ML uses inadequate power cables?

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Big Dog RJ

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All valid points, without a doubt.

The thing is, there's so much of voodoo & mumbo jumbo going on, it's sometimes a real joke as pointed out, especially when you analyse the science behind it...

However, the other mind boggling thing is, if and when you do get a chance to actually try one of these very cables or accessories by Nordost and realise the difference it makes, that voodoo mumbo jumbo goes straight through the roof!

I'm not really sure what on earth they do or any of those other crazy gizmos like Center Stage isolation feet, Still Points, Master Built series etc , that take about two weeks or so to sound right...uh? Whatever these items are, the materials they use and however much we criticise, by golly are these things something else! I was never a believer until I actually tried them out myself.

Now they've gone several steps further from QX series to Q-points, to Q-Kores and highly specialised grounding systems that cost a pretty penny but they do extraordinary things, and It's just awe-inspiring!

We can experiment with blind tests, demos and home trials, which is the ultimate test. We can highly criticise their methods, and ridicule their techniques but at the end we can choose to use their products or not, simple as that!

Those who do use their products and I mean the very top Supreme reference series, all I can say is, enjoy those very fine tunes!

As for me, I've used numerous brands from over 100s of suppliers- Cord, Audio Quest, Audio Note, Cardas, Van Den Hull, MIT, Kimber, Shunyata, Audience, Crystal and so on... I'm now able to afford only the second in their line up of their Norse series, and I'm extremely happy with the results. I was considering the next level stuff, Valhalla's but I guess that's too rich for my blood. Perhaps another opportunity in the distant future.

The Nordost gear used in combination with ML stats or other high quality gear, is by far one of the most extraordinary performance levels you can ever experience, if you can afford it or get the chance. There are equally good brands that are just as pricey and claim to be all sorts of ultimate things...
You can certainly choose not to use them! There are far more choices at very reasonable prices that provide very good quality, such as DH Labs, Audio Quest, Cardas, and Blue Jeans cables, plus a host of others, the choices are endless!

However, at this stage and at this point in my particular system, it's very important in getting that synergy with all those elements right, and there's no other cable I'd rather use, other than Nordost. After all, It's all about making the connection!

Go with what you can afford and what elevates your systems performance to the highest level. Once you've reached that particular threshold, just sit back and enjoy those fine tunes!

Cheers, RJ
 

rpokuls

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They said it themselves - the power cable is adding distortion!

So, by the manufacturers own pseudo-technical words, the power cable is either:

* Somehow changing the very definition of the word "hertz" by increasing 50Hz beyond 50 cycles a second
or;
* Adding distortion to what should be a pure sinewave
Rise time is typically a spec associated with square waves with an "ideal" square wave having a rise time of 0 secs. Engineers do not
talk about "rise times" when speaking about sine waves!

Sine waves have no rise time. The time from -ve voltage to +ve voltage is determined by the frequency of the sine wave as mentioned
in the previous post. It's not really a "rise time". As the previous poster says, to change this, one would need to change the frequency.

By talking about rise times, Nordost seems to imply that square waves with "fast rise times" (i.e. 0 sec) are the ideal goal for driving amplifiers
since they brag about "resulting in a faster rise time in the 50/60 Hz cycle"

Yeah, ok .......... That'll work just fine.

Just an astonishing lack of electrical engineering knowledge. It one thing to talk about EMI and RFI. Quite another to mix up the concepts of "rise time"
and ""frequency" to feed electrical systems that are designed to use pure 50/60 Hz sine waves.
 

amey01

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Just an astonishing lack of electrical engineering knowledge.

Astonishing.....yes. To the point where I'd even be concerned if it was safe.

Also; I'm pleased I don't have any speaker cables or interconnects (or any areas where cables do make a difference) from companies who clearly don't even understand the basics.
 
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Brandon Hartwick

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Another thing worth raising and considering.

NOTE: I am taking these comments from the manufacturers themselves. Again, this quote is from Nordost - one of the most expensive and coveted power cable manufacturers in the world. Therefore, ostensibly one of the ones who best understands the improvement power cable can make:



Now, how on earth can a power cable make a "faster" 50 or 60 Hz cycle? The 50Hz cycle is by definition 50Hz - it can't be sped up or slowed down, least not by a friggin' power cable!

This is an absolute contradiction in the basic definition of 50Hz!!! You can't make a faster 50Hz! Or a slower 50Hz for that matter.

