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mark evans
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20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

I need a some clarification on this and any help will be greatly appreciated from all. I'm not the sharpest tack in the box

I have two dedicated 20 amp outlets. My power conditioner is plugged into one of the wall outlets. The power onditioner has 8 outlets on it. everything is plugged into the conditioner.
My question is this: What amperage power cords do I need for my amps, CD transport, D/A converter?

Should I plug my amplifier straight into the 20amp wall outlet? If so, Do I need to make certain that I use a 20amp power cord or will a 15 amp cord suffice? Or do I need to plug it into the conditioner for best performance. I have heard that plugging the amp straight into the wall is best.

And again, if I plug the amp straight into the wall, do I need to make certain the power cord is a 20 amp cord.

Thanks to all

peace,
Mark

JSBach
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

When you say 'amplifier', are you talking about a power amp or an integrated amp?

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

If you plug the amp into the wall outlet and the rest to the power conditioner, I'd prefer a 20A power line to the amp. I am almost willing to bet it will give you a better sound, knowing that it's a great amp, that can kick out peaks of a lot more than 20A. On the other hand I never heard of 15 or 20A power cables, so I figure the best of them are equally good, but that's just me and my lack of knowledge.

In short: Go for the best...

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
When you say 'amplifier', are you talking about a power amp or an integrated amp?

A power amp.

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
If you plug the amp into the wall outlet and the rest to the power conditioner, I'd prefer a 20A power line to the amp. I am almost willing to bet it will give you a better sound, knowing that it's a great amp, that can kick out peaks of a lot more than 20A. On the other hand I never heard of 15 or 20A power cables, so I figure the best of them are equally good, but that's just me and my lack of knowledge.

In short: Go for the best...

Yeah, the cable I have is advertised as a '15A power cord'

I never really gave it much thought, but I got to thinking, if this is a 15A power cord, and I am plugging it into a 20A wall outlet, are there going to be any sonic differences? Are there any safety concerns? Maybe I'm just reading into it too much.

RGibran
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Unless you plan to retrofit, I would stick with the style on your amp.

15 amp vertical blade style:

20 amp Horizontal blade style:

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Unless you plan to retrofit, I would stick with the style on your amp.

15 amp vertical blade style:

20 amp Horizontal blade style:

Great! I see now.. the blade config determines whether it is a 15A or 20A.

Appreciate that

Mark

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

What you show are just plugs, any cable can be attached to either of those two plugs. There would be no "retrofit" involved, just buy the correct plugs for the recepticles on the amp and wall outlet.

The op's question has a rather simple answer, install either cable as either will work with your amplifier (assuming the plugs are properly matched). However, ...

The exception to that rule would be where a manufacturer specifies a no less than 20 amp circuit. This would indicate the amplifier can and possibly will draw excessive current for a reasonable length of time. We're now talking very large and very heavy solid state amplifiers which would come fitted with a 20 amp power cable to begin with. If you didn't require a neighbor's assistance to get that transistor amp into your listening room, then you don't need a 20 amp circuit or power cable.

Most amplifiers do not come close to the 15 amp limit of conventional AC circuits. Check the power supply rails fusing for the amplifier, it's probably rated at 3-10 amps - any tech familiar with the amp can tell you if you don't know or it's not mentioned in your owner's manual. If you have purchased an amplifier that exceeds the average, there's a fair chance you know what you have. Higher amperage does not flow to the amplifier simply due to the installation of a 20 amp circuit. The amplifier draws current as required by the speaker load and the demands of the signal. Just as with "watts" normal listening levels cruise along at very minimal amounts of current draw well beneath the peak capacity of the amplifier. Only on demanding and sustained peak levels of (typically) low frequency information such as organ pedals will the amplifier draw more than that "average" amount of current and it does so first from the power supply reservoir. It is only after that supply is close to drained that high current draw from the AC line would be required. Power supply caps can only refresh themself at a certain rate so it would be rather unusual for most amplifiers to test that 15 amp circuit. Not since the days of Phase Linear has a respectable amp manufacturer built an power amp that literally sucks current from the wall outlet. The ability of the power supply's capacitors to deliver amperage on demand is typically well within the requirements of a 15 amp circuit.

