hi,you can build one if you want,save a lot of money but i dont think it make the sound better.
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I am reasonably sure that a poorly shielded power cord can degrade the sound and/or create rfi problems. Beyond that I am not sure what you get when you start playing with different cords.
I have recently purchased 2 Volex 14 ga. cords from Newark Electronics for $35, including shipping and they seem to work fine. The changes, were, however only subtly for the better. These are the same cords that many diy'ers modify by changing the plugs.
Just put together some Asylum power cords from diycable.com and heard an improvement from stock cords in a headphone system. If you put them together yourself they're $38 for 4'or assembled for $63. In my speaker system I use Silver Audio Power Burst at $140 for 3'which definately made a difference. Both systems have PS audio power conditioning. I've never actually compared the two in the same system.
I have a few Harmonic Technology Pro-11AC power cords. They can be had between $90 - $125 here at Audiogon if you keep looking for them. They will most definitely be an improvement over the options mentioned above. You have a very good amp and CD player, they deserve a decent power cord. I have power cords whose values range between $125 and $1500 in my system. My Musical fidelity HT600 power amp showed significant improvement when I tried 5 different power cords. I settled on a Yamamura Quantum, but the Harmonic Tech was much better than the stock cord. Good luck.
I have purchased and am very satisfied with DIY cords made by Matt Kim. He charges $49.00 per cord plus shipping on Ebay. His auctions are all dutch, so the price is flat. I think you'd have to spend at least $200 per cord on a commercially made cord to match his quality. You can find his PCs on ebay by searching using Cableplex.
Natlie: the Asylum cord is great value and a major improvement over stock cords, and you MAY be able to pay 5 times more and get nothing better, but that is not my experience. In my system the Asylum cord was easily bested by both the Blue Circle BC62 and the Cardas Golden, both of which I continue to use. Both these cords are available on the used market for between $115 and $175. And I doubt if Bob Crump (who I think is definitely a great guy) would be selling many of his TG Audio cords for $250 or $300 if the Asylum cord was as good or better than those.
HCM Audio has been running a special on AudioQuest power cords, plus another brand, for some months. I bought 3 of the AQ AC15-1.6 H/S models (these have the Hubbell male plug with the Schurter IEC female at the other end), as replacements cords for my Bryston preamp and power amps. I ordered all 3 cords with pairs of AQ's ferrites, which reduce RFI and EMI. The build quality on these cords is very good, and they cost $50-75 each, depending on length. I honestly can't say that I heard much difference, but I am also told that the Bryston amps seem to benefit less from upgraded power cords. However, if you want to experiment with decent cords without a large dollar investment, check out the power cord specials on HCM's web site: www.hcmaudio.com
I also feel the Zu Cable Birth was a great value. In my system on my transport, it beats the Shunyata Sidewinder. I also have an Asylum cord and it's OK, I don't think it's that much better than stock cords.
The thing I like about the Zu is the fast bass which has very good extension - better than my Sidewinder. And it's not tizzy bright like the Sidewinder either. If I had to sum it up, I would describe the Zu as neutral with good extension at both ends with snappy dynamics in the low octaves. It doesn't have the rich midrange the Acoustic Zen cables have, but it's not that far off either. That said I admit I am still testing this cable, and these comments come after a couple weeks of use.
Cords I have, in addition to those above, are Acoustic Zen Tsunami and Krakatoa, Kimber PowerKord and a couple homemade ones. The homemade ones were a waste of money and I would discourage the investment in such a project when so many companies offer 30 day trials. It was cheaper to build, but it now sits unused in my den. I suppose you could get luckier than I did.
Another worthwhile investment is a dedicated 12 AWG (or 10 AWG) 20 amp circuit with good outlets, like FIM, Wattgate or Acme. I compared P&S against FIM and in my system, the FIM work much better; more musical. There's a review at Galon Carol's website - www.gcaudio.com...I went with the FIM's before Galen posted his review...so it wasn't a sales pitch that pulled me in. The hospital grade Leviton outlets should be avoided for possible poor performance over the longer term...many reports of degraded sound...and something that I experienced first-hand as well.
The Asylum cord is a great cord at the price point. Well built, cheap price and some of the proceeds go to Charity. Mine works very well with my Rogue 66 power supply - better than the stock cord it came with. Its not the end all/be all as if it were then its current manufacturer (diycable.com) wouldn't be offering a better cord for more money. What works for you will depend on the synergy in your system and how far you want to dig into your pockets...
I think there are a couple of things that need to be said. There really is no such thing as "Best" power cord for $200 or some other such statement. What is true is that all cables are going to be system, taste and context sensitive. Once you get past the really poor designs a lot depends on what your looking for. It's sort of like asking what is the best beer for $5.00/six pack? People would have lots of different opinions and some would like a given $5.00/six pack better than some expensive miro-brewed $10.00/six pack beer.
I run DIYCable for what it is worth. Just my opinon on the subject.
Kevin makes a point that is very true. Each cable seems to do well or not in a given system on a given component. And I probably understated the value of the Asylum cord as it has gotten lots of good reviews and is recommended by many. Since there is normally a trial with this cord, it never hurts to give it whirl...especially if it's in one's price range.