Power Cord Advice

I have the following amps in my system, Acurus A250, A200, and A150. Would I realize a noticeable improvement in sound and dynamics with higher quality power cords. Also do other components in my system need upgraded power cords or just the amps. Thank you so much for your help. Rick
Rick next time you see used Harmonic Tech Pro-AC11 power cord here for $125, buy one and use on CD player first, because it is the most sensitive to change of cord it will show biggest improvement, of course it must have removeable cord. Pre-amp and amps also will also improve in that order. If you don't like you can resell here for same price as you paid....."try it you'll like it" regards Sam
Thanks much for the advice Sam. Rick
Sam is right. You won't need to sell it. Mine is superb.
Start with CD player, then Pre-amp, then Amp. Power cord upgrades are the MOST significant improvement. My Electraglides,ie Reference and Fat Boy were the most dramatic upgrades than my $4000 CD Player!! Power cords DO make a difference.Buy them USED and save alot of money.Research them first. All cords do different things in systems. Check out the BMI or Delta Lab power cords on the Auction here at Audiogon. Great cords at Minmal prices that compete with much more expensive manufacturers. GOOD LUCK. Oh, don't forget upgrading interconnects and wires.
I've used Classe (old) and Cardas, then recently Stealth, which were MUCH superior. Since they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have only shipping costs to lose by trying them. See some details of their technology at www.interlinkhouse.com.
you want a powercord upgrade? look at the ones offered for $200-2000, then go to your best local electrical supply store, buy the same wire and connectors, go home, put it together and, SHAZAM, you've got a black cha cha, nbes, whatever, whatever for a tiny fraction of what you'll be charged to hear (is it there, is it there?) the sort of difference you'll only obtain by moving from mid-fi to the highend. seriously, you can improve the sound of some componenets that come with less-than-flaccid powercords by upgrading them, but you really can do it yourself.
I applaud Cornfedboys' spirited do it yourself approach, but I disagree. The cable that most higher end manufacturer's use is not typically available at an electrical supply store. At $160 or less, buy the Harmonich Tech Pro AC-11 and spend your time making money, not trying to save it, or do something more productive and fun.
I made my own powercord and it blows away the $800 powercords I tried. I'm using 10 gauge wire with wattgate IEC end and a hubble male on the other end. It is absolutly amazing. The dynamics are insane. Tons of slam and very tight bass. Actually BMPNYC many "highend" wires use exactly the same copper wire you find at your local hardware store and just put a neat cover over it. If you live in portland Oregon I DARE anybody to come up with a powercord that will beat mine. You will soon relize how foolish it's been to spend more on a powercord than the $50 I spent on my wire!
Kacz, send me yours for a week, I'll be glad to review it.
I have a Silver(pure silver wire) Delta powercord I bought used here. It's plugged into my Jadis integrated(my CD player doesn't have a detachable cord). Improvement is definitely noticeable. I have read hear that it makes more difference on the source, so when I get a new player look out! If that's the case, the cord must be very good to make such a difference on my amp. But, here's a DIY. Go to homegrown audio and buy 5-9's 22 gauge silver wire w/teflon insulation for $1.80/foot(if you buy 50+ feet, $2.80/foot if you buy less than 50 feet). Buy 72 feet of this, and divide it up to braid a 6 foot powercord(figure hot, neutral, & ground). Cost will be $130. Now go out and buy REALLY good high-end plugs. For about $200, I think we'd have a worldbeater. Perhaps others can offer opinions on this.
OK carl I will. Just as long as you have very good wire in your walls and a good outlet or the power will just bottleneck and not do any good. I'm putting together another one so you may have to burn it in. I'm leaving tomorrow for seattle so maybe I could get it out monday or tuesday. E-mail me and we'll set it up. I'll pay for shipping there and you pay for shipping back OK.
Kacz and Carl, If this deal works out, and both you guys agree that the sound is worth the effort, please e-mail me the materials list, especially the materials for the wire itself. I have some Swiss made IEC's and Hubbell three prongs (clamshell). So, primary I need the wire type, gauge and brand information to join the test.
