New York City, NY, USA, October, 2017 - Essential Sound Products presented technical details and answered questions relating to how ac power cords affect the performance of audio components at the prestigious Institute Of Audio Research (IAR). The presentsation was given on the eve of the 143rd Audio Engineeing Socitey convention. Presenters included mastering engineer Maor Appelbaum, recording/mix engineer Richard Waller III and Michael Griffin, inventor and Essential Sound Products president.
The 2-hour presentation and Q&A session focused on technical details about audio equipment power supplies, the primary component parts and their functions, with special emphasis on energy storage devices. Included was an overview of the design evolution of power supplies from the 1970’s to the present, and its performance implication. Modern power supplies are capable of responding much faster to changes in audio signal amplitude and frequency spectrum.
Power supply performance was discussed from a system perspective, examining what happens as a musical signal is processed. Oscilloscope screen shots revealed how current amplitude is modulated by the musical signal to recharge energy storage devices during a small fraction of the voltage carrier frequency cycle.
Power cable design characteristics were discussed in relation to its functional objective as part of the overall power supply system. Measurement data was shared showing performance differences among several power cable designs and in-application performance effects of specific features such as shielding and how it reduces audio equipment noise. In-application data also included 3rd party measurements showing how switching from a stock power cord to one of our high-performance models significantly lowered Total Harmonic (THD) and Intermodulation (IMD) distortions.
“Judging by how attentive the audience participants seemed and the lively Q&A session, I think most attendees got a lot out of the seminar” commented the main presenter Michael Griffin. Griffin added “I hope we dispelled some of the myths about power cords. They do fundamentally affect audio equipment power supply performance, and there are opportunities for improving power cable designs to optimize performance.”
A highlight of the presentation was the review of null tests results. Maor Appelbaum, the engineer who performed the null tests, lead the discussion. A null test is a definitive way to confirm whether a difference exists between two copies of the same audio sample. Two sample-locked files are played with one phase inverted. If the files are identical they will cancel each other. If not, what will remain is the difference between the two. The null tests results, comparing files made with stock 18- and 14-gauge, and MusicCord-PRO power cords, revealed significant performance differences in the range of 10-20 dB.
The presentation was followed by a visual demonstration showing that just by swapping the power cable connected to an LED light bulb from an 18-gauge to MusicCord-PRO, the brightness was noticably increased. A lively question and answer session wrapped up the event.
Maor Appelbaum is a mastering engineer and owner of Maor Appelbaum Mastering located in suburban Los Angeles, CA. He has broad experience with the international music industry, mastering various styles of music and sounds from all over the world. Credits include mastering projects by Faith No More and Lupe Fiasco. Mr. Appelbaum also specializes in mastering for all major Internet and social media platforms.
Richard Waller III is a Grammy winning, multi-platinum recording and mixing engineer, and owner of Smackhouse Recording Studios located in Philadelphia, PA. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the music industry as a record producer, engineer, musician and educator. Credits include recording and mix engineer on projects by Gerald Veasley and John Legend. Additionally, Mr. Waller is a BMI songwriter and publisher, and a NARAS (The Grammys) member.
Michael Griffin is president and founder of Essential Sound Products headquartered in Rochester, MI. He has over 35 years’ experience in product design, engineering and project management. Mr. Griffin holds five (5) US patents for product inventions including the cable geometries employed in the company’s line of high performance audio power cords.
For more information about our proven technology and road-worthy build quality, visit our technology web page here.
Rochester, Michigan, USA, September 2015 - Essential Sound Products releases guitar amplifier performance measurements supplied by Henriksen Amplifiers, comparing frequency response and distortion, using the "stock" 18-gauge power cord and MusicCord-PRO. These data show significant improvements in the amplifier's frequency response and total harmonic distortion, and even more dramatic reduction in intermodulation distortion.
Why should you care? While audio enthusiasts and recording industry professionals are being trained to think that higher bit rates and sampling frequencies are the holy grail of digital recording and playback perfection, they might be overlooking a far more damaging source of distortion artifacts that have come to be negatively associated with "digital sound". By significantly reducing intermodulation distortion, MusicCord power cords make "digital" sound more "analog", and analog even clearer with more natural warmth.
While most audio components are judged based upon subjective listening evaluation, many skeptics are quick to impose a different standard when it comes to audio cables, especially ac power cords. Having already bought into the paradigm that audio cables are "snake oil", they immediately will say "show me some objective test results".
Well, the good folks at Henriksen Amplifiers have provided just what the skeptics and naysayers have asked for, independent, objective test data. They purchased a MusicCord-PRO power cord after it was recommended by jazz guitarist Jacque Lesure. A group of Henriksen employees listened to "The Bud" guitar amplifier with the stock 18-gauge power cord and then MusicCord-PRO. They did blind testing and found the (MusicCord-PRO) cable "had an effect on high and low end clarity." Still skeptical, Henriksen engineer Nathan Mender decided to do some comparative performance testing.
