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mains cable/kettle lead. Make any difference in sound quality?


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To save another 17 pages, let me cover the basics: - If you can't hear the difference a good Mains Cable can make....either your hearing is impaired, or your system isn't resolving enough. -

So here we are then not talking about mains cables. Well while we're not on the subject. Back home just 15 mins away from Nick's and I am listening to my system. I have Tidal playing CD (not MQA)

You might be right. @TheFlash has just called round and stood in the cold outside the window to my listening room whilst I played my system (including the Chord Dave).   Nigel said that my syst

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Anyone see this guy talk - Garth Powell at Audioquest?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBPK2me3BmE&t=5s

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On 17/04/2021 at 10:13, MickyP said:

My ha'pennith. Recently moved and repositioned speakers (Martin Logans) until blue in the face and they still sounded flat. Removed Russ Andrews PowerMax Plus mains leads from amp and another to distribution block and replaced with oe stuff (type supplied by manufacturers with kit) and voila!, back to usual transparency. This cable worked well at old address.

So... mains cables do make a difference to sound quality, for whatever reason, and it's not always for the best!

If you’ve just moved in, get acquainted with the new acoustics before making any judgements. Give some three months minimum and don’t worry about speaker positioning for a few weeks.

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13 hours ago, hairyderriere said:

Anyone see this guy talk - Garth Powell at Audioquest?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBPK2me3BmE&t=5s

Boy oh boy oh boy

On the one hand he's saying the same thing as I believe - mains cables need to have 2 key properties (1) low resistance (2) good interference rejection (shielding).  

But all the technical word salad BS O.o

And then he brings up characteristic impedance. Well if you thought Max Townshend was given a hard time for promoting characteristic impendence for the success of his speaker cables, this guy takes it to a whole new level.

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On 21/04/2021 at 13:46, Bodgit said:

Boy oh boy oh boy

On the one hand he's saying the same thing as I believe - mains cables need to have 2 key properties (1) low resistance (2) good interference rejection (shielding).  

But all the technical word salad BS O.o

And then he brings up characteristic impedance. Well if you thought Max Townshend was given a hard time for promoting characteristic impendence for the success of his speaker cables, this guy takes it to a whole new level.

I personally don't believe in all that's being said but have had enough experience that some cables have lifted performance to my system, some others made it far worse.

May be I'm stupid... But if we can filter the last few inches  of water coming from.... Let's say Thames Water, why can't the same be done with electricity.. The water goes through the pipes for miles yet we can still filter it at home. 

Just curious.

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2 minutes ago, Nativebon said:

I personally don't believe in all that's being said but have had enough experience that some cables have lifted performance to my system, some others made it far worse.

May be I'm stupid... But if we can filter the last few inches  of water coming from.... Let's say Thames Water, why can't the same be done with electricity.. The water goes through the pipes for miles yet we can still filter it at home. 

Just curious.

Absolutely right - it's the first thing the system sees. I've had an uplift in sound quality that was surprisingly noticeable from my mains distributor and power cable.

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Having tried many many diff cables, speaker, I/c, power cords, the ones that were most likely to disappoint were russ andrews. They effectively ruined sound, turgid and flat. Also stupid pricing.

 I appreciate people have diff views, but posting any item on cables and tables on this forum is a risky experience. Shame as it kills open views and possibility to gain knowledge from others experience.

 Just because it’s doesn’t make sense to one person doesn’t imply stupidity of the other.

quantum mechanics are only understood properly by a handful of people, doesn’t mean it’s rubbish, just difficult.

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16 minutes ago, Frizbriz said:

Having tried many many diff cables, speaker, I/c, power cords, the ones that were most likely to disappoint were russ andrews. They effectively ruined sound, turgid and flat. Also stupid pricing.

 I appreciate people have diff views, but posting any item on cables and tables on this forum is a risky experience. Shame as it kills open views and possibility to gain knowledge from others experience.

 Just because it’s doesn’t make sense to one person doesn’t imply stupidity of the other.

quantum mechanics are only understood properly by a handful of people, doesn’t mean it’s rubbish, just difficult.

Not to mention string theory !

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On 21/04/2021 at 13:46, Bodgit said:

Boy oh boy oh boy

On the one hand he's saying the same thing as I believe - mains cables need to have 2 key properties (1) low resistance (2) good interference rejection (shielding).  

