An experiment

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As we start our series on the mysterious power cord, asking the question of why it should make such a difference in sound, I want to offer an experiment for the adventurous few. I will make two assumptions: you have a separate power amplifier, and you haven't changed your power cord in some time. If true, the experiment's easy. Find an acoustic track you are familiar with, one preferably with a voice or voices and a few stringed instruments, like a plucked guitar, or even a piano. Listen closely to the presentation of the instruments, their tonality, space within the recording and in particular, the length of decay of overtones. Focus also on the humanness of the voice. Note the exact volume level it is played at, then shut down the amplifier.

Next, remove the power cord from the amplifier and the wall or conditioner. Put it back in the AC source and the amp itself. Turn the system back on and repeat the listening test ensuring the volume remains identical. Chances are quite good that careful listeners on revealing systems will note improvements: longer decay of notes, more lifelike presentation, better separation between instruments. The contrasts should be readily apparent.

This experiment works because the act of removing and inserting a power cable removes surface oxidation from the receptacles in the wall and equipment. Metal surfaces grow 'barnacle-like' protrusions over time, reducing connectivity and you can hear the difference once cleaned. The experiment only works the once and time must pass before repeating it.

I bring this to your attention so you're not fooled into hearing improvements that do not exist when trying a new power cable. You must always begin by following the process just mentioned, then evaluate the old one, and get ready for the new.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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