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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, fellows.


Upon having a succesful first experience last year with the JPS Labs AC Power cords(used to plugged my P300 Power Plants into the Richard Grays 1200S units, www.jpslabs.com/powercord.html ), I'm planning to replace -piece by piece- all stock power cords in my system by premium ones.


When it came to digital-based gear (Proceed AVP pre/pro), I wondered which of the several models offered by JPS would be the best cord choice. I wrote to JPS Labs's Joe Scubinsky, who for the pre/pro recommended me his The Digital AC, which is way less expensive than his new, ultra-premium Aluminata.


The reason for the superiority of The Digital AC for digital applications, he explained, is its ability to drop the noise floor (both noise from external sources plus the digital unit's own noise) from the digital unit by specific multi-stage digital filtration networks. So, in theory, The Digital AC cord isolates AND absorbs any noise outside of the audio range WITHIN the cord itself.


...Now, other than JPS Labs, I haven't found other manufacturers offering purpose-made power cords for digital-based gear. I see that other reputable makers, such as Shunyata, Acoustic Zen, Granite Audio, Harmonic Tech., etc., do not offer cords "taylor-made" for digital applications.


Two Questions:


1) What's the story with this purpose-made cord for digital gear? Do you buy the claimed theory and benefits? Any actual experience with The Digital AC out there?


2) For the specific case of a surround pre/pro, which power cords have you actually tried which gave you the maximum audio benefits? I am willing to invest up to about $1000 for that cord.


Thanks a lot for your advise, fellow


J.V.
 

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I've gone through a number of power cords in my system, from stock, to VansEvers, to Harmonic Tech Pro AC-11, and now for about 16 months

Granite Audio - I don't plan on changing. I'm happy with what I have.

I've spent enough money. And I've spent enough time tweakin' and drivin' myself up the wall (like Spider-man)!


Also, in my system, using so many dedicated 20 amp circuits, effective star grounding (each outlet pair is wired and grounded back to the home theater room's power panel, which then has its own 8' copper ground rod, which then is tied to the house ground), and PS Audio P600 for front end components (non-amplifiers) and one for projector, I think what I have, the Granite Audio cords, effectively does what I need. To continue the clean power from the Power Plants to the front end components and to my Dwin projector, as the toroids at each end of the Granite Audio power cords cleans out the high frequency noise that somehow gets in once the clean AC leaves the Power Plant. And to allow maximum watts from the wall to my power amps yet clean out that high frequency noise!!!


I have always "heard" good things about JPS labs stuff, too.
 

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Hi J.V.,


While our power cords are not designed exclusively for digital gear, they are specifically designed to filter out noise that is unique to digital gear. So, they are designed to work good on digital gear as well as analog.


The double toroid filters specifically filter digital noise generated by digital components and keep it from spreading to other components via the power cord. These toroid filters filter in both directions. This keeps digital noise from leaving one component and it keeps outside digital noise from entering the component.


Our power cords also work well on analog gear because they also filter unwanted EMI and RFI noise as well as the digital noise.
 

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Yup. When we demod the Granite Audio power cords in my system back in Feb. 2001, we first used them from the P600 to my Theta Voyager and my Theta Casablanca 2. Neither of us really expected much if any of a difference, as I was already using Harmonic Tech Pro AC-11 power cords and I was feeding these components such clean AC from the P600. But

the improvement was clear with these digital components.


I think any power cords designed to deliver the AC yet non-current limit and filter out the high frequency noise that gets onto the line should offer benefit over a stock cord in a high resolution home theater system., whether for digital or analog components.


I wonder if the "Digital AC" is just some great marketing, offer a lower priced power cord to appeal to us home theater nuts who generally don't want to spend much on a power cord??? Again, JPS Labs has an excellent reputation and I have no doubt they have great cords, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don/Steve: Thanks a lot for your comments and clarifications.


DON: exactly in what way your two-way, built-in toroids differ from the PS Audio double wound baluns they use in their Ultimate Power Outlet and Ultimate Lab (power) Cable?

Are the "baluns" and the "toroids" the same physical thing just with different name or are they radically different things? (Pardon my ignorance if this is a silly question, but I have no formal background on EE).
http://www.psaudio.com/products/stan...mateoutlet.asp
http://www.psaudio.com/products/labcables_ultimate.asp


Also, candidly speaking, in what ways would you say your cords outperform the PS Audio ballun-based devices?


Thanks a lot for your time! :)


P.S.: I've read great things on your cords both here at AVS and at Audio Asylum. So they are consistently staying in my progressively shorter "short list".
 

