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Thread: Power cords - do they really make a difference, other than potentially reduce noise?

  1. #151
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! BlueFox's Avatar
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    One great thing I have noticed with my power cords, and power conditioners, is they eliminate noise you didn't realize was there. After adding or upgrading you realize the music is now coming from an even quieter background than before. Amazing. Well worth the money to me.
    Bud

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  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by stehno View Post
    All the music info you'll ever hear is already embedded into the recording medium. In fact, that same music info is also being processed throughout the chain. Only problem is, once read off the medium and by the time it reaches the speakers much of the music info becomes so distorted (noise) that it greatly raises the noise floor of a given playback system so that the distorted music info remains inaudible beneath the much raised noise floor.
    Our ears/brain have incredible ability to hear way into noise. Rise of noise as such does not mask music tones unless it is many, many dBs higher.

    In addition, noise that is constant and coming from two speakers perceptually is less noticeable that signals coming out of one speaker. The directionality of the music tones coming out of the speakers wins over constant (AC mains driven) noise coming out of two speakers.

    The above is likely an evolutionary trait to be able to hear the pray over the constant noise of wind for example. It was necessary for us to evolve to hear past the noise and hear a sound coming from specific direction. Having two ears and being about to filter out what is common between them is likely very helpful in this manner.

    If (and it may not be so) an upgrade like a power cable actually reduces noise by that much, your system's noise floor level has been lowered by that much and that is why you now might hear a little more music info than before.
    Maybe .

  3. #153
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    Let's also remember this: the more filtering a power cord does, the less transients it can handle. One goes with the other. Filter means less bandwidth. Less bandwidth means a signal cannot jump from one value to another quickly. The universe will cease to exist if this rule is violated. .

  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    Our ears/brain have incredible ability to hear way into noise. Rise of noise as such does not mask music tones unless it is many, many dBs higher.

    In addition, noise that is constant and coming from two speakers perceptually is less noticeable that signals coming out of one speaker. The directionality of the music tones coming out of the speakers wins over constant (AC mains driven) noise coming out of two speakers.

    The above is likely an evolutionary trait to be able to hear the pray over the constant noise of wind for example. It was necessary for us to evolve to hear past the noise and hear a sound coming from specific direction. Having two ears and being about to filter out what is common between them is likely very helpful in this manner.


    Maybe .
    Doubtful. And I'm being kind here. How odd that only with the sense of hearing, some like to reach down into the pits of evolution, prey, hunter gatherer, safety, ear/brain, etc. I suspect this nothing more than an attempt to create a straw man argument.

    More importantly, a vast portion of playback system's distortion remain inaudible because it's below the much raised noise floor. Which so happens to be where much of the music info we never hear.

    In other words, we need not worry about our "ear/brain's incredible ability" to try to reach deep into the noise for perhaps the vast majority of the distortions induced on our playback systems. Cuz there's little or nothing to hear.
    Last edited by stehno; 03-05-2016 at 02:57 AM.

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    Let's also remember this: the more filtering a power cord does, the less transients it can handle. One goes with the other. Filter means less bandwidth. Less bandwidth means a signal cannot jump from one value to another quickly. The universe will cease to exist if this rule is violated. .
    Regarding your comment "the more filtering a power cord does, the less transients it can handle."? There's simply no reason to believe this so I don't. A transient is simply a type of note among many types of notes. Since PC's are unintelligent, they are also indiscriminate. IOW, they cannot make any such distinction between types of notes. You may perceive a PC can handle less transients due to the frequencies suppressed, but the bandwidth should remain unchanged.

    To the best of my knowledge, the filtering cleansing method is not the same as conditioning (tho the 2 terms are often times used interchangeably) does not generally (if ever) imply less bandwidth. Rather, filtering usually implies suppressing the most offending frequency ranges and bandwidth remains the same. The problem with this type of filtering is that as certain offending frequencies are suppressed all music info operating within those suppressed frequencies are also suppressed. A total and complete compromise. Since filtering per se has a tendency to suppress certain music info frequencies, I steer clear of "filtering" products and from using the term in a positive sense.

    Again, bandwidth should remain exactly the same, unless per chance the filtering method employed were to actually squash (mute instead of suppresses) all transmission of energy over a given frequency range, which I suppose a few mfg'ers might try to do. But who would want such a PC? Then again, who would want any product that suppresses certain music frequencies?

    Hence, we need not worry about universes collapsing.

  6. #156
    [WBF Founding Member] Gregadd's Avatar
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    What music is traveling through a power cord? I think Amir was yanking our chain.
    Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friendly to one, and enemy to none.
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  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by stehno View Post
    Doubtful. And I'm being kind here. How odd that only with the sense of hearing, some like to reach down into the pits of evolution, prey, hunter gatherer, safety, ear/brain, etc. I suspect this nothing more than an attempt to create a straw man argument.
    You want to get killed at the hands of the other camp, insist that what you said was true. They will hang you by your tie showing that your room is way noisier than anything you are talking about and hance you don't need any equipment resembling high-end. They will also show you the same being true in the recording venue and you are cooked . Your only friend will be psychoacoustics which was the basis of my argument back on this front in the article I wrote: http://www.madronadigital.com/Librar...amicRange.html

    In other words, don't go there.

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by stehno View Post
    Regarding your comment "the more filtering a power cord does, the less transients it can handle."? There's simply no reason to believe this so I don't. A transient is simply a type of note among many types of notes. Since PC's are unintelligent, they are also indiscriminate. IOW, they cannot make any such distinction between types of notes. You may perceive a PC can handle less transients due to the frequencies suppressed, but the bandwidth should remain unchanged.

