Can POWER CORDS really make that big a difference?

Can a power cord really make an audible difference in a system? I have heard it does, but I have not spent the money to upgrade yet. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I was looking at NBS cords. I am relatively new to the hi-end game so I am trying to draw on your knowledge. Thanks for your time.
Power cords are one of the most overlooked components in the audio industry. They make a vast difference.The biggest improvement in my sound has been my power cords not my Meridian 508.24,Martin-Logan speakers, Bybee power conditioner, etc. Try and research to get the best synergy with your other components.Have fun. Buy used and save alot of money. Electraglide,BMI,Marigo,Tice,Shunyta,Synergistic,and others on this website are going for much less their inflated retail prices.
Yup, but try before you buy;>) Cheers. Craig
Try and see, buy where you can return.
Personally, I was surprised they made a difference, yet there it was. More stuff to spend money on.
But first... change your wall outlets.

In my limited experience, I found more of a difference with my amp than my CD player, at least with the power cords I am using. (LAT International AC-2)
Sure. I found that some had a noticeable effect and others appeared to have no effect from stock cords. I also noticed that the effect was similar with amp, preamp and cd player with each cord. Each apparently has a sonic signature. Silly but it does work most of the time.
I would spend the money on power devices that will make a difference such as PS Audio power regenerators, etc. Other than that have all the light dimmers revomed in your house. If you can not have your neighbors to agree to do the same, then have your power company run a direct line to your house from your substation. There, you will hear the difference.. of course, IMHO.
Yes, but not always for the better. As others have suggested, i would "try before buying" i.e. pick some up from a dealer or company that allows returns if you don't like the results. Some cords seem to have very strong sonic signatures whereas others aren't nearly as evident. Sean
They indeed make an audible difference but to what degree and price you pay,that is the question.There are alot of choices out there and bottom line is what sounds best with what ya got.Common knowledge aside,value and performance be the winning combination.
Yes. I made some from Belden 83802 and good connectors, along with dedicated lines from same. The dedicated separate lines for the CDP and the pre were more important than the PCs, I think. Have fun, but DON'T spend big money here....
Good sound starts at the wall outlet. first have dedicated ac lines installed with 12 ga. wire. then replace your wall sockets with an audiophile grade such as the Fim. next use a hi-quality passive power strip followed by great power cords and you will have made major improvements in your system. what all this does is greatly lower the noise floor by rejecting RF and other types of interference riding on the power lines. once this junk is eliminated from your system the sound will open up and become much more refined. for the first time you will be able to hear what your equipment was designed to sound like.
Thanks for all your responses! It has been a big help.
where can you find Fim wall sockets? Do they have a website?

If your considering power cords, you absolutely owe it to your self to try either the HSR-A(II) from TG Audio. I have not heard the HSR Silver, but have one on order for audition, and have heard nothing but rave comments on it.
Except in some very pathologic conditions, you won't hear a difference between stock and kilobuck power cords, or any PC inbetween for that matter. That's if you listen just using your ears, however. People can "hear" all sorts of amazing things when they listen with their eyes and wallets. Not completely a bad thing if it enhances your overall musical experience, but I'd rather put my money where it affects the sound.
Hearhere please clarify: Does the pathological condition you mention refer to:
A: The system ?
B: The listener ?

I humbly suggest, that it refers to both, if you don't hear any difference in powercables at all. Cheers,
hehe, here somes the thread's death dive.
Hearhere, if it all sounds the same, consider yourself lucky.
One less thing you have to worry about.

Well, time for my medication...

Would you be willing to specify which commercial power cords you have auditioned and under what circumstances (specifics as to the system in which you tried them). The web is replete with hundreds, if not thousands, of comments like yours - usually accompanied by the same condescending and arrogant attitude that characterizes your comment. I have yet to see one person who advocates your position who is willing to provide such information.
It seems over the years of spending much time and money on very expensive accessories such as exotic power cords and cabling, you hear what you want, or hope to hear, to justify the decisions made. This is not to say lamp cord wire is adequate on a high end systems, but how we justify big dollar items spent and convince others to follow along, so we feel better. Hey,why let someone enjoy chocolate, when fudge is better.
Why is it that every darn thread on power cords there has to be someone who has to voice an opinion that they are clearly a waste of money? If you don't think it works or you think it's a waste of money "DON'T FREAKING BUY IT." Some of us can tell a difference which makes it a worthwhile investment. If this were not true in the path of the audio upgrade we all be listening to Goldstar radios from K-Mart because "THERE WOULD BE NO SONIC GAIN".

