Interesting Power Cable Experience

I moved some items around in my office today and one of the items was a small Vizio tv and I noticed an aftermarket power cord was attached. It was a Dedicated Audio PDS1, 1.5m, 14ga. that I purchased in 2001. I removed and replaced it with a standard one as I now needed a more flexible one for the new spot the tv needed to be. During the process of deciding what to do with the extra cord, I remembered the Primare D20 cd player in my garage/shop. That along with a Pioneer RT-707 and a rebuilt/capped Marantz 1060 completes the system. I replaced the original, factory cord with the DA one and fired it up. Now, my standard settings for the Marantz is: all neutral tone control settings, all filters off, loudness off. 

Holy crap, tons of bass Batman! Could not believe the difference, too much bass! So, I engaged the low filter, engaged the loudness, midrange up one click and the treble up 2 clicks. I have used aftermarket cords on all my gear since the late eighties, when I was in the business and never heard such a difference before. I was very surprised.


If you're interested enough, put the other cable back on to make sure. Take a measurement with both cables, see what the difference is in real numbers. "Too much" isn’t telling us much. Is it an extra 3dB? 6dB? At what frequencies? I noticed a sound difference with two different amps on the same speakers. I was totally surprised to perceive the difference so I took sweeps with both amps, speaker and mic. in the same position, and volume adjusted. Sure enough, the two amps caused a different frequency response. What surprised me even more was that the difference wasn’t what I was expecting. The amp I suspected of having rolled off high frequencies actually had more output above 7k. It had slightly less in the range between about 2K and 7K, and I was perceiving that as "rolled off" highs.

I think one reason us measurement people get caught up in accusing the "subjective" camp of imagining things is that we jump to conclusions that they are claiming to hear things that are far below the threshold of human perception because we assume that their equipment is all operating to some theoretical test bench standard when it in fact may not be. I think that often if a direct measurement of the sound off their speakers is made before and after an equipment change that caused a perceived change in sound quality, a difference will show up that is known to be in the audible range.

"If you’re interested enough, put the other cable back on to make sure."

- Have done that many times. Been into high-end audio for 40 years and have listened to scores of cables of all makes, shapes & sizes. I know what to listen for, the results are not always good and with all due respect, I don’t feel a need to prove it to you or anyone else. Only ones ears can decide, not measurements. If an amp sounds great and measures like crap, I don’t care. If an amp measures great and sounds like crap I won’t use it. It's only about how it sounds to me.

@dill I've done it too. At one point I only had 1 power cable. The issue was it sounded much better on the DAC than it was on the amp. So there were occasions where I purposely left said upgraded cable on the amp with the intention of forgetting about it. I intended to forget about cables, but the bad sound was just irritating and the cable had to go back into the DAC. I now have 2 cables and there's no more battle. 

While I understand why certain people can't hear differences between cables, and this can be a combination of a number of things. All of which can contribute significantly to the final result. As for me, cables have been a substantial upgrade for pennies. 

2 of the biggest bangs for the buck are the Anticables Level 3 power cord and Signal Cables Magic Power Cord.  You can hear the improvement immediately to whatever you use it on!  Of course you will need to hook it up to your system with actual speakers and stuff but …yeah.

@dave_b "2 of the biggest bangs for the buck are the Anticables Level 3 power cord and Signal Cables Magic Power Cord. You can hear the improvement immediately” new cables vs what “old"?