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
@nonoise
@elizabeth

I’m not aiming to tell anyone who bought a $550 AudioQuest Diamond Toslink cable to return it and get an AmazonBasics one. As I’ve continually stated, I don’t care if you can hear a difference, if you feel a $200 power cord makes an audible improvement, then it was worth it. However, I can say with most certainty that the sound coming from your speakers is 100% identical, and thus advertising such “improvements” and making the layperson believe power cables actually do alter the signal is just how myths get started, same way people think 24/192 sounds better than 16/44.1 (assuming same master).

I’ve asked repeatedly now for an explanation on how a “better” power cord can improve imaging or extend treble response, as @mrdecible claimed, and yet all I get are the same statements that I must be trolling.

You hear what you hear, just like how some people see “the dress” as white/gold when it in fact is blue/black (I saw it as white/gold the first day, then the next morning I saw it as black/blue, totally shocked, and then relived a few days later when it was confirmed blue/black). If you think you aren’t susceptible to placebo, then that’s denial, even people who whole heartedly believe in data/measurements are.
I feel sorry for anyone who believes that reputable high end PCs cannot improve the sound of a system in many ways--in fact, too numerous to list.
@gpgr4blu

There may be numerous ways, but I would like you to pick one that doesn’t deal with mains leakage or EMI and explain how a power cable improves it (such as the stated extending of treble response). I would also recommend emailing any of the companies whose products you experience have had improvements with upgraded power cords and see what someone with likely a PhD in mechincal/electrical engineering has as a response.

As I said, 99.999% of devices I’ve seen show no mains leakages and perform to spec with the OEM cables. If you think a better power cord makes it perform better than what it’s spec’d at, more power to ya.

If you think there are actually sonic changes that measurements can’t show, I would also like to hear your reasoning. We aren’t talking personal preference of how one measured speaker is supposed to sound better than another, we are talking simply any changes at all.

If I claimed “upgrading” my car’s battery cable gained me faster acceleration, I’m pretty sure you’d be doubtful too.
@mzkmxcv,
When you saw that dress at different times, was it from the very same source and not from ones that intentionally showed different versions of it? I, myself, saw different colors from different sources that intended to show them that way due to admitted use of filters or to make a point. I never saw a different color when looking at the same picture from the same source or site. Are you saying your were fooled by that, and that is your analogy?

All the best,
Nonoise
Indeed, if it sounds better to you, go for it. Just keep in mind it’s all placebo.

However, I can say with most certainty that the sound coming from your speakers is 100% identical

It’s not placebo though. I have found the differences in sound between a $2 factory-supplied cord and a well-built high-end cable to be drastic, and repeatably so. I’m sure there are instances where cables don’t make a big difference, but so far I’ve found upgraded cables to help with each piece of equipment I’ve tried one on: amps, DACs, preamps, etc. The funny thing about it is that I didn’t want cables to make a difference - I didn’t want to spend money on them. Then I heard the differences clear as day and came to understand that cables are components that you cannot overlook if you want a truly high-end system. Mzkmxcv, do you have a revealing system? Why not just try a 30-day money back guarantee power cable in your system and see if you can hear it?