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Aftermarket Powercords for Martin Logans

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MOON

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I want to purchase powercords in the future for my newly aquired Oddessey's (purchased last weekend ) Could you tell me the ones you had success with on your logans.
It has been suggested to me to use Foundation Research LC 1's with the conditioner built in the cord. Also do you think the LC 1's on a direct line would be better than powercords to a conditioner. Thanks in advance. Love the sound of the Oddessey's and just want to make it that much better.

I had also heard the ones BC 68 powercords made by Blue circle with the conditioner built into the cord were good as well.
 
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jtwrace

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Blue Circle BC68

Hello,

I am going to use the Bluce Circle product with my Summits. Gilbert the owner of Blue Circle is a huge ML fan. He owns Statements among other ML speakers. Bryan @ homeaudioconnection.com is great. He also is able to give the best pricing.
Let me know what you think...
 

Jeff Zaret

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A loaded question to be sure. I would see if you can audition a couple different ones to see which one you like best. Cost vs performance is one thing to be considered.
There are many different cables and there are some of use which have them and some who do not. I think it is a matter of taste, money and what you are loking for to get to the desired results.

Jeff Cool
 

theWB

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MOON said:
I want to purchase powercords in the future for my newly aquired Oddessey's (purchased last weekend ) Could you tell me the ones you had success with on your logans.
It has been suggested to me to use Foundation Research LC 1's with the conditioner built in the cord. Also do you think the LC 1's on a direct line would be better than powercords to a conditioner. Thanks in advance. Love the sound of the Oddessey's and just want to make it that much better.

I had also heard the ones BC 68 powercords made by Blue circle with the conditioner built into the cord were good as well.
Moon, welcome aboard. I use Zu Cable "Birth" power cords.They retail for $149,but they run a special every week on Ebay.I picked each one for under $65.00.You can only get one at a time so it will take 2 weeks to get them both,delivery is very quick.minimum reserve is $55.00,if your lucky you can get them both for under $60.00 a piece
http://cgi.ebay.com/Zu-Cable-Birth-...ryZ32833QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

MOON

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Hi JTW,

I have heard a pair of Ascent i's with the BC 68 cords at Gilberts display at the Montreal audio show, a sheer joy to listen to.

Jeff, the wiring in my system is Cardas golden ref balanced ic's and golden cross bi wire to the Oddessey's. Running a MOON W-5 amp, P-5 pre and the evolution series supernova cdp. Maybe this will help in your suggestions. The BC cord would probably be a very good fit.

I know it's a tough question, thanks to all so far.
 

sleepysurf

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At the risk of starting a flame war (not my intention), I think there is an archived post in the forum where Jim Powers (ML Service Director) reportedly said that after-market power cords are NOT neccessary, nor recommended, as the A/C power is used only to maintain the Stat panel charge (trickle charge only). In fact, you can UNPLUG the speakers while they are playing, and see for yourself that it takes quite some time for the panels to discharge.

Of course, the ice-powered Summits and Vantages are entirely different beasts, and I don't know if/how that adage applies.
 

Craig

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In fact, you can UNPLUG the speakers while they are playing, and see for yourself that it takes quite some time for the panels to discharge.
It's true.
 

Cherian

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I will say if you like the way something (ie. Power conditiner or power cord) makes your system sound then by all means use it.

I will also say what good are expensive power cords when what you have plugged into is 100s of feet of 14 gauge Romex? Use a good power conditioner to protect your investment. If it improves the sound bonus.
 

Reverb

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sleepysurf said:
In fact, you can UNPLUG the speakers while they are playing, and see for yourself that it takes quite some time for the panels to discharge.
I have tried it; my ascents kept playing for about 20 minutes.


I am running Ps Audio Xstream statement power cords on my Logan’s and love them. Ps Audio has an entry level power cord they call the power punch, prices start at $50.00.
 

enilsen

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sleepysurf said:
At the risk of starting a flame war (not my intention), I think there is an archived post in the forum where Jim Powers (ML Service Director) reportedly said that after-market power cords are NOT neccessary, nor recommended, as the A/C power is used only to maintain the Stat panel charge (trickle charge only). In fact, you can UNPLUG the speakers while they are playing, and see for yourself that it takes quite some time for the panels to discharge.

