One of the most vexing power cable questions is this: what possible difference can the last 6 feet make?
We understand there are likely several hundred feet of power cable connecting our equipment to the circuit breaker distribution box, itself connected through several hundred more feet to the power transformer feeding our home. With all this cable between us how can another few feet matter?
Seems silly, right? Like worrying over the last few feet of a marathon. Yet the fact remains for many of us, those last few feet matter. But is it length of wire that we hear? I think not. If the differences we hear in power cables changed when we connect our gear through 100 feet of cable or 106 feet there would be no consistency to our listening experiences at all. No, I do not believe it has much to do with length of the primary power source.
Robert Harley of TAS has speculated to me a different viewpoint. He reasons we are looking at the problem incorrectly. Instead of viewing the power cable as the tail of a long chain, it makes more sense to think of it as the middle. And, he is correct. In a circuit, the equipment being powered is not at the end of the line, but rather, in the middle. The AC is a loop with a return path, the equipment is smack in the middle. Think of it not like a river with a beginning and end, but closer to a round trip where the beginning and end are the same place.
How does this make any difference? Let's take some guesses tomorrow.