I would try a Purist on it. I tried a Dominus w/ the Ayre C5xe and love it. You probably could go with the one below the Dominus. I am sorry I dont know the name.
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Ayre recommends the Cardas Golden Reference or the one right under it. Ayre has an excellent power supply so I don't believe power cords will/nor should change things much.
Nickt seems happy with his change but one mans change is another mans evil! You'll just have to try. Of course, I think you're getting excellent sound as is.
I have the Ayre CX-7e in my second system. It's a great value in it's price range. I have tried the Elrod Signature power cord with it as well as the Virtual Dynamics Master Series and the Nite II. I strongly preferred the Elrod Sig. with the Ayre. To my ears, it is more natural sounding, with a cleaner, clearer, more resolving and fuller sound. There is more weight to the presentation, and yet it has agility and openness. The leading edge on transients is more realistic, without an artificial edge. The bottom line: it was more involving. Brent Rainwater of Rainwater Audio got me into Elrod's Statement power cord for my primary system. I wanted to have some of the magic of the Statement in my second system; the Signature gives me a taste of it for a lot less money than the Statement or the VD Master Series. (I am not affiliated with the Elrod company.)
IMHO I believe that starting with a line conditioner is paramount even one as simple as the monster HTS 5100. If you believe that jamming an expensive cord into a wall outlet improves the quality then by all means go right ahead and do so. Just remember that a chain is as strong as it's weakest link.
If a 1/2" water pipe represents your AC outlet.
Now if a 3/4" pipe represents your aftermarket power cord, by connecting the 3/4 pipe to the 1/2 will only yeild the water of 1/2 pipe. It's smaller pipe and that's where the source comes from. Further more it's still the same quality water.
What you want to do is filter the source first just like you would filter water. That's what a line conditioner does. It filters the AC current coming out of the wall outlet.
So IMHO spend the extra $$ on a line conditioner first. Then if you want to try different cords from the conditioner to your equiptment it may make a differance.
The use of power conditioners is dependent on the quality of the component's power supply with which the conditioner might be used.
For example, the Ayre products with the "Ayre conditioner" power supplies aren't supposed to require any additional power conditioning. Same with the Moscode 401HR. In fact, I tried the Moscode today plugged directly to the dedicated AC line via a Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox PC, and I compared the sound versus running the Moscode plugged to a Shunyata Hydra fed with another Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox power cord. Going straight to the wall seems to work just as well, if not better. I certainly don't notice any degradation in the sound when bypassing the Hydra.
My recommendation would be to try a few power cords without a power conditioner and see what you like. Certainly put the Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox on your list along with the Black Sand, and perhaps a reference power cord from DCCA.
Witchdoc, My comments in the previous post above were the result of auditioning the power cords with and without the Sound Application RLS conditioner in both my primary and secondary systems. The RLS made a significant positive difference in addition to the contributions of the Elrod cords. I am planning to detail those contributions in a review as soon as I get some free time.
Grant (Tvad), The RLS also improved the Ayre CX-7e's presentation in my second system. Cleaner; more relaxed, natural, and musical.
I appreciate all of the replies. I did not stop at the C7-Xe and went ahead and purchased the matching V5-Xe amp and K5-Xe pre amp. When I bought my house one of the first things I did was to replace both of the outlets on my wall with PS Audio silver plated, cyrogenically treated outlets. I currently use a Monster HTS-3600 and my local Ayre dealer told me to dump it and go straight to the wall. He feels that the Monster line of PC's choke too much of the current. However, he does reccomend one of the Richard Gray's power conditioners, somehting like the RGpc 400 Pro
F1, I'd say your dealer is steering you right, although I'm not a big fan of the Richard Gray conditioners, or most others. I've heard some terrific systems that don't incorporate any in-line power conditioners (including one of my own systems). The idea that you "must" have in-line power conditioning is simply not true, IMO. The right powerline conditioner can improve your system, the wrong one can forever limit the ultimate performance of your system.
