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02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1541
Post ID: 22989
Reply to: 20531
Power cords mania
 Paul S wrote:
fiogf49gjkf0dWe do have a cable thread somewhere on this site that might be better for cable-specific posts. As far as purely electrical "issues", in the end, better sound is still the main consideration. Shielding power lines is not only very difficult to do, in practical terms, but it is not in any case a perfect solution, since any reduction in noise by shielding comes at the cost of reduced quality of "remaining" sound in the end. God only knows why this is so. My own experiments show that crossing (braiding) power cable wires also introduces sonic "issues" even as it serves as an imperfect RFI/EMI "shield", probably by reducing inductance. I presently use braided 12 gauge magnet wires for power cords to my amps, where each of 3 wires is sleeved with soft polyethylene tubing, and the ground wire "floats" only on the component end, serving as a "drain" to ground for parasitic noise. These power cords "work" better in aggregate terms than other expensive cords I have tried, but they don't address surges or other on-line noise issues at all. Sadly, the "high quality" surge guards I've tried have been bad for sound, so I just take my chances. I have to confess that where I live, lightening is rare; but there is a LOT of noise "in the air" and on the power lines, which are, after all, perfect "antennas".

Back to lightening, it takes many forms, another study, in itself.

Paul S


At a risk of being stoned to death for bringing power cords here: Paul, what power cords have you tried and with what results?
I never thought I'd ever come to that topic in my life, but since every cleaning on the power line side did bring
a positive audible effect, I started to think if perhaps more advanced power cords can make a dfference too.
Now, opening Pandora's box must have been a child's play compared to opening the subject of "audiophile power cords",
so I'm looking for some reasonable suggestions of what to try. I looked at the Audioquest and PS Audio entry level
products (NRG-2 and AC3), as both companies seem to put at least some effort in what they do (e.g. cold welding, multiple conductor geomtries etc).
AQ seems to be unshielded, basing noise rejection solely on the geometry.
I could DIY like you but honestly have more serious things to do so would prefer some good, off-the shelf solution to try.

Cheers,
Jarek







Cheers,
Jarek
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1542
Post ID: 22991
Reply to: 22989
Power cords my ass.
Power cords is the most ridicules subject that I have seen in audio and they define all rules, would it be stupid rules or sensible rules. There is absolutely no difference in power cords construction, built quality, price, material use, insolation, conductor type of purity or anything else for that matter. All of power cords sound different and I have seen from some minor incremental Sound improvement or worsening to VERY fundamental Sound change only after changing a power cord. It would be easy to describe power cord influence by type of PS, the type of filtration used, power entry used, grounding schema, type of transformer wounded but the really is a bit more complex. The very same power cords with very different components work very differently and in most of the cases not repitable. A one specific power cord could do marvelously with my preamp in a good electricity day but do very badly during other days. So, my rule is to have many different power cord and to try. When I trying to catch what cord would be the best I do not go for “best sound” but rather for “steady sound”. What I discovered that the cord that do spectacular do not do well all time but rather cords that do just OK have a tendency to maintain this OK status for a long time and under any condition. 
 
Now, do not even ask me to explain why power cords matter. I have absolutely no idea and with 3 kids under roof I am not planning to spend next 20 years of my life to discovering it. It is not necessary because “kids are better” but because with kid you know the result. With the damn power cords I very much assure you that even in 20 years no one will understand why they change sound so much very much as no one can truly understand how bad electricity impacts sound.


Rgs, 
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1543
Post ID: 22992
Reply to: 22991
Off The Shelf Power Cords
Jarek, please re-read my previous post, also Romy's recent post on this subject, carefully.  I'm afraid you are in for it once you start effing with power cords, for all the reasons we've listed.  Here in the US we have a company that sells used cords and cables "on approval", meaning you basically rent cords until you find some you like.  I think there's a UK company that does something similar; not sure.

https://www.usedcable.com/

I am NOT endorsing these guys, just putting it out there, as an idea.  My own "findings" and "conclusions" are just as I said previously, and I am still using the DIY cords I described, for the same reasons.  I think of all the ready-made cords I tried, I still have a Sonic Horizons cord that is my only cord with ferrite rings on it.  I use this on my CD transport.  I did not mention it, but I also use pure Ohno copper plug ends, for whatever the hell that's worth. Good luck finding these on any ready made cords at any price.  Believe me, I would never have made my own power cords if I had been able to find acceptable ready-mades! Probably no need to tell you, do not get too excited when you find something you "like", since it takes time to be sure any "benefits" hold with the changes (apparently) brought by varying electricity and various loads.  I presently think this might be a case where you could make and try one of "my" cords and hear how that works for you over time, then go from there. I have to say, I'm not sure you can "save time" by "comparing" ready made cords.  In a perfect world, you either won't hear significant differences, or you will soon find what you think are great cords.

Best regards,
Paul S
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1544
Post ID: 22993
Reply to: 22991
Hope one can always hope...
 Romy the Cat wrote:
When I trying to catch what cord would be the best I do not go for “best sound” but rather for “steady sound”. What I discovered that the cord that do spectacular do not do well all time but rather cords that do just OK have a tendency to maintain this OK status for a long time and under any condition. 


