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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up Signal Cable Magic Power Cord Review

    Those of you who have been reading me for a few years know that I am a huge advocate of modest tweaks and modifications that provide moderate to huge gains in sonic performance.

    I have been meaning to order some parts and material from Parts Express and build some upgrade power cords for my power amplifiers. However, it was one of those things that was never a priority because I thought the performance gains would be noticeable, but small. Well, I was WRONG! The sonic changes I heard were more akin to an amplifier modification than a power cord change.

    I ordered two custom length (eight foot) Signal Cable (www.signalcable.com) Magic Power cords on 4/10/05 and received them on 4/21/05. I will not discuss the construction and performance parameters of the Magic power cord since that information can be found on the Signal Cable website. One Magic power cord replaced the wimpy 16 AWG stock power cord of the Adcom GFA-5802 power amp in my two channel rig. I did a double upgrade in my home office rig. I replaced the GFA-5400 power amp with a GFA-5500 power amp. I got tired of hearing my SDA CRS+'s snicker and laugh at the GFA-5400's less than 200 watt/channel output. I then replaced the GFA-5500's stock 14 AWG power cord. I thought it odd that the 200 watt/channel GFA-5500 came with a heavier gauge power cord than the 300 watt/channel GFA-5802.

    In general, the improvements I heard were:

    1. Bass performance was more detailed and articulate with greater impact.

    2. The SDA effect was more holographic, solid, and three dimensional.

    3. Clarity overall was improved.

    I will now discuss specific differences in performance while auditioning three reference recordings on the two channel system. Similar results were realized on the home office system, therefore, to avoid repeating myself, I will only discuss the two channel system audition here.

    George Howard-"The Very Best of George Howard", track 5-"Diane's Blues".
    This track has a hard-driving electric bass line and lush background percussion. George Howard's soprano saxophone soars above it all. With the Magic Power cord, George's saxophone moved two feet in front of the drum kit directly behind him. The percussion instruments became more defined, articulate, and had more "sparkle. The electric bass had more impact, more sharply defined transients and more articulation. The bass notes also had a little more sharply defined "growl" to them, which caused more tactile vibrations to come through the floor and through the couch I was sitting on. No change was noticed in the soundstage width. Soundstage depth was increased. There was more front to back separation between players.

    Miles Davis-"Kind of Blue", track 1-"So What".
    The Magic Power cord povided more resolution which means I heard more tape hiss at the beginning of the track when just the piano and acoustic bass were playing. The hiss was obscured once the other players join in. When Miles' began his first trumpet solo, he was two feet forward of the upright bass, whereas with the stock power cord, he was standing immediately in front of the bass. I heard more reverberation in the wood body of the acoustic bass. The drum kit high-hat had more metallic reverberation and shimmer. No change was noticed in the soundstage width. However, the same spacial effects I heard with the stock power cord were still there, just more defined. For example, Bill Evans' piano was about three feet to the left of the left speaker. When Coltrane came in with his tenor sax solo, he sounded like he was three feet to the left of and about a foot behind the left speaker. Soundstage depth was increased. There was more front to back separation between players.


    Dave Brubeck Quartet-"Time Out", track 1-"Take Five".
    Now I can hear Paul Desmond's tongue on the tip of his alto sax reed. He also came two feet further out in front of Eugene Wright's bass. Again, soundstage depth was increased overall. There was more front to back separation between players. No change was noticed in the soundstage width. Joe Morello's snare drum attacks had more "bite" . His cymbol strokes had more shimmer and sizzle. Dave Brubeck's piano notes had more overhang and the "woody" reverberations of the piano body were more evident.

    Of course, individual experience with this power cord will vary according to associated equipment. In my experiece, the "Magic" power cord delivered on its promise and far exceeded my expectations.

    Associated equipment:

    Adcom GCD-750 CD player
    Adcom GFP-750 Preamp
    Adcom GFA-5802 Power Amp
    Signal Cable Premium XLR V2 interconnects
    Monster Cable Z3 speaker cable
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL speakers (modified)
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  2. #2

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    In my experiece, the "Magic" power cord delivered on its promise and far exceeded my expectations.
    My feelings also.

    Your's are very similar to the findings of several who participated in the Cable Swap.

    http://clubpolk.polkaudio.com/forum/...601#post171601

    Interesting since we KNOW cables are all the same and don't really make a difference except in our imagination. I suppose it could be mass hallucination.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

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  3. #3

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    Shack,

    Thanks for the link. Seems like I'm about a year behind everyone else!:) I missed that thread from last year.

  4. #4

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    Duplicate post-forum technical glitch.:D
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2005 at 10:12 AM.

  5. #5

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    Duplicate post-forum technical glitch.:D
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2005 at 10:12 AM.

  6. #6

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    Duplicate post-forum technical glitch.:D
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2005 at 10:12 AM.

  7. #7

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    Duplicate post-forum technical glitch.:D
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2005 at 10:11 AM.

  8. #8

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    Duplicate post-forum technical glitch.:D
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2005 at 10:11 AM.

  9. #9

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    Duplicate post-forum technical glitch.:D
    Last edited by DarqueKnight; 04-22-2005 at 10:11 AM.

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by shack
    I suppose it could be mass hallucination.
    I hear DBX testing cures this condition...


    I kid, I kid, after all you brought it up! ;)
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, old or young, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time.-Menkin

  11. #11

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    You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome:D !
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  12. #12

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    You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome:D !
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  13. #13

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    Last night sure was a good time to get your post count up. It timed out and when I came back there were seven duplicates of my reply.

