Power cord - 5 ft vs 10 ft ?

I've heard many things about the length of a power cord. What is the ideal length of a power cord to give it a chance to perform at its best before connecting to an amplifier?


"It only has to be long enough to reach the wall outlet" - Peter Walker of Quad.

@jasonbourne52 : why are you always the very first poster in every single cable thread? I never understood. Is it some kind of life-goal of yours? if so, can you explain the underlying psyche behind it? Thanks.

If you are using a high end power cord, then 2 meters is the preferred length.


I had never considered length until recently. I always thought short to avoid clutter. My audio guy had told me 2. Meter was optimal. I happened to have a one meter and two meter of the same coed. I tried them both, and lo and behold he was right, the two meter sounded better. He had said, “You get more conditioning”. Well, after fifty years at this, I am still learning things.

Theoretically, since all power cords have a resistance per foot, the ideal length would be as short as practical. If by 'performance' you mean as low of a voltage drop to the amp as possible. 

@jasonbourne52 I can move my amp to be one inch from the outlet. Any idea where I can get a 1” power cord? Or should I just hardwire the amp to wall?


@jumia you’re overthinking it. Here’s why….a 1m AudioQuest Hurricane will be way better than a 3m AudioQuest Thunder for nearly the same price. Get where I’m going with it? Quality over quantity. Unless money is no object. 

For power cables my understanding and experience suggests that shorter is not better. Depending on cable, at least for the ones i use, 1,5m-2m is perfect.

Short as comfortable.  Using shielded will ensure you have the best noise blocking (both in and out). 

There is something to be said about using a longer shielded cable.  A little R and C can help reduce noise, but by a tiny amount. 

Dear @jumia, If you’ve heard "many things" about the length of power cables, you may be reading too many audio boards! 😉 There really isn’t that much to say!

If this is an effect at all, it’s vanishingly small compared to things such as speaker and component selection, speaker and listener positioning, acoustics, subwoofer positioning and integration, choice of listening chair, and so on. And the more subtle of those are absolutely swamped by variations among recordings.

As a rule, one could do far worse than "long enough to reach the wall outlet."


as short as possible.  as long as necessary for comfortable routing.  Avoid coils and loops.  

these are rules of thumb that are based on physics.  that said. you probably won't hear a differnce between 5' and 10' if both are good quality heavy gauge (10 awg) cable.

Some will say short, some will say long. Some of the Jason Bourne ilk will say it does not matter, like usual. These strange dudes don’t think cables do anything, but for some reason post non-stop in all cable related threads 🤔

@thyname - I was going to say that proper cables must be measured in meters and not feet :-)

@audphile1  - You bring up a very important point for consideration.  Assuming that all other things being equal a longer power cord is better, then at what point are you better off to get a higher quality cable in a shorter length for the same money spent.  I'm sure that at some price points the cost difference between a 5 ft power cord (junk) and an otherwise identical 3 m power cord (amazing based on the unit of measure) would be negligible.

Long enough to reach from your equipment to the wall outlet or power strip.

A high end cable manufacturer/retailer whose name everyone here would recognize and respect (and name I will not divulge) told me to buy the size I need. He said retailers push the buy at least 2 meter for best sound BS solely for extra profit.  And he listens extensively to his products and does not hear a difference between PC cable lengths.


Reviewed your system pictures and award you the prize of most thoughtful presentation of pictures I’ve ever seen.

Interesting system and took interest in all those dedicated circuits you have.

Thickness of a power cable certainly is important as you indicate do to better noise control via assumed better shielding.

Post removed 

@jasonbourne52 - Have you ever sat side by side with an audiophile that claimed to hear differences in power cords?  I'd be curious to have you paired up with someone for some blind testing that started at the macro end of the audiophile scale where everyone would agree that audible changes would be expected (e.g. similar speakers) and then work down the rabbit hole to see where you jumped off the "I can hear it" train.

jasonbourne52’s avatar

jasonbourne52 ….crooks that promote such voodoo science!