I strongly agree with Sean, Garfish and Lakefrontroad. Buy an inexpensive cord such as a Synergistic Research Master Coupler here on Agon for around $150.00 and see for yourself. If you don't like it you can easily re-sell it and try something else, however your best bet is to contact the cable company. These are what I am currently using and they do make a big difference.
If your just entering this realm then I would urge you to buy harmonic technology power cords they are simply amazing and the price is very cheap. They help but as stated above if your equipment isnt up to par then its a waste of cash.I have a couple of power cords that will turn your head in six directions when you plug it in. let me know If I can be of any help? Good Luck
Power cords doesn't seem very important ten years ago.... is it because of industrialization and digitization? My old set up when I was in grade school thru high school sounds fine to me without mega buck cords.

CD players are also very picky with the ac they're fed....geez
Viggen, it's like anything else. The more involved that you get in any project, the more you can find that is either blatantly "wrong" or could simply use a little improvement. As such, a system can perform very well with stock cords but that is not to say that it won't perform better with other cords. As i stated previously though, the opposite can also be true. Due to differences in design and compatability, you can also take a step backwards if you're not careful.

For those that think of the power cord as an extension of the AC wiring, it is no wonder that you doubt that it can make a noticeable difference. BUT, what if you thought of it as an extension of the power supply ? After all, that is exactly what it is.

Wouldn't it be possible to add various types of shielding, ferrites, capacitors, inductors or other means of impedance manipulation in order to design some type of "tuned trap" or "filter" ? In turn, couldn't you place this trap or filter PRIOR to the power supply inside the component, therefore minimizing the "trash" that makes it into the component in the first place ?

Well, that is EXACTLY what is taking place in SOME ( very few that i've seen ) aftermarket power cords. While the "components" of the power cord that achieve these results may not be in a separate box like those of a PLC ( Power Line Conditoner aka "power line filter" ), that does not mean that it won't work. The benefits to designs of this type that are well thought out are that they are not current limiting or creating as much of a phase shift. While it is true that their slope rate or "filter action" may not be anywhere near as severe or sharp as that of a larger tuned circuit in a seperate box, it might be all that you would need to get rid of the electrical and RFI hash that is riding the AC mains in your area.

If you doubt that the AC mains have noise on them, i HIGHLY urge you to beg, borrow or steal ( only joking about stealing ) an Audioprism AC Line Noise Sniffer. Plug it directly into the wall and listen to the roaring hash that comes out of the speaker. Then plug the Noise Sniffer into any "reasonable" PLC ( power line conditioner ) and listen to the difference. The noise should pretty much disappear or at least be massively subdued. You can also hear the benefits of parallel line filters like the Audioprism Quiet Lines or "homebrew" designs like those that Magnan suggests. These are simply plugged into other outlets in the building and left alone. Even though they are not in series with the gear ( unlike the "tuned" power cords that are in direct contact ), you can still, very evidently, hear the effect that they have on the noise level from the wall.

I have yet to meet ONE "skeptic" that could deny the benefits of AC line conditioning / filtering after experiencing a test like this first hand. Sean
You wrote: "Why is it that every darn thread on power cords there has to be someone who has to voice an opinion that they are clearly a waste of money?"

I refer you to the original poster's first question: "Can a power cord really make an audible difference in a system?" Maybe there are some who honestly feel that they do not - should they not post?
I was referring to situations such as PCs with too-small a gauge, extreme amounts of RF noise, etc. Sean's suggestion of the power-line conditioner would fix the latter problem, although I suspect (haven't tested, though, so only suspect) that this approach may only be rarely necessary.

Also, someone with damaged hearing may be less able to detect audible differences, where they exist. Are you implying that this holds for anyone in particular? Your use of "you" (". . . if you don't hear . . .") could be interpreted that you feel I suffer from some sort of hearing deficiency. I hope that I'm reading your post incorrectly.

Hearhere, none of my post was aimed at anyone in specific. There are tons and tons of people that either don't believe in or are on the fence about power cords. As such, my post was meant as a "generalization" to everyone out there but was speaking to them as an individual. As i've said before, "you" really need to try something out in "your" system to see if "you" like it or not. Know what i mean ?

As to being a "believer" in power cords, i was a "non believer" up until a year or two ago. I was of the same school of thought that you were, i.e. too small of a conductor, poor connections, etc... making the biggest difference.

I had to change my mind when i started experimenting for myself. In all honesty though, i did NOT like the results of the first cord that created a noticeable difference within my system. Swapping that one cord in and out of the system was like flipping a light switch. The effect was either there or it wasn't. As such, i became a believer but one could say i was still "leary" due to the initially negative outcome. I have since tried quite a few different power cords on different compnents with varying results.

