Duelund DCA-12GA Tin Plated 600V Power Cords

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I was wondering if there was anyone who hadn't heard that story.

Bill and I found ourselves in BrianB's Venus Hi-Fi room at a past AKFest. (Please don't ask me the year.) It was time well-spent, in discussion of a myriad of topics, with good company, and fine spirits. The demo system was a Manley Stingray, a Lector CDP 0.6T cd player, and System Audio SA1550 towers. (Side note: I'll never forget that gorgeous Yamamoto cherrywood rack.) As talk turned to cables, Brian mentioned power cords. I said I had no experience with changing power cables. I was steadfast in having experienced changes in signal cable switching, but struggled with the notion of a power cable making any sonic difference. Bill was somewhat more, um... direct. "Bullshit", was his reply, I believe. (Remember, we were all good friends, so nobody thought for a second about taking offense. In fact, we laughed) Brian threw us a poly bag, with a cardboard top, stapled over the open end of the plastic bag. This thing was designed to hang on a pegboard display. Other than being white, instead of black, it looked like a generic computer power cord, like one gets with any computer/laptop/monitor. Pretty nondescript in appearance. Brian said that this was a cord for digital gear, only. Well, now my skepticism was increasing. I think Bill stifled a chuckle, or attempted to do so, without success.

Brian dropped a cd in the Lector, and we listened, to establish some sort of baseline. He then switched out the power cord that was in place, some $750 fire-hose looking thing, with techflex and jewel-coloured connectors. Definite eye-candy. Making sure to stay away from any controls, he switched out the boutique cable for the Soundstring digital. After hitting play, he stood off to the side, sporting a big grin. In just a few seconds, Bill and I looked at each other, eyes wide with surprise. The sound was cleaner, noise floor was lowered, complicated passages were clearer, without congestion. We looked back at the system, listening intently. "Okay, Brian. Swith them back", Bill said. Brian was happy to oblige. The sound returned to its former degraded level. "Okay, put the Soundstring in, again, please", I said. Brian did. The same change was evident. It didn't seem louder, just, better. Bill looked at me, and said, "I'll be go to hell. I would never have believed it, and I still wouldn't, if I didn't trust my ears." I told him and Brian that I felt the same. My previously-held 'convictions' that power cords cannot change the sound, were shattered. Brian chuckled and said, I've been doing this repeatedly, with people whom I respect, and the results are always the same. Then he graciously gave us each a Soundstring Digital. Brian said, "Give these a try in your home system, and let me know what you think. It really only works for digital gear, as it was designed for that, and it's meant to be left powered up." I said to Brian, "Thanks, I will try it out. I can mail it back when I'm done." "No, no, just keep it." asked Brian how much they cost. At that time, they were $40, and Brian was discounting them to $35. Bill and I looked at each other, AGAIN! $35 cable smashes the $750 cable! I guess it doesn't have to be morre expensive to be better. Another audiophile 'Golden Rule' shattered, along with my own preconceived notions. This experience has made me re-evaluate things which I was sure I knew.

When I got home, my own system produced the same results, with my Arcam Alpha 5 cdp. The next year, Brian sold the Lector (gave away is more like it) The Lector is still in my system, and it still has the Soundstring in place. There are better cdps out there. I've heard a bunch, but the cost is way more than I will ever be able to afford. About 15 years ago, the Lector was $2K USD. It will always be my end-game player. With the Soundstring.
A really good story can never be told too many times.
And my lesson on power cords also happened with a Soundstring.
 

billfort

Administrator
Staff member
Come on Ernie - I was a major skeptic there and we were several drinks into the evening - I think I would have been more opinionated and derogatory about wires than a simple "Bullshit".

Convincing though, and bringing it home to try didn't change my 'new' found opinion - I still use that cheap computer cord-looking Soundstrings cable on my DAC.

I used to run away from wire discussion (yeah, bullshit :) ) but now I'm interested to see where this thread goes for Anthony and Tony.
 

Ernie

This was Nikki.
Artistic license, for brevity, and inability to actually remember the eloquent phrase which you did use. "Close enough is good enough"

I do remember being impressed, at the time, by your use of 'colourful metaphors'.
 
Yes would love an update... I just stumbled upon a thought changing/provoking power cord demo as well...
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
I’ll tell you this much.... I have once again proven that projects around here move pretty slowly. Even after they’re done!

At the time of @Redboy post...these were still sitting on the shelf, having never been pressed into service.

I put them in this weekend to finally rectify that. Right out of the gate...they certainly made an impact on the sound. As much as I didn’t expect power cables to do that.

First listen...things had certainly changed. For the worse. Almost like I threw a wool blanket over each speaker.

Went out to do some yard work and let it play for a few hours through Tidal. Then shut it off without any more listening.

Today I fired it up again and let it play in the background while straightening up. After I finished up I sat down and listened for about an hour.

MUCH improved, so I’d safely say you can put these in the “needs burn in” folder.

