aftermarket power cords, worth it? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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im thinking about buying an aftermarket power cord for my pioneer plasma, and meh, maybe even my computer. has anyone here ever bought one? if so, was the change noticable at first glance, or did it take some time to realize the improvements, or was the difference just negligible (or nothing at all)? im really curious as to see how such a product would affect my plasma.
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post #2 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 01:27 PM
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The A.C. power that's delivered to your home is generated dozens and hundreds of miles away. Between the generation point and your home it's converted up, down and sideways multiple times. Finally, on a pole or box near your home, it's converted One Last Time, a "neutral" line is added, and the drop to your home is made. The feed enters your home, goes to a distribution panel (aka: "breaker box" or "fuse box"), then, from there, to the various outlets and light fixtures in your home.

What these tweak power cord manufacturers would have you believe is that, after traveling all that way, somehow a Special Last Six Feet of Premium Power Cord is going to somehow make the electricity "better."

Right.

As to whether or not you'll perceive an improvement after buying and installing an expensive, "high-end" power cord: Of course you will. Just like your car always seems to run a bit better right after you've given it a good wash.
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post #3 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 01:52 PM
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Great answer, the anology is perfect!

When it sounds right, it's MAGIC!
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post #4 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 03:01 PM
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Bravo !!............ Thats the Best Analogy on the Subject I've read !!
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post #5 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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and what of power conditioners then?
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post #6 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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ive read reports of both electrical engineers and non e.e.s building their own special cables with but again, mixed reviews. people tend to argue a lot about these cords, but it seems coupling them with your amp(s) tends to consistently yield better results. still, hundreds of dollars and youll maybe get results just doesnt sound too appealing.

ps what kind of ****** thinks their car runs better after theyve washed it?
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post #7 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinnamonandgravy View Post

and what of power conditioners then?

What of them? Unless you have crappy power (sags, surges, or excessive amount of noise due to exceedingly noisy loads in the vicinity) they are likewise a waste of your money, IMO.
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post #8 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 05:45 PM
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Surge suppression at the service entrance is always an excellent idea. Most of these other fixes, tweaks and gadgets are for people looking to fix problems that don't exist.

Of course, if you have voltage irregularities, transients or other problems....these devices can provide mitigation.

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post #9 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

Surge suppression at the service entrance is always an excellent idea.

Unquestionably. I have a Leviton whole-house surge suppressor on my service entrance, myself.
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post #10 of 119 Old 07-02-2006, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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alright guys, i appreciate everyones help. thanks again.
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post #11 of 119 Old 07-04-2006, 08:48 AM
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I don't know what your stock power cord is like, but you could try an inexpensive experiment to see if your plasma might benefit. Volex 17604 cords can be purchased for less than $8. Have fun!
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post #12 of 119 Old 07-05-2006, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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sounds good. ill give those a go.
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post #13 of 119 Old 07-18-2006, 06:57 AM
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gauge and insulation. thats the only area of advantage that can be gained in different power cables. there is no signal being transmitted so all that matters is having the proper gauge for the amount of power being drawn through the cable and proper insulation to avoid stray signal from adding noise to the cable, and since proper insulation is required by UL listings dependent on wire gauge this should never be a problem. If you need to run a longer power cable then stepping up a gauge may be required depending on the power draw of the equipment so as to not overheat the cable from trying to pass too much current through it.

From there its asthetics and feel. Some cables are more flexible than others of equal gauge which can help depending on your equipment location and some have a more "industrial" feel to them giving a sense of better build quality.

power conditioning doesn't change things, again, its theoreticaly a constant voltage and constant single frequency with varying current. No timing issues, etc as with signal cables, no digital information to loose to noise, etc. So a well constructed poper gauge and insulation cable will do fine, no need for anything fancy.
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post #14 of 119 Old 07-18-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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proper insulation to avoid stray signal from adding noise to the cable,

Insulation is used to prevent the wires form shorting together, and to prevent user from being electrocuted. It does not prevent interference in any way. It is not magnetic, it is transparent to electric and magnetic fields.
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post #15 of 119 Old 08-13-2006, 08:04 AM
 
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Putting weights on top of all my cables improved the sound in my system. I also put weights on all my gear too.
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post #16 of 119 Old 08-13-2006, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiSoundGuy View Post

Putting weights on top of all my cables improved the sound in my system. I also put weights on all my gear too.



