Power Cords for Sound Lab Speakers

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Apr 24, 2017
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I am looking for actual experience with power cords for Sound Labs speakers. Do they make a difference? If so, which ones work well? I do not have a good matched pair to try and any cord I have would be too short for one speaker.

Thank you for sharing your experience.
 
I’m interested in the same question. My new Sound Labs should ship at the end of Sept. I’m thinking about Shunyata 14 NR Venoms. My dealer uses all Shunyata high end cables and his system sounds great, but he has a lot of great gear so not sure how much the PCs on the Sound Labs contribute.

It seems like a small PC like the Venom 14 would be sufficient given the ultra low current?

Maybe take advantage of the 30 day return policy?
 
I am looking for actual experience with power cords for Sound Labs speakers. Do they make a difference? If so, which ones work well? I do not have a good matched pair to try and any cord I have would be too short for one speaker.

Thank you for sharing your experience.
What did you end up with?
 
Factory cords so far.
What did you end up with?
Factory cords so far. I am still working on speaker placement and room treatment. It is too soon to try to evaluate power cords. I was hoping for some good purchasing suggestions from actual experience or told it does not matter (again from experience).
 
I am looking for actual experience with power cords for Sound Labs speakers. Do they make a difference? If so, which ones work well? I do not have a good matched pair to try and any cord I have would be too short for one speaker.

Thank you for sharing your experience.
I wouldn't waste money on "audiophile" power cables. Getting power into your speakers or amp is a pretty simple matter and, by the time it gets to your wall outlet, it has passed through miles of very basic copper cable, so squandering a ton of cash on the last couple of meters is frankly daft.

For a sensibly priced power cable that meets all requirements for audio equipment, you can't beat Belden 19364. It has 3 heavy conductor cables, a drain wire and the whole lot is encased by a foil screen to keep RF out of the picture. About £9 per meter from Ebay or numerpus other suppliers. It's not a difficult cable to handle so connecting your mains plug and IEC plug is a simple job. I use it for all my equipment including my powered speakers.

 
I ordered a pair of Shunyata's low end noise reduction power cords. @Hear Here I am not at all concerned with power transmission, but I'm becoming convinced that Shunyata's noise reduction is effective. Whether it has any impact on the Sound Lab's linear power supply performance is yet to be determined, but at $300 it's a relatively cheap experiment.
 
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Hi ACHiPo,
In my experience they do make a difference by taking a level of grunge away. Like everything in audio, it depends on your
- perception
- taste
- quality of components in rest of your system
- room, of course!
- etc.

If everything is top notch already, they will make a bigger difference.

Also, I would take care of electrical on your digital (most important/ biggest difference), preamp, and amplification before the speakers , as you will get larger benefits

Also, I would experiment with cables at different price points. Try $500 and $1000 cables of your favorite brand also, to gauge how they compare with what you are getting.
Best of luck in your journey!
 
Hi ACHiPo,
In my experience they do make a difference by taking a level of grunge away. Like everything in audio, it depends on your
- perception
- taste
- quality of components in rest of your system
- room, of course!
- etc.

If everything is top notch already, they will make a bigger difference.

Also, I would take care of electrical on your digital (most important/ biggest difference), preamp, and amplification before the speakers , as you will get larger benefits

Also, I would experiment with cables at different price points. Try $500 and $1000 cables of your favorite brand also, to gauge how they compare with what you are getting.
Best of luck in your journey!
Caesar,
Thanks. I've fallen into the Shunyata rabbit hole, so I think I'm on a course to tame any nasties from the AC line. My M60 based system is sounding mighty fine. Can't wait for my Sound Labs. Gonna try my new MA1s tomorrow after I finish burning in the tubes.

I have a couple more V14D power cords coming for the sound labs. Can't hurt.

Evan
 
I am looking for actual experience with power cords for Sound Labs speakers. Do they make a difference? If so, which ones work well? I do not have a good matched pair to try and any cord I have would be too short for one speaker.

Thank you for sharing your experience.
Hello, I've got a pair of Sound Lab Ultimate 1 electrostats. These have the toroid and hot rod upgrades. The first power cords I installed that
produced a major audible improvement were the High Fidelity Cable Helix Signature power cords. Quieter background, increased detail and
separation. But only modest improvement in bass response and dynamics. When I inquired, mfg said the cables needed 400-500 hours to fully
break in. At about 75 hours, I threw in the towel. I then purchased a pair of ESP Reference power cords. Though these were much less expensive
than the HFC power cords, they produced much better bass and dynamics. I might add, parenthetically, that these electrostats are too large for my listening room (13.5 x 19 x 14 ft H). Hope this helps. Phil
 
Hello, I've got a pair of Sound Lab Ultimate 1 electrostats. These have the toroid and hot rod upgrades. The first power cords I installed that
produced a major audible improvement were the High Fidelity Cable Helix Signature power cords. Quieter background, increased detail and
separation. But only modest improvement in bass response and dynamics. When I inquired, mfg said the cables needed 400-500 hours to fully
break in. At about 75 hours, I threw in the towel. I then purchased a pair of ESP Reference power cords. Though these were much less expensive
than the HFC power cords, they produced much better bass and dynamics. I might add, parenthetically, that these electrostats are too large for my listening room (13.5 x 19 x 14 ft H). Hope this helps. Phil
Can you offer any physics that support your findings? I ask this only because I did study physics and I truly can't see how there can be any benefit of one power cable over another, provided RFI is avoided.

