Power Cord for my McCormack DNA-500

Paging all McCormack DNA-500 owners...

Santa was very good to me -- I landed a slightly used and very well cared for McCormack DNA-500 over the holidays. What an amazing amp! It has proven to be a substantial step-up from my Levinson 331 and really brings out the best in my Aerial 10Ts.

Here's the thing... because of the 20amp IEC component connector, I'm stuck using it with the original power cord for now. It's much more difficult to find PCs to "try" with the 20A IEC much less find one used here on Audiogon (although there are a few).

So, can any DNA-500 owners speak to the improvements your PC provides over the stock PC? I've seen lots of recommendations for the VH Audio Airsine. I love this PC and am using one on my orig Hydra. But... it took every penny I could scrape to buy the DNA-500, so a $700+ Airsine just isn't gonna happen anytime soon.

What about a Flavor 4 with 20A IEC on the component end? There is also a used Audience PC with 20A IEC. Anything else in the ~$300-$400 range that would be a substantial upgrade over the stock PC?

I used a DCCA power cable with my DNA-500 when I had it, and it was a great match. Don of DCCA has some cables listed now that he's selling as demos, so ping him to see what you can get in your price range.

The Extreme REF worked very well, being quite neutral, and the cheaper REF-1 worked well too, albeit at a slightly fuller sound with more bass.

Even though I downsized to a BAT VK-500, I use DCCA Extreme power cables on it, and have no desire to change.
I second Mark's comments. I have his DNA-500 now and the DCCA Extreme I demo'd was a very nice match for it. In my case, I just couldn't live with the stiffness of the cord in my environment but that's true for several great cables. I ended up with a Harmonix Studio Master X-DC on my DNA as well as my Sound Applications Line Filter and love that combo. It is also quite flexible. Several are available on a'gon though may be a little more $$ than you want. The DNA definitely gets much better when you replace the stock cord so be patient and get something that works well with it. You'll be rewarded.

Voodoo makes an IEC adapter that will allow you to use any 15 amp IEC power cord you wish for your DNA 500. I use one on my premier 350 which also has a 20amp IEC with a PS Audio Statement extreme power cord.

Greetings 'Goners -

Just a thought about the notion of using a 15A-to-20A IEC adapter... I realize that the 15A IEC power connector is far more common than the 20A style, and thus it is easier to find 15A power cords to audition. However, it is my experience that the 20A connector is sonically superior and, in fact, I would prefer to use it on all my equipment. When it comes to very-high-powered amplifiers like the DNA-500 or DNA-2, it is important that you provide the cleanest, lowest-resistance power connection possible. Therefore I would suggest that you finally use a power cord with the 20A connector, even if you use an adapter to facilitate the auditioning process. I believe that you can order 20A power cords from most (perhaps all) cable suppliers, and you ought to be able to have a 15A cable re-terminated with a 20A connector if need be - either by the original manufacturer or a qualified technician.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack

Would your comment translate to utilizing the stock cord? I never used the stock cord on my premier 350 so maybe it would be better than utilizing the PS Audio with the IEC adapter. What are your thoughts? PS Audio does not offer a 20A IEC for their power cords but instead refered me to a technician that could perform the surgery. I found the adapter on the voodoo web site and figured why not never giving a thought that it might effect the performance of the amp.

Hi Chuck -

My comment was only intended to suggest that I think you would be better off without the adapter, once you have found the AC cord that is right for you. This is especially true with high-powered amplifiers. I am mildly surprised to hear that PS Audio does not offer the 20A IEC connector as an option, but having it done by a good technician is still possible.

I make an effort to provide good quality stock AC cords with my gear, and for many people this will be just fine. However, I find that aftermarket AC cords can offer a meaningful performance enhancement, so I think it is worthwhile to audition them - much like interconnects and speaker cable.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
DCCA power cables are well match with the DNA 500.I
heard it from MARKr house, I do use DCCA also on my
BAT500, and Plinius SA100, and Stratos Extreme Oddyssey.
All my amp are happy and the music is live.Don is
a very nice person to work with,world class man, with
a world class pc.
Thanks to all for the positive feedback on the DCCA Extreme Ref. I did contact Don but I'm afraid even the demo is a bit beyond my reach right now. But I will definitely keep an eye on this cable.

And thanks, Steve, for your insight on PCs for your amp. I will definitely try a few!

Just my 5 pennies. I had a DNA-500 too and it was a super amp. I started off of with a LAT Internationa AC-2 MKI and was very, very happy with it. It really 'lit' the amp up to my ears. The great thing about the LAT cable is, it's inexpensive and you can test drive it for 45 days. All you loose is shipping costs (marginal).


You could do alot worse.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you really want to hear what your DNA-500 can do, try an Elrod Signature 3 or Statement. You will be startled and amazed(depending upon the rest of your system) and may spend the following several months trying to scrape together the funds to afford same.

More to the point, I would suggest demoing cords you are interested in thru the Cable Company - they have a good program and your rentals are applied to your ultimate purchase. They have proven very good to work with.
Fplanner2000, I have used the Cable Company before on speaker cables a few years back and they are great to work with. And, yes, I have no doubt that if I hear what the high-end PCs like the Elrod can do on the DNA-500, I'll want one. Unfortunately, just nothing to scrape together right now so I'd rather not torture myself ;-)

FWIW, I am using a DIY version of the VH Audio Flavor 4 on the amp that is nice step up from the stock PC. That'll hold me for awhile.

Thanks to all for the responses!