When I have my New House built .Im having the Contractor put the House Foundation directly on top of all my Cables !!
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post #17 of 119 Old 08-13-2006, 03:40 PM
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I have to put weights on top of my dehumidifier in the unfinished basement area....it helps deaden the rattling sound from the fan and compressor

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post #18 of 119 Old 08-13-2006, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiSoundGuy View Post

Putting weights on top of all my cables improved the sound in my system. I also put weights on all my gear too.

I thought the cables were supposed to be suspended like in a bridge. I modeled my bridge after the Golden Gate. It looks beautiful and keeps my cords properly elevated. The difference is huge.

In all seriousness, some find balanced power to be beneficial. The amount of benefit will depend on the quality of the power you are receiving and the quality of the power supply in your component.

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post #19 of 119 Old 08-14-2006, 05:57 AM
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Doesn't putting weights on top of the cables flatten the soundstage?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #20 of 119 Old 08-14-2006, 06:19 PM
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Quote:


Originally Posted by HiFiSoundGuy
Putting weights on top of all my cables improved the sound in my system. I also put weights on all my gear too.

He also bought little battery power clocks and said they are acoustical treatments ..... Still baffled over that theory

When it sounds right, it's MAGIC!
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post #21 of 119 Old 08-15-2006, 08:25 AM
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I prefer to think of putting weights on the cable as spreading the soundstage. Makes you wonder what those flat speaker cables sound like, huh?
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post #22 of 119 Old 08-15-2006, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

I thought the cables were supposed to be suspended like in a bridge. I modeled my bridge after the Golden Gate. It looks beautiful and keeps my cords properly elevated. The difference is huge.

In all seriousness, some find balanced power to be beneficial. The amount of benefit will depend on the quality of the power you are receiving and the quality of the power supply in your component.

Ericglo

You could have gotten off Cheaper (??) going this route;Got Wood

Another..................HUH ???
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post #23 of 119 Old 08-16-2006, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cinnamonandgravy View Post

im thinking about buying an aftermarket power cord for my pioneer plasma, and meh, maybe even my computer. has anyone here ever bought one? if so, was the change noticable at first glance, or did it take some time to realize the improvements, or was the difference just negligible (or nothing at all)? im really curious as to see how such a product would affect my plasma.

Oh, don't listen to some of these guys, unfortunately the ol' knee jerk "how can the last few feet" is pretty unoriginal but thats mostly what you will get. Some of the same skeptics have $99 upscaling DVD players and think that the D/A conversion avoided by using HDMI give them a hidef picture. There is more to it than science, the way you put a system together is personal, for example, there is a guy out there who is always putting down tweaks at every opportunity and he lists in his profile "Bose, Sherwood and RCA" as his equipment. Doesn't make him wrong, he is seduced by some sort of hype along the way like the rest of us and we all think that the choices we made were the best, that is what the hobby is about. Sound, vision, reactions to aesthetics, taste, etc. is unique to the individual, the engineering type has alot of fun arguing on the merits of formulas but the same guy might think super cuts gives a good haircut. My suggestion is that you try a cord out from a place where you can return it if you don't see/hear a benefit.
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post #24 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougRuss View Post

You could have gotten off Cheaper (??) going this route;Got Wood

Another..................HUH ???

Just look at the nice profit margins you can make out of a $4 6 foot long 2x4....
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post #25 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by soldonandy View Post

Oh, don't listen to some of these guys, unfortunately the ol' knee jerk "how can the last few feet" is pretty unoriginal but thats mostly what you will get.

