Mains cable (aka power cord) with smooth, warm sound less than £100 ?

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CnoEvil

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bigboss said:
Theoretically, I can understand if you say that mains cables can reduce or eliminate RFI, but how can it produce a smooth & warm sound? So does it have the ability to change the properties of, say, a bright amplifier?
Whether there is a "house sound", is harder to argue.

IMO What cables seem to do, is take what is already there, and make it better. As a result, the sound appears more natural, dynamic, airy and comes from a blacker background. I am quite happy to say this is my subjective opinion, and has to be tried out as an individual experiment.

I was at a cable demo for TCI cables. The system was so bright that it was a form of torture just sitting in the room with it. The system consisted of a Chord Dac 64 + Musical Fidelity M6i + Focal Utopia Diablo speakers .

As ever more expensive mains cables were tried, the hard, gritty edge was gradually replaced by a more natural sound, that approached musical enjoyment. At no point could it be called smooth.

I have also heard Audioquest NRG cables make a Linn Akurate system sound less sterile.
 

CnoEvil

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acalex said:
Sound was just more defined, more clear...was not a night and day difference, just to be clear, but enough for my not trained hears to identify the improvement. Also my gf was able to spot which one was the best without knowing which was the most expensive cable :D

EDIT: It DID not change the sound of course...it just made it more defined/clear...
...I meant details of the amp and how you got on; which I now see on another thread. :oops:
 

Sonic Dreamer

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If certain people are unable to tell the difference between using standard and superior mains cables they either need to:

a) Recognise they are not possessed with sufficiently sensitive hearing.

b) Their ears tested/cleaned out.

Apologies for being blunt, but really, it needed to be said.

Cheers,
SonicD
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Ah, the old "you can't hear what I can" approach. Is there a "night and day" lurking in there too by any chance? With respect, you're talking nonsense and that needed to be said too.
 
A

Anonymous

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Sonic Dreamer said:
a) Recognise they are not possessed with sufficiently sensitive hearing.

b) Their ears tested/cleaned out.
c) be very happy to be impervious to deceptive advertising
 

Sonic Dreamer

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So RS, why do you have a Marantz SA-7001KI, Rotel RA-870BX and Mission 751 Freedom, instead of a Curry's micro hi-fi system?
Hmmmm, let me guess, something to do with you can "hear a difference" and it's "night and day"..... :rofl: :dance:
 
Sonic Dreamer said:
So RS, why do you have a Marantz SA-7001KI, Rotel RA-870BX and Mission 751 Freedom, instead of a Curry's micro hi-fi system?
Hmmmm, let me guess, something to do with you can "hear a difference" and it's "night and day"..... :rofl: :dance:
Im sorry I don't get any sense in this argument.
 

Craig M.

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i really do wonder if the people who say they hear differences, could do so 'blind'? i have never read of someone passing a properly run a/b-x test where cables are concerned. to my mind, if you need to know which cable was in use to hear the difference, well, you get the rest. i own a chord and an atlas power cable, i've never heard any change with any kit i've tried them with - i still use them though, they look nice.
 
Craig M. said:
i really do wonder if the people who say they hear differences, could do so 'blind'? i have never read of someone passing a properly run a/b-x test where cables are concerned. to my mind, if you need to know which cable was in use to hear the difference, well, you get the rest. i own a chord and an atlas power cable, i've never heard any change with any kit i've tried them with - i still use them though, they look nice.
I like your signature! :)
 

CnoEvil

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bigboss said:
Craig M. said:
i really do wonder if the people who say they hear differences, could do so 'blind'? i have never read of someone passing a properly run a/b-x test where cables are concerned. to my mind, if you need to know which cable was in use to hear the difference, well, you get the rest. i own a chord and an atlas power cable, i've never heard any change with any kit i've tried them with - i still use them though, they look nice.
I like your signature! :)
Personally, I prefer Oldric's signature. :)
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Sonic Dreamer said:
So RS, why do you have a Marantz SA-7001KI, Rotel RA-870BX and Mission 751 Freedom, instead of a Curry's micro hi-fi system?
Hmmmm, let me guess, something to do with you can "hear a difference" and it's "night and day"..... :rofl: :dance:
I'm glad you pointed out a salient point (as it were). So, let's see then shall we?

1. The SA7001-KI is about three years old and I've known about Marantz since the 80s, owned their products since 1993 when I bought the CD-52 Mk II. I bought it for several reasons; I like the company, I wanted an SACD function, I wanted to replace an existing player (a first generation Linn Mimik) and it was on sale at half-price. The mains lead is detached from the player, but why would I change that...?

2. The Rotel was an Ebay purchase to replace a Sansui AU-717 that died. I could've gone on with the AU-217, but this was an auction for a hospice charity in Harrogate. It cost me less than £100, I was interested in the amp as it's quite different from past Rotel legacy products, can take a power amp and is generally underrated. Good connectivity and a phono stage too. The mains lead is attached on this one, but why would I change that, even if I could...?

