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JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X AC CORD Review

Rate this power cord:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 240 98.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.2%

  • Total voters
    244

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests and detailed measurements of the JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $649.
JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD Review.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised that despite its girth, the JPS cord is quite flexible and lightweight (for its thickness). I suspect there is good bit of air in that oversized jacket. Sadly there are no safety regulatory marks on it.

JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X AC CORD Measurements
Company advertises the cord for digital sources (I think) so I choose to test it with a Topping D70s which ironically costs the same as the JPS cable! Here is our dashboard with generic AC cord:

Topping D70s Generic Power Cord Measurements.png


And now with JPS Digital AC-X cord:
JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD D70s Measurements.png


We have the usual run to run variation. Beyond that, there is no reduction in noise or distortion. Output level and frequency are the same. Let's run 32 tones to see if this outcome changes:
JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD D70s Multitone Measurements.png


It does not. So let's not waste time doing more DAC tests. Instead, let's find out if there is any filtering. The filter performance changes with impedance and I don't have a ton of flexibility in my analyzer in this regard. Still, I set it as close to what it may see in real life and got this:
JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD Frequency Response Measurements.png


So there is some high frequency filtering as we often see in power products. As with previous devices of this sort, there is not meaningful amount in audible band to make a difference. Same filtering exists to far, far higher level and power inside any power supply. To show that, let's measure the output of a MeanWell switching power supply that came with the Eleven XIAudio Broadway headphone amp I recently reviewed:
JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD Noise FFT Measurements.png

There is a tiny difference in favor of JPS cord. But remember, this is the "raw" DC going into the amp. Any performant amp will post filter this output and get it far, far cleaner. And at any rate, the levels shown above are down -140 dB relative to the output of the switching power supply!

Let's look at the time domain output of the power supply:
JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD Noise waveform Measurements.png


As you see, they are identical. The JPS didn't remove any of this (mainly because it is internally generated in the power supply).

JPS Labs Digital AC-X Power Cord Listening Tests
I powered the Topping D70s with the JPS cord and fed its output to Topping A90 which in turn drove my Dan Clark Stealth headphone. The first reference track sounded better than I remembered! I then switched the cord to generic one and it indeed "sounded" worse. I then switched back again to JPS cord, and it now sounded the same as the generic cord! In other words, nothing but random observations here.

Conclusions
The JPS AC-X cord performs a bit of filtering which we can easily measure and quantify. Where it goes wrong is assuming that you listen to the AC cord itself and that your hearing extends well above audible band. None of this of course is the case. The AC cord powers audio gear which has internal filtering that dwarfs anything the power cord can do. Indeed the incoming AC is extremely "dirty" and any designer of any skill level will know to filter its output to get down to DC (0 Hz). Hence the reason the output of the DAC I tested (or any equipment you have) will not be changed one bit because you have an AC cord with a bit of filtering in it.

I did like the flexible nature of this cord although it is still much heavier than a generic cord. When I tested it with the MeanWell power supply, it easily dragged it off my table. :(

Needless to say, I can't recommend the JPS LABS DIGITAL AC-X FILTERED AC CORD. It works on theory rather than reality of the role of an AC cord and effectiveness of the level of filtering it provides.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
While I understand the reason and importance of testing also useless audiophoolia I would also vote for

1. Waste of ASR resources and Amir's time (piggy bank panther)


and instead of such or another 100+ SINAD China DAC review would rather see measurements of decent loudspeakers or headphones where audibility really matters, especially since Erin cannot review them since some last months.

I apologise for the whining but it's the way I feel.
 
Thank you Amir for the Review. I am always surprised with any AC Handling Cable that is not certified or labeled with at least some safety certification. How is that possible and what does it say about a Company that does not provide this, even for liability purposes?
 
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If you want a fancy looking cable, just look at the custom PC scene. Not affiliated but PexonPCs for example just uses good quality USB cables with nice connectors in a custom length, style and sleeve colour. Their Audio cable shop just says they use Mogami cables, Neutrik connectors and MDPC-X sleeving to make pretty cables that sound good. No magical performance boost claims as far as I can tell.

No AC cables though.

EDIT: In fact neither Solosleeving, PSlateCustoms, Titanrig nor Cablemod sell custom AC cords.
There are a lot of audio AC cables though...
 
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For people who keep asking, I need to review these products because we had no coverage of JPS before. And that people go searching for specific product reviews. If they don't see anything from us, then they go by what others say. I rather have our objective information be out there.

That said, I think this is the last audio cord I have for review. They all came together so I had to review them together.
 
It is better to build a small cable with an RF/EMI filter to which to splice the power cable or the powerstrip.

An old picture, with my first try (teflon+duct tape).

cable-empalme-schaffner.png




[ RF/EMI Schaffner has the greater attenuation graphs. Years ago I researched deeply and that was my conclusion. Schurter, for the IEC connectors without filters is my other choice.

