Sharing my experience with cables

Almost 40 years ago, a dealer in Montreal loaned me a pair of MIT cables. My scientific background refused the idea that cables would have any impact on electrons propagating at the seed of light.

The impact on the soud was so evident that I bought them. Since, I have tried many cables of all kinds and spent over 20 K on cable for two systems, one in Montreal and the other on the lake.

My criteria for all my components is physical:  if my arms and neck hair are raised by the music, it works for me. The other critical aspect I discovered over the years is distortion, which I think has a lot to do with crossovers. I beleive that crossovers are powerful filters whose job is to kill music.  Electrostatics are clean because they don't use such filters. But i still prefer normal drivers, , 2.5 ways because somehow the roll off frequencies are away from most of the music is. 

My latest speaker are Wilson Sophia 3, Raidho X3 and Q Concept 500 .

The Transparent speaker cables work fine with Wilson and Q Concept. For the Raidho I use  Luna Red for speakers and usb from the Aurender to the Devialet amp.

All of this just to give you context on what I a m about to say.

The cables I foud to have the most impact is the Power cable to the power amps (solid state)!  Here are my recent experiments:

Audioquest Blizzard makes the Raidhos sound dark, as if the riboon tweeter were dead !  

My most expensive cable is a DR Acoustics Red fire ultra ( 5K).  It makes  the Qconcepts too bright.   

Custom made Furutech are  much better with the Q Concepts.

I will try the DR power cable with the Raidhos next week.

They are all way better than the 5$ cords supplied with electronics. 

Finally, I have found litthe effect of cables on Aurender streamers and Dacs. This is aanother subject though.


Thank you for any suggestions. This is my first post here, so be indulgent !



I have found litthe effect of cables on Aurender streamers and Dacs.

Do you just mean power cords or interconnects too, and is this just specific to Aurender or a general experience? I hear significant differences between interconnects between my DAC and preamp, but I’m now looking to upgrade my DAC’s PC from stock, which I just assumed would make a meaningful improvement. Anyone else find little difference in upgrading the PC for a DAC (Those who don’t believe cables make a difference PLEASE refrain from responding as it is not helpful to me and just detracts from the purpose of the thread — thank you)?

I wonder if we can trust , the pairing power cable-amplifier ; used in audio shows;

by a specific brand.

I live near Montreal.

Bonne journée


So all cables sound different. How about that.


Not only that, but some cables pair up better than others with certain equipment. *GASP*

Shocking, I tell you. ;)


It’s your system and your ears, try as many cables brands that yields to ultimate synergy and joy. That’s all matters at the end of the day!

No I mean just the power cords for streamers and Dacs. Didn't hear any meanigful differences. They are all connected through power treament ( PS audio and ifi), which does make a difference ( cleaner, less distortion)


The interconnects make a difference:  more space around the instruments. I have tried a few usb cables and the Luna was the best for around 1 K.  

Over the years, have you found ways to do ABX testing -- as one more way to learn what you can and cannot discern? I have a number of different cables and the sound different to me, but I also want them to sound different.


The power cord on my amp was also the biggest and profound difference after speaker cables. I struggled with getting the right power cord for my amp. I tried several different Cardas and Tranparent (but not the one made specifically for amps)… Cardas had greater weight but attenuated the details a bit. My dealer brought over a Hurricane… profoundly better. I bought it. If I were you, I would have someone let you try the Dragon and the Hurricane.


I did find differences in power cords on all my other components, but definitely the effect was not as great as on the amp. I have all Transparent Ultra cabling except for the amp power.

Ignore the wise guys and continue to trust your ears. Personally, I found that power cords had more impact on my digital gear than my amps and speaker cables had more positives and negatives than interconnects but that is just me as all systems are different as well as what we are listening for.