Of course, the ice-powered Summits and Vantages are entirely different beasts, and I don't know if/how that adage applies.
If I felt the need to go to such lengths as using special power cords for the speakers I would probably modify them to run of a battery instead. The modification would eliminate all questions about power outlets and conditioning. The fact that these speakers only need a trickle charge of DC current makes this a viable solution.
 

Audioseduction

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Zip3kx07 said:
I have tried it; my ascents kept playing for about 20 minutes.


I am running Ps Audio Xstream statement power cords on my Logan’s and love them. Ps Audio has an entry level power cord they call the power punch, prices start at $50.00.
This guy has great prices on PS Audio PC's I have purchased several from him. Even a pair for my Aeon i's.

Underwoodwally
Underwood Hifi
770-667-5633
 
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Peter Hogan

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enilsen said:
If I felt the need to go to such lengths as using special power cords for the speakers I would probably modify them to run of a battery instead. The modification would eliminate all questions about power outlets and conditioning. The fact that these speakers only need a trickle charge of DC current makes this a viable solution.
However, the DC charge on the diaphragm is in the thousands of volts range. Obtaining a battery of this voltage would probably not be a viable solution. Of course you could always make your own...a couple HUNDRED 9 volt batteries wired in series should get you in the general voltage range needed. If you figure the cost of the 9 volt batteries at $2 each, that's about $400-600 worth of batteries every time they need replacing...as I said, could be done, but not really a viable solution.

Another thing to consider, a fresh 9 volt battery will put out several hundred milliamps of current when demanded. If you stacked enough of them together to have several thousand volts, you now have a power supply that is EASILY capable of delivering a lethal shock...once again, not a viable solution.

Peter
 
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giomania

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Make your own power cords

Why not consider making your own power cords? You just need to buy good straight-blade plugs (Hubbell or Pass & Seymour) and good IEC connectors (Schurter?). If you can strip wire and use a screwdriver, you can make your own power cords.

IMHO, most of the "loss" from power cords comes from the inferior straight blade and IEC connectors used. If you really want to improve the sound, consider adding a balanced power A/C line conditioner (EquiTech) to your system. Check out their web site for explanations about the benefits of balanced power.

Mark
 

Jeff Zaret

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Moon,
All the suggestions are very good that have been presented, Having good equipment always helps but it is always subject to the environment it is in.

I think the underlying issues here are a few items. What no one here knows and you are probably the only one who cares and really needs to know is how "clean" is the power presented to your audio system including your speakers. This, to me, is really the determining factor on whether you use after market power cords or not. Lets say your power and I mean AC power (noise included) to your equipment, is real clean, which is unlikely unless you are already filtering or cleaning it somewhere before, then using an after market power cord will not provide you with enough cost effective value versus improvement. This is of course a judgment call and sometimes a perceived improvement.

If you are like most of us, the power is noisy at some level whether it is in the line itself coming in the from the street or getting "transmitted" across the lines within the house from other devices in the house such as a refrigerator, washing machine, wall air conditioner, etc. Getting some type of line filter, line stabilizer, regenerators, line cleaners or any combination/variation of this will also help/improve your "sound" but again only to a point. After market power cords do help in situations where there is noise, interference or whatever you want to call it. They will act as pseudo filtering devices in this function and will appear to improve your sound. A combination of any or all of the above can be an improvement but again how much is really needed and at what cost is your call.
The level of improvement usually appears in more "black", quieter noise floor or the "appearance" of greater dynamic changes from low to high. This is not sound levels but the overall presence within the tonal swings and lack of noise or cleanliness within the sound. The most important thing here is to realize these "differences" are subtle at best and very rarely anything else.

