AC-12 power cord

lonson said

My experience with fakes goes back further. . .

And mine goes back further still. There was an opportunity years ago to make life more difficult for counterfeiters but nothing ever came of it. Engrave a serial number on the cable, put a certificate of authenticity with holographic watermark with it in the box, put a RFID chip in the barrel. The cost to do that would have been a fraction of MSRP of a new cable.

Buying from a dealer is no guarantee you’ll get a genuine cable. Person buys a HK fake on eBay. Said person buys a genuine cable from Music Direct or AudioAdvisor. Swap them over, send the fake back to MD/AA in original box within the no obligation return period, get money back from MD/AA. Said person ends up with a genuine cable for the price of a fake, somebody else gets the fake from MD as an “open box” item and doesn’t know any different. It happens for sure.


Hey guys,

Thanks for asking about this, and for allowing us the time to wrap our heads around the issue and find a solution.

We’ve decided that the best approach for verification would be for concerned customers to speak directly with one of us in sales or customer service at PS. We have several indicators we are paying attention to, and rather than advertise those online we’d like to take each case individually and do our best to determine the validity of the cable.

So if you’ve got a PS Audio power cable and you’re wondering about it, call us at 720-406-8946!


An excellent approach.


Totally makes sense! Great idea


I’m just worried that if PS Audio is going to swap a fake for a genuine cable they are going to be inundated and it will be expensive for them. Fakes have been prevalent for at least 10 years, there must be thousands of them out there. I can see the fake merchants out there salivating at the prospect of increased sales should PS Audio offer to swap a fake for a genuine cable. Why would anybody pay MSRP today when they can just buy an eBay fake and have it swapped for a genuine cable?

I for one haven’t been buying fakes on eBay, I’ve been buying from MD and AA. Although I suspect at least one of those was a fake in a genuine box.

Audioquest is another brand that has a big problem with fakes. My cable of choice now is Crystal Cable. Every cable has an engraved serial number and comes with a certificate of authenticity and has the dealer and serial number printed on the packaging. Crystal Cable fakes are being sold on Audiogon and none of the fakes have serial numbers. It is very easy to determine if you have a fake.


A brief update.

The Cable Company paid shipping to send the cable in question back to them and they sent it to PS to be verified. It turns out it was counterfeit and The Cable Company is shipping me a new 2m. I really appreciate that they’re doing this because I did not realize the cable was probably fake until well after their stated return policy for

I also have to thank and applaud PS for their part in making this right. The fact that they contacted me and offered to help after my post says a lot in this day and age. For the record James stated he knew that The Cable Company would take care of it. It is nice to know I can purchase used cables without worry.


It has to be a relatively small market for these power cords I am really amazed that someone is taking the time to counterfeit them. That said I bought a AC-12 on Audiogon about a year ago and after reading this thread this morning I was sick to my stomach because I knew that my too good to be true deal was in fact too good to be true. I called PSA this morning and spoke with Jeremy who mentioned the name of the reseller before I even had the chance to tell him who it was. The seller told me that he bought the cables in a bankruptcy sale and that was the reason they were so cheap. My cable is now on it’s way to PSA to be checked for authenticity. Based on everything I now know I expect them to tell me it’s a fake. I emailed the seller this morning to ask him if he had a comment. Of course he never responded. I guess I should have known better. I hope they catch this d-bag seller and take him to court and make him pay for selling fakes.


Respect to PS Audio and how they handled this case.

One thing I keep wondering, though, was how the people who ended up with the fake PC did not realize it. If I get a cable and don’t hear a difference in a positive way right away, I would return it. I highly doubt those crappy fake PCs were any good.


Expectation/confirmation bias is powerful. I suspect most believed they heard a difference.


Just speaking for me, I got the fake power cable at the same time I got the P10. I suspect I was hearing the P10 and not realizing that it could get better if the cable had been the real thing. If you saw the cable you would have thought it was real and not fake. It’s a quality cable on the outside.


vassils, I completely agree with your logic. I can’t comment for others, but when I inserted the cable in my system I was also making several large changes at the same time.

I am fairly new to this level of gear and my current system is my first truly dedicated two channel set up (not including a couple of headphone rigs). I’d been slowly gathering pieces over an embarrassingly long stretch of time and I finally got everything set up last year. I purchased the counterfeit 2m because I realized I had to get my rack out from in between the speakers. My room dimensions are far from ideal and my rack was further into my room than the speakers. I had not accounted for how much room I would need behind the gear for the pile of 1.5m AC-12’s I purchased from Music Direct. At the same time I installed an assortment of Real Traps.

