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Old 6th July 2005, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default power cables

Hi Folks,

Im a diy newbie and have selected for my first project a diy power bar and power cables for my gear.

I have a few questions.

I know power cables must be shielded, but what about the cord from the power bar to the wall?

I plan on using the fattest multistrand in wall wire I can get for the power bar, but my question is, will this also be good for the power cables? Is there some phenomena that occurs in the last meter before the ac gets to your equipment that would make some expensive silver braid preferable to a large generic multistrand copper? I mean. from the breaker box to the outlet, it is all such wire- will using an exotic material for the last 3 feet make any difference? If so, why?

Lastly, does anyone have recommendations on where to source shielded 8- and 12 guage multistrand wire? The best I could find was an 8 guage non shielded.

any tips or recommendations are welcome.

PS Mark25 and Fdlegrove- Thanks for your replies last year to my turntable question - it turned out that neither the arm or cartridge were grounded.
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Old 6th July 2005, 05:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
will using an exotic material for the last 3 feet make any difference?

Why don't you conduct a listening test and tell us what you hear? Unless you have some personal, first hand experience this discussion is pretty much useless and can easily be interpreted as trolling.
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Old 6th July 2005, 11:55 PM   #3
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Fair enough, analogue_sa, I was just looking for some pointers since this is new to me and I am slightly broke and therefore can't afford to do too much trial and error at this point.
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Old 7th July 2005, 05:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by phowell1
Fair enough, analogue_sa, I was just looking for some pointers since this is new to me and I am slightly broke and therefore can't afford to do too much trial and error at this point.
During the ealy years whe circuits advanced faster than power supply technology, early versions of CD players and amps did show differences with different power cords. Now it seems the difference is less audible due to the power supply rejection capabilities and quality of power supplies.
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Old 7th July 2005, 03:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply, soonqsc.

Quote:
Originally posted by soongsc

Now it seems the difference is less audible due to the power supply rejection capabilities and quality of power supplies.

Do you mean hash/rf rejection?

As I understand it, poor quality power cords and power bars are also responsible for knocking the voltage available to your equipment down. If this is so, wouldn't it still be so even if the power supply could filter the noise?

I am currently using a noma power bar with the standard cheap
$2.00 power cords that came with the equipment. I will try to improve on this just for the hell of it in any case, but do you mean to say that there will be negligible improvement by improving this situation?

Am I on the right path in planning to use generic large gauge multistrand?

Again, thanks for your response.
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Old 7th July 2005, 04:28 PM   #6
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally posted by phowell1
Thanks for your reply, soonqsc.




Do you mean hash/rf rejection?

As I understand it, poor quality power cords and power bars are also responsible for knocking the voltage available to your equipment down. If this is so, wouldn't it still be so even if the power supply could filter the noise?

I am currently using a noma power bar with the standard cheap
$2.00 power cords that came with the equipment. I will try to improve on this just for the hell of it in any case, but do you mean to say that there will be negligible improvement by improving this situation?

Am I on the right path in planning to use generic large gauge multistrand?

Again, thanks for your response.
When CD just came out on the market, we had fun swapping out the power cords, sometime just suing thicker gauges, sometimes using speaker cable wire. Each time we made a change, the effect was noticeable. We did not know th true reason why at that time. Recently I did the same thing to a DVD player, and could not notice anything significant. So my guess is that the average design of the power supply is much better and that various loading conditions do not effect power output. Current circuits require much less power than before, so load variation on the power supply in an electronic device does not change that much.

The filtering internal to the device for hash/rf rejection also decouples the device from the line power somewhat so that the effects of changing power cords are less audible than changing other things.

So if the power from the wall socket to the equipment have good connection, and the total amp consumption is less than 50% of the amp rating of the power bar, then you should be okay. Some commercial power bars have locking capability. If yours don't, as long as it takes some force to plug in and pull out, then the connection is not too bad. I like to use Castle products because they do not seem so expensive, but have good connection.

Normally when one starts doing DIY projects, the power part is one of the latter things to get into because the difference is much less audible. But there is no reason why you need to change. I'me sure lots of people out like to hear about your first hand experience.
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Old 7th July 2005, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Am I on the right path in planning to use generic large gauge multistrand?

Probably not. It's pretty much a grey area but you might want to read what Jon Risch at cable asylum thinks about power cables. His approach is as scientific as it gets for someone who openly admits to hear cables And he has a few power cord recipes.

These experiments needn't be expensive. Without spending much you might be able to improve the sound significantly as the standard supplied power cords are really dismal.

Quote:
I did the same thing to a DVD player, and could not notice anything significant. So my guess is that the average design of the power supply is much better and that various loading conditions do not effect power output.

I wonder if the DVD player had a SMPS. Linear PSs have not changed much and are as dependent upon mains quality as ever.
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Old 8th July 2005, 04:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for your replies,

soonqsc, I have to say that your opinion is the opposite of all that I've read, but yes I will try it out and report back.

Analogue_sa, thank you for the fantastic link. I am more stoked than ever to begin after reading John Risch's experience with power cords and class ab tube amps, because I use something similar in my system.

I've decided to go with one of the Belden wires with Hubbell iec and wall plugs. I will decide which one after I read a bit about "cross wire" configuration.

ATB

Perry
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Old 8th July 2005, 09:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by soongsc

We did not know th true reason why at that time.
Heh. Heh heh heh.

And heh heh heh some more.

...But anyway, you do realize it's psychosomatic, right?

Tim
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Old 9th July 2005, 02:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sch3mat1c


...But anyway, you do realize it's psychosomatic, right?

Yes, along with the differences between different amps and cd players!

Perry

PS Conservative war cry: "You can have any reality you want as long as it falls within my comfort zone and doesn't cost me anything!"
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