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  1. #1

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    Default PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 Power Cord

    Introduction

    I ordered a full complement of replacement AC-12’s for my two channel system in May 2009, but PS Audio was out of stock on the 1.5 meter and 2 meter lengths I needed. Only the 3 meter length was in stock at that time and the backordered cables were not available until the end of August 2009.


    Figure 1. PerfectWave proprietary connectors feature gold plated prongs and engraved anodized name plates.

    PS Audio claims that the PerfectWave (PW) power cable series significantly outperforms the former top of the line Premier SC series. The PW series also costs significantly less than the Premier SC series.

    The main differences between the Premier and Perfect wave cables are in jacketing, conductor material, and conductor geometry. The Premier cables used a ferrite impregnated jacket to create a magnetic field that filtered line noise. PS Audio claims that the magnetic field, while filtering noise, also added a bit of sluggishness and restriction to the sound compared to no ferrite at all. The PW cables accomplish noise filtering by varying cable conductor size, shape and geometry based on PS Audio manufacturing experience and on patents by Jay Victor (e.g., US patents 7476808 and 7170008). The Premier cables were a hybrid conductor design of PCOCC copper and silver with an effective wire gauge of 7 AWG. The PerfectWave cables are all PCOCC copper with an effective wire gauge of 8 AWG.

    According to Ryan Conway, PS Audio's Vice President for Custom Products, the performance hierarchy of PS Audio's power cables is as follows (prices are for 1 meter length):

    PerfectWave AC-12 Power Cable ($699.99)
    PerfectWave AC-10 Power Cable ($499.99)
    xStream Premier SC ($999.99)
    PerfectWave AC-5 Power Cable ($199.99)
    xStream Statement SC ($499.99)
    PerfectWave AC-3 Power Cable ($99.99)
    xStream Plus SC ($269.99)
    xStream Prelude SC ($139.99)


    Figure 2. PerfectWave power cables are clad in a handsome black nylon covered jacket with gold thread accents.

    Listening Evaluation With AC-12 On Power Plant Premier AC Regenerator

    The Power Plant Premier's manual advises that the PPP is sensitive to power cord changes and that the owner should experiment with different cords. I did. On the inbound side of the PPP (between the wall and the PPP), I found that a Signal Cable MagicPower cord ($109) sounded better than the stock cord (~$2), A PS Audio Statement SC cord ($759) sounded better than a MagicPower cord, but a Premier SC cord ($1,793) did not sound sound any better, or even different, than the Statement SC cord. Therefore, the Premier cord was sent back.

    On the outbound side of the PPP (between the PPP's outputs and the component), I heard continuous improvements as I went from a component's stock power cord, to the MagicPower cord, to the Statement SC, and to the Premier SC.

    A 3 meter AC-12 cable was installed between the Power Plant Premier (PPP) and Soloist SE outlet on 5/22/09. It replaced a 3 meter Statement SC. The following improvements were heard immediately:

    1. Lower noise floor as evidenced by apparently louder sound volume.
    2. Enhanced bass detail, weight, and “growl”.
    3. Enhanced three-dimensionality and sound stage depth.

    My two channel system is served by three 20 amp AC circuits, all terminated by Soloist SC in-wall conditioners. Each monoblock power amp has its own AC circuit. The third AC circuit serves the Power Plant Premier. The power amps are connected directly to the Soloists. The PPP feeds the line level preamp, phono preamp, SACD player, and turntable motor power supply.

    During listening evaluations, I put the Statement SC back on the PPP and moved the AC-12 to the right side power amp. The only difference I heard between the left side, whose power amp had a Premier SC, and the right side with the AC-12 was that the right side sounded louder. The AC-12 was returned to the PPP and I awaited the arrival of the rest of my cable order.

    On July 10th, I started up my two channel system, which is in my living room, and went to the kitchen. I was struck by the sound of the bass, which was dramatically heavier and more articulate and fluid than the day before. I was also hearing more overall clarity. I stopped what I was doing in the kitchen and went back to the living room to listen. The disc in my SACD player was one I had listened to the previous day, so I knew the differences I heard were not due to differences in recordings.

