CD Player Transformed by Power Cable

I recently purchased an Audio Refinement Complete Alpha CDP to go with my matching integrated and tuner. Even after plenty of breakin hours I found the player to be a bit dull, two dimensional, a little weak and ill defined in the bass department, and generally lacking in microdynamics (all in comparison to my Rotel 855).
I had in the closet a Signal Cable Magic Power cord that didn't do much for me on my integrated awhile back. Just for the heck of it I threw it in the mix on the CDP. I certainly was surprised how it changed the sound of the player. With the Magic Power cord the player now is much more vibrant, microdynamic and open sounding. The bass is also stronger (more heft) and I think more defined and tunefull. The only downside is a little hash on upper voices, etc. I could live with this now, but I'm curious about whether the digital Signal Cable power cords would lose the hash without losing the good things. Frank's website says that his basic digital power cord is warmer, but I don't want to lose the openness.

Any advice?
That upper midrange hash is the most difficult element to eliminate, IMO. I have tried a snake charmer's basket full of power cords in every price range...including the Signal Cable. In my system, I have only found one power cord that does not produce hash in the upper mids while maintaining HF extension, and that is the Purist Audio Dominus Fluid or Ferrox. This is not to say other cords don't exist that are smooth in the highs, but those that I have heard also rolled off the treble extension. The Dominus cords don't do this. They are expensive, even used, but once you bite the bullet and try one, you may find the level of your CD player rises to a level you didn't expect. A positive aspect of buying used Purist Audio cabling is that it holds its value reasonably well, so your chance of re-selling with a minimal loss is good. As an option to the Dominus, there are some Aqueous Anniversary power cords available now that appear to be great values. I have not heard the Aqueous power cords, but some audiophiles claim they are even better than the Dominus cords.

Again, there may be other power cords out there that will get you where you want to be. I know that everyone who I know who has tried a Purist Audio cord has never regretted the decision.
May I suggest trying three large size (still small, in the absolute sense) Cardas Golden Cuboids of Myrtlewood beneath the flat undersurface of your CDP.
This is a cheap and effective tweak which may give further tuning of "hash" on upper voices, without losing benefits you have now. Also, probably will make a further overall improvement.
yoou might try placing a 2 inch piece of soft furniture foam under the cd player. you might try changing your interconnect between cd player and preamp.

there are other anti resonant devices out there wwhich may enable you to tune your stereo system.

one last suggestion, how about a cd mat , or a cd demagnitizer ?

I have also had great luck with all Frank's cables ... I have read a few reviews that give him very high marks; even compared to the big boys. I tried his Silver Resolution IC's and I'm hooked. His customers service is wonderful.

I'm using his Digital Reference power cord on my Krell CDP and again I'm very happy with the results. Frank provides a 30 day "try it and return it" policy if it doesnt provide the kind of results you are looking for. It's only going to cost you postage to try it out. I'm going to have him make me a custom 90 degree cord for my Levinson 360S. One thing about them ... they are very stiff so I had to bend it a little to make it work in my rack configuration. I was having trouble with it working loose every time I played around in the back.

Granted ... it's not a Shunyata or Cardas but for the money I think it provides great results.

Every system and every set of ears are different - thats my 2 cents.
Ssglx, have you tried anything with isolation? I'm using the complete and complete cd with some jm labs cobalt 806S speakers. Sounds very good. I don't notice the dull and 2 dimensional sound that you speak of. Each piece of equipment I have has it's own shelf in my rack. And the amplifier and cd player each sit on a piece of 1" granite. Maybe isolation is the issue?

Good luck with the power cords and let us know how it goes. I'll be interested to hear your results as we have fairly similar systems.
Your system ("back to the basics") shows a different CDP and integrated?? Where are you using the Transparent Audio powercord.

Are you using the stock power cord with your Complete CDP?

I have good access to Cardas and Transparent Audio demos. I may also try those, in addition to the other Signal cables.

I did try several isolation methods with my Rotel 855 CDP, Ayre wood blocks (Cardas), vibrapods, sorbothane pads. I didn't hear much difference. I've kept it on sorbothane and it sounds glorious. Maybe I didn't try hard enough, but the differences were not as stark as my adventures with cables through my system. I think I have a pretty sharp ear for my system, and I am affected profoundly by the music when it comes together.
Ssglx, you are right. I haven't updated my system yet. I just recently switched to the AR complete and cd player with the JM labs speakers. I am using the transparent on the amplifier and the stock one on the cd player.

I am using audio quest tpye 4 terminated to the speakers without a ton of luck. I am tempted to try the anticables that you speak of.

Are you using them currently?
I did try the anticables. I mostly liked them (twisted), but in my system they didn't do most things as well as the Mapleshades. I really like my music vibrant, rich in tone, and alive. I get all that and great bass too, so I put up with some sizzle on some recordings to get the rest.
Listened to the system using a demo Shunyata Taipan power cord last night. Very impressive results.

I had fairly recently purchased the $40 Soundstring power cord to replace the Signal Cable Magic. It sounded pretty good overall, good bass and avoided the high end hash, but at the expense of an HF extention and air.

With the Taipan, things are very different. The high end is now very open and extended and sustained, but now without any hash.
Voices sound more balanced, very pleasureable and fuller in the middle and are more listenable. Similar midrange to what I heard when I tried the Cardas Cross interconnect. Bass definition has also tightened up, with more impact and emphasis on deep bass. The overall sound is also more microdynamic, much closer to how my old Rotel 855 player sounds in that regard.
On the negative side, the Taipan gives the system just a little "bleached" sound (slightly less tonal color) and sibilance on voices is a little more. Its also quite expensive in my view.

I've also borrowed a Hydra 2 to try out on both CD Players. My other experiences with power conditioners was not very good.

It just amazes me how these things on the power side can make such a difference to the sound, and to my level of enjoyment.

I'm not surprised that your digital system responded favourably to a power cord change. The power supplies in most digital gear are phenomenally poor, hence the power cords making the most difference there. I've often recommended trying power cords on digital gear first if one wants to experiment as that seems to be the most sensitive part of the average system.

With that in mind, you might want to look into some of Chris VH's earlier power cords ( VH Audio ). I would also consider the interconnects coming out of the player. At the price points that you're playing with and the sonics that you're describing, a Flavour 2 power cord and a pair of Chris' Pulsar interconnects might do wonders for you. Sean

PS... The Pulsar's work best after being run on a cable burner for a period of time.