Help Me Explain Power Cables to my Guitar Friends

Guys, I need some help!

I have suggested to some of my guitar geek buddies that they could improve the performance of their tube guitar amps by replacing the power cords. Now, I know that many here already believe in the qualities of upgraded power cords. But I can't convince my guitar buddies; they won't even try it because they say, "You need to show me some scope measuresments before I believe this 'snake oil' stuff about power cords."

Does anybody know of some way you can "measure" power cords that would "demonstrate" that they can improve performance? Help me out here!
I don't know if I can offer anything other than moral support. As you well know, many audiophiles have great difficulty with judging performance by "measurements". If we bought according to "measurements", nobody would buy tube amps. People would all have Pioneer receivers with distortion measurements of .00001. No offence intended to the owners of Pioneer's fine products. It is the lack of standardization in measurement methodology which is one of the reasons for this of course. As somebody once said: "Standards are a good thing, that's why we have so many of them".

I would make further efforts to encourage them to actually try it. Do you have a guitar that you can demonstrate with if they won't try it themselves? You can maybe needle them a bit to cajole them into trying. Ask them why they trust measurements more than their own ears. Ask them why they want to be told what is better rather than seeing and hearing for themselves. Ask them why they're so closed minded...suggest that as they get older, they're becoming more like their parents! Middle age is that time in life when one's broad mind and narrow waist change places. Most guitar geeks are a bit of a rebel. These type of sarcastic comments might arouse them to their natural non-comformist state and they might try something just to be defiant. Ask them why they use crappy tube amps when solid state amps "measure" so much better.

And of course, if it does work and they try it, you'd better make sure that you have a power cord that actually does sound better.
Changing power cords might actually hurt the performance of a guitar amp, Unlike hifi, guitar amps are all about coloring the signal, and they are prized for the ways in which they distort.

Many classic sounds are based on undersized power and output transformers, carbon composition resistors, underfiltered sagging power supplies and overdriven speakers and tubes. It's a whole different country.

Guitar playing is my other hobby, and I use a completely different set of criteria for judging guitar amps. As a player it's as much about feel as about sound. "Improving" the amp with a power cord may destroy the qualities cherished by the player.
Ghostrider, you make a good point. However, I once used an acoustic zen tsunamic pc on a Marshall in a very dirty ac environment, and it took really helped get rid of a lot of EMI that was messing up that amp's performance.

There's no doubt that there is A LOT of audiophile BS (Bovine Scatology) out there, but somethings do make sense. I was a skeptic about power cords, but I've found that, depending on your environment and specific componensts, PCs make a bigger difference than any other type of cable. Sure, not ALL applications yeild desirable results, but, hey, it's fun just to try it out.

Anyway, thank you, all, for your responses. I'm out of the audiophile hobby for the moment (unless you count my ipod), but I have some nice guitar amps (Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr. and a '70 Fender Princeton), and I have the same passion for guitar gear as I do for stereo gear. It's very interesting to me how much some guitar guys really disrespect audiophiles, no matter what the issue is . . .
"Unlike hifi, guitar amps are all about coloring the signal"


To me, audio IS all about coloring the signal in a way I like.

Maybe, I'm in the wrong hobby.
Interesting thread.
Ghostrider is correct that the desired sound out of guitar amps is antithetical at times to what we try to achieve in audiophile land.

I would generally suggest just trying a 14ga Volex (6$) in place of whatever 16ga or 18ga stock thing they are using.
If they are using an amp that is a solid state or digital modeler design-they should notice a lowered noise floor which allows their tone/sound to be heard better. They will be convinced as it is all about sound in the end.

If they are using a tube amp or SS/tube hybrid they should still hear some difference. Whether they like it or not is up to them.

I use a LINE 6 combo amp and POD XT modeler and and use the simple 14ga Crump DIY power cord on my combo amp with good results.

Very simply-just bring a cord over and let them try it.

I also use a custom Evidence Audio guitar cord from my guitar to the amp.
My belief is that better cords/cables allow me to hear the guitar/amp or modeler created sound better.