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post #1 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Upgraded power cables

Moderators, don’t know if this is proper place for this post. Please move if appropriate.

I use a Panamax 5300 line conditioner mostly to protect my components. Does adding some expensive and somewhat mysterious high tech power connect cord between the wall socket and the Panamax do anything beneficial for the sound of my system?
Sorry if this is a really dumb question.
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post #2 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 03:45 PM
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No. This has been asked many times.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #3 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 03:49 PM
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No. Save your money and just use the cords that came with your components. Cables of all kinds are the biggest ripoff in audio.

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post #4 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 04:21 PM
 
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No, not at all. save your money.
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post #5 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 04:21 PM
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Generally manufacturers of any electrical device doesn't go cheap on power cables to the equipment and will use a cable to meet the worst operating conditions.
(except when they have so much cash and legal team wants to practice settling class action law suits)
So, unless you want a much longer cable than the supplied one or ended up having a damaged one, there is absolutely no need to change.

https://www.audioholics.com/audio-vi...s/power-cables
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post #6 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 05:11 PM
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Just do a search. Then spend the balance of this year going through the posts.

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post #7 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 06:11 PM
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It might be OK to upgrade your Power Cables, but BE RESTRAINED.

If you look in this thread, you will get a fair estimate of the Power Capabilities of various common wire sizes. This was intended for Speaker Wire, but it applies to Power Cable too.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...ch-enough.html

Keep in mind that to arrive at the numbers I converted Current to Power which requires an impedance.

Here is a sample just so you understand -

14ga wire would look like this -

Power = Current² x Resistance = 5.9² x 8 = 34.81 x 8 = 279 sustained watts of power

Power = Current² x Resistance = 15² x 8 = 225 x 8 = 1800 peak working watts of power

Power = Current² x Resistance = 32² x 8 = 1024 x 8 = 8192 max peak watts of power


Notice a 14ga wire will sustain nearly 300 watts All Day Long.

It as a working peak of 1800 Watts which it will sustain for a reasonable period of time.

And a more than 8000 Watts Maximum Peak Power.

Now the first number in Bold are the actual Current.

So, let's work backwards to find out how much Line Current an Amp requires. If we assume about ±50 volts per channel for a 100w amp, we can work out the output current.

I(current) = P / E or 100w / 50v = 2 Amps x 2 Channels = 4 Amps

A 14 ga wire will sustain 5.9 Amps, and has a working peak of 15 amps. So, 4 amps is really not straining it, and remember that is 4 Amps of sustained unwavering current, which is not how properly functioning Amps work

Power In = Power Out

So, adding 50w for losses and residual power -

I = P / E = 250w /120v = 2 Amps

So, to SUSTAIN 250w or 4 Amps on the output (coincidentally 2 Amp per amp channel) only requires the Power Cord to handle 2 Amps Total to drive both channels including losses and residual power.

That is 1/3rd of what the Power Cable is capable of Sustaining All Day Long, and 13% of the Cords Working Peak Current. You are not straining that cable at all.

However, if you Electrical Outlets are the cheap $0.80 Variety from Walmart, and the Cords do not make TIGHT contact, then it might be worth getting better cable and outlets. But this better cable will not cost that much money.

You can go down to Home Depot or other similar Store, and get -

- Commercial or Hospital Grade Plugs
- A Commercial or Hospital Grade IEC Amp Plug-in (2 or 3 conductor as needed)
- Quality 14ga 3-conductor wire

Each of these items will cost $5 to $10 Each depending on how far you want to take it.

Now, you can dress these up any way you want. Get some fancy sleeving to put on them, again, not free but reasonably cheap. Apply a little labor to wiring it, and for about $25 to $50 you have the highest quality Power Cable.

Don't be confused by exceptionally FAT Power Cable, that FAT is mostly air. You can spend $100 or more on FAT Cable that at its core is only 14ga.

Hospital and Commercial Grade Plugs grip very tightly, and where they plug in that can make a difference.

What also makes a difference is the Wall Outlet. Instead of common generic Wall Outlets, you can again get Commercial or Hospital Grade for about $5 to $10. But if you would like to burn some money, I can point you to Wall Outlets in the $50 to $100 range.

So ...yeah... you might like some nice well-made heavy duty Power Cords, just don't pay a fortune for them because all you are really buying is appearance.

There are several threads in the forum of people taking plain-jane speaker wire and dressing it up with sleeving, a fancy jacket and pants (yes cable pants are a real thing) putting on some fancy connectors (banana plugs) and having cable that is selling for a small fortune.

The same can be done with Power Cords, buy the Plug ends, buy some good wire, dress it up to suit your needs, and wire it together.

You don't really gain anything, but you have some nice heavy attractive cool looking Power Cords. Be happy with that because if you spend $100 per Cord, all you are getting is Pretty Cords, and you can make your own Pretty Cords.