Think about it - the cable carries AC from a distant power station and a number of sub-stations that eventually end up in your home at 110 or 230 volts. After these many miles of transmission along bog-standard copper cables to your meter and fuse box, the voltage continues through your house wiring to the socket behind your hi-fi rack - again normally pretty basic unscreened twin and earth copper cable.

From there, are you really saying that the last meter or two between the wall socket and the back of your amp or speakers should be any different from the many miles of cable that feeds the socket? Why should it?

Certainly there's a case for these 2 meters to be screened but even then, only if your home is full of RFI-inducing devices such as fridges. So let’s address that by using a cable such as Belden 19364 that has a screen to keep any RFI at bay and a drain. This costs about £9 per meter and cannot be improved upon, even by solid silver or gold cables as 110 or 230 volts is simply that - the power requirement demanded by the amp or speaker.

If your amp or speaker's power supply uses a transformer and capacitors to convert this AC to a smooth DC supply to feed the transistors or valves, what more can you ask of the power supply? Surely Physics simply denies the assertion that the last couple of meters of the power supply makes any difference whatsoever.

Correct me if Rules of Physics have changed since I studied them. I accept that interconnests and speaker cables that carry the audio signal are a different matter, but not the simple power supply cables that feed a transformer and have no direct contact with the signal itself.

If the dealer tries to sell you megabucks power cables, then he should be viewed with deep suspicion!
 
Can you offer any physics that support your findings? I ask this only because I did study physics and I truly can't see how there can be any benefit of one power cable over another, provided RFI is avoided.

Think about it - the cable carries AC from a distant power station and a number of sub-stations that eventually end up in your home at 110 or 230 volts. After these many miles of transmission along bog-standard copper cables to your meter and fuse box, the voltage continues through your house wiring to the socket behind your hi-fi rack - again normally pretty basic unscreened twin and earth copper cable.

From there, are you really saying that the last meter or two between the wall socket and the back of your amp or speakers should be any different from the many miles of cable that feeds the socket? Why should it?

Certainly there's a case for these 2 meters to be screened but even then, only if your home is full of RFI-inducing devices such as fridges. So let’s address that by using a cable such as Belden 19364 that has a screen to keep any RFI at bay and a drain. This costs about £9 per meter and cannot be improved upon, even by solid silver or gold cables as 110 or 230 volts is simply that - the power requirement demanded by the amp or speaker.

If your amp or speaker's power supply uses a transformer and capacitors to convert this AC to a smooth DC supply to feed the transistors or valves, what more can you ask of the power supply? Surely Physics simply denies the assertion that the last couple of meters of the power supply makes any difference whatsoever.

Correct me if Rules of Physics have changed since I studied them. I accept that interconnests and speaker cables that carry the audio signal are a different matter, but not the simple power supply cables that feed a transformer and have no direct contact with the signal itself.

If the dealer tries to sell you megabucks power cables, then he should be viewed with deep suspicion!

I also found that my SoundLab A1Px are very sensitive to power cords. There is a simple explanation. The SoundLab speakers use common industrial switching supplies to generate the high voltage that create a lot of broadband RF noise, the power cords must prevent this noise from going into your system, and we can not achieve this just by blocking it with filters, it must be also absorbed. Remember that noise generated in the speakers also enters the system through the speaker cables - in amplifiers with negative feedback it goes indirectly in the input.

The physics of power cords are explained in a Shunyata article since long.
 
The SoundLab speakers use common industrial switching supplies to generate the high voltage that create a lot of broadband RF noise, the power cords must prevent this noise from going into your system, and we can not achieve this just by blocking it with filters, it must be also absorbed.
Still makes little sense to "absorb" this nasty RFI by having a fancy 1 m power cable when this nasty RFI can equally find its evil way into the bog-standard unscreened cable that leads up to the wall socket. Surely the plasterboard won't protect this cable from the RFI you describe? And what about RFI that the miles of feeder cable may be subjected to? What absorbs that?

Any why should the high voltage generated by the speakers cause any problem when the much higher voltage that the power station produces doesn't cause any such problem miles earlier in the supply system?

Sorry, I just don't buy this non-physics explanation and I am totally satisfied that my screened Belden cable does as good a job as any other "audiophile" cable - confirmed by careful listening tests. I'm almost (but not quite) of the opinion that the cable supplied with the amp or speakers has been considered by the supplier as as good as any, though I'm inclined to accept the benefit of any doubt and go with a cable that has RFI screening such as the Belden one.
 
