Front-end > preamp > amp is the order in which you prioritize your power cords. I've always liked David Blair's CCPC cords, especially the "Top Gun".
And get rid of the Monster 360, and replace it with one of his "Power Blocks"
MAC HC Sound pipe
In this price range VH Audio Flavor power cords are an excellent value.
Black Sand Silver Max.
I am auditioning this right now and it is pretty much on par with my reference (VH Audio AirSine). Most pc's I have tried can't make that claim!
Look at DCCA cables. Don's theory is that the cord on the amp (ie. the component nearest to the speaker in the chain) is the one to spend the most on. Regardless I have tried many cables, including Elrods, Shunyatas, PSAudio, Electraglide, other DIY designs, and a bunch of the "best for the buck" type and DCCA have by far had the best of all the qualities I appreciate in each of the other brands. Good pricing too, particularly if you talk to Don and ask about demos.
Check out the other threads on Audigon about DCCA.
Good question...one I'm trying to answer myself right now.
I suggest that you buy a few of these listed power cords used and then test them yourself in your system and see which sounds best to you. You can always sell the ones which
don't float your boat.
A few more which haven't been mentioned yet and which you might also want to add to your short list are; Virtual Dynamics Power One, Audience PowerChord and Eichmann Series 2 eXpress6.
Stuartbranson,I too own DCCCA pc's, they are very good.
Don is a world class dealer, very flexible.He likes
to take care of his costumer.
Pure Note Paragon. Black background, solid bass, transparent highs, and is flexible. I have them on my amps, preamp, and DAC. Best $250 I have spent.http://www.purenote.com
I already have Paragon Bi Wire speaker cables and all Paragon I/C's between my DVD and Pre and Amp. Does anyone else have any experience running all Pure Note products?
I second the VH Audio recommendation. Low noise floor without coloring the sound, softening transients or constraining dynamics. Better cords can make the VH Audio sound a little coarse and can resolve more subtle detail, but I don't know of any in your price range except for scoring a great second hand deal. They are a bit stiff for some very light components, but that goes for most PCs.
I've decided to try a VH Flavor 4 w/gold furutechs for my amp (figure the 9 ga conductors will satisy current draw well). VH Flavor 1 with Rhodium Furutech for my DVD and Flavor 1 with Gold Furutech (figure 12 ga is plenty of conductor for source gear). Buying as demo cords from Chris at VH.
Harshness, graniness in my system has been significantly reduced. Background "blackness" has improved. I would say the sound from my system is now smoother yet more vibrant. I am considering an upgrade from the 2910 to the 3910 to hear if this makes a difference.
I have done a lot of search for under $500 power cords and the most natural one I have found is the Acoustic Zen Tsnami, very solid in all parameters.
#1 make sure you are not running your amp thru the monster center, I would guess you are not, but its a mistake if you are.. I have had them they do not sound as good as straight to the wall.. Also the 3600 has more filtering than the 2600 which restricts audio even further, the 2600 series simply sounds better.. But for connections and video the 3600 is very good. So Put the amp to the wall for sure, and Try out cables from Fatwyre.com ,they got a ton of the big brands and have them used many times as well... Also will take back and send you many until you find the right one.
By the way, I can understand the using the monster, as for the 12 volt trigger etc.. to the amp.. But if you are willing to sacrifice the money like this to a power cord and audio is important than you will find the sacrifice in giving up a 12 volt trigger to activate the amp worth it.. For a quick experiment if you are using the amp into the monster center don't spend any money first and simply plug the rotel to the wall, it would probably have more impact even with the stock cord over plugging a power cord that cost as much as the monster center into it.. then make further decisions on this matter. Experimentation is key, but remember to start with the basics. Most will support the reasoning here, most amps into basic power conditioners are negative sound values vs. straight to the wall, might not be as convienent but willing to dive into excellent cables, luxury in this case may need to take a back seat.
Beyond that you might want to sell the rotel and put another 400 into an amp in the first place.. this will change more dramatically at the level you are at.
in what way does the monster cable 3600 degrade the sound of a stereo system, when an amp is pluggged directly into it ?
in what way does filtering degrade the performance of a tube amp, i.e., what are the sonic effects of using this power conditioner with an amplifier ?
They can sound more restricted, bass is not as full and heavy, you have to try it period... Nobody can prove this with as much tech info as I can Spew here trust me, by the way within these very pages you will find tons of info on running power amps thru too much filtering and going to the wall 9 out of 10 times will render better results, unless you can get into the real big money isolation transformers and things. Again my only point was there is almost no way that plugging in a Power cord of high performance (mainly with the power amp) into a monster unit can be purely working at its best level vs. going into the wall.. Hey unless you have serious electical line issues, with lots of noise or something than the monster is not doing anything positive for the power amp.. However on the flipside it is possible that Digital components can be cleaned up, its all experimentation.
I agree with Undertow and his assessments regarding plugging amps into the Monster Powercenters. I Experimented with a MPC HTS 3500 with a few amps with poor results.
I was always told to start with the amps ac cable first. Since all components work through that anyway. The better your amp is set up, the easier it will be to notice the improvements (and to what extent) made to other components.
Without purchasing new components, speaker wire and amp ac cords are the most cost effective way of getting substantial results one way or the other.
did your experience with the 3500 with amps include a softening of the highs and a more distant perspective ?
have you ever tried a hydra ?
Are we talking car audio here?
Psychicanimal, no actually monster cable makes home units too..