Do I need 10 gauge power cord if I have 10 gauge from panel?

I just installed some dedicated circuits with 10 gauge electrical wire. But now I have to consider replacing my amp power cords because they are 14 gauge or higher.

Is this really necessary and any recommendations on quality 10 gauge power cords that I should buy?


I doubt you will hear a difference. But if you will feel better, and want bragging rights, buy a couple 8 ga PC’s. 

so, you have 8ga from your box :) to outlets,?…..I would probably grab a medium cost 8ga cords, more money does not mean 10x better. 

use your best judgement. 

years ago, I bought 30feet of 8ga speaker cable, I have to cut them to fit in the banana plugs. 

NO! Because even a 14 gauge power cord is rated to handle 15 amps/ 1500 watts. This is the same rating for the typical breaker box/AC outlet found in most homes. That's a lot of power! Increasing the size/diameter of a power cord is only required if you plan to use an arc welder! Then you need a lower gauge/thicker cord. For a 200wpc amp a 14 gauge cord is perfectly fine. You don't need a garden-hose size power cord!

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I would not worry so much about the gauge as the intent of the cord and the quality (it is likely to be 10 gauge) These days most cable companies build a special cord for amps as opposed to low power components.

I searched for nearly a year to get the power cord right on my amp. Finally I found the Audio Quest Hurricane. Wow, this is a really good power cord… the dealer who brought it over told me his employees asked for it because of all the buzz on line… the buzz. There is good reason for all the buzz. It is very neutral and quiet.


I guess the short answer is, yes definitely you want to find a better cord. 


it is unlikely a 14 gauge power cord is not negatively impacting the sound.

I am unaware of any amp requiring a 10 gauge power cord. What amp/amps do you have? Why did you install 10 gauge wire to the breaker box/AC outlet? None of your gear combined will draw that much current. Stoves, refrigerators and washing machines/dryers run on 240 volts/30 amp circuits. 

@ghdprentice :"It is unlikely a 14 gauge power cord is not negatively impacting the sound." That is poor grammar! Do not use a double negative in one sentence. The correct sentence is: It is likely a 14 gauge power cord is negatively impacting the sound.

@ghdprentice : I see on eBay a Hurricane listed at $1842.60. That's a lot of $$$ for 3 meters/9 feet of wire! Also listed is an AQ Thunder for $600. Again, a lot of moola! Do you really believe that you can hear a difference between the Hurricane vs. the Thunder? A degreed electrical engineer will tell you otherwise! 


 the benefit of a 10 gauge wire from the electrical panel is to achieve a benefit from lower impedance and Power availability for all those Quick changing frequency needs. Clearly there's enough power to run the device but that's not the point.

The power cords would be connected to 600 W mono blocks.  


The biggest improvement is in reducing resistance per foot.  If you ran 30' of 10 gauge it's still better than 30' of 12 gauge.

Just make sure your breakers are right sized for the end use.  Meaning 15 or 20 Amps.

I have been in this hobby since 1976. I have yet to hear a sonic difference between any power cords! I know enough about physics and engineering to question the veracity of the "golden ear" claims for the superiority of one power cord over another. 

@jumia : I understand the necessity of having low resistance in a power cord for transient peaks. Shunyata designed a device to measure this using transient speed compared to power in watts. They found that transient speed became a factor (slowed down) only when the 10,000 watt level through a power cord was reached! So below 10K watts a 14 gauge cord is perfectly fine! No deleterious effects!

My father's table saw would sometimes trip the 15amp panel circuit breaker when cutting plywood. I doubt your pair of 600 watt amps would do that even at clipping!

Shunyata's device showed that a typical 14 gauge power cord's resistance is perfectly adequate for any audio component. No effect upon transients!

Shunyata - a "bona fide" high-end company - was attempting to prove that lower resistance was important. They proved it doesn't matter! So 'philes discard those garden hose power cords and free yourselves from delusional thinking!

Jumia, should have been more clear.

The gauge of wiring you _need_ to your amps is dependent on the fuse or breaker value on the amp itself.  14 gauge is enough for up to 15 Amps, 12 gauge for 20.   You _could_ get thicker wiring but not needed.  I personally like shielded cables over thick cables for the extra EMI/RFI protection.  Now that our homes are filled with wireless devices and Ethernet and USB cables I feel this is more important to me.

What about shielded and thick cables? Also it’s a 20 amp circuit breaker.

I am a big fan of shielded cables. Because it's nearly impossible two separate and space out all the cables in most rooms that have hifi equipment.

