Cable shootouts are largely useless because everyone's system and ears and preferences are different.
I suggest deciding what price level is comfortable for you, and then buying used cabling at that level. Listen. Compare. Keep what you like. Sell what you don't.
That's what works for me.
I suggest sitting blindfolded while somebody changes your power cables while you listen. Don't forget to make a cable for yourself using some heavier 12/2 wire and decent terminations. Remember it's only copper wire in your wall!
Tvads suggestion is also legit as we all hear things differently.
I think that could get expensive...let's say that I would like a power cable for my MC207 and I am willing to spend $1000 on the cable...if I select 5 finalists (which is incredibly hard based on the amount of venders out there) that would be 5K.
Also, all of the "Power" cables state that they have, "less noise", I believe that this is something tangible and measurable. I just thought that with all of the knowledge in this site that someone would have compared. I realise that this is not necessarily the most defining determination on how a power cable is going to affect your system sonically but it is something tangible that might separate those who can stand up to their marketing claim vs. those who can not.
Has no one ever had this thought before???? :-)
Let's say you buy two used cords that each sell for $1000. You spend $2000 for both. One you keep, the other you sell for what you paid. That's the benefit of buying used. The net cost is $1000 for the one you kept.
Later, you can buy a third cord, and compare with the cord you kept. Sell the one you don't like for what you paid. Now you've tried three out of the five for a net cost of $1000. Repeat until satisfied.
It's worked for me.
Sorry to say, but there's no easy or cheap way to go about it. But, there are smarter ways than others.
Another method is to buy cords that you can audition at home for 30 days. The downside, IMO, is that most manufacturers will tell you that their cords require hundreds of hours of burn-in, and it's tough to put all those hours on a cord within the demo period. So, you reach the end of the demo period needing to pull the trigger, and not being certain if you've heard the cord fully broken in.
The sure fire way to lose your wallet is to buy something new that enough people convince you is the one you should buy. Maybe you'll love it, but more likely you'll hear something before long that you like better because your ears, your system and your preferences are unique to you. So, you sell the cord a few people convinced you to buy and lose 50% of it's value. No bueno.
This is not to say the cord isn't excellent and perfect for those who suggested it, but no cord is ideal for every system, application and audiophile. Otherwise, there would be just one cord, and not dozens from which to choose.
I can't think one one person on these boards who has asked for power cord advice and found the ideal cord the first time out.
It's a process. A journey. With only a partial road map.
the solution to the burn-in issue is obtain "couplers" which enable you to connect as many power cords together as you want.
within a 30 day period the break-in process should be completed. if necessary, purchase a break-in device or use a break-in cd. either one will shorten the break-in time and permit a comparsion of say 5 power cords, within the 30 day alloted time limit.
In your opinion is there a short list for me to start looking for used? Names that come to mind are, lossless, Kimber, Harmonic Tech, MIT, JPS and Audio Magic...have a I left any out for the journey?
been there last year - a tedious tedious process. my top picks were the RSAD alethias sig, shunyata anaconda helix alpha and the lessloss PC. if it is in your price range the RSAD PCs I believe are very hard to beat for the money. they are very neutral and natural. their alethias sig to me was second to none by a very wide margin.
Voodoo cables LLC.... and Bruce does have a trial period built in... and/or an upgrade option last time I checked.
Voodoo Power cords which have both performance and value. The Gold Dragon was named power cord of the year recently, in an offshore magazine as I recall. I have two Golds, one Black, and a Tesla II as well.
The new Tesla series power cords from Synergistic Research have been getting a lot of positive accolades too since their release, the T2 & T3 respectively... and from one other member who has tried both Lessloss and the SR Tesla cords, prefered the Teslas.
Your mileage may vary though.
David Elrod makes a very special array of power cables too. I've one of his Signature series and I really enjoy what it brings to the table.
If you ever purchase cords from manufacturers with 30 day trial periods and you want to log the hours on the cords necessaary to break them in, get yourself 1 or 2 AC plug adapters so you can connect your cord(s)to a high amp appliance. For me, cords on 30 day trials get connected to a dehumidifier to break them in. Some guys connect their new cords to refrigerators, but the ac plugs for them are not so easy to access in my opinion.
By the way, why didn't you "qualify" for the Cable Company's library demo program?
Here are 6 cables I have heard in my system on my amp that you could easily do a shoot out with:
Purist Audio Dominus (Ferrox)
TRL (formerly CRL/FIM) Silver
The pricing varies, most are available used, some are available new with a trial period, all will have their plusses and minuses, and all results will be system dependent.
Since you have stated using this on your amp, I'd suggest a PC capable of delivering high current. Other than that have some fun with it and see what works best for you.
I'm sure others here will give you some ideas on other cables to try and you should easily come up with a list of 5 or so.
I live in Canada, according to their site anyone outside of the US does not qulify for cable demo. :-(
Some good recommendations above. Some can be auditioned with a return privilege (TelWire for example).