3. Mission, another brand I've always liked, the 75 series was their pinnacle. When my wife and I split up, I left the old 752 floorstanders behind as my new living room layout wouldn't accommodate them, so she's looking after them for me. By chance, a local shop had the 751 Freedoms and as I'd had the originals I thought I'd give them a spin. The originals are better I think. There's no mains lead obviously, but the speaker wire is 400-strand. I suppose that revelation'll leave you reaching for the smelling salts...

So, that's the background as to why I got to where I am, barring, of course, a long-standing love of the hobby from my teenage years about 30-odd years ago where my mate had some separates and we both listened to music on his system.

Curry's mini-stereos - what's wrong with them? Which ones did you have in mind? The ones I see look pretty decent - Sony, LG, Hitachi...they've just about all got DAB, I expect many will have optical or USB connetivity nowadays too. I've no issues with them at all. If I needed one, I dare say I'd get one, but I only use the stereo in the living room and don't have a need for a second system. If I did, I wouldn't be so snobby as to write them off on a whim.

Actually, here's my bedroom system; it's for speech based stuff you know? Thought you'd like to see a photo:-



A Tesco DAB radio, fake wood surround. £25 I think it was. Sounds better than you'll be prepared to give credit for too.
 

Craig M.

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CnoEvil said:
bigboss said:
Craig M. said:
i really do wonder if the people who say they hear differences, could do so 'blind'? i have never read of someone passing a properly run a/b-x test where cables are concerned. to my mind, if you need to know which cable was in use to hear the difference, well, you get the rest. i own a chord and an atlas power cable, i've never heard any change with any kit i've tried them with - i still use them though, they look nice.
I like your signature! :)
Personally, I prefer Oldric's signature. :)
it was a serious question, cno (or anyone else). have you ever tried blind testing something? it was quite a suprise to me when i tried it, as differences i felt sure i would pick up on simply vanished. if you tried and failed to hear the same things you had 'sighted', would you accept that any one of a number of biases were behind the reason for your perception of the sound, or would you say the test was flawed? i wondered myself about the usefulness of an a/b-x test, particularly with regard to audio memory, but all the tests of the a/b-x methodology that i can find show it to be superior for spotting small differences. the evidence that nobody can actually tell cables apart blind, appears to be overwhelming.
 

CnoEvil

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Craig M. said:
i really do wonder if the people who say they hear differences, could do so 'blind'? i have never read of someone passing a properly run a/b-x test where cables are concerned. to my mind, if you need to know which cable was in use to hear the difference, well, you get the rest. i own a chord and an atlas power cable, i've never heard any change with any kit i've tried them with - i still use them though, they look nice.
If I'm one of "the people" you are referring to, this is what I did.

I invited over a fellow hifi enthusiast over for a bet.....that I could convince him of the beneficial improvement of a mains cable. He is a computer programmer, has a scientific background and was as big a sceptic, as anyone on here. He never missed an opportunity to tell me how deluded I was.

He gave all the usual arguments....from snake oil, to "how can 3 ft of cable make a difference, given the miles of cable it took to get it to the plug".

Anyway, I let him chose the music, and played it through the AVR600 into Kef Refs. The first time was with the standard lead. After a reasonable period of time I swapped over the leads.

His first reaction was, "what sneaky setting have you changed". He wouldn't believe it was the cable, until he physically looked behind the rack and checked for himself.

We changed back and forth so he could make sure he wasn't imagining it...and yes he wasn't always aware which one was attached.

The effect was so profound, it had him scratching his head mumbling that he would have to re-evaluate what his science background was telling him.
He even ended up buying some decent screened cable, Wattgate plugs and made some of his own....and is now hearing a difference on sub and amp.

This may not meet your strict ABX protocols, but turning a knowledgeable sceptic into a believer, was very satisfactory.

I respect that you've tried for yourself, and are putting forward your findings based on experience.

When was the last time you changed them back, just to double check. Sometimes changing back, makes the difference easier to hear. :shifty:

I've found amps have often shown the biggest effect; though they have no effect on the Linn DS, which I think is down to the Dynamic power supply.
 

tino

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Sep 29, 2011
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CnoEvil said:
Craig M. said:
i really do wonder if the people who say they hear differences, could do so 'blind'? i have never read of someone passing a properly run a/b-x test where cables are concerned. to my mind, if you need to know which cable was in use to hear the difference, well, you get the rest. i own a chord and an atlas power cable, i've never heard any change with any kit i've tried them with - i still use them though, they look nice.
"how can 3 ft of cable make a difference, given the miles of cable it took to get it to the plug". Anyway, I let him chose the music, and played it through the AVR600 into Kef Refs. The first time was with the standard lead. After a reasonable period of time I swapped over the leads ....... it had him scratching his head mumbling that he would have to re-evaluate what his science background was telling him. He even ended up buying some decent screened cable, Wattgate plugs and made some of his own....and is now hearing a difference on sub and amp.
This is comparing apples and pears ... one is a screened cable for RFI rejection, and has twisted wires for EMI rejection. The other isn't. If your electronics are susceptible to either of these (EMI, RFI), then yes you may hear a difference. I would not attribute particular sonic characteristics to the cable, but to the possible improvement in performance of the equipment that is being fed cleaner power. If I took a mains lead and applied the same treatment (twisting the wires, then applying a screened outer layer) this would have the same effect for much less money but it wouldn't look as pretty.
 

