DIY Power Cables Instead of Used

Good Day All,
     I'm hoping to gain from the benefit of your experiences comparing power cables, or your knowledge from extensive reading.  I'm leaning heavily toward DIY at this point, but am always open to overachieving reasonably priced new from authorized U.S. distribution or European channels.  Though I was originally very big on shopping mid to high end pre-owned power cables, I am no longer entertaining the used market for this purchase.
     I ask that you please share what your observations of a brand/model are, rather than just throw a brand name out and say you recommend it.  Any help you could provide is greatly appreciated.  I'm seeking to upgrade the power chords on all of my components and am already working on installing direct circuits from the service panel, with audio grade receptacles.
     Thanks ...

One irrefutable and inescapable fact in this project: its all about the quality build of the components you select, if you want superior audio performance . 
You only get what you pay for ....everything is built to its price-point =  the price of the parts follows lockstep.......full stop.
One thing about the really good power cords like Audioquest Hurricane that has nothing to do with build quality is directionality of the wire, which AQ *controls* during the manufacturing process. One wonders if and when other cable companies will follow suit or if it will instead pass under the radar.
 I actually think Geoff is a very smart dude who secretly sits at home giggling  about all the people he convinces to buy into his absolute nonsense.   The more ridiculous the claim , the more of a success it is for himself.This one would rank high on his list! Getting folks to believe in directionality of a wire that carries a current that flows both ways. 
 To the OP, you would do very well to buy some good quality parts and assemble the power cables yourself. 
I agree with analogluber. Don’t use bad quality parts or clothes hangers.
But clothes hangers carry 1000s of dollars in designer  clothing,,,certainly they could carry a quality elextricate current??
Thank you all...  I am unfortunately, for the first time ever, turned away from  the preowned market, with this particular component, as the China connection of fraudulent new hi end power cables has dooped so many audiophiles, those counterfeits have now infiltrated the used market....many from us that do not realize they our expensive cables are fraud, and we think they just suck for the money ounterfeit, and unfortunately, some that do realize they bought a counterfeit, but sell it used anyway.  PS Audio SC Line and Perfect Wave lines are a prime example.
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Hmmm ... Elizabeth...great point, and thank you. I realize there are reviews to be read and lots of them. I was actually knee deep in them and relogated to buy PS Audio stuff used, when I bumped into the used cable issue that is looming and growing.... so bad it is, that Paul McGowan himself is on the net addressing the problem....replacing fraudulent cables for dooped consumers, and suing counterfeiters internationally... but the problem I found extends way beyond just his brand. With that, I have so much time vested in that research which was concluded, that starting over is frustrating, if not a major headache, even.
... this being why I’m thinking about the jump to DIY and hoping for brand recommendations here, to shortcut me in the right direction to read on further.
What about getting some Furutech FP S55n with Furutech FI 50 NSF connectors, unbelievably good DIY sort of and would sell pretty quickly if needed. There as good as any Shunyata cables including the new Sigmas at a fraction of the cost. The Furutech FPN 4 I believe is even better but considerably more expensive.
tecknik...I've started some reading on Furutech cables and thus far looks quite impressive!   I've noticed posts in the past on their receptacles and already going with Furutech for that. Thinking it through, selling really isn't a concern if I get the right product.  I began handling my system as an evolution about 3 years ago.  The coming year should see the end of that as a 4 year revamp of what was a 15 year old system when I started.  Afterwards, a slow....perhaps 10 year cycle of upgrading piece by piece.  Oxidation aside, certain things I should not need to replace/sell if I initially get it right, power chords.

Thanks for your input!
The Furutech FP S55N is a limited addition and is mostly sold out in the US and the DSP4 ( Not FPN4 , I was wrong) is like I said expensive. The TC series of cables would be good BUT whatever you do get the FI 50 NSF connectors they are more important then the cable. 

I had the Shunyata Sigmas,Alpha Nr and KC and after reading several post on Whatsbestforum where guys have sold off there Shunyata cables and replaced them with the Furutech' I tried them and sold mine as well. There that good.

The difference between the Shunyata and Furutech is in the layering of instruments and holographic soundstage with the Furutechs. The tonal balance, transparency, bass is the same. 
Technik ... you’re getting me excited here. … I’m a detail guy. Everything is important, but the first thing that captures my attention is hearing the detail, separation, layering. What then draws me in is focused placement of acoustics in a 3d soundstage,,,then I’m looking for the rest, until I’m in a euphoric dazed state on the recliner, soaking it all in. I’ll be reading heavily on your recommendations in the coming day or two...and once again...thank you!
>>> Rich
The cables well take 600 hrs to burn in but the Fi 50 NSF is closer to 700 hours, be patient and enjoy the burn in.
A few thoughts- you can make very good DIY power cords. I like shielded cable, and I use good quality plugs. Finish it off with some tech flex and shrink-wrap, and you have a nice power cord. You will save money but as already noted, resale value is zero. 

