I need advice for power cords


In my system there are 4 components that power cords are interchangeable.  They are PrimaLuna EVO 100 Tube Preamplifier, PrimaLuna EVO 100 Tube DAC, Manley Chinook phonostage and Dayton Audio sa1000 subwoofer amplifier.   Should they all be upgraded, if not all which one to change to give me the most improvements.  I can't go crazy on cost, 1k to spend.   I've followed along with many threads on this subject. Always looking to make improvements to sound quality.   Many of you have much more experience with cables than I do so what do you recommend and I can do the research.  On a side note my McIntosh MC75's are vintage so old thin manufacturer cables and probably shouldn't change them. 

Thanks 
Mike 
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In my experience the power amp has been #1, however that is not an option for you. I would go, preamp, phono stage or DAC and sub last. You should be able to get good cords for all used, in your price range.
Skip the sub amp. It will make a difference however slight compared to everything else. When you have a budget you make budgetary decisions and this is the first one- skip the sub.

Next after the sub amp, I don't know where people get this idea they need a power cord for this and a power cord for that. If the power cord is good it will improve everything, even the sub amp just not as noticeable. But listen, its not that it doesn't make just as much difference on the sub amp. Sorry, know that sounds confusing but bear with me. It makes little difference on the sub amp because the sub amp operates in only one very small part of the audio spectrum, and a part we are not good at discerning fine detail at that. 

Everything else though works all across the whole spectrum, including midrange and treble where our ability to hear and discern fine detail is exceptional. So do yourself a favor. Forget everything about a power cord for this, power cord for that. Focus on finding the best two power cords you can for your phono stage and pre amp. Skip the sub. I would also skip the DAC because there is sadly no way of making digital sound good so why bother? But that's a judgment call, not everyone has figured this out yet, its your money, your system, and so if you want to divide your $1k into 3 then go for it.

Anyway, that's the deal. Forget about components, concentrate on the best 2 or 3 power cords for the money. If you go with 3 then it becomes super easy, just search around and buy 3 used Synergistic Master Couplers. That will be right about $1k, if that. If along the way you find a $500 SR Blue or something like that, go for it. Put it on the pre or phono. Whatever. Just do yourself a favor and focus on Synergistic. 
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Johnny Rutan believes the source should get the best cable first.
So, my DAC got an AQ Thunder power cord.
He was right, as usual.
Bob
In my experience the cable design will predict where placement is best.  Some is the source, others are the amp.  One improvement for me was Torus Power isolation transformer.  Modern power have a high degree of pollution from electronics even when you run dedicated lines.  This was my personal issue.  

Buying cable used is a great value.  I like Allnic ZL, Audience, Zen Wave.

I prefer Copper over Silver.  But this is entirely subjective.
I am focusing on playing vinyl mostly, streaming when I'm to lazy to put on an lp.  So I will look for the best cable I can find for my phonostage, the the line stage and probably not worry about the dac or subwoofer amp.  SR will be at the top of my list.  I don't own right now, ex got the house,  but will be buying in a year maybe sooner.  Then I will look into dedicated lines. 
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Just a possibility, I have about 6 different power cords from several manufacturers--WyWires Juice II (3 total), TRL Silver, TRL Copper, and Amadi Phil Harmonic.  These all came from a second system or have been recently replaced with much more expensive PCs.  The TRL's are very potent on amps, the WyWires were once their best PCs and are good on all components.  The Amadi's are very clear and smooth and good on source components.  All listed at $350-400 when they were bought.  You could cover all 4 components and most likely have a nice upgrade depending on what you were using.  All are considerable upgrades from a stock cable.   Look them up online.  The TRL's were big were their equipment--notably the DUDE, which I own--both are very dynamic with outstanding bass.  I will be selling them on a couple of the sites very soon.  Just sold 3 items within 3 days of the ad appearing.

Bob



Preamp and/or DAC first, and amp(s) last - always start as close to beginning of the chain as possible, hence the folks talking about what's in your wall.Bottom line - if you're not feeding your amp(s) the best signal possible, you are literally amplifying potential issues/shortcomings.Cheers!
I have a Primaluna Dialogue HP integrated and Primaluna EVO 100 dac and a Herron VTPH-2A phono stage all using Anticable level 3 power cables. Love the combination and depending on the lengths you need, all three would be right around your 1k budget. They are robust and reasonable for their quality.

http://anticables.com/power-cords#!/Level-3-Reference-Series-Power-Cords/p/14644872/category=3461168