So, you can have a very basic functional 14ga Power Cord, your you can have a painfully expensive Power Cord, or you can just have a nice look heavy duty Power Cord, but mostly what you are buying is .... Pretty.

Now there are good quality Power Cords ready-made but again, don't go spending a fortune on them.

As Power Cords go, from a realistic perspective, even these are overkill -

https://www.amazon.com/Audiophile-Am...dp/B07TR5KYZF/

https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGAC14

Here is one that is just as good, but a little less fancy ... $20 -

https://www.amazon.com/Audiophile-Po...dp/B07QZ1XWKX/

And Power Cords like this are simply God's way of telling you that you have TOO MUCH MONEY -

https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQMONS

You want a nice cord ...cool... just don't expect too much and don't spend too much.

On the other hand, it is your money, spend what you want.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #8 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 06:25 PM
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I found a 6ft Hospital Grade Power Cord from MonoPrice for $12.

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-14A...dp/B07F7QVPZX/

You just have to ask yourself, how far you want to take it.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #9 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 06:37 PM
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According to the "AVS measurement posse", no power cords, IC's or speaker cables make any difference in sound whatsoever, unless the gauge is far too thin. To them, any difference you hear is all in your imagination.
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post #10 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
...
You just have to ask yourself, how far you want to take it.

Steve/bluewizard
I think he wants it from the wallplug to his surge protector..
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post #11 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post
According to the "AVS measurement posse", no power cords, IC's or speaker cables make any difference in sound whatsoever, unless the gauge is far too thin. To them, any difference you hear is all in your imagination.
If we are mistaken, I am sure credible evidence will change minds.
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post #12 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Steve/blue wizard, I did try to research this topic before making my post but found nothing compared to what you included in your post. Most of the pro fancy power cord arguments were simply, “trust me, my ears tell the truth.” Yours was probably the most comprehensive and informative posting I’ve ever seen, and very helpful. Will take some time to study it and research your cites. Thanks so much.
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post #13 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 10:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfndr View Post
Steve/blue wizard, I did try to research this topic before making my post but found nothing compared to what you included in your post. Most of the pro fancy power cord arguments were simply, “trust me, my ears tell the truth.” Yours was probably the most comprehensive and informative posting I’ve ever seen, and very helpful. Will take some time to study it and research your cites. Thanks so much.
Power cord is too far remote from the signal of the music, if your amp is good enough with good filtering, you don't worry about the noise or whatever from the power cord. So just use whatever come with the amp and the other components.

If you really really want to be picky......AND I am NOT even suggesting this, pull a dedicated electrical wire from the breaker box to the place where your system plugs in. Request to use big wire like 12 gauge or so for the line. This is more useful as a dedicated line don't have other stuffs plug into the line in inject noise, big wire reduce voltage drop along the line. That will be the best you can do........REMEMBER, I am NOT suggesting this either.
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post #14 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
It might be OK to upgrade your Power Cables,
There is so much that is incorrect in this post, but I don't have time to take it apart and correct it point by point.


If you want to find out the current carrying capacity of a given mains cable, find out it's CSA/gauge and find the table that your country uses to determine it. Here we use AS/NZS3008, and I assume there will be similar in the NEC for the US. The carrying capacity is determined by the heating of the cable and it's type of insulation and how and where it is installed.


It's very difficult to calculate the draw of say a power amp as it will vary over a huge range depending upon the signal and the load, the amp's class and quiescent current settings and then you'll need to make a guess on the average power sent to the load. Oh and the efficiency of the amp at given power levels as they vary. Unless you use an extremely high power amp, and use it hard, the rating of the power cable is moot. If in doubt, get one from an old electric heater.


BTW, I'm also a licensed electrician.
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post #15 of 502 Old 06-22-2020, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfndr View Post
Moderators, don’t know if this is proper place for this post. Please move if appropriate.

I use a Panamax 5300 line conditioner mostly to protect my components. Does adding some expensive and somewhat mysterious high tech power connect cord between the wall socket and the Panamax do anything beneficial for the sound of my system?
Sorry if this is a really dumb question.
When it comes to cabling, the bottom line is don't let anyone convince you one way or the other.

Try it, and if it makes an improvement and you can afford it, buy the cable.

Even better, listen to it for a while; most dealers will let you borrow cables for a week if not longer so you can make a decision for yourself.

Pretty simple, actually.

Listen to your system, and only make changes that improve it; if you don't hear an improvement, don't let anyone tell you you should.
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post #16 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post
When it comes to cabling, the bottom line is don't let anyone convince you one way or the other.

Try it, and if it makes an improvement and you can afford it, buy the cable.

Even better, listen to it for a while; most dealers will let you borrow cables for a week if not longer so you can make a decision for yourself.

