How Much Do You Need to Spend on a PC?

I've seen numerous posts on power cords lately that compare KC, FB, FIM, and others. Most of these cords are priced from well over 500 to thousands of dollars each. What are some of the lesser priced (~500 or less) power cords that can perform at 85% - 95% of these astronomically priced PCs. I currently use inexpensive Transparent Powerlinks and Super Powerlinks, better then my stock PCs, but I'm sure there is better.
About three months ago I compared nine or ten PCs priced from $75-$600; included where PCs from Custom Power Cord Company, JPS Labs, Marigo, and Shunyata. I found the Marigo Ultra Series II ($595) to be the best for digital and the Custom Power Cord Company Model 11 ($290) for analog i.e. amplifiers.
Buy used ones./Pc,Ics, Spk.wires : all help.If you have midfi,you might want to upgrade your transport,or any of the other pieces first.I don't know what you got,or how much bucks you got or how much desire to improve what you got;you have. I have 5grand in power cords.( Not "retail value"/but actual$$$)Power cords go on the source first, dac and pre next.Yes,after that,a great cord helps even more on the amp.It goes on and on. If you do vinyl and cds,get 1 great cord,and put it on your pre so it works with multiple sources.You already know the names of the good brands.The one safeguard,you keep the cord if or when you sell the piece it was used with.Seems like you want somebody to tell you of a 300dollar cord that is as good as a1200dollar one;don't think that exists.The one "great" thing is not everybody will agree with me or anybody else. Gotta find some middle ground,and make your own mistakes,then you'll be giving advice.
Hi Tom_munroe, I hope I don't raise a few eyebrows but I found that the PS audio Lab cable in amps is Quite good and can be had used for $250 to $300. A used cobra is also very good at $600 to $700. I agree with Avguygeorge, I have yet to hear a $300 to $500 PC that can do what the more costly ones do.
My system is a music/ht system: Meridian 561 & 508.24 (cd transport), Bryston 7BST monos, and Thiel CS7.2s. I have been seriously looking at upgrading the Bryston 7BSTs, but have also thought about keeping the Brystons and going with a tube preamp w/HT pass through, and adding better power cords.
But, what are the $200.00 and under cords that the members have had good results with? Did everyone start with a three to five hundred dollar on up cord? I use the Harmonic Tech Pro II PC on my DAC (previosly used it on my all in one player) with much noticeable improvement over the stock cords. What about Silver Audio ($189.00), Mapleshade ($150.00) and others. Any info on these? I think that this is a great thread (for me and Tom). I for one cannot afford $300.00 on up PC's, but would still like to improve my system.
PS: So what's good (no major flaws) at $300.00 and down?
I had a H.T. pro-ac 11 for my Rogue 99 power supply but heard no improvment at all.I burned it in for 400 hours and nothing.The stock cord is back in place and the H.T. back to the dealer.I have the Pro-silway MK 2 so I do like their products just not the PC in my system. Im planning on getting either the Pro-9's or 11's soon.So I dont have anything against H.T.
David99: Did you try it (the Pro 11) on any digital components?
Hi Decay, I thought the Coincident PC sa $275 was quite good. I have seen 1 or 2 being sold at $150. I think Trelja is using a silver PC or was going to try one out. Maybe Trelja could give us his thoughts on the silver PC if he has tried it. I believe the silver Trelja was going to try is at the $200 area.
Dekay no,I'm a analog guru.The cheap CDP I have has a captive cord and the amp at the time was a Dynaco ST-70 with a captive cord.I now have an Alep-3 but I believe the PC that came with it is sufficient.Im sure the Pro-AC 11 would have stayed if I was into digital and had a decent CDP.THE Pro-Ac 11's have received very good reviews.
