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Power Cable for a Bass Amp Question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by soularis, Nov 25, 2003.

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  1. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Does anybody have any idea of the difference between the power cables that come with amps and other cables, for instance the ones used for computers?

    I just got my amp (GK 400RB) and the seller forgot to include the power cable, so I want to try to use the printer's power cable instead and was wondering if anything bad can happen?

    On GK it says that 120V/60Hz should be used (US) and the cable says its for 125V-250V with 10A. Any ideas? Thank you.
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    uh oh...

    i sorta just use whatever power cable i have lying around. should i too be concerned?!?!?
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The voltage specs of the cable exceed those required, ergo no problem.
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I only use Monster (tm) power cables. They feature superior bass response and have a special winding process that makes all of the electrons point the same way, increasing power transfer in high demand applications. If you get the upgraded version, it's made with superconductive Peruvian copper, which is much better than copper mined in countries that don't begin with a P.

    :meh: :D No I don't. I'm making fun of cable snobs.

    Your printer cable is fine.
  5. With detachable cables it goes like this: if it fits, you can safely use it. High power devices have a notch on their sockets and an indentation in their plugs, so you can't connect a "light" cable to a "heavy" machine, but it's possible (and perfectly safe) to go the other way round.

    If it fits, you can use it.

    At least, in Europe. Where electrical safety is a bit more of an issue.

    BTW Don't ever break out that notch, unless you like fire.

    @jondog: ;) :D :bassist:
  6. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Thanks guys! I appreciate your prompt responses. I'll use computers cable then to get by.
  7. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    This is too funny. I admit you had me goin' there for a minute, jondog. :oops:
  8. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    I use Tara Labs power cables.For the guys that think that high-end power cords don't make a difference,they have never tried a Tara Labs! I run a music store,and like everybody else,I thought a power cord was a power cord.A rep turned me on to MIT power cords and I went ahead and ordered one.The retail was $175.00 at the time and I thought I was out of my mind ordering it,but I did anyway.When it arrived,I hooked up an enexpensive SWR amp,first with a regular cable,then the MIT,and I couldn't believe the difference!! I began selling them as fast as I could get them! A couple of months later,A friend turned me onto Tara Labs,and it blew away the MIT,I couldn't believe the difference.Their power cables start at $165.00 and go to around $500.00,and I have to tell you,if you can't afford one,don't even try it because once you do,you will hate your amp without it! I have a huge Glockenklang rig,and every cable in all three of my racks are wired with Tara Labs instrument,speaker,and power cables!
  9. $175 for a power cable?

    Sorry, but that's ridiculous. If a few feet of "ordinary" power cable makes your amp sound bad (compared to the high-dollar cable)....what about the 50 miles of ordinary cable that connects the power company to the receptacle?

    There is no scientific proof, or legitimate double-blind test, that shows any difference between a good ordinary cable (of sufficient current capacity) and the high-end cable.

    Of course, anybody that has just shelled out that much cash WILL believe they hear a difference.
  10. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    Hi Nashville Bill,
    it's obvious that you have never tried one! Do you ever come to California? If so,e-mail me at prockenklang@hotmail.com and let me know when you are coming,and I will do a blindfold test for you! You will be amazed at how quickly you pull out your checkbook,unless the real reason that you don't think that these cables can make a difference is because you can't afford them.Believe me,NOBODY is harder to convince than me,and after I heard them,I replaced every cable I owned with Tara Labs and the difference was amazing.I should also let you know that I worked at Alembic for many years,also for Curbow,and Glockenklang.I'm not just your normal customer! By-the-way,what kind of basses and amps do you use?
  11. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Did you replace the wires inside your amps and cabs too? It's seems odd to use a $500 power cable to feed a jack that uses a 3 cent length of cable to give the power to the circuit board.
  12. I appreciate the invitation, but I'm a professional engineer, and IMHO there's no credible evidence of any difference between good SJO cable and the esoteric cables. But if you wnat to shell out the bucks and honestly believe it helps, go for it.