Hi Kacz; I'm a fellow Oregonian (coast) and really interested in your power cord construction. Where did you get your Wattagate and Hubbell plugs? And is connecting the wires to the plugs any problem, ie what kind of connectors are used? Did you twist wires? What kind of cover, if any, did you put on your cord? I hope you and Carl will keep audiogon up to date on review progress? The "Kacz" power cord may have been born! Best Luck. Craig.
I know one should start at the source and work down with powercords.As I am an analog junkie I still wanted to try an aftermarket cord.I had a H.T. PRO-AC11 for 3 weeks and put at least 200 hours on it.I used it on my Rogue 99 preamp outboard power supply.I heard NO difference from the skinny,light stock cord.The PRO-AC11 went back to the dealer.My questions to Kacz are 1) Do you think the K.C.(Kacz Cord) is good enough to give me an improvement over the stock cord? 2) Have you experimented with different lengths to see if I could go with a meter.3) would you build me one,and for how much $$? Thanks!!
Group count me in!!!!!!! I'm definitely looking for upgrading the junk stock wires on my equipment and have been installing Hubbell 5266 with very good success in monster HT 2000 and MIT Z Cord II(what an improvement) that feeds my amplifier... I'm also into taking out the molded IEC on the MIT because I'M SURE I´LL GET BETTER SOUND !!!! as has happened everytime I work on this. Please provide more details on cable...... I don´t recall what gauge the MIT Z cord is. Hints anyone?
I know 3 may be a crowd and 4 or 5 definitely, but I'd like to try the "Kacz Power Cord" too. Carl, if you think it has potential, please post back here and I'll make a pair up for my mono's. Kacz, did you use these on amps or front end comp? I've got stock cords on my mono's and AC Couplers on Transport and DAC. Very interested in the thoughts of others who end up trying Kacz's cord.
Hi Carl, Albert, Garfish, I look forward to hearing about the results of your "KACZ" power cords, and hope he is correct and that they kick a.. and we can save all try to beat the system. Good luck!
For clarification, KACZ as well as Albert Porter mentions, please e-mail the material list specially the cable..... e-mail ktm322@racsa.co.cr Thanks
Any of you have information on Audioquest CA 15 and CA -12 power cords? There are very good price offers on them. Thanks
Any of you have information on Audioquest CA 15 and CA -12 power cords? Reviews or experiences to share There are very good price offers on them. Thanks
OK theres allot to respond to so here goes........ ALBERTPORTER: It's just your standard romex 10/2 with ground solid core copper house wire.......... Garfish: I got the hubble end from HOME BASE there about $12 (home depot doesn't sell any good ends at all) I also have good levinton ones that I get from the distibutor even though I'm not a dealer or contractor (they don't care as long as I sign somebodies company name). You can get the wattgate from their website and you can spend up to $120 a piece for gold plated ones but I got the standard ones for $30 each from an audiogon member who buys them in bulk. His user name is R32446. He will give you a great deal so send him an E-mail. I don't use a cover but I was thinking about using some shrink wrap to fancy it up. With both ends you push the wire in and screw down a clamp (no twisting)............ DAVID 99: I've only made the one cord and haven't tried it on my source yet I'll let you know when I finish making the next one and carl is done with it. Right now I really like the MIT Z-cord 2 with no other line conditioning.........SOL332: I also changed an end on my Z-cord 2 (a major pain in the butt I might add) I hope you made sure to attach the mesh jacket to the ground wire otherwise your not getting any line conditoning. Anyways MIT uses a very cheap stranded wire in there so if you liked that then you'll love my new cord. I love Z 2's on my frontend but found it made my amp to soft and limited dynamics........EVERYBODY: Please keep this in mind. I have brand new wire running from the street to my brand new breaker box. from there I use 10 guage wire to my quality levinton outlet. I get very clean powerfull electicity. This wire makes sure it gets to my amp as good as when it left the street. If all your other wire in the house is poor than it may not do much. If you have poor electicity and need some serious filtering then the expensive ones may be better if thats what there made to do. .........I can tell you this: Part of my house uses very old stranded wire and my stereo sounded absolutely lifeless, slow, and dull on that line. None of the powercords I used made hardly any difference. Only with the new line could I really test the cords and I found the one I made to be by far the best. R32446 told me an even better thing to do is to not even have an outlet and hook the IEC end straight to the wire coming out of the wall! Carl said he has only fair wires in his house so I would like others to try it out so we can get a few opinions. Please E-mail me and over the next few months I will try to get it to you but after carl you will need to pay for shipping both ways. Have A good weekend everybody I'll be back sunday night.
