AC12 power cable length - do I really need 2m cables?

I want to buy some AC12 power cables. If I only need a 1 meter power cable to reach the power, do I really need to buy a 2 meter cable to get the benefits from an AC 12 cable?

I read a thread somewhere and the founder of PS Audio commented on power cable length. What I took away from the article was that anything less than 2 meter power cables isn’t getting the full benefit of the cable. Is that true?

The issue for me is that a 2 meter AC 12 costs twice as much as a 1 meter AC 12 - times 2 power cables - that’s $1000 more to buy 2 meter cables over 1 meter cables. I would hate to buy 1 meter cables and then find out that there’s minimal improvement in sound quality because I really needed to get 2 meter cables. And I’m too worried about counterfeits to risk buying used cables.

Can anyone please clarify or share your experience with cable length?


Hi Danielle. My two cents. . . there MAY be a little bit of a stronger benefit from the longer cable. . . but it’s not really in my system quite noticeable. . . I would not fret. . . if you need a 1 meter length, buy a 1 meter length. I have 1 m, 1.5 m and 2 m AC-12s in my system and they all sound . . . wonderful. . . to me.

Welcome, Danielle!

I similarly buy and use whatever length I need for a given component. I played a bit with length and did not notice a significant difference. There may be a tradeoff in increased electrical noise/EMF with a longer cable, but I do not know.

dlee388 said

…do I really need to buy a 2 meter cable to get the benefits from an AC 12 cable?

Think of the "benefit" of AC-12 in the context of "doing less damage". A 2m AC-12 isn't doing "less damage" than a 1m AC-12. So buy the length you need.

I cannot comment on PS Audio’s power cables, as I do not presently have any, but my Dealer told me that Nordost power cables generally are best at a 2m length and so that is what I have bought and used. I did make the ‘mistake’ of buying a shorter cable once for a phono pre-amp and it sounded dreadful. Changed to 2m; all was well…

The one concern I have with shorter AC12’s is that the cables are hard to bend into position and it may be easier to work with a longer cable. Most of mine are 1.5 meters, partly for that reason.

And welcome to the forum!

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Don’t discount using AC-5 either, that is a very nice cable. Bends nicely and fits in places where AC-12 might not go. I think PS Audio make the best power cables, particularly the moulded barrels design. If you look at other cable manufacturers, Shunyata Research, Crystal Cable, Nordost, Audioquest etc etc, they all use assembled fittings with screws, plastic shrink tube, and mostly whimpy prongs.

For my money, AC-5 is the cable of choice, but having said that I think I own more AC-12 than AC-5.

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I’ll concur with the reality of AC12 cables. I have 4 of them. Along with Nordost and Siltech. These have a very large gauge and the construction makes them very resistant to bending. The other issue that occurs is the IEC socket, the cables are heavy and don’t bend easily. They will sit in your socket at an angle with a compromised connection. Worse yet they can damage a socket if handled incorrectly. That said, they are great cables. To mitigate issues, I used a Furutech
e-TP609 NCF as a power distribution point.

I have a couple AC12’s and they are superior sounding cables. Having said that, the days when high end cables need to be thick, stiff and heavy are over. The cables that sound best in my system are relatively thin, light weight and flexible----and expensive but state of the art.

I’ll concur here. I have thin Siltech power cables that are silent and deliver great sound at a relatively reasonable price.

the AC12’s are pretty stiff cables, you’ll probably lose a decent amount of length bending them. shorter cable might work if you’re a direct straight to the outlet plug to plug.

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I mostly use 1.5M AC12’s between my P10 and the other components in the rack due to the stiffness.

Hey Ron

Off topic but curious what power cables you are using?
[Edit] Should have added, “If you don’t mind me asking”

Hello Veneet
I used AC12’s for a long time. I think they leave nothing behind in sound quality.
But then I bought a new rack and they no longer worked for me because of their weight and stiffness.
I then went with ZU Audio Event MK2. They’re thin and light but still around 9awg and they sound great.
Just recently I bought used, a pair of Shunyata Python Helix and I’m extremely pleased with the remarkable improvement in SQ. And they’re very flexible and relatively light weight. So now I have a mix of Zu and Shunyata.
I’ll surely standardize on Shunyata power cables when I can afford to.

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Thanks Ron,

I have just recently bought a Pass amp and pre and know you use them as well, so was interested on what you had success with. I use AC12s everywhere I can, but I did note that on the What’s Best forum that a lot of the Pass users really seem to dig the Shunyata’s. One day I will see about giving the Sigma NR a shot, but with the recent purchases, its gonna be a while!

Thanks for your reply and have a great New Year!

I like the Shunyata product (I’m an owner). And they don’t really have an issue with fakes infesting the market, on eBay and other places.

I do like the whole serial number on everything, really makes it easier for everyone.