There are a lot of unusual claims on cables, and power cables are in the thick of it. An RG59 sized coaxial has higher attenuation than a RG6, and more than an even larger RG11. Why? At low frequencies it is total CMA area dependant, and at higher frequencies it is SURFACE area dependant. LARGER wire will increase BOTH of those, lowering attenuation at low and high frequencies. This is how it fundamentally works as RF.
A power cord is 50Hz to 60Hz. These low frequencies are diffusion coupled through the wire cross section, it is not music, it is not RF, so there is no need to improve current coherence by using smaller wires…but a BUNCH of them to lower DCR and manage electromagnetic cancellation.
We have a power cables with two or more wire sizes and shapes. The majority of the current will go through the LOWEST impedance path on a polarity. This is defined by the CMA cross section of each wire. Shape is meaningless at 50Hz and 60 Hz. The current will divide based on the ratio of resistances of the wires in parallel. The voltage will be the same across each wire.
If there WAS a such a thing as, “high frequencies” going through a power cable, they would go through the LARGEST surface area wire, not the smallest as that is a lower impedance with the most surface area (see the first paragraph). The small wires in the cable are worse for the 50 Hz and 60 Hz signal as they are low CMA area high impedance paths, and worse for even a “theoretical” higher frequency path looking for lots of surface area, bigger wires.
Why are they in a power cord? I don’t know, nothing supports this except marketing. They HURT the performance by creating unbalaned current paths in the cable. You want the total CMA cross section of each polarity to be the same, and the current in each wire of each polarity to be the same. This means ONE wire size in each polarity and the same CMA area between each polarity.
I mentioned in an earlier post that yes, you CAN use more smaller wires in a power cord to passively reduce the electromagnetic field in the cable to mitigate shielding. BUT, this means putting MORE wires in the cable much like RG59 cables in parallel to reduce attenuation to be like an RG11. For RF it is easier to use the larger cable. In a power cable low inductance and low electromagnetic properties are not going to both be optimized and reached with just two big wires. True, this is the cheapest design that does OK, and we use it every day. But to fully optimize the design means individually insulated wires with smaller cross sections to ALSO address other electromagnetic issues like lower inductance and magnetic fields.
With MUSIC, that DOES have a wide frequency range, we have a different set of problems superimposed onto a power cables requirements. That is the issue of current coherence, forcing the near same current through a wire at ALL frequencies. Power cable doesn’t have that problem, yippie! Across mutiple frequencies you can do this only one way, use smaller wires. But, DCR is still important so we need to use LOTS of them. Does current coherence matter? My studies of isolating variables says it sure does, and that was a downer as it is so hard to do and not screw the pooch everywhere else in audio cables.
Correctly made cable does not need marketing or sales to work! Physics is it’s own boss.
Not so easy to manage L and C with many and small wires. The lower DCR reached with many small wires utterly destroys most geometric designs reactive variables. So mission control, physics, is not happy enough about that.
My argument is that there is not enough of a concern for getting wrapped up in the numbers. Physics is not marketing, IT IS INDEED what you are buying. We need to pay attention to that. There is virtually no way to know what you are getting without the numbers and calculations. Ask for them.
My opinion on a design is driven by the physics. How it works can’t hear marketing or sales telling it what do to match our “story”. Good cables have no story, only measurement or calculation algorithms based on measurement.