I recommend purchasing the cord that sounds the best with your system.
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Bruce is correct. The "best" cord for you system may not be the "best" in popular opinion. It is difficult to audition lots of pc's, so I would suggest you narrow your search down to 3, or 4 cords. The Harmonic Technolgy "Magic" cord is a good starting point. It is Michael Fremer's reference, and he has mentioned it outperforming a few of his other power cords in his Stereophile articles.
Please add the Acoustic Zen powercords to that audition list. I use King Cobras V2's and a Hydra in my system. The Acoustic Zen powercords are nearly the equal to the V2's and in 1 respect better the V2 that was feeding the Art Audio Diavolo amplifier. The Zen made me aware of an edge or a fine grain that the V'2 was giving that amplifier. I feel that Zen's loss in that audible grain may have something to do with the conductor crystal technology. Only compared to the Zen I can't hear the grain but when it is removed you can hear it easily. The reduction in this grain I am referring to is apparent in my system with a brand new Zen powercord and no break whatsoever. Yes the Zen cords are getting even better but I do not have enough hours on them yet to fully comment. I do clean all electrical contacts religiously with very strong solvent cleaner. The Zen did come close the explosive dynamic capability of the V'2s when plugged into the Diavolo driving my Avantgarde Uno's. The V2's do remove another type of noise that gives great relief when it is removed. The Zen do have noise reduction but not to the level of the V'2s. I recommend the Zen powercords and King Cobra V2s without hesitation. They are definately must audition cords and will get your system that much closer to world class sound...
What do guys think about Aural Symphonics Missing Link Cubed V3? I hooked it up to my CD transport (Theta Data Basic II) The mid-range & highs became more detailed but I lost the punch & authority in my bass. Can I get that back. Also does the same power cord work for all your components or should you use different ones for different components (i.e. amps, preamps, d/a, transport). Which components benefit more and should use more expensive ones on them. I am new to this concept and any suggestiond would be helpfull.
Hi Dynamics: I am breaking in a pair of the BMI Whale PC's to be used on my DAC and player in a fly watt SET based system. My amp is in the shop right now and I will wait until I get everything back together before I do any serious listening with the BMI's, but so far I have been very pleased with their sound which is full, round and 3D. I am currently using my spare Musical Fidelity X-A1 amp and the bass response is much improved over the Stealth HAC and HT Pro 11 PC's that I upgraded. Curiously enough I did order some of the Absolute cords to try out on my power conditioners. I am using two of the Monster HTS2000's and had thought that it would be intersting to play around with the cords on these units and see what comes of it. Hopefully some of the BMI users at this site will be able to give you more in depth feedback on this PC. Also if you are interested there is a new (and quite favorable) review of your Audiotruth IC's by Carl Eber at the following web address - http://www.audioweb.com/Review/ReviewViewer.asp?reviewid=18420&rating=10&mode=1&searchtype=B&sort=A&reviewtextsearchtype=A&reviewtext=audiotruth&numrows=25&last=False
What I've learned thus far in this bizzaro hobby about pc's is that like anything else they alter the reproduction coming out of your speaks. You either like it or you don't or you get used to it or tired of it and make a change. I've experimented with SR masters, SR reference, eels, and mit z II's. All are good in a different way. On a classe amp none of these cords except the mit can handle the ultra high current design of the ca series, they create a midbass fatness that is coloration - at first it sounds like solid deep bass but as you listen it becomes something you notice constantly. The mit is designed for high current design like spectral eq. and adds in my listening experience nothing noticable, just additional smoothness and a little depth. Now, the mit can be had for around 80 bucks so it can't be as good as dropping say 500 or 1000 right? - that's what our quest/obsession has implanted anyway. The Sr's are good on the front end which is really where pc's are the most needed/effective. The eel on the frontend doesn't have the sparkle that the SR's do but does that make it nuetral? that is my experience with pc's, they do make a difference and it is amazing, but they can be a really expensive, uh oh, this might get me banned from the club, tone control. Try before you buy!