Ayre is very clean stuff, therefor I wouldn't recommend you any line conditioner, they all make the sound more dirty and restricted. Only a good power cord directly plugged into the wall will do the job. The best power cords I'm aware of come from NBS, an internationally well regarded brand. With NBS you got the feeling of letting through the music. It lowers the noise floor dramatically, so they don't influence the signal, only leave out the bad things, noise etc..
Ever better: use a whole NBS system of the same type.
"Ayre is very clean stuff, therefor I wouldn't recommend you any line conditioner, they all make the sound more dirty and restricted. Only a good power cord directly plugged into the wall will do the job."
While it is true that some line conditioners may compromise the sonics in some audio systems, your statement needs some qualifiers. As noted in my post above, the Sound Application Reference Line Stage (RLS) conditioner improved the sonics in both my highly resolving primary system as well as my secondary system. (My secondary system includes the Ayre player.) Compared to going directly into the wall outlets of my dedicated AC lines, the RLS improved the whole spectrum of sound (cleaner, fuller, more natural, dynamic, extended, relaxed, musical, involving, and glare-free). These positive results held for all the power cords I had on hand including some of the finest (Elrod Statement and Signature, Virtual Dynamics Master Series and Night II, Purist Audio, and stock cords). You may want to try some of the better line conditioners that do not limit current to hear what they can (or can't) do in your own system. In particular, should you wish to try the RLS, it is available at several dealers, including Rainwater Audio. (I am not affiliated with the Sound Application company.)
After your recommendation I quickly had a look at their web site and reviews. Very interesting (also very serious prices:-)) and would like to try some day, but I do not live on the american continent and I don't think SA sells over seas. But who know's?
I tried many conditioners in the past without good results, therefor I am a bit suspicious. But for now NBS cords work fine for me and no need for upgrade.
The Richard Grey "Power Conditioner" is really not a power conditioner in the sense that Moster and others are. It is a big choke used as an isolation transformer. It will help clean up the power without imposing any limitations on it.
When I had my Ayre stuff, it definitely created a better sonic picture without altering the basic existing sound.
The Richard Grey power cords are excellent.
In my system, Richard Grey was the very worst thing that ever happened to it. I was told that it has to break in to sound it's best, however, after 6 months when I removed them and went directly into the wall, and the sound opened up and became 3 dimensional again, I quickly sold the R/G stuff on Audiogon. I had 2 of them, when I used 1 the system sounded better, when I removed both it was a revelation. Try before you buy!!
If it isn't too late: I have the CX-7 (now upgraded) and tried a myriad of power cords on it as well as other parts of the system. I chose the Cardas GR. To describe why, I offer the following:
I was getting these cords from The Cable Company, which really helps when considering different brands. As a qualifier, I only tried cords that retailed for less than $1000. As others mentioned, most of the cords altered the sonics. Some (most) were clearly unsuitable, but it is very hard to decide when you find more than one cord you like.
I would rather not spend money on colorations (eventually having to compensate with other colorations), but this business is hardly an exact science when it comes to auditioning. On my amp (Aragon 8008BB), the two favorites were the Shunyata Taipan Helix and Cardas Golden Reference. They were quite different, however, so which was more correct? On the Ayre I clearly preferred the Cardas.
IMO, audio equipment should come out of the box sounding pretty much the way the designer intended when using the stock power cord. If I do not like it, I move on. I chose the preamp, CD player, and amp I have because I prefered them (as is) over everything I tried in the respective price ranges. They may not have been my overall favorites, but they were within the budget I had at the time.
On the CX-7, the GR really made a most positive difference, with everything sounding more complete, musical, and real. And there were no negative effects that I could hear. If this makes sense, I do not think it actually altered the sonic intent of the player, but made it better. Some of the others I tried were: Audience, Harmonic Technologies AC 10, JPS Power AC +, LAT International AC 2 (my own), MIT Shotgun AC 1 and Z cord II, Shunyata Diamondback, Copperhead, and Taipan Helix Alpha, and Synergistic Research Active AC Master Coupler X2.