GR Research Power Cords

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newzooreview

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GR Research Power Cords
« on: 28 Jul 2021, 06:38 pm »
I have a B16 power cable arriving today, and I have a couple of questions for anyone who might have experience with them.

1. Do you find they are better suited to source components vs. amps?

2. Does anyone know if the B24 version of the GR Research power cords are going to be available soon? Would it be better to wait for those for use on a 200 watt/channel (into 8 Ohms) amp?

I ask because access to and re-cabling in my system is not trivial, and GR recommends a 200-hour break in, so experimenting down a sub-optimal path is a time sink.

Any insight appreciated!  :thumb:

Early B.

Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jul 2021, 08:48 pm »
1. Do you find they are better suited to source components vs. amps?

I believe the idea behind power cords being suited for specific components is more of a marketing strategy (i.e., "high current" power cords for amps because they use thicker gauge wire). A simpler solution is to place the power cords on the components where they sound best, and only trial & error can tell you where to put them.   

subsonic1050

Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #2 on: 28 Jul 2021, 09:09 pm »
Cables are a tricky business. I absolutely believe that higher quality copper as well as the strand configuration of the cable (such as the braided cables in the GR power cable and speaker cables) can and do make a difference. What I can't and don't believe can make a difference is using a massive gauge wire in your power cord, when the wire going ALL the way back to your breaker panel are, (in most cases), at best 12 gauge and often only 14 gauge. I don't have actual numbers on equivalent gauges, but in working with the 16 strand cable I believe you end up with at least 12 gauge, but it appears to be closer to 10 gauge. I don't see how the 24 strand cable can improve anything. I have a high quality cable going into a PI Audio Digibuss, and then high quality cable going out to my components. If you open up a line conditioner, the wires they use are anemic - even with a very expensive and very well regarded product like the PI Audio. Some things about cables are mystifying, but I just don't see how there could be an improvement with the 24 stranded version.

Early B.

Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #3 on: 28 Jul 2021, 09:39 pm »
Full disclosure -- I have several GR Research power cords (1 more arriving tomorrow) and they're really good, especially for the money.

It's very difficult to predict what a power cord will sound like in YOUR system based on its features. You just gotta spend some years experimenting until you arrive at a point where you ask yourself, "what's the point?".

newzooreview

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #4 on: 28 Jul 2021, 09:40 pm »
Thanks to you both. I assumed that trying them would be the only way, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #5 on: 29 Jul 2021, 12:25 am »
B24 cables should be launching sometime early next week.

I have one of the B24 cables Ron borrowed from us with a Holo Spring DAC, tube preamp & some massive Tube monoblocks & a pair of JBL studio monitors. While he's borrowing my X Statiks.

According to Ron, It takes about 80-90 hours for the cable to burn in. When they're fresh, they tend to lead to a bit of a harshness in guitars and female vocals, after about 80hrs they tend to really mellow out

An industry guy came by this weekend and they did a shootout with some crazy expensive power cords (something like $8000-10,000) they both agreed that our B24 was better.

I haven't personally done any AB tests yet, as the preamp and amp are still really fresh  and only have about 100 hrs on them and Everything sounds amazing, aside from some really weak bass output below 80Hz, even running the servo sub stands at 75% volume.. but im not sure if thats the DAC, preamp, or something else being the problem.. swapping interconnects seems to have no affect. Might try power cords soon tho...  :scratch:

That said, I've been hearing things in this system I've never heard before, but I dunno if it's any one component, or all of them together thats leading to the differences.

But I'm excited to do some of that this weekend most likely.

DannyBadorine

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #6 on: 29 Jul 2021, 01:52 am »
How can a power cable change the sound when they're all plugged into such cheap power cable in the wall?  Does anybody have any real science on this?  I'm totally open to it but I'm definitely skeptical.  I just think that as long as your IEC cable is at least as good of quality as what's in the wall then there's no way to improve on that.

Early B.

Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #7 on: 29 Jul 2021, 02:55 am »
How can a power cable change the sound when they're all plugged into such cheap power cable in the wall?  Does anybody have any real science on this?  I'm totally open to it but I'm definitely skeptical.  I just think that as long as your IEC cable is at least as good of quality as what's in the wall then there's no way to improve on that.

Many of us were initially skeptical about power cords, but try it and trust your ears. If you're not willing to experiment, that's OK, too. Just know that most audiophiles don't use stock power cords, and for good reason. Of course, this thread isn't the place to discuss the merits of power cords. If you want to learn more, there's a million previous threads, videos, articles, and heated debates on this issue that you can enjoy at your leisure.

 

RonP

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #8 on: 29 Jul 2021, 01:29 pm »
Many of us were initially skeptical about power cords, but try it and trust your ears.
 
+1

not sure how it works, but the before and after difference has been very clear in my system for each power cord I upgraded.

I started with a $99 power cord from signal cable before these from Danny were available. It was an acceptable experiment for me .. 100 smackers... I noticed the difference. I've moved on since then to more expensive cords for better gains. That cable is in a box somewhere upstairs  :D

newzooreview

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jul 2021, 03:08 pm »
B24 cables should be launching sometime early next week…

I've been hearing things in this system I've never heard before…


Thanks for the news on the B24 cable. Maybe I need to rearrange the components so that I can compare more easily.

My vote is for the Holo May DAC as the reason for the new things you're hearing. I have the Holo May KTE edition DAC (the same that Ron reviewed), and the new and natural resolution coming though have been amazing. I was coming from a Benchmark DAC3 (not a DAC designed to soften any details). The Holo May definitely sounded best after 400 hours of break-in. Deep bass was an area that fluctuated during break in but never wavered afterward. I found that running the full, slow frequency sweeps (like the one on the Ayre break-in disk or some others) was beneficial.

Happy listening!  :thumb:

Early B.

Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #10 on: 29 Jul 2021, 03:48 pm »
I have one of the B24 cables Ron borrowed from us with a Holo Spring DAC, tube preamp & some massive Tube monoblocks & a pair of JBL studio monitors. While he's borrowing my X Statiks.

Hobbs -- do you plan to compare the B16 with the B24 and post your impressions?

mlundy57

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #11 on: 29 Jul 2021, 04:15 pm »
How can a power cable change the sound when they're all plugged into such cheap power cable in the wall?  Does anybody have any real science on this?  I'm totally open to it but I'm definitely skeptical.  I just think that as long as your IEC cable is at least as good of quality as what's in the wall then there's no way to improve on that.

Early B. is spot on. The issue with this question is the same as for quality level of crossover components. What is presented as science is based on the assumption  that if something measures the same it must sound the same. The problem with this approach is the question under consideration is not whether there are measurable differences but whether there are audible differences. This is a sensory issue like taste.

The science that studies sensory perception is it's own field with it's own methodologies which are way more complex than a simple A/B test and need to be to control all the variables involved. I've studied this field and, as a dietitian/nutritionist, have been involved in sensory experiments on different qualities of food and how people perceive them. To do this type of research properly is very time consuming and expensive. Before a company expends the type of resources required, they have to determine if the results will increase sales enough to justify the cost. This is referred to as applied science.

In the case of audio, the answer is no. It doesn't matter rigorous the experiments are or what results are found. They will not change anyone's mind. People who are convinced there can't be any difference will be even more sure they are right while people who are willing to try and make their decision for themselves based on their experience will still do so. If they feel there is a difference worth the cost they will buy the item in question. If not, they won't.

In addition to applied science, there is basic science. Basic science seeks to answer questions for the sake of the knowledge and not for a direct profit motive. Basic science is usually funded through grants which can be private or public (tax dollars). Either way, somebody has to pony up the money to conduct the studies. The naysayers will take the stand it is on the industry to pony up and prove their claims. Which, as mentioned earlier, they will never be able to do to the satisfaction of the naysayers nor will they recoup their investment. The industry will say it's the naysayers responsibility to prove their claim that there is no difference. Which they won't do and, just as with industry, people outside their camp won't believe their results either.

