Author Topic: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.  (Read 8956 times)

Offline rollo

  • Industry Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 5923
  • Rollo Audio - Home demo the only way to know
All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« on: February 24, 2014, 08:00:11 AM »
   Well well well. Say it isn't so but it is. After hearing the difference with the same wire  only difference being the connecters I am convinced.
    Rhodium plated copper, All Copper, All silver and gold plated copper all sounded different. I'm still shaking my head in the difference. Like a tone control for goodness sake.  :shock:
     Which connecters you ask. Not saying yet.



charles
     
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm - Aqua Acoustic Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm Speakers - PI Audio Uberbuss - Triode Wire Labs- Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungry Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt-Arion-Vinnie Rossi

DaveC

  • Guest
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 08:20:01 AM »
I agree, the connectors on cables are very important.  :thumb: Any kind of cable too, not just power, although they seem to have a greater effect on power and single ended ic cables.

As far as material, I would go with gold or rhodium plating as other options require maintenance and I don't want to have cables whose connectors corrode over time.

I also agree cables can be like tone controls but it's not a great way to accomplish the task imo... the further you stray from a "neutral" sound the more issues you get in turn. I think neutrality and maximum detail is a good goal to shoot for in cables... avoiding any sort of harshness of course.

Now it is true that a detailed and neutral cable is not the best sounding in some systems, good cables will reveal issues that the owner of the system may not want to hear.  ;)

My speaker cables are a good example, they are neutral and accurate to a fault and they just can't be used in a system that isn't dialed in or they will allow you to hear things you may not want to hear... in a very good system they will open up all sorts of details and remove quite a bit of distortion. The better the system the better the feedback I get.





Offline BobM

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 3167
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 09:49:05 AM »
Perfect timing Charles, now that we all agree that power cables don't make a difference ...

 :duh aa

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you'll have to blow your nose.

Offline _Scotty_

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 566
  • “Sic transit gloria mundi”
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 10:17:35 AM »
Charles all of the RCA plugs were identical in design, only the metallurgy used between the plugs was different?
If this is the case, I am not surprised that you can hear differences in a system with enough resolution.
Which type did you prefer?
Scotty

Offline BobM

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 3167
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 12:35:11 PM »
Heard the same cables. It's not a matter of preference, it is a matter of synergy. These would all be considered "premium" plugs, but the nature of their sound is noticeably different from one another.

Rhodium - I call this the new "loudness" button, because it tends to emphasize the top and bottom ends, slightly recessing the mids. Bottom is tight and punchy. Top could possibly be a bit too forward in the wrong system. But if your system leans more toward an overall roundness or plumminess this might be just the ticket to bring it into a more modern sound. The perfect plug for a sub IMO.

Silver - This is a detail and air monster, but not with any loss of texture. In fact even more texture than a standard copper plug. Very even presentation top to bottom. However, this is not your standard silver coated copper plug, it is a full silver tong, and as such is very soft (and pricy). I loved the sound of this on digital.

Rose Copper/Gold/Silver - This is very similar to the standard copper plug, but just more of everything, in a good way. I can't find any fault with this plug at all. It just draws you in and makes everything ahhhhhhh.

Of course, YMMV, and as I said, it's all about the synergy with different components> The choice of which one to use where is really about what you might believe the shortcomings of a particular component might be.

Does that mean these are tone controls? Yeah, maybe. I think of them more as tuning devices to bring the best out of a particular component. But one size definitely does not fit all.

Don't get me wrong. These are all "premium" plugs on a premium cable, and each improves on the stock copper connector, but in different ways. What is surprising is that each is "top shelf" and "SOTA" and each just sounds different from the other in meaningful ways.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 12:48:05 PM by BobM »
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you'll have to blow your nose.

Offline rollo

  • Industry Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 5923
  • Rollo Audio - Home demo the only way to know
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 08:51:26 AM »
Charles all of the RCA plugs were identical in design, only the metallurgy used between the plugs was different?
If this is the case, I am not surprised that you can hear differences in a system with enough resolution.
Which type did you prefer?
Scotty

  Scotty Not RCA but power cord plug and IEC. The silver and all copper are the same construction. Preferred silver in CDP and Uberbuss.
  The other plugs are of a different casing material so hard to say.
   As a complete cord design used in the power conditioner [ Uberbuss ] the Rhodium was favored.
    My point here is not the overall outcome as synergy plays an important role as we all know.
    The point is they sound different using the same wire. Just never thought sonics would be affected. A lower noise floor maybe expected however when the sonics changed it blew my mind.
    BTW good to see you posting again. We miss your input.


charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm - Aqua Acoustic Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm Speakers - PI Audio Uberbuss - Triode Wire Labs- Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungry Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt-Arion-Vinnie Rossi

Offline _Scotty_

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 566
  • “Sic transit gloria mundi”
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 10:11:53 AM »
I haven't had too much to say and lately Richidoo has been channeling me quite effectively. I purchased one of the last MS-2 dedicated audio computers that HAL built and have been enjoying the sonic improvement that it has brought to my system.
 As far as powercords are concerned I have to admit I am somewhat baffled by some of the results I have had.
 I borrowed a XLO power-cord a while back from a friend to try on my phono stage and while it increased the dynamic contrast it also changed the sound-stage rather dramatically and not for the better. I had not heard the sound-stage altered by any previous power-cords and this was quite unexpected.
Scotty

Offline Nick B

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2158
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 10:28:57 AM »
Dave,
Since you are using the UPOCC materials for wire, I was wondering if there are UPOCC RCA's or can the process only be used for wire?
Nick
ICEpower 1200as2 amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Roon, Tidal & Qobuz
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio UberBUSS

DaveC

  • Guest
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 12:19:38 PM »
Hi Nick, Yes, connectors are made using UPOCC copper by Neotech, Furutech and Oyaide.

I think rhodium plated UPOCC copper connectors are the way to go in general, though not appropriate for all applications and all systems. Rhodium is more accurate that gold plating although it can be too forward and edgy in the wrong system.

edit: although synergy and an open mind are key... my ICs use Furutech's filament type center pin instead of UPOCC copper and those connectors are better with gold plating.

BobM, is rose gold plating the gold/silver/copper alloy on the valabs?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Valab-Rose-Gold-Plated-Copper-Carbon-Housing-IEC-Female-Power-Cord-Plug-ap1-/291081447425

If so, I'm not surprised an alloy would be better than pure gold plating, pure gold is really not accurate in much the same way poor quality copper is not accurate.




« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 12:26:49 PM by DaveC »

Offline sleepyguy24

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 901
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 05:19:58 PM »
Hi Bob

On which equipment have you or would you normally put power cords with Rhodium plugs or the Silver connectors on?

I'm most familiar with SonarQuest connectors. I've used the Rose Copper and Gold versions on my tube preamps and HT processor. They have quite the strong grip on either end and I agree with your assessment of their sonic impact. My HT experience got more enjoyable with a Belden 83803 cord terminated with Rose Copper SonarQuest ends.

Due to this discussion I'm now looking at these plugs to try on some stock 14AWG power cords that are fully broken in.

SONARQUEST Silver Plated US NEMA Power Plug & IEC Connector



and

SONARQUEST Rhodium Plated US NEMA Power Plug & IEC Connector



I may try one on the source and one on a preamp first. Don't know about changing the cable to my amp as I'm happy with how things sound now.


Heard the same cables. It's not a matter of preference, it is a matter of synergy. These would all be considered "premium" plugs, but the nature of their sound is noticeably different from one another.

Rhodium - I call this the new "loudness" button, because it tends to emphasize the top and bottom ends, slightly recessing the mids. Bottom is tight and punchy. Top could possibly be a bit too forward in the wrong system. But if your system leans more toward an overall roundness or plumminess this might be just the ticket to bring it into a more modern sound. The perfect plug for a sub IMO.

Silver - This is a detail and air monster, but not with any loss of texture. In fact even more texture than a standard copper plug. Very even presentation top to bottom. However, this is not your standard silver coated copper plug, it is a full silver tong, and as such is very soft (and pricy). I loved the sound of this on digital.

Rose Copper/Gold/Silver - This is very similar to the standard copper plug, but just more of everything, in a good way. I can't find any fault with this plug at all. It just draws you in and makes everything ahhhhhhh.

Of course, YMMV, and as I said, it's all about the synergy with different components> The choice of which one to use where is really about what you might believe the shortcomings of a particular component might be.

Does that mean these are tone controls? Yeah, maybe. I think of them more as tuning devices to bring the best out of a particular component. But one size definitely does not fit all.

Don't get me wrong. These are all "premium" plugs on a premium cable, and each improves on the stock copper connector, but in different ways. What is surprising is that each is "top shelf" and "SOTA" and each just sounds different from the other in meaningful ways.

