Power cable upgrades, or Power conditioner?

OK here's the deal, I have a currently all digital system(ie no analog source yet), I find that the sound is fatiguing. I am looking to do both power cable upgrades, and a PS audio Power plant 300, the power cables I am looking cost about as much as the PS audio unit. I am going to do both but money doesn’t grow on trees this time of year, so I ask which one should I do first? I am not using stock power cables but I know they need to be upgraded to extrapolate the level of performance I feel is available from my system. I use a transport and a digital pre(well with in a week any how), so I will need 2 power cables and am looking into the whale elite, Pure note epsilon, NBS monitor 0 and anything else that catches my eye, or if any one has directions to make power cables from home depot available products I am all ears. I am capable enough to build power cords, but I would rather not waste time and money on something that I don’t know what I am doing , how ever if any one wants to tell me here or email a few ideas that would be great, but in the mean time which should I concentrate on the conditioner or the cables?
Thanks a lot
I think you should get the power conditioner first. Since you have "upgraded" cables I think getting cleaner power for your cables is the first step. leo.
Tim Stewart from Sanctuary of Sound if you are trying to get your system to be smoother and sweeter I would recommend either the Shunyata Hydra or find a used Bybee pro somewhere they are no longer made. The Shunyata is better but more expensive. It all starts at the wall. Once you get a good line conditioner then your most important cord is from the wall to the line conditioner. But the wonderful thing about audio is that you can do it all one step at a time. I have nothing against the pS audio but you mention your system as being too fatiguing and I personally do not consider the 300 as a remedy for your situation. Also try putting some cones or even cheaper some 3x3 squares of maple or mdf under the feet of your components, or vibrapods.
I can ditto what Tim is saying about the power cord. I have upgraded cords; not expensive; just better than stock cords (Vansevers 211). They warmed the sound. I just purchased a Blue Circle BC62 which is a definitely a step up. I moved it around the system and it worked by far the best put between the wall and my Vansevers Reference 85 conditioner. I guess in that position it improves every component plugged in the conditioner, not just one, which would be the case if it were plugged from the conditioner into a component.
How about some 75.00 Assulum Cords.
You will spend 300/1k and could do worse.
Do yo have dedicated lines.If you can this is the route to go.
Tim...you did not mention what your system consists of. If you are finding your system to be fatiquing I would suggest you look at your system components and how well they complement each other before looking at power conditioners and cords. While a power conditioner such as the PS Audio 300 may clean up your sound it may do little to alleviate your problem with fatique. The money would be better spent on a different CD player or DAC, which is the most likely component to be at fault. Next I'd look at your speakers and their set up. Your system should sound good with stock power cords provided you are listening to good software (some CDs will have you running from the room no matter what you do). Once you like the sound of your system you may want to try the PS Audio. I would be very cautious about throwing a lot of money at power conditioners, and especially power cords, without first finding components that match synergistically. That's really what this hobby is all about. When it comes to cables there is far too much snake oil in high end audio. To suggest that anyone should have to spend hundreds of dollars on power cables, not to mention hundreds or even thousands on interconnect and speaker cable to get good sound is ludicrous. I don't really agree with Tim Stewart from Sanctuary of Sound that it all starts at the wall. Where it all begins is with your source component and your software. Sure, clean power is a good thing to have, but I guarantee you won't hear anywhere near the difference that the right source component, speaker, or preamp will make. One final note: do not overlook your room acoustics and proper set up of loudspeakers. You may find a set of 3 Argent Room Lenses to make a huge improvement, certainly more than a power conditioner! Good luck and have fun with it.
Hmmm. I am wondering if any power modification is going to fix the issue of fatigueing sound. Generally power conditioners and good cords enhance detail, lower the noise floor and improve dynamic range (or some combination of those, depending on the products). They tend (in my experience) to change issues of sound character like tendancy towards fatigue only with analogue gear, where varying the speed of the turntable slightly affects the sound a lot. You might want to think about changing interconnects or speaker cables first, assuming you don't want to change electronics or speakers. I would suggest something like Cardas Golden Cross cables because, though they are not perfectly neutral, they error on the side of smoothness and warmth, which would help with the fatigue. But, if you do buy some sort of power product and it helps, please post about it.
. . . look into an Ortho Spectrum Analogue Reconstructor 2000 (AR2000). I know you are inquiring about power cords, but I have both a PS Audio P300 and about 9 high end PCs in my system. But, when I put the AR 2000 in my system, it did more to tame the digital "glare" than any other upgrade. Look at Clement Perry's review in the archives of StereoTimes on line and, if you are in the southeastern Michigan area, you are free to come hear my system with and without the AR 2000 to judge for yourself. At least it's an option.


PS - it retails for about $1,500 but you can pick them up used for $750-900.
A few more details. I don’t have dedicated lines and is not an option(where I am currently living any how), that would help I am sure, but I just can’t do it right now. Perhaps fatiguing was not the right word, but I am not sure what is the best description, after an extended listening period I notice it sounds, boring, not as involving, as it seemed at first. Perhaps it is the DAC and transport(which I feel is currently the weakest link, and being upgraded with already selected parts, with in the week), I am just trying to anticipate any further problems, but as it seems I may have cured my ‘problems’ with the new upgrade. Also as it seems I should do room treatment prior to power conditioning , I’ll do a search and see if I can get the basics from prior threads( I am sure this has been gone over time and time again). I am fairly confident that I have the speakers set up about as good as I can(in the current room condition that is), I have played with them for a long time, and I have noticed a huge difference. Seems like the conditioner should be one of the last upgrades that get done, Thanks for all the help and if any one has any further input or questions about the set up I currently using(having ideas on how to improve it) let me know I would love to hear as much input as I can. Thanks Everyone
Hey Tim
I must completely disagree with statements such as "power conditioning comes last" & "cables won't do much for you". You just do not know what will happen at YOUR place until you try these things THERE, & in the right combinations. In my situation (you know of my rig) I had the right equipment but had the wrong cables, no AC line conditioning, no tweaks. Particular attention to all of these "insignificants" made all the difference between a very expensive yet mediocre sounding rig, and a clean, dynamic, fantastic system sounding well beyond my expectations. You really have no idea regarding the true potential of your existing equipment until you have experimented with it enough to find out with what synergizes it the best. Despite the significant gains that I have already realized, I really can't say that my rig has yet reached its' highest potential because I have no way of trying out all of the various permutations & combinations of cables, conditioners, & tweaks available.
Tim: What is your current setup? There may be a much less expensive fix for what you are experiencing whether it be isolation products, cables or whatever. Some power cords, in effect, are power conditioners themselves especially in my situation which is "apartment life" and a high end conditioner is not really needed (just one that does the minimum and gets out of the way). If this is a recent problem then it may just involve static electricity. I have been using my ZeroStat gun the past month (on CD's and LP's) to the point that I fear that I am turning into "Johnny Yuma". Here in LA we experience desert dry air in-between rain, plus using the heat in our place really dries things out. More info please.
To second DK, if recent it's most certainly static electricity. If not, it could be a number of things including the pre. So, Tim, what's the system & set-up?
You can do better than the PS power plant. I upgraded to the audio tekne power conditioner. Everything gets plugged into it including the amps. The one drawback is you cannot use 3 pronged plugs so you have to go with the audio tekne cords which I found were as good as JPS and Nordost.