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Hi J.V.,


Thanks for your questions. We've been using our proprietary double-toroid filtering for almost 4 years now, which is long before the well-respected P.S. Audio products were available. Based on the information I have, I believe their "Baluns" are very similar to our "toroids". I know that our toroids filter down to very low frequencies. They are manufactured to our specifications to have a crossover frequency of 1MHz. This means that they do some filtering below 1MHz and filter all frequencies above 1MHz. Since they start filtering at such a low frequency, this makes them very effective on both analog and digital gear. I don't know of any other cable manufacturer that makes a cable that can filter lower than ours and also not limit current and not have any in-line parts or in-line connected networks. This is an extremely important benefit of our cables.


Many other manufacturers use "ferrite" filters which typically start filtering above 40MHz. This is beneficial for digital gear and other very high frequency applications, but it does little to help at lower frequencies. With our "toroid" filtering you get everything filtered in one cord. This makes our cord much more universal. If you switch components or move them around, you may not need to buy a new cord if you use ours. Our toroids are much more expensive and much larger than ferrites. So, it costs us more to include them in our design. Since they are larger than ferrites, they will also handle much higher currents before saturating. This makes them even more effective on current hungry power amps and HT projectors.


I've met the P.S. Audio guys and they build good products with good customer service. I also think our application of our "toroids" has a distinct advantage over their application of their "baluns". We use dual-toroids at the ends of the cable. This way the toroid filters all the noise that enters the cable right before it enters or leaves the connected component. P.S. Audio puts their single balun in the middle of the cable. So, their balun cannot filter the length of cord between the balun and the connected component. So, any new noise that enters this section of the cable is left unfiltered.


Toroids, Baluns, and Ferrites all filter in the same basic way. The material they are made of has a field around it. This field has a resonant or crossover frequency that varies depending on the material and construction of the part. Toroids have an advantage in that their field is self-contained and thus self-shielding. This allows us to put them right at the end of the cable where it enters the component and is also the most effective. Since they filter with their field, they do not need to physically contact the actual wires that they are filtering. So, they filter out the unwanted noise without limiting the desired current of 60Hz 120volt that powers the connected component. It's a win-win-win situation. A beautiful engineering solution to a common problem.
 

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There are SO MANY power cords out there it can drive ya crazy. I certainly am not familiar with way most of them!!!! I try to keep this as a hobby!!!

Not invest my whole life in comparing the MULTITUDES of power cords. HAAAAAA!:D :D :rolleyes: :confused:


By my own demoing of power cords suggests that having the high frequency noise filtering just prior to the power cord's attachment to the component is a high priority.


And with high power usage components, such as amplifiers, and even my Theta Casablanca 2 (if not all components), I don't want current limiting -

so I would leery on in-line networks, etc. which might serve to limit that current even just a tad to that amplifier that wants to pull out maximum dynamics.


Just a few thoughts and idea to apply as you search through the power cords out there to determine which ones you want to demo. The Granite Audio cords satisfy these concerns for me objectively and perform well subjectively - and of course I would think there are some other power cords out there which satisfy these criteria and perform well, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Once again, Don/Steve, thanks a LOT for your further clarifications and comments. Everything makes sense to me. I shall consider Granite AC cords in my next cable purchase.


J.V.
 

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Yup, there lotsa stuff to consider, objective construction and features,

and what you are looking for may perhaps depend on how your system is setup, and of course subjective performance in your system. Have fun and let us know what you demo and what you decide on keeping!!! And of course price - performance is perhaps most important, as you may want to set a percentage limit on how much you spend for a power cord vs the component itself!!!
 

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Did I read somewhere that longer AC cords are better? Minimum length should be 5-6 feet? Sounds like AC cord as a conditioner or someone trying to take my money.


I noticed there are two versions of each Granite AC cable. What is the difference? Steve - Can I assume you have the "g" version?


Thanks

mike
 

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Granite Audio has a version with gold plated male plugs. No, I don't have that version. Don of Granite Audio has that version available custom/special order, at a higher cost, as on occasion an audiophile wants it. Don's listening in his own system, with outlets that aren't gold plated, doesn't indicate there's a sonic difference. My outlets aren't gold plated either, so I stuck with Don's regular version 10 guage 560 power cords

and the 566 long 25' home theater power cord for my projector.
 

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Hi Mike,


We make 3 different power cords.


Model #555 is 14AWG dual toroid filtered.

Model #560 is 10AWG dual toroid filtered.

Model #566 is 10AWG with 6 toroid filters and is 25foot long for HT projectors hanging from the ceiling with power conditioner sitting on the floor.


The toroids filter out unwanted EMI, RFI, and digital noise all the way down into the upper audio band.


All 3 models are available with gold plated male and female plugs for an extra charge. We use WattGate brand gold plated plugs.


