You might try some old Synergistic Research power cords. I've also heard good things about the Kaplan power cords, but they're a bit more in price.
I'm not too familiar with power cords at the price level that you looking at. The $500.00-$1000.00 range for new/used power cords has a lot of options. But I don't know the level of your system.
Here are several suggestions around the $200 mark:
The Cable Company has Shunyata Research's Diamondback Platinum on special in 1.5 M length for $125 right now. This cable tends to be forward-neutral, but does a nice job of helping to organize the sound stage left to right. No sloppy bass here.
Others I would look at...
JPS Labs's GPA 2
MIT - Music Interface Technologies's Z-Cord
Analysis Plus's Power Oval 10
DH Labs Silver Sonic's Power Plus
Powerful chords, not power cords make music magical. Be it via a Walkman or Krell, it's the music that matters. Use logic and reason when considering materials that merely conduct electricity.
It's Magic, It's Magic, It's Magic!!!
I agree with LLanger whole heartedly. I think interconnects in general reach a rediculous level of diminishing returns very quickly. I think after you get past the first level of interconnect and speaker cable upgrades, you will get a much bigger bang for the buck upgrading your equipement. If you are paying $1500 for interconnects, I contend you could pay $150 for a set, and spend the other $1350 upgrading your pre-amp, or one of your sources and make a much bigger improvement in sound.
I have gone down that road several times, and come to that conclusion with speaker cables, and interconnects.
But power cords, that's just MAGIC. Yes you can improve on the ones the manufacturers give you, easily. Get a shielded one, made with excellent condutors and a hospital grade connector (Signal Cable, some PS Audio's come to mind). But come on, if you have a $5000 amp, and you spend $1500 on a power cable??? Don't you think you could spend that $1500 on a better amp and upgrade the sound more? That is if the cable makes a difference at all. I contend IT DOES not, past a certain level.
Buy better upstream gear with your money, or better speakers.
They do make a difference but I wouldn't pay a fortune. Most of mine are Gutwire B- 16 which retails for $99. I liked them so well I became a dealer for them. I have 2 Oyade which retail for $450 that I got on line for $250 each. I just bought some PS Audio from their SC line, a Statement and 2 of the one just under it for $440 total so I probably have not much more than $1500 in about 15 cords. I would buy one expensive one used and several like the Gutwire and move them around to see if they made a difference in a given application. HIFICRITIC found wild variations in the performance of the same cable in different applications, in some cases cheap generic cords sounded better, especially with digital components. So they do sound different but $$$ do not always = better. With power amps the larger , more expensive cords were generally better. By all means try as many as possible but don't just throw money at it. As always buying used or with return privilege is the safest corse.
If you can not hear a difference with different power cords in your system then none exists (for you). However if you CAN hear a difference then don't let ANYONE talk you into thinking you can't trust your own ears. After all if you cannot trust your ears then who's ears can you trust? The person telling you to ignore your senses?
To my ears power cords (yes the cable that connects a component to the wall for its AC power) is the single biggest contributor (cable wise) to what a system will ultimately sound like. I don't care what anyone else has to say regarding why this cannot be true and neither should you. Call the Cable Company and have them send you a few different cables for your digital front end and perform a week long listening test and let YOUR ears decide. After that you will either believe in power cords, or not.
In my system I've had good luck with Synergistic Research and Audience power cords.
You may be better off installing dedicated line. But I agree with Macdadtexas. "Buy better upstream gear with your money, or better speakers." Or software.
EVERY power cord changes my system...they all add, subtract, enlarge, reduce, etc., etc. I built my own with Accrolink wire and Oyeida plugs or Furutech. I have an all Ayre system with Vandersteen 5A's. The amp likes the Furutech plugs, whereas the speakers, the Universal player, and the preamp like the Oyeida. If I put Oyeida in the amp, and the Furutech in any of the other components, it doesn't sound as good. You must try each power cord in the position it will function to determine its efficacy.
