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AudioQuest NRG-X3 AC Power Cord Review (Video)

C. Cook

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Now we knew power cord didn't make any difference to the DAC which has better noise isolation than an amp.
How about some tests on pre-amps or amps? I did hear some differences on the amp using different power cords.
Why would you think, even for a second, that an AC mains cable - unless badly designed/implemented or damaged - would make the slightest bit of difference on a power amplifier? Do you see pro and live music setups using uber expensive "audiophile" cables? Because the only possible justification would be that an ordinary cable isn't sufficient for the relatively low V/I requirements of amplifiers, and that just isn't the case.
 

C. Cook

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Why them as opposed to some other company?
It goes back a ways for me, but the short story is they (and their supporters) have aggressively marketed their products in a manner that goes a few steps beyond the typical audiophile cable and power conditioner brands. As well, they have previously made appearances in comment threads and reviews pointing to the fact that they allegedly make medical grade devices which are in-use in actual high tech medical applications, and, that this somehow conveys or is borne of their audio cable and conditioner expertise. On top of that, they're insanely expensive and the founder/owner of the company has puffed up his resume to make it appear that he's an actual degreed engineer with DARPA type experience. Just a company I'd like to see taken down a few notches through straightforward, rigorous testing that I don't have the equipment to do myself.

So it'd been a few years since I checked, and they no longer are touting their medical products which previously they'd claimed were in use in some very prestigious hospitals. One use was in filtering AC mains noise to a degree of perfect purity and the claim that they could show measurable improvements in AKG and other readings compared to standard power cords and AC power. I'll check the WayBack Machine to see if there is an archived copy of that particular page.


They've also kind of toned down the CV-type info on their founder, which now reads thusly:

____ is a former US military research scientist with a background in the research and design of ultra-sensitive data acquisition systems. These systems were designed to detect extremely low-level signals otherwise obscured by random noise, requiring years of intensive research into the sources and effects of signal and power-line noise interference. It was in his time stationed in Germany that ____ discovered a love of and aptitude for the HiFi experience. Throwing parties around potluck-style systems for locals and soldiers alike would plant a seed for what would become his life's work.

____ holds more than 10 patents, with numerous additional patents-pending. These technical innovations have earned Shunyata Research product designs countless critical awards and endorsements from renowned recording studios, mastering engineers, heart surgeons and hospitals from all over the world. ____ is a dedicated student of philosophy, transcendental meditation and the history of divergent thinkers. This unusual combination of intellectual discipline and unfettered curiosity offers the advantage of unorthodox insight and singular expertise. Shunyata Research is forged from this combination of ____'s training.

I'll follow up if I can find some of the medical stuff or an older profile. Again, though, TL/DR is that they're way more expensive than even most mega-pricey "audiophile" accessory mfgs.
 
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C. Cook

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I'm definitely not trying to be a snob, but how can one be a "research scientist" without *any* formal academic training? (EDIT: obviously the claim is that he was in fact in college, presumably engineering of some sort, but never completed any degree)

This is from one of the WayBack Machine's archival snapshots in 2014:

While in college, _______ performance in the physical sciences attracted the attention of the US military. ____ was recruited and selected for training at a secret Navy cadre, and was subsequently assigned to a Military Agency -- one that was the governmental information-gathering agency, complete with the world's most elaborate high-speed computers and signal decoding equipment. ____ was involved in the extensive R&D of ultra-sensitive data acquisition systems. These systems were designed to detect extremely low-level signals that required an outside-the-box approach to signal and noise-isolation. Equipment used by ____ and the team of military scientists could lock onto a correlated signal virtually obscured by random noise -- a feat believed impossible by engineers using commercial electronics of that era.

Subsequent to his military career, _______ became involved in the computer industry during the early Internet days under DARPA, working on network architecture. Later, he became involved with the development of high-speed networking devices like the 1GB/s fibre-channel interface and the present 100MB/s and 1GB/s Ethernet devices. Working with super-high-speed circuits wreaks havoc with textbook engineering school truisms. One cannot assume that wire has zero resistance, inductance or relative capacitance. In fact, Gabriel learned that whether a circuit works at all may well depend on the quality of connectors, interfaces and the buss system architecture.

Note that they were careful not to say he didn't finish college and the stuff about the super secret agency plucking him from whatever (unnamed) bachelor (I'm guessing since no degree) program is just plain old hype BS.

This stuff is just ridiculous:


Ah OK they've separated their medical site from the audiophile site. https://clearimagescientific.com/

I hope this screen grab (taken from the audio site in 2017 timeframe) is legible:

1649812135960.png
 
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C. Cook

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Why them as opposed to some other company?
These are some pretty impressive claims, and they're selling to hospitals allegedly. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand filter design, but for the prices they're demanding, it's absurdity. How much does it *really* cost to mfg. a decent power line filter for use in a hospital?

1649812489049.png
 

JSmith

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they're insanely expensive
Not only that, they make claims that are not able to be substantiated, bordering on misleading;

1649823243156.png


Even though we know burning in cables is pointless, it would be good to show this in testing as well;

1649823348080.png



JSmith
 

RayDunzl

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I hear you. How important is testing something like that? Amazon carries their $1,300 cable. Would there be value in testing that?