Sue them!!! 🤑🤑🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯


Always make sure that your power cords are measured in meters, because the ones measured in feet just don’t sounds as good.

I like the way @hilde45 put it.  The size of the conductors is 99% of it.  I would much rather have an ebay chinese 10 awg power cord than a high end 14 awg power cord.  If fact, I would promptly replace the latter.

jumia OP

475 posts




Thickness of a power cable certainly is important as you indicate do to better noise control via assumed better shielding.

You draw all that from this statement?

hilde45's avatar


3,929 posts


It's not length son that's important, it's girth.

Like any electric circuit, you need a wire that can handle the load.  That’s why a 10’ - 14 gauge wire is fine for a streamer, it’s not for a 200 watt class A tube amp.

Got the feeling Jason Borne was left permanently scarred by nasty power cable break up, can take some time to heal maybe someday meet a new cable.

Jasonborne plainly he does not believe cable can make the system sound better, I respect that? Yes Thymame I also notice Jasonborne either he is first or second to post.

Long enough to connect without straining, large enough to carry the required load, and as well insulated as you can afford/justify within reason.  I run 6 foot AudioQuest NRG-4 to my PS Audio Powerplants and 3 foot AudioQuest NRG-2 from the Powerplants to the components.  Sounds wonderful without breaking the bank.

Most of my power cords are of the DIY persuasion and I have a nice stash of Oyaide 046 and 004 plugs.  I bought a few hundred feet of rather good silver plated solid core copper wire some years ago and have built several power cords of varying lengths, from just a couple feet to a few meters.  I've used these on all my components over the years and yes, I have experimented to see if a short cord sounded different than a long with the same wire and plugs and I really couldn't discern a difference of any significance.  There might have been the slightest of differences but, in my systems and to my ear, it was truly negligible.

I put things comically, but I think gauge is important. Not all important, but important. There's a lot of information out there. My approach has been to try to spend enough so I was not using a cheap cord, but not so much that the cost started to be too high in proportion to my system.

I have heard demonstrations with power cables costing $2k and $7k and I could hear a difference -- in that system, that room. That didn't make me touch my wallet, however, because I want to change the weakest links, first, and I have a ways to go.

This video was interesting: 


I have heard 4 feet, but have never heard a difference in terms of length, so I just get a cord that gets me to the outlet on the power conditioner.

@hilde45 everything matters and the plugs make a significant difference. I have experimented with using different connectors on several power cords including stock cable and there’s definitely an improvement. 

My Dad was an EE w/ multiple patents (like my grandfather) & into hi fi from the 50"s onward. He was pretty smart & knew a lot about audio as well as electronics in general. He had a few different Dynaco power amps he built &  heavily modified to power his quite large Bozak speakers he also built from parts he got from Rudy Bozak.  I know there were two 50 watt mono amps & also a stereo 70 at one time too but don't remember if he biamped or not. The amps were on a shelf he built in the basement connected to the main floor floor joists just below the speakers in the living room w/ his preamp , turntable & tape deck in a cabinet in the living room itself. 

Anyway, he used no power cords at all for the amp but simply ran "homeruns" from the electric panel to the amps & hard wired them directly into the amps! He rarely did anything w/o a well thought reason so I'm wondering why he opted for this?

Wouldn't you think that the best power cord is no power cord? Obviously, there are practical reasons why this wouldn't always work but for folks like many here who are totally into the ultimate best sound they can get out of their systems, I surprised this is not mentioned?


Oh dear...

Another power cable length thread!

This one in any length will energize your amp with shockingly good results

649518888_large_e0ec7f17fb350d06fc473f34a9d3b2ca.jpg (1100×825)

@jonwolfpell Wrote:

Wouldn’t you think that the best power cord is no power cord? Obviously, there are practical reasons why this wouldn’t always work but for folks like many here who are totally into the ultimate best sound they can get out of their systems, I surprised this is not mentioned?

