It has become a cliche in Audio Industry that purity of power governs everything and everything in audio depends upon power… obviously!
Despite the above profound truth its very common to spot someone using a normal off the shelf power cable to power any audio gear. One of the major reason for this reckless and careless approach is lack of awareness and understanding about how it effects the sound experience.
A normal power cable is designed for a steady state flow of current to power normal household appliances where a variation and fluctuation cause no apparent effect or no significant variation in performance. For example, a Fan or a tube light or light bulb, all these equipments and other similar alliances work at a steady state and their output is relatively very insensitive to power fluctuation, in terms of voltage/current & frequency.
Lets come back to audio. In any audio amplifier, typically a Tube amplifier, the power is directly connected to the tubes or any other amplifying components and stages passing through rectifiers and transformers. When we say an amplifier or a similar gear is of a rating say 50W or 100W, this means an average power consumed and hence it indicates an average current demanded. For Example, an amplifier rated 500W input draws about, 500W/220V = 2Ampere current.
This is a gross approximation indeed and is true only generally speaking.
The power demanded and hence the current demanded by the audio gear fluctuate dramatically depending upon what is being played, an instance of a kick drum beat or a hard note on guitar suddenly demands a lot of power for being able to sound out through the speakers and hence at that moment the current demanded for fractions of seconds is way too higher than the rated current. For example a 200 W amplifier from our example may draw 20A current that is 10 times higher for a fraction of second. This is absolutely unlike any household or normal appliance which we are used to use.
What this means is that, your wires and power supply should be large enough with enough SURGE CAPACITY to supply these excess peaky demands of amplifiers otherwise the system will dramatically suffer from loss of dynamics and also sound saggy. Typical sounds of a boomy saggy bass.
Hence an Audio Power Cable, technically should have a Large Dynamic Power Capacity with proper shielding and mechanical sturdiness.
To analogically drive home the point, imagine a jumbled thin water pipe connected to a tank and you are controlling the flow of water by turning the valve up and down. On the other hand a much thicker, straight and smoother pipe will have a much better flow and more control for faster changes in water demanded. Same applies to cables.
The Technology of Cables (5 Golden Rules)
- More pure Copper will be better conductor and better current carrying capacity due to lower resistance (resistance hinders the flow of current).
- Thicker the cable lower the resistance hence better conduction.
- Shorter the cable lower the resistance hence better conduction.
- For AC Power a twisted/braided 3 wire system with Mains + Neutral + Ground Cable works best, the twist causes mutual cancellation of electromagnetic field and hence lowers the interference the cable itself may cause it its surrounding. Along with this an inter-woven ground wire shields the cable from outer electromagnetic interferences and protects the integrity of power flowing within.
- Heavily rated connectors with plated thick mounting terminals ensure weather proof operation, low contact resistance, higher contact area and lower oxidation and hence better conduction and supply of power.
This brings to our over designed hand made power cables.
InsigniaHiFi came out with their custom designed cables with at least 20 times current carrying capacity and well shielded for Electromagnetic interferences and mechanical fatigue. The Cables are hand wired, braided and connected to especially design IEC connectors for Audio use with Brass terminals and best in class Plug based on Indian Standards.