my cable adventure from basic cheap cables has been utterly amazing. In my opinion it is what changed my system so so much from noise to music. The dedicated line followed by power cables (which no dealer told me to start with as they said speaker and interconnects) power cables transformed my listening experience totally. Music just came to life. I added one at a time and upgraded once i heard what they did. I only recently added Odin 2 speaker cable which of course is off the charts great. I went with Nordost after trying a couple different manufacturers including AQ. I liken my experience to power cables are cleaning my house well before a dinner party occurred. Clean house, quiet everything down to where I don’t hear that Muslin, blanket sheen of noise. Then interconnects which in my experience are nice but not even close to what I gained with great power cables. Then the speaker cables which is the party. I would never invite a party to a dirty house (unless in college) which is where i am at. Now the speaker cables add so much in the way of dynamics and energy. Man I love what cables do. I couldn’t imagine a system without them. I did it one step at a time so as not to be duped by sales or other peoples opinion. Nordost is an extraordinary line. Smooth dynamic but always about the music. But i really found that started to really happen around tyre 2 level. Which is expensive. I love tyre 2, but V2 is exceptional in smoothness and dynamics. Just my experience. 



i should add that I also have wilson speakers and VTL components. Every system is different.

Plus how clean the power is in your house will play a big role. So many factors that may or may not apply in every system. Two people could have identical systems that sound differently in different houses because of power and the listening space (layout, surface materials, etc). A bit mind blowing and intimidating for many when you think about it.



totally accurate! High rises and cities power is so different. Depends on noise levels and interference. That is why in my 2 unit condo I have a dedicated 20 amp line. Cost me about 3k with nice 10-2 cable. Very important to not get cheap ass romex cable for this and don’t bend cable to dedicated line! About 750 for 200 feet. I then bought a great cable (v2) from wall into my qb8 power distributor. Then cables from the components. Hunting down and killing noise is so expensive, but is worth every penny for that hair raising on arm aound as lucmichaud1 said. 

if you buy OCC single crystal wire you don't have to do all this BS anymore, OCC single Crystal has been proven now for over 50 years to be the best wire for audio that is out there far superior to anything ofc at any price. and that MIT and transparent stuff is terrible those boxes just screw up everything.

The OP did not use blind testing! His opinions/conclusions are highly suspect! If I had a dollar for every "my golden ears tell me it is so" post here on Agon I'd have a million $$$$!

When is the OP going to submit his theory of why power cords sound different to the Noble Prize Committee for Physics? Enquiring minds want to know!


I'm with you part of the way.

I certainly hear differences in cables when they are in the signal path but none in power cables and certainly none in fuses - well, I've only tried putting the fuse in the other way but many people say this makes a big difference because wire is directional.

But you are quite right.  All this is massively overdone and it's totally crazy to spend $5000 on a pair of cables when it buys a good amp or turntable, a luxury holiday or even something nice for the wife.


Thank you all so much for your responses. Food for thought for sure.

I can add that I do have dedicated lines with PS Audio and Audioquest wall outlets.

In my quest for the new main system, I have listened carefully to over 500,000 $ of high end speakers in the last year, not counting all those at the Montreal Audio show. A long but immensly satisfying journey. Thank you for the Dealers in Montreal , Codell Audio, Art et Son and Éric at Filtronique and in Paris,  Devialet main store and Présence audio. Speakers were Magicos, Wilsons, Paradigm Persona, Audiovector, Rockport, Focal, Sonus faber, Qln and Raidho, just to name the finalists. 

They were all great, but different. I could summarize my findings in another post.

But going back to cables, power in particular, I am quite baffled by the big sonic difference I hear between the Audioquest blizzard, which I would describe as dark, TDR Red Fire, too much detail and brightness for the Q Concepts and Furutech, with good balance but maybe less differentiantion of instruments in orchestral music. 

I know this is all scientifically unexplainable, but I still need to make a choice. 

My wife has better hearing than me, and although she has no interest in all this, she and her daughter immediately notice when I made a change and can describe it in their own terms, which are correct. 

I listen to hours of music every day, often at pretty high volumes. I discover new music with Apple Music and Qobuz reviews. I then buy the hires tracks from Qobuz and store them in the Aurender. Contemporary recordings by ECM, DG, Erased Tapes etc  are incredibly better than last century ones. But in the end, its the music that counts.

Thank you all again for sharing your thoughts with me. 


it's totally crazy to spend $5000 on a pair of cables when it buys a good amp or turntable, a luxury holiday or even something nice for the wife.

Someone with a lot less money than you would say it's totally crazy to buy Starbucks when they can make instant coffee at home. 

