Brands that I have found of good quality and good overall sound are Analysis Plus Power Oval and PS Audio power cables.
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I agree that dedicated lines should be considered before you do anything. Also, there is not a power cord on the market, no matter how expensive, that will do what a comparable power conditioner can. That being said: dedicated lines, power conditioner and good quality cords: you'll have electric nirvana. FWIW, I agree ( I have them in my system) with the recommendation concerning Sonoran cables and power cords. I do prefer, however, the Harmonix Studio Masters over the Sonorans. They are significantly more, but in this case they deliver big time. happy listening. warren
Do you ever notice how many suggestions you get on different power cables that have performed to someone's like in their on system. The rule of the day is try before you buy. Might save yourself a buck or two. Power cords are somewhat of a mystery, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
Your components power supplies have a lot to do with how and if a power cable will work. The problem is, nobody can decide on any group of cables and wether they need to be shielded or not and on and on and on.
On the Bryston sight, their opinion is a power cable is a waste of money and others hold this thought. I have actually heard a cable or two make a difference. I never could decide if it was better or not. Just different.
Dedicated lines are your first step. Remember, dedicated garbage is dedicated garbage. You still want to clean up what's in those lines. A lot, certainly depends on where you live. As good as my power conditioner is (and it's quite amazing), I never thought adding new power cords would take it up a notch. A significant improvement. Electricity should be treated as another component. Electricity is very mystical, with unexplainable properties that affect our systems in unexplainable ways. I have posted many times asking 'goners for the explanation of how a few feet of power cord can do what it does. Never get an answer, other than the ubiquitous, "I don't know, but it sure makes a difference." Gee, I find myself saying the same thing. peace, warren
You do not mentino what the names aer of the components you need power cords for or whtat type of sound you are looking for. Goodu suggestions above for dedicated linies. Then you need to try a few cords and power conditioners. The Exact Power is a very good unit as well as the Shunyata Hydra. Aberdeen on Agon will send you an exact power to audition. By auditioning you will know what works for you and your system.
There aer too many good power cords to mention, the top ones I have heard are the Elrods, Shunyatas and the Harmonix. There are other lower priced cords like JPS, Audience that also work well.
You just cannot go by recommendations. I recently tried a Shunyata Black Mamba which worked wonders on the Rresolution Opus 21 CDP but did not really add that much if anything to the Wadia 861.
So narrow down your choices and then find a few dealers on Agon who can send you the cables and power conditioners to audition.
As a follow-up / addendum to what Bigtee stated above, i looked into the comments being made by owners of Bryston gear stating that power cords make little to no difference on their gear. What i found was that Bryston incorporates more filtering into their power supply than that of what most other manufacturers provide. As such, power cords have the potential to make a difference with Bryston's, but the effects may not be near as audible as it is with other gear utilizing less filtration. As i've mentioned before, the greater the difference that a power cord makes on a component, the poorer the design of the component's power supply.
Having said that, most all designs will benefit from a low inductance / high capacitance power cord design. In theory, shielding should work better, but most shielded designs are not properly implimented in my experience. Depending on the specific design of the cord and the individual component that a shielded PC is being used on, it is possible to introduce non-linear distortions to the system. The end result could be considered an improvement for the majority of operation, but under specific operating conditions, particularly high current demands, be worse than an unshielded design.
Other than, i agree that dedicated low inductance lines are a start. From there, proper high current filtration that is rated for at least 2 and preferably 3 times the current demand that you'll ever pull should be next. If your system is capable of pulling 15 to 20 amps, your "AC filter" should be capable of passing at least 40 or preferably 60 amps of steady state current. In order to achieve this kind of current rating, you may need to "double up" or add filters in parallel. If you don't have the "headroom" available in the AC filtration system, one could run into dynamic compression / non-linear distortions being contributed, just like a poorly designed shielded power cord.
As a side note, the type of filtration that i'm mentioning here will be VERY heavy. If you've got "filtering" that is in a convenient little component sized box that weighs just a few pounds, you can bet that it is choking the system. This is why many folks have found that using such a design for line level components works okay, but they avoid running any high current devices such as an amp through them.
Once you've got all of this in place, add in some well designed reasonable cost low inductance power cords. Since most PC's use commercially available wire with good quality connectors used at both ends, it isn't hard to duplicate or improve upon them for pennies on the dollar. That is, IF you are willing to get your hands dirty and build your own. Having said that, there are some proprietary designs out there that have merit. These are typically quite expensive and would be harder to duplicate, but it can be done. Given their very high cost, "cloning" becomes even more beneficial in terms of a performance vs dollar spent ratio. Sean
My top cords are TG Audio, Elrod, and Harmonix. I don't have dedicated lines but plan to. I do have good sounding cheap PLCs for digital, and analog. Good duplex outlets are important as well, I've been using the Pass and Seymour model. Probably as important or more is cable routing. If you don't keep all of your cords off the carpet and well away from each other it doesn't matter how much you spend. Conversely if you do, it could make a bigger improvement than the expensive cords. Of course doing both will lead to the best results.