These conditions, of course, depend on your musical selections, your amplifier and your speakers along with just how loudly you prefer to hear musical peaks in your room. If your speakers are quite a demanding load on the amplifier (low electrical sensitivity combined with low impedance points combined with high electrical phase angle) at those frequencies which ask more than "average" levels of power, then the higher the amperage you can provide to the amplifier via the AC circuit will be appreciated. Probably about 1-2% of all "audiophiles" own such components. Again, you should know whether you have demanding loudspeakers and whether you have purchased an appropriate amplifier for such speakers. You should certainly know the sensitivity of your speakers and how loudly you prefer to listen. You should also know whether you are frequently clipping the amplifier's outputs though clipping does not clearly translate into a need for current. If you listen at rational levels to the majority of music, there's a good chance you'll never even come close to the limits of the amplifier or the AC circuit even with more difficult loudspeakers.

If you are running a tube power amp with a pair of 16 Ohm Lowthers, you do not need a 20 amp circuit. The vast majority of amplifiers of any configuration do not require a 20 amp circuit. Contrary to what has been suggested here, there is no reason to believe the installation of a 20 amp circuit or using a 20 amp power cable for an "average" system will provide any audible improvements. On the other hand, a dedicated circuit itself will improve performance, but not just the difference between a 15 and a 20 amp power cable of the same construction. Consider also that a higher amperage capacity in the cable will imply a heavier gauge which will be less flexible and will require more manipulation during installation. If there are any audible improvements between a 15 and a 20 amp power cable, they would be attributed to something other than the gauge of the cable.

In this case, you have a power conditioner between your AC outlet and your system. The AC power conditioner will not care whether you have a 20 amp circuit or cable if it is limited to 15 amps. Even if the pwoer conditioner's manufacturer has tried to impress you with 20 amp outlets on the unit, your amplifier and speakers - along with your musical choices in your room size - will determine how much current capacity is required. Overkill just for the sake of overkill is up to you but IMO it is less than stellar thinking. Work with the demands of your system and don't try to play doctor on TV. Your CD player and DAC are unlikely to draw even a mere 3 amps.

RGibran
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
The op's question has a rather simple answer...

Indeed it does but it would seem you were unable to provide it in the above haughty blather!

So I will ask it again...

What is the difference between a 15amp and 20amp power cable as marketed to high end wizards such as yourself?

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Why the hell should I bother to inform you of anything after, "Indeed it does but it would seem you were unable to provide it in the above haughty blather"? Stay stupid, you wouldn't know what do to with information if I gave it to you.

Now, if you want to apologize for all the times you've been a dickheaded asshole to me, then I'll answer your question. Otherwise, you'll just remain a dickheaded asshole for all eternity because it doesn't appear there's anyone else in this thread who knows the answer. You cannot address me in a civil tone but you can for all I care remain as ignorant as ever until you decide it's you that has a problem. There was nothing in my post that would have prompted a reaction from anyone other than a complete sociopathic asshole who cannot let go of a grudge that is completely of his own making. If you can't get along on this forum, leave and find another more suited to your rotten personality. dup is gone, he's been gone for years and he's not coming back. I had nothing to do with the decision. So grow the fuck up. I know what you've been saying about me in your PM's to other members and it just proves you are an complete sociopath. And, no, I'm not going to meet you in some bar to see who is the toughest. You're stupid and you're going to stay stupid.

CharlyD
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

It's the wire guage that is the principal characteristic defining current capacity. 12 ga. wire is typically defined as having a current capacity of 20A while 14 ga. has a capacity of 15A. As described elsewhere in this thread, a 15A power cord is all that's necessary unless you have a truly monster amp. Your 20A circuit is most likely wired with 12 ga. wire.

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
It's the wire guage that is the principal characteristic defining current capacity. 12 ga. wire is typically defined as having a current capacity of 20A while 14 ga. has a capacity of 15A. As described elsewhere in this thread, a 15A power cord is all that's necessary unless you have a truly monster amp. Your 20A circuit is most likely wired with 12 ga. wire.

your right, it is 12 ga. wire. Amps are Adcom GFA -555, and ML 336. Wish I would have installed 10 ga. romex.

