Originally Posted by speco2003
Paul of PS audio should be brought up on charges of fraud for what he says and sells.
I came here searching for some info on PS Audio power cables - I wasn't sure if PS Audio stuff was popular in this realm.
I start by saying I'm a huge skeptic, and I'm not well-to-do. Everything in my system has to really prove itself, and has to be *damn* good to stay (unless I got it for free as a hand-me-down or whatever).
My room has two systems in it currently, my Onkyo based HT system, and my Decware tube based two channel system.
I've casually studied acoustics for many years, having built, listened to, and measured many absorbers and diffusers (I'm a huge proponent of room treatment, especially diffusion) for myself and local musicians and studios.
I also play guitar as a hobby, and have has musicians around me all my life - I *know* what live music sounds like.
Long story short, the PS Audio Power Plants (current generations) were so shockingly good to my system, I now consider it a base that my future systems start from. This is based on the two channel setup which consists of an Oppo BDP-105, going to my Decware Mystery Amp, going to Decware MG944 speakers in a well treated room. The bass is tighter, vocals smoother, cymbals actually sound like *brass*, and the music now has a speed and liveliness that brings me so much closer to a live musician.
On my HT system, Onkyo SR-805 which is admittedly on it's last leg, I've not noticed as huge of an improvement. The bass on my 21" Maelstrom is clearly tighter and more defined, which is especially noticed in music. I've not had a chance to really beat up the sub with movie viewing as my Onkyo is having some issues - so I'll reserve that for later. Sound in the L/C/R speakers is sharper, and dialog from the center channel is slightly more clear. The treble is really were I was the most surprised - it's just clearer and more present, seeming to leap into the room - which is great during Sci-Fi shows (which is my main diet pretty much) where sound FX really draw you in. My Mitsubishi HC5500 projector, I noticed blacker blacks, probably because the Power Plant takes a bunch of noise out of the A/C line. I really don't notice any sharpness improvement or anything - the Oppo already seemed razor sharp and I can't imagine it much better.
The idea that Paul of PS audio making stuff up is absurd. He's got amazing engineers, and ultimately, it's the ears that make the final decisions for them. And everything I've heard from them has been stunning (and quite out of my price range). If it wasn't for an open box deal and six months same as cash, I wouldn't have the P10 power plant as the foundation of my system - and I absolutely stand behind it as being one of the best upgrades I've done, next to proper room treatment (which is saying a lot from me, because IMHO room treatment is everything).
I can't speak for past PS Audio gear like that noise harvester - I agree, stuff like that seems like snake oil, but after hearing his current gear, I would give it an honest shake.
As for expensive ($1000!!) power cords - I'm a huge skeptic. HUGE! In my mind, if the power cord isn't *hurting* anything, then it's good. You shouldn't need more than that, right? Well this weekend a friend came over to me with a pile of cables, and we tested Pangea AC9SE, my DIY unshielded cables, some 90's era high end cable I don't recall, some other DIY, and stock cables. And I'll be damned if there isn't a slight difference in the different power cables. Not huge, but I clearly heard bass and treble differences, some smoothness and tightness differences. Again, I've always felt that if it isn't *hurting* the power flow, then it should all be the same...I'm not so sure anymore. In the next week or two, a friend is bringing over a PS Audio AC5 and AC12 power cables to try out in my very resolving 2 channel system - then we'll see if power cables can really convince me there is something *positive* and "lifting" going on here. Right now, I'm still a skeptic.
So to sum up:
If you don't have copious room treatment, then I can't take your opinions too seriously about audiophile gear. You're not hearing your system over your room.
There is a lot of snake oil BS out there, and it boggles the mind how a lot of this stuff continues to fool people. Little crystals on cables, and tiny bells on walls and all that crap. PS Audio doesn't fall into that. While stupid expensive and beyond the average persons reach, I have to say everything currently out from them is worth it. In fact, I'm going to demo the new DirectStream DAC in the next month or two, and put it up against the Oppo BDP-105 and see what's what!
Lastly, I think most peoples systems, and especially their rooms simply aren't up to the level to really discern differences - some of these differences are not even subtle, but on an average system or untreated room, are probably lost in the great, but not transcending sound. And/Or maybe you're simply not up to the task of really hearing the differences?
I just read this in an article today, and I think it sums up what I'm trying to get at about the last line: http://hometheaterreview.com/the-five-best-ways-to-upgrade-your-av-system-for-under-500/?page=2
"Let's get one thing out of the way: cables make a difference. How big of a difference depends on how well-tuned your eyes and ears are. Ten years ago, when I started riding motorcycles, I couldn't tell the difference between a set of cheap tires and a set of expensive tires. Now, the difference is night and day, but it took time for me to develop my senses enough to notice it. It's the same with AV cables. This is still a controversial topic even here at HomeTheaterReview, much like audio racks."
I'm 42 years old, my hearing is probably pretty rough, not only due to my age, but years of loud rock and metal, playing guitar, driving with the windows open, motorcycle riding without earplugs etc. But I still catch subtle changes in sound and have been tested and proven such time and time again. This isn't because I have a "golden ear", whatever the hell that is, but because I've really learned to listen, and I know what to listen for.
So are audiophile usually people with more money than brains...LOL yeah. But is there some designers out there with gear that truly transcends the off the shelf stuff, and brings us closer to the music. Absolutely.
Sorry so long, but I get tired of all audiophile gear being painted as BS, and all audiophiles as a "fool born every minute". If you're in the Chicagoland area, I'd be happy to have you over for a demo - I think you'll be surprised - and I'm not even done yet.