So where does that leave us? Right back where we started. If you don't believe there can possibly be any difference, don't buy the product(s). If you think there might be something to a claim, listen for yourself on your own equipment. If you think there is a difference worth the price to you, keep the product. If not, send it back. It's like the old saying goes, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", or in this case, in the listening.

subsonic1050

Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #12 on: 29 Jul 2021, 05:10 pm »
Hobbs - I'd also be interested in a comparison between the B16 and B24. I suggested in a previous post that I doubt there could be a significant difference between the B16 and the B24 and I'll stand by that. However, I learned long ago that when it comes to audio things don't always make intuitive sense. Here's my sort of explanation for why the quality of cables can matter in the last few feet and why I believe that the size of the cable doesn't matter (so long as everything is at least the gauge of the wire feeding the outlet).

Electricity in a wire can be broadly associated with a flowing liquid in a pipe. A water supply can have very turbulent flow (noisy electrical connection in your wall from your breaker panel) and transition to smooth laminar flow if the pipe is smooth and straight (a high quality power cable). Furthermore, with the GR power cable, the braided construction may help with filtering as Danny has talked about with his speaker cables. Going back to the liquid analogy, you can't increase the output flow of a long pipe by increasing the diameter the last few feet - which is why I'm skeptical of the larger power cable being better. However, the same analogy opens the door for that to be a possibility. The calculation for whether a fluid will have laminar flow is related to the Reynold's number - a calculation which involves cross sectional area. It could be that the larger power cable, while not increasing flow, could allow for a smoother passage of electrons (less resistance) and equal better sound. Still, as I said the B16 cable is already a pretty large gauge cable - almost certainly larger than you'd find in any normal home wiring. I'd definitely be interested to hear the 2 side by side.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #13 on: 29 Jul 2021, 11:28 pm »
Hobbs -- do you plan to compare the B16 with the B24 and post your impressions?

Unfortunately, I don't have a B-16 on hand to test, at least not at the moment.
I have your typical power cords that come with most electronics, a prototype that was made before the B-16 (its basically a B-4.. lol) and a B24 that Ron handed me.

That said, I'll see what sort of differences I pick up on sometime this weekend when i have a few hours to just sit & listen.

Stephen Scharf

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #14 on: 29 Jul 2021, 11:41 pm »
I have a B16 power cable arriving today, and I have a couple of questions for anyone who might have experience with them.

1. Do you find they are better suited to source components vs. amps?

All components benefit from better-quality "audio-grade" power cords, both source component, preamps and amps. You are better off using a less-expensive aftermarket audio-grade power cord on all the components in your system than spending more money on a single more expensive power cord, and only putting that on one component, and using generic black power cords on all the rest.

2. Does anyone know if the B24 version of the GR Research power cords are going to be available soon? Would it be better to wait for those for use on a 200 watt/channel (into 8 Ohms) amp?
Yes.  You want to use a "larger gauge" (smaller AWG number) on higher-current components.

The reason is because amplifiers require more current, sometimes "instaneously" than source components. The key attribute here is what is referred to as dynamic transient current delivery.


Stephen Scharf

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #15 on: 29 Jul 2021, 11:50 pm »
I believe the idea behind power cords being suited for specific components is more of a marketing strategy (i.e., "high current" power cords for amps because they use thicker gauge wire). A simpler solution is to place the power cords on the components where they sound best, and only trial & error can tell you where to put them.

That is incorrect. High-current components benefit from using higher-gauge (lower AWG number e.g. 12, 10 or 8 AWG) power cords as opposed to generic black power cords (which are generally 16 AWG). This is so they can provide more instantaneous current when the component's power supply pulls hard on the AC mains during dynamic transients, which causes reactance on the power cord, and which actually results in less current being delivered, when it is most needed, than what would be delivered during less dynamic passages. The reactance also causes the current to be out of phase with the electromotive force (aka "voltage") that  causes it.