Thank you for responding,
Mark

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:

Quote:
It's the wire guage that is the principal characteristic defining current capacity. 12 ga. wire is typically defined as having a current capacity of 20A while 14 ga. has a capacity of 15A. As described elsewhere in this thread, a 15A power cord is all that's necessary unless you have a truly monster amp. Your 20A circuit is most likely wired with 12 ga. wire.

Thanks Charly, and your right, it is 12 ga. wire. Amps are Adcom GFA -555, and ML 336. Wish I would have installed 10 ga. romex.

Thank you for responding,
Mark

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
What you show are just plugs, any cable can be attached to either of those two plugs. There would be no "retrofit" involved, just buy the correct plugs for the recepticles on the amp and wall outlet.

The op's question has a rather simple answer, install either cable as either will work with your amplifier (assuming the plugs are properly matched). However, ...

The exception to that rule would be where a manufacturer specifies a no less than 20 amp circuit. This would indicate the amplifier can and possibly will draw excessive current for a reasonable length of time. We're now talking very large and very heavy solid state amplifiers which would come fitted with a 20 amp power cable to begin with. If you didn't require a neighbor's assistance to get that transistor amp into your listening room, then you don't need a 20 amp circuit or power cable.

Most amplifiers do not come close to the 15 amp limit of conventional AC circuits. Check the power supply rails fusing for the amplifier, it's probably rated at 3-10 amps - any tech familiar with the amp can tell you if you don't know or it's not mentioned in your owner's manual. If you have purchased an amplifier that exceeds the average, there's a fair chance you know what you have. Higher amperage does not flow to the amplifier simply due to the installation of a 20 amp circuit. The amplifier draws current as required by the speaker load and the demands of the signal. Just as with "watts" normal listening levels cruise along at very minimal amounts of current draw well beneath the peak capacity of the amplifier. Only on demanding and sustained peak levels of (typically) low frequency information such as organ pedals will the amplifier draw more than that "average" amount of current and it does so first from the power supply reservoir. It is only after that supply is close to drained that high current draw from the AC line would be required. Power supply caps can only refresh themself at a certain rate so it would be rather unusual for most amplifiers to test that 15 amp circuit. Not since the days of Phase Linear has a respectable amp manufacturer built an power amp that literally sucks current from the wall outlet. The ability of the power supply's capacitors to deliver amperage on demand is typically well within the requirements of a 15 amp circuit.

These conditions, of course, depend on your musical selections, your amplifier and your speakers along with just how loudly you prefer to hear musical peaks in your room. If your speakers are quite a demanding load on the amplifier (low electrical sensitivity combined with low impedance points combined with high electrical phase angle) at those frequencies which ask more than "average" levels of power, then the higher the amperage you can provide to the amplifier via the AC circuit will be appreciated. Probably about 1-2% of all "audiophiles" own such components. Again, you should know whether you have demanding loudspeakers and whether you have purchased an appropriate amplifier for such speakers. You should certainly know the sensitivity of your speakers and how loudly you prefer to listen. You should also know whether you are frequently clipping the amplifier's outputs though clipping does not clearly translate into a need for current. If you listen at rational levels to the majority of music, there's a good chance you'll never even come close to the limits of the amplifier or the AC circuit even with more difficult loudspeakers.

If you are running a tube power amp with a pair of 16 Ohm Lowthers, you do not need a 20 amp circuit. The vast majority of amplifiers of any configuration do not require a 20 amp circuit. Contrary to what has been suggested here, there is no reason to believe the installation of a 20 amp circuit or using a 20 amp power cable for an "average" system will provide any audible improvements. On the other hand, a dedicated circuit itself will improve performance, but not just the difference between a 15 and a 20 amp power cable of the same construction. Consider also that a higher amperage capacity in the cable will imply a heavier gauge which will be less flexible and will require more manipulation during installation. If there are any audible improvements between a 15 and a 20 amp power cable, they would be attributed to something other than the gauge of the cable.