Like they say, experience is the greatest teacher of all. That is why i encourage as many people as possible to find out for themselves what they do or don't like within the confines of their system. You don't have to start out expensive and you can even "DIY" ( Do It Yourself ) with great results. Sean
It has been my experience that power cords make a difference. I have used many different power cords and each have produced different results. There are some addordable power cords that can produce good results.
My response is referring to your, and correct me if I’m wrong, insinuation that anyone who states they CAN hear a difference with a power cord is a pathological idiot that wastes money. If this is not the case and I am misreading your post, then I do apologize.
A little story from an audio-methusalem: It was in the time of the Fulton cables and those of Mark Levinson the man. I happened to be at my audio dealer's here in Zurich, when a little man turned up in a delapidated Trabant, two stroke, from Budapest behind the iron curtain with his boot full of , yes, power cables, which he was trying to sell. The dealer and I thought, that he was completely nuts but he talked us into fitting Swiss plugs to some, which he soldered himself and to try them out. We couldn't believe our ears, sceptical as we were, it was hardly a case of autosuggestion. In fact, we refused to believe it, trying system after system, where in every one of them it made a difference. What I remember, was a distinct increase of dynamics and better base rendering. Well, the dealer bought the whole boot full at the end and made a small fortune with those cables....and that was years before the cable craze started in the US, not to speak of powercords. I still use some of them today. The Hungarian's secret was shielding, bigger diameter, double strands, twisting at the ends and very careful soldering. (It certainly wasn't 99.9999 pure copper and the dialectrics must have been common run, Eastern Block ) All the same, he must have been a pioneer of what now is common knowledge. Wonder what has become of him....
Soldering. Very careful soldering is the key. That's why I like this cheapo Absolute Power Cord. Electrically soldered and then injection molded in place. Plain and simple...
Hearhere, yes indeed, "you" could be understood in ambiguous ways. It never crossed my mind, that your hearing could be damaged. I sincerely hope, that this will put yours at ease. Cheers,
Lat international has an excellent power cord for 169.00. I have three in my system. They replaced synergystic research's top of the line cord. LAT is much better, made a tremendous difference over stock and Synergistic. and much lower in price. Nothing to loose by trying lat. They give you a 45 day money back gaurantee.
Bmccormick - No, I certainly wasn't calling anyone who states that they can hear a difference between PCs a pathological idiot that wastes money!! The "pathologic" part of my comment only referred to what I would consider very out of the ordinary system conditions, say, trying to run a Krell Master Reference amp (demos of which were rumored to cause California's power crisis) with a 20 gauge PC, or living next to a broadcast tower to give a couple of extreme examples.

I would never deny that some people enjoy their systems more as a result of using aftermarket PCs, and more power (!) to them. I was definitely NOT referring to that preference as pathologic! We might debate exactly what causes that added enjoyment, and how we apportion our respective audio budgets, but we all have the same end goal in mind.
Yes, aftermarket power cords do make a difference. However, purchasing in-line power conditioners for each component will offer substantial improvements over any power cord (IMO) and costs perhaps no more than a good power cord. Not only does the in-line power conditioner do more than a power cord, it replaces the power cord so that you do not need both. I happen to be using Foundation Research LC-1's and an LC-2 in-line power conditioners. In my case, comparing the Cardas Reference power cord vs. the Foundation Research LC-2 connected to my amp, the LC-2 won hands done.

In addition, installing dedicated lines with no breaks from the service panel to a decent hospital/audio quality outlet make an even greater improvement which ever way you go.

I use Sonoran Audio with Micro Bearing Shield Matrix.Maybe the best but not the most expensive.Super quiet oh so dynamic.Much more detail while having more black space and contrastSome ac cables seem to make the music brighter more jangily.They all seem to change something maybe not always for the best.
I have lots of good cables here from Shunyata BMI, Omega Mikro & others. The very best cable I have heard IMS is the Elrod Power Systems EPS-2. It is really a very good cable that has incredible dynamics and the most natural top end I have ever heard. Of course there is a money back trial period so nothing to lose.
I have David Elrod Power cords (Line 1 and line 2) and they much better then every other cord I auditioned in my system (e.g. King Cobra, Fatman, FIM Gold) and worth as additional piece of equipment. I can't believe my ears...
where can I get info on the david elrod stuff?
Hello Viggen: As far as I know, he does not have Web Site yet. He is very busy - I am waiting (patiently???) weeks and weeks. Call him at 864/227-9107 and ask. Basically, there are three levels. First, for digital/preamps; second for preamps, power amps, third for very power hungry power amps and power conditioners. I am sure you can return him any PC you don't like. You will make happy next in line.
Good luck