Power cords: does length matter?

This is a serious question, however if you don’t believe that anything about power cords matter, and you feel the need to make a joke out of the question, feel free.

Anyway: I have noted that all the stock power cords that have been provided by the manufacturers for my equipment are about six feet long. After looking at various aftermarket power cords on the internet, I note that they can be ordered in various lengths from one meter on up.

I would think that the shortest possible power cord in any given application would be desirable (meaning one meter if it would work), but I find that a lot of notions I had about things like this are often wrong (such as what I very recently posted on misc about manually tripping breakers to protect components). So am I also mistaken about selecting lengths of power cords?

TIA for any and all legitimate consideration and answers to this question, and to all others, enjoy the laughs.


@ghdprentice That really would be interesting and fun to visit each other systems. I listen mostly to classic rock , soft rock , pop, Motown , some county , some jazz , some classical. My volume is typically 80 - 86db. 

I always just bought the shortest length shunyata PC that would reach and leave some flexibility to save $$$  and have always been happy.   

Anyway I bought this Wireworld Cable mini plug for a Devialet Phantom and was surprised to read what they said about length. "Since they function as filters, longer lengths improve performance." Great PC by the way. The Phanthom's sound got fuller, richer and better overall. Perhaps because as Class D it needed thicker guage power cord for passages with heavier current draw?



@panzrwagn Was Benjamin Franklin midget? I think only midgets can have that luxury of the manhood to reach the ground LOL

@brian8383 Excessive girth has been known to cause unwanted high frequency noise, especially in demanding high impedance conditions. 

I hesitated on Argento 2m and Furutech 1.8m PCs because I liked the 1m AudioQuest Hurricane keeping the mess down in my tight space. Cardas i/c & speaker cables are my current reference but I'm an AyreHead and not a fan of ferrite so I can't do Cardas PC. After alittle research it seems these minimum lengths serve a purpose so I'm excited to try them out!



If you ever get out to the Portland OR area, give me a holler. Unfortunately my partner is disabled and I need to stick around here.

My guess was that you listened to music much louder than I do. I am having a theory coalesce around louder music covering up some of the nuances in the music while reenforcing some of the major characteristics. This could account for apparent differences in wire performance. I need to do a lot more thinking on this to see if I can scrape together something logically consistent with enough supporting evidence.

On a tangental thought. I went through a period to try and determine if there was a “correct” volume for playback… assuming one was recreating the real event. I was attending the symphony every two weeks and would look for clues. Concentrating on pieces of music that started very quiet (coming out of the background noise floor) and the very highest volumes. My seats are 7th row center, so at the high crescendos the volume would be slightly higher than my ears could process properly. By that I mean it was too loud… I could tell the dynamics would fall apart just because my ear drums were overloaded. This only happened for a couple of seconds during a few pieces. But with those guides and the average sound levels, I worked at home to recreate the experience.

It was a very interesting exercise. Overall, it was extremely useful for me for classical, but I really think helped for all music, I was able to tune in music to the maximum dynamics. Interestingly… this along with better components over the years served to lower the volume at which I listen.


Another variable that comes into play is how dampened is your room. If your room is reflective turning up the volume is required to overcome reflected sound. Since the sound path is shorter than the reflected to increase dynamics higher volume is the obvious way. 


@immatthewj Wrote:

I would think that the shortest possible power cord in any given application would be desirable

I agree!

​​​In my opinion, AC mains power cords and speaker cables should always be kept as short as possible. My four mono amps and preamp have 12AWG one foot long AC mains power cords and my speaker cables are one foot long 12AWG. Also the in wall wiring is 10AWG MC steel clad cable, with four true dedicated branch circuits for audio only.

All-wiring and grounding from the electrical pole to the audio equipment matters. 😎


See article here!