ABX testing with AQ Dragon power cords

I was talking to my dealer about how good the system sounds that he sold me. I mentioned that I had tried some new speaker/interconnect cables from a local amp/cable manufacturer & both I and the company boss agreed that there was little discernible sound difference between his cables & mine. He couldn’t understand why. He also told me that my room acoustics were amazing, top notch. He’d like me to bring my cables (& his) to his listening room & we’ll compare there. That’s for next week.

My dealer said that in his 40 years this has never happened & he was ready to rise to the challenge. He said he would send me a couple of AQ Hurricane power cords to try on my amp/pre and I’d be amazed. I said why bother, send some Dragons. He told me to connect them to my amp & preamp & I should be amazed within 10 seconds of comparing. Today I received a Dragon HC & Source power cord. I listened to some music I’m very familiar with through my Lumin T3 playing FLAC files from the attached USB. Then I swapped the amp & pre to the Dragons and listened to the same songs. No difference that I could tell. So I redid the test, one song at a time, switching back & forth. Still no difference.

I invited two neighbors over (separately) and asked them to look at my FLAC library & choose a song that they knew well. I played that for them with both sets of power cords. One said he couldn’t hear any difference between the two. The other said that one (mine) sounded like it had slightly more treble, the other (Dragon) sounded like more bass. I played a third version (turned out it was mine but he didn’t know) and he said that was the bass version. He was wrong & admitted that the differences were so small that he really couldn’t choose between the two.

I called my dealer & he asked if the difference was earth shattering. I told him no & he asked how that was possible when he just sent similar cables to another customer last week with a similarly priced system as mine & that guy said that the SQ improved 50% and was ecstatic. I said that that guy must have decided already that he was going to buy them and determined that for that money they must improve the sound. My dealer said that either my ears are those a near dead 95 year old or his last 40 years experience have been a sham. I suggested that he was selling & demoing a product to people that had a propensity to believe it worked & therefore it worked for them. I offered to have him drive here (4 hour drive) and listen for himself & I’ll swap cables while his mind is blown. We may get there yet.

I hesitate to post a photo of my listening room as experience tells me that those that are strong proponents of cables will pick it apart and blame a myriad of other crap  rather than recognizing that the 3 of us heard no difference on a high resolving system situated in a room would good acoustics... but here goes.


McIntosh MC462/C2700, Pure Fidelity Harmony TT, Gold Note PH-10/PSU-10 phono stage, Lumin T3/Sbooster, Sonus Faber Amati G5 speakers, Sonus Faber Gravis V sub.


Before trying a Dragon HC power cord on my preamplifier all of the power cords on my rig were the basic black power cords that come with new gear. I noticed a very nice improvement in sonics when I put the Dragon in. I kept it in the rig for a month and then returned it. I put the black cord back in. After a couple weeks of listening (I went through a bunch of my favorite music) I thought the rig sounded perhaps a little dull? There was something missing, it just didn't sound the same as I remember it sounding with the Dragon in there. I bought the Dragon HC and put it back in on the preamplifier and the initial improvement I heard was back. 

During the initial testing with the Dragon, I also improved all of the cables on everything except the turntable: mono blocks, phono preamp & power conditioner but they aren't as expensive as the Dragon was. To my ears, the biggest improvement came when I put the Dragon on the preamplifier.

My gear at the time of the power cord experimentation: Herron VTPH-2A, NAT Audio Symmetrical Balanced Line Stage, NAT Audio 805 Generator mono blocks, Transparent Powerbank 6.

Since then I've upgraded the mono blocks to NAT Audio Magma M HPS. 

There is one obvious point that seems to be ignored by both posters going at it back and forth: The quality of the electrical feed to the listening room. In my house of stereo, the electrical is completely separated from the main house and produces as clean and constant a feed as can be expected. The end result is power cords in my case make the smallest of improvements, if any at all, of all cables swapping I experience with. The most obvious differences in cables in my case are interconnects specially on the digital side of my system. So there is no wrong or right about power cables, it really comes down to your electrical feed first.


@vuch,  ​​@tom2015@kerrybh,  @ghdprentice@krelldog@audphile1 -

                                               +1 (each)

        Understanding the plethora of variables we face in improving the performance of our systems, using common sense while taking advantage of the many ways we can try new additions to our systems for a mere pittance (ie: audition & Return Policies) and blocking out the INCESSANT, INTRUSIVE, ambient noise from the rabid Naysayer Church adherents, can go a long way* toward enhancing one's musical enjoyment.

                                             *a 50% improvement?

                                        100%: a subjective opinion!

           Music is one of the Arts and like any other art form: when it comes to what we enjoy, are listening for and desire from our systems varies widely, 

                                                 GET OVER IT!

What a long and drawn out tirade to explain you can't hear discernable changes in cabling. Don't buy them, you won. But wanting your dealer to hear your system in some odd attempt to prove them wrong or prove yourself right is a futile endeavor. 

+1 @baylinor 

Installing dedicated electrical lines to the stereo room has produced a similar experience… correct (as much as possible) the issue at it’s source.

When power cables make a Huge difference on highly engineered and market hardened equipment …well… 

I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to do so but if upgrading the panel and separate, electrical wires, boxes and outlets Can be done there are Huge rewards. (And diminishing returns on upgrades in power cables).

BTW… Take Five Audio are a first rate operation.