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On 29/09/2020 at 00:09, Nopiano said:

I misled you by suggesting it was the largest permitted by the Regs.  Sorry.  It’s the size for which our 13 amp rewritable plugs must be designed, per my post above.  Obviously that diameter is sufficient for the maximum current our sockets are designed to pass too, and that is in excess of what any normal high power amplifier will need, with source components being much less power-hungry.  

But being Hifi buffs we need to overspecify because it’ll sound better!!  Well, that’s the thinking, I suppose. 

I was just about to nod off after 4 pages of this thread when I read something I'd not heard of before.... "13 amp rewriteable plugs" - Whoa - where have I been ??!! - Last I heard, only CD's were rewriteable - technology is moving so fast - I just can't keep up 9_9

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Super Wammer
2 minutes ago, Sound Hound said:

I was just about to nod off after 4 pages of this thread when I read something I'd not heard of before.... "13 amp rewriteable plugs" - Whoa - where have I been ??!! - Last I heard, only CD's were rewriteable - technology is moving so fast - I just can't keep up 9_9

Oh, sorry, the spell check must’ve got the better of my efforts.  Rewireable is what I meant!

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I just did another test. I took a magnetic compass and placed it directly on the mains lead serving an Akubarik whilst playing music. The needle didn't budge, at all. This is consistent with the calculation I did with results posted a few pages back. The magnetic field generated due to current passing through the wire is much less than the Earth's magnetic field.

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1 minute ago, akamatsu said:

I just did another test. I took a magnetic compass and placed it directly on the mains lead serving an Akubarik whilst playing music. The needle didn't budge, at all. This is consistent with the calculation I did with results posted a few pages back. The magnetic field generated due to current passing through the wire is much less than the Earth's magnetic field.

Don't forget it's a 50 Hz AC signal, so even if the magnetic field were stronger you still may well not see a compass needle move. 

More to the point, it's the fact that the magnetic field varies with a 50 Hz frequency that could have an adverse effect on nearby audio cables/components. A stronger but static field wouldn't do anything. 

I don't think this is worth you spending time playing about with though :).

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29 minutes ago, MartinC said:

Don't forget it's a 50 Hz AC signal, so even if the magnetic field were stronger you still may well not see a compass needle move. 

More to the point, it's the fact that the magnetic field varies with a 50 Hz frequency that could have an adverse effect on nearby audio cables/components. A stronger but static field wouldn't do anything. 

I don't think this is worth you spending time playing about with though :).

The current in the mains lead would fluctuate as the musical energy fluctuates. So the magnetic field would fluctuate. But as I have calculated it, I know it won't exceed 2/3 of the Earth's magnetic field. This is all new to me and rather makeshift so please take my testing as  "not terribly scientific."

You are right. I'm done testing. I've seen and read enough that I don't need to think about mains leads anymore, ever.

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15 hours ago, Phobic said:

FTFY :)

@Paulssurround buddy, I don't doubt that you can hear a difference.

Up front I confess I'm still quite skeptical about power cables.

1 related observation, these aftermarket power cables can have shielding and/or filtering included in them so there can be more going on here than 1st appears.

So I'm wondering what correlation there might be between what the cable does and the issue that you see (and others who use these power cables).

You mentioned in other posts that you've tested for noise at the wall and that you have tested that the power cables reduce this noise, you've also got a view on what you think might be causing issues in your building that power conditioning helps with.

my question for you is 2-fold, can you describe what problems these issues cause for you audibly that the cables fix (what does it sound like e.g. white noise), and secondly, what if any other improvements do you think the cables bring on top of addressing problems e.g. bigger sound stage etc.

I think it would be useful to separate things out.

Good questions Phobic,

Please bare with me as I provide a bit of history regarding my journey with cleaning up the mains, and hopefully I answer your questions along the way.

