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I found a big improvement over stock cables with the Nordost Shiva cables, which you can find used for less than$200. More improvement with my CD player and preamp than my amp. Have since upgraded to Nordost Vishnu, whimproved even more. Power cables have had much more effect than ICs or speaker cables. Go figure.
Thanks for the reply,
I’ve been reading a lot and now I’m wondering if I’m spending too much for significant results in my setup? Do I even need to change the cord from my Furman to the wall? Pangea seems to have some very reasonably priced cords (AC 14SE) and they offer a C7 cord for my Node 2 as well.
+1 on the above. IME you should use 10 awg on the amp and from the wall to the Furman. 12 or 14 awg should be fine for your pre and source as they draw low amounts of current. Read up on what people have to say about different brands of cable so that you can determine what properties are important to you and what you need more of or less of in your system to keep it in the proper balance for your listening tastes. As always,... everything matters! your experience may differ from others as we all have different gear and hearing.
I have found DIY cables are vastly superior to anything manufactured, for the amount of money you're putting in. I would recommend using a couple of Furutech FI-15 Plus power connectors (IEC & male), in either rhodium or gold plated depending on what sound you're after. For the Rhodium IEC & Male connectors, that's about $120 shipped from either Samtech or Hi-Fi Heaven (both are good sources). For the cable, you could go cheap and get some DH Labs at $5-8 per foot. Or spend more and look at Neotech NEP-3002 or NEP-3003 ($20-30 per foot). Be aware that the "Mk II" Neotech cables do have some silver-plated conductors.
Be aware the FI-15 Plus connectors only support a cable up to 15mm thick (0.59"). However, they are excellent connectors to use for the money! I have found the terminations on the cable have just as much impact to the sound as the power cord itself.
I think I have my mind made up at least on the AC 14SE for my AVR/preamp, Node 2 (C7) and my display.The Pangea Audio AC 14SE MKII Signature Power Cable is the one to buy. I have owned all the Pangea models over the years and the MKII Signature offers a noticeably lower noise floor and more detail than the others. I believe the 14SE was discontinued.
I don’t think you need the AC 9SE since your components are not drawing high amounts of amperes. As for the Furman, it is a passive conditioner, but would still benefit from a PC upgrade. The AC 9SE might be worth buying if you’re planning to upgrade to a high power amp or for use with a power regenerator.
Just to put things into perspective for DIY cords, the DH Labs Power Plus cable can be bought for $8.00 per foot. The connectors on the pre-built DH Labs Power Plus cable are Wattgate IEC 320i ($24) and Wattgate 5266i ($16). All you need is a Phillips screw driver and wire cutters/strippers. Probably about $20-30 in tools. The only thing that would be missing is the fancy tech-flex cover on the cable and the printed "DH Labs" heatshrink tubing over the cable.
The Wattgate connectors use brass conductors. The brass conductors have a very fast/strong current. This translates into very fast/clear music. The brass do have a tendancy to "push hard" on the voltage. This can cause a system to be too strong/fast and can push it over the edge into the solid-state/harsh/sterile area. The Wattgate brass connectors are very decent connectors for the money. However, be aware of their character. It may be good for compensating for systems that are very soft or laid back. It puts the "snap" and attack back into the system.
In my opinion, the Furutech gold/rhodium are much better conductors, depending on what you’re looking for. Gold plated if you want a smoother and more laid back sound (warmer). Rhodium plated if you want deep strong power punch bass and very high resolution in mids/highs.
May I please ask you to consider our new Core Power Tech Super Stroke Cables...
1.8 meters - $129 retail - $99 dollars for this site.
I have 3 of these Super Stroke cables on order from CPT, I'll be able to compare them to Mad Scientist NEO and Audience AU24SX. They look well built and use great materials, I'll post results after I get them. They are a no risk deal, money back guarantee for 30 days, hoping for a giant killer.
Saw an expert panel video from RMAF and all the big boys were represented. They agreed that the PC is the most significant cable in a system. Surprised me a bit. I use Pangea 14SE for everything but my amps. For those I popped for some used Shunyata Pythons. The Shuntata to my Classe amp was the single most significant tweek I’ve ever done. (except the EquiTech conditioner, but I don’t call that a tweek.) Made the whole system sound like it cost 50% more than it did before. I was stunned. I’m told there are a lot better than the Shunyata out there for the price, but I don’t have the budget to prove it. Based on limited experience but extensive study, I decided Pangea is the bang for buck option. Obviously YMMV.
I had Shunyata stuff and it plain old sucked...everything sounded grey and dampened! Using the Pangea loom and outlet now for trial and I gotta say, it is some of the best cabling I have ever owned...in some ways better. I’ve had $4k PC’s that weren’t demonstrably better than the Pangea AC9 MKIISE! Warm, big boned, dynamic with huge soundstage and oodles of unexaggerated detail. Orchestral works sound remarkably closer to the way music sounds in the Hall, that being The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia for me. Strings sound so natural and silky! Love whatever their doing....hours of fatigue free listening being had. The price is simply insane compared to the near or at reference sound you can get using Pangea.
Dave, all that proves is that the Shunyata stuff(you seem to suggest that you tried every single power cord model they make, or at least paint them all with the same result you got from the single model you tried) doesn't work well with YOUR SYSTEM.
I don't happen to own Shunyata, but many owners report that they are excellent cables. I own a Pangea 14 SE and it didn't really do anything for my cd player, but I'm glad they rock in your system.