One last thing...

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As you read this I will likely be winging my way across the Atlantic ocean on the way to Munich for the high end show.

I wanted to answer a nagging question on the power cable series before my promised ending of the subject which I made to you yesterday. How can the last six feet matter?

I explained my theory that the ratio of surface area to conductor size effects the transmission of noise in the power cable. Power cables with many small thin conductors cause equipment to sound tilted towards the bright, relative to single large conductors. This shift to brighter sound, sometimes interpreted as being thin and lacking bass, comes from increased power line noise. But where does this noise come from, and what is different between the several hundred feet of cable in the wall and the last 6 feet connecting your equipment? The equipment itself.

Few products in our homes emit as much radiated noise as our entertainment and communication systems. Stereos, televisions, wifi routers, computers, cell phones all live in the very room power cables poke their heads into, and their radiated noise gets stronger by the square of the distance from power cables acting as antennas.

This is one reason shielding power cables helps reduce that noise and the degradation caused by it. But shielding is typically done wrong in power cables and can itself become an antenna. Most off-the-shelf shielded power cables have the outer shield tied to the ground pin on both ends of the power cable, providing a great conduit for noise from outside. This is because they are shielding not from outside noise, but from noise inside the power cable getting out. And because the equipment being powered generates plenty of its own noise, that's a blessing for equipment in close proximity but a curse for lowering outside noise. Many aftermarket power cable manufacturers, like PS Audio, solve this problem by tying the end of the shield closest to the wall socket to ground. This helps the one problem but causes others like restricted performance on the connected equipment if not handled with some care.

It is not a simple solution to build a power cable that is perfect and no one has yet done it.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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