    I then went back through the discs I had played the previous day. In every case I was greeted by a lower noise floor, more details and clarity, more image weight and enhanced three-dimensionality. I was initially puzzled by the changes I was hearing, but then it dawned on me to count the number of hours the AC-12 had been installed. Since I play my 2 channel system an average of 6 hours a day, the 49 days that had elapsed from 5/22/09 to 7/10/09 represented approximately 300 hours of play time, which was the specified break in time for the AC-12.:)

    AC-12 On Power Amps


    Figure 3. Right power amp's AC-12 on left and PPP's AC-12 on right.

    Unlike the Premier SC's, the AC-12's sounded great right out of the box. The Premier's took over 100 hours to sound right on my power amps (review here). The AC-12's only objectionable sonic attribute was a very slight "tizziness" added to high frequency sounds like cymbals and high piano notes. The tizziness disappeared after 10 hours.

    First, the 2 meter Premier cord on the right amp was replaced with a 2 meter AC-12 cord. I heard the same increase in apparent sound level on the right that I heard back in May. When the Premier's on both amps were replaced with AC-12's, things snapped into focus and I heard:

    1. A heavier kick drum in the center.
    2. A heavier, more articulate electric bass with more clean growl and rumble.
    3. More tactile bass sensation coming through the floor and seating armrests.
    4. An increase in apparent sound level comparable to turning my preamp's volume control up a couple of clicks.

    I did not hear the initial loss of bass slam that I experienced with the Premier SC cords. I also did not (initially) hear any new details in familiar recordings, just a better quality of what was already there. The Premier's ferrite impregnated jacket is claimed to "slow down" the music a bit. I looked for an increase/improvement in the apparent pace, rhythm and timing of music but didn't hear it. The JC 1's are very "fast" amplifiers, so perhaps the claimed slowing effect of ferrite is not as discernible with them (or my ears).

    AC-12's On Preamps And SACD Player

    The line level preamp, phono preamp and SACD player are connected to the Power Plant Premier AC regenerator with Premier SC power cords. Based on my good results with the PerfectWave cables on the PPP and power amps, I was expecting wonderful things since the PPP outputs a near-perfect AC waveform. Replacing the SACD player's 1.5 meter Premier SC cord with a 1.5 meter AC-12 cord resulted in the following:

    1. Constricted dynamics that just drained all the life and sparkle out of the music.
    2. Apparently lower sound level.
    3. An overall veiling of sound.
    4. The pace, rhythm and timing of the music was apparently slower.

    My first thought was that I had a defective AC-12. I reinstalled the SACD player's Premier cord and moved the offending 1.5 meter AC-12 to the right power amp and it sounded fine. I moved the line level preamp's AC-12 to the left power amp and it sounded fine. I heard the slight high frequency tizziness come back that I initially heard with the brand new 2 meter AC-12's.

    I put the 2 meter AC-12's back on the power amps and the 1.5 meter AC-12's back between the PPP and the preamp and SACD player and listened to the SACD player again. The ugliness was still there.

    George Benson's voice and guitar on "This Masquerade" ("Breezin" LP) sounded thin and lightweight. His guitar lost a lot of its body, fluidity and overtones. Rodney Franklin's electric piano notes on "One From The Heart" ("Skydance" LP) sounded thin and the light airy cloud of drum cymbals was diminished in size, detail and natural metallic sparkle.

    I was puzzled by the disparity in sound between these cables depending on whether they were placed on the inbound or outbound side of the Power Plant Premier.

    The Premier's were reinstalled on the outbound side of the PPP and the AC-12 1.5 meter cables were scheduled for return to PS Audio. I like for things to sound good right out of the box and improve with time. The AC-12's on the outbound side of the PPP might have improved with age, but I didn't feel like waiting a few weeks for them to "get right". Maybe, one day in the future when I am more dedicated to audio than I am now, I will get one of those "cable cooker" things to accelerate cable break in.;)

  2. #2

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    Default Power Amp Evaluation Continued

    AC-12 On Turntable Motor Power Supply

    I did not order an AC-12 for my turntable motor power supply because I did not hear a difference or improvement when I tried power cables higher in quality than the Signal Cable MagicPower cord:

    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    I heard an improvement when I replaced the power supply's stock power cord with a Signal Cable MagicPower cord. I did not hear a difference or improvement when I replaced the MagicPower cord ($74-10AWG copper) with a much higher quality PS Audio xStream Premier SC power cord ($1,394-7AWG silver/copper).
    Since I had a few AC-12's waiting to be sent back, I decided to try one of them on the turntable motor power supply and to compare it to the MagicPower and Premier SC cords.

