What does a powercord do and how!?


#1

This new thread is ment to learn something more about powercords!



I Always thought why would we need a special powercord for the last few meters to our equipment.

The first time I was told to try a high grade powercord to fed my audio system. I just took the cord home in the first place to do the dealer a favour. I had no expectations at all. And I cant say I heared much difference with this cord, but maybe I wasn’t listening enough.

Now almost 10 years later I still can’t understand how a powercord can make such a difference. For example it should not be the size of the cord to get more current in the system because the wires in the wall ain’t that same size. This would not work with water either.



The explanation ((which is actualy more a question) or better said my explantion) could be a thicker cord would create a less big magnetic field because it can handle the current more easy. When there are multiple cores brouhgt in a certain configuration the electrical magnetic field is kept inside the kabel. Shielding does not prefent against EMI in the first place a magnetic field is not stoppable by a sreen, but with a certain configuration of the cores the magnetic field is probably raised or kept as small as posible. But why would our system bennefit from this? Shielding keeps RFI in and outside the cable.



The connection with good connectors looks simple but why can different good connected connectors sound different?



The questions are how to get a good bass with a powercord? What do we need in this cord?

How to get a good midrange and neutral and clear highs? What do we need to get this out?


#2

I would have to guess that if you asked ten people that you would get ten different answers but maybe Paul could weigh in on this since he’s taken the plunge into this arena. There are so many different approaches out there in materials and configuration. It’s staggering. I can’t for the life of me understand why different cables do what they do either. Some are subtle, some are not. I’ll bet there’s a “Paul’s Posts” or two on this subject in the archives, too. :-?


#3

I embrace the Unicorn Glitter theory.


#4

Many of us Baby Boomers will recall our audio gear with nothing more that two pronged captive 16ga zip cord and that included some ‘exotic’ separates. They played just fine.



Then, Angel Dust became available along with Unicorn Glitter.


#5

There’s no question that if you take two power cables of completely different construction they sound different. It’s an experiment I have performed numerous times.



I wish i understood why - but I don’t. I can tell you that there are certain traits that are fairly consistent: if you build a power cable from stranded wire, you seem to get a blurred soundstage. Switch to solid core and things perk right up and sound much more coherent. Multiple strands of solid core bigger than 20 gauge seem to have great highs, and when you add larger gauges the bass gets heavier and thicker.



Designing a power cable is truly like making a stew.



Having written all that, I haven’t a clue as to why. Plenty of suggestions from people, even knowledgeable people, but none that make any sense to me.


#6

Very fair, Paul and I appreciate your approach. An honest “I do not know” goes a long way. =D>


#7

Back in my Shunyata days I also auditioned other brands to try to develop my own feelings of the differences and the whys.

I did experience huge differences between copper , solid stranded etc.

Since there were no credible scientific explanations at the time, I theorized that the thicker solid copper worked much like a 1 inch water pipe in the “volume” of supply.

Similar to torque vs RPM of an engine.

I found the lows and mid-lows to be much fuller but at the expense of some of the finer high frequency details that smaller gages provided.

I suspect the designers must balance this by ear when creating a new cable.


#8

Well, wijnand, there you have it… >-)

<fieldset class="gc-fieldset">
							<legend> Attached files </legend> <a href="/wp-content/uploads/attachments/57343=1991-4467a999b8618cdfbcf4e3c436ca55.jpg"><img src="/wp-content/uploads/attachments/57343=1991-4467a999b8618cdfbcf4e3c436ca55.jpg" class="gc-images" title="/FileUpload/ce/4467a999b8618cdfbcf4e3c436ca55.jpg" style="max-width:300px" /></a> </fieldset>

#9

A power cord needs to be as short as possible, of sufficient gauge and with solid connectors. Your house is probably built with cheap solid core copper contractor wire, probably 14 or 12 ga. And it does get the hydro to all you plugs including those used for high wattage appliances. So I don’t buy the water pipe argument.



There’s a lot of window dressing and bling. Does nothing for performance. But buyers need to justify their choices and manufacturers feed into the frenzy.


#10

@admin

Thanks, well that answers a few questions.

Some things to remember very interesting!


#11
Many of us Baby Boomers will recall our audio gear with nothing more that two pronged captive 16ga zip cord and that included some 'exotic' separates. They played just fine.

Then, Angel Dust became available along with Unicorn Glitter.
It probably played better then with very expensive mismatched cables!


#12
Well, wijnand, there you have it... >-)
gee thanks!!! :"> Uhmm what does it do? Maybe I can feed the dog!

