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Aaban

Power Cables / Power Conditioning

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Hi Gents!

Some people believe in the products (especially the representatives who pushes them) and the more I read the more confuse I get.

From an architectural point of view, generic, black plastic power cables and specifically designed (Isotek / Nordost, for example) they are not that different, but yet manufactures claim big differences in sound quality.

There seems to be divided opinions even in this forum.

Can anyone with enough technical knowledge on the subject matter -and who believes all those products are snake oil- explain in down-to-earth terms (I'm OK with a bit technical words) why they decrease "dynamic range" or "don't or won't improve sound in this or that matter"

I know it's a topic that won't settle anytime soon, but I'd like to see someone give some insight from the skeptical point of view.

 

Have a good night fellas!

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Why don’t you ask the salesman to demo the most expensive power cable he can find so you can make up your own mind. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Gryffles said:

Why don’t you ask the salesman to demo the most expensive power cable he can find so you can make up your own mind. 

 

I actually sell them, but I struggle to justify them to my clients and customer, because I'm all about the technicality of everything.

Easy for me to sell the cheap ones. When compared to the standard one that comes in the box, I can tell there's a bit of "lift" in the sound quality, but when it comes to the $500+ cables, damn, I don't know what to look for when I listen to a system hooked with those cables, hence I asked someone with enough technical knowledge

Cheers

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26 minutes ago, Aaban said:

I know it's a topic that won't settle anytime soon, but I'd like to see someone give some insight from the skeptical point of view.

You said it yourself that is topic will not settle soon.  I disagree with the word "soon"; it should be EVER.

 

We have seen so many threads on this in

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/forum/8-power-cables-electronics/

e.g. 23 Sep, 2 Sep.

Just the other day, this got shut down

 

Sorry, you are relatively new here and may not realise that this topic has repeatedly been hot for the wrong reasons, with the same combatants thrashing each other to a stalemate if we are lucky, but more likely degenerate into personal insults.

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No, I disagree, it's pretty simple to summarise the debate, it's just that many people are sceptical when the question keeps coming up and it's easy to think that the person who started the thread is doing it to create a flamewar.

 

But it comes down to four fairly simple things, assuming people aren't just buying them because they look nice.

 

1. No science can explain how a power cable could affect sound quality, apart from shielding in certain circumstances, and no measurement has ever shown they make a measurable difference. Claims from power cable manufacturers about the mechanism for improvement of their power cables are only published in their publicity material and never in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals where they can be appropriately critiqued.

2. In the absence of a mechanism or measurement showing power cables make a difference, then if there is still a difference, it is something we can't measure and would only show up in a properly conducted blinded trial.

3. Double blind trials in audio seem to have a very poor acceptance rate and there is a lot of debate about whether they have the ability to resolve real differences.

4. Every report of audible improvements with power cables have been done in a sighted fashion without blinding and people who insist there is a difference refuse to participate in blinded trials (see point 3.)

 

There is no way to consolidate all of these so the price that can be charged for a power cable continues to rise, and it's reached a point where no audio demonstration at a hi-fi show is taken seriously unless it has some kind of fancy cables as well. The most expensive power cables I'm aware of to date cost $60K USD.

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To me, if the debate is ongoing, that’s an answer in itself. 
 

You never see threads titled “do speakers sound different”. 

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10 hours ago, Aaban said:

I actually sell them, but I struggle to justify them to my clients and customer,

What does the owner of your shop say about the question (assuming that’s not you)?

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If power cables didn't make a difference, there would be no such thing as medical grade cables. 

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To the OP, it seems like you’re looking for some of us here to give/help you the best way to explain to your potential clients the benefits of power cables/conditioning, or good enough information to disprove their benefits. Without good knowledge of products, I would say its misleading to attempt this approach on clients. This is the easiest way to manufacture distrust from your client. Most stores will loan the product to the client and let the client determine whether it works for them. Of course, some stores dont, and will argue “its better”. Not a great way to install confidence in a client with those two words.

 

For me, my background is electronic engineering, but I’m at an age where I try something and it either gets the thumbs up or down. I don’t let my technical knowledge get in the way of giving something a chance to shine, or falter.