Still makes little sense to "absorb" this nasty RFI by having a fancy 1 m power cable when this nasty RFI can equally find its evil way into the bog-standard unscreened cable that leads up to the wall socket. Surely the plasterboard won't protect this cable from the RFI you describe? And what about RFI that the miles of feeder cable may be subjected to? What absorbs that?

Any why should the high voltage generated by the speakers cause any problem when the much higher voltage that the power station produces doesn't cause any such problem miles earlier in the supply system?

Sorry, I just don't buy this non-physics explanation and I am totally satisfied that my screened Belden cable does as good a job as any other "audiophile" cable - confirmed by careful listening tests. I'm almost (but not quite) of the opinion that the cable supplied with the amp or speakers has been considered by the supplier as as good as any, though I'm inclined to accept the benefit of any doubt and go with a cable that has RFI screening such as the Belden one.

Power cables will always make little sense as we know little about the subjective effects of RF and noise interference in stereo systems. It is easy to ask questions, very hard to give answers that satisfy what we ear. As long as you will look at power cables just as devices carrying a 50/60 Hz sinusoidal power you will be one more happy cable skeptical. Do you also have the same opinion concerning wires that carry just audio signals in the 20-20KH bandwidth?

Probably in a world where we could only buy "properly" designed gear with "proper" grounding systems we would not find differences in power cables. But unfortunately for my finances I find I prefer the sound of gear that reacts to power cables. :oops:

I suggest you read the introduction of the last edition of the book Grounding and Shielding: Circuits and Interference by Ralph Morrison ( Preface to the Sixth Edition xi, A Historical Perspective into Grounding and Shielding xv) and than ask yourself why the author - a solid reference in the subject - found that he had to write a new edition in 2016. And also remember that most audio designers did not read it!
 
Hello, I've got a pair of Sound Lab Ultimate 1 electrostats. These have the toroid and hot rod upgrades. The first power cords I installed that
produced a major audible improvement were the High Fidelity Cable Helix Signature power cords. Quieter background, increased detail and
separation. But only modest improvement in bass response and dynamics. When I inquired, mfg said the cables needed 400-500 hours to fully
break in. At about 75 hours, I threw in the towel. I then purchased a pair of ESP Reference power cords. Though these were much less expensive
than the HFC power cords, they produced much better bass and dynamics. I might add, parenthetically, that these electrostats are too large for my listening room (13.5 x 19 x 14 ft H). Hope this helps. Phil
I popped in a pair of Shunyata NR cords powering my 745s. They sounded better than stock. No looking back. Just wish they were a foot longer.
 
Sounds promising and sensibly priced. I'll give them a try.
I recently replaced my expensive Kimber pc’s with these and very satisfied with the results. The ones I got are pre-terminated. Lots of positive reviews and comments on the internet. I’m using throughout the system except the line conditioner. The noise floor dropped considerably with the Supra. I needed shielded pc’s and the price was right with these.
 
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Do you also have the same opinion concerning wires that carry just audio signals in the 20-20KH bandwidth?
To a much lesser extent - see my penultimate paragraph in Post #10 above. The signal itself is overwhelmingly the most important element that needs protection and any unnecessary interference (whether this be RFI, DSP, tone controls, etc) should be avoided wherever possible.
 
Hello, I've got a pair of Sound Lab Ultimate 1 electrostats. These have the toroid and hot rod upgrades. The first power cords I installed that
produced a major audible improvement were the High Fidelity Cable Helix Signature power cords. Quieter background, increased detail and
separation. But only modest improvement in bass response and dynamics. When I inquired, mfg said the cables needed 400-500 hours to fully
break in. At about 75 hours, I threw in the towel. I then purchased a pair of ESP Reference power cords. Though these were much less expensive
than the HFC power cords, they produced much better bass and dynamics. I might add, parenthetically, that these electrostats are too large for my listening room (13.5 x 19 x 14 ft H). Hope this helps. Phil
Do the U-1s have the Bass Focus panels?

What other components are in your system?
 
Still makes little sense to "absorb" this nasty RFI by having a fancy 1 m power cable when this nasty RFI can equally find its evil way into the bog-standard unscreened cable that leads up to the wall socket. Surely the plasterboard won't protect this cable from the RFI you describe? And what about RFI that the miles of feeder cable may be subjected to? What absorbs that?

Any why should the high voltage generated by the speakers cause any problem when the much higher voltage that the power station produces doesn't cause any such problem miles earlier in the supply system?

Sorry, I just don't buy this non-physics explanation and I am totally satisfied that my screened Belden cable does as good a job as any other "audiophile" cable - confirmed by careful listening tests. I'm almost (but not quite) of the opinion that the cable supplied with the amp or speakers has been considered by the supplier as as good as any, though I'm inclined to accept the benefit of any doubt and go with a cable that has RFI screening such as the Belden one.
Good day to All, This thread is a little old but... I am interested to just share to make sure all know the power entering the Sound Lab back plate is not touching the audio signal at all in any way. The audio signal is only passing thru the step up transformers. The power (from which it takes only 2 volts) is used only to power the charge for the mylar membrane. I have discussed and received much education from Roger (Dr. West the inventor/manufacturer).
 

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