why would a certain power cord change the sound of a great amp? Does the cord have solid connections on both sides and a large diameter shielded cable?
If you want to improve the sound, save your money you would spend on a crazy priced cable, and move up to a Pass x350.5. That will give you a much better bang for your buck and sonic improvment.
Good call. I can respect that.
I've had very good sound with Cardas, Platinum power, and various BMI power cords on my Pass X150.5, Aleph 2s, Aleph 60s, Aleph 30, and Aleph 3.
I disagree on the X350.5. If this amp has no negative feedback like the original X350, I prefer the X150.5 or X250.5. They just sound better with some negative feedback. The bass is stronger, in my opinion.
I know there are purists who disagree with me based on a philosophy. I go by what I hear.
anything to avoid
yes, you avoid the clowns who try to tell you that cabling has no effect on sonic signature. Obviously never tried it.
Having used dozens of power cords on dozens of Pass components I've found that Pass products are less affected by different cords than most other brands.
I can respect that, too, Bob. Thank you. Many years ago...I upgraded speaker/interconects at the neglect of power cables. My advice to any newbie in this hobby would be to START with the power cables...they really CAN make an impact.
Consider Elrod, Silent Source, Stealth, and Synergistic Research.
Check with the Cable Co for recs and some trial cables.
Good luck, have fun.
Uhrn, while I invite all and sundry to avoid jibing "ad hominem", it is equally true -- at least in my limited fiddling experience -- that with one notable exception, power cords have had an influence on the sound
of my electronic components in one audible form or an other.
The problem really starts when we ask what PC may be 'better', as there are so many different incarnations of 'better' among us sufferers of audiophrenia. GI am personally in the 'middle' school of thought, also called the Goldielocks principle I believe. . . call it golden neutrality perhaps?
On my Rowland Model 312 and Esoteric X-01 Limited, I have achieved most desirable Goldielockian results with Furutech Evolution II and Furutech High Performance wires for the more moderately priced wires, and with Shunyata King Cobra (new series that is) for the higher tier PCs.
There is a reasonable chance that Pass gear being also somewhat Goldielockian in its sonic attributes, it might synergize with the same wires. G.
PS. The single component which has this far seemed to be immune to my PC fiddlings has been the JRDG Criterion linestage.
Hello everyone. I personally own Pass Labs equipment and have great success with Bmi Cables power cables. Currently own a Bmi Hammerhead Gold mk4 power cable and using with a Pass Lab 350.5 amp. I have another Bmi Hammerhead gold Mk2 on the Pass Labs XP10 preaamp with great results.
Talking with the designer of Bmi cables I remember Mr. Bmi himself that he uses a lot of Pass Labs and vintage Nelson Pass "Threshold" equipment in parallel with his designs.
Okay, Guidocorona, you got my attention!
What the $%#^%# does "Goldielockian" suppposed to mean?
I assume it is related to the fable, "Goldielocks and the Three Bears"; But what the heck does that have to do with audio power cables, (or even life in general?!)
Hey, inquiring minds want to know?! ;-)
In regards to the question at hand, I recommend that you install dedicated circuits, if you don't have them already. IMHO, once you have dedicated circuits, power cords make much less of a difference, to the extent that one can live with "decent" stock power cords, especially when used with quality built amps, such as the ones I have used, (Mark Levinson, and Lamm), and I would imagine like the Pass Labs that you use. (Better cords can make subtle differences to the sound, but they don't make the profound difference that dedicated circuits do.) My two cents of course, based upon my experience.
Thanks so much, fellas. FYI, I would never plug PASS anything into a line conditioner....so, I dig the idea of PS Audio's ferrite jacket. At least I feel like I get some lowering of the noisefloor and I'm positive I get better bass response in my room.
In general, I agree with Audiofeil's post.
On my Pass XA-60.5 amps, I heard some differences among power cables ranging in price from $10 to $1500 (used). However, the differences were extremely small to my ears. In many systems, including mine, the money allotted for expensive power cords will reap larger benefits elsewhere in the signal chain.