I thought correct Terminology was impedance for alternating current and for direct current its resistance.



The purpose of using fatter wire in branch circuits is to minimize voltage drop to the receptacle when there is a long run from panel to receptacle. That six feet from receptacle to appliance is trivial. Besides, the wiring from the amp power inlet to the power supply is not 10ga. It might be as thin as 18ga. How far can this iteration possibly go?

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@jumia The power cord you need to your amp is by the breaker on the amp, not the panel.

@jasonbourne52 Wrote:

I am unaware of any amp requiring a 10 gauge power cord. What amp/amps do you have?

My Crown Studio Reference 1 amp has a factory install non detachable 10 AWG power cord and a 30 amp plug. See image below:


CROWN STUDIO REFERENCE 1 One Industry Standard Amp Power Amplifier Good Cond image 2



Do your mono blocks have overload fuses? Most do.

If so, what amp fuses are they supplied with?
3A?, 4A?

14 gauge is rated to 15A so you should be good to go…


Jay’s Audio has many demos showing differences between pc’s in sound. Search them out if you want to. Synergy and everything makes a difference are key mantra’s that play out in practice. I have also upgraded cables from my sub board to my outlets and will be matching them to my highest grade cables in this new set up.

I would try and match your cords to your wall supply so you are not effectively choking off the available supply with resulting differences in resistance inductance and performance. Still you may need to try various cables to get the synergy you need.

Does "negatively impacting" the sound mean "degrading" the sound? Just wondering, here in our post-verb universe.


Cable discussions here tend to come down to beliefs. I believe a cable can improve the SQ. Or, I believe it can’t. But this issue is not about believing. Just listen and hear for yourself. No belief is required. Reshelving fees make us want to know what’s possible. In the end, your ears tell the truth. While at an audio show, a manufacturer swapped out four of their power cords. Frankly, I was a little pissed that I heard differences. I wanted to hear the same SQ from all the cords. Even though the SQ was unmistakeable different, I chose not to spend $1,000 on a power cord not because it wouldn’t help but because i have some ceilings on my spending. You can believe me or not but there’s no reason for belief to enter a cable discussion. As for the science behind it all—it doesn’t matter. You hear it or you dont. Whatever your answer is, you’re right.

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@pennpencil Exactly!  If you hear a sound quality improvement by upgrading power cables then proceed as your finances allow. You don’t need to hire an EE to tell you what you hear.  

14 awg is never big enough for an amp.   I have seen 10 awg power cords make huge difference in 5 wpc amps. 

The logic of @johnnycamp5 above is exactly why so many people have undersized power cords for their amps.  But I'm ok with that.  I've bought 2 excellent amps used and cheap that I concluded were sold because the owners had undersized power cords on them.


It’s just physics.

If a 4A fuse doesn’t blow during heavy use your likely not exceeding the 15A (14 gauge) power cords current capacity …

It may or may not cause you to hear a difference, perhaps at how much voltage sag a particular setup creates, but that’s personal/subjective to each person …

@pennpencil good point

FWIW I built my own power cables using Furutech bulk cable and connectors. You can buy what awg you want as well as shielding. I made mine custom length to each component. I bought cable covering from Amazon and some shrink tubing for the ends. It was fun project. Cost was around $170 per cable. You can buy less expensive connectors if you wish. 

I should have added that every circuit in my home is 20 amp. It was built that way and not something I did as we bought it from the original owners. 

@ditusa : my apologies after seeing your big Crown amp. How many wpc at 8/4/2 ohms? My Perreaux 2150B does 340/680/920@8/4/2 ohms. I will look and see what gauge power cord is on it. Also I was wondering if the MacIntosh 1000 watt mono amps use a 10 gauge or better cord?

@61falcon Wrote:


What is the current rating on that Crown amp?

Crown says current draw is 23 amps @ 120 volts AC. See manual below, page 33 figure 8.1 Studio Reference I power draw, current draw and thermal dissipation at various duty cycles.










The crown amp is 780 watts WPC @ 8Ohms, 1160 @ 4Ohms, with a damping factor of 20,000. See manual in post above.😎


If you want to geek out on this you can buy a voltage tester and a wattage meter on Amazon and find out some very important information about your setup.

You may have a voltage tester already. Measure the voltage at the outlet where you plug in your amp(s). Hopefully it is 120 volts or higher. You indicate that you used 10 gauge wire which is appropriate for a 30 amp circuit (20 amp circuits use 12 gauge wire). I don't believe you stated if you are using a 30 amp breaker and 30 amp outlets. If you used 10 gauge wire for a 20 amp breaker and outlet that won't hurt anything but you are outside standard electrical practice.