You are the only one who can decide how much needs to be done and when you hit the wall of diminishing returns. This is where spending more money will not provide enough of a improved "value" in sound reproduction or reduction of noise level. Which product you buy is a preference based on locality, availability and a certain amount of personal taste.

I do not think you can go wrong with any of the suggestions. Personally, I have some after market power cords and also some which I have made. Can I tell the difference, well, yes, but only a very slight difference between a $350.00 power cord and one I made for about $50.00.


Good Luck and let us know :D


Jeff :cool:
 

Bimotarich

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Snake oil

I truly doubt you will hear any difference regaurdless of the power cord used. In blind tests I have yet to meet anyone who could tell the difference in sound due to just a power cord swap on a ML. But hey to each his own! Beware snake oil and psychological traps! Listen to reason! Listen to the music! Save your cash for more reasonable uses like room treatments or more music!
 

enilsen

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Peter Hogan said:
However, the DC charge on the diaphragm is in the thousands of volts range. Obtaining a battery of this voltage would probably not be a viable solution. Of course you could always make your own...a couple HUNDRED 9 volt batteries wired in series should get you in the general voltage range needed. If you figure the cost of the 9 volt batteries at $2 each, that's about $400-600 worth of batteries every time they need replacing...as I said, could be done, but not really a viable solution.

Another thing to consider, a fresh 9 volt battery will put out several hundred milliamps of current when demanded. If you stacked enough of them together to have several thousand volts, you now have a power supply that is EASILY capable of delivering a lethal shock...once again, not a viable solution.

Peter
I don't want to get off topic here, but batteries are quite commonly used to generate high voltages. The flash on a camera is usually created by a small battery and multiplying its voltage.

Our speakers have a small transformer that takes the current from the wall outlet and converts this to a DC voltage which is then multiplied to a high bias current to charge the diaphragm.

The purpose of substituting the battery vs. the small transformer would be considered a tweak for those who felt the need to eliminate problems associated with power cables and the wall outlet current.

An alternative to this tweak would be to get a small UPS (battery backup and line conditioner) to supply an uninterrupted wall outlet current. Guaranteed to exceed any power cord claims and peace of mind at the same time. Besides this is probably the cheapest solution for those who have a concern about the quality of the electricity supplied.

What I find interesting here is that the diaphragm in theory is a large battery storing current for many hours after the speakers have been disconnected from the wall outlet. I'm puzzled how anyone can hear how this large diaphragm (with stored energy) is influenced by different power cords. If it is due to a drop in current or brown outs then a UPS is the only substitute here.
 

Peter Hogan

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enilsen said:
I don't want to get off topic here, but batteries are quite commonly used to generate high voltages. The flash on a camera is usually created by a small battery and multiplying its voltage.

Our speakers have a small transformer that takes the current from the wall outlet and converts this to a DC voltage which is then multiplied to a high bias current to charge the diaphragm.

The purpose of substituting the battery vs. the small transformer would be considered a tweak for those who felt the need to eliminate problems associated with power cables and the wall outlet current.

An alternative to this tweak would be to get a small UPS (battery backup and line conditioner) to supply an uninterrupted wall outlet current. Guaranteed to exceed any power cord claims and peace of mind at the same time. Besides this is probably the cheapest solution for those who have a concern about the quality of the electricity supplied.

What I find interesting here is that the diaphragm in theory is a large battery storing current for many hours after the speakers have been disconnected from the wall outlet. I'm puzzled how anyone can hear how this large diaphragm (with stored energy) is influenced by different power cords. If it is due to a drop in current or brown outs then a UPS is the only substitute here.
The way low voltage batteries generate high voltages is by switching the battery DC on and off to make AC, then sending that AC through a trasnsformer to step up the voltage. Finally you take the high voltage AC, and recitify it back to a high voltage DC.

The stock ML setup takes the AC wall power, steps the voltage up with a transformer, and then uses a diode/capacitor 'ladder' or multiplier circuit to rectify and multiply the high voltage to it's final value. You can read more about the circuit here: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electronic/voldoub.html

Even if you used the battery method, you'd still need a transformer to increase the voltage, you wouldn't get rid of it.