PSC Audio Pure Silver. Not really cheap, but the results are there. I've tried MIT, Stealth, XLO, Harmonic Tech and, of course, the stock Wonder Cable that comes with most gear. The PSC Audio Silver Power makes musical attacts and fast transients faster and more articulate. For example, finger snaps sound more startling and leading edges of cymbals are more crisp. I've also noticed bass overhang is reduced with this cable, but deep bass has more tone. My only explaination for the improvements is the lack of resistance in the cable alloy. It's worked well in my system.
There are a whole lot of snake oil salesman in the power cord market. Most of these cords are made from cheap parts, and then hand assembled. There are a few companies like Shunyata and Electra Glide that actually are using novel designs that almost seem to justify their prices. Be careful before you lay down $1K and make sure you're getting something that really works for you.
Dynamics, sorry to hear that you didn't get enough bang for the buck. One of the problems with getting the maximum out of any system is the difficulty in trying lots of different brands, and finding the power cord or cable that is most compatible to your gear. I have been able to audition 3 or 4 different brands at a time, but wish I could set up a dozen different brands (already broken in) to a high end switcher, and narrow down the choices to a select few, then give the final two or three time and scrutiny before choosing. Did you have enough break in time on the Black Mamba?
Bmpnyc - If a house is wired with standard 12 or 14 guage conductor, what difference could dangling some insanely expensive power cord at the end of it possibly make. Honestly! It doesn't make sense. A power chord is a conductor not a generator. Unless you have a team of nymphs on exercise bikes generating 120 volts of the sweetest purest AC power, I can't see the point in exotic high priced snake-like power cables.
How do you like that!
Seriously - can anyone explain how an exotic cable could possibly be beneficial when the outlet it is plugged into is wired with standard 12 or 14 guage conductor through a series of twisted connections? Vegasears comment seems logical to me. It makes a lot more sense to hard-wire your system to the panel before spending money on expensive cable. Am I missing something?
Neubilder: If you have not experimented with after market power cords, then you have missed everything. PC's in my system have been inexpensive upgrades when compared to the improvement in sound that has been achieved. Just like any other component you need to find the right cords that suit the system as a whole which can be very frustrating (to me anyway), but worth the effort. I am most concerned about how the music sounds and not how the PC's work. I don't understand how anything else works on a whole (or sounds exactly the way it does), why should I worry about the power cords?
Neubilder, What you say is completely logical and believable. How can adding a few feet of special A/C cord possibly effect the sound after all of the cheap commercial grade Romex inside your walls?
The answer is, logically it should'nt; but in reality it does. Changes in sonics do occur with different power cords(not just the exotic ones either). I dont know if its copper purity, strand size, dielectric material or whatever. I only know that these changes are real and I assure you that niether Dekay nor myself is imagining this. Like I stated in another post, I do not like spending money on wire of any kind, but to get the desired results with all the MUSIC I listen to, I have to support the wire & cable scene. Going back to cheap ordinary junk wire after living with the good stuff, is impossible..........Frank
It's like trying to explain to someone how the same gas with
the same octane can cause different results in a Porsche
vs. a Yugo.... Perhaps as one builder/craftsman can build
a great house out of the same raw materials...and another
can produce something that will be torn down in twenty years
or less. A raw material is just that....what a person or
device does with it may or may not produce excellence.
Whatjd, I think your analogy is not logical. Your first anaogy would make sense if you were talking about amplifiers or speakers etc. If you are comparing a 50 foot run of cheap wiring terminated with a few feet of exotic power cord then I would make a different analogy. Something along the lines of "my porsche runs better because the fuel was pumped through a very, very good hose!"
There are many posts on this subject in the past,that would be good for anyone with interest to look at. Much of
what power cords...and line treatment units...and the power supplies of components are trying to do is supply a component with clean and stable power. As was mentioned
in one of these posts...RF and other airborne electronic
noise...as well as electrical appliances, etc., in a persons
home, can have impact on a component..and very much impact
what we hear in the end result. Much of this question
lies in if a person sees a power cord as a "component", as
much as the interconnects and speaker wire in there system,
or not.... A power cord in and of itself will not have a
sound of it's own, as in interconnects or speaker wire...it
is simply trying to help supply more noise free AC to the
component it is attached to. Perhaps in the fuel analogy,
it is much like Porsche and Yugo not accepting that the
fuel they are about to use is as clean as it should be...and
they use a fuel line filter...to help the situation. In the
end result what a person can or cannot hear is O.K. Unless
they are uncomfortable with someone hearing or seeing things
differently than them.... As a final, I have had good results with power cords from Wireworld and Nordost.
