If you have the ability to run a dedicated A/C line to your system and haven't already done so, do this first. Then improve your power cords. Then look at power conditioning. (This approach sounds boring, but it is effective.)
Okay-I have to disagree a little with the posters above....
Dedicated lines yes. Good power cords yes. Porter Ports- yes.
Power conditioning- still yes. Can offer isolation between components, further lower the noise floor, and improve your experience.
Try something like a BPT Signature 3.5 and if you don't hear the improvement I'd be surprised.
I also agree with Danlib,
For me living in Florida where a bazillion A/C units run on any grid namable power conditioning is a must, as is some type of battery backup.
I run PurePower which is a power regenerator and has battery backup as well. Not only are they not current restricting, they will utilize the battery backup to increase output beyond the line level for peaks!!!
I have run several other conditioners and all changed the sound, often cleaning up the background but nothing improved my sound as much as the PurePower units.
Thanks for all the responses. I don't have the ability at this point to run dedicated lines without some demo, but I'll take another look at it. Next question is power distribution. I have 2 outlets where I'm hooked up and right now I have my gear hooked up to a Monster power strip, except for the amp, that's into the wall. I'll definitely do the Porter Ports, but what about the amount of outlets I need?
Again, thanks for your responses.
On all applications I know about outside of audio (where instruments are used to verify effect), it is dedicated lines & power conditioning, period. That is the way I went for noise control on a wide variety of industrial equipment and for my home stereo.I never was able to detect any improvement from different power cords. Will not debate pc's with others, just my experience fwiw.
If you plan to eventually use a power conditioner I expect that you will want/need a minimum number of outlets and will be plugging several components directly into the pc. I'm running my system with a total of 4 outlets & I've got several components. It is nice to figure out a place to plug the non-sound garbage generators (e.g. turntable drives & etc.) that is not on your dedicated line.
There are a lot of different approaches to this and dedicated lines are a good first step. However, you may still need to follow that up with some type of line conditioning depending on the environment you're in. Take a look at Alan Maher's products. These were the last stop for me in my efforts to clean up power and address EMI/RFI:
Alan Maher Designs
Go to the local wholesale electric store get two two receptacle boxes, four hospital grade receptacles, two hospital grade plugs the appropriate amount of the best 12/3 cord they have and make two extension cords for eight plugs. Next throw the monster power strip in the trash, then with the money you've saved buy some isolation devices for your equipment (sorbagel from E-Bay) etc!!!
If you can't run dedicated lines, I would go with the best power regenerator with battery backup you can afford. I can't say enough about the PurePower, and they have the science to back up their claims. Many like PS Audio as well.
FWIW if you have a wall that is out of common site areas you can run lines through the roof and down side outside of the wall and drill through the wall.... just a suggestion....
i dont have any exp. with other mfgs. but i started with a ps audio power director, then moved on to cords , most recently the perfect wave line, and ran that through a power port wall outlet. as a reformed cable doubter i can say now without a doubt that it does improve upon the sound. i will also note that i started out with pretty clean power to start with.hope this helps.
Gmahler2u, dedicated line is one power source from your electrical panel directly to one outlet. Nothing else shares this line in the house. Look at the isolation transformers too. Hospital grade Tripp-Lite transformers. I have two dedicated lines but still use these coming off the two lines. Re-generators may be better but I could not afford to keep the Exact Power EP15 that was loaned to me. If I could not run dedicated lines and had to start all over it would be transformer or re-generator, Oyaide outlet and then power cord. The power conditoners I used dulled or closed the sound. The transfomers also have surge protection.
Harmonic transients are going to pass through a power strip. Usually will not stop ground loop like a transformer can. If you can afford power regulation or regeneration with a good isolation transformer then go that route but I think for the money these Tripp-Lites are a good buy. I also have a Kleen-Line isolation/regulation transformer that I use on the T.V. and cable box etc..
Side note: I have two JL Audio F113's and they are plugged directly into the wall of course.
dedicated ac with good receptacles first.....depending on your equipment then try some power cords and do conditioning last if needed. get as many dedicated ac as you can get. for whats it worth I have 4 dedicated 20 amp circuits and they made the most difference in my system. also don`t forget room treatments the second most important next to dedicated ac.