Take a look.
Everyone has their preferences. But one suggestion within your budget might be to get a Shunyata Venom V2 power pack. I think the power packs have 3 or 5 cables in them. They are very high quality in terms of SQ and well made. 
The only power cord I would buy under a k is the Transparent Audio Premium at $600.
I have the Reference on my amp and Premium on my DAC. Transparent cables are the most natural, least distorted on the market. They actually use live acoustic music as reference. The Premium on your pream and DAC will make a difference.
I really like Jena Lab power cords in my system but you could probably only get one at that price range. That stated, if I was only going to change one cord in my system, it would be the one coming from the wall to the transformer feeding the conditioners. Big impact there. If you don't have a transformer or conditioner, Mill's advice is spot on IME. 
I recommend Virtual Dynamics Nites and up power cord. It transforms my system.
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I suggest thst you have to try ocean elite power cable of Audio Envy..I compared it with AQ Blizzard and Shunyata vekom digital.. It is superior in all ways. I use it for Esoteric k07xs sacd player.. i bought Sp7 bi wire speaker cable. So incredible and no comparison with AQ Volcano.. i plan to buy 2 ofean elite power cables for my mono power tube amplifier.
They are cheap but they are so natural, wide soundstagw and good speed

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I like those Audio Envy pcs too.Fast,warm,and natural.Shunyata,JVC,Wire World are good inexpensive noise filtering cords if you have need.
Have you rewired your house, or are you just pissing away money on that last few feet of wire? Just curious. 
Like a fancy and pricey watch on your wrist - power cords! Like interconnects, just jewelry!
Lowest cost Big Bang is clean up your box ( with electrician help if needed ! )

clean and tighten
replace the audio circuit breakers with high quality
make sure motor loads are on separate leg from audio
check the ground !!!

run 2-3 dedicated circuits IF possible:
1x for digital hash generating gear including wall warts
1x for sources analog and preamp
1x for power amp
Then carefully buy 1 power cord, start at source, including DAC ( unless you are stuck in music prior to 1985, at which point you are trapped in a small world of your own and maybe haven’t listened with an open mind... )

listen...

some are worse....

also Hospital grade Hubbel outlets are great low cost improvement as are wood outlet covers vs plastic or worse metal...


But because it’s actually fun to poke at the narrow minded, I made two nearly identical power cables for my Revox B-77 and WADIA 17 A2D to get them closer to apples to Apples....

Furutech makes some very nice bits IF you lean to DIY


I am looking to upgrade my power amp cable to the NRG hurricane 15 a
yes or no ?
NRG works well in many systems, should be able to get loaner from dealer or cable company and decide.
Thank you did not know that was posable with cables.
@hg The Cable company is a fantastic resource- check them out

i have no financial or other connection besides a happy customer in past

also, for AudioQuest in particular Johnny Rutan at Audio Connection in NJ should be able to help you


As mentioned  above I think the biggest bang for the buck would be to start at the electrical service. Years ago we finished off our basement, one side for the kids one side for dad's listening room :)
I ran 4 separate 20 amp runs with extra heavy wire  into two hospital grade 20 amp double outlets. Looking back I wish I would have run three of them. 
I can't recommend Zu Audio Event high enough. I currently use the MK 1 versions and I love them. Beautifully made, very high quality, and incredible value. I have one on everything in my system.

I plan on trying the Mk 2 version, when I can find one for a great price.
Several posts here make the fundamental claim that upgrading house wiring & outlets should be top priority, and that until this has been addressed, any comparison of audio component power cords is an idle exercise. What say the experts about this claim which, if true, would seem to moot many posts above (and those on other cable comparison threads)?
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Upgrading the house wiring is the best you can do for your equipment. 1.  separate phase (if you have 3 phase system) 2 separate group, 3 high-end breaker, 4 hospital grade outlet 5 good cable(s). 6 multiple groups of cables with the exact same length for splitting power amp/front end 7 Star wired distribution block. (Isotek, Kemp, Wire World).

It is all about lowering the (contact) resistance and separating your system from noise/household appliances. If you are on a budget you can use multiple runs of standard wiring and combine them because the inductance will get lower every time you double the wire per leg. (e.g. 2 x AWG 13 per leg is better then 1 x AWG 11). You can check your combined AWG here:

https://www.wirebarn.com/Combined-Wire-Gauge-Calculator_ep_42.html

Aim for 10 AWG or less, your power amp will be grateful. 

Lower inductance is, aside from less (contact) resistance, the second most important part of the job. Star Quad or Helix cable geometries can be helpful with multiple runs of wire so you can create a self shielding type of cable. Don't use shielding on analog equipment or your house wiring. Only use shielding with digital equipment that spits out to much junk/hash. 

If you buy fancy cables before you upgrade your house wiring you will always chase the (sub)bass. And if you buy only one fancy cable, put it between your hospital grade outlet and your distribution block. From there the improvements will be more subtle. Some people think the source is more important, other think the power amp is more important.