I agree. I spoke about it in a previous discussions. see below:





ditusa’s avatar

1,092 posts


@lalitk Wrote:

That’s one way to end the debate on fancy aftermarket power cords. Let’s bring back electronics with captive power cords 🤣

I agree. Another way is to eliminate the power cord and wall plug. I run my amp directly to the dedicated branch circuit, sounds better in my opinion, then running it with a power cord. 😎


@Cey - Apparently.  Last time Jumia asked similar questions all my posts with math were deleted.

1 meter vs 2 meters.  The biggest advantage I see in the 2 meter PC is you have the option of moving your equipment around a bit, 1 meter to be exact, without having to purchase yet another PC.  And that reminds me of the lousy carpenter who complained "I've cut this damn board 3 times and it's still too short!"

The Cable Co also suggest 2 meters and mentioned that the capacitance can be good beyond the filtering and noise in some cases. It may also depend on how much you want each PC to influence the sound, but I wouldn't go to 10ft unless I needed the length. I use 1.5M for most but do have some 1M to avoid loops.

I'm also a big fan of larger AWG (girth) for improved macro dynamics. It's odd to me that a short length can make such a difference, but that's what I hear. It does seem harder to make a large AWG cable sound good and balanced in other ways.

I personally like Jason's posts, always succinct and to the point.

There is always so much pseudoscience involved with Hi-Fi it's hard to figure out what is actually real and what's not.

I'm a firm believer in the fact that 1, 2, or 3, meter cords, I'll never hear the difference.

Two days ago I borrowed a mains noise analyzer from my local dealer. I learned how much noise is on the regular ring circuit in my listeningroom. I was surprised at how much noise was on my dedicated 20 Amp circuit. Radio broadcast, static,etc. I was also surprised at how much noise was coming off my 100 pound lead acid battery.

I inserted a transparent audio powerwave which tested at virtually noiseless. I used a high quality "audiophile" type power cord to provide power to the powerwave.

I was gratified that it greatly reduced the hum from my two 45 tube monoblocks.

I checked the noise off of an extension cord that was plugged in to the powerwave and was surprised at how much noise it picked up. It was not a shielded cord so perhaps that should have been expected.

From this I’ve decided that I’m going to have some kind of power conditioner in my system.

So this comment is not purely about power cable length. But I thought experience. 

I have a transparent power isolator and many of their Power cords. Glad to hear it reduces the noise. I’m skeptical about noise analyzers because they tend to make the problem sounds really bad by amplifying the noise so you can hear it. But if you move them around to different outlets in your home you’ll see differences. How meaningful this will be to your system is anyone’s guess.

Even dedicated circuits Will share noise from everywhere else in your house.  I installed a dedicated circuit with 10 gauge wire so the electricity supply would be more responsive to audio system demands, ie. Not impeding those electrons.

Also skeptical of really nice power cords being recommended to attach to a company’s power conditioner. They contend it makes it even better. It may make things better like they say.

Nevertheless, if your system is very revealing and on the upper end, having well shielded power cords and an unrestrictive power conditioner has merit.



Blown away by your record collection.  I remember having a 45 Record player with an automatic Stack feeder which for singles made a lot of sense.  For you, and probably not kosher, how nice it might be to have an automatic feeder for your collection.  That way you can plan out a whole afternoon and never have to get up and those late night parties will never have to contend with extended silence.

How does one choose and then find what to play?

@jumia Thank you for your kind comment about my record collection. It has been fun and still is growing, though at a slower rate. 

How do I choose what to play? Great, great question. Believe it or not, mostly i am streaming these days. Saves wear and tear on the cartridge and it is really stressless. Through my bluesound node2i and my orchid it sounds pretty good.

Currently I am running a 25’ exertion cord to my subs from the back of the room because of a weird ground loop issue I can’t shake. I guess that puts me in the power cords don’t matter camp lol.