Heavy Power Cords for Source Components?

Most manufacturers of audiophile power cords offer lighter gauge versions for source components than for amps, arguing that the lower current needs of the former allow users to get away with a lighter (and therefore cheaper) cord and still maintain good performance.

Anticables dissents from this conventional wisdom, advocating the same heavy gauge cord for all components.

I would be interested in hearing the experiences of people in this forum. Is there a benefit with going heavy for a source component? My source at the moment is a Marantz SACD 30n, which does both disc and DAC (from a laptop running Audirvana Origin) duties.

I haven’t done the research or testing that a lot of people here have done but I use heavy power cords on all of my stereo gear mainly because they work on all of it and I can swap them around as needed or wanted. FWIW


I have stuck with 8-10AWG for Amps and Regenerators. Other than that I have 10-14AWG mixed on the rest. Like Scott, I enjoy the flexibility of moving things around as needed.


I did testing with my equipment in my main system and the PSAudio AC-12 worked the best on every component I tried with a variety of cords and so over time I equipped each component with an AC-12. I’ve been very happy and have done some experimenting since but have kept this loom.


I was considering buying weighted blankets to lovingly wrap my precious power cords in, the very same way I wrap myself. They deserve it for all the magical things they do.


If you do that Al, please don’t report back that suddenly the blacks got darker and there was more “air” and separation in the music…

I use PSA cords as well with the exception of a Thunder to the main amp…

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Every manufacturer seems to have certain characteristics defining their power cord offerings and wire gauge/cable thickness is one of several that affect performance. Anticables aren’t fully forthcoming on their website about construction details but what they do describe sounds rather simple compared to the much wider range of construction variations found in brands like Neotech, Furutech, Cardas, Audience, Pranawire, etc. With fewer design parameters to work with than brands with more complex wiring technologies in play, it’s not surprising that Anticables sticks with a thicker gauge.

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I use Audience power cables.
They say that their “medium power” cables, which are somewhat less expensive, will actually sound better for source components than their “HP” versions. Why “better”, I don’t know.
Remember that source components are typically constant, low current devices.

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Hey Ron, if you ever feel you need to part with a 1M Front Row HC with C19 - at a decent “PS Audio forum brothers” price :wink: :grin: - let me know.

Hi Tony

Not for sale.

Your friend and mine

Not surprised. :sweat_smile:

This is something I noticed in my R&D for CommonGround Cables. I found a lower gauge version of my cable sounded better on DACs and streamers, and I quickly stopped messing with higher gauges. Maybe it is specific to my design, but that’s what I found. Bass impact and volume was the first and obvious improvement, but many other things also improved. I now use 9 gauge for all devices, including LPSes for the switch and the USB regen.


I find the opposite is true when I try different gauge cables from the same company. The heavier gauge cable has less resistance and maybe built with better geometry, and sounds better whether on source or power amps. It also is more expensive to make.

I think you two are on the same page here. Lower AWG = thicker cable


My bad, I misread. Lower gauge is bigger cable, sorry.


The lower gauge cords may sound better than higher ones for any component. But a few manufacturers such as AudioQuest make Storm series cords with High Current and Source models for the power cables, and they say Source would be better suited for sources. I wonder if that is really the case.

luca.pelliccioli may be one of the few that can conduct this experiment to see if Source will indeed sound better than HC on sources.


Message received! At the moment I’m just using HC Dragon power cords to feed an Innuos ZENith and a PhoenixNET switch because they were here for spare. But I can swap them with their brother SOURCE Dragons, as soon as I come back home next sunday.

Another audiophile challenge inspired by this band of fools forum!


It is good to know HC did not blow up your streamer, and it is safe for using on source.

AQ website indicates Source is the right one to use, and I hope that is the case to prove more expensive HC does not always sound better.

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This has been mentioned before. This is from Audioquest’s website. I’m a bit mystified regarding the potential “electrical danger”.
I put this up just as a point of curiosity.

Note: AudioQuest Dragon/Source AC power cable is not appropriate for use with AC power conditioners, power regenerators, AC isolation transformers, AC battery back-up devices, as well as any power amplifier, powered sub-woofer, powered loudspeaker, powered receiver, or integrated amplifier (whether tube, solid state or digital switching). These products will require greater RMS and transient current capacity. In extreme instances, they could suffer diminished performance and/or present an electrical danger by exceeding the AudioQuest Dragon/Source AC power cable’s maximum current capacity. For those applications, we highly recommend selecting the AudioQuest’s [b]Dragon/High-Current AC power cable[b].

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It is true that Source should not be used for power gears. My Dragon Source has a big alert that it should not be used for any power gears and has a max. 12V limit.

But can HC be used for any gear is the question, and will it actually sound better?

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