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High priced power cords, koolaid?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by David A. Davis, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. I saw an ad for some of these being endorsed by some pretty big name players. Anybody ever a/b test these? Thoughts?
  2. Do a search on this one. Many threads on this over the past 5 years or so. The vast majority of posters (including every EE that posted) cry 'snake oil'
  3. Thanks Ken. That's what I was thinking but the endorsers were pretty reputable.
  4. Pay me enough money and I will tell you just about anything.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Even the most reputable musicians are subject to placebo effect, confirmation bias, and all the other mental effects on our hearing that plague non-famous musicians and cause them to hear things that aren't real. :)
  6. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    But the Sterofiles are 10X worse.
    Some of the theories regarding speaker wire challenges the laws of physics.
  7. Not to mention the pro's get paid to endorse things. Honestly I'd take the advice of someone on TB whether a given product was worthwhile, before I'd listen to some celebrity paid endorser.
  8. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Expensive power cords are as useful for producing great bass tones as expensive bobbles are for ensuring a happy marriage.
  9. bb03


    Mar 1, 2009
    My hedge trimmer went through the expensive cord just as quick as the cheap one it replaced! :D
  10. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    As an EE, I have used such expensive cable in the design of missiles, so I know why it exists.

    However, for audio: "Snake Oil".

    Monster cable started this crap. It's all about marketing.
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Can't you just see VanHalen walking on stage and a bunch of them saying: Wait a minute, these are the wrong extension cords....and I thought I saw brown M&M's in the dressing room also.
  12. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 On that it goes for basses,pedals,amps and speakers I fell victim myself.
  13. There's a website for home stereo enthusiasts called AudioKarma, and they have a LOT of discussions about high-end power chords, speaker chords, audio connectors, etc..., along with a LOT of varying opinions about the effectiveness of the stock power chord for your stereo amplifier versus a $2,000 aftermarket power chord (and if you think that's expensive, check out what high-end speaker cable can cost).

    I don't doubt that there's people for whom the expensive cables make a discernable difference, but my ears aren't that good.
  14. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    My old Silvertone amp has what looks like lamp cord, lol. Works fine, though.
  15. I wonder if those people have rewired their homes with $2k/m wire?

    Whatever must they think of the common muck of electricity coming into their homes from the grid!
  16. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    I was having some tone issues with my amp, changed to a boutique high end power cord, problem solved! Several people approached me after my first show with the new cord and commented on how great the bass tone sounded. My drummer couldn't believe the difference. :sly:
  17. Mark Reccord

    Mark Reccord Supporting Member


    Cable threads usually turn into epic battles with a few true believers essentially saying that everyone who doesn't hear a difference with fancy cables has defective hearing in the face of an overwhelming amount of evidence that they do nothing. Of course there are a few of the more vocal opponents that essentially say that people who do hear differences have defective brains. :D

    Personally, I don't think high end AC cables make any sonic difference in any situation over properly functioning regular cables of adequate gauge. Physics backs that idea up and indeed my personal experience with high end cables backs it up as well.

    After one of the big power cable blowouts a year or so ago, I ordered an ESP power cable and put the manufacturers claims to the test. the I still have all the data somewhere. I was going to post it here, but then we had a second kid and I forgot about it. Long story short: there was no difference in amplifier behaviour between it and a regular IEC cable both in terms of measurements and in listening tests.

    I also spent 5 years working for a manufacturer of high end stereo gear and had the opportunity to test all kinds of cables from the mundane to the outrageously expensive and exotic (Crystal Cable, Nordost, Cardas, Wire World and so on).
  18. Bruins29


    Jun 7, 2009
    There actaully isnt they just think it does. Its impossible and even if the cable or wire did make a difference, its a function of a faulty cable, or a cable designed to change the sound of something (why would you want that) or an inadequate gage of wire for a certain length of cable which is possible but very easily fixable..

    The only differences detected are as mentioned above a placebo effect. Double blind test have shown time and time again cable can not improve the sound of anything. If its not a controlled ABX test than listening to cable is a waste of time.

    Also, have you noticed that not one manufacture of high-end cable or wire has ever marketed their product as one which will improve sound of something. Why do you think that is?

    If these cables were so great and offered such obvious sound improvements wouldnt the manufactures be shouting this from the rooftops?
  19. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    We used expensive materials in a harsh and caustic aerospace environment because we had to. Like gold plated connectors, and silver coated copper. Back in '80, I relocated the battery to the trunk of my '71 Cuda using surplus silver coated copper that was scrap and sold by the pound.

    Thin wires eat up voltage, we call it voltage drop. High end stereo guys would set up A/B testing for customers. One using thin gauge speaker wire, and one using thick wire. The thin wire would eat up enough voltage that people could tell that the speaker with the thicker wire was louder. However, lamp cord is just as good.

    Monster cable is just marketing hype around thick gauge wire. That madness has migrated to connectors and power cords from aerospace.

    There are some heavy gauge power cords that are used on high power electrical equipment that really needs it. People that market to audiophiles have latched onto this as well.

    Hey, KoolAid!

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