If your PM11S3 has the ground floating, a three prong PC will still be fine. Doubt you will find an audiophile two prong cable. I believe some of the older and maybe current PS Audio PC's, the ground pin does unscrew off the plug. Again, a three prong cable will be just fine. I think I'd look at an unshielded cable since you're not using the ground. There's probably many unshielded cables out there but I know Kimber and WyWires have no shield tied to the ground. On the back of your Marantz does the IEC jack have two or three prongs?
Are the two prongs on the original cord identical in size? If so the first thing I would try is reversing which prong is inserted into which slot in the outlet.
Any recommendations for PCs that help with imaging and maybe deepen the soundstage?From a technical standpoint I doubt that can be predicted with much if any confidence. I would expect the sonic effects that may result from upgrading the cord to depend as much or more on the specific design of the Marantz unit, and on the voltage and noise characteristics of the AC at your particular location, and on the technical characteristics of electrical noise that may be coupled into the Marantz from other components in the system, than on whatever intrinsic sonic characteristics the cord itself may possess, if any.
Good luck. Regards,
I never thought I would see an equipment manufacturer something so clearly life threatening as a removable ground pin, but I guess money trumps all.
There is a huge misconception that grounding through AV cables is an acceptable replacement for the safety ground pin (the middle, round pin) in IEC plugs. It’s not. The ground must be able to carry 100% of the current from the hot without overheating. That’s usually 15 or 20 Amps, implying 14 or 12 gauge wiring. Bill Whitlock, of Jensen Transformers and Perfect Power wrote about this several years ago, and is quoted also in Wikipedia regarding cheater plugs.
It would be impossible for a device that requires a ground pin (Almost everything with a metal chassis that is not fed by a wall wart) to be UL listed with such a dangerous features. You can use a grouned IEC cable with a 2 pin IEC receptacle but not the other way around, for good reason! The rare processor/preamp that doesn't have 3 pin IEC sockets are double insulated, and should be marked as such.
Should a fire, and or death occur as a result of this equipment Audio Asylum, PS Audio and Pangea (they also make a removable ground IEC cable) are all potentially liable, as is anyone who recommends their use.
Thanks Jim. Prior to submitting my earlier post I had found this photo of what is apparently the power cord on the OP's Marantz integrated amp. It’s hard to tell for sure from the photo, but it looked to me as if it is likely to be non-polarized.
Under current USA regulations is polarization a requirement for some or all consumer electronics having two-prong power plugs? And if the answer is "some," do you happen to know what factors determine whether it is or is not required in a particular case?
I couldn’t tell by looking at the photo either, from the link you provided.
As for the US where a polarized plug is required I am not sure where to look to find the exact requirements. It seems where they are not required are things likes wall warts and plug in adapters. Just a quick look in our homes, modern 120v two wire plugs are polarized.
Here is the owners manual for the Marantz PM11S3. Note #9 in the "Important Safety Instructions"
Since I can't post a picture I'll try to describe it the best I can.
The power receptacle on the Marantz has 2 straight blades of the same size (which is smaller than the blades of an old extension cord from the 1960's or earlier).
The PC end that plugs into the Marantz has 2 female openings of the same size. The letter "N" is over the left side's opening and the letter "L" is over the right side's opening. It also has "10A 125V` SM" stamped on it.
The opposite end has 2 blades, 1 narrow, 1 wide. So I'm gathering from Note #9 in the Important Safety instructions that the wide blade makes the PC a polarized plug and is safe.
The writing along the PC says "(UL) SVT E159216 VW-1 300V 60 degrees C 2x18AWG." I'm no electrician so not quite sure what all that means. So how would an upgraded cord that has 3 openings for 3 blades be safe to use with the 2 bladed Marantz? What happens to the wiring that is supposed to go with that missing 3rd blade? Seems to me their product is not meant for upgraded PC's. Sigh...
Yes, the plug is polarized.
The 3 wire plug is also polarized. It will only plug in to a receptacle one way. proper AC polarity is maintained.
As for the safety equipment grounding wire in the power cord it will not be used because the Marantz doesn’t use an equipment ground. It will still connect to the wall receptacle equipment ground by the round ground pin on the 3 wire plug. There is no safety issue with that at all. None....
I have two pieces of Marantz HT equipment that I am using aftermarket 3 wire power cords on. There isn’t any safety issues at all.
Before you go out and buy a new power cord see if you can borrow first. From my experience with Marantz equipment a power cord will change the sound of the equipment. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
"I’d like to replace the stock cable for one that will help with imaging and a nudge toward neutrality since the Marantz tends a teeny bit toward warmth."
JMHO, you will not want a shielded power cord.
I would also make sure the wire gauge of the power cord is at least #12awg.
