Jump to content

A test for power cables


Phobic

Recommended Posts

Imagine measurements could somehow “prove” that a certain cable was superior.

What then? Buy automatically?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something nobody has mentioned.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of companies in the “audiophile” space, selling electronic HiFi components (such as amps and DACs), competing and staking their reputations on the sonic qualities of their wares.  To my knowledge, I can’t recall a single one of them promoting the sonic attributes of the power leads they supply with their products. If there was anything in this, you would have thought that at least one of them would have taken a chance, tried to get the edge over their competitors, included a fancy power lead in the box and mentioned the fact in their promotional material and product description.

5

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, High 5 said:

Something nobody has mentioned.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of companies in the “audiophile” space, selling electronic HiFi components (such as amps and DACs), competing and staking their reputations on the sonic qualities of their wares.  To my knowledge, I can’t recall a single one of them promoting the sonic attributes of the power leads they supply with their products. If there was anything in this, you would have thought that at least one of them would have taken a chance, tried to get the edge over their competitors, included a fancy power lead in the box and mentioned the fact in their promotional material and product description.

5

IMV. Companies don't include a fancy cable for 2 reasons:

1. Cable sceptics would resent the cost it would add.

2. Cable believers often have their own favourite cable and are prepared to spend differing amounts.

From a marketing perspective, they've little to gain.

What you do have, are some Companies like Naim and Rega who will sell you an after market one, if you're so inclined.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

1. Cable sceptics would resent the cost it would add...

As the true cost of producing these, in reasonable volume, would literally be a few pounds max, I can’t see that being an issue on a product selling for several hundred , if not thousands of pounds.

5 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

From a marketing perspective, they've little to gain.

Precisely. There is nothing to be gained. Arguably it could be detrimental to their marketing effort.

7 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

What you do have, are some Companies like Naim and Rega who will sell you an after market one, if you're so inclined.

Jumping on a bandwagon?  If those cables made any different, they’d be included as standard.

As for Naim , the less said the better. Their power supply upgrade option shouts to me “we are selling you a product we’ve deliberately nobbled by included a less than optimal vital component part”.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@High 5 The cost of the included cable could vary hugely, depending on how it's manufactured.

People who think Mains Cables are foo, could think less of the brand for indulging in it.

Very often, Cable believers already have an expensive cable that they keep and use again when they change amps. They too don't want to spend any extra on a cable they won't use.

The sensible thing to do, from every perspective, is include a cheap kettle lead and let people take whatever path they want.

There will also be people who want to get a "better" cable recommended by the amp manufacturer. They are thus accommodated - and the sceptics can be happy in the knowledge that they haven't jumped onto the bandwagon.

Edited by CnoEvil
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Heckyman said:

Imagine measurements could somehow “prove” that a certain cable was superior.

What then? Buy automatically?

Equally, for any audio product, actually?!  Were any measurements that overarching there might only be a handful of products on sale. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to pay silly money to move your 240 volts AC (or 110 volts) the last meter or two from the wall socket, BUT - this is the section of cable closest to the sensitive electronics in the unit, so it is worth getting a cable with a screen and drain so it doesn't pick up or transfer RF interference.  Belden 19364 is an ideal cable for power leads and is under £6 per meter.  It's made from oxygen-free copper of 14 AWG.  Absolutely no need to pay more.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BELDEN-19364-SHIELDED-MAINS-POWER-CABLE-PER-METRE/150872772623?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, High 5 said:

Something nobody has mentioned.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of companies in the “audiophile” space, selling electronic HiFi components (such as amps and DACs), competing and staking their reputations on the sonic qualities of their wares.  To my knowledge, I can’t recall a single one of them promoting the sonic attributes of the power leads they supply with their products. If there was anything in this, you would have thought that at least one of them would have taken a chance, tried to get the edge over their competitors, included a fancy power lead in the box and mentioned the fact in their promotional material and product description.

5

See my post above.  In fact Mark Levinson does / did include a fancy audiophile cable - in fit-for-purpose terms.  Belden 19364 at £6 per meter - nothing better needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a clue chaps... it's not about the measurements.

A few personal thoughts:

I'm afraid I belong to the school of thought that believes everything makes a difference.  

Music and listening to music isn't entirely about science.  In fact it has far more to do with aspects of our lives which are very difficult to explain in scientific terms. 