I've bought raw and remade Supra cable. I like the Supra cable, but I was underwhelmed with the ready made cable's termination quality. 

One cable I've found and like quite a bit is Cullen Cable Crossover series. Well priced and very good quality. 
Thanks Zavato. As a result of Technik’s comments, I started furutech reading which lead me into the "right" DIY. At this point I’m looking at, dependent on the component, a mix of power chords: furutech DIY, DHL DIY, and Pangea ready made. mixing it up based on my best educated guess, will enable me the opportunity to move cables around components to see where they perform best, as well.

Ive read up on Supra for about 2 yrs, and will be using their speaker wire for my rear and mid channels (I actually bought a piece 4 months ago to test, was very pleased, but have yet to follow thru with a full order) Im also getting ready to start comparing Supra power conditioner / surge protector to others, but initially theirs seems hard to beat anywhere near their price range. Reason I’m shying away from Supra power chords is that while they have a truly superior patented tinned copper process for low voltage applications, they are pretty new to the silver plating game, and their silver plating is pretty standard ... DHL seems to do that better for less.

For connectors I’m looking at Sonarquest, which is a direct furutech competitor out of Japan, but whose U.S. prices are notably lower, as they don’t have the furutech level marketing machine, and came to US market late...they seem to be going up in price, following on furutech coat tails, but are very well reviewed by pros amd individuals who have direct compared.

I will now add Cullen to my reading before I pull any triggers. Thank you again for your help on this, Zavato!
Most welcome and good luck. I’ve had good results with Belden 19364, and as it is 14 gauge, I would be reluctant to use it with high power amplifiers. 
@sfcfran If by DIY you actually mean attach plugs onto a piece of bulk power cable - then I agree with @elizabeth - there are many choices from cable vendors that will retain resale value and perofrm better

However, if you are willing to take DIY to a "higher level" take a look at the Helix Power Cable.

It may look a little daunting, but it is pretty easy after the first one

Follow the "recipe" in the link and you will have a power cable that
"outperforms most others on the market!"
And those are not my words, but words from several people that have tried them.

Personally, I have compared them to cables up to $1500 and even had one person report that this power cable outperformed a Nordost cable he owned. He has since sold the Nordost cable

I have tried bulk cables from Furutech and DH Labs, but even braiding the conductors from a simple piece of Home Depot 12 guage extension cord outperofrms both of them - don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either until I tried it.

The Helix Power Cable improves the resolution of any component, but the amount of improvement is not quite so apparent as the power supply of the component get larger and more sophiticated - i.e.
- improvements in large amps is initially not as noticeable
- whereas improvments in source components with smaller power supplies will reveal the biggest improvement

The latest word is - the Helix power cables even works on componentns that use DC power - that was a surpise.

Anyhow - got questions - ask away

Good luck with your quest - Steve

Hi Steve.   I recall bumping into a discussion on that quite some time ago, and being curious...perhaps 2 years ago.    I also recall seeing Elizabeth present instructions on that with great detail out here on other posts, also some time ago.  At those times I was not in the market, or much interested in power cords, as I was still in a revamp of my core components that, while very good in their own right, were a bit long in the tooth ... so I just kind of forgot about it! So yes,,,I'll go back and look.  Thanks!
>>> Rich
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Steve, et all … I've now looked at the link Steve provided, and recall reading that exact post in the past, perhaps 2 years ago (?).  It is very much what I had in mind for DIY configuration, but not nearly as advanced as the detail provided there (just didn't remember all of that!) having the link saved, I will absolutely be giving that a go...its just too easy, and just too inexpensive to not try!  ... With the caveat, that I will of course have to do the same with a "quality" DIY cable from either Cardas, DHL, etc., for comparison, and a straight up chord from another company such as Furutech.  I do have the upside of building a secondary system in my basement out of my older equipment, where I can put, and have been putting, what I find not quite to my liking in my primary system.  I truly enjoy seeing the new heights I can take the old system too.  I will happily post my findings here, and perhaps as an additional thread.  Yes, its probably been done before, but it wouldn't hurt to 'unbury' the info with a refresh for newcomers to see....such as myself, with great thanks to Steve.  
 I was looking at that stuff a few weeks back thinking of buying some as a present for one of my brothers for Christmas (before this discussion of the VERY affordable DIY configuration, ofcourse). I enjoy upgrading his stereo every year, and watch his amazement that I could improve his audio or visual with VooDoo. He's not an audiophile, but does love his a/v, and is an Electrical Engineer specialized in Satellite Communications and guidance not only do I love improving the sound he and his wife hear, year after year, but I love watching the thrill on his face when we boot it up, and he plays in front of me after a new upgrade.  Showing him there is more to know than electrical measurements when it comes to final audio output is fun for me, as well.  While I very much enjoy bumping into engineers out here that are audiophiles and delve into the math of it all in a way that enhances my knowledge, it never ceases to amaze me how little a premiere rocket scientist can know about what we hear. 