Yeah it really sucks when the truth hurts.... It may be unoriginal, but it's the truth. After the power leaves the power station and goes through miles of power lines, numerous transformers, and who know how many splices, plus the wiring in the building itself. Then something like six feet of high end overpriced power cord is not going to improve anything.
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post #26 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 03:07 AM
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Oh, don't listen to some of these guys, unfortunately the ol' knee jerk "how can the last few feet" is pretty unoriginal but thats mostly what you will get.

Oh come now. If you don't want to take the suggestions that've been offered here, how's about what Chris Russel of Bryston has to say when I emailed him some time back?

Quote:


Thanks for your interesting inquiry re power cords. I can answer fully with normal engineering considerations and simple iinformation: There are likely to be 50 miles of cable and half a dozen or more transformers between you and the power plant generating the power that your sound system uses. It is unlikely, to say the least, that a power cord occupying the final six feet of that 50 miles can do anything positive to change the conditions of that power.

It is possible to do damage to power delivery of course, by restricting current flow for instance. That would be the case if you had a cord which was too thin for the power needs, for example. If the power cord was much larger than necessary, however, it would unfortunately be limited by outside factors, such as the size of the wiring in your walls, or outside your house.

It is also possible for a power cord to incorporate bandwidth-limiting components, to restrict the influx of RF or other contaminants to the 60Hz waveform. It is not possible, unfortunately, to do this without restricting the flow of 60Hz current to some degree as well. Most audio products, especially including Bryston audio components, contain internal circuitry designed to eliminate these contaminants within the power supply. They are designed to operate from an unrestricted source of 60Hz current, and will actually work less well if the current is restricted from the outside.

In sum, it is certainly possible for a six-foot power cord to have an affect on the sound, and to change the sonic quality, for the worse. It is not possible, unortunately, for this change to be an improvement, at least in connection with Bryston products. Bryston recommends that the customer do careful listening prior to spending what is usually a very substantial amount of money on exotic power cords. Remember that it is in the cord vendor's direct financial interest to proclaim an improvement in sound quality for their products, and that any change is not necessarily a desirable one.

I hope the above is helpful, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have other questions.

Sincerely,
Chris Russell
Bryston Ltd.


"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #27 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 10:08 AM
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Hi Chu,

Do note that this was included in the Bryston quote you supplied:

"In sum, it is certainly possible for a six-foot power cord to have an affect on the sound, and to change the sonic quality, for the worse."

I suppose you can claim that the few factors Bryston listed are the only possible factors that could affect performance, but what about the effects a power cord could have on adjacent components? Have you pondered this, and what kind of facts might you have regarding RFI/EMI that might be spewed by cheap power cords?

-Tweak
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post #28 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

Yeah it really sucks when the truth hurts.... It may be unoriginal, but it's the truth. After the power leaves the power station and goes through miles of power lines, numerous transformers, and who know how many splices, plus the wiring in the building itself. Then something like six feet of high end overpriced power cord is not going to improve anything.

Has nothing to do with the miles of power lines but it has more to do with the interference within the home. A well shielded power cord can make a difference in some applications, albeit you can get a well shielded cord for a few bucks. It all depends on priorities, you may wear a Prada belt and I may wear a generic belt, the both hold our pants up but our values are different. Being offended that someone likes something fancier and may be influenced by psychoacoustics is wasted energy.
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post #29 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnla View Post

Just look at the nice profit margins you can make out of a $4 6 foot long 2x4....

Same margins as your monoprice my friend......
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post #30 of 119 Old 08-17-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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A well shielded power cord can make a difference in some applications,

Despite the low impedance of th epower supply input?

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Has nothing to do with the miles of power lines but it has more to do with the interference within the home.

Why do you think that sheilding the last 6 feet, will eliminate the induced noise picked up by the hundreds of miles of unsheilded cable?
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