The better the cord,I guess the more pure noise you will receive.Look at some of the power lines supplying residential areas.Some may be tied to industrial equipment with a lot more noise. The manufactures dislike the blind ABX test.Less profit?Maybe a line conditioner will do more good?There are
some power cords that have such bad solder jobs on their plugs,its unreal!Also,what is it going to take to make this right? A home burning down,taking lives with it over a mega buck
profit greedy company going to court to face the results their actions!A $20 cord will bring you all the dirty power you need!A link on the subject.link >>>[http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/feature-article-blind-test-power-cords-12-2004.html]
this is a bit off topic from the op's request but it does support your thoughts to explore power cables. it is hard to quantify but i would confidently say that with power cable additions alone, i have increased the quality/performance of my system by 30%-40%. i admittedly invested more than you are looking to but it is relative to the overall system investment. i agree with much of what stringreen wrote in that it takes some playing around with different designs to get to a good place. some cables don't sound right on one piece of gear but fit perfect on another. i have 3 different brands of power cords but each seem to be the right fit for the gear they feed, it was a project to get to this point.
it amazes me to read so many posts stating they cannot hear a difference with upgraded cords. it is truly night and day in my system. i do not understand the philosophy of upgrading a component vs adding a power cable. if you like the piece of gear, it makes sense to do all you can to allow it to perform to it's full potential. most manufacturer's expect us to toss the cord that comes with it and attach one designed for audiophile performance.
good luck on your quest...
I'll chime in here as a recent convert (but not zealot) in the "power cords make a difference to the sound" camp. Over the past two months, I have gone from using all stock power cords and a Home Depot surge protector to:
PS Audio Perfect Wave AC-12 from the outlet to a PS Audio Quintet
PS Audio Perfect Wave AC-5s from the Quintet to (1) my amp (Cambridge 840A v.2) and (2) my front end (Olive Opus No.4, with digital out to a DAC Magic).
Yes, these changes improved the sound of my system. Less noise, bigger (and TALLER) soundstage. It has not been subtle.
But surprisingly, the biggest difference came when I added the AC-5 to the Olive Opus. This one sealed the deal for me; the things are expensive, unwieldy, and like electric garden hoses, but they DO make a difference, especially (in my case) when hooked up to the digital equipment.
I have an interesting experiment for you to try out. Get a power cord that you dont mind cutting the ends off. Any stock cord will do. Get any wire that has the LEAST amount of insulation possible AND has a reasonable guage for power throughput. Wire the ends to this wire. DO NOT KILL YOURSLEF OR YOUR EQUIPMENT IN THE PROCESS PLEASE. Connect to your equipment and listen. If you do not hear a difference that makes your mouth drop to the ground ,VS. any other power cord you can compare to. Then you know how much to spend on a power cord. DISCLAIMER - I am not agreeing/disagreeing with either side of the power cord advantage argument. You will formulate your own conclusion BETTER than any suggestions, reviews, or pictures of power cords that can be suggested to you. AGAIN...DONT KILL YOURSELF PLEASE. Its hard to tweak your system if you are dead.
PC's are icing on the cake. Yes, I've heard differences in cords. I've built several flavors of cords. I've done a shootout of different brands, low and high priced. They certainly CAN make a difference, but sometimes the differences are subtle flavors and not dramatic differences. Othertimes there's little to no apparent difference at all.
You won't know for yourself unless you try it in your own system. Experimentation is fun, but expensive unless you have friends who can bring over different cords for you to check out.
For me, power cords made a HUGE difference...in that I must agree with Richard_Stacey... My system was very good with stock power cords, but is absolutely magical now with the upgraded cords. Vandersteen 5A's have powered subwoofers built into the speaker itself. There is a high pass filter that directs the signal from the owner's amp to the midrange and tweeter, and the bass signal is routed to the amp in the speaker to power the subwoofer. I changed the stock power cords to the speakers to experiment and discovered that the whole speaker dramatically improved...not only the lows. I can't tell you why, only that it sounds fabulous...and merely excellent before.
As long as it's capable of passing the current your amp requires at max draw, you can waste all the money you want
and it won't make a difference except to the cable industry.
Make yourself a #14 or better yet a #12 with shielding connected on the plug side only for a drain and worry about one less thing. Take the extra $500 and buy music,for that is what the equipment is for.
