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Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?
Just using power / speaker cords of large enough gauge is more
important than 'super' power cords. Expensive power cable will make
things better than 18ga zip cord.... but so would 12ga romex cable from
inside the walls of your house. Not as pretty looking as mega-bucks
cables, but effective. A high end stereo 'looks' higher end with nice
cables, but IMHO it won't sound better as long as good engineering
practice was used in selecting the appropriate 'normal' cable type and
size for the job.
As always I guess, YMMV...
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?
Right on RICHARD! Before running out and burning money on cable exotica,
just wire your rack
correctly. Very good information on routing, wiring, crosstalk,
grounding, etc in numerous places.
The AES website is a good place to start. You can also find a copy of
at a decent library or used book store and read the last section of the
book, which is all about
racks, patchbays, cabling, etc. All those "golden age" recordings that
people love so much weren't
made in mystical places with zillion dollar power cords. They were made
in well-designed studios
with proper cabling, grounding and routing -- the techniques of which
date from Bell System and
broadcasting research decades earlier.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <arclists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?
> At 03:22 PM 2008-10-16, Clark Johnsen wrote:
>>See, I can't quite decide what you dislike more, the price (admittedly
>>or the very concept that a mere cord (!) could make more difference
>>transformer, or rectifier or
>>filter". There being no evidence offered, I'll just have to note that
>>wide-range high-resolution audio systems I've ever heard, specialty
>>cords have wrought major improvements. Granted that's just
>>data, but it's the only data so far.
> Hello, Clark,
> Perhaps we shouldn't discuss audiophile products in this forum as most
people in this forum have
> to struggle to find $1000 to spend on a Nakamichi Dragon, we don't
need them to have the angst
> that they need to spend another $1000 on the power cord or they'll be
missing something. They will
> get far more improvement out of the purchase of a Nakamichi Dragon or
a CR7 to play their
> cassettes than changing the power cord on their Sony cassette machine.
> I would like to have an engineering explanation of what makes a $500+
power cord worth more than
> the $20 one that is typically supplied with industrial-strength
> There are only a few electrical and mechanical properties that can be
altered by the power cord. I
> think the following is a fairly complete list:
> Electrical: Resistance, Capacitance, Inductance, Characteristic
Impedance of the line,
> shielding, contact resistance at both ends.
> Mechanical: can it withstand X number of insertion/withdrawal cycles
and will it fall out in
> Considering the variability of the power wiring in the walls, the last
six feet has only a limited
> opportunity to make any change to the sound of the component, and if a
device is properly
> designed, the minor parameter variations that typical differences in
power cords present are far
> less than the variations in building wiring.
> I think that power cord ROUTING (which doesn't cost much -- a few
dollars' worth of Velcro cable
> ties perhaps) is a far better place to spend one's effort than buying
expensive power cords with
> insignificant measurable differences. Power cords can crosstalk into
> Any equipment other than a power amplifier that sounds better due to a
power cord's parameters is
> defective in design or current operation. The power supply should
isolate the internal circuitry
> from variations in supply current far greater than that caused by
differences in the power cable.
> In an audio power amplifier, the above is also true with the exception
that if the power cord is
> causing a reduction in voltage at the amplifier under load, then it
should be replaced with a
> lower-loss one, which is typically available for $20 or so.
> Since there are no published performance specifications for any of the
cords that I have seen,
> let's look at a worst-case scenario. If the "bad" power cord has a
total of one-ohm resistance (or
> let's even say impedance at 60 Hz), and you have a device drawing one
amp, then this power cord
> will add a voltage drop of one volt which is less than 1% of the power
line voltage. Typical
> voltage variations are +/- 5% in most areas, with some going down to
-10% at high load times. In
> addition, in most industrial buildings, the maximum voltage drop in
the feeders (2%) plus the
> branch circuits (3%) also adds up to 5%, so it's quite easy to see
that the power SUPPLY can have
> perhaps a +5%/-10% variation and still be within specification. We
hope it's better than that, but
> less than 1% from the power cord (and I suspect far less than that)
should not make a difference.
> And yes, in an era where we are facing a significant recession and
possibly even a depression and
> in the era that is just past where we were flush with money but there
were still homeless people
> on the streets of Canada and the U.S.A., I think it unconscionable
that people would purchase
> these outrageously priced accessories with such a dubious improvement.
> I also think it unconscionable that this amount of money is being
spent on toys when similar
> quantities of funds could be sent to archives (and receive a tax
break) so they could preserve
> at-risk sound recordings of cultural and historic primary sources,
despite the fact that primary
> sources aren't allowed on Wikipedia (for good reason, as I said).
> If you wish to spend your money on this and you have decided you can
hear a difference, that's
> great, but I'd like you to think about the difference you hear and
equate it with the homeless on
> the streets, or tapes which are rotting with no funds to transfer
> Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information:
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.