High priced power cords and power conditioners????

I am looking to upgrade to the higher priced power AC cords from JPS Digital, JPS Power and Audience. Should I get a power conditioner like the Audio Magic Stealth or Shunyata Hydra first before auditioning the higher priced cords like the Elrods, etc., or get the cords first.

For those of you who have tried the different power conditioners, which ones do you recommend and what cords do you recommend with your units?

This is an interesting question.
It is a very good question to.

I would get the cords first.

I am going to go out on a limb here... I have never heard the huge differences between AC conditioners that I have heard between power cords. Maybe it is because I have never tried the Stealth or Shunyata power conditioners? Maybe those two would be night and day from my PS Audio P300 (for my digital)? I do not know either way. What I do know is that the Virtual Dynamics Nite Power Cords that I am demoing are leaps and bounds better than any other power cors I have ever tried by such a margin that I am beginning to beleive that whoever reviews ANY audio product that plugs in a wall MUST review it with SEVERAL different power cords.

Good question Bigkidz.

Do you have your own house? If yes, do you have dedicated lines? Start there if you don't.

If you are in an apartment where you are stuck with the power, then consider an conditioner first. Make it a good one.

Some will not agree, but I have never had any problems using both a good conditioner and good power cords together when appropriate. Issolating the Digital is usually very important. It is the most dirty component electrically.
Many audiophiles use an issolation transformer.
I agree with Sugarbrie, if at all possible get the dedicated lines first. I have (2) dedicated 20A lines with isolated grounds. I use one for digital and one for analog. Total cost, about $250. That's including Romex 10-3, PS Audio Power Ports, and installation (okay, so the electrician was a friend). Still, for the dollar, this was by far the best upgrade I've ever had.

If this is not possible, start with a conditioner. I've found that the farther you start back in the electrical line, the better off everything sounds. I have a Tara Labs AD/6 for the digital line and a Audio Magic Stealth for the analog line. As for power cords, yes, they do make a difference, but it's more of an individual taste thing. You're not really hearing what the cords can do though if your ac isn't up to speed. I haven't tried the Elrod cords yet, currently I'm playing with (2) BMI Whales and a Shark, Powersnakes Cobra and Black Mamba and a Tara Labs 'The One'. I prefer different cables for different applications. I like the Powersnakes on digital gear and the BMI Whales feeding the PLC's. The Shark is on the preamp and The One is on the amp. This is probably not the final arrangement, only the du jour arrangement. I actually prefer The One on source, may have to try another one on the amp. Possibly an Elrod, CPCC Top Gun HCFi, or Shunyata Taipan.
As for overal p/c recommendations, it would depend on what you're using them for. Some cords are better for source, whereas others are better for amplifiers/PLC's. You'd be best to pick a specific componant and ask for p/c reco's for that piece within your price range.

Start as far back as you can though, p/c's shouldn't come first, IMHO.

Jmcgrogan2 what does the isolated ground mean on your dedicated lines? You've got the white and black and the green safety ground going back to your main breaker box. Does it mean that the green safety ground has it's own earth ground?

Thanks for your replies. I had dedicated lines (3) installed two weeks ago so the logical next step was to continue to better the AC.
The route I recommend, based on searching the archives here and at Audio Asylum, is to install upgraded outlets first then evaluate the power cords. I am getting incredible results with ACME cryo outlets and Elrod power cords. I have a couple of APC battery backup devices daisy chained together that I plug my digital source into, this was a recommendation from a cable designer, I like the results, but have not compared it any other conditioning devices. I have not done the dedicated lines yet, it sounds like you really liked that upgrade. I have been a little intimidated by the effort involved to accomplish this.
In my opinion you should upgrade the p/c first before the conditioner otherwise you will dilute the benefits of the conditioner. Airborne rf would still get into your system through the p/c rendering your conditioner meaningless.
Steve, it basically means that the ground plug is isolated from the conductor box (house ground) all the way to the breaker box. 10-3 Romex actually has 4 conductors. Hot, neutral, 2 grounds, one ground for electrical circuit, one ground for box. In theory it's to isolate any EMF or RMI noise that's being picked up by the house ground. Is it overkill? Probably. My electrician buddy says it is. However the PS Audio Power Ports I bought for him to install had this option, so I used it. The ground for the ground prong doesn't touch the metal plate. There isn't much difference money wise between regular 10-2 (hot,neutral, ground) and 10-3, so why not. Could I tell the difference between a dedicated circuit and a dedicated isolated circuit? Who knows? It only cost me $250 for the dedicated, isolated upgrade, and I can definitely hear the difference from before. However since I got the isolated ground at the same time as the dedicated line, I can't say for sure whether the isolation has anything to do with the new performance.

I hope this was helpful, I'm no electrician, but that's the best explanation I can come up with. I do KNOW that the 10-3 Romex he used had 4 conductors.

IF I purchase better AC cords first, then won't the characteristics of the power cord (sonics) change when I look for a power conditioner? Is there a synergy that I need to be aware of? Since I have not used one yet, I do not know. The other obviuos first is the cryo treated outlets.
I am not wholly convinced that AC conditioners can make huge differences in systems. I beleive they can make a difference (a subtle one), but I have never heard a night and day sort of difference.

AC cords on the other hand I think can make huge differences. Why? Because I have heard huge differences in trying out different power cords.

Yes, your system will change sonically when you get an AC conditioner, but that change will probably not be nearly as great as trying high quality AC cords.

Man, I am beginning to sound like a mystic talking about AC cords like this....... A year ago I would have said that power cords only make a subtle difference. Since then, I have seen the light!!!!!!!!! And that light is VD Nite.

I agree that dirty power can really screw up any system regardless of cost. And unless a power cord can clean up the power circuit I do not think it will really help by itself.

Fighting low level noise in my system has been an ongoing endeavor for quite some time. Have been all over the price range with ic's and speaker cables but always to no use.

On an experimental whim, I bought a Monster power cond.[3600] and plugged all of my equipment into it. First it looked like the tv picture lost some of its color so the video cable came out and the picture improved. My amp[Krell 1500] did not like the pc at all so back into its dedicated 20a line. Then found my processor[Krell 7.1] was also not happy so it went back into its separate dedicated 20a line.

I was getting discouraged at this point and getting ready to take the Monster back thinking maybe a better pc might help, but I still had left a dvd/cd player[Denon 3700], a Ld player, and my cable tv box hooked into the Monster pc. When I turned it back on was I ever surprised!!! Dead quiet! Super clear sound! Could not beleve it at first but it is a final resolution to a long standing problem.

I went back and experimented with some of my older ic's and speaker cables that had been discarded during my quest for quiet and found they were now just fine.

So it never has been the cables, it appears it has been an electrical interaction between the separates all along.

So isolate your separates first with a pc and then go from there. There is apparently a lot of electrical feedback between separates. I was not aware of this even though all of my equipment was properly grounded.

If I had tried this a long time ago there would have been a lot more stock shares laying around in my account ---- but guess they would be worth less now also. Good luck and hope this helps you.