  14. #14

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    Originally posted by DarqueKnight
    Last night sure was a good time to get your post count up. It timed out and when I came back there were seven duplicates of my reply.
    It's still doin it!
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  15. #15

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    Great review, and linked on the SC website at that. (I was bored and seeing what Frank was up to recently)
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  16. #16

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    Those are sweet 10 awg I gotta get someof dose !!!
    " He who dies with the most equipment wins Right ? "

    Denon 3300 [COLOR="Blue"]Adcom 535 BBe w/sub out 1 pr 4.6s 2 pr of 4 jrs Recent additions Samsung Lns-4095D LCD, Samsung hd-960 DVD, Monster HT-5000 Power center
    ,HPSA-1000 18" sealed DiY home sub.:D
    Black Laquer 1.2tl's w/ upgraded x-overs and Tweets BI-Amped with 2 Carver tfm-35's Knukonceptz 10ga cables

  17. #17
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    Thanks Ray, and as usuall good report. I know that power cords make a big difference especially if they are crappy. I never heard Adcom 565s without the Musical Concepts and power cord upgrades. . . I am going on what some trusted members including yourself have written, that they can can be grainey or harsh in the upper mids and highs. With the mods that I have on them they sound very sweet and crisp in the highs but never grainy or atleast what has been described as grainy. The imaging is so pin point accurate especially on live recordings. It helps that I have a great preamp feeding them. I'm really considering using the DC Coupled outs of the Spectral on the Adcoms. The engineer from Spectral told me not to, not because of causing damage but that the DC Coupled outs EXPOSE amps other than Spectral amps. . . I gotta hear for myself.

    I have to ask, were you listening to CDs or LPs of those awesome recordings?

    Next question: CRS, do they really need upwards of 200 wpc? I realize that they are really good performers but never thought they would need that much power. I have a pair that Antny gave me and I'm planning on using them in the master bedroom.
    Last edited by hearingimpared; 02-02-2007 at 10:10 PM.

  18. #18

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    2 year old post, still good stuff.
    Last edited by hoosier21; 02-02-2007 at 10:53 PM.
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
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    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  19. #19

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    Russ good one :D

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  20. #20

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    So here's my question: Do you want to plug the new nice power cable directly into the wall? Or would you want it running through a power center first?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dane_peterson
    So here's my question: Do you want to plug the new nice power cable directly into the wall? Or would you want it running through a power center first?
    A good power center first.:D

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by hearingimpared
    A good power center first.:D
    Not all of us can budget $600+ on a bunch of outlets, when there are much more important components to purchase. And thanks for the helpful reply.


    EDIT: Wait a second, doesn't your component list include a Monster HTS5100? *ahem*

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    You asked a simple question, you got a simple answer. Why the sarcastic reply.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  24. #24

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    Because it didn't answer the question.

  25. #25

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    I asked Frank the same question,,amp to the wall was the reply,however,I did replace the outlets with "hospital grade" receptacles.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  26. #26

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    Thanks George. If I owned the place I'm living, I might do the same. I have heard mixed opinions on that, so getting some straight answers is appreciated.

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    Because it didn't answer the question.
    Really? Let's break this down.

    So here's my question:
    (1) Do you want to plug the new nice power cable directly into the wall?
    (2) Or would you want it running through a power center first?

    Answer:
    A good power center first.

    He answered your question. If you wanted a specific reason for either question, you should have asked it that way. You own him an apology.



    So, now that you sort of expressed the desire to know more.....

    If you use a power center, you need to be sure it will pass high current and enough wattage to supply the amp. Some will, some will not. Mine do and I feel better knowing there is at least some protection from surges/spikes. Replacing an wall outlet takes about ten minutes, just be sure the juice is off first. When you move, another ten minute swap and take it with you.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut
    Really? Let's break this down.

    So here's my question:
    (1) Do you want to plug the new nice power cable directly into the wall?
    (2) Or would you want it running through a power center first?

    Answer:
    A good power center first.

    He answered your question. If you wanted a specific reason for either question, you should have asked it that way. You own him an apology.



    So, now that you sort of expressed the desire to know more.....

    If you use a power center, you need to be sure it will pass high current and enough wattage to supply the amp. Some will, some will not. Mine do and I feel better knowing there is at least some protection from surges/spikes. Replacing an wall outlet takes about ten minutes, just be sure the juice is off first. When you move, another ten minute swap and take it with you.


    Bada Bing :)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

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    Just what we need, another jerkoff.

    Good note for some of you folks. IF you already know the answer, you have your mind made up on what you want the answer to be, don't ask the GD question.

    I'm getting sick of asshats that continue to do this.

    BDT
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    Can of worms got opened because I found an oldie but a goody post. Its kinda like watching animal house FOODFIGHT!
    " He who dies with the most equipment wins Right ? "

    Denon 3300 [COLOR="Blue"]Adcom 535 BBe w/sub out 1 pr 4.6s 2 pr of 4 jrs Recent additions Samsung Lns-4095D LCD, Samsung hd-960 DVD, Monster HT-5000 Power center
    ,HPSA-1000 18" sealed DiY home sub.:D
    Black Laquer 1.2tl's w/ upgraded x-overs and Tweets BI-Amped with 2 Carver tfm-35's Knukonceptz 10ga cables

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