Spend your money on room acoustics. See GIK Acoustics, first.
Then worry about cables.
Then worry about cables.
Seems like you've put some thought into your system, you should replace the cheap stock PC.
First, what is your budget? You've mentioned cables ranging from $300 to $625. When shopping for a cable, find dealers that offer a trial period and return policy.
A 10awg cable or heavier would be in order for your amp. If you like the sonic signature of the Shunyata then stay with the brand. Cullen Cables and Signal Cables offer well-built cables with return policies. VH Cables offers custom made Furutech and Acrolink cables at very good prices. They also offer their own cables with a return policy.
Look thru the archives using the key words "power cable" to see many more recommendations.
I do realize room acoustics play a much larger roll than most people realize, but this system is in our main living area and used daily. Thankfully there are a few helpful things going for it, large floor rug to help control first reflection, a few pieces of furniture, and curtains that are quite large for a roughly 7 ft. front window behind our seating area.
Budget wise I would like to stay under $700 anyway. Not really sure where the point of diminishing returns would start to apply with my system.
The point of mentioning power cables from $300 to $600 was simply to mention I have come across some decent prices on good name brand manufacturer pieces (new and used) but also a couple unknowns that appear to be building quality pieces as well. Taking a chance on, and being happy with my Morrow Audio purchases keeps me open minded to the possibility that there are also the little guy/unknown companies that are out there doing quality work.
I have been working with and purchasing from Jason at Thecableco.com. With one exception I have been happy with his suggestions so far. I have now also included an additional supplier as an option due to that incident.
I have been through a few companies cables already. Replacing stock cables with Signalcable power cords is where it all started. Decent for the money, but couldn't get a good fit to component. Audience Forte F3 on the Marantz. Very nice sound but a bit too laid back. Almost as if the highs were s bit rolled off. Replacing the Audience with a Voodoo almost surprised me. Much better sound. More detailed with better separation of instruments. Issues with the Voodoo are that they are literally garden hose sized and only semi flexable. Low wife approval factor going on there.
The one Shunyata I have used is the Venom HC. Definitely better than stock but can't really say it was super impressive on the amplifier. For the $175 sale price I paid away the time I feel it was easily worth it. It worked out fine though because it's now being used on the PS8.
I don't know as if this reply will be much help but....
The Cable debate is huge and as I was interested in new power cables for I spent days reading many hours the opinions on this site and many others. Of course, the recommendations varied almost as much as the answer to the best speaker.
I have purchased power cables from Black Sand (very satisfied) and Morrow (used and with additional 40% off at the holidays a great deal). Unfortunately, the improvement I hear may be due to confirmation bias??? I spent the money so God knows I want it to be for something.
Flip side is I asked the great N. Pass about power cables.
" Large gauge oxygen free with clean connection surfaces are what I use, and I find it adequate. Keep in mind that I am evaluating amplifiers, not looking to explore the variations that specialty cables might introduce."
Food for thought
I compared the Shunyata Delta and Alpha NR cables recently. There was a huge change in the system by switching all of the power cables. Amps, Pre Amp and Line Conditioner and DAC. The system sounded different.
In doing an A/B/C shootout of Stock Delta and Alpha my GF and I decided there was huge improvement with the Delta and Alpha vs Stock. However we both decided that the Alpha was really dark sounding for us. Vocals seemed really far back. Almost all of our music is of the rock variety. We ended up selecting the Delta NR for everything except the DAC which we went with the EF because I could get the cable through the back of the audio cabinet.
In talking with a friend that I made her on the 'Gon, his MIT brother suggested cables as the last thing to upgrade as each of them will color the system in a way that may or may not make you happy.
Many have touted the benefit of having a cable "loom" which uses all the same cables for each piece of equipment. I can't speak to this per se but I have gone to all Silnote power cables in my system and they seem to work just fine. They are good quality and don't cost an arm & a leg. I suggest finding what you like in your system and work toward making them all the same. That's my two cents.
IMO any well made heavy gage power cable with tight fitting connectors and is flexible enough for your application will do the job.I used to have Venoms also and noticed no difference between them and the stock cords.Plus they're too stiff.Cabledyne Synergy is what I have now at $200 each.The sound became clear,clean,and quieter.