I ended up using Oyaide Tunami GPX power cords on my Pass amps. The Tunmani GPX are available for under $300/ea.
Anyone heard any really AWEFUL combos ?
Thank you Kurt_tank, in this particular case, the Goldilockian principle is not applied to price, which can be easily found on the Cable Company's fine web site, except for the Furutech High End Performance wires, which being custom wires assembled from bulk material, require a call to Scott Markwell of Elite Audio Imports. Rather, I am referring to the sonic character of the wires at hand, which I deem to be middle of the road, hence Goldielockian in nature, or in other words 'neutrally romantic'.
As for the specific cost/benefit ratio of these wires as they may apply to Pass gear, I defer to AudioFail, who as a Pass dealer has inherently more knowledge on these devices than my own conjecturing self. G.
Like others in this thread, I found changing power cords did not have much of an impact on my Pass amp (X250.5). I'd spend he money on running dedicated lines if you haven't already.
On my Pass Labs X350.5 I am using a Synergistic Hologram A power cord that is plugged into the Synergistic Powercell 10SE conditioner which is plugged into a dedicated Synergistic Teslaplex outlet.
Each and every step improved the sound of my Pass Labs Amp.
Ozzy, why don't you run that Synergistic line out to the transformer on the pole outside your house? If you don't your really just playing at the sound.
In fact, as I have suggested before, I know where to buy a GE LM6000 generation turbine, if you really want to go all out? you would have to site it about 1/2 a mile away due to the sound, or build a really serious building around it. Also, you could probably just take transmission wire from the generator to your equipment through a series of step down transformers from the switch yard you will need to build for the generator. We also need a meter yard for the gas facilities you will need to build.
All in all, unless you are in a union state, and don't get me started there, we can build your power solution for about $70 million, that's probably slightly less than you have in power cords now, so that's good.
Also, we can work with the local utility, depending on the state, and the state of power deregulation there to sell them a heat rate call option on the turbine to deflect some of the cost.
All in all this could be a winner. I think I can get some financing from JP Morgan or Credit Suisse, I still know some of the guys there.
Let's get it going, after all, the power supply to those expensive transformers is the single most important item in the signal chain for audio.
Oh, sorry I forgot, it's not in the signal chain....Oh well, forget it.
Macdadtexas , Man you should leave Audio and get into BS as a hobby.
Actually, that's what I do for a living, well like most people I guess.
I have found after owning Pass Labs gear for years that the inlet connection is often to blame for any problems. Use a cord with a well designed IEC (jaw strenth) to avoid power cord mania.
years ago when I had an X250, one of the gentlemen at Pass Labs, in so many words, told me the 'stock cord was fine & lose the powerstrip, plug it directly into an outlet', which I took as 'save your money & stick w/the stock cord'
The stock cords sounded just fine to me in my original setup. When I moved my system, the stock cords were not long enough for the new placement. I purchased longer power cords from Signal Cable and they sound great.
On my Pass X150.5 and my friend's X250.5, here's our experience on powercords and also power conditioners:
The Shunyata power cords made a significant improvement on our Pass amps. Starting with the Copperhead, we went to the Taipan Helix Alpha, then Python Helix Alpha. Good improvement on each step and best with the Python.
But, plugging the amps into Shunyata Hydra power conditioners also made BIG improvements. We've used the Hyra 2, 6 and 8.
For those who say plug the amp into the wall, not a power conditioner, that doesn't hold, imo, with the Shunyata Hydras, which are not in any way power limiting, and the sound is much improved in many areas, detail, transparency etc.
There is absolutely no question on the above improvement.
I've tried some upscale power cords on my XA30.5 and XA100.5's that actually hurt the sound. Couldn't imagine why a 12 ga cord with heavy duty connectors would be worse than the black 14 ga molded Volex I was using but it was. Came to apprieciate the Volex, maybe one of the best $7 cords ever.