In this case, you have a power conditioner between your AC outlet and your system. The AC power conditioner will not care whether you have a 20 amp circuit or cable if it is limited to 15 amps. Even if the pwoer conditioner's manufacturer has tried to impress you with 20 amp outlets on the unit, your amplifier and speakers - along with your musical choices in your room size - will determine how much current capacity is required. Overkill just for the sake of overkill is up to you but IMO it is less than stellar thinking. Work with the demands of your system and don't try to play doctor on TV. Your CD player and DAC are unlikely to draw even a mere 3 amps.

Jan, you are absolutely correct. I agree... but since Mark owns a rather powerful SS amp, I'd go for the 20A cable from the wall outlet anyway. He just purchased new amazing speakers, so why not try to go for all of it?

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

What's he going to gain by using the lower gauge cable? A "powerful" amp means nothing. The concern is current draw. If his amp did not specify a 20 amp circuit and cable, there is not sufficient need for the thicker cable. Considering the time element for current draw included in spec'ing a lower gauge cable it would be very unlikely any domestic amplifier would seriously stress - or even warm - a 15 amp cable used in lengths under 100 feet. So, what's to gain? If he changes the construction of the cable, then there might be some benefits. But that then is not a fair comparison, is it?

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Doesn't it also depend on the brand(s) of the cables? If say, the 20A cable MAY be better than the 15A cable somehow?

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Define "somehow".

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Hmm... more "oomph" and a better defined soundstage? More details?

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

A huge thanks to all the above posters

I got my note taking pad out and taking notes. 21 years into this, and I'm still learning.

appreciate it,
Mark

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Keep it up. In this hobby you should never stop learning

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Keep it up. In this hobby you should never stop learning

...as in life, the perpetual process in search of enlightenment.

Mark

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Doesn't it also depend on the brand(s) of the cables? If say, the 20A cable MAY be better than the 15A cable somehow?

Doesn't that also depend on whether the sun shines tomorrow, whether the humidity is lower tomorrow, whether you feel more inclined to listen tomorrow or you have a headache tommorrow or whether you scored a little nookey last night? There's is always the chance something will be "better" (or worse) tomorrow. It's difficult to assemble a system with vague references to "something" which "somehow" "MAY" be "better" if you look "somewhere" else. Tell your wife you're thinking you "MAY" do somewhat "better" than you have with her if you begin looking somewhere else and for something else. See how far that gets you.


Quote:

Quote:
Define "somehow".


Hmm... more "oomph" and a better defined soundstage? More details?

OK, that's not what I was asking for but we can hopefully get at it this way; what in the "better sounding" cable would have to change to "somehow" achieve those differences? Remember, we're only talking about the physical difference between a 15 amp cable and a 20 amp cable. Would you expect two cables of the same construction and same materials, of the same length (within reason for both cables) and using the same terminations and quality of terminations from the same company - only physical difference being gauge (current capacity) - to have different benefits when used on the same amplifier when the higher gauge (thinner) cable would be sufficient?

Consider the speakers being used. While I can't find a technical description of the exact speakers being used the newest version of this speaker is spec'd at 88dB (no distance or input voltage stated) with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms and a low impedance point of 6.3 Ohms (no frequency stated and no phase angle spec'd). While the spec's are rather vague; http://egglestonworks.com/?page_id=203, it's probably fair to assume they are sufficient for our purpose and not too far from the version used in this system. Given that information, what would you expect from the amplifier that might require or benefit from the lower gauge, higher amperage power cable inserted into the system with a power conditioner in line? You can't just say another cable manufacturer "might somehow" have a "better sounding" cable, that's too broad as that would still leave the choice between dozens of products. And, besides, wouldn't every manufacturer claim their cable was superior to the competition? So how would you advise the potential owner to go about selecting an appropriate cable (other than auditioning a dozen or so) without just blowing the whole wad and buying the most expensive cable? When do overkill and diminishing returns enter the picture?