Offline Nick B

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2158
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 11:53:12 PM »
Hi Nick, Yes, connectors are made using UPOCC copper by Neotech, Furutech and Oyaide.

I think rhodium plated UPOCC copper connectors are the way to go in general, though not appropriate for all applications and all systems. Rhodium is more accurate that gold plating although it can be too forward and edgy in the wrong system.

edit: although synergy and an open mind are key... my ICs use Furutech's filament type center pin instead of UPOCC copper and those connectors are better with gold plating.

BobM, is rose gold plating the gold/silver/copper alloy on the valabs?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Valab-Rose-Gold-Plated-Copper-Carbon-Housing-IEC-Female-Power-Cord-Plug-ap1-/291081447425

If so, I'm not surprised an alloy would be better than pure gold plating, pure gold is really not accurate in much the same way poor quality copper is not accurate.






Thanks, Dave
ICEpower 1200as2 amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
Fritz Carrera 7 BE speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini & Mojo Audio lps
Roon, Tidal & Qobuz
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio UberBUSS

Offline BobM

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 3167
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 05:42:04 AM »
Sleepyguy,

The only suggestion I can make is ... you really need to try any variation on all equipment. Unfortunately one cord does not fit all. It is a trial and error game in my experience.

Then, just when you think you found the perfect cord for one component, you need to reexamine the cord choices for the other components. Because changing one thing changes the character of the whole system, and what used to work in one place could possibly be improved on after the change.

Tedious, but then again, isn't this kind of playing part of what this hobby is all about? We are definitely not the "set it and forget it" crowd around here.
 :thumb:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 08:41:07 AM by BobM »
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you'll have to blow your nose.

Offline rollo

  • Industry Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 5923
  • Rollo Audio - Home demo the only way to know
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 08:37:28 AM »
  As far as conductivity is concerned Rhodium is at the bottom of the list.  Silver then copper.
   Putting conductivity aside for the moment why do these different materials have such an influence on sonics , sound stage and bass ?
   Could it be the impedance ? Resistance ? Inductance ? All of the above ?
     

charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm - Aqua Acoustic Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm Speakers - PI Audio Uberbuss - Triode Wire Labs- Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungry Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt-Arion-Vinnie Rossi

Offline sleepyguy24

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 901
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 09:14:31 AM »
Hi Bob

Thanks for the reply. I kind of knew you were going to say what you were going to say. I was hoping for a different outcome. I'm kind of trying to get to set it and forget it mode but it seems like that isn't possible sometimes. If I get the different Sonarquest plugs and try them in different tests I'll share the results here.


Sleepyguy,

The only suggestion I can make is ... you really need to try any variation on all equipment. Unfortunately one cord does not fit all. It is a trial and error game in my experience.

Then, just when you think you found the perfect cord for one component, you need to reexamine the cord choices for the other components. Because changing one thing changes the character of the whole system, and what used to work in one place could possibly be improved on after the change.

Tedious, but then again, isn't this kind of playing part of what this hobby is all about? We are definitely not the "set it and forget it" crowd around here.
 :thumb:


Offline rollo

  • Industry Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 5923
  • Rollo Audio - Home demo the only way to know
Re: All Plugs and IECs are NOT Equal.
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 06:23:15 AM »
  Well according to the Sonarquest webpage they say the sonic result is warm and sweet meaning colored.
   So if that works out in ones scheme of things give it a go. Agreed that one size does not fit all. Nothing is the "best" just different.
    My Plinius CDP is colored on the warm side of neutral so liking the all silver plug best.  For the Uberbuss liking the Furutech Rhodium.
    The issue with DIY is the cost of the plugs. Meaning buying several to compare.
     After using the same wire and just different plugs it has proved to me anyway that the plug is critical to the end result more than the wire used. There is more to the plug than the material of blades. how the wire is secured to plug can also have a big affect. Soldered, screw down and crimped or cold soldered wire connections all affect the sonics. For me zero solder.
     Back to rhodium for a moment. IMO it depends what material is plated with Rhodium. Bronze, copper, alloy. Never liked Rhodium over copper before over bronze another story.
     



charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm - Aqua Acoustic Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm Speakers - PI Audio Uberbuss - Triode Wire Labs- Kuzma - QLN - Audio Hungry Qualiton - Fritz speakers -Gigawatt-Arion-Vinnie Rossi