I find both cords and conditioners helpful. If you were only going to use one, I would go with cords.
A dedicated AC line is a good idea regardless...
A dedicated AC line is a good idea regardless...
As Sugarbrie states, dedicated AC lines provide excellent benefits regardless of what else you do.
As for your original question, I'd recommend investigating the Foundation Research LC-1 and LC-2 dedicated and passive in-line power conditioners. Marty DeWulf of Bound for Sound reviewed these last August and claims these to be the best in the business and purchased them for his 'big rig'.
I've been using these for over two years and the benefits are tremendous, including the elimination of any negative sibilance.
BTW, they come with their own built-in power cable and cost about as much as a good power cable.
There is, as you read this, an Audio Magic Stealth for sale (by MrSilver, himself-Jerry the Audio Magic man) for $700. It's a steal. Whatever cords you're using now, even if they are HomeDepot types, plugged into your Stealth, you'll freak. Now, add a few top quality cords and you're on your way to electric nirvana. I began my power conditioning experiences with the Stealth. My brand new Eclipse has just arrived, with no place to go. I'm waiting on my speakers. Delivery in 2 days, hopefully. The Stealth will be a wonderful addition to your system. Dedicated lines are a must. Keep your digital and analog separate. That alone, changing nothing else, will give you some tympanic highs. peace, warren
P.S. given the cost of quality power cords and the amount you require, the Stealth may be a very cost effective way to upgrade your electric. If you could only do one, I'd do the Stealth first. There is no cord that can do what a power contioner, like the Stealth, can do.
Psychicanimal make a good point. Except that his pre-digested responses are typically more detrimental and potentially misleading than other's if not for the mere fact that his pre-digested responses often times infer (as in this case) that he has none.
Finally, one's IQ should never be deemed as a justifiable excuse to indulge in self-deception. These acts simply render others helpless or give the sense thereof.
(all those who believe in telekenisis, please raise my hand)
It's called Zen, high priest! In power delivery/noise control there are NO correct predigested answers. This subject is extremely application specific and--as usually--budget constrained. More so, usually the most cost effective aproach is related to what one can find in the used/surplus market. For a direction in which to head, a 220V/110V Topaz isolation transformer wired for balanced power will blow away just about everything commercially pre packaged, dollar for dollar. I went a different route, being able to get a hold of three Clear Image T4 quad isolation transformers/filters for less than $800 (shipping incl, $4,800 retail), a 2.6KW Xentech extreme 220V/110V isolation transformer for $80 (w/ shipping) and a 3.0 KW ONEAC CB 2338 220V/110V transformer/filter for $100 and an Audio Power parallel filter for $29.95.
Read a lot, think and be patient, is all I have to add.
Psychicanimal, it sounds like you have some experience in industrial power systems, or something similar. As you mention, there are a ton of ways to address providing low noise power to an audio system, and some of the ones that are marketed specifically for audio applications either do nothing, or do more harm than good.
However, there are also some that are excellent. As Warrenh says above, some type of power conditioner/noise filter/isolation device is almost mandatory. A good option that has not yet been mentioned would be a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet. The UO is non-current limiting, and provides noise suppression, isolation, and surge protection.
A step up from any power "conditioner" is an AC re-generator, such as the PS Audio Power Plants. These devices take AC line power, convert it to DC, then re-generate AC, free of harmonics and noise. No passive device can do all of the things that a re-generator can do, at any price. The down side is that this solution is best suited for low power devices, such as pre-amps and sources, because regenerators large enough to power big amps are as expensive as the amps themselves!
Whatever you decide to try, give it a good listen and make an honest judgement. I can honestly say that every change I have made to the power delivery to my system, including changing out stock power cords with home-made cords, has made an immediately audible difference. If you add a new cord or conditioner, and after a couple hours of listening you don't think that you can hear any difference, then there probably is no difference. Yank it out, sell it, and try something different.
As a final thought, I doubt there are very many of the 90 IQ crowd reading the forum on A'gon, and anyone who plans to take the DIY route for building a power delivery system for their Hi-Fi rig better be closer to the 120 range or above. Electricity can do wonderful things, but it can also destroy your gear, kill you, or burn your house down(not necessarily in that order)if you screw up. If you don't have the background to roll your own, buy something pre-packaged and follow the directions. Good luck,
Mike, I forgot to mention I also have an Elgar 6006 medical grade 10 ampere AC regenerator. It is currently plugged to the 220V ONEAC and it feeds a PS Audio Juice Bar Which in turn feeds my monoblocks and a T4 filter. I have NO electrical knowledge, but have taken an industrial approach to power delivery/noise control. Running an A/V system on a 30 amp, 220V dedicated line feeding isolation transformers is the ticket to a very beefy system.
Power delivery and room acoustics are the two top items in achieving outstanding performance. The trick is to adapt to one's particular needs and budget. There's plenty of info in the archives. Anyone can do it with some patience and determination. The only currently available commercial filter that I've also liked in my system is the DeZorel. It outperformed my regenerator by no small margin.