    After replacing the MagicPower cord between the AC regenerator and the turntable motor power supply with an AC-12 cord, I heard the following:

    1. Apparently lower sound level.
    2. Apparently slower pace, rhythm and timing of the music.
    3. Constriction of sound stage width and depth.
    4. An overall veiling of sound.

    The motor also ran 0.08% slower with the AC-12 compared to 0% speed drift with the MagicPower cord and one of the Premier SC cords formerly used with one of my power amps. Plugging the AC-12 into a regular wall outlet caused the motor to run 0.08% fast. However, in that case, the music did not seem any faster or slower than the cases with the Premier and MagicPower cords. With the AC-12 connected to the wall, music from the turntable did sound slightly veiled (but not "bad") compared to the other two cords connected to the AC regenerator.

    When one of former power amp Premier SC's was installed between the AC regenerator and the turntable motor power supply, I heard the following:

    1. More bass slam.
    2. More high frequency definition.
    3. Lower noise floor as evidenced by an apparent increase in sound level.
    4. More depth and dimensionality in the sound stage.

    Apparently, the over 1000 hours of use of this Premier SC made a world of difference. I left it in place because it was providing Such Good Sound. :)


    Figure 4. Stroboscopic measurements with a KAB SpeedStrobe confirmed that my turntable motor slowed down...or sped up,
    with the AC-12 power cable.


    To summarize: In my system, AC-12's between the wall and a component sounded good, but AC-12's between the AC regenerator and a component sounded bad.

    I sent these results to Ryan Conway at PS Audio. This is the response I received six days later:

    "All of your findings are quite abnormal. I'm working with our engineers to try and determine what is going on."

    Two weeks after my initial inquiry, I received this response regarding the turntable speed variance :

    "I talked at length with one of the engineers today regarding the speed variance. The only explanation that he can offer is that the variance in capacitance in the cords may somehow affect the DC speed controller."

    I will post a follow up once I receive a reply regarding the disparity in performance between the inbound and outbound sides of the Power Plant Premier.

    Continuing Evaluation With AC-12's On Power Amps

    As noted previously, the 2 meter AC-12's on the power amps demonstrated immediate sonic improvements. After 10 hours of music play, the slight high frequency tizziness I initially heard was gone.

    At the 28 hour mark, which consisted of 16 hours of music play and 12 hours of idle current (each JC 1 draws 2 amperes continuous at idle), I began to hear new sounds in familiar recordings:

    1. Sounds at the extreme sides and far rear of the sound stage were louder, heavier, and clearer.

    2. Main and background sounds in the center of the sound stage became heavier and clearer.

    Examples:

    Sheila E's "Trust Me" track ("Heaven" CD): The song begins with band players tuning their instruments. I have never paid attention to this part of the song. The drummer softly tuning up at the far right was a foot further out than noted on a previous listening session. The soft drumming was so much louder and clearer that it caused me to turn my head. I had also never paid attention to the sound of some females giggling in front of the left speaker at several points in the song. The bass guitar took on a life of it's own in the center behind the vocals. It's subtle growls had more definition, overtones, weight and free flowing liquidity.

    Sheila E's "River God" track ("Heaven" CD): The "crackle" in Sheila's voice at the leading and trailing edges of phrases was clearer and more pronounced. The sound reflections from recording space walls were clearer.

    Michael Frank's "I Really Hope It's You" ("Sleeping Gypsy" CD): I heard a subtle, raspy, hissy sound one foot in front of the left speaker that I had never heard before. The sound began at 00:30 and lasted until 01:10. At first, it sounded like some type of distortion. I subsequently realized that the "distortion" was varying in pitch with the drum track and was some type of percussion instrument.

    At the 80 hour mark (39 hours music, 41 hours idle current), I noticed heavier images and increased bass slam. The following sound stage chart is from post #6 of Noise Study 7. It shows the instrumental image placement for the song "Blue" from Boney James' "Backstreet" CD. The soundscape consists of only two instruments: an electric piano and a tenor saxophone. The piano is miked to stretch all the way across the sound stage (blue oval). The song starts off with four low-pitched, heavy sounding piano notes suspended in three-dimensional space. Boney James begins his sax solo after the four intro notes and is accompanied by the piano for the rest of the song. The saxophone is close miked, therefore key noise is clearly heard, particularly on rapid passages.


