PS Audio Power plants & solid core power cables - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Recently heard that electrical interference from wall outlets could affect audio... I currently have a panamax M5300-PM where I connect all my HT components... except for my sub... I connect my sub directly to wall outlet cause cable is out of reach of power conditioner...

I started looking at PS Audio P5 Power Plant and solid core power cable from Lessloss... Since I have heard about largely from HDMI and speaker wire cables... that it may not make much difference... wondering about PS Audio Power Plant and solid core cables...

Thanks in advance...

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post #2 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 02:34 PM
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I can see where this thread will lead.

What are you trying to fix/address? Don't spend money on nonsense to resolve a "problem" that someone suggests you may have.
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post #3 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 03:25 PM
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As everyone else is going to say - upgraded power cables are going to give you the same voltage and current as the supplied cables. The only exception might be if you are using very long power cables - a power cable with a larger gauge (like my 10 gauge 4m power cables) may be able to supply more current to power hungry amplifiers. Think about the wire in the wall just before the outlet - it is probably 14 gauge unshielded wire - why worry about using bigger / shielded wire between the outlet and the component.

That said, I have some aftermarket power cables but only because I liked them - they didn't solve any problems or sound any better. If you want upgraded power cables, look at the Pangea AC-14 - they have been on clearance for as low as $15 - $20 and are very nice or make your own cables using Carol 300V cable and Wattgate "budget" plugs:

http://www.parts-express.com/wattgate-320i-blk-iec-connector-black--110-432

A problem that you DO HAVE is that your system is not protected from power surges that could enter your sub from the wall and travel back to your AVR (unless you are using wireless - you didn't say). Panamax makes a special surge protector just for this very purpose with RCA surge connections that will protect your system AND your sub:

http://www.panamax.com/Products/Other/MD2-AV.php

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post #4 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I can see where this thread will lead.

What are you trying to fix/address? Don't spend money on nonsense to resolve a "problem" that someone suggests you may have.

I'm not trying to fix anything... actually... maybe... I was thinking about changing my speakers to get better sound... (I'm having a problem with imaging)... I was thinking about getting Monitor Audio and possibly bookshelves since I have subs and I have a small space... But didn't think I was going to get a night & day difference with my setup... so I put this upgrade in the back burner...

Since I heard about this electrical interference... I thought... maybe I ask about it here... smile.gif

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post #5 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 03:37 PM
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I would say that if you are unhappy with sound of your speakers, new/different speakers would be the better consideration. That is money well spent.
You can't make a speaker (or a room) sound better with an overly priced power cable and wall outlet.
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post #6 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I would say that if you are unhappy with sound of your speakers, new/different speakers would be the better consideration. That is money well spent.
You can't make a speaker (or a room) sound better with an overly priced power cable and wall outlet.

If I wanted to upgrade my sound from B&W CM 8... what would you suggest ? Also... since I have sub would it be better to go for bookshelf instead of tower ? When I was looking at speakers... I was looking at Monitor Audio GX100.

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post #7 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

You can't make a speaker (or a room) sound better with an overly priced power cable and wall outlet.

Searching web... I found this review... He compares video and audio using PS Audio Power Plant
http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?127621-Tweaking-Home-Theater-Part-7-PS-Audio-PerfectWave-P5-and-P10-AC-Regenerators

Seems to me that it does make a differences ?

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post #8 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

Searching web... I found this review... He compares video and audio using PS Audio Power Plant
http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?127621-Tweaking-Home-Theater-Part-7-PS-Audio-PerfectWave-P5-and-P10-AC-Regenerators

Seems to me that it does make a differences ?
Having read the utter drivel he has written around here, I wouldn't trust that person if he told me it was daylight outside.
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post #9 of 43 Old 01-27-2014, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Having read the utter drivel he has written around here, I wouldn't trust that person if he told me it was daylight outside.

LOL... OK... Thanks smile.gif

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post #10 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I would say that if you are unhappy with sound of your speakers, new/different speakers would be the better consideration. That is money well spent.
You can't make a speaker (or a room) sound better with an overly priced power cable and wall outlet.