    Since you asked, I've got a 78 P-bass, a Warwick Fortress Flashback 5, and a Yamaha RBX760A, plus acoustic and electric 6 strings. And numerous rigs, including old Kustom tuck and roll, Sunn Concert, Ampeg V-4, Hartke 5000, and several preamp/poweramp combinations.
  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    OK prockenklang perhaps you can tell us WHAT sounds different? Power is power. Let's use my rig as an example.

    Unfortunately, I got stuck with the sad piece of crap power cord that came with my Crown XLS402 power amp. HOW will my bass sound better with a $200 power cord? WHAT will sound different? My tone? My low B? My slap and pop? What?

  14. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    Why is this so hard to believe? If you use better materals and better quality construction,you get a better amp,right? How about better quality materals and better sheilding in a power cord to send cleaner power to the amp!
    Have you ever purchased cheap gas that made your car ping and run badly,then filled-up with some more expensive gas that made it run better? Gas is gas,right?
    How many times have you played two nights in a row at the same club,yet your amp sounded different each night? Could it be the power? Power is power,right?
    Look,when I first heard about a power cord that would make your amp sound better,I thought the guy was nuts,until I heard one.I sold Neal Schon from Journey his first two Diezel amps.When I met with him to show him his first amp ,I took one of my MIT powercords to his studio with The Diezel. Well,he fell in love with the amp,bought it,and ordered a second one.A couple of days later,I went to deliver his second Diezel and told him that I had forgotton my power cord at his studio.It was still plugged into his first Diezel.So I swapped power cords and gave him a standard cable,turned his amp back on and the first words out of his mouth were"what happened to my tone"? I ended-up giving him my cable!!
    Look Guys,i'm sure your amps sound great,but by simply changing your power cord your amp can sound soooo much better,and by changing all of your cables,the difference can really be amazing. The thing that everyone that I have ever shown these cables to seem to notice first about the tone is that it is more open,with better lows and clearer highs! To me it is almost the difference between old strings and new strings.
    I know it sounds like bull and that there are some really smart guys out there that just simply can't beleive that a power cable can really make a difference,all I can say is don't knock it before you try it because you will be surprised!
  15. Snake oil and pseudoscience......

    I've yet to hear an adequate explanation for why they seem to think that 6 feet of cable will magically cure the anomolies and noise on a typical household AC line. The reason for that is that there isn't one. That AC signal is rectified and filtered like a mofo in the amp's power supply to become the DC supply rail. To claim that a cable is more effective at filtering high frequency noise than the banks of filter capacitors in an amp's power supply is preposterous and not based on any scientific principle.
  16. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    Usually, detachable power cords have their current ratings marked on one plug or the other. As long as that number is greater than the input power rating of your amp, which should be marked on the back near the power inlet, you're in good shape.

    When I was shortening the power cord on my PLX2402, I ordered some heavy gauge cords directly from QSC...I couldn't find another source for (IIRC) 14 Ga detachable power cords...everything else was 18 Ga I think.

    I have to believe that prokenklang is pulling our legs... An amp's power supply doesn't care how the mains voltage gets there as long as it does.
  17. I've listened to esoteric AC cables in true double blind tests on a $30000 hifi system. I didn't hear any difference and neither did the other test subjects. The engineer/audiophile who designed the system is not a skeptic about high end cables (he spent $500 on 6 feet of speaker cable) but he thinks the AC cable thing is a bunch of hooey too. There simply isn't any scientific basis for it.
  18. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    I give up! I will give Long Ly who used to own LA Bass Exchange a call tomorrow and tell him to take a look at this thread,he'll get a good laugh out of it! Some of the guys that he got to believe in this snake oil included a non-engineer bass player by the name of Nathan East!
  19. i am with the majority here.. A: 6 feet of "good" power cable isn't going to change the supply that has been running through the mains and household wiring etc...the old transformer sitting up the power pole up the end of your street.
    and B: its not a signal cable it doesn't so much have to be clean-shielded, it all gets filtered in the pwoer supply.
  20. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    a printer cable is working just fine. man i can't get a normal instrument cable i'm so broke, you guys talking some serious stuff over here with 175$ cables. :D
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