First, a frequency response comparison was performed. The graph to the right shows the results. Notice that with stock power cord, the response curve is comparatively jagged with an approximate 2 dB notch deviation at 2kHz. The amplifier frequency response curve using MusicCord-PRO is smooth with no abrupt deviations. The engineer commented "…the frequency response curve is smoother with the (MusicCord-PRO) cable, which results in a more natural and accurate reproduction of sound."
Next, the amplifier's levels of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) and Intermodulation Distortion (IMD) were measured using the stock power cord and then MusicCord-PRO. Total Harmonic Distortion was reduced from an average 0.20% to 0.18%, about a 10% reduction. The Intermodulation Distortion measurements proved even more revealing!
Intermodulation distortion is caused by amplitude modulation of signals containing two or more different frequencies, which are not "harmonic" or some multiple of either frequency. Because it is not masked by the harmonics of the signal, intermodulation distortion is much more perceptible to human hearing and is exhibited as distortion such as midrange harshness on dynamic peaks, loss of definition in bass frequencies, and a loss of resolution and soundstage spatial cues such as depth and left-to-right separation of image objects.
Rochester, Michigan, USA, June, 2013 - Essential Sound Products adds adhesive backed "hook and loop" squares with MusicCord & MusicCord-PRO power cords to form a positive retention system when used with the included cord wrap.
MusicCord and MusicCord-PRO power cords are used by a number of touring musicians. In working with them we learned that some with "tall stack" amplifiers can have the IEC power cord jack elevated so as to suspend most of the power cable length in the air. The IEC connection is not designed for positive retention. Therefore, the suspended cable weight can cause disengagement.
MusicCord and MusicCord-PRO already come with a "hook and loop" cord wrap for securing the coiled cable in transport. We saw an opportunity to use the cord wrap to provide positive retention for the IEC connection. Now included free with every 2-meter (or longer) length MusicCord and MusicCord-PRO power cord is an adhesive-backed "hook" square. Once affixed above the IEC jack on your amplifier, the cord wrap can be engaged, forming a reliable retention system that supports the weight and relieves stress on the chassis jack.
MusicCord Professional Series power cords are based upon a patented multiple-conductor cable design that replaces a single line or neutral conductor with several smaller conductors. This design eliminates phase distortions and speeds current flow to the component's power supply. MusicCord's groundbreaking performance is matched only by its rugged, high quality construction. MusicCord power cords also establish a new industry standard for quality and reliability. Their road-worthy build quality is validated by meeting hospital grade standards for mechanical integrity. MusicCord and MusicCord-PRO power cords are backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
December, 2012 - One of Europe's most influential bass publications "Bass Guitar Magazine" evaluated MusicCord-PRO power cord and rated it in three categories. The results confirmed the PRO's outstanding combination of performance and build quality. MusicCord-PRO scored a 9/10 for performance and 10/10 for build quality!
"Bass Guitar Magazine" is the first publication outside of North America to formally evaluate MusicCord power cords. This is significant as many international customers who have 220-240 Volts ac mains service wonder how MusicCord-PRO would perform in their home country. The results are in - MusicCord-PRO excels in the UK, Eurpoe & worldwide!
MusicCord-PRO is avaialble in standard (black), Victor Wooten (purple) and Gerald Veasley (red) "Signature" versions. For additional information, please cick on links below.
Rochester, Michigan, USA, March, 2012 - Essential Sound Products' MusicCord-PRO power cords were used with microphone pre-amps and other components to record the strings for the musical score to the movie "John Carter".
String instruments including violins and cellos were recorded at the Sony - Barbara Streisand Recording Stage in November and December 2011. A total of nine (9) MusicCord-PRO power cords were used with microphone pre-amplifiers and other critical components in the recording chain. The impact of using MusicCord-PRO in the recording process was reported to be more natural warmth and sweetness overall, and better image focus, especially noticable on the cello solos. "John Carter" debuts at theaters in the United States and Canada on Friday, March 9, 2012.
MusicCord Professional Series power cords are based upon a patented multiple-conductor cable design that replaces a single line or neutral conductor with several smaller conductors. This design eliminates phase distortions and speeds current flow to the component's power supply. MusicCord's groundbreaking performance is matched only by its rugged, high quality construction. MusicCord power cords also establish a new industry standard for quality and reliability. Their road-worthy build quality is validated by meeting hospital grade standards for mechanical integrity. To achieve this designation, MusicCord power cords had to pass additional mechanical abuse testing. MusicCord and MusicCord-PRO power cords are backed by our limited lifetime warranty.
Essential Sound Products, Inc. is a custom designer and manufacturer of high-performance ac power components and cable accessories for all audio and video applications including instrument amplifiers and studio recording gear, home audio and home theater systems, PA and residential/commercial custom installations. The company has been a pioneer in ac power cordage innovation since introduction of 'The Essence' brand of ac power products to high end audio enthusiast in 1995. Essential Sound Products is headquartered in Rochester, Michigan. All products are designed and assembled the USA.