Pretty simple, actually.

Listen to your system, and only make changes that improve it; if you don't hear an improvement, don't let anyone tell you you should.
"Always trust your senses because they don't lie and you won't be swayed by price/marketing."


Smart people realize propaganda advertising works. It's as easy as cake.
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post #17 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
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M. Zilich, That video kinda says it all! Amazing. Thanks.
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post #18 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 04:57 AM
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I really love it when expensive cables put directional arrows on them as if electrons care which way the cable is plugged in.
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post #19 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocs123
I really love it when expensive cables put directional arrows on them as if electrons care which way the cable is plugged in.
Normally they don't, but once you've nitrogen-bathed the wires and quantumized the dielectric the electrons have no say in the matter.
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post #20 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 06:58 AM
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I swear there's a niche out there for $25-50 cables that look really good and make no claim for improved performance they just come in a wide selection of colors with nice connectors at either end. I guess the closest thing in today's market would be Blue Jeans Cables. Of course if you're doing that the temptation would be strong to make an "ultimate" cable for 5 grand and see if anyone buys it.
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post #21 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 07:38 AM
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If you don't like the "looks" of a stock power cable in your setup, go buy one that pleases your eye.
If you assume that a exotic power cord will improve "the sound", save your money.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #22 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 10:19 AM
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I must be buying the wrong the gear: all my power cables are on the rear side of the component which faces away from me so my power cables are nearly invisible both to me and visitors so why should it matter what they look like? . . . Hmm, unless maybe I've errantly had all my components flipped around 180 degrees all these years and never realized it!
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post #23 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
It might be OK to upgrade your Power Cables, but BE RESTRAINED.

If you look in this thread, you will get a fair estimate of the Power Capabilities of various common wire sizes. This was intended for Speaker Wire, but it applies to Power Cable too.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...ch-enough.html

Keep in mind that to arrive at the numbers I converted Current to Power which requires an impedance.

Here is a sample just so you understand -

14ga wire would look like this -

Power = Current² x Resistance = 5.9² x 8 = 34.81 x 8 = 279 sustained watts of power

Power = Current² x Resistance = 15² x 8 = 225 x 8 = 1800 peak working watts of power

Power = Current² x Resistance = 32² x 8 = 1024 x 8 = 8192 max peak watts of power


Notice a 14ga wire will sustain nearly 300 watts All Day Long.

It as a working peak of 1800 Watts which it will sustain for a reasonable period of time.

And a more than 8000 Watts Maximum Peak Power.

Now the first number in Bold are the actual Current.

So, let's work backwards to find out how much Line Current an Amp requires. If we assume about ±50 volts per channel for a 100w amp, we can work out the output current.

I(current) = P / E or 100w / 50v = 2 Amps x 2 Channels = 4 Amps

A 14 ga wire will sustain 5.9 Amps, and has a working peak of 15 amps. So, 4 amps is really not straining it, and remember that is 4 Amps of sustained unwavering current, which is not how properly functioning Amps work

Power In = Power Out

So, adding 50w for losses and residual power -

I = P / E = 250w /120v = 2 Amps

So, to SUSTAIN 250w or 4 Amps on the output (coincidentally 2 Amp per amp channel) only requires the Power Cord to handle 2 Amps Total to drive both channels including losses and residual power.

That is 1/3rd of what the Power Cable is capable of Sustaining All Day Long, and 13% of the Cords Working Peak Current. You are not straining that cable at all.


Steve/bluewizard

I understand what you're trying to do here and in your thread that you linked, but this concept of wire sustaining power simply doesn't make any sense. How much power the load on the other end dissipates makes zero difference to the conductor. Only the current passing through the conductor matters. By assuming various loads and working things backwards and forwards you're just creating a lot of unnecessary confusion at best and is inaccurate at worst because a speaker's impedance is dynamic.

A). If you're amp's power cord is equal to or larger than the 12 or 14ga in your wall, you're beyond good. Done.

B). If that's not good enough, the math is simple. For a 50% efficient Class A/B amp, double your amp's peak power and divide it by 120V and that's your mains current draw. Look that up on a wire current capacity chart and choose accordingly. For a 250W amp, you'd be looking at 250/50%/120 = 4.2A, which you could run off 18awg if you wanted. It's that simple for practical purposes.
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post #24 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 11:51 AM
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If its not getting hot, then stick with what you got.
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post #25 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 12:32 PM
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If its not getting hot, then stick with what you got.
If an AC wire gets warm to the touch that doesn't prove it is inadequate for the task, anymore than saying "If the top of an amplifier gets warm to the touch you need a stronger amplifier capable of driving a more difficult load."

