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Thread: Cables: How Important is Equal Length?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCHeliGuy View Post
    FYI, I happen to have an electrical engineering degree and you will find that people with electrical engineering degrees will tend to share my opinions. The exception is the electrical engineer who is trying to sell you something.
    You certainly do have a talent for making posts all about you.

    I look forward to an opportunity to return your unique brand of attention when you're in need of clarification on a subject.

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    Super User RCHeliGuy's Avatar
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    You're right. My posts lately have all been politics, woodworking, and Virtual Reality. There has been nothing of value in terms of audio. I was momentarily excited when I first got my new ML speakers and since then nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Seldom read about parallel AC power cord and speaker cables..........................
    At this point, I have no clue as to what I was trying to say. But it looks like a large part of my thought never made it to paper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    At this point, I have no clue as to what I was trying to say. But it looks like a large part of my thought never made it to paper.
    LOL. Yep. Happens to me all the time.

    So, here's what I've come up with.

    There seem to be a couple different schools of thought where power cable geometry is concerned. Since everything in my system is grounded, here are some options by way of construction I've found in my travels:

    1) Twist the neutral and hot together, spiral the ground around the perimeter
    2) Run the hot and neutral in parallel and twist the ground around the perimeter.
    3) Braid all three conductors together
    * There are also flavors of the above which include ferrites at one or both ends

    Remember, there are two needs:
    Power to the preamp and amplifier
    Power to the speakers

    I'm wondering if it might not be worth getting creative just for the exercise, and doing a hybrid configuration of different gagues (depending on whether they're for speaker or amps) thus:
    Twist one set of Neutral and Hot
    Twist one set of Hot and Ground
    Twist one set of Ground and Neutral
    Braid all three, sleeve, terminate according to corresponding leg (recombine at both ends)

    Just thinking out loud and looking for opinions - except from RCHeliguy. ;-)
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    a] From Bill Whitlock. Twist the Hot & Neutral together, with the Safety Ground in close proximity. But this should be all the way back to the main breaker panel.

    b] The shorter the cord length from hi-fi component to component the better. So start from a centrally located, very large outlet strip and use short cords.

    c] Ferrites are about RFI interference. Short power cords (it's about the Safety Ground) are for very low frequency Common Impedance Coupling noise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    a] From Bill Whitlock. Twist the Hot & Neutral together, with the Safety Ground in close proximity. But this should be all the way back to the main breaker panel.

    b] The shorter the cord length from hi-fi component to component the better. So start from a centrally located, very large outlet strip and use short cords.

    c] Ferrites are about RFI interference. Short power cords (it's about the Safety Ground) are for very low frequency Common Impedance Coupling noise.
    I'm not wiring back to the panel.

    I need 2' lengths for Amp and preamp
    I need 15' lengths for the speakers.

    How did the breaker box come into this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    I'm not wiring back to the panel.
    ...............................................
    How did the breaker box come into this? ........
    Any AC power discussion, should start at the main breaker panel.
    It's a series circuit, a little bit like a chain. Replacing a few links in a chain, doesn't make it any stronger.

    (and yes, I just over simplified things)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Any AC power discussion, should start at the main breaker panel.
    A 100 % correct statement. No if's and's or but's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Any AC power discussion, should start at the main breaker panel.
    It's a series circuit, a little bit like a chain. Replacing a few links in a chain, doesn't make it any stronger.

    (and yes, I just over simplified things)
    Quote Originally Posted by twich54 View Post
    A 100 % correct statement. No if's and's or but's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    But if the water is turbid up to the faucet, a filter clears out the sediment, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Any AC power discussion, should start at the main breaker panel.
    It's a series circuit, a little bit like a chain. Replacing a few links in a chain, doesn't make it any stronger.

    (and yes, I just over simplified things)

    Yes, true. But it also goes back further than the main breaker panel. You're making Mark's argument for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead
    But if the water is turbid up to the faucet, a filter clears out the sediment, no?
    No! Your analogies are not realistic, which indicates you are spending money, but don't understand what you are doing. A "filter on the tap" is actually doing something to change the water. You could liken that to a powerline regenerator (eg. PS Audio P3 or P5).

    A better analogy would be to say "If the water is turbid, installing a 99.99% pure silver tap (on the end of hundreds of kilometres of utility piping) will clear up the water". NO!, it won't. It will do diddly-squat to clear up your turbid water.

    I don't know. Sometimes I think audiophiles just like to fiddle ....... and in the absence of being able to fiddle with anything that might actually matter (like changing out op-amps, caps and the like [which would require intimate knowledge of circuit design, engineering principles and soldering skills] - heck, even changing the twiddly little power lead on the inside of the amplifier might do something worthwhile; or improving the power supply back to your utility), they prefer to just swap out what they can see or what is easy, and pretend it makes a difference.

    Whatever you want to spend/waste your money on........Chunky power cables look cool and look serious (heck, even I'll admit that - so for some, maybe there's your value right there), and any "Joe-Bloe" can connect one up in 2 minutes flat without the risk of damaging anything due to their lack of electrical knowledge. That's a heck of a lot easier than changing the caps inside your amp (which, incidentally, do a hell of a lot more to constrain current to your amplification devices than any cheap power cable, no matter how flawed it might be!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by amey01 View Post
    No! Your analogies are not realistic, which indicates you are spending money, but don't understand what you are doing. A "filter on the tap" is actually doing something to change the water. You could liken that to a powerline regenerator (eg. PS Audio P3 or P5).
    This is what happens when a thread runs too long and extraneous posts (I'll leave the names out of it) muddy the water.

