13 responses Add your response
Thanks for the link, randy-11. There's a reason I specifically asked if anyone has heard a difference in power cord with the Ref 6. I used to own an Audio Research Reference 75 SE. I heard a subtle but not ignorable difference much like jperry noted when I swapped a Nordost Red Dawn cord for the stock unit. Surprisingly, I heard an even bigger change when swapping in a Synergistic Black Quantum fuse. So, I guess I fall into the camp that cords and fuses can make a difference. I guess I felt maybe there would be a bigger change on electronics that draw more current, amp vs preamp for example. But I don't know that. And I have tried two different power cords with Ayre MX-R Twenty amps when I had them, and noticed No significant change in sound.
Shunyata and Sain are the two favorites of ARC. ARC used Shunyata in their showroom and may still. I tried both Nordost’s Heimdall 2 and a Kubala Sosna power cord on my Ref 5se. I thought Shunyata power cords made much more of an impact. The Shunyata did not change the sound but reinforced it. Emphasized all the wonderful qualities of the Ref 5se. I have Shunyata Zitron Alpha HC power cords on all my gear and a Triton power conditioner.
Count me with the Sain Line fans. I do also use the Synergistic Red fuses in my ARC ref6/ref75se combo, but the Sain Line cords are a more noticeable improvement. I did not really get a boost from the fuses, but YMMV. I have tried some other cables, but the Sain cables don't really change the frequency balance like some others, they just reinforce the natural ARC sound.
Thanks jafant. I haven't heard Transparent's power line, other than at shows, but I have heard their interconnects and speaker cables, and they are Excellent.
Between Sain line systems power cord, Synergistic Black and Blue fuses, and cryogenically treated tubes, I think I pushed about as much out of the Ref 6 as I could. And it is Amazingly Good.
I never was able to quite get the crystalline pure highs, especially with piano, from the Ref 6 that I could bypassed, and run direct, DAC to amp.
I did solve that problem and found an option more tunable via NOS tube options. And that is with a VTL TL 7.5 III. The Ref 6 is 95% what the VTL is, and at a much lower cost. But I'm willing to pay more for the slight improvement in performance.
I am using Transparent power cords. I used the same cord on a Ref 5SE and now with the Reference 10. It does lower your noise floor especially if your room is quiet enough to hear the change. That brings out the subtle cues in the good recordings. I noticed more foot tapping after swapping from the stock cord.
I know that I am coming late to this party, but since the ARC REF6 and 6SE are frequently bought and sold currently, I thought that I would add my 2 cents, since this is still a relevant question. After running an MSB Discrete DAC direct to my Pass Labs 250.8, which powers Wilson Audio Sabrina X’s, I demo’ed an ARC LS28SE. I felt that it was better than DAC direct, but not by much. I then got a deal on an ARC REF6 and bought it, with ARC’s stock PC. Since the ARC requires a 20 amp connector (C19), I couldn’t use my existing Audience PowerChords or Morrow Audio MAP3 PC for it. Nothing wrong with the stock PC, but I had heard how the Shunyata PCs really kick things to a different level with the ARC REF6. Having had distinct sonic improvements with my former Plinius SA100 MKIII amp when I switched to the Audience PowerChords, I knew that the PC’s could make a difference. I got a good deal on a Shunyata Alpha v1 PC, and when I installed it, there was an immediate, audible and significant improvement in every aspect of the music in my system. The soundstage was wider, deeper, and all of the instruments had a more "real" sound. Its very difficult to describe these types of improvements, because they really have to be heard, and then you will say, "ah, that’s what he was talking about." Bottom line is that if you’re spending that kind of $$ for a REF6, might as well spring for a used Shunyata PC for it! I easily got my money’s worth for it. In fact, I liked it so much, I sprung for a set of Shunyata Alpha v1 speaker cables, which kicked the whole system to another level.
I don’t want to get into the whole debate about whether PC’s do or don’t make a difference or why. It makes little sense to me how they work, but for me, in my system, the upgrade from stock was well worth it and significant. Hope that this helps!