Power cord replacement suggestions


If i were to delve into the fanatic behavior of replacing power cords, is there some concensus on where the most impact would be gained, whether on source, pre, or amp, or is it just different for every system and need to experiment. Thanks for any advice.

droleg
My experience is that power cord changes on the preamp and phono preamp had the most effect, however you experience may be different.
I would imagine that it would depend on the component and how much resolving power it has.
Amp and preamp are a good starting point.  Also remember that a single brand or model will not be ideal for all the components.    
I've found that (in general) components that have lower quality power supplies can show more discernible improvements than those with extremely high quality power supplies.

Today's electronics are capable of pretty good resolution, but the more "cost effective"  power supply used in the more affordable components tends to reduce their capabilities. A good power cable will augment a less capable power supply and benefit the components overall performance.

e.g. my Bifrost DAC, with a small transformer,  achieved considerable improvement, whereas my NAIM amp, which has a large transformer, showed little improvement when using the same "quality" power cable

Regards...


IMHO, I would replace the main power cord to the system first. Install at least one, preferably two, dedicated lines from the breaker box to upgraded outlets at the system. It is better to use upgraded component power cords with dedicated lines than daisy chained AC wiring to a $0.97 wall outlet.

Got that covered, tls49. Have 2 10 guage runs from panel to 20 amp hospital outlets. So i want to start with one aftermarket power cord as a step closer to insanity. And to all , thanks for the input.
@droleg,
You might get a more specific answer to your question if you were to list the audio equipment you use, including a power conditioner or outlet strip if you use them.
The system consists of ayre 5 exmp cd and pre, and a pliniuc sa250 amp. No power conditioner. It was more of a general question of whether it's generaly best on source, pre,or amp, but if someone can make recommendations specific to this, than all that much better. Thanks
@droleg, in your system I'd start with the cdp, preamp, amp last. I've owned several Plinius amps and currently own a Pliunius SA Reference.
Does anyone have any experience with the mad scientist power cord, good or bad? I dont have the time or financial resources to try umpteen different brands, so would love to hear from people with experience.
In my experience, power cord change at the source makes the biggest difference.  I started out with my dac and the difference was huge.  Then I changed the power cord on the amp, and there were noticeable differences, but not as big as the dac.
Well, everyone can't be wrong. Far be it for me to reinvent the wheel. We'll start with source, after i find a powercord.
droleg;
Here are three options of power cords that are very worthwhile to look into at three different price ranges, all inexpensive in my opinion. I own all of them and I can attest to the fact that are all very good and will compete with power cords costing between $1000 to $2000 or more.
Send me a message if I can further answer any questions for you regarding these power cords.

Cerious Technologies Graphene power cords (Red for CDP and/or Preamp, Blue or Yellow for amp): https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/cerious-technologies-new-graphene-cables

Core Power Technologies CPT-150 or CPT-300: 
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/has-anyone-tried-these-stunning-new-cpt-power-cord

Silver Ghost (here on Audiogon): https://www.audiogon.com/listings/ac-cables-6-silver-ghost-custom-made-silver-rhodium-woven-power-co...
droleg, I do have experience with Mad Scientist power cords. They're excellent and can be auditioned with a money back return policy. I also can heartily recommend Core Power Technology cords. Cords from both manufacturers are in my system.  

I also have a Mad Scientist power cord, it’s also good. Power cords like everything else is system dependent and results will vary along with personal tastes. There are several other power cords that I’m sure others will recommend.
I like the following in my system:

  • Porterhouse Audio 20 amp Porter Port (dedicated 20 amp line)
  • Wiremold power strip L10320 (have 2, especially before they doubled in price)
  • Volex power cables 17504 10 B1 (unshielded and great basic cables at $7.50 each)
Fellow audiophile told me CD player usually has the biggest impact not all the time though, you have to experiment too.i always do cd  first. In my system it works...
VH...wonderful sound...pretty stiff.
Like everything else in this hobby it's an experiment.  I'd try some from a brand (or two or three) that sells direct with a good trial period.  Triode Wire Labs gets consistently good reviews and one I'd definitely try.  Best of luck. 

I second those who say you must experiment; and williwonka has basically 
explained why. BTW there's nothing "fanatical" about better power cords-except the pursuit of ultimate quality by those attempting to provide the best, like MIT Cable for example .If you have 
a system capable of revealing the differences,listen to types of music where increased resolution, refinement and dynamics are important to you,  and if you have a suitable listening environment then -if you experiment- voila !  you will understand. Elementary my dear Watson. 
I also suggest beginning with the source components. Stiffening the smaller power supplies seems to yield the greatest improvements. 

