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Thread: Do mains cables make a difference??

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonuffin View Post
    Let's not confuse a kettle lead with a freebie computer mains cable - they are poles apart.

    The kettle lead can deliver a constant current for the kettle to boil, whereas the freebie lead is usually destined for computers and such-like which have considerably less continuous current demands.

    In the hi-fi context then a proper *kettle lead* sounds better than a freebie low power *computer lead* which is what is given away for free in the box.
    So if I plug a "computer lead" into a kettle, what may happen?

  2. #72
    Join Date: Apr 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Indeed. Let's not stray into any form of absolutism or make judgements on people.

    Whilst I agree (in part) with Dominic's post, I don't think that the main reason why genuine differences are heard with mains leads, designed for hi-fi purposes, is to do with current delivery, but rather with shielding and reducing noise, such as RFI.

    Basically, the more your mains lead acts as an aerial for noise, the worse it will make the equipment it powers sound.

    Marco.

    I'm just trying to figure out what level of external interference would have the power to penetrate and be induced upon a cable carrying mains voltages, shielding or no shielding.
    CD player = Vincent
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  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    So if I plug a "computer lead" into a kettle, what may happen?
    The fuse should rupture.
    CD player = Vincent
    Pre amp = Rotel RA03
    Power amp = Lyngdorf SDA 2175
    Speaks = Quadral Chromium Style 6

  4. #74
    Join Date: Oct 2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    Standard kettle lead from France with replacement IEC (German one brass connections) and Standard UK plug.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    And the same applies with mains cables, proving that you *can* do better than cheap 'kettle leads'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    That's the reason why ones properly designed for hi-fi purposes, where due attention has been paid to shielding, etc, make a difference, and audibly improve upon what's offered by a bog-standard 'kettle lead'.
    The mains cables used to power hi-fi equipment are not "kettle leads"! The mains cables for hi-fi are defined by IEC 60320 and are designated C13 (plug) and C14 (socket).
    The mains cables used for kettles are designated C15 and C16 and are designed for "hot conditions".
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60320


    Quote Originally Posted by nonuffin View Post
    There is a rational explanation for this and it is so obvious I am amazed there is any argument about it at all.

    A mains cables isn't just there to convey leccy from the wall socket without spilling it on the carpet while doing so, it is the means by which the hi-fi system gets all it''s power that it needs, so a cheap "freebie" cable costing mere pennies to manufacture has inherent limitations from the outset. The build quality, metallurgy and dimensions of the wire can be variable, the connectors too leave a lot to be desired as well, so when your system needs more power to perform the cheapo cable responds by limiting the current it can deliver and reacts by heating up.

    That is the starting point in the debate, so when you replace it with a "better" cable, what you are actually doing is taking the substandard cable OUT and installing a cable that has better current delivery characteristics. As you move up the mains cable heirarchy the same rule still applies in that each upgrade you make moves further away from that cheapo basic cable and "better" than the one you have just replaced, with less imperfections at each step upwards although none of them are perfect because that cable simply does not exist.
    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Have you compared the current delivery abilities of a standard kettle lead to a fancy 'audiophile' mains cable? Is there a study anywhere into these characteristics? I'd have thought a kettle boiling water would demand more current than any normal piece of Hi-Fi equipment.
    A typical kettle takes between about 1.5kW and 3kW. That's a lot more than most hi-fi power amps. It's maybe 100 times as much as a pre-amp or phonostage needs.
    If audiophile mains leads make a difference it's not due simply to their current carrying capacity.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    A typical kettle takes between about 1.5kW and 3kW. That's a lot more than most hi-fi power amps. It's maybe 100 times as much as a pre-amp or phonostage needs.
    If audiophile mains leads make a difference it's not due simply to their current carrying capacity.
    That's why I asked.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    The mains cables used to power hi-fi equipment are not "kettle leads"! The mains cables for hi-fi are defined by IEC 60320 and are designated C13 (plug) and C14 (socket).
    The mains cables used for kettles are designated C15 and C16 and are designed for "hot conditions".
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60320
    Sure, calling such a 'kettle lead' is simply a figure of speech, solely in reference to its appearance and the fact that it uses (as old kettles did) an IEC plug.

    What I'm referring to is the cheap crap Dominic has mentioned, versus anything that's been designed better (for hi-fi purposes), in the areas he refers to, and specifically which tackles the issue of noise interference, such as RFI, through the introduction of effective shielding.

    That is, by definition, a 'mains cable designed for hi-fi purposes'.

    Marco.
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  7. #77
    Join Date: May 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonuffin View Post
    I'm just trying to figure out what level of external interference would have the power to penetrate and be induced upon a cable carrying mains voltages, shielding or no shielding.
    I'm not convinced there is much of such an effect. Another possible reason why I find bigger differences in my humble Brio than in my Hegel might be that the Brio is very crowded due to its small size. The mains lead sits within a couple of centimeters of all four speaker cables, and the interconnects are not much further away.

    A shielded mains lead might not even be advisable unless the radiation of the lead happens to affect nearby low voltage signals, which it likely does in the case of the Brio.

  8. #78
    Join Date: Oct 2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Sure, calling such a 'kettle lead' is simply a figure of speech, solely in reference to its appearance and the fact that it uses (as old kettles did) an IEC plug.
    Hi-fi connectors are C13 type. Kettle connectors are C15 type. They're different shapes. A C13 connector will not fit into a socket designed for a C15 connector.

  9. #79
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    Do you ever feel these threads just keep going around the same old circle?
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  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by REXTON View Post
    Do you ever feel these threads just keep going around the same old circle?
    Yes.

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