PS Audio's Most Affordable High-End Power Cable
The PerfectWave AC-3 is PS Audio's most affordable high-end power cable, and it's packed with high-tech features. The AC-3's 12-gauge construction, double shielding, multiple gauge and shaped OFC pure oxygen-free copper conductors, and solid machined connectors add up to an incredible power delivery system.
Perfect AC power is an absolute requirement for high-performance audio / video systems. Delivering that power to your equipment, without loss, is the job of the AC power cable. The low noise, high-speed design of the AC-3 is based on five patents and years of listening and engineering.
The PerfectWave series brings a new level of refined beauty, power and spacious performance to high-end, high-performance systems. It helps connected equipment enjoy a breathtaking openness, with quick transients combined with a warmth and richness that we have never before experienced. It reduces noise without magnetic restriction and channels the fundamentals through the conductor's core.
Noise Reduction Without Magnetic Restriction
PS Audio's xStream Series of AC power cables lowered AC noise with a distributed magnetic field. Using ferrite, impregnated in the outer jacket of the xStream power cables, the company reduced AC noise by generating a magnetic field, which dissipated some of the AC noise. This technological breakthrough had many advantages for lowering noise but one disadvantage: the magnetic field it created caused the audio to sound slightly "sluggish" and somewhat restricted.
In the PerfectWave AC Series PS Audio achieved the same level of noise reduction as the xStreams but without the downside of magnetic restriction. The process involves using increased surface area of the conductor, in close proximity to a specific dielectric, to maximize capacitance and lower noise. A capacitor restricts the flow of higher frequency energy without a magnetic field and so it is ideal for lowering high frequency noise.
Once you hear what a PerfectWave AC power cable does for you in the system you'll understand the benefits of lower noise without magnetic restriction. The PerfectWave AC Series gives a remarkably wide open spacious presentation with an equally low noise floor.
A perfect power cable would pass only the fundamental frequency of the AC line, either 50 Hz or 60 Hz and nothing else. The PerfectWave AC Series minimizes higher frequencies by maximizing conductor surface area in close contact to the dielectric insulators.
Many cable designers have chosen to increase surface area by reducing the conductor size and increasing the number of conductors. While this method certainly increases surface area it simultaneously decreases core area resulting in a lean sounding power cable.
PS Audio uses of both flat as well as circular conductors placed together in close proximity to the dielectric. As simple as it may sound, combining the benefits of a flat conductor with multiple gauges of circular conductors woven together with a PE insulator worked out to be the perfect blend of both surface area and core material. This combination provides the PerfectWave AC Series with both low noise and rich, full and robust performance for any connected equipment.
Even with the best conductor technology in the world, the connectors could be the limiting factor in building a state-of-the-art power cable.
Most power cables use relatively poor construction techniques and materials to build their connectors. A high-end hospital grade connector found on a very expensive power cable is a three-piece affair made from a piece of stamped metal (the IEC is constructed in the same manner). The three parts are the prong, the clamp cover and the screw. The prong and clamp are made from brass and the screw is constructed of steel. Some companies will gold, nickel or Palladium plate these parts to improve their conductivity and enhance their appearance, but in the end, no amount of plating can make up for poor build quality.
The PerfectWave AC Series connectors are built out of a solid block of high copper content brass, and then polished to remove any surface irregularities. The AC-3 is then nickel plated and polished.
Hot and Cold Welding
Attaching the conductors to the connectors is also a key element in finishing the cable's construction. Traditional off-the-shelf stock power cords use a tightened steel screw to hold the conductor against the prong. Both of these methods are prone to oxidation and corrosion as well as loss of connectivity due to repeated twisting of the connector.
The PerfectWave AC Series employs two forms of welding to fuse the conductor to the machined prong: cold and hot. Cold welding exerts thousands of pounds of pressure to squeeze the two metals together such that the metal structure of the two pieces actually fuse together.
To further insure a perfect connection, PS Audio then solders each of the machined prongs with high silver content solder in a hot-welding technique that creates the perfect bond.