With that, in case you ever run out again...check out the GSA website...they auction everything government surplus, used or new, to include electronics, wire, cars, boats, houses, etc.  Yeah,,,all of that..  You'd be amazed what the government sells for pennies on the dollar.  
I have made several power cables using Oyaide Tunami wire & either Furutech or Neotec connectors. They are fairly inexpensive & very impressive. The wire can be purchased from VHAudo for around $30 a foot. Connectors can be purchased from him (Furutech) or parts connexion (Neotec) for $40 to $70 a pair. 
I made some power cables using DH Labs Silver Sonic Power Plus and had very good results but it was tricky finding the right mains plug (in the UK) that could accommodate the cable thickness. 
Thank you for the input. Indeed Furutech connectors are hi on the list, with a direct comparison to Sonarquest pending. VH Audio keeps popping up on my radar...they seem to be the only US supplier remaining that has stock of the limited edition Nano Particle Furutech Cables, S55N, S022, DSP4, etc.
Indeed the DHL Power Plus 12 and the Red Wave are very high on my short list. Thank you for the reinforcement of personal experience!  Could you tell me a little of what kind of power cord you replaced, or what equipment you placed the Power Plus 12 on, and in what ways it improved it?  That would bring great context for me, as I make final decisions here.

Thank you!
>>> Rich
@sfcfran - 

I recall bumping into a discussion on that quite some time ago
You are correct - I added the Power Helix design in 2015 and made a couple of refeences to it elsewhere on the forums here at that time

I have been promoting more actively the Helix range for the last few months onseveral threads - so you will see them from time to time.

Another fellow DIYer on Audiogon is also developing a "ribbon style" cable - where the conductors are held apart by a "ribbon" of tape. The seperation of the two conductors has the same effect - i.e. much less induced noise, which improves clarity.
- The advantage of the design is that the two conductors are of the same length - unlike the spiral of the helix
- the disadvantage is that the cables can get quite wide when compared to coventional geometries.

Other developments - i have been talking with fellow DIYers in several counties about theHelix geometry. One person has shared an interesting finding, so I have to update the design of all Helix cables on the site

Please check back with the site in a couple of days before building to find out the latest construction details - it's a small change pertaining to the how the helix is wound in, but it takes some explaining without the images

BTW - also take a look at the HELIX speaker cables and IC's - the same geometry is used - i.e. the neutral is a helix spiral wound around the live/signal. The speaker cables proved to provide exceptional improvements across the board over other speaker cables I have tried.

@elizabeth - the silver plated Mil-Spec wire is indeed a bargain and as you pointed out, makes great power cables and speaker cables. 

I am about to try 24 gauge Mil-spec on a pair of IC's as the signal conductor, i.e. in place of the solid silver wire I currently use.

I'll post the results here in a couple of weeks

Stay Tuned - Steve

Awesome stuff Steve!  Thank you. The fact that you and many such as yourself, take so much time out here to share your knowledge is such a great benefit to others such as myself... truly endearing of the hobby. 

I've encountered the flat ribbon concept as an interconnect.  My initial experimentation 3+ yrs ago with cable upgrades lead me to Mapleshade (amongst others).  His development by "ear" lead him to believe the flat ribbon is the best transport for digital.   I bought a few of his products to include flat ribbon copper digital interconnect.  I truly enjoyed it for a few weeks, until it stoped working when I unplugged and replugged it in, as I shifted my components around... a bit of a quality control issue which he refunded the purchase price on.  While I do get you are referring too a slightly different configuration,  from the moment I pulled the ribbon out of the box, I did find the downside of the configuration to be its frailty.  I would however imagine that could be overcome with design improvement.

I enthuaiastically look forward to your revisions of the helix design.  It will take me time to do It while I may seem rushing to make decisions on things now, it is only because I have a moment in life right now to dedicate to a lot of reading and mapping of plans, the time the I order products and they arrive, it will be a slower process of assembly and integration into my rig.
@sfcfran - here is the update to the helix design - got it done today.

Just waiting on some feedback from Yordan on his findings, but other than that it is complete

As for the frail nature of the ribbon style - yes a little tweaking to the design can solve that.