When I first heard about after-market mains cables, I was very skeptical as well. Quite frankly, I had never heard of it until I talked to a Linn dealer in another city. I would say that was around 10 years ago, he mentioned some Shunyata Venom 3’s that cost $100 each. So I ordered one and put it on my Unidisk SC.I could not believe the improvements in sound quality, the clarity and detail that I had never heard. It was the best $100 I had spent on my system at that point.

 It was not long after that until all of my Linn audio components had Venom 3’s. That started an ongoing  process over the years, in which I replaced all my mains cables with even higher level cables and have heard significant improvements each step along the way. That journey also lead to a discovery of power conditioners, and I am now on my fifth power conditioner, as I have made upgrades through the years.

‘One of the HiFi  Wigwam members is Briain, whom has a special interest in radio, and extensive knowledge from that hobby on things that can influence and interfere with radio waves. He has been on a quest to clean up every possible source of noisy mains in his home, to help improve his radio reception and mitigate interference with his signal. This quest is common among radio operators, and he shared many of the ideas that are more common with that group.

‘Briain and I talked about medical grade power supplies (Friwo) for my NetGear 108T switch, AC Noise Sniffers, and Environmental Potential’s Wave Form correction devices. It was not long before I had purchased all of these as part of my learning. I have now also been on a quest to mitigate every possible source of mains noise in my home.

When I first plugged into the wall my AC Noise sniffer, I could hear distinct radio stations and mains noise coming out of the speaker on the back. I learned that this is effecting the sound quality of my music system dramatically. I could also determine with the AC Noise sniffer, whether an electronic component was pumping noise back into the mains, and if certain components were quieter than other.

The answer to my resolving these issues were to use better mains cables, install a power conditioner and a separate wave form correction device, separating cables, external shielding, and reduction of RF and EMI, and they worked remarkably well. The readings on the AC Noise sniffer were reduced from 100 down to something well below 1.0, with a resulting very  quiet background.

The mains cables themselves in my system each act as their own power conditioner, mitigating noise generated from one electronic component. The first thing I noticed when I plugged some of my better mains cables is that my amplification sounds much more powerful. For example, my 200 Watt per channel amps sounds like an extra 50-100 watts. 

Some of my early power conditioners were current limiting, even though they claimed they were not, and that seemed to limit the bass output. My newest power conditioner has isolated each mains receptacle to mitigate noise coming in through the mains from outside my home, as well is mains noise generated by appliances and electronics within my home.  My newest power conditioners do not have any limitation issues, and provide ample instantaneous power, providing great bass slam and micro detail, instrument separation and improvements to the sound stage, and an extremely clean, quiet background.

Another friend (Ph.D physicist and extreme audiophile) taught me about shielding and separating cables, he started me on my journey with Space Optimisation, room acoustic treatment and a host of other topics related to audio. And there have been many other people on the forum that have helped shape my journey and knowledge.

‘I estimate that at least 25% of the Linn owners I have visited are using better mains cables, and/or power conditioners in the UK, Europe and North America.

Is this quest for super clean mains crazy. Yes, but the results are well worth the journey.

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Thanks for the write up @Paulssurround it was an interesting read.

I can see how conditioning/filtering can clean up the power and how that might help with things. I think it might be worth a separate thread to talk about it in a lot more detail rather than to hijack this one. 1 point worth mentioning here though, I think there's less debate that Conditioning/filtering actually does something to the power, the debate mainly revolves around where's best to spend your money with the usual response that buying a better amp would deliver more improvement for example. That's not always affordable if you want to stick with Linn though, for me I'd need to spend £22k more to move to Klimax....

Pulling out some of your other points

  1. Shielding in power cables helps stop ingress and egress of EMI and RFI
  2. Filtering helps reduce the impact of EMI/RFI
  3. Cable could be current limiting - you didn't say this explicitly but I think it might be implied or implicit

Looking at this with my basic electrical engineering knowledge (others with more knowledge than me please chip in if I'm wrong with further reading please to explain why), if your aftermarket cables are thicker gauge, have filtering, and are shielded then they should tackle these 3 points. 

