Why Power Cables Affect Sound


I just bought a new CD player and was underwhelmed with it compared to my cheaper, lower quality CD player. That’s when it hit me that my cheaper CD player is using an upgraded power cable. When I put an upgraded power cable on my new CD player, the sound was instantly transformed: the treble was tamed, the music was more dynamic and lifelike, and overall more musical. 

This got me thinking as to how in the world a power cable can affect sound. I want to hear all of your ideas. Here’s one of my ideas:

I have heard from many sources that a good power cable is made of multiple gauge conductors from large gauge to small gauge. The electrons in a power cable are like a train with each electron acting as a train car. When a treble note is played, for example, the small gauge wires can react quickly because that “train” has much less mass than a large gauge conductor. If you only had one large gauge conductor, you would need to accelerate a very large train for a small, quick treble note, and this leads to poor dynamics. A similar analogy might be water in a pipe. A small pipe can react much quicker to higher frequencies than a large pipe due to the decreased mass/momentum of the water in the pipe. 

That’s one of my ideas. Now I want to hear your thoughts and have a general discussion of why power cables matter. 

If you don’t think power cables matter at all, please refrain from derailing the conversation with antagonism. There a time and place for that but not in this thread please. 
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Not sure that some truly understand the palcebo effect.

The placebo effect can cause real actual measurable change or alterations in the human body. immune response, Herxheimer response, inflammation response, chemical balance response, and more.

So it is impossible to do medical studies and just say ’placebo’. It is far far too complex for that simplicity to exist as most people think it does.

It also means it is not proper or even remotely real to name drop ’palcebo’ into an audio discussion... and consider the case solved in one’s favor...... so that it can be ’justifiably’ used as an axe to attack the understandings and opinions of others. With full clouds of feverish spinning righteousness attached.

To the informed, which sadly, number a frightening few....it shows a notable amount of ignorance of the subject at hand.

Human hearing, for example, is a half in half out consciousness and unconscious affair... that is a variable and hand built..and alterable, shiftable, tunable, in that half-in half-out kind of way.

Which the complexities of placebo, which is directly indicated but misapplied... play in that field and area.

And that's just a minimal (very incomplete) descriptor of the one component of a very complex scenario.
I have a fair working understanding of placebo effect as a physician and as a clinical trials assistant prior to that. 

And I agree with you that the subject is complex. A lot of people are also unaware of the corollary to placebo which is the nocebo effect. It further complicates the whole process.

I also agree that its existence (along with closely related and probably inseparable consideration of psycho-acoustics) is not sufficient to dismiss all arguments regarding SQ issues. And yet, it must be considered and suggesting that it must be considered has nothing to do with self-righteousness or axe -weilding. It is often the elephant in the room that has to be tamed before legitimate and reproducible evidence is put forward.
Yeah see, a bit of reason. 

My issue is with those who cry "placebo!" (and let loose the hounds of internet beatings!).... and then most, who have no idea, go along with it.....

And they pick it up and use it too....as it curve fit their desires and expectations so darned well....
@prof No offense taken. It’s probably a good thing to be reminded here and there of the subjective and sometimes fallable nature of human perception. Perhaps I was being overly sensitive, but I interpreted your remarks on human listening error as “there’s no way you can hear a sound change with a power cable and if you think you did, you’re wrong,” which is a bold statement to make given there are many different types of cables, types of systems, listening rooms, and listeners. The combination is nearly endless which probably plays a role in why some people hear it and some people don’t. Don’t get me wrong - I’m sure I have been “fooled” by my own ears here and there, but I have two examples (the power cord and a speaker wire example) where I’m confident I’m not being fooled - the sound did change, for better in one example and for worse in the other. 

It sounds like you are listening the “right way.” 😃 Good point on the lights. A low light level is more enjoyable!