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AudioQuest NRG-X3 Review (AC Power Cord)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Waste of money

    Votes: 302 88.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 27 7.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 4 1.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 2.1%

  • Total voters
    340

SuicideSquid

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Noise in the high kHz or RF frequency regimes can cause amplifier stages ( particularly solid state ones) to become unstable or saturate, and even though you can't hear the noise because it's above the range of human hearing, you can hear that said noise is causing gain stages in your gear to deviate from linearity. So, yes, even though you can't hear it, intrusion of EMI above the range of hearing can have deleterious effects on what you are listening to.

That said, any decent audio gear will shield the circuits from free-air ingress of ordinary levels of these signals, and the power supply in any decent gear will clean anything that gets transmitted through the power line. So one should not need any kind of outboard AC line filters or magical line cords.

HOWEVER - I know for a fact that noise signals in the environment can cause problems in audio equipment - I had an old NAD 7240 playing background music in my workshop, and I was testing a 2 meter (144 MHz) RF amplifier for use in amateur radio. I had the 400 watt 2 meter RF amplifier on my workbench connected to an appropriate Bird RF VHF dummy load and I switched the amplifier on to measure it's power output with a Bird RF power meter - as soon as I switched the RF amp on, the sound from the CD being played through the NAD 7240 got horribly distorted for just a second, then there was a POP through the speakers and then there was nothing coming out of the speakers. This all happened in less than a second. Of course I immediately turned off the RF amplifier, but by then it was too late- the output transistors in the NAD 7240 had opened up. The 144 MHz signal had got in to the amplifier stage and caused this failure. Now, this is an extreme case - there was a STRONG RF field in my workshop, which was probably picked up by the ~3 M of 14 AWG speaker cabling and delivered into the NAD. This won't happen in your listening room unless you are really near a fairly powerful operating transmitter - amateur radio or commercial broadcaster - but it demonstrates that not EVERY kind of EM interference is of no consequence to an audio system.

But - hahahaha - magic line cords and / or power conditioner boxes would not have prevented the death of my old NAD 7240. I doubt that shielded speaker cables would have helped either, as the voice coils of the speakers themselves would have likely coupled enough of this EMI into the NAD to drive it crazy.

POOF! It lasted 30 years of college, apartments, houses, parties, and workshop background music but that 144 MHz field was too much for it. But, as consolation, I got a documented incident of EMI having an impact on audio gear....
Sure, but the issue is you have to actually demonstrate that this noise is doing something, not merely that it's there. As you and others have noted, any properly-designed gear is going to filter out this noise. The logic behind these things is always "X exists, therefore X must be eliminated", missing the key logical connection, "X causes demonstrable problem"
 
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amirm

amirm

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"The Monster Entech device is not a current commercial product, but they're relatively easy to find used or occasionally new. According to information I found online, this meter is sensitive to noise in the 300–700kHz range.
I bought one of these a few months ago to test. So much nonsense is being sold using a gadget like this (and its commercial clone).
 

Chrispy

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At this point 2.1% still think it's great. Such a shame.
 

SuicideSquid

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At this point 2.1% still think it's great. Such a shame.
Honestly I think knowing that only 7 people out of over 300 who voted think this is worth the money is a good sign. Room for improvement, but a good sign.
 

Chrispy

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Honestly I think knowing that only 7 people out of over 300 who voted think this is worth the money is a good sign. Room for improvement, but a good sign.
In that sense, okay. Just seems we have too many of those with bizarre audio opinions hanging out here (which is generally pretty obvious otoh)
 

Keith Conroy

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I bought one of these a few months ago to test. So much nonsense is being sold using a gadget like this (and its commercial clone).
Amir, It must get old for you sometimes to keep rehashing the same subjects? How many cables do you think you have tested now, a couple dozen? I might not have read everyone of your cable/cord reviews. I read quite a few though. The test outcomes seems to be pretty much the same across the board??? No real audio improvement???? Yet some people continue to question your results?? An opinion is one thing? However if your going to question fact based data. Well I think you need to counter with FACT BASED DATA to support your opposite position...?????
 

Chrispy

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Amir, It must get old for you sometimes to keep rehashing the same subjects? How many cables do you think you have tested now, a couple dozen? I might not have read everyone of your cable/cord reviews. I read quite a few though. The test outcomes seems to be pretty much the same across the board??? No real audio improvement???? Yet some people continue to question your results?? An opinion is one thing? However if your going to question fact based data. Well I think you need to counter with FACT BASED DATA to support your opposite position...?????
LOL as if you have anything to go on in this nonsense. Please elucidate.
 

milosz

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Sure, but the issue is you have to actually demonstrate that this noise is doing something, not merely that it's there. As you and others have noted, any properly-designed gear is going to filter out this noise. The logic behind these things is always "X exists, therefore X must be eliminated", missing the key logical connection, "X causes demonstrable problem"
In this case "X" - the 144 MHz RFI- caused audible distortion and blew up the amplifier. If that isn't a demonstrable problem, I don't know what is. Admitted, an extreme case, and not one that would solved by any tweaky gizmos, but is is absolute proof that EMI has a demonstrable impact.