But all the technical word salad BS O.o

And then he brings up characteristic impedance. Well if you thought Max Townshend was given a hard time for promoting characteristic impendence for the success of his speaker cables, this guy takes it to a whole new level.

Wonderful, that guy should be given a nobel prize or something for inventing a whole new idea in physics, a cable without characteristic impedance. Or it could it just be total crap. 

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2 minutes ago, zeta4 said:

Wonderful, that guy should be given a nobel prize or something for inventing a whole new idea in physics, a cable without characteristic impedance. Or it could it just be total crap. 

I have a feeling that one of those options is more likely than the other...

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I haven't posted for ages.  I can't believe people are still arguing over this nonsense - the fedabs are on the march again! 

I'd be the first to agree that there are some sharks in the hifi world - particularly in the UK and US, where daft prices are very much the name of the game.  

This is 2021, there's incredible technology out there and... then there are still human beings.  Most electronic engineers and science graduates are so obsessed with measurements that their families make them eat in another room at meal times.  Now I've met some doctors and surgeons who have a similarly high opinion of themselves but because they deal with real living beings every day, they admit that we still have much to learn about the mysteries of life - particularly the mind, exactly how we perceive what we see, hear and feel.  It's mysterious stuff I'll have you know! 

There is a great deal of the listening experience which remains unfathomable.  I love chatting to other music lovers, particularly those even more passionate than myself.  To me it's very interesting to listen to what people talk about, what they say they hear.  We do NOT all hear the same things.  What might be an obvious characteristic to one listener is not heard by another.  We could talk about neurodiversity here, we know some of the greatest musicians didn't exactly fit dead middle of the autism spectrum.  And the same is true for pretty well all of us I expect.  Many music listeners can hear shape and form when listening, whether an instrument sounds more rounded etc.  Some listeners can hear colour (hello!).  We do not fully understand why this is.  We are, almost literally, wired up in many different ways.  (My internal wiring is all Van Den Hul.... :roll:).  

You simply can not just dismiss the experience of so many hifi enthusiasts who choose to explore mains cable options.  I'm sorry but there are far too many of us who CAN hear the great improvements they can make to your system.  

As for the oft posted "expectation confirmation" remarks - sorry that's a bit insulting.  I will just express my opinion here and say quite confidently that you don't just put a £200 mains cable in your system and say "Oh that's great" and leave it there.  Of course not, what one does is put it in different places in one's system, mix and match with other cables and live with them, switch again, dismiss or keep - that's an open mind at work.  If anybody is engaging in expectation bias I rather think it's the flat earth deaf aid brigade who don't want to hear something that challenges their mindset - typically trying a nice mains cable in their system, claiming it doesn't make a difference, just taking it out after 30 minutes, then insulting the other half of the hifi community.  

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Prob due to my somewhat autistic tendencies (asbergers) when I commit to something I really give it some ocd. This means if it’s wiring or support it’s all or nothing.

when I’ve had wiring looms it’s always the same from wall socket to speaker, same for isolation. 


it’s stillpoints now but tried several others inc hutter, cerabases, townsend, mana,  quadraspire, target, hrs, and Rdc cones. They all sound different, maybe not all better, but definitely different.

having had every thing from kitchen mains cable to,hitachi, Ixos, jps Aluminata, Nordost, chord, DNM, electrofluidic (for Esl57) , living voice, hi fidelity cables, and now kondo, I do find it difficult to fathom the hostility towards hifi additives, ie cables, tables,and tweeks.

 Yes there is a good deal of snake oil out there but that’s true of more than just hifi.
Hi fi being a small world we all know and have occasionally met the dedicated nutters (Croft, Nelson Pass, Lv, max townend etc) that produce kit, cables, tables, and peripherals that enhance the listening experience. These people are well regarded designers and engineers that are not in it for the megabucks but the love of music.

 I’m very careful not to insult other people’s views, or intelligence. Each persons hifi is as individual as music taste or comedy preferences.
I really miss the mighty boosh and spike Milligan, hey ho.

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I’m sorry to keep this thread alive but isn’t there a simple solution to end the debate for once and for all? Lets just record the output of different cables and compare graphs?

I really, really can’t grasp why anyone in his right mind would spend more than say €60 on a mains cable.. Or why it’s even a debate.. there’s a transformer inside your device that literally transforms the current.

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