Bigger AC cables for better sound

December 9, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

11 comments on “Bigger AC cables for better sound”

  1. Greetings Paul. hope that you are having a good day. When I first started listening to your daily “Ask Paul” segments , after about 3-4 months , I decided to check this concept out for myself. I had 2 legs open in our circuit box so I ran 2 dedicated circuits of 10-gauge cable to the wall behind the audio gear . I had not updated any equipment yet. Everything was from the mid to late 80’s. Oh my. I could not believe the difference. So I said to myself “Self , if Paul is correct about this, how much more is he correct about my old equipment not being nearly as good as just about anything available now.” So I felt compelled, compelled I say, to upgrade. Oh wow, what a journey that has become. Where I used to feel that I had an adequate system ,now I have much better appreciation for the music and everything sounds so much better. Thank you for your passion Paul, and thank you for enabling us mere mortals. Luckily for me, my wife allowed me to move the acquisition process ahead of other items on the already agreed upon “must have” list. I am an extremely blessed individual. Hope you all have a wonderful day.

  2. Oh, and the cables in the wall are solid. I suspect that if you were able to run solid cables to the equipment it would sound totally different, but what a pain in the keister that would be.

  3. Well, Paul is to my opininon right with his recommandations. Best of course is to have a strong own mains cable in the wall for the stereo system. This will feed the power amp best. Also should the cable from wall socket to the power amp thick so most current can flow without too much sag the voltage at the power amp mains inlet. Since US and probably other countries use 120 Volts AC for the mains the cables need to be strong since double amperes will flow compared with countries using 230 V AC like in Europe. I feel that in Europe and special in Germany where I live the mains cables are not of a problem. Normal wall sockets deliver up to 16 Amperes which means it can provide 3600 Watt of power. This should be sufficient even for very strong power amplifiers. Regarding RFI and EMI a shielded cable between wall socket and amplifer could help. On the other side a well constructed and built amplfier should be insensitive to this disturbance.

  4. I’m fortunate to have old ears and can’t hear subtle audio differences, if there are any. Saves me money and allows me to get into the content, which is the priority afterall.

    1. Good morning Daddyo and all others!
      I would like to give you all the benifet of my own personal experience of power cables.
      I found in my 46 years of playing around with sound equipment, the thickness of the power cable, doesn’t really matter.
      That is, in less you are using a big tube amp that has lots of power output tubes in it.
      And or, you’re using a transistor amp with a really low impedance load on it.
      It’s times like those that I described above, that you’ll want to use thicker power cables.
      If you use cables that are too thin, you could possablely start a fire with your audio gear if you’re not careful.
      And some times, your sound could also suffer too.

      1. John Price,
        You told me that you are only 50 years old & yet you state here that
        you have been playing around with sound equipment for 46 years…
        hmmm, so you started when you were 4 years old??
        I find that hard to believe John…methinks that you’re fantasizing again 😉

        Have you ever started a fire from using thin loudspeaker cables?
        I’ve tried to do it so many times, but I’ve never achieved it…
        even with a 500watt/ch power amp & 4 ohm loudspeakers.

        I even had a small, hand-held fire extinguisher on hand, just in-case.

        1. I will tell you this, only one time!
          But after I say this, I don’t want to hear your SMART MOUTH!
          Do you understand???
          Amplifier power, is one thing.
          But what comes out of an outlet, is a hole nother ball game.
          And it’s not a safe one either.
          I wasn’t talking about what happens with speaker cables, I was talking power cables.
          If you would have read my comment carefully, you would have gotten that point.
          And also, I’m not lying about my age either.
          And also, I’m not lying about what I done when I was a little boy either.
          My dad was a TV repair techniction.
          Everything I know about electronics and electrical stuff, I learned it all from him.
          He gave me the space to do experiments on many diffrent things.
          This is both how and why I can say with the gratest of honesty, I’ve never made a mistake that I didn’t learn from.
          You said that, you find it hard to believe.
          Truth be told, I don’t care if you believe me or not!
          You say that, you’re 62.
          Whell then, if you are, then start acting your age and not your shoe size.
          “When I was a child, I thought like a child, and reasoned like a child.
          But when I became a man, I put childish things away from me.”
          I’m not in high school anymore, and neither are you!!
          I will thank you very much to quit being a syber bully!

          1. John Price,
            Wow look how defensive you get when someone calls you out for being a lying thieving ratbag!
            You talk a lot of rubbish here on this site John & so YOU should start acting YOUR age because you still talk like a 7-year-old child.

            Did you ever pay Neil for the phono amp that he sent to you?
            Answer the question & stop deflecting.
            You should have been a politician with all of the rubbish that constantly comes out of your mouth.
            I’m not bullying you John, I’m just calling you out for all of the BULLSH!T that you talk here on this site.

            Stop being defensive & answer the question…
            Did you ever pay Neil for the phono amp??
            They are two straight forward questions to answer.

  5. I put in three new “home runs”, as Paul calls them. The main audio feed goes to its own consumer unit and has its own 100A feed from the street. I used a NeoTech 12 gauge drain cable.

    The irony is that I have no idea if it makes a difference because with all the building work going on, I think the cable went in in August and the hifi could only be plugged in in November. But if you have the chance, it’s worthwhile spending a few $.

    I had the typical thick unwieldy audiophile power cables and recently replaced them with ultra-flexible and much shorter cables. Vastly more practical and just as good.

    Having installed 300A and 32A cables for my home and car charger, the size of some hifi component cables relative to power draw seem just mad to me. My ultra-floppy cables do the same job – conduct electricity and exclude EMF and RFI. They’re just less macho.

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