The thing that seems to get the heckles up of people when talking about expensive mains cables is that you can achieve the same results for far less cost simply by buying shielded cable with a thicker gauge, and separately adding in some filtering. Filtering for EMI/RFI is pretty simple, all that's needed is a £3 choke.

Choke | Power Supply Manufacturer | LTE

If you have conditioning and shielding though you shouldn't need more filtering in the power cable as the power source is already clean, and nothing can enter/leave the cable itself. The only remaining source would be the equipment emitting itself, however the Dynamik power supply has chokes built in for this very reason (if anyone's ever looked inside you'll have seen these). I guess if the conditioner is cheap & components are dirty, it might only be filtering power from the wall and not between connected devices, so in that case a separate bit of filtering might help.

Worth noting that adding in filtering can make things worse as well, better to understand what the problem is you're trying to solve and make sure the solution will work how you need it. As an example I have a cheap power strip with filtering in it which I've used for many years, it's current limiting with my Akubarik's, if only 1 is plugged into it I would have to change the balance to compensate.

For anyone interested making shielded cables is pretty easy and cheap, you can use something like this Belden cable. I need to look into filtering options more though.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BELDEN-19364-SHIELDED-MAINS-POWER-CABLE-PER-METRE/150872772623?hash=item2320b7d00f:g:3FwAAOSwxaNeIJTk

So I think the summary of this post is that I think you can hear a difference, you might be able to get a similar effect for a lot less money but if you think your cables are worth what you spend on them then that's really a value decision only you can make - I think you're happy with your choice though!

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When I think about my perceived "geographical" dependecy of the popularity of power condinioning devices, mains cables etc. I'm under a stark impression, that we have a devide between Europe, and America.

Well, yes, this is called the Atlantic Ocean, but that's not what I mean. From my impressions on journeys, we also have different cultures of power distribution on the last mile. In Europe cables are typically underground, while the US is more prone to the "garbage bin on a mast" type, with cables dangling through the air from mast to mast.

At least, there appears to be an 'anecdotical' correlation (as in: based on gut feelings, not data) to me, between the way how power is distributed on the last mile in a geography, and the affinity of consumers to spend money on power conditioners.

I'm still searching how to cut through this Gordian Knot, when two parties are both right, but contradicting each other. Looks like we need to conclude this discussion in a chrono-synclatic infindibulum? 🤔

(To those who missed reading KV https://vonnegut.fandom.com/wiki/Chrono-Synclastic_Infundibulum)

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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54 minutes ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

When I think about my perceived "geographical" dependecy of the popularity of power condinioning devices, mains cables etc. I'm under a stark impression, that we have a devide between Europe, and America.

Well, yes, this is called the Atlantic Ocean, but that's not what I mean. From my impressions on journeys, we also have different cultures of power distribution on the last mile. In Europe cables are typically underground, while the US is more prone to the "garbage bin on a mast" type, with cables dangling through the air from mast to mast.

At least, there appears to be an 'anecdotical' correlation (as in: based on gut feelings, not data) to me, between the way how power is distributed on the last mile in a geography, and the affinity of consumers to spend money on power conditioners.

I'm still searching how to cut through this Gordian Knot, were two parties are both right, but contradicting each other. Looks like we need to conclude this discussion in a chrono-synclatic infindibulum? 🤔

(To those who missed reading KV https://vonnegut.fandom.com/wiki/Chrono-Synclastic_Infundibulum)

power supply quality differences country to country is definitely a factor.

I'm not sure metaphysics is going to be an answer though unless you have one of these handy?

BBC One - Doctor Who - The TARDIS

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15 hours ago, akamatsu said:

The magnetic field generated due to current passing through the wire is much less than the Earth's magnetic field.

I guess that’s a relief otherwise all manner of strange effects might arise.  I can almost feel myself levitating as I turn up the volume!! 

