Do power cables make a difference to sound quality?

I see no problem with my position. Only problem I see are measurists trying to force their close minded approach to this hobby which strips all excitement, fun and emotion out of it.

Anyway, I see no reason for 2000€ power cables purely because material and build costs for a power cable can’t possibly be that high unless you use pure gold/platinum whatever for the conductors. Copper and silver work just as well so no need to do anything like this. You can always point the costs to research though. There are no limits and obviously expensive power cables can make a difference also.

My mainly subjective approach to this hobby gives me the privilige to choose whatever limits and boundaries I find best suitable to my way of doing this. I’m not constrained by science and theories but only my budget and imagination. So much fun!

You keep on measuring and blind testing, I’m sure many of you get kicks out of it. I must admit I got some kicks also when I measured my setup with UMIK-1 + REW recently. Highly recommended to all of you.

Graeme, Do you think if something cannot be proved with measurements, but a person with one ear can hear a difference, that it should be dismissed as imaginary perceived differences? To me that should stimulate curious science minded individuals and encourage intelligent discussion. The fact that the input and output of a power cable measures the same in a basic test is zero prove that science disputes what we are very cleary hearing. What really blows me away as previously confirmed in this thread is that many advocates openly admitted that they will not believe if its demonstrated in a listening session. If that is not expectation bias shooting you in the foot, then I do not know. Yes, we all know there are snakeoil peddlers in the industry charging crazy money for cables that cannot be justified, but that is a different topic. Us curious minds will continue our quest. Peace out brother and enjoy the music.

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It is not disputing it, it supports it by way of psychoacoustics. Proven time and time again in controlled environments. Repeatable tests with same results.

Unless of course, you also dispute psychoacoustics?

At the end of the day, the reported differences are completely measurable in the physical realm. There is not a part of this chain that is unknown.


If that listening session was a blind test with a reliable 80% pass rate I’d believe, regardless of measurements. Anecdotal evidence from casual listening sessions aren’t going to sway me though.


Yeah. Second that. Just grab a standard power cord, a friend and know better 2hrs later :slightly_smiling_face:


You see, you cannot easily wriggle out of this.

This sounds great, and in many ways you’re right.
However, let me tell you a story re budgets and equipment.
There was a time when I believed that I should only trust my ears. Nothing exceptional to this assumption, as what else is there to trust when it comes to subjective sound impressions. It took me a while and a lot of cash uselessly spent to understand that I never just trusted my ears. I trusted my eyes as much, maybe more, as I did trust HiFi reviews, and the audiophile drivel of my dealer.
So I ended up buying a 620 € power cord and 950 € XLR cables, and a 900 € socket, and and and. As I ended up buying a high-end DAC/ streamer and a high-end amplifier. Totally convinced that I could clearly hear major differences in detail, sound stage, airiness, dynamic spectrum, …
Then I came across dissenting voices, here on Roon Forum and elsewhere. I dismissed those at first, but became intrigued enough to see whether there was any merit to opinions that at the same time seemed heretical to me. Such as: there’s no big, difference, perhaps none, between well measuring DACs, amplifiers just need to develop the necessary power to drive your speakers and be transparent, power cords don’t matter, …
In time I turned livid, because once I had started taking my eyes (and reviews, and dealer nonsense) out of the equation, and just listened with my ears, only with my ears, I realised that I had spent in excess of 30,000 € more on what was the best sound I could hope to achieve in my listening room. If money were no object to me, I would shrug this off as a petty nuisance, but alas, 30,000 € is a pretty hefty sum for me, spent on stuff I absolutely don’t need. (I’m in the process of selling it off, piece by piece.)
So for me there’s a very good reason to call out the snake oil merchants, and even those HiFi manufacturers, of the boutique variety, that produce wonderful gear, but no better than significantly less expensive equipment.
I can’t help but think that I should have made a 30,000 € donation to a worthwhile cause rather than flush it down the greedy throats of audiophile mountebanks. This is driving me nuts!


Can’t disagree with that!


A perceived difference is a perceived difference, neither more nor less than that.

Inserting the word “imaginary” in front of “perceived difference” is redundant and implies that you think people are telling you you’re not really perceiving the difference. Either you perceive the difference or you don’t, and if you do, I don’t think anyone can argue with what you personally hear.

