DAC power cable


#1

This is not to promote a favorite brand cable. Just a note to express my bewilderment (not new to me) over the effectiveness of switching the power cable from brand A, a very expensive, highly regarded one, to brand B, another expensive, etc.
I can’t work out why my DSD Sr. should respond so significantly to a different cable. I would describe the change as easily and immediately obvious across the full frequency range.
Is it current? Why should it be? Shielding? Both manufacturers make their living on high end cables. So, any answers?


#2

I keep a basket (literally) of power cords, interconnects, etc. and try multiple of them on each new component. Sometimes I can guess which cords will sound how, but other times it’s not obvious at all.
Usually with digital equipment the power cords is more likely to be a antenna radiating any digital hash from the guts of the DAC. Shielding could help with digital. With amps my experience is that even tiny amounts of shielding muffles the sound…


#3

Thanks Ted.
You know I have to ask about “shielding muffles the sound on amps”…


#4

For me and on my system every explicitly shielded power cord which may improve sound on some devices doesn’t on my amps. Not a unique example: A decade or so ago I was alpha testing some cables for a new cable manufacturer. I’d had one of his power cords in the system for five or six days and was going back to my normal cable. When the music started back up, my wife who was at the desk in the back of the room asked “What happened, the music came back to life.” That desk is behind some tube traps and other things so she didn’t know that I was changing anything in the system. I wasn’t the only one to not enjoy those cables, the cable maker had added a ring of ERS cloth to the cable - about an inch or so long. The sound kept getting better as we cut off more and more of the ERS cloth until even a quarter inch wide band was negatively affecting the sound. The highs were a little closed in, the music lost its drive and life. I also had the same experiences with power cords at the local audio store I visited. I’d take my set of cables there at times and try them on various systems. One of the games I’d play with myself was to step into the front door and see if I could pin point which component of which system in which room had the Shunyata Black Mamba power cord on it. Tho the older Shunyata Taipan (before the alphas and the helixes) was among my favorite cables for high current devices, the Black Mamba made everything I heard it on have a wooly bass and covered top.


#5

So what do you use on your amp? Just a standard comes-in-the-box cable?


#6

Either the Shunyata Taipan or the Jena Labs Model One. You can see the things I use (sometimes slightly out of date) at http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/3367.html I also have the latest ICONOCLAST 4x4 TPC XLR interconnects and ICONOCLAST SPTPC Speaker cables and two BHK 300 mono blocks.


#7

I can understand needing shielding on cables for DAC’s… And, not for ‘regular’ amps. Regular amps get unshielded. But, what if an amp is class D? Will the digital aspect of the class D effect the power cable’s need for shielding in that case?


#8

It wouldn’t hurt to try. There aren’t hard and fast rules, that why I have a number of extra cables lying around.


#9

Shunyata do some interesting stuff. I think their history is military grade electronics, so there is probably some credibility that flows from that on to their consumer level products. I’ve been contemplating dabbling in some Shunyata stuff, their Sigma clock cable is very highly regarded (and I know Ted won’t have one of those in his box of tricks!).


#10

I have a S300 and have been using an audiophile shielded power cord. Yes? No?

And… I understand that D amps do not draw as much current as AB amps. Would that apply with not needing some heavy cord?


#11

Since class D amps are more efficient than AB amps on average they will use less current, but the instantaneous current draw of both kinds can differ a lot depending on how they are implemented (e.g. if they use switching power supplies or not.)

I’ll let someone that has a S300 give their recommendations re power cords, but if your power cord has at least the equivalent gauge of the cord that came with it you’re probably fine.


#12

This is getting funny