My first response would be Nordost to try and maintain or create a synergy with the rest of your system. The best that you can afford with in the Nordost line. I have aMC402 and use Cardas Golden Reference and am very happy but the rst of my system is Cardas GR with the exception of the speaker cable. That would be Cardas GR as well but until I am able to use a shorter length it will have to wait. I had a MC352 and used Harmonic Tech ProII and when I switched to the Cardas GR I noticed the bass was much more controlled and delivery increased as well as the whole sound field came together. Check with usedcable.com and see if you can borrow a few from their lending library.
My vote is stick with the stock cable - I have tried a few and felt I lost that organic feel that makes the Mac's special.
Thanks Theo - I'll check out usedcable.com
Pops, I'm curious to know what cables you've tried as I have heard your "stick with stock" suggestion mentioned before.
If it helps, I'm open to anything in the sub $1,200 per cord range.
My thoughts mirror those of Pops. However I would like to add a few. McIntosh recommends to use their stock pc's on their amps and sources and concentrate on dedicated 20 amp AC for the amps, preamp and respected sources. Also invest in room treatments. If cables are still an interest invest in some good interconnects and speaker cables. Other than the stock pc's, Cardas GR, Wireworld Silver Eclipse, Kimber PK10, Kimber PK10 Palladian might interest you.
I reread your post. Try the Kimber PK10 Palladian if you are looking for a neutral sound. Articulate bass, better dynamics, free of grain and a sense of ease are just some of the characteristics of the power cord.
I use JPS Power AC-2's on my 501's.Extremely quiet black backround with superb bass and dynamics.I also use one on my C42 preamp as well.My quest for power cords ends with these.They're keepers.
Aldog, I have tried and own synergistic research master coupler and MIT Z cord II - so I haven't exactly run the gambit on PC's. I like both PC's on source, the SR's work well with digital and the the MIT has always worked well with my Classe amp which is currently on the sidelines.
F1fanatic makes a great point, I can't recommend dedicated lines enough - it made a huge difference in my system. I found the PC's I have emphasized the top and bottom end but stripped out the middle on my 501's, quiet, blacker backgrounds, but just lost some of the organic midrange for me. I just took that as a litmus test for PC's since both had the same result on my amps. Just my experience...
Thanks to everyone for the input thus far...
Yeah, I'm running two dedicated circuits, one to front end components and the other amplification. Perhaps adding a power conditioner to feed the front-end will make a bigger positive impact at this point.
I'd still like to see what improvements others have experienced by upgrading the power cords on their 501's. Keep 'em coming.
Pops makes a good point about "organic feel" so, imho, take a close listen to the vintage Synergistic Research Master Coupler... those can be sold for what you bought them for and it's well-worth the try. Depends upon what you want. If you want clean clarity within your budget then I'd recommend the Morrow MAP3s... hard to beat...
again, jmo & jme,
You owe it to yourself to try out a Kubala Emotion cables. I borrowed a set from audioclassics.com and was AMAZED and immediately ordered some. I have 2 Mcintosh MC2000's and 1 MC352..... Really opened up the sound (and my wallet) but i really think it was worth the price of admission. Don't tell my wife!!
LessLoss work wonders on my McIntosh MC 402, and C2300, detail, imaging, dynamics, bottom end all improve over the stock cord, and complete absence of noise.
Try Iego 80229 , if you dont find it go for the new Torrent.
Play a bit with the plugs to get your prefered tone.
More bass , body and sweetness = a Cu Furutech as male + Iego gold plated IEC.
Accuracy and speed= Male Iego gold plated + Wattgate ag IEC.
In between (a) : use a Iego rodium over silver male .
In between (b) : Use with stock gold plated plugs.
Well, I finally settled on a pair of Python CX's as I've been enjoying a recent speaker upgrade aka Focal Diablos.
Somewhat skeptical as to how much better things could get, I'm honestly amazed at the improvement the Pythons have made and all within 2 hours of installation. I'm looking forward to further improvements over the next few weeks.
It hard not to sound cliche, but yet again, another veil has been lifted. Top to bottom everything is more coherent and life-like with greater clarity. I am hearing textural details and overtones with certain instruments and vocals for the first time; on recordings I know well. Dynamics and instrument scale have also improved. The list goes on.
Why did I wait this long to swap out my stock pcs...who knows? But man this is a fun hobby! Next up...power conditioner.