From what I hear Monitor Audio speakers are pretty good. That leaves room acoustics as a possible fruitful area for investigation and experimentation.
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post #11 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

You can't make a speaker (or a room) sound better with an overly priced power cable and wall outlet.

Searching web... I found this review... He compares video and audio using PS Audio Power Plant
http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?127621-Tweaking-Home-Theater-Part-7-PS-Audio-PerfectWave-P5-and-P10-AC-Regenerators

Seems to me that it does make a differences ?

I believe that this particular article has been previously seriously questioned. There appear to be a number of hidden variables in the evaluation, such as room lighting, shadowing of the TV screen and brightness sensor by people moving about the room (e.g. the photographer), etc. There are a number of fairly easy ways to address these questions but they were apparently not exploited.

Several of us have had conversations with the author (he has posted here in the past) and in our opinions he has not been exactly forthcoming with additional details. He's an EE but his area of expertise appears to be IT, not analog and digital signal processing.
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post #12 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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The reason I posted was because I saw Home Theater Geeks with Scott Wilkinson and Jeremy Kipnis.... Towards the end (55:54 min mark) Jeremy stated that there was a difference between electrical current vs his generator and he recommends solid state power cables

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post #13 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Jeremy stated that there was a difference between electrical current vs his generator and he recommends solid state power cables

Sounds like they used a lot of nonsensical words to try and BS the viewer.

generators generate electrical current, how can there be a difference between "electrical current and a generator"?

Copper conductors are solid state, plasma, such as in a sodium vapour streetlamp is not. No one uses sodium vapour to carry current to their stereo systems.
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post #14 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

The reason I posted was because I saw Home Theater Geeks with Scott Wilkinson and Jeremy Kipnis.... Towards the end (55:54 min mark) Jeremy stated that there was a difference between electrical current vs his generator and he recommends solid state power cables

Tell you the truth, house power may not be as pure as the driven snow that I look out the window and see big piles of ;-). Other loads on the power system including lighting dimmers, larger motors, and gear with large switchmode power supplies can cause the waveforms on the AC power lines in your house to become a little noisy and distorted.

That all said, under normal circumstances and even some pretty abnormal ones, the power supplies in all kinds of gear including audio gear are designed to, and are highly effective at making that all moot. Really, the stated purpose of he power supplies in your digital players, amplifiers, analog audio gear, network gear, etc. etc. are designed to take fairly filthy power and make it pristine and pure for the sensitive audio and digital circuits inside.

Show me a piece of gear that requires pristine power to work well and I'll show you convincing evidence of substandard design or construction. Normally you can run line voltage up and down over a 20 volt+ range, distort it by 3%-5% and add dollops of noise, and it all gets cleaned up by your equipment's power supply. There are big capacitors and sophisticated voltage regulator chips that purify a great many sins.
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post #15 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 08:22 AM
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Sorry you have fallen prey to some of the nonsense of audiophilia. I just wanted to note that you said you wanted to fix an imaging problem. Do you know what imaging is? It is the apparent location of each sound source in the soundstage. Your equipment has nothing at all to do with imaging. That is determined by how the recording engineer sets the pan controls on the mixer when mixing the recording. In other words you can't affect imaging with speakers. You may well improve the overall sound quality of the system but be careful about getting too specific about your goals. The shouldn't be driven by that same audiophilia nonsense you've already encountered.
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post #16 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Sorry you have fallen prey to some of the nonsense of audiophilia.

OK. Thanks for info.

I currently have a panamax power conditioner (M5300-PM) that I bought about 3 years ago... If I'm in an area where i get many power outages... and I want to protect my HT... Is my panamax good enough ? That's another reason I was looking at PS Audio... cause it seemed that their power plant would do a better job.

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post #17 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 09:04 AM
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Internet forums are full of shills, AKA salesman. They try to make you want to buy stuff they sell. Be wary of them. There are a few of them in this place as well.
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post #18 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

OK. Thanks for info.

I currently have a panamax power conditioner (M5300-PM) that I bought about 3 years ago... If I'm in an area where i get many power outages... and I want to protect my HT... Is my panamax good enough ? That's another reason I was looking at PS Audio... cause it seemed that their power plant would do a better job.