Those two changes made a massive improvement in sound quality that I imagine overshadowed any detrimental effects of the fake pc. Additionally I’m still getting used to the way everything sounds because it is quite a leap from everything else I own. After removing the cable I realized the original 1.5m could make it to the outlet feeding the P10. I was a little surprised that I could tell the difference with all the gear being off for a bit. The sound had a hard edge and I barely made it through a whole CD. A day later I had a marathon listening session and was grinning ear to ear.

After that I’ve decided to not change two more than one thing at a time in order to savor the differences. In fact I purchased Isoacoustics GAIA speaker isolators right when Redcloud was released, and I have yet to install them.


Hello All!

Thanks for this topic. I am right now looking for good power cables for my system, and I have run into a couple of local ads offering second-hand AC-12s for really good prices. I almost ordered them. Fortunately, I needed more than 2, and I went to hifishark to search for more ads. The search quickly gave me this eBay offer:

Now, more than used 10 cables for super-attractive prices available from a seller from China? This did look suspicious. It’s not the only one either, for example here is another: So I started to do more extensive googling, and found various reports about fake cables, including this topic, so this made it clear to me. Apparently, AC-12 is one of those cables which are being counterfeited very widely. I guess, it proves the cable is great. :slight_smile:

I do have a question though. One of the pages I found during my search shows an image comparing a fake AC12 cable with a real one:

“Real” cable definitely looks more impressive. According to the poster, “A buddy of mine ordered a new PS audio cable off of AudioGon and got a little suspicious of the seller. He contacted PS audio and they said they think he bought a fake cable and wanted to see it. He sent it in and sure enough the cable he ordered was fake. It was so convincing they had to chop it in half to verify.”

But, the “real” cable on this photo still does not look like AC12 is supposed to look. The image does not show conductors of different topology, like in the cable description:

  • Hollow tube conductors for treble performance
  • Rectangular conductors for midrange performance
  • Multiple gauge conductors for bass performance
So this makes me curious how the "true real" cable looks. Is there any image anywhere showing a real AC12 cable cut in half (not CG images I have seen on the Internet so far)?


Great picture above. The fake cable I bought from Audiogon was such a good looking fake that until I read about the fakes here on this forum I had no idea I had one. So here is the thing. If it’s too good to be true then it’s too good to be true. I learned the hard way.


Does this only apply to AC-12? I just purchased an AC-5 from Audiogon. I was concerned it was fake because the pictures on Audiogon had blue thread interwoven with the black thread and the picture on the PS Audio site had red thread interwoven with the black thread. So, I called PS Audio and they assured me blue was correct for AC-5. After reading this post today I noticed that my AC-5 has “short” barrels. I assume that “short” is correct for AC-5, but not AC-12. There seems to be a legitimate concern with the authenticity of some of PS Audio’s AC power cables. May I recommend that PS Audio change the pictures on their website to match the actual AC power cables. Thanks!


I complained to Audiogon to have the reseller shut down. They say that they did so. The reseller was called WW (abbreviated) . I am not going to spell it out completely because I don’t want to have my post deleted. Hopefully you did not buy from him.


Thanks! No it was not WW.


We have been discussing fake PS power cables here virtually since PS Audio invented the product genre. The problem is so prolific that any cable in the range might be a fake, and you might end up with a fake even if purchased directly from an authorised dealer. Technology has been out there for years that would make identifying genuine and fake much easier for owners, but none of that technology has made its way into any PS Audio power cable yet.


Not sure if I’ve posted on this thread, but I purchased 5 counterfeit 2m AC-12s last September. Three were from a guy in Western Michigan on Audiogon, one on eBay from a guy in Texas who claimed his was part of an estate, and one from a guy in San Francisco who ended up suing the person he got it from in small claims. PS Audio was very helpful. The important piece of info was that genuine ones weigh about 3.5 lbs, while the fakes I came across were 2 lbs 10-12 oz (proportional calculations on smaller ones don’t quite work because the connectors are a constant). I took photos and got my money back on all, with help from Agon, which threw off the MI guy. The TX one tried again and was blocked on eBay after I reported it. Since then, I’ve lost a 2m one in the delay of asking the seller to weigh it, while another’s weighed as a fake. To be safe, I’ve purchased shorter ones from authorized dealers.


What a light-bulb moment, the weight, of course!! And I paid $50 to have my suspect AC-12 x-rayed when I could have just weighed it. Some things become so obvious with the benefit of hindsight. I ended up with a fake “open box” 2m AC-12 purchased from Music Direct…I just wrote-off the experience and didn’t pursue it.


Was the difference obvious in the x-ray? Shoe stores used to have fluoroscopes. I wonder what the clerks at the store would have said had you walked in with a handful of cables and started sticking them in the machine.