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. 

I understood his last two sentences to mean that if one is skeptical, not to be antagonistic. Which I abided by.
Now, if the OP meant that ANY suggestion of skepticism was by nature "antagonistic" then that I think is unwarranted. There’s no reason differing views between mature adults should be rejected as "antagonistic" simply because "it’s different from what I believe, and I don’t want to have to deal with alternative viewpoints."

However, IF the OP had written something clear such as "This thread is based on the assumption after market AC cables can alter the sound of a system: if you are skeptical about this, please do not bring that to this thread, as I wish to discuss purely the ideas of how AC cables could alter the sound of a system. Thank you."

If it had been clear like that, I would completely understand and wouldn’t have entered this thread with another skeptical view of "why power cables affect sound."
Anyway....having made my case I'll refrain from posting more in this thread.  (Unless possibly baited to, or unless someone is actually interested in my responding).


I’m not at all embarrassed, nor likely to become embarrassed by my posts. Simply put, you posted a quote from ARC and grossly distorted it to apply to this conversation, and I called you on it.

While it may be true true that PC can affect the sound of an ARC amplifier, your quote from that particular manual sure as heck doesn’t show that ARC feels that way. You know it, I know it. That’s enough on that matter I think.

Much more interesting to me now, having seen on this thread, is just how many people are convinced that (essentially) they own equipment with inadequate power supplies.

It is nearly (nearly) inconceivable that a decently routed PC could pick up enough noise that it affects the sound. But it’s easily conceivable that noise is on the AC lines up to the receptacle. (But again is a PC really capable of cleaning it up?..,, and yes, I know, I keep on using that word, and you don’t think I know what it means)

I’m going to try and find a company that believes strongly enough in their power conditioners or rectifiers that they offer money back guarantee. I’m sure some naysayer would blame my Lyngdorf processor or Bryston SST or B&W speakers or interconnects or speaker cables of inadequate resolution if I can’t hear the difference, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

It it would be interesting if any of the people who are hearing improvements in PC swapping have ever found equipment with adequate power supplies from the factory that simply can’t be improved on with a different pc. It can’t all be c__p out there, can it?
Let me share my experience.  As you can see I do not spend a lot of time posting on forums, for I spend most of my time working.  I have an engineering background in education and last 18 years have spend most of my time developing technology to enable the next generation circuits for smaller and more efficient semiconductors.  If you have owned an Apple product or an Xbox or another device which uses semiconductors you likely have owned a product which I had some part in designing.  This includes many patents.
The reason I tell you this is because I want you to understand my background started with known mathematical equations but when you get into the real world those equations although not wrong fail to capture all the variables which drastically effect the out come.  When I completed my education I would of told you power cables would not matter if they satified the basic requirement for impedance, etc.  My new college graduates with Masters and PHD's typically make these same assumptions and quickly learn that imperical data is king.  When you are dealing with the tolerances required to be successful in semiconductor design we can not assume or theorize an outcome with known electrical equations and material properties.  It requires experimentation because nothing is perfect plus we as humans have not discovered all things.  We are still learning.
We also understand each human can have an inherent bias so we have training to understand these bias's and work so they do not influence our decisions.
That is my work,  my passion is audio.  Because of my background I use to test everything and that included cables when it comes to audio.  Mostly of my testing involved digital and interconnect cables but also power cables.   Once I was familiar with the sonic characteristics of cables, we would perform blind testing and not only would I hear a difference but I could tell which cable was being used.  This was repeatable many times over.   Over the years of testing, my blind testing matched my non blind testing.   I no longer question if the changes I hear in my system are real.  I do not claim to know why there is a difference in all cases.    I am sorry if you do not know cables can sound/feel different even if they measure the same.  I trust my ears.  
Thank you, Kaarmstrong, for your real-world findings. Others would do well to listen and learn from you. That’s a good way to advance one's system development.

As for you, xyobgyn, just forget trying to understand ARC’s position on and use of quality AC cords and interconnections.  I have faithfully represented their views, but you just won't leave it alone.  You are unteachable, at least by me. See the following: https://www.facebook.com/audioresearchcorp/photos/a.1245658155506530/1880198268719179/?type=3&ei...
In addition to ARC (a very well respected company BTW), Audio Alchemy's also states this in their manual;

You will get the best and most reliable performance from the DDP-1 by using high quality audio cables. We recommend against using the "freebie" cables included with blue-ray players, CD players, etc.

I don't recall if they included cables with their equipment or not. If they did, it's still in plastic in the box it was shipped in.