I use a Monarchy Audio regenerator on the CD player in my Magnepan system. Recently I tried a swap between 3 different power cords and they all sounded different. The differences may not have been as pronounced as with other components, but I could definitely hear changes and had a clear preference when I was finished. So I believe it's worth playing with if you have a spare AC cord or two.
The Running Springs comes with (if opted for) a Mongoose Power cord which is modified Cardas Golden Reference power cable. Which I beleive indicates it must be important to start as close to the wal outlet as possible.
I've never tried replacing the Mongoose with a standard power cable but it may be worth a trial.
Power cords come with a variety of physical attributes, but the single most important "spec" for a power cord is its gauge (AWG = American Wire Gauge) The lower the AWG number, the thicker the conductor. The thicker the conductor (other things being equal) the better the energy transfer.
The two components that generally require the most/best energy transfer capability (AWG = 10 or larger) are amplifiers and high capacity power processors, like your APS. There is one (counter-intuitive) exception and that is DACs. Although their power requirements are low, for some reason, they seem to perform best with 12 AWG or larger PC's. And of course, anything containing digital data circuits (switching, converting, volume control and processing) should have a shielded power cord to help keep it from broadcasting digital RFI into the air. Hopefully the digital component itself has filters to keep it from inserting digital noise ("hash") back into the power line.
Yes, the power cord feeding the power conditioner is THE most important power cord for the entire system.
The best thing is that all your components plugged into the conditioner will benefit. So, consider spending 2-3x more on the conditioner cord than each component cord.
Not all PCs are designed for high current. So, what sounds great on a CD player may cause restricted dynamics and a collapse in soundstage if used to feed the conditioner.
In terms of thickness, there are pros and cons to a single thick strand vs. multiple thin strands. It would be too hard to generalize, as designs will vary in their success for each approach.
I have no experience with a power regenerator, which is an entirely different concept. But, do experiment.
From mains outlet to powerconditioner-- the powercord that links those two is extremely extremely important. use the highest quality pc you can afford.
Thanks for the replies. I have Lessloss, Sablon Audio and a Nordost Valhalla on it's way second hand. I will do some cable swapping
My question, if this is true and it seems so to my ears at the demo, that it is, is it equally true for all power conditioners? In particular, I am using a Pure Power APS 1050 regenerator.....
it seems that it is just as important for AC regenerators as well. The reason is that AC regenerators regenerate the output AC sine wave using electronics (called a power inverter) that runs off DC power that was created using the AC from the mains/wall outlet. Without bogging you down in too many details, inside the AC regenerator there is a sine-wave generator that runs off DC (created from the AC from the wall outlet) & this sine wave is fed into a power amplifier that amplifies the voltage to 120VAC & also provides the capability to supply several Amperes of current (that your CDP, DAC, TT, preamp, power amp, etc, etc can use). This power amp is also running off DC (created from the AC from the wall outlet). So, if you end up using an el-cheapo AC power cord & you have distorted AC going into your AC regenerator, then, the electronics inside will run off a corrupted DC power supply which will show up as less than the best sonics possible. So, use a better/best power cord within your budget.
Power cords on conditioners is indeed important , and matching that cord to your unit is of the utmost importance . I tried many power cords on my Shunyada V-Ray , all of similar girth , it was there rather pricy Anaconda that rang my bell .
We used to call it the humpty dumpty affect , if you don't get things right at the beginning , nothing you can do will put things back together .
I just upgraded my two generations old BPT top of the line power cord, to their current top of the line, on my BPT power conditioner, ansd was quite surprised at the degree of improvement.
As promised, I checked a range of cords on my Pre Power APS 1050 regenerator. I picked up a Nordost Valhalla and Virtual Dynamics Master 3, quite cheaply, over the last couple of weeks;
System used for test Leema Antilla CD Player
Pathos Inpol2 integrated amp
Pure Power 1050 Regenerator
Virtual Dynamics and Silver audio
Virtual Dynamics revelation SC
Lyle Lovett Joshua Judges Ruth Tr 4
Dvorak Russalka on Decca with Rene Fleming
First up, the generic, thick copper PC I have been using for years. Cost abot $30, no comment on it, used as baseline
Nordost Valhalla: A crisper, cleaner sound, more dynamic, a bit more detail heard on the recordings. I thought the soundstage lacked depth and the sound a bit clinical. So better, but not by much.
Lessloss DPFC Origonal: A bigger step up, the same improvement in dynamics and detail, but sounded more natural a better musical flow, definitely more enjoyable
VD Master mark 3; Very similar to the Lessloss, but with better base grip. More enjoyable for that.
So there clearly was a difference and the Lessloss and Virtual Dynamics were about equal in quality, though I preferred the VD. I would say there was not as much difference as putting the same cables on the amp or CD player, perhaps that is accounted for by the Pure Power being a regenarator, not a conditioner. If I had one, it might be interesting to repeat the comparison with a conditioner, but I don't have one.
So that's what I found.
I disagree that the PC to the conditioner is most important. The most significant I've found is PC to source. I have noticed differences w PCs to conditioner, true. But not nearly as dramatic as PC to source.
That seems to agree with what I found
Well, if your source is plugged into the PC then I would suggest that both power cords are important.
I'm not saying that the PC to the conditioner is not important; I'm saying IME it's not the MOST important.
