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Thread: Do mains cables make a difference??

  1. #91
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonuffin View Post
    I also do not subscribe to the notion that any mains cable is capable of resisting or rejecting any inbound electrical interference.
    There we disagree then, which is fine, as it's all about opinions.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterTape View Post
    Well, if I eye my setup I see a clean tidy end of the room without sources of interference. You'll have your usual WiFi networks zipping about but all in all there are no obvious offenders outside of the setup itself.
    In my experience, that's a big part of the problem, combined with the crap, devices such as routers and Sky boxes [with their cheap SMPS units] chuck into the house mains supply - and a well-designed, screened mains lead, built for hi-fi purposes, can often help combat said interference.

    I'd wager the bigger factor in this case isn't shielding from outside noise, but keeping the interference emitting from the mains lead itself from affecting the lower level signals that travel right next to it.
    That certainly will have a bearing on matters, and it's why you should always keep mains and signal-carrying cables as far apart as possible. I always ensure that's the case in my system. It an integral part of the 'cable dressing' procedure I adopt when setting up a system.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  3. #93
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    No mine is a poor man's version. This one is fancy

    https://www.audiosanctuary.co.uk/aud...wer-cable.html
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Slagle AVC Passive Preamp & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves)
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables Throughout
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  4. #94
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

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    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    What for you is a "fancy mains lead" - would the likes of what Oliver has just built qualify as such?

    Marco.
    One that claims to be able to change/improve the sound. So I guess that Oliver's qualifies. I would like to be able to hear this improvement for myself, if no other reason than I like mysteries. If I heard an improvement for myself I would be happy to say so even if I still ascribed the reason to be purely psychological, since that is still interesting in its own way. Not hearing it is boring.

    The one I have cost me £25 second-hand. But I have no way of knowing if it has 'the magic ingredients' of the ones that people do say make a difference since even the manufacturers of these leads don't seem to know what they are. (The bollocks explanations written in their advertising blurbs is the giveaway to that). Believe me I would be very happy with an improvement in sound quality that only cost £25 and simply involved me swapping one lead for another.

    Sadly I'm a little limited in my ability to experiment now since the Krell has to be used with the power lead that came with it and the pre amp is passive. And my Sony ES cd player has a captive lead. I do use it with the Technics CD player when it's in the system. Maybe I'll try swapping cables on that again, the power amp and speakers have changed since last time I experimented in that direction so who knows?
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    'The best I advice I ever received was to always remember that no-one else has any idea what they are doing either.'

  5. #95
    Join Date: Nov 2015

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    One that claims to be able to change/improve the sound. So I guess that Oliver's qualifies. I would like to be able to hear this improvement for myself, if no other reason than I like mysteries. If I heard an improvement for myself I would be happy to say so even if I still ascribed the reason to be purely psychological, since that is still interesting in its own way. Not hearing it is boring.

    The one I have cost me £25 second-hand. But I have no way of knowing if it has 'the magic ingredients' of the ones that people do say make a difference since even the manufacturers of these leads don't seem to know what they are. (The bollocks explanations written in their advertising blurbs is the giveaway to that). Believe me I would be very happy with an improvement in sound quality that only cost £25 and simply involved me swapping one lead for another.

    Sadly I'm a little limited in my ability to experiment now since the Krell has to be used with the power lead that came with it and the pre amp is passive. And my Sony ES cd player has a captive lead. I do use it with the Technics CD player when it's in the system. Maybe I'll try swapping cables on that again, the power amp and speakers have changed since last time I experimented in that direction so who knows?
    There wasn't a big a difference when I plugged it into the DAC so I am sure the equipment is the biggest factor in the area.

    Oddly, when I took it out of the DAC, to use on the Phonostage, I decided to give the factory cable another try. I missed the expensive one pretty quickly as I felt the lower frequencies benefit from it. The bass seemed fuller and deeper but as you say, this could be psychological BUT I now want to put one on the DAC So if I'm fooling myself then so be it.

    Mad this hobby is.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Slagle AVC Passive Preamp & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves)
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables Throughout
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  6. #96
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

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    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    In my experience, that's a big part of the problem, combined with the crap, devices such as routers and Sky boxes [with their cheap SMPS units] chuck into the house mains supply - and a well-designed, shielded mains lead, built for hi-fi purposes, can often help combat said interference.