Budget recommendations:  Anti Cables Level 3, Shunyata Venoms. Vovox Sonorus, Audience Front Row. Just my 2 cents. Or go the DIY route if you know what you are doing. 
Most helpful, 
tantejuut

Sharing this with my electrician. No DIY on this stuff for me. 
I ran 4 separate 20 amp runs with extra heavy wire into two hospital grade 20 amp double outlets. Looking back I wish I would have run three of them.

You might already have it, Any larger than 12  would have moved it to 25 or 30 amp, Still a single run, but man oh man, what are running, LOL
20s are 2400 watt continues right.. so 4 is real close to 10000 watt continues. I run 3 20 in the house sound room, and 4 15, in the shop, both stereo rich environments.  Both can and will exceed 145 db, with a very low THD...Glass is taped in the shop when I'm tinkerin' for sure.
Yup Yup..

Concrete crumblers at you place?

Regards
Upgrading the house wiring is the best you can do for your equipment. 1. separate phase (if you have 3 phase system)


You mean 3 phase elect, or 3 phases of something else? Lost me there.
Who has 3 phase elect. not many at all, ay. Single phase 220-240.

Voltage maintainers, and cleaners go a long way, NOT SURGE Protectors, useless, to maintain voltage..1000.00 wow, go a long
way with that, in materials. You can talk to a GOOD electrician for
about a thousand dollars... Really!!! No work though..LOL

Regards
In Europe you can have single phase or a 3-phase electrical system in your house (eg 1x230V at 35A or 3 taps of 230 V 25A). You can use 1 phase separate for your equipment and the other 2 for your all your other groups in your house. There will be no contamination from leds, dishwashers, microwaves, phone chargers etc..). If you have a oscilloscope you can check for the best phase with the least of noise from your neighbors. (I checked it at my listening hours)

If you want to do more, you can also put another earth rod in the ground for your audio system. There are some audio shops that provide this kind of service. I am an electrician myself and I worked at a cable company as a (test)engineer and I have some equipment at home (I am not on the level of a brilliant designer like Bruno Putzeys or Nelson Pass) but I understand the importance of low R,L,C values and a good foundation for your equipment. Tightening your screws and using contact enhancers is also a simple and good tweak to start with.
 
Try Pangea power cables at Audio Advisor. Very reasonable price. I use them with Spectral mono blocks and Spectral preamp. I am satisfied with the results.
In my experience after ripping out drywall for ceilings and walls running 4 dedicated lines  to a sub breaker box, my issues actually worsened.  

The AC power was that dirty in my house - in part from my own computers and electronics and in part from the regional grid - neighbors switch power supplies, etc.

This noise does travel retrograde.

Solution:  TORUS Power isolation transformer - I placed a 75A wall mount unit.   For those considering one and use tube amplifiers purchase a unit rated for 4x the measured power draw of your amplifiers.  If you system draws 10A, then a 40A unit would be appropriate.  

The other consideration is RF/EF radiation from LED lights and dimmer switches.  The dimmer switches (which function by rapid cycling current) create horrible AC noise that I measured polluting my dedicated lines.
I have a Primaluna HP integrated, and the Chinook.  I put Signal Cables PCs on them.  The improvement is subtle at best.   They weren't expensive, so I'm keeping them.  I did notice a bit more dynamics to the sound, but again, subtle.  I'm not convinced it would be much different if I spent $1k or even $10k on a PC.  Consider your overall system and the value it will add overall.  The Signal Cables were under $100 each.

As others have said, I'd start with the PL and Manley, and if you have a power conditioner, that too.  But, I don't see spending multiple hundreds on six feet of wire.
In Europe you can have single phase or a 3-phase electrical system in your house

So your in the Europe?. I have 3 phase access three poles down. Single phase at the house.  300 amp service, and a heck of angument to keep
my 45 + year old copper drops. I had to downgrade from 400 to 300 trying to replace the old 125 amp service.  I didn't and wouldn't change it.. PG&E wanted to use aluminum. The 3 phase on top of our service line were upgraded 30 plus years ago from 8kv to 20kv with new ALU line.  A few of us refused the new drop upgrade, I'll keep the copper....Whole different story..

The copper drop story.. lol


 Many of you have much more experience with cables than I do so what do you recommend and I can do the research. On a side note my McIntosh MC75's are vintage so old thin manufacturer cables and probably shouldn't change them. 

