This is the story of how a Power cord changed my life because I wanted to buy a DVD player. Going back in time, a real breakthrough happened in 1997 as the first DVD player was introduced into the marketplace – read more
Keeping up ~Power cord changed my life
I am originally from the United Kingdom but moved to Vilnius, Lithuania in 1998. My audio system comprised of a Denon amplifier, Denon CD player and a techniques turntable. I also had a pair of Tannoy loudspeakers and was using the power cords and cables supplied. The sound of my system was great (so I thought) but wanted to add a DVD player to keep up with the Jones!
At this time, Vilnius was seeing many changes in the audio industry. One day as I was walking through the ‘Old town’, I discovered a shop that sold DVD players. The shop also sold ‘Hi-end’ audio components and I was amazed to see a shop of this caliber in the Baltics –
As I entered the shop, a gentleman approached me and introduced himself. Dennis asked what I was looking for and luckily he spoke English so made communication very easy. I told him what I needed and invited me into his ‘Listening room’. I was very impressed with the high standards and the components the room contained.
This was a different world I had stepped into. When Dennis asked what equipment I was using I felt a bit embarrassed. Giving Dennis my list of equipment made me realize how far down the audio ladder it was (as the real ‘hi-end ‘ audio played softly in the background).
The Power cord
Dennis suggested that I should listen to a used Esoteric DV-60. The DV-60 was about a year old and in perfect condition. I was more than happy to listen and watch the movie but this confirmed how far behind I was in the audio world. As Dennis hooked up the DVD player, I noticed he changed the power cord. Dennis replaced the black power cord with a long and thicker purple power cord made by a company called Nordost.
I asked Dennis why he changed the power cord. He looked at me, smiled and said: “Because I want it to sound the best for you”. Looking back I said, “But how can that make any difference to the sound”. Dennis demonstrated how a power cord made a difference as he changed from one Power cord to the other. And his simple action was the start of everything for me!
Until this meeting, I was totally unaware a Power cord could make any difference upon the sound produced at the loudspeakers. I had always been content using the power cord supplied. I thought the people manufacturing the equipment also supplied the correct Power cord (which seemed to make sense) and had no idea about the research and developments in this area. The reason why I was skeptical was the fact that I had never been told about cables or Power cords and never had the opportunity to actually listen to the differences myself.
Upgrade! Power cord changed my life
Over the next two years, I upgraded my audio equipment, which included all components, cables, and Power cords. I was no longer a skeptic as I have proved everything to myself. I was pleased because my sound was now on a different level. You see I was very fortunate because I was able to hear the differences a cable made and understood how everything functioned.
Dennis and I become good friends and one day was invited to attend a two-day seminar. The seminar was held at a hotel in Vilnius and was hosted by a company called Nordost and was to demonstrate the difference between audio cables. During the seminar was when I became aware of just how important a Power cord and audio cables were.
The Seminar ~
There were over thirty people attending the seminar and were from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia. The speaker was a Norwegian engineer from Nordost who started the presentation by introducing the range of Nordost cables. The prices started at 350 euros and finished at 20,000 euros. The selection was excellent and contained Power cords, Interconnect cables, and Loudspeaker cables.
The Demonstration was interesting because of several other manufactures cables used for comparison. For most people, it was clear when a cable was changed because the quality of the sound changed. The sound because more open with better energy. Personally, I could hear changes all the way through the range. But with the last three cables, the changes were so small it was virtually impossible to hear the minute differences.
Yes and no!
There were six people in the group who said they could not hear any difference at all and it was all bullshit. They did not attend the second day. Only three people could hear differences over the entire range. Ten people could easily hear changes up to 70% of the range. This demonstrated people are different and hear things differently. If you are a person who is able to perceive the differences then you are fortunate!
What did I learn?
The seminar actually lasted three days because of the interest with some of the local dealers. It was decided to hold another day’s training in the listening room where I first met Dennis. People came and brought their components and cables to test. This was really excellent training for everyone and proved everything mentioned at the seminar.
What’s in front of your system?
The first thing I learned. It was not the power running from the power station to the power outlet, but what is in front of the component. Also, a component supplied by a two meter Power cord does sound better than a one meter Power cord. And a more expensive power cord does make the system better than a standard Power cord. And this is because the Power cord is in front of the component.
Choking effect ~
The second thing I learned was a cable can choke the sound. A normal Power cord (as supplied with the component) is made to transfer power. But the question is how exactly is the Power cord constructed. What restrictions are the Power cords imposing on the flow of electricity during the transfer? Is the Power cord oxygen-free? And is the Power cord of high quality. These are things that will choke, restrict and change the flow of electricity passing through the Power cord.
The third thing I learned was about the effect of incorrect polarity. Polarity is something often overlooked but is essential every Power cord is connected the same way. We used electrician’s screwdriver to check because it was easy. The power cord was plugged in and the screwdriver was put into the right-hand side of the IEC connector. We got a red light, which indicated the Power cord correctly positioned. But, if there has been no light, we would have rotated the Power cord 180 degrees and checked again. This operation took two minutes but really did make a difference to the sound heard.
Cable length ~
The fourth that I learned about was cable length. The cable’s length applies to the Power cord, Interconnects and Loudspeakers cables. It certainly did make a difference when a two-meter was replaced by a three-meter loudspeaker cable. In the same manner, when one meter interconnects were replaced by a two meter. And when a one-meter was replaced by a two-meter power cord. The result in each case was easy to hear because it made the sound appear fuller in the listening room.
Cable burn-in ~ Power cord changed my life
This is a very interesting subject and much discussion over the past twenty years by leading manufacturers. There are articles about the alignment of electrons; articles about trapped gases during the manufacturing process and articles about cable impurities acting like a diode. In fact, so much information it can make your head spin! I will say this – If you buy a new cable and listen to it for three hours, the music does sound better. If you listen for another three hours the next day, the music again will sound better. Listening to the cable for more than a week the music will sound better – FACT!
Tests, trials, and proof ~
There are no clinical trials, scientific studies or measurements made on audio cables and power cords. Nothing has ever been done. The reason is the lack of equipment necessary to measure the performance of the sound. How can you measure the feelings, emotions, and elements that make the sound? Also the width, depth, and dimension of the sound? How to measure the quality, quantity, and dynamics of the sound? If you know, then please share because we all would like to know.
What you can do ~
Very easy – Just go to your local Hi-fi shop and test a Power cord or a cable. Then and only then will you will know if it’s for you
Sound advice – Power cord changed my life
I wish to finish by saying always Believe in yourself. Never listen to what other people tell you if they have never experienced this themselves. Don’t get hooked into stupid conversations because many people say it’s all rubbish!. Always test cables yourself in your own listening room.
Eighteen years have passed and I am in a different position than the day I went to buy a DVD player. Over the past four years, I have developed a range of cables that outperform many of the top cables but at a fraction of the price. I make great cables and have good customers with great stories and want to share my knowledge to help a person improve their audio system.
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