All wire, all metal, can act as an antenna to RF...all antenna are metal arranged in a manner to receive a bandwidth that the designer had in mind. In that same vein,
wire can be designed in a manner to reject/cancel unwanted
frequencies. The less RF and other noise introduced to
an audio components power supply or chassis give that
component an easier time in doing it's job. As in waveguide
theory....quater-wave away from an open, is a short. A powercord design can do a good or poor job at being a short
to RF...ie: an antenna..or an open/choke/block. What we're
trying to work on here isn't 110v 60cps. You'll have to
look to higher level HZ., or your own ears. But again, if
there is nothing heard in an upgrade powercord, then it
isn't worth ones money.
I am fairly new to high-end components & never knew a power cord existed other than the stock provided with the component. I used to spend weekends at the local store listening to components I could only dream of and pestering the store owner with all sorts of questions. One saturday I noticed he had this 6" diameter cord hooked up to the back of his Levinson transpot. I asked him what it was and he explained to me it was a power cord. At first I thought he was kidding but he wasn't. At first I told I couldn't see logically how a power cord could make a difference in sound quality (it just didn't make sense). Instead of explaing the logic or science behind it he said "here take it home and try and see for yourself". I hooked it up to a theta transport and immediately noticed a difference. What was amazing was after about 15 hours of listening I couldn't believe the difference. The soundstage expanded about two feet the separation was unbelievable. I immediately bought one for my transport & D/A. I hooked up a electraglide reference glide to the transport & an aural syphonics to my D/A. The combination was amazing. I guess my point & question is I went into this test with scepticism & was truly amazed at the noticeable difference. If expensive power cords are not supposed to work that much better than stock cords, what else could have caused the difference I heard?
Back to Dynamics20 for a moment. I would expect the combo of Wadia 850 and Plinius SA100 to be a bit sterile and analytical. I doubt that PCs will fix this. I would experiment with perhaps a Cardas Golden Cross interconnect which will definitely change the sound compared with your Diamonds.
Neubilder, I felt exactly the same as you until my curiosity caused me give it a try and to dismiss this PC snake-oil altogether. I tried a high-end PC and didn't like it much, but the sound was, to my utter surprise, different. My next step was to make several PCs using different cables and they all sounded different. I was very perplexed and could not understand what was happening. Even small changes like to the outer insulation made significant differences. I finally gave in and tried the seemingly exhorbitantly priced ones from the US and actually found one I liked, and bought one for each component. From my playing around and looking at the construction of the cables that sounded good, all I can say is recycled copper sounds awfully grainy, twisting of conductors for common mode rejection makes a beneficial difference, thickness of conductors makes a difference, shielding makes a beneficial difference and the dialectric used makes a significant difference. I don't know why. I theorise that a good PC has a similar effect as a power conditioner, but without the latter's deleterious impact on dynamics, only because that is what it sounds like to me. If indeed a PC had a conditioning effect then this might explain why a few feet just before the component can have an effect when there are tens of meters of basic stuff in the walls and in the lead-in to the house.
I agree with one of the earlier posts, whatever sounds best in your particular configuration is what's best for you. I've had a pathological number of PC's in and out of my system, including FIM Gold, Synergistic Research, Shunyata's, PS Audio and a few others, and the best, that is to say the most accurate I've heard are TG Audio's designed by Bob Crump. Relatively inexpensive, especially compared to Cobras and SR Designers Ref Sq.- about $300 a cord- and in my system THE most accurate and musical sounding I've heard. The above posts notwithstanding, and all the posts re whether one can actually hear a difference in PC's or not, I do hear a difference, and the TG's are the best I've heard. Now whether this is due to actual differences in the cords or my equivical sanity is another issue altogether. Whatever, it works for me.
Speaking of power conductors in general, check out Ikarus' thread in reference to a W-Post article on the subject. (washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/A47809-2001May18.html)
It seems that the cables conundrum is slowly being resolved after all. Finally US engineers are on to it. So were French ones since 1999, but I have yet to see a commercial product available.
Could be, we're getting somewhere away from purported voodoo and into applied physics. What can I say, hope feeds me...