This sounds like a very sane methodology, thank you for sharing it Romy!
As far as I could understand from the vast writings on the subject,
cords also seem to need a very long burn in of 200h+.

Paul, would that be possible for you to uppload a picture of your braid?

Thank you,
jarek




Cheers,
Jarek
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
clarkjohnsen
Boston, MA, US
Posts 294
Joined on 06-02-2004

Post #: 1545
Post ID: 22994
Reply to: 22993
Romy and Paul are both entirely correct
Must add that there is also a "break-in" phenomenon with power cords, as there is with other cables, further contributing to the confusion.

Borrowing pre-owned cables from some place may be a good idea, but one doesn't know how long they've been used.

Finally, Romy wrote that it would take twenty years to figure this all out. I think it might take even longer to create a taxonomy of power systems and cords because, where's the money in it?
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1546
Post ID: 22995
Reply to: 22994
A Photo of "My" DIY Power Cord, FWIW
OK, Let's see if I can still do this:IMG_0048.JPG
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1547
Post ID: 22996
Reply to: 22995
Got it!
Thank you Paul!
Very clever idea with the noise drain wire (I saw it also in of the Belden cables, 19634)
Unfortunately in my case I have to ground via the power cord
(no chance for a dedicated ground).
Tried to locate Ohno Cu plugs to no result, will pick sth else.
Cheers,
jarek



Cheers,
Jarek
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1548
Post ID: 22997
Reply to: 22995
Your braid looks poor
I found some crazy braidings techniques, no idea what they are worth. I put it here
FYI: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6242689.pdf




Cheers,
Jarek
02-20-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1549
Post ID: 22998
Reply to: 22997
Counting Wires
In my case, there are only three 12 gauge wires in each AC cord.  I only connect a hot and a "neutral" (circuit ground) at both ends.  The "safety ground" wire is "lifted" at the amp (or whatever; it runs short/is not connected to the component-end plug), but it does connect to the plug (and therefore the safety ground) at the outlet end, thence to the service ground.  I use more complicated, Litz braids for my IC (6 wires) and speaker cables (9 wires). I do use annealed POCC magnet wire for IC and speaker cables.  Again, I use a good quality, soft Cu magnet wire (not POCC) for the AC wire, and something like shown in the link for un-plated, POCC plugs.

https://www.vhaudio.com/connectors-ac.html

Again, the only way to know what "works" is to try it over time. If you find something that works for a given component, leave it there.  As I mentioned somewhere, I use di-electric grease on the plug blades.


Best regards,
Paul S



02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1550
Post ID: 22999
Reply to: 22998
Thank you
Those crazy braidings I posted were a bit of a jokeWink I'm a bit uneasy with using bare copper (oxidation) so would rather go with plated (Ag to have less potential difference to nickel in my sockets). I used Deoxit throughout all my dedicated power lines.

Cheers,
Jarek



Cheers,
Jarek
02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1551
Post ID: 23000
Reply to: 22999
Plating and Deoxit
Search out Deoxit or Pro Gold on this site. I tried it and did not like it because it "goes bad" after a couple of months in low voltage situations like IC connectors.  As for high voltage connectors, like tube pins or AC, this stuff is simply not suitable; you need to get it off those connectors.  That's why I mentioned the di-electric grease. Used sparingly, it "works", and it lasts for years.

As for plated connectors, the first thing to shy from is Beryllium/Copper alloy, and multi-layer platings.  The best plated connectors I've used are from Vampire, which use directly "sputtered" gold over pure copper: http://www.partsconnexion.com/connectors_brand_vampire.html

Eichmann and the high-end WBT connectors are also good, albeit expensive



Best regards,
Paul S
02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1552
Post ID: 23001
Reply to: 23000
Shit
What kind of di-el grease do you use? Silicone based? Could you give the name please.

Also what was your procedure: steel brush -> grease -> reconnect?

Yes, I use Vampire RCA for phono, unofortunately the golden layer is not very durable, on one set it starts to go.
For the plugs I'm looking at IeGo8065 silver over POCC.

Cheers,
Jarek



Cheers,
Jarek
02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1553
Post ID: 23004
Reply to: 23001
Plating and Dielectric Grease
The dielectric grease I use is specially formulated for high voltages, and it can be used on clean tube pins to excellent advantage (ignition grease):  https://www.permatex.com/products/lubricants/specialty-lubricants/permatex-dielectric-tune-up-grease-2/

With respect to connectors, do as you like, but be sure to compare your old, "worn out" Vampire connectors with dielectric grease to newer connectors with heavy and/or double plating.  Of course, "pure" silver "won't corrode", but, in reality, the silver or silver plate you will get will also oxidize, not to mention sonic "issues" with silver plated Cu.  Even if you like it to begin with, my experience is, it changes markedly over time, if this concerns you.  I like the idea of a "protective plating", but experience has shown me that the dielectric grease is a better choice, in terms of sonics.  Do let me know how it goes for you.