I have heard other demonstrable distortion and noise in audio systems caused by RFI -if you live very near a radio station, or - in my case - high up in a building that was across the street from the Sears Tower with it's multi-kilowatt TV and FM transmitters- I had a hum that, as a radio engineer, I could clearly identify as being caused by RFI from those powerful transmitters. Every amplifier in my apartment had it - big stereo, small powered PC speakers, etc - and it was about 10 dB above ambient sound level, so definitely audible. I was never able to eliminate it - the best results I was able to achieve was with putting ferrite chokes around absolutely every cable- especially speaker cables - where the cable went into or out of the amp / cd player / tuner / etc. And RFI hum has quite a distinct sound - not at all like ground loop noise. So, yes, there are real world situations where EMI causes absolutely audible problems in hifi gear.

To reiterate, none of these line filters, magic power cords or other $$$ tweaks could solve this kind of EMI. Only turning my listening room into a Faraday cage would have been a complete solution; the ferrite chokes cut down the hum by a bit better than 3 dB which is better than nothing, but living near that cluster of TV / FM transmitters eliminated the possibility of listening to music on "an inky black background."
 

tonycollinet

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LOL as if you have anything to go on in this nonsense. Please elucidate.
Similarly - in the old days of analogue mobile (cell) phones, when the phone started communicating with the base station - typically just before it rang, the rf pulses could cause clicks and beeps in a nearby car audio system.

The fact that RFI can interfere with other equipment is never in doubt. It is why RFI/EMC regulations exist, and why things like flight mode on mobile phones exist. It is also the reason equipment is designed to operate correctly in the presence of normal levels of RFI.
 

Sal1950

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At this point 2.1% still think it's great. Such a shame.
Honestly I think knowing that only 7 people out of over 300 who voted think this is worth the money is a good sign. Room for improvement, but a good sign.
Personally I not very comfortable with that.
7=Great 4=Fine 26=Not Terrible for a total of 37 or 11% that we haven't yet been getting completely thru to.
At $100 this cable still stands as a marketing con ripoff.
If you need a good heavy AC cord you can get a 14awg 3m cord from amazon for $15.99
I bought a couple similar a few years back from Monoprice but I couldn't find them tonight?
But this is enlightening and shows why we have to keep measuring inconsequential junk like this.
The brighter the light, the more that will see. ;)
 

Mnyb

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Personally I not very comfortable with that.
7=Great 4=Fine 26=Not Terrible for a total of 37 or 11% that we haven't yet been getting completely thru to.
At $100 this cable still stands as a marketing con ripoff.
If you need a good heavy AC cord you can get a 14awg 3m cord from amazon for $15.99
I bought a couple similar a few years back from Monoprice but I couldn't find them tonight?
But this is enlightening and shows why we have to keep measuring inconsequential junk like this.
The brighter the light, the more that will see. ;)
This forum has became just like many other forums , still clogged with these questions about which speaker cable which power cable , which signal cable , which DAC and other nonsense that will not affect sound quality .

Only the answers are better
 

Keith Conroy

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On second read perhaps, but still don't understand the need for Amir to do more than he has already....
Yes, I was pretty sure you didn't understand my post. Amir does not need to supply more data. His data is always very complete. It's the people that question him that need to supply more real data from their side to support their opposite opinions!
 

SuicideSquid

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Yes, I was pretty sure you didn't understand my post. Amir does not need to supply more data. His data is always very complete. It's the people that question him that need to supply more real data from their side to support their opposite opinions!
Your post was very confusing.
 

Chrispy

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Yes, I was pretty sure you didn't understand my post. Amir does not need to supply more data. His data is always very complete. It's the people that question him that need to supply more real data from their side to support their opposite opinions!
Yes then I didn't get that part of your post :) Since you addressed a need to Amir about the testing....rather than the others....
 

Keith Conroy

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No real audio improvement???? Yet some people continue to question your results?? An opinion is one thing? However if your going to question fact based data. Well I think you need to counter with FACT BASED DATA to support your opposite position...?????
So Amir I have been told my earlier post was confusing??.............Maybe so??...........LET ME TRY AGAIN! I JUST MEANT TO SAY: " IF PEOPLE ATTACK YOUR TEST RESULTS "THEY NEED TO PRESENT REAL DATA from their side TO SUPPORT THEIR OPINIONS"!! HOPEFULLY THAT CLEARS THINGS UP!
 
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