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[Poll] A poll on whether Power Cords make a difference

Discussion in 'audio' started by duckworp, Jun 14, 2018.


Do Power Cords Make A Difference?

  1. Yes they do make a difference

    145 vote(s)
  2. No they don't make a difference

    166 vote(s)
  3. I don't know

    53 vote(s)
  1. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    Genuine question - what about extension leads? And say multiple components plugged in to a single cheap one. Any influence?
  2. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    As long as it part of a coherent ‘loom’ you should be fine.
  3. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Not really. For example, I've described elsewhere how some of the 'technical' claims about mains cables imply that a change in what comms engineers call the cable's 'characteristic impedance' would alter how it transmits unwanted RF, etc, from a mains wall-socket to the mains input on something like an audio amp.

    However the way that then might act as a 'mains filter' will vary from case to case because wall sockets don't all have the same 'source impedance' at RF, not do all amp power inlets all have the same 'load impedance' at RF. Nor, indeed, will all amps have exactly the same level of ability to reject RF getting into the box from reaching the signal path.

    Hence if the idea that the 'differences' are due to crap on the mains is correct, the effect of changing a mains cable will vary - apparently randomly - from situation to another. The result could then well be that for some people the effect is obvious, whilst for others it simply doesn't happen.

    However for me, the implication is that it makes more sense to fit an RF filter as this is cheaper and more reliable. And, ideally, to choose an amp which has been designed and built to do a good job of stopping such crap from getting from its mains inlet into the signal path.

    All that said, it also follows that if someone can never hear any difference when they change cables, then - lacking awareness of the above - they would reasonably doubt what they are told when someone else says they routinely can hear such changes.

    The problem here is that the publicity puffs issued by the makers of cables may simply not give a satisfactory explanation, and just seek to defend the cost required. 8-]
  4. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

    Great post!
  5. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    This assumes that RF is the problem, of course. And will said filters necessarily be benign at lower frequencies?
    An amp designed to stop RF may not be the best sounding amp. Plus most of us don't want to, or can't afford to change amps.
    But I won't argue about sellers or manufacturers using advertising hyperbole. Fortunately I haven't had to pay for my expensive cables, quite apart from those I have made myself.
    If you have equipment that you enjoy, but a change of cables makes it sound better, what's not to like?
  6. Sgt pepper

    Sgt pepper pfm Member

    Can any of you guys explain how a mains cable can improve the sound, I am guessing much the same way as HDMI etc.
  7. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    It’s a branch of physics that current science has not yet discovered, hence we cannot measure it, but in the future along with hover boards all will become clear.
    Sgt pepper likes this.
  8. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Does not explaining something make it go away?
  9. Sgt pepper

    Sgt pepper pfm Member

    No, but it goes a long way to making a case for it. However, measurements/blind tests for mains cables influencing sound have been done and strangely turned up no difference.
  10. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    That’s because those partaking in those tests were either deaf, or the equipment used wasn’t resolving enough.
  11. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    Well it seems you're happy then. So why are you posting on this thread? Are you trying to save people from themselves?
  12. whatsnext

    whatsnext Naimless

    It does OK so stop being aggressive and demanding logic.
  13. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    Why? I have never heard a difference between mains cables but see no reason to doubt most of the posters here claiming that they do. One or two appear too dishonest to trust a word they say but not most. I have never experienced a recognised mains RF problems with home audio equipment or know of a friend or colleague that has. I suspect it is pretty uncommon and has little to do with the differences in the sound of mains cables that are being reported.
  14. Sgt pepper

    Sgt pepper pfm Member

    Being aggressive?
  15. Sgt pepper

    Sgt pepper pfm Member

    No, just debating the differences in power cables and if they influence sound as per the title of the thread.
  16. I.D.C.

    I.D.C. pfm Member

    4can I ask why my picture quality improved on the TV ? Before I bought the cable I tried it at home first.
    Joe likes this.
  17. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    Yes, the theory I put forwards is simply based on finding a possible mechanism well-known in science that seems to 'fit the observations'. i.e. that some people find a change of cable makes a differencw whilst others do not. And it goes to help explain the reports I've seem from some makers about what they do to the cables. However it is just a theory which shows it is possible to explain why different people may get different results.

    I'm not sure what advantage it would be to an amplifier for it to allow RF onto its audio output. So I'd be interested in an explanation of that suggestion. My experience seems to be that amps that *don't* put RF or mains ripple into their output or allow it to modulate the input audio sound fair enough to me. And I'm not sure why adding in such things would lead (pun alert) to fidelity.

    Nothing wrong in principle with finding that a change of cable suits you. But the problem is the unpredicability I explained due to the unknown variations in circumstances if we want to suggest to someone else that a change to using a (possibly costly) cable might bring. Risks being unhelpful.
  18. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    I assume you were questioning my comment about "reasonable to doubt".

    My point isn't that you presume they are liars or fools and must be wrong. It is that when someone states something that is contrary to your own experience it is reasonable to wonder if they are mistaken. This not the same as taking for granted they are wrong. People do make mistakes.
  19. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    I try not to state that such and such will have such and such effect, preferring to simply describe my own experiences where possible. I don't know the mechanism involved, but then that is true of most things!
    duckworp likes this.
  20. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    One of my regrets wrt amp testing in in reviews is that they don't routinely check for ripple effects on the output. If the amp doesn't reject rail garbage this can lead to intermodulation causing complex sidebands at LF and around the components of the audio. Yet may be totally missed by standard THD measurements. Many years ago there was a time this was checked, but they then stopped bothering. It probably doesn't matter for many amps, but for others it might be a problem. We can't tell without it being checked, though.
    radamel and awkwardbydesign like this.

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