Russe41, a voice of reason in a storm of superstition (or justifying a ridiculous purchase).
b) Provide good current capabilities which enables to make music denser, tones get more body and especially bass gets meatier and tighter (the last one normally happens more often)
The cord that i noticed that does this very well is the $400+ purist audio design Museus powercord.
Its one of those special cords.
Buying a expensive power cord gives you the placebo effect.After all,it must sound better because it cost a lot more.
A good power cord makes a huge improvement in your system. Like all things audio, the law of diminishing returns is still alive and evident so the improvement level per dollar spent will vary, but it is absolutely real. It's very easy to get on the bandwagon that says you're wasting your money upgrading your power cord and that all you need is one that passes the needed amount of current for your amp... or that it's the money spent/ placebo effect arguments... or plenty more ...but: Any experienced audiophile with less than unlimited funds will audition expensive power cords in their own system before committing to any serious expenditures, whether through loaners from friends, local clubs, local stores, or even with the many reputable cable companies that will actually let you try them for trial periods with money back guarantees. I have found most people who don't believe power cords can make a serious improvement in their system probably fall into one of the following camps, and I speak from experience because I WAS as adamantly against them as anyone, BEFORE I finally gave it a try:
* the engineer who "knows" that there is no credible basis in fact that they could possibly make any difference at all.
* The "Let's join the 'common sense club' and rally against the greedy, horribly overpriced cable manufacturers trying to convince us often frustrated/addicted/obsessed audiophiles of yet another version of voodoo tweak which we will need to spend even more money on in order to take our systems to an 'even higher' level".
and my personal favorite group:
* the "I've spent so much !f#$*!n! money on my system so far that now you're going to tell me that I've GOT to spend hundreds or even thousands more replacing perfectly fine factory issued stupid ten dollar power cords or else my system will never be nearly as good as it could or should?! I Won't believe you! I REFUSE! I simply won't believe ANYBODY who says this is really true! I can't ...it's too much more money! Nope, It's simply not true and I will surely defend that opinion against anyone who says otherwise!!!"
Been there, tried not to believe it... swore against it.
Then I finally crossed the line and tried a very entry level aftermarket cord, just to replace the stock one... just to secretly see...
Darn darn darn. That was it, Oh NOOOO! It's True! They DO make a significant improvement.
Your ears won't lie to you.
So what do you do now?
One of two things I suppose: either continue to ignore the truth, happily sitting in your well defended appropriate group... OR, ... actually ... try one... or even 2... and LET YOUR EARS TELL YOU.
Be brave, don't be afraid to try...
but if you don't, just know from here, that those of us who have, and who know, are getting pretty tired of listening to you argue against something you don't even have the open mind to try.
All I can say about higher priced cords is to take apart high end amps,preamps and cd players and look to see what they wire with ( From male IEC through fuse to transformer)? If silver wire and the like can improve the sound, it seems to me it's alot cheaper to use this method to make their equipment sound great than to pay designers and engineers to develop great sounding circuit design(tube or solid state, we'll just use silver or another magical material
and save money in manufacturing = more profit. If that worked, they would all do it.
Interesting read nomatter which way you lean http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
Lissnr, I've done that test. I have bought several very expensive power cords to try with my amps, preamp and soucrces, and there was no apprciable improvement over the first level of cords I had bought. None at all. So about $2000 worth of cables replacing my modest cables, and no improvement at all.
I put the Signal Cable cords back into play, sold the other power cords and I was very happy. Were the signal cables an improvment over the stock cords? Yes they were, but after getting a dedicated line put in, with a PS Audio Soloist wall socket, PS Audio Duet conditioner for my amps, and an APC S15 for all the other gear, my power situation is great. All I needed was a conduit to get to those nicely designed circuits.
I once again contend that I have never heard any super high end power cord that made much if any difference over the first level of after market cords. Clean the power first, as everyone does, then get it to the very nicely designed circuits.
