This, of course, is precisely the argument which was historically used against interconnects and speaker cables.
I genuinely applaud your effort to remain objective and open to previously unknown phenomena, but nah, it’s not the same thing at all. There have always been and always will be EXTREME viewpoints on each “side” of the speaker cable/interconnect debate and lots of tests of varying types have been done over the years with most concluding that you stop realizing any measurable, reproducible, statistically significant sonic improvements at a certain point - usually tied to a price continuum. I.e. signal cable quality matters, but there is a $$ level at which one is simply “wasting” (see my note at the end) one’s money except for the improvements one is imagining.
But anyway…the power cable is not in the signal path, and to my knowledge, there have been no studies, demos or simple measurements that show an expensive power cable (or fuse) making a difference on the DC-side of any audio component’s power supply when compared to a standard non-defective cable of equivalent AWG and length – much less in the sound.
I’ve seen the videos; including Shunyata’s and Audioquest’s and read the reports about how simply switching out a power cable drastically (or slightly) improved the sound in a demo system at an electronics hi-fi show and where all other variables are allegedly held constant. None of them have convinced me. BTW, the “I was a skeptic until….” pitch has been used for centuries to sell all kinds of junk.
And I’ve listened to systems (including my own) with different power cables and, every time I’ve had control over the setup or when the switch was done transparently in a system that I could see all parts of, my ears have confirmed what my EE background and common sense tell me. There’s no difference in the sound. Same for fuses. I will say that power conditioners and filters are a different story. Dirty power can have all kinds of weird effects on audio and video systems, but unless a cord has a filter built in, and can somehow actively correct phase or ripple problems, it’s a non-starter for me.
You may not think so, but I believe that a better analogy/comparison is between expensive power cables and digital cables. No matter what anyone says in a sales pitch or testimonial, it has been proven that there is no measurable effect or statistically meaningful confluence of opinion on picture quality when replacing an otherwise undamaged and properly constructed HDMI cable with an expensive variant. I think that’s about where the power cable situation is. You have a small number of companies in whose interest it is to convince a number of people that these products alone can improve their audio or video systems.
I apologize again about dragging this thread off topic, but that was not my intent. People including me just can’t seem to let any comment about expensive power cables go untouched. I’m not saying that power cables CANNOT POSSIBLY make a difference, just that I haven’t seen or heard any evidence in a trustworthy setting which would demonstrate that they do, and that in all cases where I played around with them, I never heard any difference. There is no scientifically legit explanation out there for why an AC mains cable can “improve” your systems’s sound. Also please note again that I am not commenting on AC line filters or conditioners, which I know from experience can improve both image and sound quality in certain situations.
To clarify what I said much earlier - by “wasting” I mean no judgment - people have opinions on things and spending more on something you think is worth more than a similar item is so common as to be beyond debate. I don’t buy a Ferrari because I want to go fast and enjoy doing it and there’s no other way to go fast and have fun. I can go as fast and corner as well in any number of cheaper alternatives, backed up by real measurements. I do buy a Ferrari because I think it’s better than a Corvette or Lotus, and there’s a certain cache about it. It’s a preference. In that manner I will continue to view hyper-expensive power cables as Veblen goods (in the smaller confines of the “audiophile” world, rather than the market at large).