Cable geometries

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Much to my surprise, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, when I crafted a power cable from the same wire in the wall, Romex, and powered an amplifier through it, the sound was vastly better than the same amplifier fed AC through the stock power cable. This came as quite the shock (not to make a pun). It was surprising to me because up until that moment I hadn't given much thought to the notion power cables mattered. Pandora's box had just opened upon hearing the sound of a homemade Romex power cable (remember, there was no aftermarket power cables made back then). And because the only real difference between the stock power cable and Romex was the type of construction - Romex a single solid core conductor for both the hot and neutral, the stock cable many fine strands of copper - it seemed obvious to me construction mattered if wire thickness was the same. But why? To sniff out the answers I began to experiment and note the results. Solid core wire had better low bass and midbass while voices were more lifelike; though the upper regions seemed recessed. Those characteristics intensified with heavier gauge solid core and when I crafted my own 8 gauge power cable using solid core wire from rolls, it was obvious to me the thicker the wire, the more top end was lost. Fascinating. The same experiments with stranded wire gave different results. Improved top end, but thin in the bass regions and aggressive in the midrange. It was clear to me an amalgam of the two types was needed and I crafted a 12 gauge solid core pair with the same gauge stranded set and took a listen. As I suspected, the best of both cable geometries played for the first time. That experiment began a long path of learning and playing to find what works best. I'll expand a bit more tomorrow. The major takeaway of the experiment? Power cables mattered. The big question? Why? I'll speculate tomorrow and finish the story of the first high end power cable to hit the market.
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Paul McGowan

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