IMO, it's best to stick with brands that have strong demand so re-sale is easier. Shunyata, Purist Audio, Transparent, Cardas, Audience, JPS Labs, Kimber, etc. (this list is not exhaustive by any means). Take a look at the classifieds and you'll see which brands have the most for sale.
6Sons Audio in Canada makes some good power cables. They might offer a home trial.
Popularity of an item is a good thing but it comes with a caveat. It means some greater degree of competition.... if there's a dozen of the same thing being sold which one sells first? Or at all? .. and then there's that Why is everyone selling? the latter I suppose is due to preffs.
Voodoo power cables list and sell near immediately. That says something I do believe.
Being popular oriented also diminishes one's list of items to be considered. contention that a certain price point will provide a certain result is sometimes just to fantastic... and again will eliminate some perhaps worthwhile entries of a bit less or more expensive tags.
i hv done quite a number of power cord shootouts in my system (in the last 6 mths). these include - Acrolink Mexcel 7N 9100, DCCA, Elrod Sig.2, Harmonix Studio Master, Jena Labs Model 1, Jorma Super Power, Kondo KSL-ACz, Nordost Valhalla, Pranawire Samadhi, Pranawire Satori, Purist Audio Dominus (fluid & ferox), Shunyata Anaconda Helix (alpha & VX), Stealth Dream (source, power amp & preamp versions).
here are a few observations & suggestions:
a) there are no 'best' cables/cords.
a popular &/or more expansive cable does not necessarily mean it's going to be
better in your system. component-cable synergy is key;
b) some components are more sensitive to power cords changes than others.
if you're looking to replace power cords in a number of components, try to focus
on the component(s) that are most sensitive;
c) many cable brands make a range of cables & many of these cables will share the
same characteristics (but get better as you move up the line), start will lower priced
cables if you hv a limited budget. move up that particular manufacturer's line once
you've identified a cable/cord brand that's most synergistic;
d) i generally prefer to match a power cord to each component (vs. inserting a cord,
then assessing its impact on the overall system alone). although this is considerably
more tedious (& requires surplus components, cables, etc.), once a match has been
made, i can effectively take the cord-component pairing out of the equation (i.e. i'll
know the cord is not just patching up an up/downstream deficiency). furthermore,
any new cords introduced to the system will only need to beat the last favorite;
the general characteristics you should look out for (when trying new cords) include tonal balance, dynamic range, musical coherence (across the audio spectrum), resolution, pace, size/solidity & presentation of soundstage, etc. these are all highly subjective, so unless you know you hv a similar system & share similar preferences as someone else, don't waste your time reading how a particular cable (in someone else's system) brought tears to their eyes. you'll just be wasting yr time.
finally, hv fun...
Did a power cord shoot out as well which I posted on my system threads.
I bought the Aural Symphonics yesterday.
Alexsee has it pegged and agree with his process.
Any cable be it PC, speaker, interconnect or digital will have some sort of sonic signature. The signature they impart depends on components used, ac filtering, ac quality from the wall, and length of cables proximity to other cables and on and on...........
The best thing to do is get as many cables that you can and try them yourself. Only you can be the judge with what works in your system.
Re: The Cable Company
I also live in Canada. If you live near the border (who doesn't) then get em shipped to the closest US town. This way you get around the "only in the US".
Make sure you keep the receipts when you declare for customs, this way you will get back the pst and gst on the ones you return.
Best isolated PC out there??? I am not interested in sound characteristics but excellent shilding from in and out (minimum interferance). I have heard Silent Source and I like it but is there a cheaper version of this cord or similar performer but for less. Used is fine. Budget - $500-$600 for pair. Short runs, 3f-6f max.
If you're interested in shielding check out the Oyaide Tunami GPX or Acrolink PCs. They are in your price range and are great values for the price.
Thank you Clio, I will check it out. My main concern is PC that will screw with neighboring IC and SC. My monos power,iC and speaker terminals are very, very close to each other......I fear that it will create the hummm that I can not tolerate. I have to use wood blocks to keep them apart to prevent interaction and noise that is clearly heard through the speakers when cables are in contact or cross each other. Does the active shilding works? Like Synergistic spk. wires or ICs. Just wondering......I have heard them before but they are very, very expensive......Nevertheless, I liked what I have heard.
Acrolink P-6N4030 is unshielded, though Oyaide Tunami cable is.
At $85/meter for the Oyaide cable from VH Audio, you can build your own very easily, especially with Furutech connectors that only require a screwdriver - no heatshrink or anything else except a wire stripper.
I built four AC cables with the Acrolink cable and Furutech FI-25 series connectors for my analog gear and am very happy with the results. The Furutech FI-11 series connectors will save some money (about $150 for a 1 meter homebrew Oyaide Tunami PC w/FI-11s on both ends).
I have commercial Oyaide Tunami and PS Audio Statement SC shielded cables for digital - both perform very well, though the PS Audio is bulky and not easily positioned.
Synergistic Research's Tesla Series T2 & T3 as well as their Hologram A & Hologram D PowerCords are definitely worth a "borrow" from TCC. These helped to make a dramatic change in the dynamics of my system.