If it gives someone pleasure to buy Starbucks or an expensive power cable, then your opinion as to how they *should* spend their money is almost the same as telling them that they are having the wrong pleasure. But surely you cannot say that.

Call me crazy, I noticed a difference when I installed my Audioquest Thunder PC....for me, an expensive cable at near a grand. It is connecting my Amp to my AQ Niagara, from there I use a AQ NRG Z3 cable to the wall receptacle, an AQ Edison. You have to wrestle the Thunder cable like a Python, but once in place, it stays put.

Jason Bourne: you sound like you are in distress and / or panic mode. Three consecutive posts in a very short period of time:

The OP did not use blind testing! His opinions/conclusions are highly suspect! If I had a dollar for every "my golden ears tell me it is so" post here on Agon I’d have a million $$$$!

When is the OP going to submit his theory of why power cords sound different to the Noble Prize Committee for Physics? Enquiring minds want to know!

The Emperor really has no clothes on!

I encourage you to not do anything crazy, and calm down.


Breaking news to you: people are free to share their impressions here at will. They don’t need to provide any proof, blind tests or otherwise, to be able to share their impressions. On the other hand, please feel free to share your own blind tests, if that is what you are all about. Obviously, all your blind tests needs to be conducted under strict scientific parameters, and certified by an independent third party panel. 


+1 @ghdprentice 

I have definitely heard difference’s on my amplifier with different power cords, but little to none on my streamer or either CD player/transports.

All the best.


The OP did not use blind testing! His opinions/conclusions are highly suspect!

So are yours.

I like Synergistic Research cables (and still use some other brands in the mix for power), but like you @lucmichaud1 , certain equipment seems to benefit more than others. Have to experiment and find what works best with your equipment. 


Both the OP and another poster a few posts into the thread politely asked the naysayers to refrain from making negative or dissenting comments ... guess what? That's exactly what happened. Kind of exposes their character.

I guess it would be asking too much for them to take a hands off approach and let the conversation go on unimpeded. 

Don't know if this dynamic ^^^ entertains any of our other members to the same degree as it does me, but it cracks me up to see certain members, almost always the same ones, knocking the approach someone else has taken to lower their noise floor or how they've built their own individual system.

I say this with the highest degree of respect for your particular setup, whatever you have, at whatever level you're participating in our shared hobby ... who gives a fly**g fa*t what you think. I think some just feel compelled to give others s**t?

I read one time years ago that someone likened the dynamic that goes on in these forums to the types of roles we all played, individually, in high school from a social standpoint. Like the type of cliques that were formed, whether you're a geek, dork, rich kid, bully, etc.

I'm not going to try to illustrate that point further b/c it's sort of a to each his own kind of thing as far as those perceptions go. But check out that dynamic and see if it doesn't fit. The two roles I'd like to point out are the d***h**d bully and the smart**s punk, because they seem to be the ones that are here to cause dissension. 

The way I've personally come to understand the relevance, for myself, of how power being clean or not affects my system, and the role that wires and cables play in how good my system performs is by listening to what literally everyone has had to share. All respective angles, you might say. By keeping an open mind and listening to other people's experiences ... both good and bad. That's also the reason I'm of the mindset that I think there's too much censorship. It causes so many valuable points and perspectives to be buried. Not disappearing those disruptive posts would also help those of us who're trying to be constructive around here identify the troublemakers.

Like others have pointed out, there are a lot of folks around here that have waaaaay bigger resources to build their systems than I do. I personally get a kick out of some of the absurd spending that goes on around here ... but it doesn't bother me in the least. I've got a little kid bit to share, having beacon bucks doesn't equate with being happy and most of the time works in the opposite direction. Some of those folks with the biggest budgets have taught me some of the best lessons about which direction I want to move next in building my system and refining my sound. The ones that's smart and have good taste, anyway.

I've got some rather revealing speakers, some would say too revealing and they're also rather detailed, again some would say too detailed (Martin Logan, Summit) ... but my own personal experience has been that at the moment I introduced a PS Audio P15 into my system it quite literally brought everything together. It was expensive as hell but I would say worth literally every penny.

My own understanding, from what I've learned from being schooled on this site, is that what that would indicate more than anything is that I have good synergy b/w my components. 