Reactance Def: "Reactance, in electricity, measure of the opposition that a circuit or a part of a circuit presents to electric current insofar as the current is varying or alternating."
« Last Edit: 30 Jul 2021, 05:19 am by Stephen Scharf »

Stephen Scharf

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #16 on: 30 Jul 2021, 12:02 am »
Full disclosure -- I have several GR Research power cords (1 more arriving tomorrow) and they're really good, especially for the money.

It's very difficult to predict what a power cord will sound like in YOUR system based on its features. You just gotta spend some years experimenting until you arrive at a point where you ask yourself, "what's the point?".

I agree with your general point, and I am confident that the GR Research power cords provide excellent performance for their price, but I respectfully disagree that one should arrive at a point after years of experiment, where you ask yourself "what's the point?"

The sonic benefits for well-designed and manufactured audio-grade power cords are, in my >10 years experience with many of them from different manufacturers, are clear, uambiguous, and unequivocal. As I mentioned to the OP, one will obtain a higher overall, i.e., system-level, performance by spending somewhat less on an audio-grade power and using that "budget" in putting them on ALL components, rather than putting the same amount of money on a single, more expensive, power cord, and only putting it on 1 component. 

Example: If you have, for example, a budget of $1000, you are better off putting 4 $250 audio-grade power cords on 4 components in your system, than the entire $1000 on a more expensive PC and only putting it on, for example, the power amp.

Stephen Scharf

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #17 on: 30 Jul 2021, 12:22 am »
Cables are a tricky business. I absolutely believe that higher quality copper as well as the strand configuration of the cable (such as the braided cables in the GR power cable and speaker cables) can and do make a difference. What I can't and don't believe can make a difference is using a massive gauge wire in your power cord, when the wire going ALL the way back to your breaker panel are, (in most cases), at best 12 gauge and often only 14 gauge. I don't have actual numbers on equivalent gauges, but in working with the 16 strand cable I believe you end up with at least 12 gauge, but it appears to be closer to 10 gauge. I don't see how the 24 strand cable can improve anything. I have a high quality cable going into a PI Audio Digibuss, and then high quality cable going out to my components. If you open up a line conditioner, the wires they use are anemic - even with a very expensive and very well regarded product like the PI Audio. Some things about cables are mystifying, but I just don't see how there could be an improvement with the 24 stranded version.

The 24 strand version provides a greater instantaneous current delivery during transients and dynamic passages. The reason is this important is because on smaller gauge (i.e. generic black power cords) are significanty impacted by the reactance that occurs in them when the component's power supply pulls hard on the AC mains. This actually causes less current to be delivered. A larger-gauge power cord is significantly less impacted by the reactance than a smaller gauge PC.

Further, I would not generalize about the wires utilized inside a line conditioner by opening up a small sample N of 1 or 2. One cannot draw statistically valid inferences for attribute data from small sample Ns.

Stephen Scharf

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #18 on: 30 Jul 2021, 12:27 am »
How can a power cable change the sound when they're all plugged into such cheap power cable in the wall?  Does anybody have any real science on this?  I'm totally open to it but I'm definitely skeptical.  I just think that as long as your IEC cable is at least as good of quality as what's in the wall then there's no way to improve on that.

Read this: https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/why-power-cables-make-a-difference/

Cheytak.408

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Re: GR Research Power Cords
« Reply #19 on: 30 Jul 2021, 12:31 am »
Concerning Subsonic's comment about power conditioner's internal wiring being "anemic".  Are you talking about wiring to each receptacle or outlet?  If so, you need to consider the aggregate total.  i.e - 4 x 14ga wires is an aggregate of 8ga.  It will take an 8ga cable to provide the total current handling of the receptacles or outlets.

Also, chassis wiring current ratings are different than power transmission.  14ga wire is rated for 32A in chassis wiring applications.  The 14ga wire used in house wiring for 15A circuits is only rated at 5.9A for power transmission.  It is all about average current demands.  Appearances can be deceiving.