All cables are created equal (?)

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Audiovista

All cables are created equal (?)
« on: 9 Sep 2019, 08:35 pm »
My PC’s power cord broke, and I thought I’ll take a look. Seemed like a standard stuff, AWG18 (or cross section of 0.75mm squared):



Then I cut it and what I found was very strange:



Strands of wire were all oxidized and cross section looked more like AWG24 (0.25mm sq). On top of that they were kinda “springy”, I could not twist them together.  Insulation is rubbery and soft. Really bad. Just to make sure, I made a trip to the local store and bought standard cable, again AWG18 (0.75mm):



The difference is dramatic, in the cross section, color of the Copper, quality of insulation... best illustrated by the image below:



I have seen all kinds of wire, but this is handily the worst, by far.

I can only guess that if I compared the two power cords in my system, they would sound very different   :(


Speedskater

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Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #1 on: 9 Sep 2019, 09:50 pm »
One day I measured the AC cords in my spares box with a very good Ohm meter (6½ digits). I was supprised that some had a much higher end-to-end resistance than I calculated for their printed AWG.

Audiovista

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #2 on: 10 Sep 2019, 10:47 am »
One day I measured the AC cords in my spares box with a very good Ohm meter (6½ digits). I was supprised that some had a much higher end-to-end resistance than I calculated for their printed AWG.

Good idea, looks like I will need to check all power and extension cords around house and in the lab.

Nick77

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #3 on: 10 Sep 2019, 12:41 pm »
Wow such a great revelation for those that swear by their stock cables.  :scratch:

That no doubt would easily show up in listening tests, especially on a source component.  :popcorn:

rollo

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Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #4 on: 10 Sep 2019, 01:24 pm »
  BRILLIANT !!!!

charles

richidoo

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #5 on: 10 Sep 2019, 01:40 pm »
Springiness means it's made from recycled copper pipe, which is alloyed with stiffer metals. Recycled copper should be used to make new pipe, not electrical conductor.

jmc207

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #6 on: 10 Sep 2019, 02:07 pm »
At least for this topic AudioScienceReview has a relevant article comparing various 12 ga. speaker cables.
 
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/when-12-gauge-wire-is-not-12-gauge.3/

Wind Chaser

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #7 on: 10 Sep 2019, 02:34 pm »
I can only guess that if I compared the two power cords in my system, they would sound very different.

Add a little Techflex and a garden hose and WOOT! Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching-Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching!  :popcorn:

Audiovista

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #8 on: 10 Sep 2019, 02:52 pm »
 :rotflmao:

twitch54

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #9 on: 10 Sep 2019, 03:06 pm »
thankfully, powering your PC and not your audio gear !

Nick77

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #10 on: 10 Sep 2019, 03:16 pm »
I'm sure I'm not alone in using a PC based music server for digital hirez files  For me the PC is one quarter of the audio chain.

twitch54

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #11 on: 10 Sep 2019, 03:34 pm »
I'm sure I'm not alone in using a PC based music server for digital hirez files  For me the PC is one quarter of the audio chain.

understood, what I meant was thankfully the PC's power requirements aren't that of ones 'Class A' amps !

Tyson

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #12 on: 10 Sep 2019, 04:09 pm »
Very few cable makers are spooling their own power cables.  Mostly they are buying stock cable, putting a nice jacket on it, some nice connectors and up-charging.  The very high prices tends to stop customers from disassembling the cables to discover that. 

DaveC113

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Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #13 on: 10 Sep 2019, 06:38 pm »
There are many potential issues with cables and especially high end cables. I've seen power cables made with 12g solid core wire, this is not designed to bend repeatedly and will crack over time, causing the resistance to increase, potentially to the point it will heat up and possibly burn it's insulation. I've seen cables that can't be bent repeatedly because of the design as well. And I've seen cables who'se conductors will corrode over time, which can lead to increase in resistance.

Nevermind the blatant use of counterfeit and look alike plugs and connectors, markups in the 20x range, etc...

Just like any market, buyer beware and the more educated you are the more likely to choose a product you'll be happy with.

Audiovista

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #14 on: 12 Sep 2019, 08:39 am »
I just found an extension cord where grounding wire broke. That's much more serious than line or neutral wire breaking, as it creates potentially hazardous condition and it is not detectable - most equipment will work fine, until primary insulation breaks, that is. Again, cross-section of the copper wire is nowhere near the rated one.  :x

Audiovista

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #15 on: 13 Sep 2019, 06:29 pm »
Time to make my own extension cord... with longer and thicker cable. I am currently in Europe, hence EU receptacles and plug.










rollo

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Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #16 on: 14 Sep 2019, 05:42 pm »
  Boris do not make the mistake that it is only wire and plugs. Lose the Engineers manual and use your ears.

charles

Audiovista

Re: All cables are created equal (?)
« Reply #17 on: 15 Sep 2019, 10:03 am »
  Boris do not make the mistake that it is only wire and plugs. Lose the Engineers manual and use your ears.

charles

I hear you Charles! Engineering and auditioning are not mutually exclusive - for the best results both need to be generously applied.  Without foundation based on solid science and engineering practices we cannot be sure that a product is safe and reliable. It’ would be like having a beautiful house built out of cardboard.