I'm not sure if a UPS would be the way to go either. Most UPS's designed for home use do not generate a pure sinewave for the AC power output, it's more of a stepped approximation of one...some really cheap ones actually output a square wave! This would likely be worse, noise-wise, than the regular AC power from the wall.

The speaker diaphragm resembles a capacitor, rather than a battery. As a capacitor, it will indeed store a high voltage charge for quite some time after it is unplugged. The capacitance of the panel is also why the impedance of ML speakers is so low at high frequencies, the impedance across the panel keeps going down as the frequency rises.

I agree with you about the effectivness (or lack thereof) of aftermarket power cords. Once the panel is charged, the only current the cord carries is a VERY small trickle, only as much as needed to make up for what charge bleeds off the panel, i.e. very close to zero. This does not apply to the new speakers that have built in amps (Summit, Vantage), those models might see an improvement...:)

Peter
 

twich54

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Bimotarich said:
I truly doubt you will hear any difference regaurdless of the power cord used. In blind tests I have yet to meet anyone who could tell the difference in sound due to just a power cord swap on a ML. But hey to each his own! Beware snake oil and psychological traps! Listen to reason! Listen to the music! Save your cash for more reasonable uses like room treatments or more music!

Agreed.......110% !!
 

enilsen

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Peter Hogan said:
Even if you used the battery method, you'd still need a transformer to increase the voltage, you wouldn't get rid of it.
Well that might apply to the old school, but there are many devices that use transformer-less voltage multipliers. MOSFET's typically used in a push-pull design can produce an AC current needed for this purpose.

The idea of removing the transformer and power cord is to substitute this technology with a solid-state design. Nothing too complicated and maybe arguably more stable in providing the ideal bias voltage. To my knowledge I don't no if there is any voltage regulator built into the ML's so if we want to be picky here we could lose a few hundred volts in the diaphragm if the house current was to drop for what ever reason. If this is true then I suspect you could hear a difference.

BTW. You are correct in referring to the diaphragm as a large capacitor, but I like to think of it as a battery when it's designed to store energy. :p
 

Peter Hogan

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enilsen said:
Well that might apply to the old school, but there are many devices that use transformer-less voltage multipliers. MOSFET's typically used in a push-pull design can produce an AC current needed for this purpose.

The idea of removing the transformer and power cord is to substitute this technology with a solid-state design. Nothing too complicated and maybe arguably more stable in providing the ideal bias voltage. To my knowledge I don't no if there is any voltage regulator built into the ML's so if we want to be picky here we could lose a few hundred volts in the diaphragm if the house current was to drop for what ever reason. If this is true then I suspect you could hear a difference.

BTW. You are correct in referring to the diaphragm as a large capacitor, but I like to think of it as a battery when it's designed to store energy. :p
If you remove the transformer, the only way to step up the voltage is with the 'ladder' or multiplier circuit I referred to in my previous post. This works acceptably for low multiples (say 4 to 6 times voltage multiplication), but they become very ineffecient at the 100+ multiplication that would be needed for the high voltage supply. I don't see what your objection to a transformer is.

There is no regulator built into the ML high voltage bias supply. There are filter capacitors, and the charge on the panel is a static charge (other than what bleeds away due to less than perfect insulation on the panel), so no regulation is really needed. You can unplug the speakers and they will continue to play just fine for several minutes. The charge on the speaker will diminish over that time, as the capacitors slowly discharge. This has the effect of slowly reducing the electrostatic drive, so they will become less efficient, the same as if you slowly decreased the magnet strength of a dynamic speaker.

A capacitor will store energy, just not chemically, the way a battery does. As a matter of fact, there is a new generation of super-capacitors that are being developed to power electric cars. They have a higher energy density than batteries, they have an unlimited number of charge/discharge cycles (unlike batteries), and they can be charged much quicker than a battery. You can read more here:
http://ene.web.psi.ch/Annex5_PDF/Electrochemistry/074_075.pdf

Peter
 
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