Wow, a thousand bucks for a power cable? Even $200 seems a bit much to me for simply bringing the AC from the wall outlet and into your amps. Sounds like you should be putting that Kimber up for sale and pocketing the difference...
The AC-9SE is definitely the real deal, IMHO. I had wired my amps and regenerating power conditioner -- PS Audio P10 -- with the earlier AC-9 and tried one SE version (on the P10) just to see if I could tell the difference. There was enough that I replaced all the AC-9s.
I'm assuming everyone knows not to use the fire-hose AC-9/SE PCs on anything BUT amps, as the manufacturer advises. The thinner AC-14SE power cords work a lot better on preamps and source gear, again IMHO.
Yep, I am thinking putting the Kimber up for sale.
This thing is addictive. Now I want to try out the AC-14SE for my preamp just for the heck of it. I agree the AC-9SE is made for amps. The AC-9SE is heavy and thick and I have to use some rolled-up card board to support the cables, especially right below the IEC.
I'm using an AC9SE between my VAC amp and a Shunyata Triton. It replaced a Nordost Brahma. The AC9SE did not sound very good straight out of the box (no highs, no lows, and recessed). It required some break-in time of around 20 hrs. Compared to the Brahma, it's actually better top and bottom, a bit leaner through the lower midrange.
Yeah, then there is that big price difference. I too have wondered what the AC14SE would sound like on the preamp, but then there is that break-in time.
I use Pangea cords for all the IECA/AC items in my stereo.
Experimenting with the various models pays off.
I am using a Pangea AC9SE between my conditioner and prreamp. IT is a close contest, but the AC9SE does well.
I still use the AC9 in some positions, and the AC14SE too.
As for the prices.. Yes an expensive power cord is a lot of money, so budget for your system. A $300 cord is not such a big deal on a $5,000 preamp.
If you are using a $800 preamp.. then the cord is not a realistic choice.
Interesting. I got a total different experience than yours with the AC-9SE. Right out of the box, it was a bit rough and edgy on top. After two to three hours, it started mellowing out a bit. It was quite transaprent with good lows, mids and highs right out of the box. I need to break it in more. Wonder how long it would take to really break it in.
I bought the AC9SE on Elizabeth's recommendation at the regular Audio Advisor price. Loved it right away. More taut bass, and quieter. Also very well made. Then Audio Advisor put them all on sale at 75% off. I bought 2 AC14SE cords for my pre and DAC. My transport has a captive cord. Warning! At least in my system, the AC14SE cords sounded so terrible at first, I was ready to pack them up and return them the first day.
I am glad that I didn't. Within 2 days, they were good, and within a week, I was very happy. Again, improvements in bass, quietness.
So now, Elizabeth, I would like to return the favor with a recommendation that is also affordable. The Afterburner 8 wall outlet at $80.00 from Avatar Acoustics. I was so skeptical, but so curious. Long story short, the improvement is huge. far bigger and more dramatic than the cords, the AMR fuses, the EVS ground enhancers, even my Adona rack. Unreal. Like someone threw a bucket of water in your systems face and woke it up. What is better? I am not going to waste words. Everything!
Peter from PBN needs to include this outlet in his upcoming comparison. Without a doubt, (and I had plenty) it is the best $80.00 I ever spent on my rig.
Perhaps the difference in break-in perception is due the type of amp it is first connected to. I purchased the 9SE when my summer system was set up. So, at that time it was connected to a W4S class D amp which likely presents a different load than a conventional amp or tube amp. Right now it is connected to the tube amp.
I am an esoteric tweak skeptic, as some here would likely attest to, I recently bought a Pangea AC14SE, to replace a fraying old power cord for my DAC, new for less than $100 and I have been very happy with it. It does seem to have lower noise and distortion as advertised and is built like a tank to-boot. See my system description for more details if interested.
Just last week I added another for the DAC in my second system with seemingly similar results I would say.
Tweaks that help keep power clean seldom have a downside, just a matter of how much up case by case. Digital related noise in particular is a problem worth addressing. Pangea does it quite clearly and effectively I would say.
Would like to try the ac9SE for my power amps someday, but feeling no real need quite yet.
I have the Pangea 9SE power cords connecting my Classé CA-M600 monoblocks, I ordered the 1 meter lengths and that was a mistake because they are too short! These cables are the equivalent of 7 gauge wire; very thick and stiff therefore the connections tend to slip out of the wall receptacles and must be supported. otherwise a great cable
Bit of an update:
I like(d) the AC9SE on my MF Tri-Vista; extra bass, clear midrange, and nice treble.
One knock that I noticed was just a slight bit of upper midrange glare, really only noticeable at high volumes.
The second 'knock', if you can call it that, is that the bass, although full and deep, can be a little bit too loose - again at higher volumes.
Finally, the soundstage is pretty good, but loses a bit of composure and frequency 'continuity' in comparison to better cords.
About 9 hours on the PC now, and from what I've read you need a good 20 hours. At this point I'm hearing a very subtle improvement over the stock Oppo cord. I also took some gold plated brass banana plugs out of the signal path am am using bare speaker wire, Audioquest Type 4. That and deOxit all connections has given me more top end than I had.
Another thing is my system seems faster now, am I crazy? The start of one song called He Won't go(Adele, 21. - forgive me!) starts off with a drum lead in, and the bass drum has always seemed a bit slow, like the drummer couldn't quite hit the foot pedal on time for the rapid beat. Except now it seems better though not perfect yet. Anyone else notice this?
I'm still hearing no difference after about 12-13 hours, I tried it on my preamp too. I'm beginning to lose hope, but nothing ventured, nothing gained in this case maybe.
One thing, I keep reading from the science crowd how you can't trust your ears, and purchase bias, and sight bias, and whatever other bias will cause to to have the outcome you want. I call BS in my case. I really wanted to hear a difference and thought I was going to. But I simply listened, and compared and have found nothing.
Previously I have been floored by the difference in sound when I swapped in new speaker cables, but in this case, nada. I'll keep going to the 20 hour mark, and report back then. Out.
You know what? In my case, the panel is on the same wall as my system and wall outlets, and about 15 feet away. But alas, there is no room in the panel for another breaker. I'd have to buy a larger panel with more breaker spaces. a lot of work and a lot of wall board, paint, etc. Still I'd do it if I had the time, the things we do for love of audio!
Just an update on the Pangea 14SE MkII. Recently I was experimenting with the Nad C326BEE and various stand mount speakers I've acquired. On a whim, I swapped in the Pangea cord on the Nad, and instantly heard an improved bass response. I was somewhat surprised as I had heard little improvement as outlined earlier in this thread, but the difference was easy to pick out.