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:

Quote:
Doesn't it also depend on the brand(s) of the cables? If say, the 20A cable MAY be better than the 15A cable somehow?

Doesn't that also depend on whether the sun shines tomorrow, whether the humidity is lower tomorrow, whether you feel more inclined to listen tomorrow or you have a headache tommorrow or whether you scored a little nookey last night? There's is always the chance something will be "better" (or worse) tomorrow. It's difficult to assemble a system with vague references to "something" which "somehow" "MAY" be "better" if you look "somewhere" else. Tell your wife you're thinking you "MAY" do somewhat "better" than you have with her if you begin looking somewhere else and for something else. See how far that gets you. Come on, Jan. Too far fetched!


Quote:

Quote:
Define "somehow".


Hmm... more "oomph" and a better defined soundstage? More details?

OK, that's not what I was asking for but we can hopefully get at it this way; what in the "better sounding" cable would have to change to "somehow" achieve those differences? Remember, we're only talking about the physical difference Are we? between a 15 amp cable and a 20 amp cable. Would you expect two cables of the same construction and same materials, Not necessarily, but who said they are of the same construction and same materials? of the same length (within reason for both cables) and using the same terminations and quality of terminations from the same company - only physical difference being gauge (current capacity) - to have different benefits when used on the same amplifier when the higher gauge (thinner) cable would be sufficient? I am obviously thinking differently than you. Sufficient isn't good enough in my world.

Consider the speakers being used. While I can't find a technical description of the exact speakers being used the newest version of this speaker is spec'd at 88dB (no distance or input voltage stated) with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms and a low impedance point of 6.3 Ohms (no frequency stated and no phase angle spec'd). While the spec's are rather vague; http://egglestonworks.com/?page_id=203, it's probably fair to assume they are sufficient for our purpose and not too far from the version used in this system. Given that information, what would you expect from the amplifier that might require or benefit from the lower gauge, higher amperage power cable inserted into the system with a power conditioner in line? I assumed the amp was connected to the wall outlet, not the power conditioner. You can't just say another cable manufacturer "might somehow" have a "better sounding" cable, Why not? I believe I can. that's too broad as that would still leave the choice between dozens of products. So what? And, besides, wouldn't every manufacturer claim their cable was superior to the competition? They all do. They always have. I don't see this as an obstruction to get better sound however. So how would you advise the potential owner to go about selecting an appropriate cable (other than auditioning a dozen or so) without just blowing the whole wad and buying the most expensive cable? When do overkill and diminishing returns enter the picture?

Again, we think differently. I don't see a small amount of overkill harming anything or anybody. It may easily account for better overall sound.

You are of course right in your statements, but IMO you think too narrow, no offense. The hunt for better power cables may prove to be a learning experience, and a very exciting one at that. We have all been through that, haven't we? Besides, with a system at the level of quality that Mark has, sufficient doesn't serve the components in his system. He's got a potential to lift the performance with better power cables (IMO), and I honestly believe he should go for a little overkill here. As far as I understand, he has a dedicated 20A power line to his wall outlets. Why not make use of them?

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Doesn't it also depend on the brand(s) of the cables? If say, the 20A cable MAY be better than the 15A cable somehow?

Doesn't that also depend on whether the sun shines tomorrow, whether the humidity is lower tomorrow, whether you feel more inclined to listen tomorrow or you have a headache tommorrow or whether you scored a little nookey last night? There's is always the chance something will be "better" (or worse) tomorrow. It's difficult to assemble a system with vague references to "something" which "somehow" "MAY" be "better" if you look "somewhere" else. Tell your wife you're thinking you "MAY" do somewhat "better" than you have with her if you begin looking somewhere else and for something else. See how far that gets you. Come on, Jan. Too far fetched!


Quote:

Quote:
Define "somehow".


Hmm... more "oomph" and a better defined soundstage? More details?