2x18awg x 5 1/2ft long. That’s pretty small wire for a 100 watt per channel amp, imo.
You can change the sound quality of the amp just by using a power cord with bigger wire.
Something else that will change the sound of the Marantz amp is the wall receptacle you plug the amp into. What are you using now? You can also change the sound of the amp by installing a 20 amp dedicated branch circuit.
What does a shielded PC do that wouldn't be good for the amp? When you say "install a 20 amp dedicated branch circuit" do you mean on the circuit breaker panel in the basement and how will that change the sound? Presently the amp is just plugged into a surge protector extension cord along with 6 other things. Is that bad?
As is usually the case I agree with all of Jim's (Jea48's) comments.
What does a shielded PC do that wouldn't be good for the amp?It won't do anything bad for the amp, but I believe Jim was just saying that he suspects an unshielded cord stands a greater chance of changing the sonic character of your system in the direction you prefer than a shielded cord. I agree.
When you say "install a 20 amp dedicated branch circuit" do you mean on the circuit breaker panel in the basement and how will that change the sound?This refers to having a breaker in the panel and wiring from the breaker to the outlet that powers the system that is dedicated to the system, and powers nothing else. It is considered to be good practice from a sonic standpoint, and often seems to be sonically beneficial, but how it will change the sound in any particular case can't be predicted with any certainty.
Presently the amp is just plugged into a surge protector extension cord along with 6 other things. Is that bad?If it's an inexpensive surge protector that is intended for general purpose use, it could very well be having adverse effects on the sound, to some degree. If that is what you are using, at some point you may want to research past threads here about surge protectors and power conditioners. As an experiment, it may also be worthwhile to see how the system sounds with the integrated amp plugged directly into the wall outlet, while the rest of the system is plugged into the surge protector.
FWIW, I've had good results with this BrickWall surge protector I used to use, and the Audience aR2p surge protector/power conditioner I presently use. (The latter used in combination with a Wiremold UL210BC power strip to expand the number of outlets). There are many other choices that would be as good or better, of course.
Good luck. Regards,
Virtually all equipment and components in my 2-channel systems are designed for 2-conductor power cords. I have scoured the internet and the only quality NEMA 1-15P to IEC 320 C-17 I have located is the AudioQuest NRG-X2 2-Pole AC Power Cable (C17) Model NRGX2C17. I just placed an order for two 10 foot power cords to upgrade those that were shipped with my recently purchased GoldenEar Triton One loudspeakers.
I tend to be a "purist" when upgrading accessories for my stereo systems, believing that the manufacturer has engineered the equipment for a reason (which, in the case of 2-conductor power is driven toward mitigating ground loop issues). Having said this, I must confess that I recently ordered Cullen Crossover (3-prong) cables to ascertain if, in my systems, there is an audible difference in performance.
The aforementioned AudioQuest cable is quite affordable, with unpolarized prongs and 15AWG wire. Warm Regards, Dan.
The stock 18 gauge wire power cable that came with the amp is garbage.
Practically any non shielded 12 gauge wire power cord will blow it away.
I recommend you research power cords a bit, only because you seem to want recommendations for specific cords, but you keep getting advice for what to look for in a power cord. For an amplifier, which draws a lot of current in order to drive the speakers, you will want a power cord with thicker conductors (wires). This allows more current to both enter and leave the amplifier, usually leading to things like more powerful bass, clearer imaging and a bigger soundstage. I would recommend getting a 12awg or even 10awg power cord.
If you’re not familiar with awg numbers, lower numbers mean thicker conductors. The wire in your wall is normally 12awg. So definitely look for that. As for three pin vs two pin, it doesn’t matter as long as your unit can accept a three prong power cord and that just depends on the power cord inlet. I have a subwoofer amp with a two conductor IEC inlet sized to accept 3 prong cords as well. The third pin will just connect to the ground line in your wall outlet, which has no current flowing through it and is used as a safety path to drain excess current in the event of a short. It will not connect electrically to your unit.
You will find, as you read, that different cable/connector constructions and materials will affect sound to a much smaller degree than the size of the conductors. Copper is a great place to start, with many preferring high purity copper. Some like silver plated copper. This applies to cables and connectors. With regards to shielding, some people swear by it to keep the power cord from inducing noise in speaker and signal cables, but many find it subtly reduces dynamics and makes the sound a bit compressed.
I’d recommend starting with an unshielded cord with either 12awg or 10awg conductors and high quality plugs. DIY is also very effective with regards to power cords, though the cost of good cables and connectors is surprisingly high, so you will still need to spend a bit of cash. There are some great designs I’ve used on the VH audio website and I’m about to make new cords using this tutorial: http://image99.net/blog/files/be8de0c383c5434907610d6b55049e69-75.html