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,

I'm not confusing anything as it was simply due to an imbalance of the white setting. All of the thousands of stations broadcasting are not entirely in sync. No mystery involved although there was a lot of blather as to what could be the explanation.

If anyone is susceptible to placebo or influence, you just admitted to it with your story of how you saw it and what you went through. I didn't.

So heed your own advice and don't confuse your reality with actual reality. All it does is deter newcomers. 👍

All the best,
Nonoise
@nonoise

The reason people saw it differently is not a display white-balance error, but if people thought it was in a store with Daylight lightning or 2700K-3000K lighting, illustrative comparison. Not sure if you’ve seen this optical illusion, I think I’ve linked to in previous threads, it look at this Rubix cube looking object, the “brown” square centered on the top face is the same color as the “orange” square on the shaded face, no matter that you know this, you cannot see these as the same color (if you don’t believe me, zoom in and screen shot them).

My realty is that if your upgraded power cord did nothing to the electrical output of the signal, then return it. And no @mkgus, saying a power cord did not alter the sound coming out of your speakers is no way related to the appreciation of a painting.
Power cords do make a difference; I have heard those differences repeatedly over many years. And, it wasn’t because I spent money on a cable and was determined to convince my brain that there were differences or improvements or whatever. That’s because I was able to borrow friends’ cables, relax, take my time with a variety of source materials and check them out, at length, in my system. Again, they do make a difference and, as I’ve stated earlier and will state again here, I think the electrical basis for this is that different cables provide different levels of noise attentuation, some being more or less optimal for some systems due to a particular level of noise suppression that synergizes (or doesn’t) with that particular system or component. It need not be a rocket science explanation, it can be simple and reproducible. The key is to LISTEN, although for some here, that would be counterproductive now, wouldn't it?
Its subjectivism at a fundamental level. Power cords must change the sound or what is everyone hearing? I’m not convinced it’s placebo. I have many examples of hearing placebo effect with my audio system but extended listening tests has flushed them out. For example, I recently built some high pass filters that were 4 times as expensive as my current high pass filters and made with components people rave about. I hooked them up and thought I had improved sonics. But after extended listening tests I realized that the sound was actually worse in several metrics, so I took them out and put the cheapo filters back in. I’ve had similar experiences with installing more expensive RCA cables and ultimately pulling them out because the cheaper versions were better. If this was all placebo/confirmation bias I would have kept the expensive high pass filters because I genuinely thought they would be better. 
Why is the word placebo used incorrectly time and again? A placebo is a term used in pharmacology, dead stop. It is inappropriate to use it for audio applications. A drug is efficacious, or not, quantitatively, in clinical trials that use placebos as blinded negative controls so that the effects of the drug under study can be quantified and appropriately documented. Only in that manner can the drug be established, or not, to be efficacious according to its indicated use.

That is NOT what we are talking about here and I would GREATLY appreciate it if thread contributors here would cease its use. Stop it!