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4 hours ago, Phobic said:

Thanks for the write up @Paulssurround it was an interesting read.

I can see how conditioning/filtering can clean up the power and how that might help with things. I think it might be worth a separate thread to talk about it in a lot more detail rather than to hijack this one. 1 point worth mentioning here though, I think there's less debate that Conditioning/filtering actually does something to the power, the debate mainly revolves around where's best to spend your money with the usual response that buying a better amp would deliver more improvement for example. That's not always affordable if you want to stick with Linn though, for me I'd need to spend £22k more to move to Klimax....

Pulling out some of your other points

  1. Shielding in power cables helps stop ingress and egress of EMI and RFI
  2. Filtering helps reduce the impact of EMI/RFI
  3. Cable could be current limiting - you didn't say this explicitly but I think it might be implied or implicit

Looking at this with my basic electrical engineering knowledge (others with more knowledge than me please chip in if I'm wrong with further reading please to explain why), if your aftermarket cables are thicker gauge, have filtering, and are shielded then they should tackle these 3 points. 

The thing that seems to get the heckles up of people when talking about expensive mains cables is that you can achieve the same results for far less cost simply by buying shielded cable with a thicker gauge, and separately adding in some filtering. Filtering for EMI/RFI is pretty simple, all that's needed is a £3 choke.

Choke | Power Supply Manufacturer | LTE

If you have conditioning and shielding though you shouldn't need more filtering in the power cable as the power source is already clean, and nothing can enter/leave the cable itself. The only remaining source would be the equipment emitting itself, however the Dynamik power supply has chokes built in for this very reason (if anyone's ever looked inside you'll have seen these). I guess if the conditioner is cheap & components are dirty, it might only be filtering power from the wall and not between connected devices, so in that case a separate bit of filtering might help.

Worth noting that adding in filtering can make things worse as well, better to understand what the problem is you're trying to solve and make sure the solution will work how you need it. As an example I have a cheap power strip with filtering in it which I've used for many years, it's current limiting with my Akubarik's, if only 1 is plugged into it I would have to change the balance to compensate.

For anyone interested making shielded cables is pretty easy and cheap, you can use something like this Belden cable. I need to look into filtering options more though.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BELDEN-19364-SHIELDED-MAINS-POWER-CABLE-PER-METRE/150872772623?hash=item2320b7d00f:g:3FwAAOSwxaNeIJTk

So I think the summary of this post is that I think you can hear a difference, you might be able to get a similar effect for a lot less money but if you think your cables are worth what you spend on them then that's really a value decision only you can make - I think you're happy with your choice though!

Thanks Phobic, great post.

I have had a similar discussion with my physicist friend about where it is best to spend my money. He advocated going up the range to Akurate and Klimax level, but I was not building a stereo system, I was building a surround system, and the costs go up significantly, and I did not have the budget

So the issue for me, was how can I get something approaching Akurate level sound quality, or Klimax level sound quality, without a budget for Klimax surround. I had to think about what makes a difference between Majik, Akurate and Klimax level components. It turns out that cleaning up the power supply, mitigating interference, vibration control, room acoustic treatment, Space Optimisation and other things all move the sound quality up the range. 

However, the money I have spent on this has not been cheap, but I believe that my system has far exceeded my Akurate level gear in a surround setting. I have also dome my upgrades over many many years, so the costs have been spread out over time, making it seem more affordable along the way.

This journey for me has equally been about better sounding music and learning about this fascinating hobby.

My observation is that at each step of my upgrade process there has been a notable and often dramatic improvement in sound quality at every step of the way. I have gone down the rabbit hole so far, but there seems to be more that my Linn can give me at each step. It has been astonishing actually.

I have never been happier than how my Linn sounds like now. I understand that my enthusiasm is perhaps a bit much for some, but I am very excited indeed.

4 hours ago, TooManyCatweazles said:

When I think about my perceived "geographical" dependecy of the popularity of power condinioning devices, mains cables etc. I'm under a stark impression, that we have a devide between Europe, and America.

