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Temporal_Dissident

How to Test Power Cables & Interconnects?

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Looking for some advice. Here is the situation:

  • I am building out a new system (dCS Bartok > Parasound JC 2 BP > Parasound JC 5 > Floorstanding Speakers)
  • Equipment is on-hand. I am in the process of re-wiring the A/C circuit with two matching, 10awg home-runs (one for power Amp, one for sources) 
  • I have the opportunity to try some high-end power cables and interconnects
  • I will invest in the cables if there is a discernible difference. I am somewhat skeptical.
  • I am trying to come up with a test protocol to determine what these higher end cables do. Everyone advises that I do A/B testing will listening to music. Of course I will do this.

 

My question: 

Is there some more objective way to A/B test power cords and interconnects? I prefer to do this by listening,...not using lab equipment. How can I A/B measure system "blackness" or noise level? 

 

Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

 

 

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for a valid subjective (i.e. listening) test:

 

1. select music passages likely to show a difference

2. have someone else (wives often love to 'show up' the male audiophile) swap cables without your knowledge

3. be sure levels are matched (use a multimeter at the speaker terminals) - likely no difference for power cables

4. do a variety of different A/B or A/B/X (best) test lengths (quick vs. extended)

5. do 10 pairs, or better 20

 

a simple t-test will be fine for statistical analysis

 

try not to introduce other variables - pate, fine whisky (or even whiskey), etc.

 

an objective test would use measurements


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 minute ago, Ralf11 said:

do 10 pairs, or better 20

 

I appreciate the reply and that sounds like a sensible, thorough approach.

 

In all honesty, I won't go that far. I am just not that far down the path in my audiophile journey (yet). At this point, my main question is whether the power cords that came "in the box" with my components allow more noise or interference than an expensive set of aftermarket cords. 

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5 hours ago, Temporal_Dissident said:

 

I appreciate the reply and that sounds like a sensible, thorough approach.

 

In all honesty, I won't go that far. I am just not that far down the path in my audiophile journey (yet). At this point, my main question is whether the power cords that came "in the box" with my components allow more noise or interference than an expensive set of aftermarket cords. 

I agree with Ralf11's Points 1 to 4.

As for the rest .........… O.o 

A track that I find useful is Track.01-Summertime from Renee Olstead's self titled album.

 

 Please check your PMs.

 Alex


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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can I get you to improve your room acoustics?


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

can I get you to improve your room acoustics?

 

I am certainly going to do what I can, but I do not have a dedicated listening room. It is our living room. Alas, it needs things like furniture. As long as I can avoid compromising aesthetics or comfort, I can do a little tweaking.  

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furniture can be helpful - acts like an absorber


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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I would probably test cables etc. like they do for Cern, LIGO, Avionics, space stuff and most other installations involving electronics... As they are a conduit for a signal from one place to another, the perfect interconnect having no parasitic effect on the signal, this of course is impossible, so you have to determine how much effect a particular cable is having...

Cables should have as much effect as the led on your remote control....

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1 hour ago, Blackmorec said:

 

Yeah working in electronics tends to give one a cynical attitude towards the endless magic that a bit of wire can generate...

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You can see why Blackmo believes in magik


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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As for power cables, on rare occasions there can be differences, but they will be situation specific.

 

Changing any/some of these factors can change or eliminate the differences.

a] length of the cable

b] dress or path of the cable

c] arrangement of components in the rack

d] what components are powered on or off

e] nearby appliances, high tech lighting, HVAC or other entertainment or data systems

 

So it's easy to say that an expensive cable changed things, but it could be any of these uncontrolled variables.

 

 

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On 9/30/2019 at 1:35 PM, Temporal_Dissident said:

Looking for some advice. Here is the situation:

  • I am building out a new system (dCS Bartok > Parasound JC 2 BP > Parasound JC 5 > Floorstanding Speakers)
  • Equipment is on-hand. I am in the process of re-wiring the A/C circuit with two matching, 10awg home-runs (one for power Amp, one for sources) 
  • I have the opportunity to try some high-end power cables and interconnects
  • I will invest in the cables if there is a discernible difference. I am somewhat skeptical.
  • I am trying to come up with a test protocol to determine what these higher end cables do. Everyone advises that I do A/B testing will listening to music. Of course I will do this.

 

My question: 

Is there some more objective way to A/B test power cords and interconnects? I prefer to do this by listening,...not using lab equipment. How can I A/B measure system "blackness" or noise level? 

 

Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

 

 

For starters, many of the previous posters don't think wiring matters- take their opinions with that in mind. When you say the equipment is on hand, is it new to you or have you been using it for awhile? If I assume the equipment is brand new and new to you, I'd definitely start out with the stock power cables, and use some straight forward interconnects and speaker cables using Mogami, Belden or Canare wire. A year from now after you have broken in the equipment and adjusted things you will be in a much better position to evaluate cabling. I believe cables make a difference, but it is a minor effect as compared to break in and speaker positioning. If you do not already have a copy, you'd be money ahead buying Jim Smith's book, "Get Better Sound".


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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For starters, some of the previous posters have EE or physics degrees; others have conducted listening tests - take their opinions with that in mind.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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15 hours ago, marce said:

Cables should have as much effect as the led on your remote control....

 

 The IR Led on a remote control can have a huge effect when activated.:P


"If you can't hear the difference between an original CD and a copy of your CD,

you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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3 hours ago, sandyk said:

 

 The IR Led on a remote control can have a huge effect when activated.:P

 

especially if you hit the 'Off' button


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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13 hours ago, 4est said:

For starters, many of the previous posters don't think wiring matters- take their opinions with that in mind. When you say the equipment is on hand, is it new to you or have you been using it for awhile? If I assume the equipment is brand new and new to you, I'd definitely start out with the stock power cables, and use some straight forward interconnects and speaker cables using Mogami, Belden or Canare wire. A year from now after you have broken in the equipment and adjusted things you will be in a much better position to evaluate cabling. I believe cables make a difference, but it is a minor effect as compared to break in and speaker positioning. If you do not already have a copy, you'd be money ahead buying Jim Smith's book, "Get Better Sound".

What a load of twaddle, of course wiring matters, I'm talking about wiring for something like CERN or LIGO or a space craft or a nuclear power house or pro audio or a million other things where wiring is critical, its the audiophile magik wiring I disagree with.

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