Using heavy gauge wire will reduce the amount of voltage loss over a long distance. If you have a very long run from your panel to your outlet, using 10 gauge would moderate the voltage drop. Please excuse this oversimplified statement but higher voltage allows your equipment to run less hard. You can also test for the voltage drop on the same circuit when you are playing your stereo loud. Hopefully it should be minimal.

A wattage meter will measure the draw of a particular piece of equipment. You plug it into the wall and then plug your component into the meter. With an amp it's particularly instructive because you can see how much wattage the amp is using at different volumes. Now you can quit guessing about the current demand of your amp which will allow you to make a more informed choice about the power cord. I'm assuming that your power cord will be less than 10 feet which will have minimal effect on the voltage drop from the outlet to your amp.

Lastly, there are two issues here that should not get conflated. The gauge of the power cord is important only because it needs to be appropriate for the wattage your amp will draw. It's likely that a 14 gauge cord would be big enough to handle the load your amps are presenting and a 12 gauge cord will give you a comfortable cushion. I'm pretty skeptical that you would hear the difference between a standard 14 gauge cord and a 12 gauge cord but if using the 12 gauge cord makes you more comfortable then go for it.

The design of the power cord is a completely different issue. As has been stated above, there is no universal agreement on whether or not boutique power cords make an audible difference so you have to try it for yourself and see if you can hear a benefit. Knowing your wattage draw is important for this, however, because bigger gauge aftermarket cords cost more money. When you get into the upper end cords this could mean a difference of hundreds (even thousands) of dollars between a 14 gauge cord and a 12 gauge cord.

I have had excellent results using the power cords the manufacturer selected and included in the box with a component.

Paul McGowan of PS Audio used to sell his own line of power cables until he used a full loom of top-line Audioquest cords. The performance improved to the point that PS now endorses AQ cables and no longer makes their own. @kingharold  You may be having excellent results with your stock cables but that doesn’t mean you might not hear even better results with aftermarket cords. I had aftermarket’s on all of my gear and then I had a Paul Mc type experience with my Shunyata Research NR cables. No going back once I heard my system with them. 

one caveat…never use power cables or any other type of aftermarket wires on your system that you can’t afford. 

I think I have a pretty nice system. Yesterday our internet was out and left with nothing else to do I sat down to listen to my system with my vinyl rigs (what do you streaming-only folks do if your internet goes down?). The first side or two sounded good but then after about an hour I found myself feeling uncomfortable. Something about the sound was annoying me but I could not for the life of me figure out what. I tried listening to different records including some that are known to be good. No change. I turned it off. 

My point, if there is one, is that everything matters. Sometimes you can't figure out what the problem is. It might be you (me). 


Watt meter is nice but it doesn't in my view accomplish everything you want.

Not sure it measures the extremely high speed changes in Power fluctuations needed for Music.  
Isn't the benefit of larger gauge wires throughout the electrical food chain to avoid any unnecessary impedance when power demands occur?? As tiny and subtle as they may be for all those gentle nuances in sonic transmissions.

@fsonicsmith1 Bad AC perhaps?  The one thing that nothing but an AC Regenerator or top notch power conditioner can help with. This is especially important to consider if you live in a high density population area or are near a commercial zone “dirty” AC  can be a very real problem. 

@jasonbourne52 … “It is unlikely a 14 gauge power cord is not negatively impacting the sound." That is poor grammar!”


You are correct. I have no idea what I was thinking: It is very likely a 14 gauge power cord is negatively impacting your sound quality. 

@jasonbourne52 … “Do you really believe that you can hear a difference between the Hurricane vs. the Thunder? A degreed electrical engineer will tell you otherwise! ”

I can hear the difference between a 1 meter and 2 meter Hurricane… as well as all the other power cords I own.

I came up with my own sonic rating scale years ago, but more recently found this one. It helps to systematically evaluate sound quality changes.


Also, you cannot honestly speak for all electrical engineers. I have know hundreds. I can say that most of those that actually sit down and listen to a good system will hear the difference… those just asked may say that is impossible.

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I removed the chart from my last post that showed  some dimensions to judge the sound of audio cables. It was not mine and I did not have the authors name to attribute it to, so here are some of the dimensions.


Soundstage, imaging, bass speed, bass,  wait, bass extension, lower range, mid range warmth, upper mid-range presents, upper mid-range refinement, transient attack, mid range body, decay, high frequency extension, sibilance control, tonal accuracy. Rate each on one to 10 scale.