Why Power Cables Affect Sound


I just bought a new CD player and was underwhelmed with it compared to my cheaper, lower quality CD player. That’s when it hit me that my cheaper CD player is using an upgraded power cable. When I put an upgraded power cable on my new CD player, the sound was instantly transformed: the treble was tamed, the music was more dynamic and lifelike, and overall more musical. 

This got me thinking as to how in the world a power cable can affect sound. I want to hear all of your ideas. Here’s one of my ideas:

I have heard from many sources that a good power cable is made of multiple gauge conductors from large gauge to small gauge. The electrons in a power cable are like a train with each electron acting as a train car. When a treble note is played, for example, the small gauge wires can react quickly because that “train” has much less mass than a large gauge conductor. If you only had one large gauge conductor, you would need to accelerate a very large train for a small, quick treble note, and this leads to poor dynamics. A similar analogy might be water in a pipe. A small pipe can react much quicker to higher frequencies than a large pipe due to the decreased mass/momentum of the water in the pipe. 

That’s one of my ideas. Now I want to hear your thoughts and have a general discussion of why power cables matter. 

If you don’t think power cables matter at all, please refrain from derailing the conversation with antagonism. There a time and place for that but not in this thread please. 
mkgus
mzkmxcv:

The only thing I changed was the pc on the sub and even my wife commented how real everything was sounding.  focus and more precise base, soundstage stayed the same but voice and instruments were easier located from one another.  I understand your comment about timbre, wife plays keys and I play guitar but damn it sounds real!  all I know is we're enjoying the music very much so!  maybe we hit the jackpot with system synergy?
@mrdecibel

We are talking power cords here:

1) “increase in dynamic range”: I’m guessing you mean a lower noise floor, mains leakage causing harmonics of 60Hz (or 50Hz) can/does happen and can usually be fixed with a linear power supply. However, it is rare for the actual cable to be an issue and not internal components.

2) “greater ability to hear finite detail”: Same as 1.

3) “Smoother...top end”: If you were having harmonics, then yes: But as stated in 1, it’s usually not a result of using a cheap power cord but more so the internals.

4) “more extended top end”: Literally impossible, this is not a factor of power cables nor power supply.

5) “deeper, fuller and greater extension of bottom end”: See 4.

6) “easiness and flow of the music; instruments and vocals became clearer; musicianship easier to follow; soundspace is more holographic ( wider, deeper and higher ); everything is more coherent.”: See 4.

Thats the same as saying increasing the horsepower in your car make the leather interior more cushiony, they have no correlation.

You are talking about having electrical changes, which could easily be verified by comparing the output of such devices before/after changing the power cords, rather than giving subjective impressions.
@mzkmxcv...….I am talking about power cables. Not understanding what you are questioning, but you obviously are like some of those naysayers I have stopped communicating with, over our differences of what power cables bring to the table. Enjoy ! MrD.
@mrdecibel

I’m not the one claiming power cables can alter soundstage width.

I’ve seen measurements of some gear that benefits from a cleaner power supply, but even the wall power usually didn’t have high enough distortion to matter. But cases can be made.

I’ve seen that Toslink cables can measure differently and that USB cables of longer length are worse (a 3” generic cable beats a 10ft thousand dollar cable every time), but, any decent DAC will reduce the jitter to below audible levels.

However, I’ve never seen any product that benefits from a better power cable, unless the benefit being discussed is better EMI handling, but even then ferrite  beads exit. If you have anything to show that power cables do matter, I’d appreciate a link.
@Mzkmxcz We might be talking about different things. Mains leakage and EMI are important considerations. I was referring to over-engineered power supplies as a means to improve sound quality and dynamics. It’s long been known that using large power supplies rated many times in excess of what is “required” provides better sound. PS Audio was one of the first ones to discover this and bring it to market with their preamp line and then eventually all/most of their products.