Mailman,PowerSnakes Sidewinder is $280 new will make very nice improvement,Cable Co has this in library if you want to try first,hard to find used but is going for $220. For cheap used we have HT ProAC 11 for $100-125 or SR Master Coupler $150-200 and if you don't like you can sell for what you paid used here. AC cord and proper isolation can make very noticeable difference even in $1000 CD player, AR Complete is nice unit, Sam
I love your amp!!!! That thing is amazing for the money. I recently purchased a Sonic Horizons power cable from HCM Audio. (HCMAudio.com) (or directly @ sonichorizon.com) The guys at HCM manufacture them themselves, so they're pretty inexpensive, and according to their literature, are designed to compete with much more expensive cables. They have a cable for every budget. (I got the Daybreak model, about $90, I think, for a 2 meter cable. They are a good place to start, as the cables can be returned if you're not happy. I've heard that power cable swapping has it's greatest effect if you can change the source's power cable. My Rega Planet has a captive cord :( so I couldnt do this (my CJ preamp has a captice cord as well, darnit) But I did get improvement over the stock cable that came with my McCormack amp.
Try the MIT Z cord . A great cord for the money. I have 2 for sale at $50 each. Call me 770-514-4731 days
BTW G13 reminds me AR complete can be CDP or an integrated amp, if you have both start with CDP cord first, will produce largest improvement, Sam
Just recently tried the Analysis Plus Power Oval power cords at $260. Very big improvement over stock cords, and better than the Custom Power Cord Co Model 11, Sidewinder, and Synergistic Master Coupler in my system.
I am new the this cord/cable business like yourself. Just (yesterday) I replaced the stock cord on a CAL Ikon MKII with a used Harmonic Tech. Pro II PC ($125.00) and it was well worth it. The CAL now compares favorably to players (with their stock cords) that sell for up to a $1000.00 more. I intend to upgrade the cord to the power supply on my amp (needs to be hardwired) when the warrenty expires.
BMI regularly auctions their Majik cords on Audiogon. They're inexpensive, well made and a significant step up from stock cords. A pair of them usually goes for less than $150.
I have had experience with the following cords in my budget system: original MIT Z-cord, XLO, BMI Edge cords, LAT International, Blue Circle BC 62 and Cardas Golden. It depends on what you mean by cheap, but I figure up to $200 is cheap. Buy used and if you don't like it, you can re-sell without taking a bath. In my system, which probably leans toward the bright side, the Cardas is clearly the best, but it may not suit your AR complete. My advice if you want to start cheap to experiment would be to find a used LAT (can be had on Audiogon for around $60), which will be a major improvement over your stock cord. I used this cord on both my CD player and amp with good results. The Blue Circle BC 62 is, in my opinion, an excellent cord for the money (demo I believe currently posted on Audiogon for $165), far superior to the LAT and probably would suit the AR very well. It is an extremely musical cord that does just about everything right and a real bargain at $165 or less. I paid around $200 for a used Cardas Golden and love the cord; it's very lush and "full bodied", some would say "dark" but works extremely well in my system.
I ditto the response from Hdm regarding the LAT cord. I actually use this cord on my Audio Refinement Complete and it works well. You want to go real cheap? Make one. I made one from Belden #19364 cordage, terminated it with a nice Hubbell plug and a good IEC connector for under $25. It's just as good as the LAT in almost every area but even better in the upper treble (smoother).
Another under $25 or so DYI cord is Audioquest AC-12 in bulk from any parts source (like Michael Percy in Inverness, CA) and some hospital grade plugs. I made a pair, it didn't take an inordinate amount of skill, and it works nice and plays nice. It would be worth comparing that to a $250 cord. I haven't, but my guess is it would be pretty competitive. We are talking small differences in the scheme of things. Probably $200 worth of room treatment would net more improvement than $200 in cords.
I haven't tried a lot of different power cords to offer an experienced opinion, but I like what I hear with my Harmonic Technology power cord, and it really is at a very fair price for a good quality product. You can often find one for $100-125 at Audiogon. Perhaps when I get adventurous and have a little extra time I will try a few other brands, but I think that it would most likely give you an improvement in sound quality. I have seen so many opinions from some of the well informed members here that I have concluded that it is necessary to try a few different brands on your own system, allowing for synergy. Make sure you don't judge until you have run in a cable for 80-100 hours. Good luck.
Why is the last 6 feet that connects equipment to the mains so important? What about the cheap romex house wiring that feeds the recepticles? What about questionable grounding and the quality of the recepticles and the type of breakers used in the breaker box? Given these questions and many more is it logical to assume that we are introducing a band-aid to cure a larger problem or merely adding a coloration. Audio has some amazing cures.
It takes a minimum of about 5 or 6 feet for the "filtering" factor of power cord to work.
I want to put in another vote for BMI. I just "got into" power cords last momh after hearing waht a Master Coupler did for my preamp. After doing some research, I decided to take a chance on BMI's EEL power cord, and am now on my fourth one (pre, dac, and monoblocks). There may be better cords out there, but for a LOT more money (even used). On my BAT preamp, the EEL clearly bests the Master Coupler. On the plus side, Brian introcaso (Mr. BMI, since he answers the phone AND makes every cord by hand!), is an absolute delight to deal with. I plan to keep buying EEL's until I have one on every relevant piece of equipment (need four more!) before venturing up in the price scale
Dievoyager, a power cord's design and materials can help eliminate RFI, therefore "conditioning" the power being supplied. Some people prefer to use high quality power cords without line conditioning. There are others at this site more skilled in the engineering and design aspects of power cords than I am, and I am sure they can offer a more detailed explanation.