I found the perfect product for me, an Audio Art Power 1.
>Less than 250 for 2 meters
>12 ga shielded
>Gold over copper Furutech connectors (I don't get along with nickel)
>Great customer service
It made a small improvement, but I like a well made product.
I use all JPS Labs Aluminata on my Pass Labs XA-100.5 amps. Best I've ever heard on them!
I found that the 3 homebrews I've been using all have different sonic characteristics. They are certainly good power cords using the best Oyaide and Furutech connectors, Acrolink cable as well as cryo'd VH-Audio flavor 4 and the NEI3001.
I still few like somethings missing and I like starting with the PC before turning interconnects and preamp tubes.
Not having the ability to plunk down huge sums of money on multiple power cords, I'm hopeful just get close on a neutral cable which gets the most out of my X350.5. I certainly don't want to feel like I'm bottlenecking any potential this amp has.
Thanks for the good suggestions in this thread!
Dne, I owned the Hydra 8 and the Hydra 2 and I thought the Pass Labs X350.5 sounded way better plugged into a dedicated outlet.
After alot of experimenting with PCs, I concluded that I simply can't tell the difference - now all of them were well made with good connectors and shielding. Given that, and the fact that my equipment is a little pricey I've decided that resoabably price PCs from VH Audio or Signal cable are about as good as any power can possibly be. I am an audio neurotic, like most here, but this one area where I think spending more money is just spending more money.
Anyone try Black Sand Violet ?
I had a power cord competition last night and the wrong cable won. I took on loan some PS Audio cables from a dealer, the AC10 and a AC5. They took up residence where my DIY Furutech's and Oyanide Acrolinks were. The first competition I had placed the PS Audio's dead last. That was a relief as I rather liked my DIYers since I use to grade cable and connectors. But knowing the cables were new I had to admit that it wasn't even close to a fair test so I let the PS's sit in the system and cook for a week.
So last night with 4 sets of good ears I played swap the cables, generally between amp and wall but a few hits at the Power Plant Premier.
The judges were not aware what I was plugging in at any point. I did not tell them what was being used when they gave a thumbs up or down. One thing was clear after I practically wore out my Furutech wall receptacle not to mention the power button on the amp.
The winner is?
PS Audio AC10. What was noted was "realness", "3D image" and dynamics. 2 people I would consider audiophile, 1 was not which I thought was a good thing. I did not include myself although I am biased towards my own DIY but had to admit the PS Audio clearly outperformed my own.
The loser? Me cause it's a cable I don't own and $600 more dollars out of my dwindled account.
Desalvo55, kudos to you for conducting an audition which attempted to make the process as neutral as possible. IMO, you did about as much to guarantee the neutrality as can be reasonably expected.
The person who was "neutral" as in, not an audio geek questioned the difference in power cables. "How can that be?". "Why were they so different in sound".
Anyone care to answer that?
There's a loaded question..
That question has been the basis of many a troll through the years here. It can't be answered, and it inevitably leads to heated arguments.
Desalvo: i'm using PSA power cords and can also give them a big thumbs up. got 2 ac-10's and 3 ac-5 along with 1 ac-3. can't say i tried anything else as my man Ron at liquid hi-fi recommended them to me when i went to upgrade oem pc's. there was an odvious improvement in sound from day one over oem cords. even more obvious after break in.
use the ac-10's for my quintete and ml 432 amp. ac-5's power my perfect wave dac, transport and pass x1 preamp. ac-3 for my dd-12 sub.
can't comment on what sound better regarding other aftermarket pc's but can tell you the ac-5 sounds great with my pass x1 pre. it's the only aftermarket pc i've had used but have no desire to look further. everything sounds just right as is.
btw....drop Ron a line if don't want to spend anything close to $600 for the ac-10's or other psa cords. he'll help you out. (in no way affiliated, just a happy long term customer).
I have settled on PS Audio Premier SC pc's for my Pass Labs Aleph 3's. I tried the new PS Audio P.W. series and preferred the obsolete Premier SC series power cables. I had a wider,deeper sound stage.