OK, that's not what I was asking for but we can hopefully get at it this way; what in the "better sounding" cable would have to change to "somehow" achieve those differences? Remember, we're only talking about the physical difference Are we? between a 15 amp cable and a 20 amp cable. Would you expect two cables of the same construction and same materials, Not necessarily, but who said they are of the same construction and same materials? of the same length (within reason for both cables) and using the same terminations and quality of terminations from the same company - only physical difference being gauge (current capacity) - to have different benefits when used on the same amplifier when the higher gauge (thinner) cable would be sufficient? I am obviously thinking differently than you. Sufficient isn't good enough in my world.

Consider the speakers being used. While I can't find a technical description of the exact speakers being used the newest version of this speaker is spec'd at 88dB (no distance or input voltage stated) with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms and a low impedance point of 6.3 Ohms (no frequency stated and no phase angle spec'd). While the spec's are rather vague; http://egglestonworks.com/?page_id=203, it's probably fair to assume they are sufficient for our purpose and not too far from the version used in this system. Given that information, what would you expect from the amplifier that might require or benefit from the lower gauge, higher amperage power cable inserted into the system with a power conditioner in line? I assumed the amp was connected to the wall outlet, not the power conditioner. You can't just say another cable manufacturer "might somehow" have a "better sounding" cable, Why not? I believe I can. that's too broad as that would still leave the choice between dozens of products. So what? And, besides, wouldn't every manufacturer claim their cable was superior to the competition? They all do. They always have. I don't see this as an obstruction to get better sound however. So how would you advise the potential owner to go about selecting an appropriate cable (other than auditioning a dozen or so) without just blowing the whole wad and buying the most expensive cable? When do overkill and diminishing returns enter the picture?

Again, we think differently. I don't see a small amount of overkill harming anything or anybody. It may easily account for better overall sound.

You are of course right in your statements, but IMO you think too narrow, no offense. The hunt for better power cables may prove to be a learning experience, and a very exciting one at that. We have all been through that, haven't we? Besides, with a system at the level of quality that Mark has, sufficient doesn't serve the components in his system. He's got a potential to lift the performance with better power cables (IMO), and I honestly believe he should go for a little overkill here. As far as I understand, he has a dedicated 20A power line to his wall outlets. Why not make use of them?

Very well stated Keld. I believe both you and Jan are correct on many points. Both explainations bring up important considerations when making a purchase.

Here's where Im at, fortunetly, I have several different cables to test to find the perfect or near perfect synergy within my system. My only question was the difference between an advertised "20A" power cord or a 15A.

I am of the opinion that a larger cable, in this case, a power cord, will provide the path of least resistance from my wall receptacle to my ML 336. I have to factor out the Adcom, for it does not have a detachable power cord. The 336 is very sensitve to changes within my system. I have determined that I will get a separate power conditioner for the amp only. Isoclean makes a two receptacle box that will be adequate for the 336, and give me the flexibilty for monos in the future.

Although, as much as I love the 336 and its resolving power, it has had a capacitor problems. Replacing them at the moment. When it comes back, hopefully I can sell it.

I am looking at possibly the newer ML 432, 400w/chx2 @8 ohms. I also found a Plinius SA reference that I want to audition. I heard the Plinius was a warm, musical amp. I like that aspect of the Plinius SA. The Plinius may better balance the EQ between it and the somewhat dark characteristics of the ML 38 preamp. I need to hear it first.

Thanks,
Mark

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

I'm sorry that your 336 has gone bad. Hopefully one of the mentioned amps will make a great replacement for it soon. Good luck with all of it...

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Again, we think differently

Yes, I see we do not think alike. I am reminded that asking a question of someone on this forum will not garner a response to the question which had been asked and that logic is as rare as a sense of humor here.


Quote:
My only question was the difference between an advertised "20A" power cord or a 15A.

