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.


Oh relax. I put an ammeter on the surge protector that the amp & pre are plugged into and while playing music at my typical level they were drawing under 2 amps.

The unit next to the Lumin is the Sbooster power supply as detailed in the OP.

Dude you have your McIntosh components plugged into a surge protector? 
It doesn’t matter how many amps they draw. That surge protector is your bottleneck. Take it out. You’re choking your system. 
Plug the amp and pre at least for the duration of the evaluation directly into the wall using the dragons. Re-evaluate. Seriously surge protector?

Way ahead of you. I already moved them both to the wall and compared again. No change in sound but I'll continue tomorrow. But it's a power bar, the two units draw <2 amps, nothing else but this system is on the circuit, how is it being choked?


Choked by the surge protection circuit in a cheap strip like that. Fine for routers or cable box. Not great for audio components in a system of that caliber. Something like a passive power conditioner that’s not restrictive would work great. Shunyata is one example. Listen to it for a few days then reintroduce stock cords. Don’t just listen to changes in treble, mids and bass. Pay attention to the entire presentation. Where the instruments are in the soundstage. Depth and width of stage, layering. Make notes on your favorite recordings how they sound. A quick A/B is not the right way to do it. Give yourself time to get used to it for a few days or even a week. Then go back.