From a reader:
$150 [I think the list price is actually $US195!] audiophile cable revealed to be a piece of crap!
I actually knew they were made of house wiring like that before (someone found out in 2002, but was ignored).
Here's one of the many, many audiophiles who thought this PC sounded better than something else (if you read through the later pages in that thread, you can find more).
This is funny.
Yep, that thing's made from string and baling wire.
But it doesn't matter.
I mean, look at the charmingly hand-made Nautilus Master Technology power cable page - which is full of weird and wonderful electron-movers based on technologies unknown to science - and they tell you right up front about the standard electronics-store components and unremarkable wire in the Power Three (or Power 3; they can't quite decide what it's called).
OK, the feline-assisted autopsy on the cable makes clear that it doesn't really have "4 layers of shielding"; it's got four layers of insulation if you count the braid on the outside and the garden hose (!) on the inside, but insulation and shielding are quite different things.
But did Nautilus say specifically that they were talking about boring old electrical shielding, which everybody knows is pointless for a power cable feeding any kind of remotely-well-designed power supply?
And then there's "Level 1 Dynamic Filtering", "ProTecX Treatment" and "Cryogenic Treatment", all of which are I'm sure enormously important yet, regrettably, completely unquantifiable and undetectable in blinded tests, but which I suppose had something to do with the iron filings hiding inside the cable. (Which, if one were uncharitable, one might think were just in there to make it impressively heavy.)
And yes, many customers are immensely impressed by all this, using all of the usual wine-taster-ish adjectives. And they absolutely will not be told that it's possible that the people working on supercomputers, atom smashers and communication satellites might possibly have noticed all of these readily audible differences that come from replacing a simple wire that isn't even in the signal path... if those differences were really there.
Human ears can only barely discern a 1dB level change, yet technical hardware with literally billions of times the sensitivity to a wide variety of signal characteristics that human ears can't detect at all will not respond differently in any way if you replace a normal $3 IEC lead with a $2000 "audiophile" one. Well, provided you can keep the thing connected - the more impressive audiophile power cords, apparently including this Nautilus one, tend to be so heavy that they unplug themselves.
Nonetheless, every one of these guys (I presume there's a woman or two in the fringe audiophile ranks, but I've never seen concrete evidence of one) believes himself to be the only human on the face of the earth who was born with the same IEEE-calibrated broadband admissible-in-court hearing system that was fitted to Commander Data.
Oddly enough, the fringe audiophiles never seem to have trotted over to a hearing test lab to see if the psychoacoustic tricks that work on... everyone... work on them too. But they're still sure that power cords with three split conductors inside a big crinkly plastic condom (which, incidentally, are probably technically illegal to sell for electrical-code reasons...) are very impressive, and absolutely not actually as relevant to audio system performance as spinning rims are to racing-car lap times.
It's unfair to tar every hi-fi hobbyist with the nutty audiophile brush; there are many audiophiles who remain within the bounds of empirical reality, or at least don't hand over thousands of dollars to every company with a shiny talisman to sell.
But this does not change the fact that you don't get to say something that contradicts a long list of well-accepted scientific facts without backing it up with proper empirical evidence. Unblinded listening tests - often even with caveats about how the cable needed to "break in" for hours or even weeks before revealing its true beauty, completely ignoring the fact that people change their response to sounds over mere minutes - do not make the cut.
I have, thus far, reviewed three devices whose stated methods of operation imply a major upheaval in basic science. The EMPower Modulator, Batterylife Activator and Wine Clip all have vocal proponents who haven't actually tested them properly.
I did test them properly, and I found they didn't work.