Are we talking only the physical difference between a 15 amp and a 20 amp cable from the same manufacturer? According to the above, yes, that is all we are considering. And, yes, at this point we are going to have to limit the possibilities to just that one condition because we need to establish whether a single manufacturer's product could be expected to vary in any significant manner between two such selections of essentially the same product. IMO the most logial answer to that qualification is, no, it is highly unlikely a manufacturer would change their products' construction or materials just to accomodate the difference between 15 and 20 amp cables. And that is the issue here, Freako, that was the original question posed in the op. We do not have a specific cable to judge, just the question of whether a 15 amp and a 20 amp cable might be different. What you would prefer to argue is, if we take an unknown and unspecified 15 amp cable, "might" it be "possible" another manufacturer's 20 amp cable "MAY" "somehow" be "better" in some vague, non-specific manner related to subjective sound quality? And you want me to agree that some unknown something about which we know nothing other than a single spec might be inferior/superior in some unknown and unspecified way to another unknown and imaginary cable about which we know nothing more other than the same unrelated to sonic performance spec.

There is no logical answer to that question, Freako.

Therefore, we need to establish some guidelines so we can proceed in a logical manner. Establishing that two cables identical in every way other than amperage capacity is where we must begin. So, yes, we must first talk only about that one physical difference to establish a base for comparison.


Quote:
You can't just say another cable manufacturer "might somehow" have a "better sounding" cable, Why not? I believe I can.

Yes, and you have. But it makes no sense and it makes no difference to the discussion because you are discussing dancing on pinheads. You can say if we know nothing about a product we can argue that another product about which we also know nothing might be better in some unspecified way which might or might not be of importance to someone in a system that doesn't exist. Good for you, where does that take the discussion? Into NeverNever Land I'd say.


Quote:
I am obviously thinking differently than you. Sufficient isn't good enough in my world.

Again, we think differently. I don't see a small amount of overkill harming anything or anybody. It may easily account for better overall sound.

You are of course right in your statements, but IMO you think too narrow, no offense. The hunt for better power cables may prove to be a learning experience, and a very exciting one at that. We have all been through that, haven't we? Besides, with a system at the level of quality that Mark has, sufficient doesn't serve the components in his system. He's got a potential to lift the performance with better power cables (IMO), and I honestly believe he should go for a little overkill here.

I'm right but you disagree.

I was trying to prod you into thinking logically - which has obviously failed. You have no technical reason for one manufacturer's product to vary between a 15 and a 20 amp cable - just the idea that somewhere there might be a "better" cable than the one we have yet to select and about which we know nothing. IMO you first must understand what priorities you are trying to accomplish - not just saying I want something better than the thing I haven't got and know nothing about - to actually accomplish the end result you wish to have. We wouldn't have even accomplished Tang if all we had was a vague feeling we wished we weren't where we are without first knowing even where it is we actually exist. If you have no idea what you are trying to accomplish - other than wishing for something better than what you do not have and know little to nothing about - then you cannot understand how to go about achieving any realistic goal let alone reaching the point where you have achieved overkill of that goal.

Is "sufficient" sufficient? Yes, particularly if you have nothing more than a vague idea you want something else and you have no idea what would even be sufficient for that something.


Quote:
Sufficient isn't good enough in my world.

Then I assume you strive for overkill in everything, such as when you damp a component or add absorptive room treatments. You do not settle for "sufficient" when you torque the headshell bolts on your cartridge, speaker connectors, ic's or AC products. I assume you do not consider "sufficient" to be the stopping point when you shave the tip of your cantilever, add lubricant to a main bearing or sharpen the spikes which support your speakers. I could go on, Freako, but I hope you are seeing my point. "Sufficient" is exactly what you should strive to achieve lest you actually do damage to either your components, the music or both. I can think of little so unexciting as a system of overdamped, overly fussed with components performing in an overly damped room. Overkill is just that and IMO is almost always bad for a system and, as I have said previously, does not represent the most rational approach to achieving the desired results.


Quote:
I assumed the amp was connected to the wall outlet, not the power conditioner.

Why would you assume that? It is one of the few things we actually know about the system. This entire "thing" you've constructed is a fabrication that has absolutely no anchor in reality. But you want me to agree that this illlusionary cable "MAY" be "better" than something we know nothing about because none of it really exists?


Quote:
As far as I understand, he has a dedicated 20A power line to his wall outlets. Why not make use of them?