Just about to start on the cables :-)

Regards - Steve
@sfcfran -  Well last evening I installed the "revised" helix speaker cables with the helix being wound in the opposite direction and it appears that as indicated on my web site - it made a discernable improvements - across the board.

So if you are planning on building the Helix design please ensure you follow the instructions on my site

So far I have only tried the speaker cables, but based on their level of improvement i would recommend taking the same approach on all Helix cables

Regards - Steve

Good news!  Thanks Steve.  The double helix design is definitely going to happen in my system, amongst other items.  I plan to try multiples across components and play with it all.  Still tinkering with the thought process though, before spending any cash.

I did have a realization regarding my feed cable (which you and some others probably already get it out here).  I ordered 12-3 Romex for the new home-run feed to the house electrical service panel.  Upon receiving and opening the package, a revelation hit me...dang it ....3 wire feed splitting into 2 x 2 wire feeds is the wrong answer for audio...ordering 12-3 was the reflex of the electrician in me.  

In a 2 power cable (hot and neutral, or hot and neutral plus ground also being referred to as a 2 wire), the neutral and feed have counter rotating magnetic fields of exactly equal strength, and waves, directly in phase with one another.  The delay between them is unmeasurable by anything less than a physicists lab equipment.  The 2 fields, rotating in opposite directions of one another, cancel each other out in the center, which is why the ground in 12-2 Romex is placed in the no inductive current is created within the ground.  

In a 12-3 (2 hot legs and one neutral, or 2 hot legs plus neutral plus ground wire), the 2 hot legs carry whatever current that circuit is demanding based on the components/load placed on them.  This will never be the exact same, will always be out of phase, and is almost always drastically different from one another.  The neutral/white in the 12-3 carries, not the total of the 2 hot leads, but the difference of them.  So if the black lead is providing 10 amps to amplifiers, and the red lead is providing 3 amps to the television and disc player, their will be a combined concentration of 13 amps of magnetic field at the center of the two hot leads.  The neutral will carry back in the other direction the difference of the 2 hot leads.  In this example, that would be 7 amps.  The counter rotation of the neutral/white magnetic field of 7 amps, will knock the magnetic field of the hot leads down to that of 6 amps, at the center-point of the neutral/white conductor.  This remaining magnetic field, will create an inductive low current in the ground of a 3 wire feed application, with the varying and pulsing fields around it, making it very iratic and out of phase.  That (small) current induced into the ground then has its own field, which interference with the other wires, causing more field issues.  In any kind of appliance, this is no big deal...over years it may have an effect on the life of motors/fans/compressors, to some extent, at worst.  But for sensitive audio equipment, this amounts noise and odd-order distortions within the equipment itself, or at the very least, a less pure, and continually unpredictable strength to the power path, that will vary every microsecond.

The conductors of a 3 wire Romex are wrapped in a slow wind to mitigate this to an extent.  Your helix design, would actually mitigate this quite nicely, but would be very difficult to build around primary feed cables from the house panel, to the audio receptacle.  A quality power conditioner would likely correct most of this issue, but I'm not convinced that phase issues of this complexity can be resolved entirely by power conditioning....though I'll defer to anyone that clearly states that they know for a fact that a power conditioner would.

The moral of the story:  when installing dedicated audio circuits in your home, never use 3 wire feeds.

@sfcfran -  you have reached the same conclusion I have also come to.

If you need two runs then use 2 runs of 12/2 and NOT 1 run of 12/3.- there is just too much noise in a 12/3.

BTW - I tried an experiment with mains cables - turns out - as long as you have at least three feet of Helix mains cable between your component and the outlet then what is between the outlet and the breaker panel is of little consequence.

I tried different lengths of helix...
- I currently have a 10 ft HELIX extension cablle feeding the amp and a distribution panel for other components
- replacing the 10 ft helix with a 12 gauge home depot extension cable makes little difference - other than the fact that the conductors in the Helix are of a higher quality and conduct power faster 
- removing the 10 ft cables makes little difference also.
- The shortest power cables I currently have is three feet and there is no difference in SQ  if I replace it with a 5-6 ft cable 

This leads me to believe that a Helix cable of at least three feet can provide relatively noise free power to a component, regardless of what type of "cable geometry" preceeds it

Hope that all makes sense? - Steve

williewonka wrote:  "I hope that all makes sense"

I did have to read it a few times, and draw myself a mental picture of what you were doing to fill any gaps, but yes... got it.


Normally I might ponder the theory behind that, quietly to myself, but I'm brain fried this evening.  As such I find myself eternally grateful that once upon a time you already handled that theorization to develop/find the results you just presented,,,,, so now I don't have to bother! lol. What a great place this is.