Power Cables

This is the part where most of the home theater guys will start vomiting. Trust me, 15 years ago, I would’ve joined you.  However, I decided not to be cynical about it – got off my ass and heard it for myself.

If you don’t believe power cables could make a sonic difference or are unable to hear one, then you could skip this section.

The stock power cable is incredibly transparent, spacious, and quiet. Although most generic cables I’ve heard have some level of unbearable grain or harshness, I didn’t hear any of that from the one Denon provides with this receiver. It effortlessly pinpoints effects in the soundstage with relentless holography. It does trade a tiny bit of tonal warmth for it but the precision is quite impressive.

For those who have actually dabbled in tuning with different power cords, you’d know they could make a positive or negative difference. I’ve reviewed an excessive amount of cables and I as I wrote and compared my notes to old impressions with the AVR-X8500H, I was somewhat surprised at the level of consistency. From my experience, cables have a predictable sound across systems – for the most part.

Aside from power cords, I’ve tried a few interconnects as well. Please check out my numerous comparisons here. I’ll be focusing only on power cords here as it’s more of a “blanket tweak.”

The tonality of the AVR-X8500H is more on the neutral and analytic side of the spectrum. If you want to add more color and body, an aftermarket power cord may help. Here we go.

Vovox Textura power ($280)

I reviewed this cable a while back and it remains one of my favorite values in the audiophile market. Interestingly enough, it translates what I hear from my stereo system into this insane 9.2.4 Dolby Atmos surround setup. 

If you’re looking for more of a warmblooded and denser sound over the stock, this cable will layer in some richness. It also adds slightly more body and grunt at the expense of some transparency.

There’s a bit of an organically colored bloom to voices and special effects – which isn’t a bad thing. Gradations of special effects aren’t as apparent or pinpoint in the room – but are made more fuller. However, if you’re prioritizing clarity and resolution, just stick with the stock power cord.

High Fidelity Cables Reveal ($1,299/m)

This is another high-performance power cord with “magnetic conduction technology.” For more information about the tech, check out the full loom coverage here.

These cables are very musical yet provide enough body and shape for home theater applications. It does a great job complementing the AVR-X8500H with a denser and fuller tone. It exhibits an addictive smoothness, dynamic, and tangibility to the sound. 

I use many of their higher-end cables for my stereo rig. Definitely worth checking them out.

Furutech DPS-4 (DIY)

The Furutech DPS-4 actually refers to the bulk wire which is priced at $449.99/m – one of the pricer options for sure. This particular pair is fitted with the FI-50 NCF(R) IEC and AC power connectors.

When I first heard a full loom of these DIY Furutech cables at a stereo listening session, I thought “Man, these would work really well in a home theater.” This cable is incredibly dense, dynamic, and has a an abundance of musicality.

The DPS-4 coats the sound with an accurate amount of body and character. This includes voices, explosions, atmospheric cues, and both tonal and holographic textures.

Whereas the Vovox may smooth over the details, you hear a satisfying amount of it with the DPS-4. One thing it also does much better is contouring the shapes of sounds. Everything has a gravity and a density to them – which really takes the level of immersion to scary levels. 

I found this cable to be the perfect match for the Denon AVR-X8500H. It almost sounds like they were meant to be paired together. Although it’s a bit unwieldy, I was so drawn by the level of engagement and impact this cable provided – I rearranged my rack to make it work.

Check out my review here.

Depending on your connectors, you could DIY one for under $1,000. Please contact Scot Markwell of Elite A/V Distribution at scot.markwell@eliteavdist.com or 323-466-9694 ext. 22.

You could also get one from ZenWave Audio. They offer a risk-free, in-home trial. 

Highly, highly recommended for the AVR-X8500H.

Audience Au24 SX ($5,050 for 6 ft)

This is one of the most impressive power cords in the audiophile world – but it isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s more expensive than the Denon AVR-X8500H receiver itself. 

The Au24 SX also doesn’t have the golden-hued tone of the Vovox or Furutech, but prides itself on more of an analog, neutral-ish sound with textural resolution and articulation. This results in retrieving the smallest of nuances yet still supplementing it with weight and contrast.

Its greatest strength is tonal perspective. The grooves and gradations of the sound are accurately conveyed. From the crisp crack of a cannon or grunt from the rev of a sports car – these effects are made more tangible.

It’s a substantial upgrade to the stock cable. You’re able to get the pinpoint precision and spaciousness of the stock cable and the fullness and dynamic punch of the Vovox and Furutech. I don’t believe anyone will spend this much on a power cord for their AV receiver – but I could be wrong.