    To the best of my knowledge, the filtering cleansing method is not the same as conditioning (tho the 2 terms are often times used interchangeably) does not generally (if ever) imply less bandwidth. Rather, filtering usually implies suppressing the most offending frequency ranges and bandwidth remains the same. The problem with this type of filtering is that as certain offending frequencies are suppressed all music info operating within those suppressed frequencies are also suppressed. A total and complete compromise. Since filtering per se has a tendency to suppress certain music info frequencies, I steer clear of "filtering" products and from using the term in a positive sense.

    Again, bandwidth should remain exactly the same, unless per chance the filtering method employed were to actually squash (mute instead of suppresses) all transmission of energy over a given frequency range, which I suppose a few mfg'ers might try to do. But who would want such a PC? Then again, who would want any product that suppresses certain music frequencies?

    Hence, we need not worry about universes collapsing.
    Transient are the things that go fast and quick .. aka High Frequencies ..If you filter to reduce the Highs then you can't handle transient very well ... Noting to believe. Fact. If you supress anything bandwidth changes .. It cannot remain the same ...Out for now
    Frantz
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  9. #159
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    I'd like to share with you the results of a year plus effort to identify a power cord that I think performs remarkably well and is affordable.

    But let me begin by saying that although I've been struggling with this quest for a very long time, the most recent and productive part to my journey began shortly after visiting the great Karmeli last year. David urged me to tear out some very high priced power cables and replace them with some of the cheapest PCs cables ever made. But don't be fooled. They weren't just any cables. Rather they were discovered by David after a very long quest. They are not made by a famous audio manufacturer, but by a huge industrial company in China. David loaned me a few pair. Don't pay attention to anything, he said, except the naturalness of the midrange. Because if you ain't got that, then whatever else the cable does makes it worthless in his opinion. And sure enough, from the minute I gradually substituted one, two and then three of his cables for mine, I was dumbfounded. What I could not see until that point, is how I went down a rabbit hole thinking my expensive cables were superior, when in fact they were not superior in the most basic of attributes, which was delivering a natural sounding midrange. Oh, they may have offered better this or that, but the bottom line was that I was kidding myself because I lost a key element to my system's overall musicality- the critical natural sounding midrange. Yup. David's insight was a real eye-opener for me. (This is what audiophile friends are for!! Friends do not let friends listen drunk!)

    Fast forward. Since that time, I began a search for a no frills, inexpensive cable that might actually improve slightly on David's El-cheapo cables, particularly in the extremes since I honestly didn't think improving the midrange was easily accomplished. However, I did think my expensive PCs may have rendered the bass a tad better, so the search began. I'll cut to the chase. I've tried a lot of stuff (including the famous Pangea w Cardas wire). And I've done it in a very controlled, single variable series of experiments, always using the El-cheapos as a control. I'm now at the point that I can say I'm satisfied with the outcome of my listening experiments and have settled on one cable that I think performs beautifully for me. Its basically a variant of this: http://www.audioartcable.com/Articles.asp?ID=153.

    This wonderful cable is NOT the top of the line cable from Audio Art, a small, custom manufacturer of interconnects and PCs that has been around for a long time and sells direct to the end-user. Their 1SE PC is nothing fancy and has no filters of any kind, but rather is a well made, well shielded cable made of copper. The key is NOT to order it with the Furutech F28 rhodium connectors but rather with the Gold connectors at both ends. Audio Arts sells a top of the line PC cable that frankly, I did not like as it is made from silver platted copper wire. So it is the more inexpensive copper PC, the 1SE with Furutech F28 gold plug set, that floats my boat. For about $500 bucks (ask for the "I'm nobody special" discount- you'll probably get one), its not only damn good, but as of yet, I have not found anything substantially better. Not only is the midrange gorgeous and natural sounding, but the extremes are also very good. Taken as a whole, there is nothing about it that calls attention to itself in any way. At least in my system. Of course YMMV, but for me, it's a compelling game, set, match. At least to the point that I am thankfully done for now and have no desire to look further or spend more money than 500 bucks for a PC. Oh, and here's the best part. When you place an order, you will deal with Rob Fritz, the owner, who not only replies promptly, but offers a money back guaranty! That's correct. Don't like it? Send it back. I tried a lot of Rob's cables and believe me, sent several back (interconnects as well) and it didn't phase him at all. But he really does have at least one gem in his stable, the 1SE PC with the F(28)G plug set. I would suggest starting your evaluation by trying one on your pre-amp, and the take it from there if you like it. I think you'll soon see why one has grown to six in my system.
    Last edited by marty; 03-05-2016 at 10:23 AM.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    You want to get killed at the hands of the other camp, insist that what you said was true. They will hang you by your tie showing that your room is way noisier than anything you are talking about and hance you don't need any equipment resembling high-end. They will also show you the same being true in the recording venue and you are cooked . Your only friend will be psychoacoustics which was the basis of my argument back on this front in the article I wrote: http://www.madronadigital.com/Librar...amicRange.html

    In other words, don't go there.
    Oh, I realize you're far from alone in this mindset. And I had no intention of "going there" cuz, well, IMO, it's little more than soap bubbles and a colossal waste of time. That's why I didn't and wouldn't "go there". At the very least, such dogmatism does nothing to legitimately improve a system's level of musicality. Though I suspect it can be clever strategy to help justify one's lack of trained ears and/or complacency for their apparent inability to progress.
    Last edited by stehno; 03-05-2016 at 11:24 AM.

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