Now, they do mention "rise time".......so is it speeding up the rise time, and commensurately slowing down the slew/decay time so that the cycle still equals 50Hz? If so, I know what that is called.........distortion!

What should be a pure sinewave is no longer a pure sinewave.

They said it themselves - the power cable is adding distortion!

So, by the manufacturers own pseudo-technical words, the power cable is either:

* Somehow changing the very definition of the word "hertz" by increasing 50Hz beyond 50 cycles a second
or;
* Adding distortion to what should be a pure sinewave

Given the prevaricating ambiguity of the inane technobabble, it is hard to ascertain what this power cable that costs more than a small house is doing.

Mind you - ML speakers don't work when the presented line frequency does not match specification (either 50 or 60 Hz)........so if this power cable really is doing what the manufacturer is explicitly saying it is doing (presenting a faster 50Hz), it should be pretty damn easy to test - ML speakers will not work when connected to this power cable!! What a joke.
Isn't it funny that these fancy power cables are seen almost exclusively in audio? Interesting that I've never seen them in any professional measuring equipment.

I'm sure audio is just super duper special and science is just wrong.
 

Robert D

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Isn't it funny that these fancy power cables are seen almost exclusively in audio? Interesting that I've never seen them in any professional measuring equipment.

I'm sure audio is just super duper special and science is just wrong.
Is anyone on here a professional musician? Does your equipment use special power cables? What kind of speaker cable do you use for a concert? Just curious about this. Recording artists might have some knowledge to lend also.
 

amey01

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Isn't it funny that these fancy power cables are seen almost exclusively in audio? Interesting that I've never seen them in any professional measuring equipment.

I'm sure audio is just super duper special and science is just wrong.
This is what I've always said when I hear someone saying these power cables (or USB cables for that matter) improve the sound of their music server. I'd love to be able to connect one of these cables to my non-music server while I'm doing my banking and get a bigger bank balance!
 

Big Dog RJ

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Ha! Good one maties, certainly some funny tunes ...

Yes, I agree there's so much snake oil in this industry and the way they convince most "audiophiles" is quite remarkable!
I've tried quite a number of gadgets myself, some were great and others not at all. In fact, some of them did quite the opposite! Yet, these items take center stage on TAS, Stereophile, and other well known media. I guess it's something like "a must have item," otherwise the system doesn't sound any good, and the higher you go up the chain, the more expensive it gets and so therefore should sound better ... not really!

I'm very cautious about these things now, and will take most of them on home trials. If it works, great! If not, the item/s are promptly returned. The other thing I've developed over the years is that if any particular dealer swears by some gizmo and is willing to lend it for a period of time to try out then I usually engage with that dealer.
OTOH, if they're not willing to offer home trials, this means a few things to me:
1. Their product is really not what they say.
2. They're not sure about their product.
3. They don't trust me.
4. Why should I spend my hard earned money here? And so I walk away...

I also understand that lending out is risky, and sometimes items go missing. However, if you come with a reference and is well known within the audio community then I don't see why it's an issue to lend out, especially when you have also paid some sort of deposit.

With this kind of principle, I was able to home trial a lot of gear, including amps from Dartzeel, Pass Labs, CH Precision, Gryphon, Boulder, VAC, Audio Note, Jadis, VTL, CJ and Manley Labs to name a few. Similarly, with cables, power cords and accessories, I've tried various types of gear and come to an understanding what's the most natural and neutral so far that matches well with the system.

This is pretty much a highly personal preference and so try to find the most suitable accessories you can afford that delivers the very best for your gear, that's all!

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

Robert D

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How about placebo effect? The only way I'd trust that a cable is better than another would be doing a blind test, or better yet a double blind. Not sure how you could do a double blind unless all of the tested cables looked the same or if the person switching the cables has no idea which ones are most expensive or supposed to sound better.

If something sounds better, then why can't that be measured with REW software and a microphone? If the sound is legitimately better, shouldn't that show up in measurements? If the graph from using two different cables is exactly the same, won't the music sound the same?
 

GW1800

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Big Dog spot on with Nordost. Most critics have either never tried their cables or products or have a system that is not up to the task. If you have given Nordost a fair shot fine but all this science to justify before listening is just static. If you listen you will hear the difference and as you move up the chain it’s makes a difference.
 

Russr

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Hopefully someone on here is deeply involved in the music industry and can weigh in here...

In a former lifetime I worked at an audio consulting/custom fabricator.

We had a great reputation, and used to service a bunch of equipment - mixing desks, reel-to-reel, amps, speakers, etc. - back in the days of mostly analog paths (a lot of AAD stuff, etc.).