Kacz: Mesh was connected to ground, no problem there. Thanks for the tip...
I was to eager so I made some time and finished making the other cord and put it on my dac. I like the sound better than my Z-cord 2. It's a little more natural sounding among other small improvements so I won't really have a loner cord to lend out after carl but if he likes it than you guys should probably just go out and put one together. It's cheap and I'm sure you'll keep em. ALBERTPORTER: Please let us know how yours turns out. Anyone want to buy a Z cord 2 for $75?
Actually, I have already tried making AC cords using Romex. It is not bad, after all, it is what is in your walls! I even remember a review from Peter Moncrief of IAR, where he used a four cross (two Romex cables in an X) to build an AC cable. I tried that as well. Also, Tube Research builds a 10 strand Romex AC cable with the large 20 amp IEC connector soldered in place for their GT 400 amps (I had that cable too). All of these are good, but I must confess I prefer the old Tiffany TPC 60 over all of these. And although the Tiffany is now discontinued, it is often for sale at $60.00. To go beyond, I also believe that many of today's more expensive power cords are better than the Tiffany. I don't want to ruin this post with a negative comment, so I would just add that each of you can experiment for yourself, especially considering the small expense involved. After all, if it works at all, it beats the stock cords and you have a backup in case you get a loner piece of gear you wish to test. Last comment, Romex is a brand name, (like Band Aid) there are many types of sheathed copper cables, and there are differences in the sound of each. This will make this somewhat more difficult to test. (Sorry to bring all this up).
Kacz, wanted to clarify that my house wiring is not stranded, but is solid core, similar to Romex, not sure the brand. It is only 12 gauge times 3, however, and all the breakers are only 15 amp. We only have 200 amp power service, also. I don't think this is as much of a drawback as has been made by others, however. Also, I must take issue with your assumption that high quality or "new" cables in your house, or breaker box, would TOTALLY eliminate the need for ANY filtering or conditioning, especially for line level/source components. I feel that there is no such thing as a clean 60 Hz sinewave straight from the power lines (or under-ground lines). Just look at the test of the PS Audio unit, and you'll see how distorted the waveform was before it got to the PS Audio. I've considered trying one, but I think it'll consume too much power for one of my rooms (700 watts?), where both source and amp are on the same circuit. That said, I have every intention of trying your cord both on my source, and on both my Krell and Rogue amps. I like to plug my source components into a Chang Lightspeed 6400. I'll try it with and without the Chang, for argument's sake, though. I have the Z-Cord 2, and believe that it is a 14 gauge times 3, is it not? It has the stock connectors, and since it has beaten EVERY expensive cord I've thrown at it (when used ONLY with the source component), I'm not inclined at all to change the connectors, fearing a loss of synergy (I realize many enjoy doing this, however).............I've noticed that Purist Audio Design, and also ESP, use the Eagle IEC connectors. Do you have an opinion on them, Kacz?..................As far as "tweak freaks" go, I would say that I am NOT really in that camp. There are those that believe that interconnects and speaker wires should have conductors literally exposed to the air with no dielectric or insulation, and that speakers should have no binding posts, that the wires would just come out of a hole in the back of the cabinet, and even soldered directly into the amplifier (bypass its posts), when possible. I admit that binding posts have a sonic signature much greater than the "wire" connected to them, but there are certain safety and practicality issues that should be adhered to to avoid all sorts of time over-consumption and terrible "accidents", it seems to me.
