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Tice Power Conductor 2 Vintage AC Cable Review

Rate this AC cable:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 192 95.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

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

    Votes: 7 3.5%

  • Total voters
    201

amirm

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This is a review, teardown and measurements of the Tice Power Conductor 2 vintage AC power cable. It is on kind loan form a member (cost unknown):
Tice Power Conductor 2 AC Cable review.jpg


While the terminations are beefy, no self-respecting high-end audiophile would want to be near a cable looking like it was left over from Radio Shack store of 1970s! There is scant information on this cable. The bit that is there is in used market and states exactly the following on the function of the switches:

Tice Power Conductor 2 AC Cable manaul switches review.png


Makes perfect sense, no? Well, let's take the box apart:
Tice Power Conductor 2 AC Cable teardown review.jpg


Nothing in there but the switch. It seems at first glance that the neutral white wire is being disconnected in one orientation of the switch. This made no sense as you can't power the device that way. Meter confirmed that the connection remained even when the switch is in disconnect mode! So I took the ends off and it was then that I realized there were 5 conductors, not 3 in the cable. We have the standard Line, Neutral and Ground in thick gauge. The white neutral is hiding under the black and green and yo only see it if you look sideways. The three wires go from one end to the other so switches do not impact those at all.

The thinner white and black wires simply mirror their corresponding thicker conductors. Put another way, if you close the switch on neutral, you just get an additional thinner wire terminating at the same two ends. Ditto for black. This simply changes the resistance of the cable ever so slightly so no way it can have the impacts the company claims.

I was tempted to stop here as there is not even a remote chance of this having an effect but thought we should measure so here we are.

Tice Power Conductor 2 Measurements
I started by powering my Topping D70s using a standard AC cable. Here is its output, the thing we eventually listen to:
Topping D70s DAC stereo standard AC Cable Measurement.png


Here is the response when the Tice cable is used to power the DAC with either switch variations:
Topping D70s DAC stereo Tice Conductor 2  AC Cable Measurement.png


There is a tiny performance degradation but I think that is just run to run variation.

Let's measure frequency response as that is where we see the impact on bass and treble:
Topping D70s DAC stereo standard AC Cable frequency response Measurement.png

All three curves land so accurately on top of each other that it leaves no room for any variation. Not a thing is changed in the tonality of the DAC.

Conclusions
It is fascinating to see the nature of such tweaks years ago, vs the sophistication today. We have a box with just two parallel wires being taken in an out. Today they don't make it so obvious with talk of nano particles, EMI, etc. My sense is that whoever put this together had no engineering experience and just imagined such an implementation would change the sound. Anyway, there is nothing here to even lend imagination to make the sound different let alone be tube like and such.

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TK750

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My sense is that whoever put this together had no engineering experience and just imagined such an implementation would change the sound. Anyway, there is nothing here to even lend imagination to make the sound different let alone be tube like and such.
I think you're being remarkably good faith there Amir! I suspect they knew exactly what they were doing (or lack of), it's at the level of egregiousness that I almost respect it, almost.
 

fpitas

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Looks very much like vacuum cleaner tubing... I voted waste of money before even reading your test results (thanks anyway);

15312-img1.jpg


:facepalm:


JSmith
In this case it sucks up your money.
 

Redman43

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So Amirm has tested a lot cables and "conditioners" and we know that they do not work and are sold to "audiophiles" who usually have more money then brains.
My question is why does he continue to test them ? It is waste of time, effort and server space so what is the point ? Seems to me this is just a low hanging fruit in order to have something, anything really new to post on the first page.
 

milosz

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While I have no doubt that this power cord does nothing to the sound, to be accurate you would have to do some double blind listening tests with a panel of people to show that it doesn't create an audible difference.

While we all know that these measurements surely show this cable has no effect, the measurements alone do not prove there is no audible difference, strictly speaking. As always I advocate for statistics from blind listening tests to be able to prove to subjectivists that their tweaks ( cables, power conditioners, isolating blocks, etc ) actually have no audible effect, and that anything that listeners "hear" in sighted tests is pure placebo.

Such a blind test isn't really necessary with junk like this thing, but I would really like to see such listening tests performed with cables, power conditioners, ethernet switches, etc.
 
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JSmith

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My question is why does he continue to test them ?
Welcome to ASR. :)

Due to eternal vigilance against audio snake oil... and the fact someone sent it in for testing. This cable has a bit of history and has been lauded a number of times in the flowery audiophile press, so I welcome the results.

An example of claims made;
"Switch "A" engaged will enhance the upper bass region. Switch "B" will enhance the treble region. Both "off" will give a smoother tube like sound while both "on" gives a combination of enhanced said bass and treble. Note, These are approximate sonic signatures and can be heard with high resolution systems especially when the AC line is clean."


JSmith
 

delta76

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So Amirm has tested a lot cables and "conditioners" and we know that they do not work and are sold to "audiophiles" who usually have more money then brains.
My question is why does he continue to test them ? It is waste of time, effort and server space so what is the point ? Seems to me this is just a low hanging fruit in order to have something, anything really new to post on the first page.
so anyone who is looking for them might be led here by Google, realize it is a waste of money and stay away from it. hopefully.

also those cables are quick to review, Amir can probably test them with his eyes shut, and I can imagine he enjoys revealing snake oils.
 
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peniku8

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While I have no doubt that this power cord does nothing to the sound, to be accurate you would have to do some double blind listening tests with a panel of people to show that it doesn't create an audible difference.

While we all know that these measurements surely show this cable has no effect, the measurements alone do not prove there is no audible difference, strictly speaking. As always I advocate for statistics from blind listening tests to be able to prove to subjectivists that their tweaks ( cables, power conditioners, isolating blocks, etc ) actually have no audible effect, and that anything that listeners "hear" in sighted tests is pure placebo.

Such a blind test isn't really necessary with junk like this thing, but I would really like to see such listening tests performed with cables, power conditioners, ethernet switches, etc.
We can measure orders of magnitude better than we can hear, so where would the benefit in DBTs of products where there is measurably no impact be? On products where we see a change sure, certain distortion signatures might be prefered or if it's moderately low in level, it would be interesting to see if it's actually audible (I can tell you, the Klippel distortion listening test gets really hard at -50dB!). But for cables and power conditioners where we can't even measure a difference.. waste of time.
And yes, you *can* hear differences in cables (for example if it's thin and long, so that the damping factor gets trashed and it starts changing the frequency response), but that can then also be measured (and simulated/predicted) very easily.
 

fpitas

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tragic and hilarious at the same time... I suppose that's an accomplishment on some level...
I can see that, under some circumstances, if you can afford it and have fun fooling yourself that it makes a difference, there isn't much harm done.
 
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