The GIK diffusers and art panels are beautiful and would fit into any living space.I've got some on order that should be here next month and will start a thread about the results later.I've been fooling around with homemade (ugly) treatments for a while.They definitely make a big positive difference.
If Audience is too laid-back, then look at Wywires; lively and realistic. I'll mention VH Audio again...many PCs offered, both off the shelf and custom built. I purchased a 10awg Furutech for about $400.
I have been curious about any benefit that could be had from running all the same manufacturers wires and cables. I've only heard reference to doing so a couple of times. Never came across where there were individuals truly touting the benefits of it in their personal systems.
I have read that some believe in the philosophy of speaker cables first and power cables last. Most recently I seem to be noticing more taking notice of advanced (active noise reduction, better geometry etc.) power cabling and changing that philosophy to power cables first, interconnects second and speaker cables last. Reasons seem to imply that as you work your way out it's possible to compensate and dial in more of the desired sound you are looking for.
"If I were king" is how I'm approaching some of these issues.
We're all chasing something we want to hear out of our systems. Your frustration is pretty easy to understand. For every idea or opinion you come across you can always find a contrary view. Then finally it comes done to certainty yet it all depends on taste, room, equipment etc
I'm not in hurry and sort of cheap. Doing lots of reading of threads, articles, etc. Starting to find a few people that seem to have similar gear and tastes. Found someone that likes a cable I do for the same reason, but they upgraded to something they liked more. I want to know more about all the other peices as i expect it might be a good fit for me.
So if I were king, there would be lots of pretty inpessive upgrades coming, but alas I have more wants than means.
I've narrowed down about 3 options for each upgrade and I watch for them. I'd love to get rid of my factory mono block power cords but this Saturday a stellar deal appeared on a Graphene PC that I could never afford. It arrives tomorrow and will go to the regenerator and that cord goes to the Dac.
Have fun and take your time figuring out what is really gonna make a change in your gear. I want all my upgrades to be monumental not just incremental
@bgpoppab I have the Shunyata PS8 and Venom combo and it does give you an uptick in performance.
1. Sideline it (use it somewhere else or sell it).
2. Replace your stock outlets with Synergistic Research Blue outlets (or Blacks if you can get them at a discount).
3. Use either the Triode Wire Labs Digital -American or Seven Plus - American power cable.
Start with a single Blue Outlet and a single Triode Wire Labs power cord to keep you within your budget.
Option 2 and Option 3 are both Returnable, should you not be impressed with the results.
Evaluate and proceed accordingly. All the best.
While I will allow that some people hear differences among power cables, I very strongly believe that the cost of high-end cables can always be better spent elsewhere. For example: better speakers, jitter reduction, an improved linear power supply for almost anything, etc. The downside is that a few of these are as simple a modular change, as is a power cord. But the easy road is not always the best road.
In the realm of power I strongly believe in two things: 1) cleaning up power noise (vagarious options my fav being a great isolation transformer), and 2) ground which begins by digging a deep hole. Unfortunately both of those suffer from the same problem they require real engineering and real effort. But they also produce real results.
When most audiophiles hear my system and later realize there is 14 gauge lamp cord and fuses in it, they are shocked. I don;t endorsed that, but when (like me) you design and *by definition* have stuff that might blow up in and out daily, it's a wise choice, and it doesn't seem to keep me from generating some shockingly good sound.
The cheapest, best bang for the buck you can get is to hire an electrician to install a dedicated power line for your Audio system in your house.
Cables do matter, quite a bit, but it’s a matter of personal preference.
I had personally success with solid silver power cords from Wireworld Platinum line first, then now with Crystal Clear Audio Cables Magnum Opus line at a fraction of the cost of WW.
Sorry for the delay, have been traveling for ~2 weeks.
I simply mean something the guy at your local electrical supply house would call quality - thick copper, tight connectors to grab the prongs, etc. Nothing fancy.
So i looked up what a Shunyata PS8 is. After reading their description, i still don’t know, except that it is $795 and "extraordinarily affordable", which i admit is impressive to be both at once :-)
I expect it is a fine outlet strip. I hope its a lot more, but they didn’t say ont he website....
I meant more like $50 rather than $9.99 made in china at the dollar store.
Anything with a common mode filter, well done, would be useful. I expect the PS8 has one and in fatc likely more or less **is** one in a fancy box.