Avoid the MAGIC cords.
with all due respect guys, it is wrong to blanket state anyone should just discount completely experimenting with cords. it is very clear that many have found significant gains from using them (as i have). sharing your experience seems appropriate but out right telling someone to stay away from them is not. it is very possible that they would benefit from them, it is also possible that they will not. i do not understand how someone wouldn't have the same positive experience that i did but that does not mean it doesn't happen!
Richard, flat out telling someone an opinion is...an opinion. It doesnt matter if its for or against or neutral. As long as no one put anyone down BECUASE of their opinion...then its all fair in philia (audio) and war.
Macdadtexas, Thanks for the reply, it's funny you should mention Signal Cable, as that's the first aftermarket brand I recommend for most people as they make their first move away from stock cords. Frank is great to work with and makes a great sounding/value for your money cable. I have used his cables for years and am still using both his digital pc and a REL speakon cable he custom built for me. I've moved along with some other power amp cables but never too highly priced...it sounds like you've moved further up that ladder than I did ($750 or so retail was the highest I've ever been and most of my cables are about half that). The main point I was trying to make obviously was that there is a lot of room for improvement over stock cords and depending on your system , (and the aforementioned law of diminishing returns) incremental improvements can be had as you increase the $$$'s spent. Bang for your buck though will always be seen most evidently from the initial move away from stock into a reputable, well made aftermarket cable that fits your application.
BTW, your 3.6's look great in black, I started with Maggies (2B's and 3A's) and still miss them in many ways. So, you're lovin that new Bryston DAC huh? Good for you.Enjoy.
pull your speakers out into the room and everything will increase...cheaper than a $$$ power cord
Cable discussions are always a little bit special and influencing the soundstage via Power Cord, too.
Try it the following way, buy first some 1.class Power Plugs (Oyaide, Furutech...), the main improvement is in these.
No matter what you will do in future, the best investment you can do:
Buy better electronics.
try the placebo affect and hyypnosis. you'll get your depth and bass control for the same price.
I put a Nordost Valhalla power cord on my PlayStation1.It was like a veil was lifted from my system!!!! The musicians were in the same room.Bass was extended to 18Hz.I actually heard a 28KHz passage on one of my better Justin Timberlake cds.All this for only $1800(used price).I'm thinking of getting the Valhalla ic's also.That should take my PS1 to the next level.
Pani,It seems both sides of debate like Signal Cables.
The Shunyata cords have moved the sound stage back for me. But what do I know.I am obviously delusional and being strongly influenced by the placebo effect.
Danny, it's good to admit it when you have a problem, now sell those cables and use the money to upgrade some other equipment that gives you real improvment.
Ahh, it feels good to help.
Just ordered the King Cobra cx For my Ps1. Thanks Tpreaves for the idea.
Got to go Harry Potters starting and you know how I love my Magic.
I was going to do the same.Then it got cool outside.I thought about it,then realized that I just can't relish the thought of that thing slithering into our bed to warm up at night!
I've had my whole house rewired with pure 10 awg copper, but the power from the grid just doesn't do it for me, so I've gone green and added a wind mill and enough Solar Cells to generate my own, clean, green power. But since it rains a lot in Houston, and every once in a while the winds from the Gulf stop I also installed an GE LM6000 gas turbine generator. It's a bit loud, and uses a lot natural gas, but I get to sell my excess generation (close to 100 MW/h) to the grid for a nice tidy profit.
Although it's hard to hear the music over the roar of the turbine, and my neighbors are a bit annoyed, I think I finally have solved my power problem.
If that new power cord doesn't work,these folks might be interested in your GE.You Tube>>>[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jN0bqL9cM0]
One of these might help keep the neighbors happy if you keep it.[http://www.airport-technology.com/contractors/groundequipment/blast-deflectors/blast-deflectors4.html]
HiFiTime that great, and the best part is that between the 110 MW/h turbine genarator, and the new blast deflection soundproofing you have so kindly suggested, I'm probably only going to be in about $22 million. That's still less than a lot of the Hogwarts graduates here pay for their power cables on their $20,000 worth of gear.
I wish they could understand a power cord can't condition. It's still the same.Dirty power into the cord,dirty power out of it.I wonder if all the engineers have super cords on their test equipment.