Well, for several reasons. First, by your logic - if I can call it that - he should continue the run from the outlet to the power conditioner - which has been specified as being in the system - with 20 amp Romex. I seriously doubt there will be a performance upgrade using Romex. Secondly, and far more importantly, the existence of a 20 amp circuit does not indicate any change in the requirements of the system. I provided the information on the speakers to suggest there is not a difficult load on the amplifier. An easy load would indicate the amplifier will not be drawing high current at any time regardless of the signal. Indeed, with that particular speaker load, the amplifier will mostly be responding as a voltage device and current demand will be minimal. I will repeat, the amplifier will draw current based upon the load it must face and not just because there is a 20 amp circuit or cable in the neighborhood. With the current amplifier and speakers in place, the op cannot "make use" of a 20 amp power cable any more than a 15 amp power cable. You understand that, correct?

Here are the specs for the power conditioner being used at this time; http://www.audioprism.com/foundation.html. The current rating is 15 amps at 120VAC. The OEM power cable supplied is rated at 15 amps. The breaker capacity is spec'd at 10 amps.

I'm going to ask another question of you, Freako, that I hope you will answer and not ignore and not create another mythical unknown syetm or situation which is not based in the reality of the op's question. You now know the amplifier, the speakers and the power conditioner being used. With that amount of information, how would a 15 amp power cable between the wall outlet and the power conditioner not be "sufficient" or even slightly a bit of "overkill"? What degree of "overkill" would a 20 amp cable represent in a system which has a bottle kneck at the power conditioner of 10 amps? Ignore the possibility components might change - at that time a cable can also change if need be - and please answer that question as logically as you can. If you prefer to go off into what might be about things completely unknown, give specifics of the technical reasons for the change so as to guide the op in his decision.

Speaking vaguely about the "journey" might be interesting but it doesn't help the op make a decision. I can't find a two outlet Isoclean pc on this site; http://www.aaudioimports.com/ShowBrand.asp?hBrand=7. The power cables listed only provide the gauge of the conductor (6mm) used in mm's which I don't know how to relate to amperage capacity. I would, however, say the best thing to do, should Mark purchase a new coniditioner, would be to ask that manufactuer for a recommendation. I suspect their advise will be based more on their perception of sonic performance rather than current capacity since all of their cables shown use the same conductor diameter.

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Sorry, but I give up.

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Here's the Isoclean power conditioner.

Correction: I meant two single gang outlets.

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Not much technical information provided for the unit; http://www.isocleanpower.com/product_11.htm Reading about their power cables it would appear a 15 amp is the norm and max for their US versions.

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Not much technical information provided for the unit; http://www.isocleanpower.com/product_11.htm Reading about their power cables it would appear a 15 amp is the norm and max for their US versions.

15 amp, good to know. Thanks Jan.

Mark

Jan Vigne
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

What is it about this forum that asking someone to justify their position makes it impossible for people to answer questions?

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Hey, I'm a foreigner. Speaking and understanding English at the level required in a discussion with you sometimes surpasses my humble skills in that area. Actually most of the time. Whenever you guys get deep or technical, I don't follow, cuz I just can't.

Besides, I have got a heavy cold and my head is full of snot, so there's not much room for brains.

Good enough?

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Hey, I'm a foreigner. Speaking and understanding English at the level required in a discussion with you sometimes surpasses my humble skills in that area. Actually most of the time. Whenever you guys get deep or technical, I don't follow, cuz I just can't.

Good enough?

Your a good man Keld. Your humble, and sincere. A quality we all should strive for. I try to be that way although its hard at times. You make this forum a great place to be bro.

If I ever leave the U.S., Im coming to Denmark.

Mark

Freako
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Thanks. You're always welcome

Ariel Bitran
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Be on the lookout for the upcoming December issue where Art Dudley specifically discusses AC Power Cords in his "Listening" column. Hopefully he will be able to provide additional guidance.

mark evans
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords


Quote:
Be on the lookout for the upcoming December issue where Art Dudley specifically discusses AC Power Cords in his "Listening" column. Hopefully he will be able to provide additional guidance.

Thanks for the heads up Ariel. Look forward to it.

Mark

Allen Fant
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Re: 20 amp vs. 15 amp power cords

Look forward to it.

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