#13
Gordon said: I theorized that the thicker solid copper worked much like a 1 inch water pipe in the "volume" of supply.
Similar to torque vs RPM of an engine.

Are you thinking a little like how one can arrive at amps using different volts and watts? E.g., 2 amps can be 24 watts at 12 volts, or 230 watts at 115V.

#14

blockquote>blueknight said: But buyers need to justify their choices and manufacturers feed into the frenzy



Perhaps this is true but how do you explain the effect on “borrowers?” I’ve borrowed lots of stuff that didn’t impress me at all and returned it. I’ve also bought stuff that was, lets just say, schiit. On the other hand I’ve borrowed stuff and gone “wow” and either bought my own or pined after it. It makes me nuts that I can’t explain power cords, interconnects or speaker wire, yet some sound dramatically different-worse in some cases. I’ll readily admit that the $2500 I spent on a certain voodoo box was a waste compared to the $90 that I spent on a Schumann resonator. It should have sounded better to me because it cost more? Different versions of PWD firmware sound different to me. I can’t explain this either (good thing they are free).



:slight_smile: I do remember moving up from 20ga solid core to 16ga zip cord. Then came the wonders of Monster Cable. Each promised a new level of performance. I was disappointed each time. I really couldn’t tell the difference, but the big stuff sure looked cool!


#15

Both my PWT and P5 came with a generic 'Apollo" 14ga. cable made in China. Obviously it’s good enough. I tried the generic cables and they works just fine. It meets all of the criterias but I don’t use them simply because they are stiffer than a stallion in a corral full of mares in heat.





Whoa Nelly…! <):slight_smile:

Attached files


#16
Elk said: Are you thinking a little like how one can arrive at amps using different volts and watts? E.g., 2 amps can be 24 watts at 12 volts, or 230 watts at 115V.


I wish I had a good physics answer to add here but having compared a few dozen brands I first of all discovered that the did sound different and then began to document those differences the beast that I could.
The 2 most noticeable notations were "WEIGHT" and "SPEED".

WEIGHT- The thicker and "sometimes" shorter the cable seemed to just bring all of the music on to the stage with more "meat on the bones".
It is perhaps related to adding higher current in an amp and obtaining more "headroom"?
My Rowland amp allows me to jump the 6 channels into 2 and increases the "current" as well as watts. [ not the same as bridging, according to JR.] It does give a stronger presence to the music.

SPEED- One guy sent me some crazy and very stiff cables [Virtual Dynamics} to test and at first I was gobsmacked at the amazing dynamics compared to my reference set.
I was really excited for about 5 minutes when my head began to spin so I turned them off.
These had a very high silver content.
What I believe was happening was a much faster delivery speed but the arrival timing of all the instruments seemed to just gush out with great excitement but in an unnatural order than normal.
This, I believe, is often responsible for listener fatigue as the brain senses that something is just not natural.
Therefore my analogy of the flow from a large hose as opposed to a constrained and higher pressure one.

Cables are a long testing cycle as most require a burn in period and many should not be moved at all after set up and burn in.
They are an important tool when setting up individual systems.

#17
Gordon said: when my head began to spin

Very Exorcist.

Gordon said: Therefore my analogy of the flow from a large hose as opposed to a constrained and higher pressure one.

I understand now what you mean.


#18

Gordon said: Therefore my analogy of the flow from a large hose as opposed to a constrained and higher pressure one.



A firefighter friend of mine said the same thing. Burning incense and prayer beads can help in some cases. :O)

#19
blueknight said: Burning incense and prayer beads can help in some cases. :O)

Nope, none of that for me, although there is a logic to the beads.

Here is an experts perspective.

Why Power Cables Make a Difference
Every audiophile who has experimented with better power cables has heard the performance advantage they offer. Indeed, the amount of improvement can be astounding, often transforming a system from good to amazing. As audiophiles, we trust our ears but it’s hard to understand how replacing just one short link in a long chain of the power delivery system can have such a dramatic impact. The following article is intended to answer those questions.

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/powercords.html

And all this to say "there is no easy answer".

#20

Thanks nice article. So there are secrets and I quess the best kept secrets are to be found in the better powercords. But probably the secrets are not clear to understand, but occasionally found out.

For what concers the connectors I would suspect the IEC connector would be the most importent one, because it is the first one feeding the current back into the powernet. According the article about a powercords I quess this would be the same for connectors. But than I would suspect the IEC would be the most expensive one, but it isn’t in most cases. Mmm another secret I quess :-?