If either gets so hot you have to let go, well, that's a different matter.
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post #26 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 12:44 PM
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If someone is selling a product with faulty/inadequate power cables, I'm pretty sure there would be recalls and/or lawsuits.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #27 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
There is so much that is incorrect in this post, but I don't have time to take it apart and correct it point by point.

If you want to find out the current carrying capacity of a given mains cable, find out it's CSA/gauge and find the table .... NEC for the US. The carrying capacity is determined by the heating of the cable and it's type of insulation and how and where it is installed.
That's precisely what I did.


Quote:
It's very difficult to calculate the draw of say a power amp as it will vary over a huge range depending upon the signal and the load, ...

BTW, I'm also a licensed electrician.
But if you push the maximum signal voltage into a standard load, you get the maximum current/power. Note, the calculation come from determining the typical Power capability of Speaker Wire. But the same data can apply to Power Cords.

I had Current Specs, I used a Standard Impedance of 8 ohms and drove that Current through it, then calculated the Power. AND ... I said this in my post in slightly different words.

Whether the Line Current is 4 Amp or 2 Amps, it is still well under the working capacity of common 14ga wire. Look at an extension cord. It will tell you the Gauge and the Maximum Working Current. Run the numbers and you will have the Power Capability of the cord.

Remember, we are talking MAXIMUM Current in a typical 100w/ch Amp, Average Current is going to be well under this, and this Max Current is going to virtually never happen.

Here is a common 6ft 14ga 3-conductor extension cord rated at 15 Amps -

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Snow-Joe...-WHT/309967146

120v x 15a = 1800 Watts


Which is precisely what I claimed. Though do keep mind, as I'm sure you know, at these higher Currents, there is a time element. The Higher the Current, the Shorter the Time it can be sustained. But given that we are WELL UNDER that rated Current, we are not even going to have a problem with the Time Factor.

Keeping in mind, that no typical amp that is still working properly will ever draw that much power. Rare to nearly never does an amp hit full output voltage, and if it does, it is only for a second or so.

So, give that most amps are running between a fraction of a watt and perhaps 5w at the most (average), the functional Power is substantially lower that the rated Sustained Current or the Maximum Working Current.

So, though I haven't run the numbers, more likely the average current is between 0.2A and 0.4A. WELL BELOW the capacity of a common 14ga wire.

But, you are focusing on a diversion. What was my message to the Original Poster?


It might be OK to upgrade your Power Cables, but BE RESTRAINED.

...this better cable will not cost that much money.

Don't be confused by exceptionally FAT Power Cable, that FAT is mostly air. You can spend $100 or more on FAT Cable that at its core is only 14ga.

..you might like some nice well-made heavy duty Power Cords, just don't pay a fortune for them because all you are really buying is appearance.

You don't really gain anything, but you have some nice heavy attractive cool looking Power Cords. Be happy with that because if you spend $100 per Cord, all you are getting is Pretty Cords,

mostly what you are buying is .... Pretty.

...there are good quality Power Cords ready-made but again, don't go spending a fortune on them.

Power Cords like this (linked example) are simply God's way of telling you that you have TOO MUCH MONEY -

You want a nice cord ...cool... just don't expect too much and don't spend too much.



So ... do you object to the message I sent to the Original Poster?

Oh, and by the way, I have a Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. Like an Electrical Engineer but more applied science than theoretical science.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 06-23-2020 at 01:04 PM.
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post #28 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
If someone is selling a product with faulty/inadequate power cables, I'm pretty sure there would be recalls and/or lawsuits.
Rather than a safety concern the scam artist's sales pitch says things along the lines of "The inadequately thick (meaning gauge) cord they gave you for free is choking your amp from receiving the full current in needs to provide you with the punch and dynamics your amp is actually capable of". See their story is the necessary cable is "Just too darn expensive for them to give you and still sell the unit at a competitive price." What they count on is that the typical consumer has no idea that thick power cords are actually a relatively trivial expense to the maker. All they see is that Monstrous Hype AC cables are expensive so that's their frame of reference.
---
To the general audience now.

The notion an amplifier maker has the wherewithal to design a competent amplifier but either due to incompetence or malfeasance only supplies an inadequately thick (gauge) AC power cord to provide maximal performance with it (considering how incredibly affordable they are when bought in bulk), is laughable.

The aftermarket AC power cord industry is predominantly a scam. Sure if you lose the original cord, need a longer one (which if significant may require a bump up in gauge), or think the appearance matters because you've been told you should, fine. But the sound does not change.
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Last edited by m. zillch; 06-23-2020 at 02:32 PM.
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post #29 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 01:04 PM
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I recommend a Youtube video where the Audiophiliac (believes in cables) gathers his audio club and asks members whether what they think SNAKE OIL or not. Eyes opening and funny.
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post #30 of 502 Old 06-23-2020, 01:08 PM
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^How about a link, please?
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