Mcintosh and Shunyata Research/Cardas

Okay, so I got some Mcintosh gear recently: C2600 and MCT450 (and I will probably get the MC452 in a few months)

I am running a Shunyata Research Hydra 8 Power conditioner.


I wanted to get thoughts from the community, especially those who own a similar setup two questions:


1) Does it make sense to use a power conditioner with Mcintosh gear, or should I run directly from the wall and


2) Do Cardas Golden Reference, or Shunyata Research cables (particularly the Anaconda Helix Alpha) work well with this setup/mcintosh setups.  


I heard mixed things about the Cardas with Mcintosh gear, and have not been able to get a good answer from Shunyata.

Mcintosh of course claims I should use the provided cable and not bother with aftermarket cables, if there really is no or minimal difference I may go that way, but I wanted check before doing anything rash.

Thanks in advance.


Mepstein, you have purchased some very fine gear. I am also a McIntosh fan. I have used a Hydra 8 with my McIntosh gear and didn't find that much of an improvement in sound quality. You most likely will get more of an improvement with some of the Shunyata higher level conditioners. I have not used Shunyata cables but have heard good things about them. I have used Wireworld cables with my McIntosh gear but have changed them out to Acoustic Zen Absolute interconnects and speaker cables along with AZ Gargantua II and Krakatoa power cables. For me the AZ cables are a perfect match with my McIntosh gear.

I have used a variety of power conditioners over the years. I now use a Synergistic Research conditioner for my front end and a Audience conditioner for my amps. I find for my front end (preamp, CDP, DAC & TT) I hear more of an improvement than with my Amps. I do have separate dedicated 20 amp circuits.

I think upgrading the cabling definitely makes an improvement. I never would have believed it unless I heard it with my own ears. You may want to try one cord and see how it sounds to you, but don't buy the least expensive cord from a given manufacturer. Just my opinion as I have not heard every cable and conditioner out there.

All the best.

The C2600 is indeed a sweet rig - adding a DAC to one of the best phono sections out there was a great move on their part.

I run a Cardas Golden Reference 1.5 meter phono cable from my Sota/Graham/DV rig to my current C50 and to my C2300 before that.  I think it sounds marvelous.  My I/Cs are an assortment of balanced and RCA (very short Audio Classics CD to C50 XLR and very long XLR main C50 to MC302 outputs from a maker I don't remember, Vampire Wire silver RCAs from my pre/pro to the C50 pass-thru and some older Monster Cable RCAs from my Tandberg deck to the C50).  Can't speak to the Shunyata cables.

After speaking with several different dealers, friends and reading a ton of posts here, I decided to run my amp directly off the mains but isolate all the line level stuff through an Ultrapower conditioner/surge protector.  I use the standard Mc power cords with everything.  So far, it's all working like a charm.

Hope this helps - good luck and happy listening!