    Figure 5. Sound stage charts for Boney James' "Blue" ("Backstreet" CD) prior to AC-12.

    The charts below show the changes in instrumental image placement for "Blue" after the 80 hour mark with the AC-12 power cord.


    Figure 6. Sound stage charts for Boney James' "Blue" ("Backstreet" CD) with AC-12 power cord.

    At the 100 hour mark (50 hours music, 50 hours idle current), the connector prongs were cleaned. The music became a little clearer and the definition, articulation and detail in the bass was improved.

    At the 150 hour mark (70 hours music, 80 hours idle current), the apparent sound level increased again and the sound stage was more 3-dimensional (holographic) and there was an increase in the sense of layering among images in the sound stage. There was also a little more weight to singer's voices.

    I did not hear any further changes from the 150th through the 320th hour, which was when I stopped logging.

    The AC-12's took a little bit longer to break in on the power amps than the Premier SC's did. I stopped hearing changes after the 124th hour with the Premiers and stopped hearing changes after the 150th hour with the AC-12's.

    The cumulative idle current draw of the AC regenerator and the components connected to it is about half that of each power amp. The AC-12 connected to the AC regenerator took twice as long (300 hours) to break in. The idle currents of all components in the two channel system are as follows:

    Line level preamp - 0.29 amps.
    Phono preamp - 0.17 amps.
    SACD player - 0.54 amps.
    Turntable motor power supply - 0.17 amps
    AC regenerator (with nothing connected to it) - 0.08 amps.
    Power amps - 2.08 amps.

  3. #3

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    Default Quantitative Analysis

    Quantitative Analysis

    Fast Fourier Transform (noise spectrum) plots for the voltage signals coming from the Soloist in-wall power conditioner, and Premier SC and PerfectWave AC-12 power cords are shown in figures 7 through 9. Each vertical line represents 10 dB. Each horizontal line represents 50 Hertz. The sampling frequency used for computing the Fast Fourier Transform was 1000 samples per second. The first spike on the left edge is the DC content in the power line. The next, and largest, spike, is the 60 Hertz, 121.62 volt (nominal 120 volt) AC power signal. The next three large spikes are the significant odd order (3rd, 5th, and 7th) harmonics at 180, 300, and 420 Hertz.

    The voltage level of the individual frequencies is calculated this way: The vertical axis does not start at 0 dB. It starts at a reference magnitude of -27 db (0.044 volts) The fundamental 60 Hz spike has magnitude of 68.5 dB, therefore -27 dB + 68.7 dB = 41.7 dB, which is the absolute (real) magnitude of the fundamental 60 Hz frequency. A reference voltage of 1 volt rms (Vo) is assumed. The rms voltage (voltage coming out of the wall) is calculated by Vrms=Vo x 10^(dB/20) and for the 60 Hz frequency,

    Vrms = 1 x 10^(41.7/20) = 121.62 volts.


    Figure 7. FFT Plot of voltage from the wall (output from Soloist SE in-wall power conditioner).


    Figure 8. FFT Plot of voltage from Premier SC cable.


    Figure 9. FFT Plot of voltage from PerfectWave AC-12 cable.

    Differences in figures 7-9 are easier to see if you save them to your computer and step through them.

    The amplitudes of the DC component, fundamental 60 Hz power signal frequency and significant odd order harmonics are virtually identical among the FFT plots.

    The noise density, particularly in the 40 Hz to 80 Hz region, is seen to decrease as you go from the wall to the Premier cord to the PerfectWave cord. Of course, a complete evaluation would correlate the effects of conductor materials, jacketing materials, termination methods and materials, and conductor geometry to noise filtering performance.

    At the time of the FFT measurements, the Premier cable had been in use for over 1 year and the PerfectWave cable had been in use for 100 hours. Prior to taking noise measurements, the prongs of the the AC-12's were cleaned with a metal polish and isopropyl alcohol.

    Several months ago, a member of the PS Audio forum reported good results from cleaning the prongs of his new PerfectWave AC-10 cables. I filed the information away and decided that I would try it after listening to my AC-12's in their "natural" state for a while. I couldn't imagine that my shiny new gold-plated power cable prongs would come fresh from the factory with an invisible detail-robbing film on them...but they did. Hard to believe I had been getting Such Good Sound with dirty contacts.


