Line Conditioner or New Power Cords?

I can afford one of the two right now. Which would make the biggest impact on my Arcam/Totem setup?

That depends a lot on your power source and how bad it might be. I put 3 Cardas Golden Reference power cords on my Arcam AVP700/P1000/DV79 and Merlin TSM-MX's with very good results, making a very smooth and tonally neutral combo even smoother. Especially notable was dialog for movies which became even better defined (with phantom center). Video was about the same as far as I could tell. On a'gon, CGR PC's are actually pretty reasonably priced relative to many cords.

When I inserted a Sound Application Reference LineStage power conditioner from my 2-channel system briefly, I wish I hadn't because I can't really afford a second one. The video was much cleaner and dynamics were improved for audio. The background seemed blacker causing dynamic changes (quiet to loud) to be much more distinct. I just couldn't justify the cost, so I'd say, at least in my case, the power cords came first but were definitely worth it. A power filter with lousy cords is still going to sound rather lousy, so I'd probably go with the cords.
I agree with Tms0425. As a first step at least a low-to-moderate price power cord on 2 channel and on video/surround a power conditioner. Talking with the the MIT represenative about their power conditioner and the need for power cord, suggested was at least a cord with ferite on each end of it in addition to the conditioner.(Ive' always been happy with MIT accessories) the way, liked Tms0425 response/review alot, thanks, Mike.
This is a which comes first thing with some audiophools: the chicken or the egg. There are NO power cords out there that can do what an excellent power conditioner can do. I'd start (it is the way I did mine)with the best power conditioner I feel comfortable with and modest quality cords. That may be the end of your electric journey. In my case, as you can see, I went for different power cords. Dedicated outlets+power conditioner+excellent power cords = electric nirvana. You'll never look back..warren
I went with line conditioner first.
Afterward, midprice powercords turned out to be enough.
Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced line conditioner with surge protection?

Depends on what you consider to be reasonably priced. I'm using a Running Springs Audio Haley, which I was fortunate enough to buy as a demo. There are many out there. Some others that come to mind that I considered are APS, BPT, Richard Gray, PS Audio, and Exact Power. A lot of people seem to like the Shunyata products. What you'll find is that there are many philosophies to power conditioning. This includes active (such as balanced power and power regeneration) and passive (such as filtering) approaches. Many will claim to be non-current limiting and non-coloring. Only your ears will tell if their claims are true.
I have yet to hear of reasonably priced = excellent. I love the Audio Magic line, but would go with Sound Application in a flash, as well. Oooles of Audiophools love the Shunyata Hydras. I have one on my rig for my TV room. Very nice, indeed.
A dirt-cheap line conditioner will do better job than mega-priced powercord.
I'm running the top of the line Monster Power (very reasonably priced) AVS 2000 and HTPS 7000. Assuming your amps don't require 1000s of watts, this combo is nearly impossible to beat for the price.
I disagree with Marakanetz. "dirt cheap?" forget about price. Poor power conditioners can add some evil little nasties. I'm not a "Monster" fan, and it is a monster. Your most cost effective start to electric nirvana are dedicated lines for your analog and digital. Start there..
I would try CD/Dac/Pre into power conditioner.

Amplfier direct in the wall.

Build from there.
Speaking of a "dirt cheap" ones that won't add any extra power noise are the hospital grade industrial ones.

These are available at and depending on the power and number of outlets needed they could start from $50.
I would try all variations. With our SET amps, I've yet to find a power conditioner that didn't smooth over the sound, and that includes $300-5000 models. Didn't like the effect at all. With a 50W push/pull triode amp, however, the high end conditioner worked wonders. Separation and depth that were astounding. Currently, we have our CDP and preamp running straight into the wall, which is how we like it best. If we had different components, a different room, different ears...who knows? Only you can decide what works best, according to your preferences.

A dirt-cheap line conditioner will do better job than mega-priced powercord.
I've yet to find a universally applicable opinion in this hobby, including this one, with which I disagree.
For line conditioner/surge suppressor I would look into the API line..."power wedge" for the inexpensive line conditioner and go up from there!

For power cords I am sold on VH Audio... flavors 1 through 4...great sound for a reasonable price, and Chris is a great guy to deal with!
Everyone has an opinion on power conditioning and I'm sure each system and power situation presents a unique problem to solve. For my part, $50 an outlet from Sound Applications for my dedicated circuits (2) was a no brainer first step. Very easy to do and had a significant impact. Next were the cords (not cheap or midprice though). Again a very noticable difference, mostly on what I'd call the "signal" or sounds being made. Nothing was taken away in terms of music. Lastly with power conditioners, I had a chance to try a small number of these (not enough). Almost every one balanced or not seemed to take away more than the "noise", as in music. The ONLY one I tried that took away the "noise" by making it a more silent background, and didn't harm the music at all was the Sound Application RLS filter. It is ridiculously expensive, but it sounds great and gives me peace of mind that I've done all I can in that area. It also allows me to "tune" quite a bit with cords, quite often requiring less exotic species. Jim Weil (Sound App guru) actually recommended a <$50 Belden stock cord out of the Newark Electronics catalog to me. Haven't dipped that low just yet, but it's tempting to get a little of that capital spent on power cords back in the till for other goodies.
Maraka--where's your mind? Get real!!!
How much will you spend?
For $85 buy an MIT Z Cordll for your cd player.
Another would be good for your pre/amp.
For $399 pick up an Equitech 1.5Q blowout transformer in a box; available from their website as a factory 2nd- I did and am stunned by the improvement balanced power provides- complete system upgrade.
ATB. Pete
Check out the furman line, they have two excellent conditioners, one in the 550. range and one in 1200 range.