Perception is fallible, though, and is not a reliable guide to whether there is an objective difference – which would perhaps be something science “should be able to explain” – unless the test is carried out under conditions designed to minimise or ideally remove failings such as bias.

Furthermore, what you personally perceive may have no bearing on what someone else might perceive so is not good evidence for a very general statement such as “power cables make a difference to sound quality”.


Woof! That’s some serious motivation to police these forums until all the false prophets are eradicated.

I will be hiding in my comfy chair, safely at home, and listening to beautifully reproduced music using whichever power cords I choose.

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When you’re not policing the forum police yourself :wink:


At what point does a power cable become snake oil? Is there a specific price, or are you using some other criteria to separate them?


I used my personal case as a cautionary tale, shall we say. I am indeed angry at myself for having spent 30,000 € for nothing. And only because I believed I should trust my ears, which is OK to do, except that it’s not just ears but ears + eyes + advertising + dealer + thrill of a new toy + biases.
It took me a while to accept this. We don’t like admitting that we got something wrong. We prefer to persist in our illusions and thus we’re quite ready to throw good money after bad. Resolving a cognitive dissonance is painful, and we’re very good at making up reasons why we’re right in the face of glaring evidence that we got it wrong.

Had I not gone to the trouble of taking the objectivist views seriously, I would have continued throwing money down the drain. My upgrade path seemed clear: first, an even better (i.e. expensive) DAC with external clock (what about the dCS Rossini) and then better (i.e. expensive) speakers (what about the SF Amati), and then a new amp (what about the Dan D’Agostino Progression), and then … Not that I would necessarily have bought all of that, but over the coming years who knows. All in the hope of optimising my system when now I know that it can’t objectively get any better. I’ve reached the maximum of what my listening room and my ears, and only my ears, can take.

Objectivism is a powerful cure against upgraditis. My audiophile neuroses are gone. No worries any more that I might be missing out on something sensational. I can now enjoy the music and nothing but the music. In the full knowledge that this is as good as it can possibly get. What a relief!

I grant you, though, that for an inveterate twiddler and tweaker, my nirvana is their inferno. So my cautionary tale will be meaningful only for those who value music more highly than gear. It will hold no meaning for gear fetishists.


With the equipment within my budget I believe that power cables should be shielded as opposed to the standard cheap stuff provided with the equipment. Shielded cables start at approx. 20 euros I believe that spending more than 200 euros for power cables is a total waste of money.
If you have the money for a 500,000 euro audio setup why not spend thousends per cable. However, a good cause would benefit more from the money :wink:
Anay way, musical beauty and emotion is in the ears of the beholder…when we only had mono and AM radio music could also be enjoyed.


If anyone wants shielded cable, I have lots of it. 2.5 mm² live and neutral conductors (UK/European brown & blue) and 4.0 mm² earth conductor with a double braided copper screen/shield. Pick a charity to donate a few shekels to and I’ll send you a few metres…


Served the Ramones well A-D-E


Dave, my recommendation for someone that have experienced the benefits and are prepared to invest in something more than your garden variety power cable from your local DIY, to name one example, is off the reel Furutech power cables, and then terminated with quality connecters of your choice to ensure a proper fit. Spending more on cables with fancy braids and hocus pocus marketing’s is a waste. The high end Shunyata and Nordost cables, for example, are just ridiculous. Of course, some well-heeled audiophiles are aware of diminishing returns, but will invest in expensive everything. It is a hobby as well, of course.


Does a possible source of difference come from where the measurement is taken e.g lab environment vs home environment and the quality of the feed.

Full disclosure, I bought a power cable and heard a difference.

To prevent offers for sale, I have a cupboard full of snake oil thank you.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

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@Anthro or simply chose to ignore a thread that you do not find interesting.


Psychoacoustics is very powerful, are you accepting of this particular provable science as an explanation of why you are experiencing a change in sound?

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Now you are speaking my language.

Here’s my off the reel solution:
Furutech DPS 4.1 along with FI-50 NCF Male and FI-50 (or 52 for 20A) IEC NCF.

Yeah baby!