We were almost the ONLY group in town that would generate response curves (using a really neat Neutrik curve generator/printer). Most of the studios were like "oh, thanks, that's a nice touch". I'd say the vast majority of studios out there are so wrapped around generating dollars per hour, they couldn't be bothered with anything less significant than a 50/60Hz hum coming through on final output!

Then, moving back up the food chain to live performances. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some folks who are INCREDIBLY anal about their set-up... and they take weeks to set up for a specific location (typically orchestral works in cathedrals and the like), but if anyone thinks that a bunch of hung-over roadies give a flying hoot about what power or signals cables are approaching perfection.... sorry, but wake up! Does the system (or stack they're working on) pass sound-check? Yes? Good.. .NEXT! Because of this, I've never understood ultimate tweaking. Get a nice system and listen to it. If you can afford trying something new every couple/few years, go for it. But let's remember where our music is coming from!

We also used to build custom speakers (wall-embedded line drivers, etc.) and amps to drive them. Yeup, we went to the extra trouble of using a contractor-sized roll of "pure copper, oxygen free" stuff for internal output and crossover wiring... probably a buck-a-foot... and that was WAY beyond what we say in almost every signle box (amp or speaker) we ever opened. We used to work on a huge spectrum (ha-ha) of stuff... Revox, Tascam, Fostex, Quad, Carver, GAS, Peavey, EV, KEF, Tannoy, Lowther, Klipschorns, etc. I took some fundamentals from my time there (always use decent, thick gauge speaker wire, power cables that are stiff enough you can't wrap them around your fingers, always get an amp with higher rating that your speaker).. and enjoy listening to your music!

Line up some good tunes, pour a nice drink, sit back, crank it up a bit and enjoy, folks!


p.s. I really do mean it - if there are folks with sound studio or "snake man" experience out there that would underscore the need for $1,500+ power cables.. .PLEASE speak up!
 

amey01

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Line up some good tunes, pour a nice drink, sit back, crank it up a bit and enjoy, folks!

I find a "nice drink" does more for the sound of my system than any damn snake-oil tweak, haha .

What's more - at least with the drink there is cogent science behind its method of operation!, haha.


msimanyi said:
If you don’t appreciate “better” cables, don’t spend your money on them. If you do, go for it.

Problem is.........some people don't do that - they ask for the opinions of others.......and it starts threads like this.
 

JonFo

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This is what I've always said when I hear someone saying these power cables (or USB cables for that matter) improve the sound of their music server. I'd love to be able to connect one of these cables to my non-music server while I'm doing my banking and get a bigger bank balance!
Exactly!

And as a networking guy, the ones that drive me bonkers are the 'special' Ethernet cables and switches that 'improve' your audio.

Now, a bad switch can impact timing (induce Jitter, mistakenly handle DSCP, etc.), and that might have an impact if the stream is raw LPCM and either end is not using sufficient buffering. But for a FLAC file being read by a player? No way even a really crappy switch can affect that.

I'll not mention the brand, but a well-known global networking company sells a 5 and 8-port switch whose QoS implementation is borked beyond belief. It handles DSCP (the QoS marks on ethernet packets) incorrectly.
In DSCP, the class of service is as follows (truncated for brevity) in order of low to higher priority:
Bulk Traffic (file transfers, PtP, backups, etc.) is marked as CS1
Best Effort Traffic (web browsing, email) is marked as CS0
Higher priority tiers are CS2, CS3, CS4, etc.

Well, these switches use the numeric value for priority, so CS0 is the lowest, CS1 is the next highest, etc. This means bulk flows will precede best effort (which is the majority of traffic), and thus make the user experience worse.
Thankfully, not many apps self-mark packets as CS1, but when they do, owners of those switches have problems on their networks.

So like with many things, there is good and bad equipment. Luckily in the networking world, the majority of the basic stuff is good enough.

Routers are a different beast, and there are good and bad ones. A good one will ensure that your online streaming flows are consistent and not affected by a large volume of cross-traffic.

So from an Audio perspective, if you depend on Apple Music or Tidal for your tunes, and you have frequent drops, there are fixes out there. First, is do not use WiFi, the other is get a better router if your line suffers from BufferBloat.