Carl and Albert: It´s a very good sign for me to see you guys coming with a "balancing" comment here. Albert very good point there are other alternatives with shielded cable (stranded though) that could be used from Belden for the power cord.... It all depends on where in the stairway of improvements you are now... As metioned for me almost for sure will get improvements on stock cords but I'm taking my time considering the options in order to do it the best I can. My in-wall wiring is stranded 12ga. and for the amp I'm going to go to at least 10 (still stranded though. I'm looking for solid wire sources at this point). Carl : I agree on the need of PLC for front end in spite of wire age or type in general. You´re confirming my impression that MIT is 14x3 gauge. In my opinion changing the plug in it made an improvement that I personally like, as we all know from many threads it´s a matter of try and decide I´ve compared the Hubbell wall plates vs Eagle or Leviton they are very similar though I consider the construction and finish quality slightly better in Hubbell's (talking hospital grades here) As you point in the last lines of your comment, definitely safety is a first priority. Have you experienced any of the directionality issues mentioned about in-wall wiring mentioned elsewhere. Regards
Carl, what other power cords have you tried out of interest? I am curious as to whether you have tried any of the Powersnakes. I have heard a lot about them but have been unable to hear any myself yet.
To Sol (the name of our sun, but I guess you know that): No, I haven't experienced directionality issues with regards to in-wall wiring, but I haven't experimented with it, either. I don't foresee changing the house wiring in the house I'm in now, but plan to make you all envious with what I'll do in my "dream house" one day. One thing I would do is use several parallel runs of large gauge wire for each circuit, and perhaps anywhere from 20 to 40 amp dedicated circuits (among other things)...........To Nhorton: You must have missed my epic saga called "My Sidewinder AC cord Progress". Seek it out, it's under either "Sound Advice", or "System Matching", I forget which. As others have done, you can even highlight, copy, and paste anything relevant you might find, in another thread, like this one for example.
Mr. Eberhart. Build your house before you are 40 years old or nobody will trust what you say you think you hear . There is always the possibility , as far as nano-decible measurements go , that the human variable is said to be never absent in gathering this data . GODSPEED on your home .
Dear All: I am doing an engineering study of my own right now on this very hot issue, Powercords. Like all self projects it started with almost $0 funding. What I've done so far would interest DIY folks very much. There are 3 important features(IMHO)of PC which I first investigated a) Conductor size.. b)Stranding..c)Insulation material. Shielding & twisting maybe later. I prepared several 1.5m lengths of copper fine stranded,PVC insulated, shielded powercables of various sizes..(18, 16, 14 AWG)for listening comparison against my stockcords(20 AWG) in turn. Contrary to some Audiogon postings, I noticed the greatest difference at the poweramp...please don't jump at me yet. The differences at the preamp and CDP are not noticeable. I tried to understand why was that, so on opening up the CDP, I saw it has some very good powerline filter circuits already builtin. Apparently the various conductor sizes did not improve on this already good filter, furthermore CDP do not demand large instanteneous AC current, so conductor size is not at issue...(Thats not all, more on CDP later when my study proceeds to insulation materials...) Back to the poweramp.. as the conductor size increases, the bass tone became more well defined and lower! It had a sort of "smoothness" and the treble's not affected in any way. That was exciting, but my 15A IEC could not take larger than 14 AWG. It's just slightly smaller than my wallsocket 20A wire. IMHO the better poweramp performance is indicative of quicker mainspower replenishing current rate at 50Hz/60Hz so having voltage stabilizing effect in its DC rectifiers and Storage capacitors. This is logical because the bass is clearly enhanced with larger conductors. I better comeup with some calculation to be tenable for AES to even consider. So for this moment I have 14AWG powercables for the poweramp and preamp, stockcord for CDP(to be further studied and post here when completed). Following is my DIY material list..Cable from local Belden shop marked as CSA LL7874 14-3 SJT 60C FT2 Shielded /14-3 SJT 60C (UL)E3462. (CSA/UL are Canada & USA standards respectively)..IEC 15A freesockets are from Farnell Components. Good luck.
FBI....Yes, I better do as you say, or I'd really be stupid, wouldn't I?.............Regarding conductor size, my experience has been that large AWG does indeed make the most difference with power amps, and that is a given. Of course they are the most current hungry components in anybody's system, so less DC resistance in a power cable will always allow more current to be transferred. However, I did experience many improvements, including dynamics and bass weight/extension, when I went from the stock 16x3 cord on my CD player, to the 14x3 MIT one. Interestingly, dynamics didn't improve much more with all the larger cords I tried with the CD player.