10 gauge power cord. Too much power for tube amp?

Tube amplifiers tend to be sensitive on incoming voltages. Is there a chance a bigger gauge power cord like 10 gauge may not be a good thing?

My amplifier tends to shut down occasionally upon start up. maybe moving to a higher gauge might be better. Does it matter?


The amplifier is a Mc2301 from McIntosh that's giving blinking red lights after warm-up frequently. Power tubes have been replaced with new ones, maybe it's a signal tube. Sometimes it works fine, as long as amp stays on for at least a minute after warm-up.  

Power cord has nothing to do with the amp shutting down. The protection circuitry is kicking in. Don’t know how it’s wired but it usually senses overcurrent at the output stage. This can be caused by a failing power tube, a total loss of bias voltage or loss of bias at an output tube, an intermittent short in the output stage or a mismatch between connected load and speaker tap.


The power cable can’t generate power however as mentioned the wrong sized cable, I.e. too small can restrict power. Put the OEM cable back on and if the problem persists, contact McIntosh or at least Audio Classics. The problem is in the unit and they will suggest a possible fix or ask you to send it in for a check up. I have dealt with McIntosh many times over the years and they are great people to work with. They have an enormous pride in their products and equal appreciation for their customers.

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The gauge of a power cord refers to its physical size and electrical current carrying capacity. A higher gauge power cord will have a larger diameter and can carry more current, which may be necessary for high power applications.

For a tube amplifier, the power supply voltage and current must be carefully considered to ensure that they are within the amplifier's specifications. If the power cord is too small, it may cause voltage drops or current surges, which can affect the amplifier's performance and even cause damage. Therefore, when using a tube amplifier, it is recommended to use a power cord that meets the amplifier's power requirements.

In your case, if the amplifier shutdowns occasionally on startup, it may be due to the power cord's ability to handle the initial surge of power when the amplifier is turned on. A higher gauge power cord may be able to handle the initial surge better and prevent such shutdowns. However, before replacing the power cord, it is recommended to check the amplifier's specifications to ensure that the new power cord meets the requirements. It is also recommended to consult with a professional technician for help to ensure the safety and performance of the amplifier.