My rig is: Cable Modem <-->IQrouter Pro<- 3x TP-link Omada managed switches -> TP-link Omada managed WiFi (3x EAP225v3 + 1 OC200)

That allows streaming 4K video, Apple Music, etc. on wired and wireless devices with zero buffering or drops, no matter what else is going on on the network.
 

rpokuls

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I find a "nice drink" does more for the sound of my system than any damn snake-oil tweak, haha .

What's more - at least with the drink there is cogent science behind its method of operation!, haha.




Problem is.........some people don't do that - they ask for the opinions of others.......and it starts threads like this.
Depending on my mood and/or level of inebriation, the same track of music on the same CD can sound different from listening session to listening session.

I suffer from "Sound System Hypochondria" where I think that sometimes my system doesn't "sound as good anymore" because of a) hearing loss, or b) speaker degradation or c) deterioration of capacitors in the amplifier, or etc etc ...

But then magically, a few days later, the system sounds amazing again. Best thing I've ever heard!

All that to say that for many people, I think that there is a fair bit of subjectivity in the whole process.
 

Russr

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I suffer from "Sound System Hypochondria" where I think that sometimes my system doesn't "sound as good anymore" because of a) hearing loss, or b) speaker degradation or c) deterioration of capacitors in the amplifier, or etc etc ...
I "hear you" on that, and used to go thru' similar swings... then I had a kid (well, technically the ex-wife did!), and all my "preferences" OCD'isms and analities frikkin' evaporated! I had a mother-in-law who would sweep the rugs (instead of hepa-filtered vaccum) all around my ESLs, feed our kid wherever he was crawling on the floor, etc. Knocked some of my "corners" off real quick... (BUT I did mention "EX-wife, right?!).

Most recently, I've unplugged my ESLs (SL3s, Stage, Aerius i's), and dug my old KEF RDMs out of storage.. was baby-sitting a big ol' dog (Cane Corso) and a cat for the past 8 months.. dog's gone (along with ex-girlfriend (hey, is there a pattern evolving here!), but the hair remains! Everywhere. So, yeah, my listening pleasure currently involves my sitting with my 7-year old (yeah, I started pretty late in life), having him change CDs, etc., and see what music he likes, as we listen to a set of KEF RDM2's wih "leaky" tweeters... ce la vie! But I tell you what, it's getting the biggest smiles out of me I've EVER had while listening to music!

Oh, sorry... ... uhm.. back on-track... and I'm using Monster M-series bi-wire cables I bought on eBay for 25c on the dollar (phew! Had to get the topic back on track!). Fed by a Panasonic Bluray, through an Anthem AVM50v and Bryston 4BST. With no isolation stuff, sorry!
 

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Internally Martin Logan just used plain 14 gauge wire on the IEC socket, they actually use the same stuff on almost everything inside the speaker. I'm also very sceptical that putting expensive cables on that little class D chip amp is going to do anything, especially when it only plays like 300hz and below.

I wouldn't overthink it.
View attachment 23143
When you're done looking at that, consider the other end: probably standard Romex 14 or 12 gauge, to your service box. Possibly BX, which would be effectively shielded, but still regular copper, not 99.9...% oxygen free.
 

Leporello

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"Higher quality power cords, available from your audio dealer, are recommended. A variety of power cords are available whose manufacturers claim better performance than standard power cords. The effect of power cords may be masked if your associated equipment is not of the highest quality."

That's from page 1 of my Expression owner's manual.
"Are recommended". Passive voice. I'm sure they're recommended by some, including said dealers.
 

Leporello

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You're right, some of us got distracted from the main question and I didn't mean to imply you were "one of those people obsessing over AC cords". I think we can read between the lines on ML's recommendation. If in doubt one could ask ML, okay then what cords did you use to voice the speakers and publish the specs? But I think you know the answer.

Same goes for electronic products (not speakers) claiming that hundreds of hours of break-in are needed for optimum performance. It is mind blowing to read some professional reviews that claim an amp was "unlistenable" such that they had to close the door and leave the house when it was brand new. Did the designer wait 300 hours before determining the final "voice" of the amp? Why would they design something that is so finnicky that it is likely to put off anyone that auditions it at home or in a showroom?
If someone claimed an amp required break-in for the electrolytic capacitors to form, or something like that, I'd at least listen. But anyone who claims something goes from unlistenable to listenable with break-in is unquestionably blowing smoke out of his posterior.
 

Leporello

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Basically, the only new principle involved is that instead of power being generated by the relative motion of conductors and fluxes, it’s produced by the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive diractance.
"Diractance" could be the effect of magnetic monopoles, which Dirac was the first to hypothesize the possible existence of.
 
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