I have owned or have experience with the following cords MIT Z (original), XLO, LAT, BMI Edge (entry level cord), Blue Cirlce BC 62 and Cardas Golden. For the money, the BC 62 and the Cardas Golden (I paid $200 for the Cardas, about $160 for the BC 62) are, IMO, excellent values. The Cardas is warmer, more musical in my opinion, but the BC offers very good value when compared to the Cardas at their respective retail prices. The cheaper cords I've used have tended to be more forward, edgier and less musical. On Audio Asylum, there is a lot of discussion about DIY cords and in the past week I've put a Volex 17604 re-terminated with a good quality Hubbell male end on my DVD player (which I use to listen to music). Total cost of the 17604 and Hubbell plug-$20. I had to buy an adaptor from Harmonic Tech ($45) with a small two-pin connection from the DVD player to IEC to hook up the Volex cord. The improvements were not subtle: I'd put them in the same league as upgrading from an Arcam 7 CD player to the 8 or 8SE which I used to own and that cost in the $300-$400 area. There's been a lot of talk at AA suggesting that the Volex if properly terminated is a cord capable of competing with a lot of the $300-$500 cords. Don't know whether it's true or not, but it's definitely worth $20 and betters the LAT, XLO, MIT Z and BMI Edge. A very musical cord with little to find fault with. If you want, you can also buy a quality female IEC and re-terminate at that end, possibly improving performance even further.
Thanks David and HDM. David I also have captive cords on my Musical Fidelity amp and power supply and will wait till the warrenty expires before attempting to splice in a new PC. That is if I still have it by then. And thank you Brulee (boy looks like were all caught up for the Holidays. LOL). I am off to the record store to see if I can find "ALL Things Must Pass" on CD after Tubegroover's recap of the studio band. I have a pile of rank crap to trade in for credit as well.
"All Things Must Pass" is barely a so so sounding cd.Too bad. For Tom-M;A good pre would be a place to start. Good power cords will help what you have now;but as chef Emeile might say; "Lets crank it up to the next level" is what happens with a good pre. IMO, for right now a GOOD power cord is the best small "fix" for the money.Long term, a great pre,and tubes would be my choice.Happy Holidays!!
Hi Tom...I've used a number of inexpensive cords which have improved results considerably on a fairly expensive system ($28K). I'm sure that the expensive cords would improve it even more, but I still have trouble spending more than $300 (used) on a cord (ask me again next year). I've also used the Transparents (now in my HT system). I like the HT cord for the money, esp on SS preamp, very smooth. The Wireworld is good too, tight bass,good detail. But for a little more $$ you can get a BMI Eel on Audiogon auctions which are a big improvement (esp dynamics and palpability). I have a somewhat more expensive cord on its way(Audio Magic Illusion). 'Will see if it's worth it. With the cheaper cords consider a decent power cond...I use an Audioprism Found 3, which is very good for the money and doesn't limit current in amps (have a Richard Gray on the way for try-out, too). Good luck in your search and remember, just because the less expensive cords aren't as good as the big bucks cords, doesn't mean they can't improve things a lot. PS...before trying bunches of cords I used several pretty expensive speaker cables ($1500-$2500) and ICs ($1,000+) and have now gone to middle $ stuff ($400-$1,000) that's almost as good in my system. Some can justify the extra expense, but I find it hard to justify (room treatments help more, esp Roomlenses, at least in my system).
AVguyGeorge: Then you may want to check out the digitally re-mastered version that is due out late February. That is if you are talking about the engineering. The shop that I went to today said that Harrison pulled it due to the artwork, otherwise it would have been released in November 2000.
Try the EEL Reference and the Whale Elite advertised on this site by BIM. I think you will be happily surprised.
I have to agree with Lak. Just received my Whale yesterday from BMI and have big improvemnts already. I hooked it up on my Wadia 27ix dac and wow. Bigger-wider soundstage, very quiet background noise, deeper bass and more detail in the instruments. I jus left a follow up in the power cord comparison forum.
I own the Shunyata SideWinder at $200 used, flexible cable that is an overacheiver. Also Synergistic Research AC master coupler is larger, stiffer cable good for amps, $180 used. I do not own one, but Custom House Model 11 from Cable Co are very highly rated by TAS, under $300 new. If you are new at AC cords, be careful of getting stiff cords for rack mounted systems or very small components like DACs, can be a problem to connect and use.
Thank you all for the feedback on effective and reasonably priced PCs. I realize that these PCs are not the ultimate, but most of those suggested will improve on what I have. I still have other basic components, such as a good preamp, to look into. I'll be auditioning an AR LS25 next week to see if a preamp w/HT throughput is a better alternative to replacing my Bryston 7Bs.