Author Topic: A question for the wise and experienced  (Read 3660 times)

shep

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A question for the wise and experienced
« on: July 28, 2011, 11:23:54 PM »
I had a funny thing happen on the way to the...Right, start over.
Backtrack for background. I have a highly modified ICE amp, 2X75 watts. I have a highly modified CDP with multiple powersupplies, three transformers, lots of power regs, etc etc. I have two power cables; one is a thick python made for me by John P. of KCI, the other is made by Grover Huffman, using the same ribbon construction as his rca interconnects. For no particular reason I have always used the python on the amp and the other on the cdp. There was no logic to this, only the vague notion that amps draw more current and need a hose, while a cdp...doesn't. In fact this is probably totally wrong. The ICE uses very little current and has a sophisticated surface mount power supply, while the cdp is over-kill, old school. So anyway last night, either bored or inspired I switched the cables around. To say I fell off the couch in amazement would be overstatement but the sound did change radically, for the better; seriously. Anyone smarter than me have an explanation? I may have to now get rid of Grover's cable and get another one from John, or elsewhere. I don't like mysteries in audio so a rational explanation would be welcome.

Offline topround

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 03:03:50 AM »
It will remain a mystery for some time.
I have found there is no logic to power cords.
I try to keep all the power cords I get, because one day I will find one that works well with a piece of gear in a certain situation. Just buying the best does not work, in fact there have been times when the cheaper cable beat the more expensive cable.
Again there is no logic, we cannot really measure what is going on in these cables to make certain differences within our varied gear.

One day even that cheap lowly printer power cord may work wonders!  Trust me.

Although the Shunyata power cord do seem to work well all the time :thumb:
Mike

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System consists of an amp a preamp, 2 speakers a turntable and a phono preamp, Also some cables and power cords and a really cheap cd player.

Offline JBryan

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 04:24:23 AM »
You say you "switched them around" - what's your reasoning that somehow, Grover's PC was the bad seed? Perhaps John's PC was holding back the ICE amps. Regardless, you have 2 components and 2 different PC's and the sound improved when you switched PC's between the components. You probably just found a good combination and a better match for one or both of the cables....OR, just by the act of switching, you may have cleaned the contact points of the components and PC's or at least established a better connection.

To confirm your results, you'll have to switch the PC's back. As well, you'll have to procure either Grover's or John's PC (preferably both though John's may be easier to get as Grover keeps changing his recipe) and try all possible combinations to find the best match for your system.

As mentioned, there is no one PC (or IC, speak wire, etc.) that you can read about and say, that's the best for my set up. You have to plug 'em in, break 'em in and give 'em a listen - a long process that's more of a PITA than most folks care to deal with and probably why so many just throw up their hands and begin repeating the mantra..."Wire is Wire is Wire". Have fun.

Offline JBryan

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 04:29:37 AM »
Oh, just noticed that you were asking "...the wise and experienced" for opinions, - I'm not qualified so...nevermind.  :duh

shep

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 08:51:01 AM »
We're all equally unwise and unqualified if it comes down to it. Just to reply to JB. I haven't really called Grover's a bad seed although it really isn't a power cable but an RCA adapted as one and it isn't shielded. All my contacts are kept clean and treated at all times! (Craig Gold). I'm keeping my mind open on this one but I suspect Grover's is not really suitable for this task. I'm shopping around....first stop John P.

Offline _Scotty_

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 10:05:41 AM »
Shep you need to get two PCs that are the same. I would lean toward a second KCI cord. I have heard bigger improvements from power cords on preamps and digital front ends than on power amps. I use the same 9gauge powercord on all components in my system. Just for the hell of it try putting a good 14ga elcheapo powercord on the amp and leave the KCI cord on the preamp and see if the magic is still there.
Scotty

shep

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 11:31:21 AM »
My thinking exactly. I have written to KCI for another. No pre. It's an integrated.

Offline BobM

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 12:39:11 PM »
Mike is correct. In order to correctly match power cords you have to try a few and pick the one that sounds best. But don;t forget the cords on the other components too, because it is the overall sound that needs to sound good, and that means the system as a whole and the cords on each component.

Here's a very strange story to prove my point. I got some replacement tubes for my preamp that were a tad warmer than the old tubes. The cord on my amp (not preamp) was a warmer cord. With the new tubes in the preamp the system sounded too warm. Putting a less warm cord on the amp balanced the system out nicely. I know, I know, strange. But swapping cords on the preamp didn't make much of a difference. It was the amp cord that brought it all together.

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Offline Triode Pete

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 01:26:31 PM »
Mike is correct. In order to correctly match power cords you have to try a few and pick the one that sounds best. But don;t forget the cords on the other components too, because it is the overall sound that needs to sound good, and that means the system as a whole and the cords on each component.

Here's a very strange story to prove my point. I got some replacement tubes for my preamp that were a tad warmer than the old tubes. The cord on my amp (not preamp) was a warmer cord. With the new tubes in the preamp the system sounded too warm. Putting a less warm cord on the amp balanced the system out nicely. I know, I know, strange. But swapping cords on the preamp didn't make much of a difference. It was the amp cord that brought it all together.



I agree with Mike (topround) & BobM as well... Welcome to the Wonderful World of Audio! System Synergy is key as well as your perception of what sounds right to you (but maybe not to others)...

Recently I heard a really nice hi-fi set-up that utilized a Cary F1 amp (for the highs) on a bi-amped system. The power cables in the system were basically one brand and sounded awesome. However, on the Cary amp it sounded way too warm & colored the system too much...basically too much of a good thing. A leaner sounding cable fit the bill on the triode Cary amp... so... Experiment & experiment!!!

My $0.02,
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shep

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Re: A question for the wise and experienced
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 12:36:41 AM »
Thanks all. I take it all on board. For the moment I await an answer from John P. of KCI.