In my system I heard better clartiy though the upper register and midrange. No audible difference in bass response....
Yeah, the PSA cords are pretty decent with amps. I've tried 'em on my pre and they roll off the highs, though.
I'm so happy I can't detect differences among power cables. That would suck.
I'm so happy I can't detect differences among power cables. That would suck.
Dpac996 (Threads | Answers)
You are fortunate to some degree. You certainly same some money.
I wonder though, what other benefits of a high end system you're also not detecting.
Ultimately, you can't really miss what you can't detect, so satisfaction may come quicker and at a lower cost.
Dpac996 probably can't hear it, because there is no difference and he is not falling for the placebo effect.
I agree wholeheartedly with Dpac996.
I can hear a difference from preamp to preamp, amp to amp, source to source, and somewhat, up to a point with certain interconnects, and a good power conditioner, depending on your power supply situation can make a noticable difference. But once there's a good connection from the power source to the piece of equipment, there is very little difference from power cord to power cord. There are more examples of snake oil with power cords than any other item in audio.
Maybe you are one of the blessed few with the "Golden Ears" or maybe you are just justifying a purchase. Whatever the case infering that someone else should have a crappier system because he does not have the dicerning taste that you do, is, well pompus and idiotic.
LOL. That's pretty nice logic. Socrates !
Macdadtexas, you're reading more into what I wrote than is required.
I wrote nothing of discerning taste, nor did I suggest that he should have a crappier system. I think it's valid to suggest that there may be other aspects of his system's sound that he cannot detect, but that doesn't mean to suggest that he shouldn't own a system of any quality level he chooses to own. He can certainly save money on power cords, though.
Hearing acuity differs from person to person just as our other senses differ.
Do I hear differently than you? Probably. Do I hear better than you? I wouldn't say so. However, perhaps I do detect things you don't since our perception of the effects of power cords differs.
Your position on the topic is crystal clear. There's no interest on my part to debate the issue with you because we are both intractable.
Why so militant?
...btw, despite my position on the benefits of power cords, I stand by my earlier statement in this thread that the Pass Labs amplifiers I owned were fairly impervious to power cord swaps...unlike other amplifiers I have owned.
I have Tara Labs Cobalt PC on my XP-20 Preamp, it does make obvious difference even X-20 is two-box design, in every aspect of sonic performance, compares to the orginal Shynyata Anaconda CX.
I also try this on my X-350.5, only subtle change compare to Preamp.
I still keep Shunyata Anaconda CX on my X-350.5
I learned something about my Pass Labs X350. I have a dedicated outlet for my stereo. It has it's own 20 amp breaker and 12ga wiring to the hubble hospital grade outlet. I use the factory power cord with my amp, but I have a MIT power cable on my CD player and a Cardas hardwired power cord on my preamp. I haven't tried different power cords on my amp based on comments from various people about Pass Labs amps being pretty much impervious to cords. Anyway, back to what I learned. I have my front end powered through a power conditioner but I had my amp plugged into the outlet direct w/o conditioning. After listening to some Patricia Barber CDs that I recently bought, I was getting a bit irritated with sibilance. Some of her CDs exhibit some strong sibilance and that got me tuned into it. So I tried plugging my amp into the power conditioner and found not just that the sibilance diminished but also the highs smoothed out noticeably. I am much happier with this arrangement and I really haven't detected any down side to having the amp plugged into the PC. So, power cords may not affect Pass Labs amps much, but Power Conditioning seems to matter.
Did you notice any change in dynamics with the amp running from the power conditioner?
I listened for that because that was my main concern, but I perceived no real change in dynamics. If there was a change, it was very small. But the advantages were unmistakable. Having the dedicated circuit is a big advantage. This amp draws almost 5 Amps at idle. I see only a 0.5VAC drop in the line when the amp is on vs. off.
Very cool. Thanks for your insight.