    Keep It Clean

    Cleaning the prongs of the AC-12's removed a light gray film. This resulted in a slight veil over the sound also being removed, with the most noticeable improvement in the area of bass articulation and detail. While I had my cleaning solutions out, and since I was overdue for a contact cleaning, I cleaned the contacts of the rest of my power and speaker cables. I did not clean the silver plated pins of my XLR interconnect cables and the gold plated pins of my component's XLR input and output jacks because the thought of cleaning all those little pins was unbearable.

    I did not notice a sonic difference after cleaning the lightly oxidized nickel-plated prongs of the Premier SC power cables (preamps and SACD player). The amount of film removed from the Premier cables was similar to that removed from the AC-12's, but was a slightly darker shade of gray.

    The unplated brass prongs of the Signal Cable MagicPower cord (used between the AC regenerator and the turntable power supply) were heavily oxidized and they turned the Q-tips absolutely black. However, no sonic difference was heard after cleaning. The unplated solid silver spades on my speaker cables were lightly tarnished to a gold-ish tint. Once again, no sonic difference after cleaning.

    The picture below shows the film that was removed from the prongs of one of the AC-12's. The orange on the Q-tips is Brasso metal cleaner. The gray is whatever was cleaned off the prongs.

    The Brasso was lightly wiped on with one or more Q-tips, then wiped off with a soft cloth damped with 99% pure isopropyl alcohol, then wiped dry with a soft cloth and allowed to air dry. Polishing rags made from old t-shirts work well.


    Figure 10. A light gray film was polished off the gold-plated prongs of my NEW AC-12 cables.

    Gold does not oxidize in air and gold-plated audio product connectors are touted in marketing materials for their high resistance to tarnishing, oxidation and corrosion. What the marketing department often fails to mention is that the gold plating on audio product connectors is so thin that it is highly vulnerable to cracking, pitting, scratches and scrapes that can expose the oxidizable base metal underneath (typically brass or copper). This is particularly true of tight fitting connections.

    Since the AC-12's were new, I am going to assume that the film removed from their connectors was some type of residue left over from the manufacturing process rather than oxidation poking through discontinuities in the gold plating.

    One day, when I'm more dedicated to audio than I am now, I'm going to get some type of audiophile approved contact conditioner.:)


    Associated Equipment:

    ■Pass Laboratories X.02 Preamp
    ■Pass Laboratories Xono Phono Preamp
    ■Parasound Halo JC1 Monoblock Amps (400 wpc into 8 ohms)
    ■Teres Audio Model 255 Turntable with Graham Phantom B-44 Tonearm and Teres Reference II Motor
    ■Ortofon MC Windfeld Moving Coil Cartridge
    ■Sonic Purity Concepts and Design Record Clamp (“The Clamp”)
    ■Acid Etched Holographic Mylar Turntable Belt
    ■Cary Audio CD 306 Professional Version SACD/HDCD/CD Player
    ■Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL Speakers (Hot Rodded)
    ■Audioquest Sky 72V DBS XLR Interconnects for Amps and SACD player
    ■Audioquest LeoPard 72V DBS Phono Cable
    ■Audioquest Everest 72V DBS 9 AWG Speaker Cable
    ■PS Audio xStream Premier SC Power Cords (7 AWG ) for Preamps and SACD Player
    ■Salamander Synergy Triple 30 Audio Credenza
    ■PS Audio Power Plant Premier Power Regenerator
    ■PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 Power Cord (8 AWG) For Power Plant Premier and Power Amps
    ■PS Audio Soloist Premier SE In-Wall Power Conditioners for Power Amps and Power Plant Premier
    ■Signal Cable Magic Power Cord for Turntable Power Supply
    ■Dedicated 20 Amp Circuit for each Monoblock Amplifier and for source components and preamplifiers
    ■AI-1 Dreadnought Non-Common Ground Interface for SDA speakers
    ■Hifi Tuning and Isoclean audio grade fuses for amplifiers and source components
    ■VPI 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine with fan modification
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    __________________
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK

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    Default Follow UP-Response From PS Audio

    Reserved for follow up.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    __________________
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK

  5. #5
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    Default

    Awesome work Ray. I really enjoyed reading your review and observations.

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    Default

    Very interesting.... I've recently taken up an interest in Power cords/conditioners.

    Thanks for the review.

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    Another great piece of creative writing!