Don Hoglund

President Granite Audio
 

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I don't know much about the filtering aspect of toroids, but I understand the premise of wanting to keep as much junk out of the line as possible. To this end, why not just wrap all of your power cords (DIY or otherwise) with 3M copper foil EMI/RFI tape? It has a PSA which is conductive. Typically you find it in 17 or 18 yard rolls.


Adhesive Research also makes Cu foil shielding tape. Here's a snippet from their website:


Product: ARclad® 6738

Caliper: 3.5 mils (0.09mm)

Adhesive: Acrylic

Carrier: 1 oz. Copper Foil

Service Temp Range: -40°F (-40°C) to 250°F (121°C)


Shielding Effectiveness, dB:

· 1MHz: 93

· 500MHz: 65

· 1GHz: 82

· 18GHz: 52



I know I'm out of my league here, but it seems like a good DIY power cord

wrapped end to end with this stuff might work quite well. I realize their figures only address frequencies out of the audible range, but it seems like you might gain benefits in the audible range as well by keeping the suprasonic stuff out of the line. Any thoughts?



Joe
 

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Hi Joe,


Thanks for your valuable input on the foil tape. Especially the specs and numbers for shielding effectiveness at various frequencies.


You're correct that the Cu foil tape will give some shielding benefit to keep "new" EMI-RFI noise from entering the power cord from the air around it. But, it won't do anything about the EMI-RFI-Digital noise that has entered the hundreds of feet of house wiring, and then is passed into the power cord at the wall socket. It also won't filter the digital noise generated by the connected component and keep it from infecting the other components via the power line circuits. So, the shield has very limited benefits.


The benefit of the toroid filtering at both ends of the cord is that it filters "all" the unwanted EMI-RFI-Digital noise in the cord regardless of the source. It filters the noise that comes in from the hundreds of feet of house wiring, the noise that comes in from the air, noise from the local radio station, digital noise generated by other components, and even noise generated by the connected component to keep it from infecting other downstream components. The toroids filter all noise, from all sources, in both directions.
 

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I'm not clear as to the differences between toroids vs running through a ferrite bead.......is that not just one pass (turn) with the wire as opposed to multipe wraps on a toroid.....or is a toroid different material and does the diameter of the toroid start to play with fields,etc that passing through a ferrite would not? Thanks for any clarity


Lance
 

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Hi Lance,


You are correct in your list of differences between toroids and ferrite.


SHAPE. Toroids are donut shaped and ferrite is typically more like a cylinder or tube and is frequently split in half for installation around a terminated cord, where the ends are too large to be fed through the hole.


FIELD. The toroid's shape creates a self-contained field that turns towards the center. Thus a toroid is self shielding. This self shielding aspect allows the toroid to be placed almost anywhere without extra shielding, including right up against the component's AC input at the end of the cord where it's most effective.


MATERIALS. Our toroids are made from different materials than ferrites and are much larger than a typical ferrite. This allows our toroids to filter everything above 1MHz and even below 1MHz with a steady rolloff. Ferrites typically filter above 40MHz and saturate with less current. The larger toroids can handle much more current before reaching saturation.


LOOPS. Wires can be looped multiple times with either device. Loops are easier on toroids because of the shape and generally larger center hole.
 

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Thanks for the response....one followup question is how does the comment you hear frequently that the use of ferrite tends to impact/constrict/suppress dynamic response apply....and why or why not to toroids?


Thanks in advance

Lance
 

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Lance, thanks for some GREAT questions. Its good to challenge Don once in awhile!!!!
 

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Hi Lance,


I don't have an answer to that one. Sorry. Can't even guess?


I'm taking a break from my test/work bench. I've been listening to Sarah McLachlan. I've heard her songs before but never paid much attention until last week when PBS broadcast her "Mirrorball" concert from Oregon. Wow!!!!! It's summer rerun time and I just channel hopped into the concert looking for something to watch. I was hypnotized.


The next day I ordered 4 of her CDs off the net. 3 of them came in yesterday and I'm finally getting to hear them tonight. I started with "The Freedom Session", which are the original acoustic versions of the songs on her "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" album released 2 years earlier. Wow, what a treat to experience both versions. I'm halfway through the FTE album now and also enjoying the heavily produced versions of the songs.


"Mirrorball" is next. It has some high energy rock songs where she really lifts her voice through the paces and shows of the power she has with rock as well as ballads. Now I'm a fan who wants to see her live concert.
 

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One thing Don and I both do know - we have subjectively compared his power cords to others, without toroids, and we are both confident that the toroids on his power cords can only improve the sonics with no negative impacts on dynamics or the sound. As for ferrite, well, Don doesn't use those in his cords. Now I have read at times some others say that using too much ferrite in your system can shut the sound down, as to technically why, that's not my bag to fully understand all the technical aspects.
 
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