Hmm, this is all very interesting, I have to give the source thing a try as it does seem in theory to make more sense. I currently have my best on my amp (8awg) and conditioner but may just swap the conditioner and source pc's, as they are the same 10 awg and only differ by shelding and better copper. All the same manufactuer (PS Audio)perfectwave. My original thought was the loom effect would take care of the source from the better on the conditioner! Welp! gotta give this a try or buy a new cable.
The experience(s) some of you report is due to the fact that if you are using a conditioner or regenerator (between the wall and your equipmment,) the cord which connects it to the wall becomes the "great equalizer" for the performance of all the cords downstream. The performance of the equipment you have connected downstream (especially an amplifier) will be limited by the energy transfer capability of the cord between the conditioner and the wall; and no matter what other kinds of cords you use to connect the equipment itself to the conditioner/regenerator, they can only deliver what that main connection (to the wall) allows. Which is why some people use a modest conditioner (and cords) for their front end group, and then just plug the amp itself right into the wall.
To avoid this of which you speak, I choose to use a PsAudio Soloist Premier se in-wall conditioner on a 10awg, 20 amp line to feed my Halo A21 alone! (Although the Soloist can be used before a conditioner) I run a 8awg Perfectwave AC12 to the amp. The result is non current limting, low noise floor, clean sound and powerful dynamics. And the most important surge protection! All else video and audio are on a 12awg 20amp line with a Powerport Premier with an PW AC10 (10awg)to a Quintet. Before getting the AC12 for the amp the amp I ran the AC10 which did a good job but the AC12 was more than a small change!
Most important jump on a good one.
Cords and equipment are all about synergies. The "best" PC you have might night be best with a source, but may be best with your amp, or visa versa. It's all about trial and error so there's no perfect answer unless you try it out yourself and experiment to get the soound you prefer.
Ptm, I strongly disagree with your statement "It's all about trial and error" or "all about synergies". It may be a LITTLE BIT about those things, but one can DRASTICALLY REDUCE the field by first taking into account the few immutable laws of physics that govern electrical energy transfer.
First and foremost being resistance -- bigger conductors and shorter cords have less resistance. But that doesn't mean one needs big conductors for everything!
Next is shielding -- mandatory for digital gear, optional for most modern components which almost always have built-in RFI and EMI (hum) filtering.
Beyond those two considerations, there are of course subtle differences among PC's which may or may not affect what you hear out of the speakers. This includes conductor materials, conductor topology (the arrangement, or layout of the conductors within the cord), type of shielding (braid, foil, ferrite choke, or simple twisted conductors).
There can be problems too, that most people don't know about. For instance, did you know that the FCC requires manufactures to supply shielded power cords with their equipment? Great, but unfortunately, UL requires that these cords have their shields connected to ground at BOTH ends. That's just asking for hum pickup! So it's usually best to replace these OEM cords with a PC that has a 'floating shield' if you encounter hum problms due to the PC picking up 60Hz from other cords, transformers, etc.
But I've found most of the variations in PC cord construction have only minor sonic effect compared to the two most important, of choosing adequate gauge, and most appropriate type of shield for the job. YMMV ;--)
Nsgarch - I stongly disagree with the absolutes in your statement. I have found in my own experimentation that what often seems to be logical when connecting systems, be it power cords or interconnects or supposedly complimentary components, is often bested by something that just shouldn't work as well as it does.
Thus my stong suggestion that nobody take someone's "educated" word on anything. You must try it for itself in your own system before you can truly say it works best, for you, in your system, and in your own best interests financially and sound wise.
Ptm, my point was NOT that one can make decisions based strictly on objective (scientific) criteria. I don't know how you could have thought that from my comments. First of all, there are just too many choices out there even AFTER narrowing down the field!
My remarks had to do with putting together a credible short list of products that all have the basic physical characteristics necessary to do the job you want (one of them) to do. And that's when the listening should begin -- to find which one most satisfies your own sonic preferences.
But when something comes from out of left field (a "happy accident"?), or as you say, "something that just shouldn't work as well as it does", that seems to suggest the laws of physics don't apply to audio electronics. But they DO APPLY, don't they? And you will eventually discover (if you're curious) that for reasons you didn't yet understand, your 'miracle product' is working just exactly as it should. It's a learning experience ;--)
I would strongly suggest that Nsgarch ad Ptm both have valid points. Yes, conductor size, material, and shielding will have major effects and may serve as the foundation of a great power cable. However, if physics and theoretical equations were all at stake, all cables would eventually converge to that configuration.
Materials and connections can have profound effects on the sound, and cable manufacturers actually do have to approach these from a trial-and-error perspective. For example, some have found that lower-priced IEC inlets and plugs perform better than those with costlier metals with mirror finishes in carbon houses.
My view is that it is the job of the cable manufacturer to make the breakthrough "happy accident" through an obsessive and exhaustive approach. Then, the consumer can make a minor happy accident in finding a match with their gear and tastes.
Throw in variables of marketing, emotion, a new-cable-launched-each-day, and that most people are looking to use cables as tone controls. Now you have a volatile situation where no one is apt to agree.
I have heard cables retailing above the 5k bracket that underperform, two cables antagonize each others best qualities, and some good cables reveal other weak links. My current cables contain exotic hardware and materials only found through an extremely limited number of sources, as well as ridiculously mundane materials found at your local hardware or hobby store. Let's call it part science, part art.