The building of a cable

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The building of a cable

Years ago, I became fascinated with the idea of power cables making a sonic difference.

No, at first it didn't make any sense. What could the last 1 meter of a many meters long wire matter? But, of course, I had forgotten it's not at the end of a circuit, it's actually in the middle of an AC loop (plus the fact the space between the wall socket and all that stereo gear tends to be some of the noisiest in the house).

The first iteration I built was obvious. A piece of 12 gauge Romex, the same as what was in the wall. Why that? Because up until these experiments, most stock power cords were made from stranded copper—very different than what was in the wall. So, my mission was clear. Find out the difference between the stranded and shielded stock AC cords and a piece of solid core Romex.

Man, was I shocked (I couldn't resist the pun). Where the stranded cable was wimpy in the bass and closed in on the soundstage and openness, this new power cable blew the doors off that.

I then knew two things: my upgraded cables had to be solid core, and I'd have to learn about shielding.

I started with shielding by wrapping the homemade cable in foil and tying it to ground on both ends (duplicating what's commonly done). Ugh. The openness vanished, and in its place, a closed-in soundstage. One trick I knew with shielding was to tie the shield only at the source end and leave open the end closest to the equipment. The shield would be just as effective yet not act as a closed conduit for noise.

Bingo! Quiet yet open.

The rest of the story is one of tweaking. Smaller solid core conductors in parallel to improve the highs, types of connectors, conductors, and so on.

The bottom line is the results helped further the art of building a wonderful-sounding power cable, and from that knowledge, we were able to springboard into a better-sounding era of cables.

Viva! the experiments and furthering progress.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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