Neither one will have any effect whatsoever. Sorry.
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post #19 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Neither one will have any effect whatsoever. Sorry.

Any suggestions ?

Thanks in advance

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post #20 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 12:00 PM
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My only suggestion is to quit worrying about power conditioners and move on to something else.
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post #21 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Sorry you have fallen prey to some of the nonsense of audiophilia.

OK. Thanks for info.

I currently have a panamax power conditioner (M5300-PM) that I bought about 3 years ago... If I'm in an area where i get many power outages... and I want to protect my HT... Is my panamax good enough ? That's another reason I was looking at PS Audio... cause it seemed that their power plant would do a better job.

If you want to protect equipment from power outages, the tool of choice is a UPS. Most equipment doesn't care if it gets the power jerked out from under it. As a practical matter cable company DVRs can take several hours to restablish their program data bases if power gets lost, so there is a component that could potentially benefit from a UPS. But most UPSs will only keep their loads alive for a number of minutes if used near their ratings.

The other possible exposure related to power outages is power surges. These can happen when power is reapplied to the power network after an outage. This time the tool of choice is a voltage regulator.
\
Looking at the Panamax device mentioned above, http://www.panamax.com/Products/A-V-Components/M5300-PM.php#tab_features I see no features that would alleviate the effects of power outages.
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post #22 of 43 Old 01-28-2014, 01:32 PM
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Spike, I have never used any kind of protectors, conditioners, etc. and never had any issues.

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post #23 of 43 Old 01-29-2014, 12:44 AM
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Paul of PS audio should be brought up on charges of fraud for what he says and sells.
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post #24 of 43 Old 01-29-2014, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post

Spike, I have never used any kind of protectors, conditioners, etc. and never had any issues.
A decent surge protector (the kind you can get for about $30-40 at Home Depot) is never a bad idea. Anything more esoteric/expensive, IMHO, is a scam.
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post #25 of 43 Old 01-30-2014, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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After some thought... I'm thinking about upgrading my speakers instead of buying power conditioners and cables...

I would probably buy Front L&F and Center... probably going with B&W 804D & HTM2....

Thing is... what do I do with my CM 8 & CM Center....?

Do I attempt to sell them ? I doubt I would get much...
Do I replace my surround CM1 with CM8 ?
Do I attempt to use my CM1 in the surround back or Front High/Wide ??

I never bothered getting more speakers because most movies come with 5.1 vs 7.1

Note: Currently have EMOTIVA XPA-5.... If I add more speakers... I would need to get a different or add another amp.

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post #26 of 43 Old 01-30-2014, 04:30 PM
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Before spending any money at all, look at your space, your speaker positioning and your listening position, and optimize those. You said you have a small room, so bigger speakers isn't necessarily the solution.

What are the room dimensions, speaker locations, listener locations, window and door locations, furniture locations, etc. That's where to start.

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #27 of 43 Old 01-30-2014, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Before spending any money at all, look at your space, your speaker positioning and your listening position, and optimize those. You said you have a small room, so bigger speakers isn't necessarily the solution.

What are the room dimensions, speaker locations, listener locations, window and door locations, furniture locations, etc. That's where to start.

My current space is 13' x 14'... I have acoustic panels covering first reflection points on sides & ceilings... I have bass traps on each corner See attachment... LivingRoomDiagram.pdf 508k .pdf file

The thing is that I may move and I will have a 11' x 11' room to set my HT... smaller room....
Attached Files
File Type: pdf LivingRoomDiagram.pdf (507.8 KB, 6 views)

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post #28 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post

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.




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post #29 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 01:45 PM
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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.

Wait till you're 60... then you have to spend three times as much on cables to make stuff sound good. biggrin.gif
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post #30 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 01:51 PM
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Wait till you're 60... then you have to spend three times as much on cables to make stuff sound good. biggrin.gif

I think at a certain point, it probably makes more sense to go back to buying cheaper cables when you realize you *can't* hear the difference anymore. smile.gif

When we're young and have amazing hearing and vision we can't afford the nice gear, but when we can afford the nice gear, we don't hear or see as well. *sigh*
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