    Main HT/2 ch:
    Pioneer SC-07, BDP-05FD, Emotiva XPA-5 x 2, XPA-1 x 2,
    Polk Audio LSi25, RTi12 x 2, LSi15 x 4, LSiC x 2, PSW1000 x 4,

    MB HT/ 2 ch:
    LG 47LM5800, Pioneer SC-1523, BDP-23FD, Sony BDP-S790, Emotiva XPA-2, XPA-5,
    Polk Audio LSi25,15, CSi5, LSiFX, PSW505 x 4

    Listening Room 2 ch:
    McIntosh MC162, MC202, C15, C41, C42, MA6500, MA6900, MCD201
    Emotiva RSP-2, RPA-1, ERC-2
    Adcom GCD 750, GFP 750, GFA 5802
    Polk Audio LSi7,9, 15

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    Awesomeness!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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    What amazes me is not DK's system, which is awesome, but how he can write so beautifully. I can also tell he is an awesome guy which is more important than everything else.

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    Very informative-Thanks!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

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    I love reading your threads, great work!!!!
    Living Room Rig:D
    Rotel RSP-1069/Rotel RMB-1095/Rotel-1072/Polk lsI15's W/modded xoverW/DBsubs/Polk LsiC/lsI7's/Klipsch sub-12"the weak link"/DLP Mitsubishi 65"
    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

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    Excellent review. Goes to show once you achieve the goal, you can't improve on that.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    One day, when I'm more dedicated to audio than I am now, I'm going to get some type of audiophile approved contact conditioner.:)
    Great to hear you are going to get serious about audio, it's overdue and time's wasting away.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

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    I use a q-tip to swab WD-40 around my ear canal. It does wonders to allow the music to be move smoothly through the room.

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    Very nice! I like your outlets and countertops! :)

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    DarqueKnight, I've read your post and am impressed by your deductive approach to analysis; very good! I only wandered onto this thread in search for information about these cables. I have a 2m Statement SC feeding a PS Audio UPC-HB. Till now, I've only used my amp's powerchord, but would like to upgrade and am looking for recommendations. Having read your post, I assume you'd recommend the AC-12? Would the AC-10 suffice for a 300 watt rms amp? And, if I have the Statement SC, would I gain anything using the AC-12 or 10, or, would it be best to change it, too?

    I know these cables are shielded, but can they influence inputs and outputs, negatively?

    thanks,

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    I have a 2m Statement SC feeding a PS Audio UPC-HB. Till now, I've only used my amp's powerchord, but would like to upgrade and am looking for recommendations.
    Making a recommendation is difficult without knowing anything about your amp or power quality. Of course, even if I had that information, there is no guarantee that your results would be similar, or even close, to mine or someone else's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    Having read your post, I assume you'd recommend the AC-12?
    No. Not necessarily. If you are interested in auditioning the AC series power cables, I'd recommend taking advantage of PS Audio's liberal 30 day trial program and trying the AC-5, AC-10, and AC-12. The AC-5 is a higher performance cable than the Statement SC and you may find it is all you need.

    I use a combination of AC-5's and Statement SC's in my home theater. The AC-12's outperformed the AC-5's in that system, but the performance improvement didn't justify the additional cost in that system. The review is here:

    Tweaking Home Theater Part 6: PS Audio PerfectWave AC-5 Power Cable And Other Stuff

    You might also find this thread on power cable conditioning of interest:

    JuiceCyclone Power Cable Conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    Would the AC-10 suffice for a 300 watt rms amp?
    The power rating of the amp is irrelevant as long as you are not substituting the manufacturer's power cable with one that has lower gauge conductors. The relevant power cable performance factors are low resistance, low capacitance, adequate shielding, adequate noise filtration and whether you hear an improvement when the cable is connected to your gear. Again, I'd try the AC-5, AC-10 and AC-12. You might find that the AC-10 and AC-12 offer no audible improvement over the AC-5 in your system. You might find that AC-10 and AC-12 offer audible improvements that can't be justified by the additional cost. You might also find that the AC-12 offers only incremental improvements at much higher cost, but you can't downgrade to either the AC-10 or the AC-5 because the AC-12 provides Such Good Sound.:)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    ...if I have the Statement SC, would I gain anything using the AC-12 or 10, or, would it be best to change it, too?
    Maybe. Try and see. As I stated in the AC-12 review, I heard immediate improvements when I replaced the Statement SC going to my two channel systems Power Plant Premier with an AC-12.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    I know these cables are shielded, but can they influence inputs and outputs, negatively?
    It's possible if your signal interconnects are not adequately shielded and are in close proximity to the power cables. In my home theater system, I am using nine 2 meter Statement SC cords and two 3 meter AC-5 cords with no problems. The AC-5's run along the floor between the wall outlets and the PPP's. There is a large mass of coiled Statement SC's and interconnects behind the source components.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Ray,

