IMO: Cost vs. performance, Furutech FI-11 terminations. Available in 3 flavors, bare copper, gold plated and silver plated.
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I would suggest you check out the cable asylum at AA & take notes. Seriously, there is a ton of info on all the things you mentioned-much more than can be covered in one thread.
I'm not passing the buck but you really need to do some homework, which may include actually trying some different PC's. There are so many variables to be considered-what gear are you using, your room, your AC and so on. They all combine to have an effect.
Cable Asylum's a good resource... IF one has the time to wade through. I'm hoping someone can summarize so I don't have to. Besides recommendations for power amp cords, I'd appreciate recommendations for source cords -- in particular, a transport cord (CEC). I'm currently using an Audience 'e' on my transport and a standard Audience Power Chord on my Preamp.
New information about gold plugs. Just got a Black Sands Violet 1 power cord with gold-plated plugs to compare to my BS Violet 1 with copper plugs. The former imparts an mistakenly warmer sound, but seemingly at the expense of clarity. "Voices" seem as though they're coming through a soft cotton scrim. I prefer the neutrality of the copper plugs. CAVEAT: Perhaps I haven't burned in the gold long enough... I'll report back later.
I believe the Neotech terminations are identical to FIM.
The FIM label simply covers the Neotech logo molded into the plastic, at least on mine.
The FIMs I've seen are cheaper than $50 per.
I think if you compare the quality of the Furutech FI-11s I mentioned in my post to the Neotech, the Furutech would win hands down. IMO: The Neotechs are somewhat cheesy in overall build, especially the cable clamping mechanism. Have you actually compared the two?
I do like the Neotech bulk power cable though. Very nice quality!
I have found the Ohno copper great for the male end but it's a bit soft to provide a firm grip on the other end.
Also, I'm not sure that Ohno copper in itself creates a better termination. In fact very few AC terminations use copper at all, most are brass or bronze and there seems to be many satisfied users. There are probably fewer than 10 terminations that actually use copper. Same is true with AC outlets (even fewer copper IEC inlets, less than 5?).
The Furutech I mentioned uses copper for the male end and phosphor bronze on the other. Again my main issue with the Neotech is the mechanical design of the connection for the actual AC wires, adequate but could be better. The Furutech and Oyaide method is superior IMO.
As far as plating, for me a necessary evil to avoid oxidization although I don't like rhodium. I'm not sure about platinum and palladium either. A lot of these issues are probably system dependent so best not to make blanket statements. If you don't like plating, that's up to you.
Update: outside of this forum I just talked to two people, dedicated DIYers, who did a heads-up comparison of the Neotech and Furutech plugs, both of whom found the Neotech to be sonically superior. Neotech copper male and iec, ditto Furutech (F1-11), all else held constant, in a power amp application.
A lot of this stuff is like splitting hairs, that is, the differences can be extremely subtle. Also, the AC outlet and IEC in your components can affect things.
Most audio components use crappy (read cheap) IECs. You might consider replacing those as well in your quest. What outlets are you using?
As to your last post, there are just too many variables involved to make a blanket statement. The bottom line is, whatever works for you. There's certainly nothing "wrong" with the Neotechs, just a few details I personally don't like.
Violet ZII with gold-plated Furutech plugs has finally fully broken in and it works wonders with taming the digititus of my solid state gear but it's not as focused as I'd like with my tube system. It maintains excellent detail with solid state and is wonderfully liquid. I think a standard Violet will be just the ticket for the tube set-up!
I have found unshielded pc sound better with tube amps.
Copper power wall plugs have more realistic bite than silver.
Silver power wall plugs sound more organic on voices.
I made some unshielded power cables with copper wall plugs and silver iec - but they are not optimum for my digital equipment. AND, I am not convinced they are optimum for another tubeamp. It is quite frustrating to figure out what to use. I also have a sense that wattgate may sound a little bit better than furutech on both copper and silver.
Check out "power cable shootout" and good luck.
I am sorry as I am way late to the party here.. but the wall outlet? Why stop there? What about the romex feeding that receptacle? And how many receptacles are on that circuit? And what of the quality of the romex? and the circuit panel box, what about the quality of the breakers in the panel? (silver or copper connections?) And then the feed in from the meter on the side of the building, and then the wire running up the masthead and the connection that the power company makes, with their heavy use of electrical tape and then the feed from the transformer on the pole? and the transformer, and the step down circuits.....and.....
Well maybe you get my point... Am I the only crazy one?
hello... hello... or maybe it is just me and I don't know what I am missing. :-)