Well, yes, this is called the Atlantic Ocean, but that's not what I mean. From my impressions on journeys, we also have different cultures of power distribution on the last mile. In Europe cables are typically underground, while the US is more prone to the "garbage bin on a mast" type, with cables dangling through the air from mast to mast.

At least, there appears to be an 'anecdotical' correlation (as in: based on gut feelings, not data) to me, between the way how power is distributed on the last mile in a geography, and the affinity of consumers to spend money on power conditioners.

I'm still searching how to cut through this Gordian Knot, when two parties are both right, but contradicting each other. Looks like we need to conclude this discussion in a chrono-synclatic infindibulum? 🤔

(To those who missed reading KV https://vonnegut.fandom.com/wiki/Chrono-Synclastic_Infundibulum)

There are certainly big differences between North American and European power, 120 volts here versus 240 volts on your side of the pond, For a start. In British Columbia, 97% of our electric supply is generated from hydro electric dams, and must be transported over very long distances to get to the cities.

Yes, many places here have their electrical transmission lines hanging from poles, with transformers , and Vancouver is no exception. The coolant in the transformers can degrade with time, causing more noise in the mains. There is a degradation in the electrical transmission over long distances. My brother-in-law (Masters in Electrical Engineering) is a world class expert on this, and was the chair of the International Power Transmission Standards for at least a decade. He just ended his career with his last 15 years incorporating alternative energy sources in America, such as solar and wind power. 

Almost every HiFi shop here sells power conditioners, and with good reason, the good ones really work well in many people’s homes here. That said, I have visited enough people in Europe that use power conditioners and better mains cables, that have made a big difference to their HiFi systems.

The way to cut through the Gordian knot is to actually try it in your own HiFi system. Most shops here will loan you mains cables and power conditioners to try out in your home. You have nothing to lose, as their has been no cash out of your pocket. Just be prepared though, that it might be a substantial improvement, and then you may end up buying  them 

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1 hour ago, Paulssurround said:

Almost every HiFi shop here sells power conditioners, and with good reason, the good ones really work well in many people’s homes here. That said, I have visited enough people in Europe that use power conditioners and better mains cables, that have made a big difference to their HiFi systems.

I'm with those who say that there is variation between the continents. There is also substantial variation between countries, and from place to place. In fact I doubt that, in this aspect of our hobby, there is one common problem, much less one universal solution. This is IMO the main reason why any form of power conditioning or improved power connections of any kind have to be considered on a case-by-case basis. I think you are entirely right to say:

1 hour ago, Paulssurround said:

The way to cut through the Gordian knot is to actually try it in your own HiFi system. Most shops here will loan you mains cables and power conditioners to try out in your home. You have nothing to lose, as their has been no cash out of your pocket. Just be prepared though, that it might be a substantial improvement, and then you may end up buying  them 

At my dealer's prompting, I did in fact recently try a power conditioner in my system. The sound quality deteriorated.

David

Edited by DavidHB
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The UK is a different market and has different mains than the US. I don't think I have ever seen a power conditioner in a HiFi shop.

Some other UK users have reported negative effects when trying them. 

Edited by StingRay

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20 hours ago, akamatsu said:

Here's an article I stumbled upon whilst researching this topic. Actually, I just remembered that someone posted the link on another thread about mains leads elsewhere on the Wam. He actually did a test. The opening photo shows the two cable assemblies that were tested. Yes, that yellow spaghetti pile on the floor is one of them.

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/02/measurements-do-power-cables-make.html

This is the guy, that judges an amplifier by how it measures. He doesn't even listen to them. As you may have noticed, he didn't listen to the cables either...

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1 minute ago, Tendaberry said:

This is the guy, that judges an amplifier by how it measures. He doesn't even listen to them. As you may have noticed, he didn't listen to the cables either...

Some people are that way. I use them for what they are good at, collecting data.

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