Nice dac btw.
I have to say I had horrible luck with Furman locking bananas and have never ever used their products again.


Thanks tantejuut!

I did hear lots of good things about the FI-50 NCF but I don't really want to spend that much. I like your idea making a star quad out of a stripped NEP-3003, that was another cable I was considering.

As I believe matching the metals of the connector and the socket and since I was going to install the Furutech SWS R NCF wall socket, perhaps I will try the Schuko VIborg Rhodium but at the IEC end have a gold plated connector to give a little warmth. Have you tried the Viborg IECs ?

I like the Weiss DAC 202, most of the time it drives the power amps directly but something I insert a BAT VK40 preamp in the chain changing the tone totally. I have too much choice changing the character of the system, before the Weiss there is a Trinnov ST2-Hifi used in digital mode only.... anyway I diverted...
Btw thanks for the Puritan link, useful.
You are welcome Greg. I have used Viborg, Iego and Oyaide IEC's in the past. Viborg Gold on IEC is also a very good choice, if you need some warmth. They have good grip. But the Oyaide C 004 was the most dynamic, with the best extension (bandwidth) and detail.

Switch mode power supplies in your system can result in a mid focussed, dry sound. You can fix this a little bit with with gold.  I wanted to extend my bandwidth to the max. Rhodium and Platinum can have the effect of a loudness button. Like a smiley eq curve. Thats why I choose them.  Not everyone's cup of tea.

Erik is also right. Separation is very important. Especially front end and power amps. Connecting the shield at wall end is 80% of the situations correct. Sometimes it is better at IEC side. Sometimes lifting the ground is better, allthough dangerous with Class I equipment. It depends on the position in the power strip you use, the kind of noise your equipment spits out and the way it interacts with the other power supplies in your system.  
Strangely I never had luck with Oyaide connectors (their lower end ones) while I like their cables. I think I will try the Viborg gold IECs, they are cheap enough.  I listen mainly to metal and little opera so I need good dynamics, fast transients but at the same time I am very sensitive to sibilance. 

I know what you mean about switch mode power supplies, then again it also depends on the quality of the design of the PSU, its switching frequency, components used, etc but in general they don't sound 'euphoric'.

I hear you guys on separating the power. That is why I am having two separate lines installed one with a duplex wall plug for the power amps and another one with a single wall plug for the front end.  Next thing is what to do with the grounding. Ideally will have a dedicated ground separate from the main house ground just for the hifi but that can be against local regulations and potentially lethal. I need to read more about the Puritan Ground Master, it could just do the job nicely.

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You can get some of the NCF performance if you use fo.q damping material from Japan. There are 3 different thicknesses it is piezoelectric and is readily available on eBay. You can treat wayyyy more than your power cords and wall sockets (,Although plenty of gains just here) with 1 pack. 

The thicker stuff is great on flat surfaces,  the thin stuff can go around cables.

Search the forum for uses, I've had 1 pack of ta32 and 1 pack of ta102 from separate sellers. Will be getting more.
Good tip discopants. I have never tried reducing microphonics this way. I have used techflex noise reduction sleeving before and this had minimal effect (but looked cool ;) ) so I kept it anyway.

https://www.techflex.nl/speciaal-flexo-noise-reduction-c-45_134.html?language=EN

What is the effect of fo.q on the sound? 

Thanks Discopants. I have never heard of fo.q as my music interests were put on the back burner for few very difficult years. I have used dynomat before to dampen chassis and components but this sounds different. Like Tantejuut asks what is the effect on the sound?