I read a ton of reviews before I bucked up for my Nordost cables b/c they're absurdly expensive, but I would have to agree that one of the best things about them is that they'll let whatever's there shine thru unabated. 

To each his/her own on what it takes to get your individual system to perform at its peak. From what I can tell it's both a science and an art ... and I suppose this issue is kind of like parenting, in that we all (every last one of us) gets to have our own take on the situation. And I believe it's even more true that every one of us will get results that are commensurate with our own individual understanding/mastery of all the different variables involved.

Like I said, I guess it's just asking too much for all of us to be able to get along and play together nicely. 


@tunefuldude +1

I ride the city bus to work. That bus has a mixture of people, but typically there are some that just *have* to tell random other people what they think. Sometimes they’re drunk, sometimes not. But for some there is this psychic pressure to let words out of their mouth. Others on the bus glance over at them or ignore them, mostly. They don’t want to get entangled with people who have "issues." Ignoring them is usually the safest course, and it allows civilized people to continue what they’re doing.

On occasion the people uttering random comments are threatening or obstreperous; so, the bus pulls over and the cops show up. Kind of unpleasant, but it’s the price of keeping things decent for everyone else.

@lucmichaud1 I have been exchanging my OCC wire Cables to PC Tripe C wire Cable and DUCC wire Cable.

The impression the PC Triple C cable has had through the initial use as a Phono Cable has been enough to trigger curiosity and to learn more about how it can influence the SQ from the system.

The System is nearly completed with a full Cable change. At present there are Cartridge Tag Wires, nano treated Power Cord, RCA Phono Interconnect's and Speaker Cable, that are introduced.

The intention is to have all devices powered with a nano treated PC Triple C Power Cord, as the impression made when using the Power Cord on the available devices has been notable for the perception of improvement, especially on the Digital Source Devices. 

My nano treated PC Triple C Power Cord has been on loan for a period of time to a friend who has been converting to PC Triple C wire, even to the point the impression made, has encouraged them to have found a way to use the wire as an internal wand signal wire in their Tonearm.  This same Person has said the nano treatment is preferred over their owned Cryo Treated PC Triple C wire Power Cord,  the nano Treated Wire that is on loan is said to improve on the resolution.

The detected differences could have initially been due to a variety of factors, but now both have been compared to each other using the same Plug Connectors, the variables that can be contributing are getting less.  

On my system I can't tell much difference on power cord.  Although I have changed all to include various different from AQ. Monsoon for amps, NRG for pre and everything else.  Can't tell much difference in Digital cables.  However I do use Kimber D60, AQ Carbon usb, DH labs d110 Aes/Ebu, Harmonic technology magic, and AQ Carbon Digital rca. They all sound kinda the same.  Great. I do tell a difference  in interconnect between pre and dacs, amps and phono pre, CD player. There I am using a mix of Mogami Gold,  Harmonic technology truthlink,  Kimber Hero, Kimber PBJ, Cambridge Audio and AQ Carbon. All are XLR except CD and  Phono pre.

@hilde45   In your analogy are we to assume that Starbucks is actually good quality coffee?

Someone with a lot less more money than you would say it's totally crazy to buy Starbucks when they can make instant coffee at home. 


That's an objective opinion.

That's an objective opinion.

What is an "objective opinion"? 

Is it a "fact"? Why not say fact?

What is an "objective opinion"? 

Is it a "fact"? Why not say fact?

I could've said any number of words, none of which would have been as precise as the ones that I did. 

"Objective opinion" is not as clear as "fact" -- to me. Because opinions are typically thought to be "subjective." But as long as you think it's precise, I'm happy to leave it where you think it should rest. 


Obviously, all coffee tastes the same 🙄

Indeed it does! It all tastes VILE 😱

Carry on.

I am partial to Purist Audio 30th Anniversary AC cable at $15,000 a pop. A loom of 6 of these babies (90 grands) will make your system sing. What??  That’s not what you guys use? 😀 

Yep sure is $10K Integrated, $10K  Speakers. $10K Digital front, $10K Analog front end, $100K in Cables. 

Man it sounds good in my garage. 