As Mark says, you have to choose the one with the tightest amperage because the attenuation is greater. I have a lot of 1A and 3A. And one of 6A and other of 8A (power strip). Spain: 230 Vac, 50 Hz. With 115 Vac you need double amperage.

Schaffner FN9244B with B = medical ]

FN9244-3-06.png


[PDF] https://www.schaffner.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pim/products/datasheets/FN9244.pdf
 
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It is better to build a small cable with an RF/EMI filter to which to splice the power cable or the powerstrip.

An old picture, with my first try (teflon+duct tape).





[ RF/EMI Schaffner has the greater attenuation graphs. Years ago I researched deeply and that was my conclusion. Schurter, for the IEC connectors without filters is my other choice.

As Mark says, you have to choose the one with the tightest amperage because the attenuation is greater. I have a lot of 1A and 3A. And one of 6A and other of 8A (power strip). Spain: 230 Vac, 50 Hz. With 115 Vac you need double amperage.

Schaffner FN9244B with B = medical ]



[PDF] https://www.schaffner.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pim/products/datasheets/FN9244.pdf

Better in what way? You're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
 
Thank you Amir for the Review. I am always surprised with any AC Handling Cable that is not certified or labeled with at least some safety certification. How is that possible and what does it say about a Company that does not provide this, even for liability purposes?

It seems like you have to peel back the Techflex to reveal Eupen’s regulatory markings :p
 
For people who keep asking, I need to review these products because we had no coverage of JPS before. And that people go searching for specific product reviews. If they don't see anything from us, then they go by what others say. I rather have our objective information be out there.

That said, I think this is the last audio cord I have for review. They all came together so I had to review them together.
Thanks for the review Amir, I really appreciate the care you take in reviewing products and the intelligence and balance that you bring to our hobby.

I well understand that you can (in the main) only review what members send you, but if I don't see another cable review it will be too soon.
 
Last night I was looking up Joe Skubinski online to see what his background is. I was not involved in this discussion below, nor can I confirm it is correct. But this showed up in my searches:

LOL I remember this, what an ordeal that was.

This whole ordeal of wrapping cables and hiding sources is just hilarious to me. In the same way it's hilarious that original architects and manufacturers of these cable parts deal with sales in the millions of units, and is weird to see none of them (the people with the actual capability creating the entire cable and it's parts) don't sell their own "high end" ultra expensive variants for the consumer market.

It's so idiotic on face value that I just cannot understand how this secondary cable industry still lives. If they actually manufacturerd all parts of these cables and such, I'd somewhat be able to stomach it. Otherwise it just feels like fraud off the jump. There are thankfully cable sellers who are transparent about their sources, and what they're doing. It's also interesting how none of them are pricing their products this insanely high.
 
Thank you so much for taking time to debunk this very expensive fraud, Amir!

So, now I am looking for the right meaning of the acronym "JPS".

I am starting with the following:
JPS = Junk Parasitic Swindle...
or
Junk Parasitic Snake-oil...
(and specifically for the power cable: Junk Power Sham).

Would you have any better suggestions?
 
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RFI filtering of input AC lines can be useful if you are in an environment with a lot of RF energy in the air - like near a TV or radio transmitter of significant output power. For example, I used to live in a high-rise apartment near the Sears tower in Chicago which had, at the time, something like 550,000 watts ERP coming off the antennas. My apartment was not all that far from those antennas, I was near them both horizontally and vertically. This was in the days before the digital TV transition; I could hear the sync buzz in the background on my audio system no matter what I did. I could watch certain stations on my TV and hear the difference in the buzz between dark scenes and light scenes. I had all NAD gear at the time, including their top-of-the-line Monitor Series stuff. These units had the same "your equipment has better filters in the power supply than any external accessory..." circuits in their power supplies, yet I still had RFI. There's common-mode RF currents that get into your gear, especially at VHF and UHF frequencies and solid state parts can act as detectors for this stuff and change the RFI into buzzing sounds etc. Even though the power supply filters out the transverse-mode stuff, for the most part the common mode stuff still gets in. So there IS a place for things to reduce RFI in audio gear in certain situations- like adding small ceramic bypass capacitors all over the place and adding some ferrite chokes here and there maybe. I never tried anything to address the RFI situation; I just put up with it. I didn't live there very long. After I moved, the sync buzz from Channel 32 (I suspect it was Channel 32) vanished.

I don't know if a power cord like this, with a simple low-pass filter and some shielding, would help at all in a high RFI situation, I think if it did anything in such a case it would be a relatively small effect. Certainly not enough remediation to be worth the price they sell this for.
 
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Thank you so much for taking time to debunk this fraud, Amir!

So, now I am looking for the right meaning of the acronym "JPS".

I am starting with the following:
JPS = Junk Parasitic Swindle...
or
Junk Parasitic Snake-oil...
(and specifically for the power cable: Junk Power Sham).

Would you have any better suggestions?

Just Please Stop is what I hope users do when they see such brands asking you to take out your wallet.
 
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