    That certainly will have a bearing on matters, and it's why you should always keep mains and signal-carrying cables as far apart as possible. I always ensure that's the case in my system. It an integral part of the 'cable dressing' procedure I adopt when setting up a system.

    Marco.
    Common mode noise is delt with by cancellation but non common mode noise is delt with by being dumped on to the ground earth. People often think of earth as being some magical blackhole of a perfect 0 volts that can just absorb anything and make it disappear. Earth wires are very likely to have some voltage differential across them and not just mains AC but noise too. I think that good sheilding connected to a good earth connection will be beneficial.
    ~Paul~

  7. #97
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,152
    I'm Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    There wasn't a big a difference when I plugged it into the DAC so I am sure the equipment is the biggest factor in the area.

    Oddly, when I took it out of the DAC, to use on the Phonostage, I decided to give the factory cable another try. I missed the expensive one pretty quickly as I felt the lower frequencies benefit from it. The bass seemed fuller and deeper but as you say, this could be psychological BUT I now want to put one on the DAC So if I'm fooling myself then so be it.

    Mad this hobby is.
    In the past I haved changed something and thought that I could discern a difference but nothing huge. With continued listening I have just not enjoyed listening to the hifi since the change was made, so I have reverted back and felt that things were better, although could not really place exactly what was difference. In these cases I tend to randomly make the change back and forth every few days/weeks until I have a consensus. Sometimes it is worth just taking time to try to work out what difference is being made, I feel.
    ~Paul~

  8. #98
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,241
    I'm Oliver.

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    That's a very good method. I'll see how I feel after a few days and report back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primalsea View Post
    In the past I haved changed something and thought that I could discern a difference but nothing huge. With continued listening I have just not enjoyed listening to the hifi since the change was made, so I have reverted back and felt that things were better, although could not really place exactly what was difference. In these cases I tend to randomly make the change back and forth every few days/weeks until I have a consensus. Sometimes it is worth just taking time to try to work out what difference is being made, I feel.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Slagle AVC Passive Preamp & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves)
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables Throughout
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  9. #99
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 20,255
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    There wasn't a big a difference when I plugged it into the DAC so I am sure the equipment is the biggest factor in the area.

    Oddly, when I took it out of the DAC, to use on the Phonostage, I decided to give the factory cable another try. I missed the expensive one pretty quickly as I felt the lower frequencies benefit from it. The bass seemed fuller and deeper but as you say, this could be psychological BUT I now want to put one on the DAC So if I'm fooling myself then so be it.

    Mad this hobby is.
    The joy of anything subjective (like perceived sound quality) is that it doesn't matter that you are fooling yourself, unless fooling yourself makes the experience worse.

    I tried putting those little washing machine feet under a solid state power amp once. Simple, cheap tweak. I quickly took them out again, I was convinced that the sound was subtly worse. Convinced enough to get up, walk the length of the room and remove them. Then I was convinced it sounded better without them. And I mean I was convinced. However at the same time I also know that feet in or out it is not affecting the performance of the power amp one jot. There is zero rational explanation for there being a real effect. Yet I could not help hearing the sound subtly change for the worse with the feet in situ.

    And bear in mind this was supposed to be a positive tweak, albeit a silly one. My expectation was that I would hear no difference.

    It isn't the hobby that is mad it is our brains. They do their own thing. It's scary but it is true.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200P CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    'The best I advice I ever received was to always remember that no-one else has any idea what they are doing either.'

  10. #100
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: Sweden

    Posts: 27
    I'm Andreas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonuffin View Post
    I also do not subscribe to the notion that any mains cable is capable of resisting or rejecting any inbound electrical interference. Any such interference would have to make your teeth fillings glow long before it could enter an active mains cable.

    As for outbound energy from a mains cable there is plenty from the EMF energy travelling along it and when an EMF meter is held up to it the needle swings at full deflection at the 'nodes' along the cable's length, around every 40cm or so. Copper and steel braiding offers zero resistance to that EMF energy no matter how dense the weave is, so that is almost purely ornamental.
    The Supra cables (which have the shield connected to ground, creating a Faraday cage) are used by air forces, laboratories, hospitals, flight command towers. Basically in areas where slight manipulation of signals as a result of interference exiting or entering the cable is to be avoided at all costs. Are these customers susceptible to snake oil you think?

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