I am partial to Purist Audio 30th Anniversary AC cable at $15,000 a pop. A loom of 6 of these babies (90 grands) will make your system sing. What??  That’s not what you guys use? 😀 

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40 years in audio, tons of gear and cables and the most musical cables I have experienced are Transparent and MIT!


havocman...excuse the nubie question; but is "OCC single crystal" wire a brand of design for a power cord that many different producers use?


@sparkymaui  OCC single crystal is a method of manufacturing. The metal is drawn in very long smooth strands with no breaks and fewer imperfections. A crude example would be a long strand of silk vs a strand of twine.

Yes power cords are crazy. Yes, they can make the biggest change over all the other cables.  Try a Purist Audio Dominus AC cord for your analog components.  Try their Aquila AC cord for Digital sources that output digital signals.

Sharing my experience, In 55 years of owning audio equipment, I've never heard a mind-altering difference if you swap out one quality cable with another.  I have heard differences but nothing that ever made me say, "Damn, I just have to have one of those." 

I connected my current system together with Purist Audio products and a couple of other manufacturers of like level and the system sounds fine to me.  The audiologist tells me I have some specific hearing losses (different in each ear) so, at this point, if there is a difference I'm probably not going to hear it.  Makes it a whole lot easier than chasing the ever-changing world of the "best cable for my system." 

I understand people who do it as a hobby, it's never been a hobby for me, I treat it like it's a system to use not futz with trying to find the ultimate sound for the money I have Holy Grail pursuit.   

If you enjoy tweaking your system - and cables are the latest do-dad - have fun doing it.  Just look out for those fuses...

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man, ive had a bit of a learning experience around cables reently. i always used 16 or 14 AWG zip wire/extension cords for spear wire. if its long or higher wattage i use 12/2 landscape cable--pure copper, stranded, 12AWG. been happy. also used 12 AWG speaker cables for high power PA systems in my home stereo as well. 

used some cheap interconnects and used some blue jeans cables. 

bought some morrow audio recently. set up my smaller system entirely with morrow audio level one for components and level 2 between preamp and amp. usin level 2 or 3 speaker cable. the speaers im usin are really midrange foreward with plenty of detail in the upper register to use for nearfield monitors. lately theyve sounded harsh. 

well somethings happened. that hardhness has steadily been going away. im not getting used to it--the sound is getting smoother and sweeter ,and i dont know what the heck it could be other than burn in. 

my brother came over today and said its the best goddam desktop system hes ever heard. 

my source components are 

rega 3 w/ sumiko blue point #3, laptop -> moon audio 100D DAC, cheap DVD player-> moon audio 100D DAC

-> audio by van alstine fet valve RB preamp, stock jj tubes -> adcom GFA-535-> halford loudspeaers margaritas

hey, somethings happened. its defnitely sounding sweter and other folks have, unprompted, noticed. 

Many years ago I owned a Bryston 4B.  My friend had a Threshold 400A which sounded better. Passing through an audio salon I found a used 400A that I manged to obtain for a great price. I got the dealer to throw in a SEAC cable (litz wire, rhodium connectors) for free.  I was astonished to discover that the $100 cable made more of a difference in my system than the $3000 amplifier. This experience mad a believer out of me.

Your scientific skepticism toward cables was justified, as few still understand them.  First, electrons do not travel at light speed. While the EM wave travels at 50-80% c, after Feynman and applying the index of refraction for skin depth effect at frequency we find, for example at 20 Hz, the Vp, velocity of propagation, is 1.83 m/s.  Therefore the wavelength is 0.30 ft, therefore cable length matters at AF. Secondly, what you are hearing with different cables is the result of matching impedances with amplifier circuits.  To prove and measure this, watch the reflected pulse on an oscilloscope to prove this to yourself.  Better yet a spectral analyzer to see the intense noise remaining on your cable.  Cables are active places, while amplifiers are relatively quiet.  These tools are far less expensive than a single audio component yet who has them.  

Third, power cables have a different application.  To be brief again, a very low inductance is desired, yet I have yet to see this parameter advertised.  Secure connections with a high clamping force are essential.  The bandwidth should also be wide because of the switching delay from the forward bias of the diodes, among several other factors.  

Not enough time to address your several concerns.  Also I don’t know how to respond to responses as I comment infrequently.