Actually you should, especially if it's the older MC75. Great power supplies demand less of a cable, kinda!! It also lets you ADD a 
ground for protection and, CAN help reduce floor noise in some cases.
All my old gear gets new, better, bigger conductors, to a point. Pure copper good insulator, high voltage cable if it will fit. There is a point where bigger is NOT better, like breaking stuff, or drilling on the old mac cases, NO NO.. The old Macs like good multi strand pure copper.  Though I've seen quite a few hardwired from PC to speaker runs, big improvements in some.
Regards
I am an electrician myself and I worked at a cable company as a (test)engineer and I have some equipment at home (I am not on the level of a brilliant designer like Bruno Putzeys or Nelson Pass) but I understand the importance of low R,L,C values and a good foundation for your equipment.

I'm with you all the way, the little stuff count the most and cost the least.
Few approach with "fix" it's more like. CHANGE..it..
Listen
Test 
Think,
Fix
then CHANGE, if it just can't be fixed, correctly within a reasonable 
amount of time.  
Worked for me for almost a half a century, as a heavy mechanic..yup yup

Regards
hickamore reasonably asks:
Several posts here make the fundamental claim that upgrading house wiring & outlets should be top priority, and that until this has been addressed, any comparison of audio component power cords is an idle exercise. What say the experts about this claim which, if true, would seem to moot many posts above (and those on other cable comparison threads)? 

Now with 30 years experience with both multiple different house wiring setups as well as a whole boatload of different cables and tweaks, I can say with absolute certainty one of the last things you should do is re-wire. If running wire for the first time then yes of course do it right. But even if you are capable and comfortable and willing to DIY the cost of the wire alone makes re-wiring a poor use of funds. The only time I would recommend it is if your cost is near zero because you have some way of getting the wire for free. Even then I would question your use of time. 

But Miller! What about you! You did all that stuff! https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367  Yeah which is how I learned what its worth and more to the point what its worth relative to other things you could do instead. 

A partial list of upgrades that offer a lot more sound quality improvement for your audiophile dollar:
Power cords, speaker cables, interconnects, power conditioners, cones, shelf, HFT, ECT, fuses, you get the idea, house wire is way down there near the bottom of the list.

AGAIN this is NOT talking about new construction. This only applies to ripping out what you got in order to make it better. This is NOT to say its not worth doing. It is only to answer the question of priority.  In other words, it applies to anyone who hasn't already addressed every tweak and accessory. Pretty much everything right down to a $70 sheet of FoQ tape is a better deal than re-wiring. In a word: don't.

Unless (there are always exceptions) you just really enjoy crawling around under the house pulling wire, drilling holes, pushing wire, skinned knuckles, cobwebs, ....
mc, you make the task sound so fun, I'm just about tempted, although I do need to add a few more outlets and lights to my previous basement build.  I'm glad I have a pretty good brother for guiding me on this one.  He always starts conversations with, "Glad to hear your voice, little Bro."  
And I'm quite glad to be able to answer him, when I'm attempting any electrical adds.  I don't need to add that little Bro is 6-6 and 300 lbs.--guess I already did.
The best thing you can do for your power cable performance is plug them in, they work best that way

millercarbon
3,258 posts
03-02-2020 3:16pm
hickamore reasonably asks:

But Miller! What about you! You did all that stuff! https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367  Yeah which is how I learned what its worth and more to the point what its worth relative to other things you could do instead.

I did the addition 35 years ago, with the intent of having a HT environment
The old was knob and tube the new romex. 2 15s were installed at the time. 15 years ago I added 3 20 on the outside in conduit. Took 4 hours and a bit of swearing. I grove another copper ground rod. I had about 8 hours with the all the goodies. Hubbell 20s @125. It was a real upgrade for me. Left side, right side, center for everything else. I used 3 in wall mount Trip lite 2400mg. Lights, TV and all the cable stuff on its own cleaner, crazy dirty power supply from the cable company.

I've learned A LOT in the last couple of years. Little bit at a time...
Room treatment, placement, GREAT VAC, cabling, gettin' there. yup yup

Regards
An isolation transformer like Torus or Topaz is also on my list to explore. Balanced power also. Heard a lot of good things about them. But my opinion on house wiring stands. Get the electrical foundation right and then shop for fancy power cables. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Our hobby deserves it.
What do you think about upgrading the power cables for the MC75's?
I know they are vintage but would really like to improve the whole system sound quality.   I'd like to improve everything without buying new amps.  So what are your opinions and how could it be done. 
I would buy 4 anti cables level 3 cables. Or try a few cables mentioned in this thread. I guess that you are happy with your equipment, but you want more performance out of it. Good power cords make the sound bubble bigger (wider & deeper) and also cleaner (more details) because your equipment is performing better. 
I am not into cables but I was speaking to Fremer the other day and he told me that Audioquest makes the best power cables for what that is worth.