CnoEvil

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tino said:
This is comparing apples and pears ... one is a screened cable for RFI rejection, and has twisted wires for EMI rejection. The other isn't. If your electronics are susceptible to either of these (EMI, RFI), then yes you may hear a difference. I would not attribute particular sonic characteristics to the cable, but to the possible improvement in performance of the equipment that is being fed cleaner power. If I took a mains lead and applied the same treatment (twisting the wires, then applying a screened outer layer) this would have the same effect for much less money but it wouldn't look as pretty.
I also think the quality of terminations (at both ends) make a difference.

At various cable demos (at shows and at dealers), I've heard more expensive cables sound progressively better...much as WHF have described.

I have heard a wide range of TCI and Audioquest cables....and all I can do is pass on what I hear. It is a very easy thing to try, and then you can either buy, or not buy......what's there to argue about?

I wish I couldn't hear a difference, as it would be much cheaper....I'm both miserable and cynical, so won't part with hard earned cash without being convinced. :)
 

Craig M.

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cheers cno, that's interesting - although i do think that for it to be a true test, the person doing the switching needs to be in the dark about which cable was in use to avoid any kind of 'projecting'. :) i personally waver sometimes when it comes to the a/b-x test due to the issue of audio memory, even though the evidence i've seen points towards it being better than evaluating something for, say, a couple of weeks and then changing. fairly rapid switching seems to be the key, with listeners being able to effectively train themselves to hear the difference reliably. i'm talking about very small differences rather than a speaker change! personally i prefer 'a', followed by 'b' with the question 'different or the same'. if the answer is different, then the fun can begin - do i prefer it.

i did swap back and forth a few times with the mains cables with various components - just couldn't ever hear a difference.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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For less than the budget for this cable, I had a dedicated ring circuit added for all of my AV kit. It was done out of practicality and I don't believe that I had any particular problem with 'noisy' mains, but if I did, I'm sure that this work would have reduced it somewhat, by taking the circuit away from other nosie making equipment on the ring, such and food processors, washing machine etc.

Back to the suggestion of which cable for 'warmth', why not just get yourself a reasonable graphic equaliser and change the colouration to your hearts content? This will allow you to tweak the sound endlessly.

No, I'm not joking. If you want to adjust the sound of your system, this is all that you need, as it will save you having to try various other bits of equipment.
 

moon

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:clap:
MUSICRAFT said:
Overdose said:
Back to the suggestion of which cable for 'warmth', why not just get yourself a reasonable graphic equaliser and change the colouration to your hearts content? This will allow you to tweak the sound endlessly.
Hi Overdose

I've never heard that before ;) :grin:

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
:clap: indeed, then all this mains cable malarkey can stop once and for all!
 

hammill

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Overdose said:
For less than the budget for this cable, I had a dedicated ring circuit added for all of my AV kit. It was done out of practicality and I don't believe that I had any particular problem with 'noisy' mains, but if I did, I'm sure that this work would have reduced it somewhat, by taking the circuit away from other nosie making equipment on the ring, such and food processors, washing machine etc.
I also have my hifi on a seperate ring (the house was just wired that way), but since my homeplugs happily work across three different rings, what is to stop the 'noisy' mains from one ring travelling around another? There may be a good reason for this, I am just curious to know.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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hammill said:
Overdose said:
For less than the budget for this cable, I had a dedicated ring circuit added for all of my AV kit. It was done out of practicality and I don't believe that I had any particular problem with 'noisy' mains, but if I did, I'm sure that this work would have reduced it somewhat, by taking the circuit away from other nosie making equipment on the ring, such and food processors, washing machine etc.
I also have my hifi on a seperate ring (the house was just wired that way), but since my homeplugs happily work across three different rings, what is to stop the 'noisy' mains from one ring travelling around another? There may be a good reason for this, I am just curious to know.
I've no idea really. I just had an extra ring circuit added, as it was easier and neater than extending the existing ground floor ring. It also spreads the loading on the downstairs circuits. This was all for practicality, as there were no sockets near my AV set up and I didn't want the trailing extension leads anymore.
 

John Duncan

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Just for the record...

Some posts on this thread were removed because they broke house rules. We have them, you know; they're here. If you happened to reply to those particular comments (as opposed to the original thread), those replies were lost. Sorry about that. Nobody's contribution was 'cherry picked' to leave in, much as I'm sure some people would like that to be the case.

:roll:
 

Overdose

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So if you reply to a contentious post which is removed, your reply is also removed? Is this an automatic thing?

You learn something new every day. :)
 

steve_1979

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John Duncan said:
Just for the record...

Some posts on this thread were removed because they broke house rules. We have them, you know; they're here. If you happened to reply to those particular comments (as opposed to the original thread), those replies were lost. Sorry about that. Nobody's contribution was 'cherry picked' to leave in, much as I'm sure some people would like that to be the case.

:roll:
I'm not sure which rule I broke by saying that the cable that Cno suggested costs between £90-£130. Thanks for setting the record straight anyway JD. :)
 

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