Upgrade of AC Power Cables

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

rpokuls

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
7
Location
Syracuse, NY
I have a friend who wants me to upgrade the power cables to my amplifier and my ML Montis'. He says it will result in an improvement in sound.

I'm curious as to how that could be. No audio is carried by the power cables. I'm pretty sure that the AC wiring in my house is absolute crap so I don't see how having the last 2 feet of cable being replaced by a $1000 cable will make any difference. Pretty sure that the manufacturer of my amp spent a lot of time and trouble designing a good power supply for his circuit that would filter out any garbage coming in on the 60 Hz mains.

I'm keeping an open mind about this, so can anybody give me a good case for upgrading?

I have just recently come back to the audiophile world after being absent for 25 years so excuse my possibly naive question.
 

twich54

Forum Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
6,729
Reaction score
114
Location
SE Pa
OMG ...........another 'cable debacle' !

You're gonna get a myriad of replies so here's the skinny, try it for yourself and you be the judge.

Myself cable changing to your Montis is a complete waste of money, as for your amp, solid, clean electromechanical connection with cable gauge sufficient to carrying the required load will suffice for both applications.

Personally I'm willing to bet more people worry about cable and wire BS before addressing other more important concerns with their kit....... room acoustics, etc.

Oh, as for the audiophile world ....... there are a lot of 'audio fools' that reside within !
 

rpokuls

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
7
Location
Syracuse, NY
Thank you for your reply.

LOL, I'm not trying to start any trouble here. Just honestly seeking information.

Personally, I don't see how power cable could have any meaningful impact on sound quality. But I could be wrong!

As I said, I left the audio world 25 (actually 27) years ago, and boy things have changed.
 

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
5,119
Reaction score
71
Location
Queensland, Australia
I'm willing to bet more people worry about cable and wire BS before addressing other more important concerns with their kit....... room acoustics, etc.
This sums it up perfectly. Spend your time and effort and money on "real" upgrades.

Personally, I don't see how power cable could have any meaningful impact on sound quality.
You'd be right.

But I could be wrong!
You could be wrong. I could be wrong too. That said - what I know I'm not wrong about is that whatever time/effort you spend on power cables could be better spent on room acoustics / equipment upgrades / etc to better effect.

I'll tell you what.......if you're worried about the wire going to the speaker, open up your Montis up and have a look at the wire ML are using on the other side of that IEC port........Should be a pretty poignant indicator of how futile your power cable efforts are. :)
 
Last edited:

rpokuls

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
7
Location
Syracuse, NY
Ok, thanks for the reply.

I was going to ask about the effectiveness of harmonically energized stones that you tape to your speaker cables to tighten bass and widen the soundstage. But I don't think I will now :).
 

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,312
Reaction score
81
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
Hola. The explanation is quite simple. Power cables, can have filters (capacitors and RCL combination ) as Transparent does for unwanted dirt in the AC Mains. Also, thicker cable can improve bass energy. If you touch your AC cable from the wall and to the power amp´s socket and its warm, this means that there is some power energy loss that it is not getting to the power supply of the amp, and perhaps you are having some loss of energy there. A thicker wire will transmit all that energy to the power supply, and will not have loss of energy in heating the connectors. This will make the amp to have more energy to project and reproduce the heavy bass notes with outstanding clarity. Also, the 3D is improved too. Some might think that this benefit is not a big deal, others might like what they are listening. As I always say: sound is a matter of liking. You might like it or not.
Happy listening!
Roberto.
 

Bernard

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
4,458
Reaction score
10
Location
Ottawa, Canada
You very definitely have to try it yourself. But don't spend any money; borrow a set of cables from a dealer or fellow audiofool.

I initially took the approach that a number of others do, i.e. don't try it as it couldn't possibly make a difference, but read about the difference that a dedicated power conditioner can make to ML speakers, specifically, one made by Foundation Research. I managed to get a couple, used, at Canadian $300 each. At that price I figured I could just resell them if they didn't make a difference. I was astounded at the difference, top to bottom. It also made a huge difference with my DAC. So I now have three of the units. I'm looking for one more unit, for my preamp, but I first have to install an IEC connector as it has a hard-wired power cable.

Just do a search here on Foundation Research; I have posted my experience. The model you would need, since you have powered woofers, is the LC10, which is about CAD$800 each.
 

Speedskater

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
298
Reaction score
11
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Power line filters are big things, power cords are not filters.
Think of the power line as a chain stretching all the way back to the power company transformer down the street. Adding few heavy links to a chain does not make it stronger nor does added a short heavy power cord.

Not all power cords are good cords (I measured several in my spares box with a sensitive Ohm meter and some didn't measure what I expected). But all good power cords will sound the same.
 

Bernard

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
4,458
Reaction score
10
Location
Ottawa, Canada
I agree completely that power cords are not filters. I was just offering an alternative.

In theory, however, a power line filter should not make a difference to an electrostatic, since it just energizes the speaker. But it does. This is a totally different discussion, of course.
 
Last edited:

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,312
Reaction score
81
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
Power line filters are big things, power cords are not filters.
Think of the power line as a chain stretching all the way back to the power company transformer down the street. Adding few heavy links to a chain does not make it stronger nor does added a short heavy power cord.