Note:  In my experience, the best-sounding connections are super-clean, tight, "naked" connections, copper-to-copper, or silver-to-silver; but these bare connections do not sound good for long.   While the very thin coat of dielectric grease is not without very minor "sonic consequences", it remains "acceptable" for a long time, years in my system.  Again, the Caig stuff simply goes to shit over time, immediately on high-voltage connections.  I use jewelers polishing cloth and polishing "abrasives", when I need abrasives. Avoid at all costs scratching connectors.  I use pure alcohol or special, "no-residue" parts cleaner to clean EVERYTHING off connectors before applying VERY little Si grease.


Best regards,
Paul S
02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1554
Post ID: 23005
Reply to: 23004
I sort of hate you Paul
...as you are making me dis-ass-emble and clean every-freaking-thing from the cartridge pins down to the power distribution box and fuses where I used deoxit too.
But i accept the challenge, lets see where it brings me.

Got your point on pure copper protected with the grease. Although the outlets and iec's I use are nickel plated, Cu-Ni electrochemical potential is close to zero at 0.05V (as compared to Ag-Ni = 0.15V) so the contact once deprived of the air should stay clean for years. Will report.

Cheers,
jarek



Cheers,
Jarek
02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1555
Post ID: 23010
Reply to: 23005
Going By Sound
Yes, the "manufacturers" love the Be-Cu because it's easier to tool, and Cu/Ni because it won't oxidize while sitting on shelves; but Be and Ni ares a lousy conductors, and you may feel differently when you listen to alternatives.  OTOH... maybe not!  ;>Wink)


Best regards,
Paul S
02-21-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1556
Post ID: 23011
Reply to: 23010
Alternatives?
You want to tell me that you use pure copper power outlets too?



Cheers,
Jarek
02-22-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1557
Post ID: 23013
Reply to: 23011
Most Are
All polished with Flitz, cleaned and greased.  I definitely have to establish a safe regimen for draining the caps in my amps, however; I won't risk death to change those IECs!  ;>Wink


Best regards,
Paul S


02-22-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
easternlethal
Hong Kong
Posts 3
Joined on 10-14-2011

Post #: 1558
Post ID: 23014
Reply to: 22991
Kids vs electricity
 Romy the Cat wrote:
 with kid you know the result. With the damn power cords I very much assure you that even in 20 years no one will understand why they change sound so much very much as no one can truly understand how bad electricity impacts sound.

I said the same thing too.... but now I'm not so sure


just an ordinary lover of music
02-22-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,130
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 1559
Post ID: 23015
Reply to: 23014
Taking the Bait
EL, I suppose your cryptic post is about not knowing the results with kids.  But if it's about knowing how power cord configurations affect the sound of hi-fi/Music, please share.  (If kids, no need to share in this thread, unless you have a nice kids/power cords corollary.)


Best regards,
Paul S
02-22-2017 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 450
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 1560
Post ID: 23016
Reply to: 23013
Deep audiophilia
 Paul S wrote:
All polished with Flitz, cleaned and greased.  I definitely have to establish a safe regimen for draining the caps in my amps, however; I won't risk death to change those IECs!  ;>Wink


We go deeper and deeper into the audiophilia, but as once said the road of exc-ass leads to...
So Paul would you share the copper IEC inlets and power outlets you are using?
I very much understand your line of thought: secure, clean Cu runs and Cu-Cu contacts
from as early as the code permits up to inside the powered boxes.






Cheers,
Jarek
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   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  What lives in Symmetric Sound?..  The beginning of our journey is ALWAYS symmetrical...  Audio Discussions  Forum     19  108308  05-28-2004
  »  New  Always check power-line polarity...  Polarity checker, for convenience...  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     7  65469  07-10-2005
  »  New  RAAL “Water Drop” tweeter for Macondo...  Your comment takes me by surprise...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     77  647107  02-16-2007
  »  New  My feelings about new exciting audio products..  Vacuumstate...  Audio Discussions  Forum     25  178097  04-30-2007
  »  New  Musique Concrete horns..  Electricity and different compression drivers’ diaphrag...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     5  71991  06-12-2007
  »  New  Compression drivers and the “clean signal”...  The NEW “Compression drivers and the clean signal”....  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     14  106108  07-12-2007
  »  New  Digi Redux; Drive 1 transport and iDAT-44+ DAC..  The Sound Obsessive List of DACs/Chips...  Didital Things  Forum     23  136556  09-28-2007
  »  New  Metal domes..  Try the one Lansche is using...  Audio Discussions  Forum     6  50963  11-08-2007
  »  New  The power AC Outlets?..  Where to Pick Up the Gong?...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  28844  10-31-2008
  »  New  The Avicenna's failure is the great Avicenna success!..  New life for Avicenna...  Audio Discussions  Forum     8  49971  02-03-2009
  »  New  Internet and electricity..  Suboptimal. . ....  Didital Things  Forum     1  16207  01-07-2010
  »  New  Electricity... power strips and ac improvements..  Electricity... power strips and ac improvements...  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  10871  03-30-2010
  »  New  Another example of energy..  The Odd Good Day!...  Audio Discussions  Forum     1590  5912287  01-29-2011
  »  New  I good spot-light for a turntable?..  Reply...  Analog Playback Forum     15  97138  10-24-2010
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