    I have a Powermax conditioner. So at least to a degree, the ill effects of 'dirty' power are filtered, or so my comprehension goes.

    Assuming that power cords can affect performance by induction and RF noise, the question is what happens after the power conditioner, and also in the case of ML's, from the wall socket (or in my case, the conditioner) to the speaker transformer. Do we not want to mitigate any additional interference?

    I'm looking for a DIY solution because if (yes, I did in fact say IF) a re-designed power cord that cancels or minimizes induction and RF noise makes a difference, I would be looking to economize and make my own.

    That gets me back to the question of geometry, per above. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right There seem to be different schools of thought on construction, and I was hoping to seek in put from those of you who are in the school of thought that power cables can and do make a difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    This is what happens when a thread runs too long and extraneous posts (I'll leave the names out of it) muddy the water.

    I have a Powermax conditioner. So at least to a degree, the ill effects of 'dirty' power are filtered, or so my comprehension goes.

    Assuming that power cords can affect performance by induction and RF noise, the question is what happens after the power conditioner, and also in the case of ML's, from the wall socket (or in my case, the conditioner) to the speaker transformer. Do we not want to mitigate any additional interference?

    I'm looking for a DIY solution because if (yes, I did in fact say IF) a re-designed power cord that cancels or minimizes induction and RF noise makes a difference, I would be looking to economize and make my own.



    That gets me back to the question of geometry, per above. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right There seem to be different schools of thought on construction, and I was hoping to seek in put from those of you who are in the school of thought that power cables can and do make a difference.

    Power cords are the ones that make the most difference hands down. Also proper grounding comes in as a close 2nd. I replied a couple of pages back that was the the real truth take a look or stop by For a demo
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    If an audio device's power supply successfully converts AC -> DC, successfully filters out whatever kind of noise is prone to occurring on any of its inputs and is spec'd to provide the circuits that follow with the required DC power, then its job is complete.

    Power cords and conditioners that claim to improve the sound of audio components - by filtering and improving the input power - presuppose that the audio device’s power supply implementation is not optimal such that an aftermarket device is needed in order to do the job proper. This is, by definition, the fault of the guy who designed, what is, an inadequate power supply.

    I would be very surprised if it is the case that many products do not filter properly, at least at the caliber and level of device quality many in this hobby are using. Keeping in mind that the primary reason for device costing, at such performance level, is the quality of the power supply employed.

    Power supply design is mature technology which has long been understood and is fundamentally basic. 1st year EE study. It’s not rocket science to design a power supply that provides medical/lab grade voltage from even the worst sources …. at least when it comes to linear supplies. Switch-mode designs, because they are much more complex than linear designs, seem to suffer from wide variances in performance but, need not.

    Again, if either implementation truly suffers from noise related issues, it’s a design issue (or its faulty) and its inclusion in one’s audio device choice should be seriously questioned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pneumonic View Post
    Again, if either implementation truly suffers from noise related issues, it’s a design issue (or its faulty) and its inclusion in one’s audio device choice should be seriously questioned.
    Well said. I don’t doubt that power supplies in our audio equipment are imperfect – of course they are. And that means that they can indeed benefit from power regeneration and the like.

    What is more important (I keep saying) is that the power supply (and other components for that matter) in most equipment is commensurate with the cost and design principles of the equipment.

    All equipment contains compromises, and the engineers go to extreme lengths to get the mix/compromise right at any given price point. This is precisely what you are paying them to do when you purchase equipment!! Anyone can design and build a theoretically perfect amplifier - but one which is practical and at a specific price point is another matter.

    If you believe your equipment’s set of compromises is wrong (indicated for instance, by your need to keep your amplifier, but add a power regenerator) then that is YOUR fault for choosing equipment with the wrong set of compromises when you auditioned.

    If you have the money for the amplifier and power regenerator, I challenge anyone where this configuration will give better sound than simply spending the combined cost on a better amplifier.

    DIYers and people who genuinely understand electric circuit engineering excluded, as, obviously, using your own labour delivers the most bang-for-buck around. (Presuming, of course, you know what you’re doing).
    Last edited by amey01; 02-12-2018 at 02:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by amey01 View Post
    Well said. I don’t doubt that power supplies in our audio equipment are imperfect – of course they are. And that means that they can indeed benefit from power regeneration and the like.

    What is more important (I keep saying) is that the power supply (and other components for that matter) in most equipment is commensurate with the cost and design principles of the equipment.

    All equipment contains compromises, and the engineers go to extreme lengths to get the mix/compromise right at any given price point. This is precisely what you are paying them to do when you purchase equipment!! Anyone can design and build a theoretically perfect amplifier - but one which is practical and at a specific price point is another matter.

    If you believe your equipment’s set of compromises is wrong (indicated for instance, by your need to keep your amplifier, but add a power regenerator) then that is YOUR fault for choosing equipment with the wrong set of compromises when you auditioned.

    If you have the money for the amplifier and power regenerator, I challenge anyone where this configuration will give better sound than simply spending the combined cost on a better amplifier.

    DIYers and people who genuinely understand electric circuit engineering excluded, as, obviously, using your own labour delivers the most bang-for-buck around. (Presuming, of course, you know what you’re doing).
    Of course, designers cut corners all of the time to meet minimum spec but, we are talking audiophile moniker objectives here. In a hobby where the rationalization for added gear cost is almost always tied to improved power supply performance, if a simple power cord/conditioner “conditions” something that the power supply is supposed to already be doing, then I'd be on the phone, el pronto, to the audio device's designer, asking why.
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