Some passionate music enthusiasts can quite clearly hear whether they're listening to a modern violin or a 17th century Amati.  Measurements don't come into this.   

Music is often magical, the really good stuff is something quite spiritual.  We can discuss music at great length, but we can't measure it.  

Okay I'll stop riffing on measurements.  

Seriously, hifi is one of those areas where science meets human creativity.  In hifi, one discipline can't exist without the other. 

I think it's really quite possible that some listeners can discern the most subtle nuances of sound while others can't.  I forget the percentage, but a minority of the population experiences aspects of synesthesia.  Some people have a spectacularly high spatial IQ.  Some people are a little further along the aspergers chart than would be considered "normal". We don't encounter the term so much nowadays but some audiophiles were once said to have "golden ears".  

Edited by Don Ruperto
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, hearhere said:

See my post above.  In fact Mark Levinson does / did include a fancy audiophile cable - in fit-for-purpose terms.  Belden 19364 at £6 per meter - nothing better needed.

Yes, but that's just the equivalent of Sony throwing in a basic kettle lead - ie: it would be rude not to put a basic cable in. 

We are talking about one of the world's most prestigious high end brands here after all.  Mark Levinson lives in that world 24/7, he probably knows every blooming cable out there.  All he's doing is saying is "here's a basic cable so you can wire it up this evening" and then he knows that the buyer will go out and make their own cable choices, depending on their lovely expensive systems.  In 90% of cases, probably something more exotic than Belden.    

Unless of course you can point me to Mark Levinson actually saying "nothing better needed".  You probably will!  xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 24/10/2020 at 19:26, Phobic said:

What would a double blind listening test look like?

The blind leading the blind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
15 hours ago, PuritéAudio said:

In my experience previously perceived differences disappear when compared unsighted, unfortunately and I really don’t know why people prefer to listen to the charlatans who have a vested interest in selling you an expensive accessory.

Keith 

So in your experience, what actually happens? If you hear a cable that is better than another, when you have a relaxed comparison, and then you do a unsighted, level matched, double blind test does the better cable become worse or does the worse cable become better?  I am interested in your experience.

Edited by George 47
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
11 hours ago, PuritéAudio said:

In my experience previously perceived differences disappear when compared unsighted, unfortunately and I really don’t know why people prefer to listen to the charlatans who have a vested interest in selling you an expensive accessory.

Keith 

And in many people's experiences, they don't. Once again, neither of which has any validity whatsoever.

I'd love to know where all these people are who are so easily fooled by marketing and so easily taken in by charlatans. I suspect everyone here has their own opinions. Like you, I don't agree with all of them, but then I don't make any assumptions about who is right and wrong, or about their reasoning.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Don Ruperto said:

Some passionate music enthusiasts can quite clearly hear whether they're listening to a modern violin or a 17th century Amati.  

And some pros can't

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25371-pro-violinists-fail-to-spot-stradivarius-in-blind-test/

5 hours ago, Don Ruperto said:

Measurements don't come into this.   

Music is often magical, the really good stuff is something quite spiritual.  We can discuss music at great length, but we can't measure it.  

we can measure it. https://www.akutek.info/Papers/AB_Violin_spectra_2003.pdf

Quote

conclusion

The one-third octave band spectra from Stradivari and del GesJ violins looks similar even when different music pieces are played on the instruments. However, there seem to be systematic differences between the average Stradivari and del Ges6 responses varying from dose to 0 dB in the 4 kHz band to 2 dB in the 200 Hz and 1.25 Hz bands and -2 dB in the 1.6 kHz band. Such differences are heard as a more dark sound in the del GesJs and a more brilliant sound and strong fundamentals of the lowest notes in the Strads. More work is needed to understand the causes of such variances and differences.

The issue is more about what the measurements tell us and how the differences effect different people in different states of mind, with different equipment in different environments. As has been mentioned before quite eloquently its removal of variables to keep consistency coupled with individual effects of the mind that's the issue.

This debate isn't then about measuring perception or emotional response, it's about measuring the things which are consistent, known and unchanging. Where it breaks down is trying to transpose that over into the subjective area of personal preference.

Maybe there are correlations between the 2 areas, but it's hard to measure either side with a degree of reliability.

I think after these pages of debate that my original question was flawed.

Maybe a better question would be "how is it best to setup a demo of power cables for a group of skeptics who are open to changing their minds"
 

Edited by Phobic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...