    thanks for the lengthy and detailed explanation. Long story short, I'm north of the border and so auditioning and returning cables, for me, could be a costly afair (given the border, brokerage and taxes). Instead, what I think I'll do is try the AC-5 and instead of plugging it into my UPS, I will attach it to a separate, unconditioned, 20 amp outlet.

    Just to be sure, you're saying the AC-5 is better than any of the Statement series?

    Again, thanks!

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    Just to be sure, you're saying the AC-5 is better than any of the Statement series?
    No. I prefer not to deal in absolutes when it comes to subjective phenomena.

    What I'm saying is that PS Audio has ranked the performance of their power cables and the AC-5 outperformed the Statement SC (which outperformed the previous Statement cords) in their evaluations. Refer to the list under figure 1 above. I found that the AC-5 outperformed the Statement SC except when it was placed between a PPP and a component in my home theater system.

    If you haven't already done so, you might find the user reviews of the AC series cables on the forums at psaudio.com, audiogon.com and audioasylum.com helpful.

    If you email PSA's sales dept., they may be able to refer you to a nearby Canadian dealer or distributor that participates in the 30 day trial program.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Ray, "I prefer not to deal in absolutes when it comes to subjective phenomena" is very well said!

    I have greater worries, unfortunately. I have a ground loop in my home and am using the PS Audio hum buster. It's better if the amp were plugged directly into its own, separate circuit, however. Option one works with a 1m cable and option 2 with 1.5m.

    Before I make any decisions, I'm going to half to try to trace out, isolate and/or remove the source of the hum.

    thanks,

    John

    p.s. I read figure one, above, but it wasn't clear that you meant the cheapest AC series beat out the Statement SC, as you mention an 8 gauge size (while the AC-5 is listed at 10 gauge).
    Last edited by Dr.J; 11-12-2009 at 08:21 AM.

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    Another well done in-depth review Ray. Thanks.
    Michael ;)
    In the beginning, all knowledge was new!

    NORTH of 60°

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    I read figure one, above, but it wasn't clear that you meant the cheapest AC series beat out the Statement SC, as you mention an 8 gauge size (while the AC-5 is listed at 10 gauge).
    Conductor size does matter, but that is not all there is to it. A cable with smaller gauge conductors can easily outperform a cable with much larger conductors if other performance characteristics are optimized such as:

    1. The dielectric properties of the conductor cladding. This affects how the cladding stores and releases energy (i.e. noise) into the current stream.

    2. The shielding characteristics. A good shield reduces noise coming in to the cable from the environment (radio and electro-magnetic interference) and also reduces the effect of the external electro-magnetic field generated by the current flowing through the cable.

    3. Quality of terminations at each end: corrosion resistance, tight fit, smooth polished blades and slots, and removable ground pins are desirable qualities.

    4. Conductor geometry: the currents that travel through the individual wire strands create electro-magnetic fields. These fields can interact with each other and generate noise. Chosing strands of different sizes and cross-sectional shapes, in addition to different twisting configurations, helps to cancel strand interaction noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.J View Post
    I have greater worries, unfortunately. I have a ground loop in my home and am using the PS Audio hum buster. It's better if the amp were plugged directly into its own, separate circuit, however. Option one works with a 1m cable and option 2 with 1.5m.

    Before I make any decisions, I'm going to half to try to trace out, isolate and/or remove the source of the hum.
    You could try removing the ground pin of the Statement SC cable and see if that helps. Then you could try using "cheater" plugs on the rest of your power cords to try to isolate where the hum is coming from. If the hum source is a specific component, you could try replacing its power cord with one that has a removable ground pin or try grounding its chassis to another component.