I’ll update as these get more time on them, but what I heard today was encouraging. I have a feeling they will continue to improve.
 
Is that with or without gold plated audiophile fuse?

If I knew where the emojis were, I’d give you a wink and a smile.

Found them;):)
 
My experience is kind of interesting. I had been using this cable on my preamp. It gives a bit more body to both my preamps, but both my preamps developed a random high frq noise. The noise does not always appear sometimes it will just develop and 30 mins later it went away. I am recording the event and try to find out what causes the noise. I will be using a fully shielded Belden power cable next little while and see does this noise occurs. So far seem to relate to the voltage at my house. MY house voltage goes from 122v to 125,4v. This noise seems to happen when my house voltage reaches the max. I will report back.
 
I just read these posts, and Jeff Day’s review, for the first time, and for what it’s worth I have a few comments and suggestions.

First, I should admit I am not a Jeff Day fan. Despite our having similar tastes in music and equipment, I have found over the years that his findings on component upgrades (capacitors and resistors) and wire just don’t agree with what I hear. In particular, his love affair with everything Duelund doesn’t jibe with my experience. I spent lots of money, more than I want to admit especially if my wife should read this, on Duelund wire, capacitors and resistors, and not one item remains in my system.

Second, and more relevant to power cords, Jeff’s DIY power cord uses Marinco connectors which are not good sounding connectors. They are highly colored and soak up detail like a sponge. They will hold back the potential of any wire including Duelund.

Not only are connectors important, some people say they are actually more important than the type of cable used. I am not sure I would go that far, but I know connectors have a huge impact on sound quality. In my case, I tried a few types of wire and quickly settled on Audio Note ISIS which is an unshielded 14g stranded copper cord available in bulk form. It is flexible and easy to terminate. I have tried lots of connectors with the ISIS including Marinco, WattGate, Oyaide and several varieties of Furutechs. I ended up with Furutech FI-50 NCF connectors for both IEC and AC plugs. These were easily the best sounding connectors of all I tried. But I feel most strongly about the IEC plugs. Frankly I like the FI-11M copper AC plugs almost as much as the FI-50. For a few years I used FI-11M AC plugs and FI-11 Silver IEC plugs and was quite pleased with the sound. The FI-50 NCF IEC plugs are much better but I could live with the FI-11 Silver.

Sorry for the rant. I just feel strongly that Marinco connectors will shortchange the sound of any decent power cord.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
@Salectric I expect the composition of the conductive elements in those different connectors is what drives the differences that you are hearing. Sure, there's "contact integrity" to take into consideration as well, but as long as we're considering AC and IEC plugs across the board they're nearly apples to apples.

Have you drawn any broad conclusions about which materials you prefer, based on what you hear?

Base materials are usually phosphor bronze, brass or copper, and the platings might be copper, nickel, rhodium, silver or gold... or some alchemist's brew of the lot.
 
@Salectric I expect the composition of the conductive elements in those different connectors is what drives the differences that you are hearing. Sure, there's "contact integrity" to take into consideration as well, but as long as we're considering AC and IEC plugs across the board they're nearly apples to apples.

Have you drawn any broad conclusions about which materials you prefer, based on what you hear?

Base materials are usually phosphor bronze, brass or copper, and the platings might be copper, nickel, rhodium, silver or gold... or some alchemist's brew of the lot.

I am sure the material composition has a lot to do with it. I am no chemist so I won't offer any theories about why one metal or alloy sounds different from another. But in my limited experience I have noticed Rhodium tends to be bright and lean (but significantly less so with the Furutech NCF treatment); Gold tends to be warm with slightly soft treble; silver is fast, bright and lean. There's a bit of balancing required to get the right mix. In my system, I use Furutech Gold IEC inlets on all my gear; they make a good match with the Furutech Rhodium NCF plugs and the Furutech Silver IEC plugs. And I use Oyaide R1 wall outlets since they mate well with the FI-50 NCF AC plugs as well as the FI-11M copper plugs. I also have a single Furutech GTX-D NCF wall outlet but I prefer the Oyaide.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
I am sure the material composition has a lot to do with it. I am no chemist so I won't offer any theories about why one metal or alloy sounds different from another. But in my limited experience I have noticed Rhodium tends to be bright and lean (but significantly less so with the Furutech NCF treatment); Gold tends to be warm with slightly soft treble; silver is fast, bright and lean. There's a bit of balancing required to get the right mix. In my system, I use Furutech Gold IEC inlets on all my gear; they make a good match with the Furutech Rhodium NCF plugs and the Furutech Silver IEC plugs. And I use Oyaide R1 wall outlets since they mate well with the FI-50 NCF AC plugs as well as the FI-11M copper plugs. I also have a single Furutech GTX-D NCF wall outlet but I prefer the Oyaide.
A quick review of all the connectors you've mentioned suggests a theme; they all have copper base materials, as opposed to brass or bronze.
 
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