 

For me, cabling/conditioning does make a difference (i.e different), but I can understand for some, better gains can be had in other parts of one’s system.

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32 minutes ago, DJGopal said:

If power cables didn't make a difference, there would be no such thing as medical grade cables. 

Yes there would. Medical grade for intrinsic safety, reliability and able to be sterile. I don't think they use them for piped music.

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2 minutes ago, Hydrology said:

To the OP, it seems like you’re looking for some of us here to give/help you the best way to explain to your potential clients the benefits of power cables/conditioning, or good enough information to disprove their benefits. Without good knowledge of products, I would say its misleading to attempt this approach on clients. This is the easiest way to manufacture distrust from your client. Most stores will loan the product to the client and let the client determine whether it works for them. Of course, some stores dont, and will argue “its better”. Not a great way to install confidence in a client with those two words.

 

For me, my background is electronic engineering, but I’m at an age where I try something and it either gets the thumbs up or down. I don’t let my technical knowledge get in the way of giving something a chance to shine, or falter.

 

For me, cabling/conditioning does make a difference (i.e different), but I can understand for some, better gains can be had in other parts of one’s system.

Thanks @Hydrology pretty much what I wanted was to be more confident at the moment of a demonstration and a sale, without being misleading, and at the same time I wanted to look in front of my clients like I know what I'm talking about; because in forums or in-store, it's a heated topic and it was never my intention to cause discomfort, confrontation or friction within the forum.

I'm all about the theory and the knowledge and I keep reading and researching about it.

Again, thanks for your insights and I'll try and to keep an open mind while still trying to stick to what I hear and believe.

Cheers

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5 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

Yes there would. Medical grade for intrinsic safety, reliability and able to be sterile. I don't think they use them for piped music.

AKA Higher Quality ;)

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11 hours ago, Ittaku said:

No, I disagree, it's pretty simple to summarise the debate, it's just that many people are sceptical when the question keeps coming up and it's easy to think that the person who started the thread is doing it to create a flamewar.

 

But it comes down to four fairly simple things, assuming people aren't just buying them because they look nice.

 

1. No science can explain how a power cable could affect sound quality, apart from shielding in certain circumstances, and no measurement has ever shown they make a measurable difference. Claims from power cable manufacturers about the mechanism for improvement of their power cables are only published in their publicity material and never in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals where they can be appropriately critiqued.

2. In the absence of a mechanism or measurement showing power cables make a difference, then if there is still a difference, it is something we can't measure and would only show up in a properly conducted blinded trial.

3. Double blind trials in audio seem to have a very poor acceptance rate and there is a lot of debate about whether they have the ability to resolve real differences.

4. Every report of audible improvements with power cables have been done in a sighted fashion without blinding and people who insist there is a difference refuse to participate in blinded trials (see point 3.)

 

There is no way to consolidate all of these so the price that can be charged for a power cable continues to rise, and it's reached a point where no audio demonstration at a hi-fi show is taken seriously unless it has some kind of fancy cables as well. The most expensive power cables I'm aware of to date cost $60K USD.

Thanks @Ittaku

I wanted something like this, a bit more to the fundamentals and less bashing the product.

I joined the forum to grow my knowledge about HiFi, audio/video, etc and so far I've absorbed a bit.

When you reply to the brand representatives with an answer like yours, they always have something to say, but it's never concrete, to me it's not enough, I wan't more honest answers like yours.

 

Have a great day!

 

 

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4 minutes ago, DJGopal said:

AKA Higher Quality ;)

Not necessarily, it just means they have been certified to the relevant standards.

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25 minutes ago, Hydrology said:

For me, my background is electronic engineering, but I’m at an age where I try something and it either gets the thumbs up or down. I don’t let my technical knowledge get in the way of giving something a chance to shine, or falter.

 

For me, cabling/conditioning does make a difference (i.e different), but I can understand for some, better gains can be had in other parts of one’s system.

@Hydrology,

You mention both your professional background plus difference and better gains.  To me it is important to distinguish between difference and beneficial.  Can you comment on your experience with the treatment of power in the context of beneficial outcomes?  Difference can just be a change that actually may be a reduction in the audible benefit. 

I consider that in my situation there is a beneficial out come with my power treatment for my system.

John

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