    Unfortunately, the use of cheater plugs is only a trouble shooting, rather than a permanent, solution. To my knowledge, an audio grade cheater plug does not exist and the common appliance grade cheater plugs degrade audio performance.
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    Ray, thanks for the detailed explanation. Yes, I understood this from my reading of your review and from other sources, what it is that makes for a better cable. I was only saying that the AC-5 is not 8 gauge and so I wasn't sure if it was included in your comment as superior to the Statement SC line. Nevertheless, I appreciate the further detail; it's good to know these things, rather than to operate in a fog (hum ... seem life can be a bit like that!).

    The ground loop is a devil of a thing. I'll trace it out somehow.

    Again, thanks,

    John

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    Ray, I found the source of the ground loop, I assume the main source: an old electric stove that was hard wired into the system.

    John

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    Default Power cord comparisons

    DarqueKnight,
    I have been comparing several power cords the last few weeks, and I have noted the differences in the weight of the midband, intelligibility, the propulsion in the bass, the refinement at higher frequencies, the holographic presentation and the soundstaging. Better AC cords always improve the spread and the distinct sense of the depth for images in the soundstage. Rather than compare cords piecemeal, I have used a “loom” of the same cords mostly in 2 and 4 meter lengths. I use the Quantum QBase QB8 after the Quantum QX4 device, connecting power cords for individual components to the QB8 in the order Quantum advises. The QX4 is connected to a Power Port Premier at the wall.
    I have gotten very fine results with this power provisioning. I have to wonder if you might improve consistency in application of power cords if you were to replace the PS Audio regenerator with the Quantum QB8. Would you be interested in evaluating the QB8 and looms of AC cables in your system if the loan of said items could be arranged?
    The cabling I auditioned included Wyrewizard Magus, Nordost Vishnu and DIY CryoMaxIII with Furutech FI-11 and Marinco connectors.
    I had poor results with PS Audio’s Quintet. The PS Audio GCPH phono stage was a huge disappointment. Only the PPP receptacle has been a positive PS Audio experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curbfeeler View Post
    I had poor results with PS Audio’s Quintet. The PS Audio GCPH phono stage was a huge disappointment. Only the PPP receptacle has been a positive PS Audio experience.
    Welcome to the forum.

    I have had mixed, but mostly positive, results with PS Audio products. I have been quite surprised by power conditioning devices that performed to a higher or lower level than expected in certain applications. One such surprise was a Soloist SE making a bigger improvement in the sound of my home theater subwoofer than a Power Plant Premier. A huge surprise was the poor sound I received when an AC-12 or AC-5 was used between a Power Plant Premier and a component.

    I know of a PS Audio dealer who has had excellent results with the Power Plant Premier in his personal systems, but who hasn't had good results with any of the PS Audio power cords.

    I've never used a Quintet. I used a GCPH phono stage until I upgraded to the Pass Xono. I liked the GCPH a lot, but the Xono offered more gain and more resolution (as it should have, at 4X the price).

    Quote Originally Posted by curbfeeler View Post
    I use the Quantum QBase QB8 after the Quantum QX4 device, connecting power cords for individual components to the QB8 in the order Quantum advises. The QX4 is connected to a Power Port Premier at the wall. I have gotten very fine results with this power provisioning.
    Quote Originally Posted by curbfeeler View Post
    I have to wonder if you might improve consistency in application of power cords if you were to replace the PS Audio regenerator with the Quantum QB8. Would you be interested in evaluating the QB8 and looms of AC cables in your system if the loan of said items could be arranged?
    Thank you for the offer. Prior to your post, I was not aware of the QRT AC conditioning products. I went to the Quantum Resonant Technology website and read about the products and the technology. I also found some reviews in Stereophile and at Audio Asylum. The QRT devices seem very interesting, however, I am somewhat "burned out" on cable and AC equipment evaluation at this time. I would also like to condition all the cables in my home theater system with my new Cable Cooker, but my mind can't seem to bring itself to allow me to pull the 6 million pound equipment rack from the wall and unplug (and reinstall) the 150 miles of interconnect, speaker and power cables at this time.:)
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
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    While surfing net to get data related to projects of 111 i came here and find this web different one...i found useful information at here...There are certainly many different posts at here...And this one also seems to me different one!
    jobly

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    Default thanks 4 all

    that's fine, thanks ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobly View Post
    ...There are certainly many different posts at here...And this one also seems to me different one!
    Darque Knight you have caught the Russian's eye. Either this is a complement or you need to be very, very concerned.

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    Trying to report post 30 as spam, but "Report This post' tells me I do not have permisison to access this page.

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