I know Danny doesn't need any convincing if power cords sound different on amps, but I'm posting this for others who are not so sure.
So, here is my story/journey from a non-technical point of view regarding of issue “do power cables make a difference.”
In a recent post, it was debated if a better power cable could improve the sound of one of the Cherry Maraschino amps. While several folks said it couldn't improve the sound due to the amp's design, my curiosity got the best of me. When I got my Maraschinos, I just used my favorite power cords and never tried a standard cord. Looking back, I had always heard a difference when I changed power cords in previous situations. Could changing out my high quality power cables with standard power cables make any difference on how my much loved Desktop Maraschinos sound? Was I listening to a better version of what the amp could do or would standard cords influence the sound exactly the same as I have been hearing it?
First off, what are the qualifications of the listener?
My goal has always been to find the best sounding product in any of my potential components. Sure, I'm somewhat emotionally attached to my equipment cause it took me so much trial and error (and money) to find the best sounding components for the buck. When I first heard my Maraschinos, I originally was listening to my beloved custom made SET Tube amp that was my pride and joy. Once I heard the Cherry Mono blocks, I quickly divorced my SET Tube Amps and sold them in a week with no regrets.
When I was a partner in my dealership back in the day, I enjoyed the exercise of auditioning components and identifying the best sounding components to carry and sell. Heard so many overpriced components and cables that just didn't cut it. Nothing better than when you can find a component that is better sounding at 40% less cost. If I find something better to enjoy that brings me closer to the musical truth and i can afford it, i go for it and advance my system. This is part of the fun of the hobby. Bottom line, I call them as I hear them.
Sounds good, but can he really hear?
Note that I am a musician, have produced and engineered my own music and listened to live music for decades. That's great, but it really doesn't matter unless you have good ears and know what to listen for.
So to that point, I have an acquaintance of mine who has a band called the California Guitar Trio. They are three gifted acoustic guitarists. Perhaps you have heard of them? I was asked to see if I could tell the difference on one of their songs with four different files. The files were: 16/44k, 24/44k, 24/96k, and 32/44k. I thought I had pretty good ears and hoped I could tell the difference. I welcomed the challenge. I also thought if I blew the challenge, I would be bummed out knowing I have been an audio enthusiast for decades and considered my hearing as strong. With that thought in mind, I asked my daughter to handle the controls of my mac book pro and randomly play the four tracks.
The song, "Cherry Trees" was very nice and well balanced with all three guitars playing rthymic lines with some slow parts to change it up. My daughter played the random four tracks in three different sets. After the third set, I made my selections. I happen to get them all correct. Doesn't made mean I have the greatest ears, but maybe shows I have good ears. Try the test if you have different versions of the same track without knowing which one is which. It's a fun exercise. Note I focused on spatial cues of the recording space and the harmonic structure and length of decay of the notes played, attack, definition of bass, etc.
The Power Cord Test
With the all that said, time to try the power cords. I put on three fav Holly Cole tracks from Don't Smoke in Bed from a basic 16/44 ripped CD. I Can See Clearly Now, Tennessee Waltz, and Everyday Feels like a Holiday. Great vocals, piano, harmonica, tenor sax, stand up bass in these songs. Plenty of variety.
At first, I wasn't sure if I heard any differences (A to B), until I went back to my better power cords (A to B to A). Usually, I immediately hear better bass, blacker background, etc when I move to better power cords. With this test, I heard marginal bass improvement, but the vocal was much more intimate, I heard the reverberation of the recording space much more clearly, the percussiveness of the piano was quick and tight with rich timbre and I was more involved in the performance. The harmonica seemed much more in the room with me as did the Tenor Sax. To sum it up, the standard power cables sounded more rolled off and less extended.
I wrote this last night, but didn't send it out until I could repeat my test this morning just to be sure. I thought that many of you might take a shot of my observations as there is so many debates on this topic. I added a Carpenters 24/96 recording so my wife could play along. I played the Carpenters with the standard cords and then with the more expensive cords and without knowing which one was which, my wife said on the first couple notes after changing power cords, she said I like this one better. It was the better and actually reasonably priced cords.
Guys, let me be real. It was obvious.
My best audio friend and mentor since I get into audio in 1980, is a scientist and tells me power cables make no difference as long as its a reasonable gauge wire. He has given me so much great advice in my early audio years and I am grateful, but to my ears a good power cable makes a difference.
In the multiple tests I have made through the years have proven it to me. And this particular power cord test on an amp that is said to not be as sensitive to power cords as other amps proved the point to me again.
I know others will still dig in and not agree. To those, I say try the test and listen for yourself, but either way, its all good and these type of conversations are what makes our hobby fun. Healthy debate is what advances us to better sound.