Not all power cords are good cords (I measured several in my spares box with a sensitive Ohm meter and some didn't measure what I expected). But all good power cords will sound the same.
Sorry to disagree with you...as I said before, Transparent has a RLC built in circuit that filters noise...read their specifications, and tell me what is that thing right in the middle of the cable? http://www.transparentcable.com/products/category_intro.php?catID=5&modCAT=1
http://www.hifi-advice.com/transparent-filtering-info.html

http://emceupen.com/index.imw?cat=2&dbx=2

An electrical network is an interconnection of electrical components (e.g. batteries, resistors, inductors, capacitors, switches) or a model of such an interconnection, consisting of electrical elements (e.g. voltage sources, current sources, resistances, inductances, capacitances).

There are other power cable companies factories that use the same theory behind Transparent...so out there are AC power cables with filters built in...
Happy listening!
Roberto.
 
Last edited:

rpokuls

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
7
Location
Syracuse, NY
Sorry to disagree with you...as I said before, Transparent has a RLC built in circuit that filters noise...read their specifications, and tell me what is that thing right in the middle of the cable? http://www.transparentcable.com/products/category_intro.php?catID=5&modCAT=1
http://www.hifi-advice.com/transparent-filtering-info.html

http://emceupen.com/index.imw?cat=2&dbx=2

An electrical network is an interconnection of electrical components (e.g. batteries, resistors, inductors, capacitors, switches) or a model of such an interconnection, consisting of electrical elements (e.g. voltage sources, current sources, resistances, inductances, capacitances).

There are other power cable companies factories that use the same theory behind Transparent...so out there are AC power cables with filters built in...
Happy listening!
Roberto.
Yes but there is already filtering in the power supply. You have a transformer followed by a rectifier circuit and then a low pass filter. The rectifier in the amp is going to generate a lot of high frequency noise. More than anything that may be picked up by the power cable.

Sent from my LG-K425 using Tapatalk
 

rpokuls

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
7
Location
Syracuse, NY
Yes but there is already filtering in the power supply. You have a transformer followed by a rectifier circuit and then a low pass filter. The rectifier in the amp is going to generate a lot of high frequency noise. More than anything that may be picked up by the power cable.

Sent from my LG-K425 using Tapatalk
In any case, can someone point me to a review of power cables that has some electrical measurements?

Something like a before and after comparison.


Sent from my LG-K425 using Tapatalk
 

Gordon Gray

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
3,997
Reaction score
20
Location
Alto, NM
In any case, can someone point me to a review of power cables that has some electrical measurements?

Something like a before and after comparison.


Sent from my LG-K425 using Tapatalk
Shunyata Research
 

Speedskater

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
298
Reaction score
11
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Sorry to disagree with you...as I said before, Transparent has a RLC built in circuit that filters noise...read their specifications, and tell me what is that thing right in the middle of the cable?
The thing in the middle of the cable is a toy!

There are other power cable companies factories that use the same theory behind Transparent...so out there are AC power cables with filters built in...
Happy listening!
Roberto.
Who cares about filters in the radio frequency range? Effective power line filters at the important lower frequencies are big things (inches by inches by inches). Any cord with an effective filter is really a filter with an attached cord.
 

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,312
Reaction score
81
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
Hola. Some of us can hear a difference, others don´t...ground loops are a pain, and sometimes through the ground, the noise gets into our system. A reason why you need to filter those unwanted noise. But I do understand your point Speedskater. You belong to those who can not tell the difference or its so little, that it does not matter to you, and it iss OK.

in my system, I have a balance power transformer, BPT Signature Plus 3.5.

Here is a review of it: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/bpt4/plus.html

My system has never sound as it is now.

Happy listening!
 

Speedskater

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
298
Reaction score
11
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Many think that they can hear a difference, but very few ever demonstrate that they can in fact hear that difference.
 

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,312
Reaction score
81
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
Yup Bernard.
With much respect, if you believe that cables do not make a difference, its OK. Its your ears. Comparisons are very difficult, because our immediate memory only last 15 seconds. So changing cables or any component of the system, might confuse your ears or mines. What you have to do is get accustomed to what you are testing for some time, and then, do the change. Right there is where you will notice easier the change.
Also, use the A-B-A, then B-A-B. A is your old gear, B is the new gear. Take a notebook and write down your findings in a particular passage of the music that you know well, then do the same thing with the B gear, and write down your findings too. Use the good under test three or four days, and then, do the change. That will tell you more than being changing every one minute or so of a fraction of a song.

This is a debate that never ends.

I might sound rude and it is not my intention. I have a language barrier and sometimes I can´t explain myself clear. Please forgive me if I sound that way.

Let´s respect ourselves. If you don´t like power cords, don´t buy them. But don´t bother the ones who had spent some money and are very happy with the product. Noise is a terrible thing and affects the inner detail and microdynamics. The sound is not so clean, pure. With the help of these products, you can take off the dirt to a very clean sound.

Can you tell us your system?

Happy listening!
 
Last edited:
Top