A few years back I have experiment with power cable change and compare the result to power fuse upgrade. I find the later provide better bang for your bulk.
PS: better still no fuse if better than any fuse... Just short the fuse with a thick copper wire and you can hear result no power cable upgrade can bring.
Tpreaves gave me an idea, so this evening I dug out a bottle of Lancer's Rose, wrapped a Nordost power cord around it, and poured a glass--unbelievable: out came a 2006 Trotanoy, Pomerol! Later tonight I'm gonna Nordost the wife; stay tuned . . .
Damn, I got Kathy Bates. It must be true what they say about system synergy.
Stewie,you wasted your money buying the Lancers.The Valhalla cord can change mere tap water to fantastico vino.
I took the Pepsi challange with Valhalls and others against Synergistic Tesla PC's and it was no contest (in my system). The Teslas kicked butt.
Fortunately my dealer allowed me to audition every cable under the sun.
I recommend just that- audition everything you can and then, and only then, make your decision.
Shellie, I think you are missing the point of TP's post. Read up the string, it's sarcasism, lampooning those who try to justify buying ridiculously priced cables that go from an expensive power conditioner to a beautifully designed circuit, and say it effects the sound.
Are you / he listening for us all or is there room for those of us who have heard "expensive" powercords make a positive difference in our "expensive" systems? What if we also feel these positive differences were well worth the price? Are we allowed to listen and trust our senses or are we to trust in something/someone else?
Please let me know what we "should" do, oh and thanks in advance.
It's your money, and you can certainly spend it on whatever you wish.
The contention of a large percentage of the respondents on this string is that if the power is conditioned prior to going to the amplifier or other main transformer circuit, as long as there is an ample flow of electrons, no power cord is going to effect the sound. Therefore, you are better spending the extra money on better source/preamp/amplification than a "Magic" power cord.
This is one subject that gets a lot of people on here worked up, because exotic power cords more than anything else are percieved to have a placebo effect. In other words, the science says it's a bunch of BS. There is no signal being transmitted over a power cord so how could it effect the sound? As long as there is continuous and sufficient flow of electrons to the gear, there should be no effect. The power supply of the gear is what can effect the sound.
That said, I think most on here would not dispute that you can get improvement in sound with an aftermarket power cord that has better contact, a large wire, and shielding, but that after the first level of upgrade (Signal Cable for sake of arguement) there is no appreciable improvment.
You might consider a MAC (My Audio Cables) HC Sound Pipe. Reasonably priced (<$200). Can't say it will do all you are looking for in your system, but it is in line with your budget. I did hear a difference when I replaced the stock power cord on my amp with one of these. Greater transparency and more high end. Led to some repositioning of my speakers as a result, so I don't think it was merely placebo. Link here http://www.myaudiocables.com/
Shellie...My comments are a "tongue in cheek" attempt to bring a little humor to this thread.Humor is a good thing,more folks should try it.No one,especially me, is trying to tell you what to do or what you hear.I am in no way trying to chastise or belittle anyone's choice of equipment they have or want to have.I say "to each his/her own".Now if you will excuse me,I have a new set of valhalla ic's waiting to be connected to my sony 300 disc juke box!!!! Ta-ta.
Shellie, try a outboard D/A converter on your Sony 300 disc player,and it might start sounding like music.No power cord could change it.That wouldn't be a waste of money.You could use it on other sources too.I have tried numerous cords that friends bought and tried out.They all sold them.I heard them on systems that priced out at $250,000,maybe more.The dealers even will tell you once they get to know you,they sell them to customers that insist they are better.They have to have them there for appearance.They will go along with what the customer wants to stay in business.The one will tell the customer,"we think it sounds better".If they tell the customer what they really think,that may make the customer walk out door.They have to play the game.They said they have a good profit margin on them too.
Oops,Somebody was talking to me and I misread the statement.I thought the 300 disc was Shellie's.A outboard D/A could help out with it too.But a expensive money wasting power cord sure won't.It does help the bank account of the PC makers and sellers for sure! No science needed there!