Maybe for the seller...
 

C. Cook

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Not only that, they make claims that are not able to be substantiated, bordering on misleading;

Agree, but I wouldn't even say "bordering on"; rather straight up misleading and false in that case.

Now I've gone and done it. I'm probably on the watchlist of some secret Navy Seals cadre and DARPA has installed malware on my computer through a backdoor unknown even to Intel.

"Ultra sensitive data acquisition..." LMAO
 

captainbeefheart

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I do know some extremely intelligent people that never finished their degree, they were to eager to make money which I do not blame them. Besides half the time you're experience in a field by producing great results gets you more jobs than the degree, the degree gets your foot in the door when you are a noob trying to acquire experience. Almost every job I have applied to reads like "BS in math with at least 5 years experience." So long as you have even a Bachelor's Degree in math you can get a lot of jobs in engineering fields if you have experience. Just my $.02

I think it would be great for Amir to add a null test to his arsenal. I think it's a quick elegant way to determine a difference between say two power cables. Us engineers don't mind all the in depth individual tests with graphs and all but to the folks that aren't going to understand the testing data and how to quantify it the null test is an easy concept to understand and the results are clear as day for anyone to see.

The cable companies are just the worst, their sales jargon makes any decent engineer cringe due to how much BS is stuffed into each paragraph. I don't expect your average person to understand complex theory and concepts for electronics so the hyperbole these companies spew sucks them in while their extremely inaccurate human perception seals the deal with all kinds of bias and audio hallucinations they think it's real when it's not. Blind tests show the golden ears never repeatedly live up to their claims of hearing these "huge difference my wife heard from the other room".
 

C. Cook

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My point really wasn't that he didn't finish college but that his company bio was so ridiculous at the time I first encountered it. Allegedly his performance in (I guess some sort of STEM program) undergrad attracted the attention of Secret Navy and DARPA teams (!!) who then plucked him out of college and immersed him into an ultra-secret, ultra-high tech job that - surprisingly given that the gov't would gladly pay for him to complete his degree - apparently made him decide *never* to finish whatever degree it was he was working on.

Couple that with the utter (often non-sensical, flat out untrue) BS on their overly expensive products and the result is I don't really believe *anything* he has to say about his education, experience OR scientific/engineering knowledge.
 

captainbeefheart

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My point really wasn't that he didn't finish college but that his company bio was so ridiculous at the time I first encountered it. Allegedly his performance in (I guess some sort of STEM program) undergrad attracted the attention of Secret Navy and DARPA teams (!!) who then plucked him out of college and immersed him into an ultra-secret, ultra-high tech job that - surprisingly given that the gov't would gladly pay for him to complete his degree - apparently made him decide *never* to finish whatever degree it was he was working on.

Couple that with the utter (often non-sensical, flat out untrue) BS on their overly expensive products and the result is I don't really believe *anything* he has to say about his education, experience OR scientific/engineering knowledge.

I completely get it, the story does sound very far fetched and to be honest writing that sort of thing on their website is certainly meant to place trust in the technology when most of us that have degrees and are fairly smart don't mention it because it's not pertinent information. I don't tell people my degrees and background to make a point, I use math and real world data to prove a point because that can be proven true by anyone, a jaded past can't be. The information that should be posted on their website is before and after data about their products showing very clearly the benefits of using said product. When people start to "tell stories" about their "history" in an attempt to gain your respect instead of the proof of their products gaining it then move forward with extreme caution especially when you're about to pull out your credit card and spend $10,000 on a power cable.

To me it sounds more like he has a history in fiction based literature. Or possibly he was a test subject for MK Ultra, they dropped him with a boat load of LSD and he hallucinated his experience as part of a secret Navy Darpa program:p
 

C. Cook

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To me it sounds more like he has a history in fiction based literature. Or possibly he was a test subject for MK Ultra, they dropped him with a boat load of LSD and he hallucinated his experience as part of a secret Navy Darpa program:p
LOL, agreed. I think at some point they were able to afford a professional marketing person (selling a bunch of $10K cables tends to help in that regard) who looked at the old profile and suggested re-wording it.
 

egellings

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I did not get a BS degree in EE but was successful at a career in that field because I had a knack for solving problems and finding out why things did not work properly, and basically, I got 'er done. Never needed to use differential equations (up to 2nd order only!) once. Had I not taken that diffeq course, I'd have been no less successful. Of course, there are jobs where that knowledge would be essential, but not the ones I had.
 

C. Cook

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Diff Eq. can be one of the hardest math courses in an EE degree but it depends on how it's taught and how a given student learns. I first took it the 'old' way back in the early 90s and either failed or got a D (same as far as not passing) because it was nothing but chalkboards and rigorous equation solving. They changed it shortly after and focused more on vectors and the relationships between the things generally described by differential equations and left it more to the student to do the deep dive on the math. Don't get me wrong it was still hard, but nowhere near as difficult as a few other classes I took over the years including what we called "signals and systems" (the convolution integral class) and quantum mechanics 1&2 which were recommended for students in the semiconductor device design track. I also had a philosophy class that was hard as hell, lol. Oh yeah and advanced linear algebra gets sticky too.
 
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