N
Ordered a graphehe cord for cdp.  Preamp cord is next, iffin' i like it.
droleg,

For your guidance, quote taken from your manual.  (I currently own the C-X7eMP)

"...Ayre C-5xeMP may be plugged directly into an
unswitched wall outlet. Although proprietary RFI
(radio-frequency interference) filtering is built into
the disc player, in some situations an AC power-line
filter (such as those offered by Ayre) may provide
additional sonic benefits..."

Goor luck with your new power cable!

N
I haven't heard a power cord cause any difference on a source or pre yet--though I haven't done a ton of testing on those two components.  I've heard some fairly large differences on a power amp, but I suspect williewonka is correct.  Even the Argento Flow Master Reference made no difference on my Sanders Magtech when compared to Groneberg Quattro Reference.

I've tried Shunyata Alpha HC (~$1200), Cerious Graphene Blue ($550), Groneberg Quattro Reference ($200), Argento Flow Master Reference (~$6000), Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (~$300).  
I will certainly try the cord on the pre to guage any difference.  If so, i will try the cerious high current cord for the amp. So excited..
I'm late to this thread but my experience is the most dramatic effect was when I replaced the stock cord on my phono pre (EAR 834) with Nordost Blue Heaven. I tried the cord on my int. Amp with no discernable sound improvement.
livin_262002,

If you don't mind me asking, what integrated amplifier did you try the Blue Heaven cable on?

N

Just musing out loud here but hope some worthwhile thoughts.
At what stage do you consider it is worth your time and money to invest in upgraded PC?
I mean there has to be at least a certain level of quality to your system to start with for them to make any discernible difference? Not much point spending $300 on a PC when your disc spinner is worth $250.....

Seriously curious as I do have a fair sum tied up in my system but mostly in components.
Esotric SA-50
BAT VK600SE
ARC LS2
Usher CP-6381
Cardas Quadlink 5c xlr interconnects
Straightwire Octave 2 speaker cable

As the BAT requires 2 x 15a PC, I used the stock cords going to a dedicated 2 way box I made from hospital grade components with a 3 ft whip of 8 gauge cord and a wattgate plug.
All other equipment has maybe $50 PC.

Is it time to follow the White Rabbit down the black hole of PC improvements?
My experience has been that it depends to some degree on your components.  If you have a tube preamp, a good cord makes a significant difference. My Joule Electra preamps have always liked the old school ribbon style (Electraglide et. al.)  Next would be the source. But pretty noticeable tailoring can be done on the power amp side too. I can easily tell the difference going from stock cords on my amps, to Pangea 14SE or 9SE, to TG Audio HSRi, to a 9 gauge silver cord, and up, etc.  I suspect many of us have a box/closet full of many that have fallen by the wayside, especially because once they are bettered, there's usually no going back. 
@uberwaltz,
IMO, if a component has a Panel Mount IEC Connector Plug then I would add an upgraded power cord.
In your case you have a very nice system that will improve with the addition of upgraded power cords.
You don’t have to spend a fortune for power cords, I'm recommending several to you that have huge bang for the buck and in my mind are relatively inexpensive however that most likely depends on one's pocket book.
Listed in no special order:
Cerious Technologies Graphene (Red, Blue or Yellow)
Core Power Technologies
Anticables Level 3 Reference
Silver Ghost (sold on Audiogon)
Blue or Green power cord made with Furutech wire (my current favorite and a true killer of the ones I mentioned, in my system).
@lak
Thank you
I am certainly not against trying out some PC but just did not like the idea of throwing money after hard earned money away for possibly very little return.
Before the esoteric i had a krell player and i thought the krell was superb, until i upgraded to the esoteric....yes there was $3k difference in price but it was a difference I could HEAR.
Not implying I am about to drop $3k on any PC but you get my drift, whatever I purchased I would seriously hope I could discern something.
However as it is probably the single area i have not spent any serious cash on I should take deep consideration on your suggestions
@uberwaltz,
I totally understand ;-)
The power cords I recommended to you, can be purchased new for between $160-$650, most around the average cost of $300.
I know there are a lot of other power cords available, but the ones I mentioned, I have in my two audio systems. I've also owned and still have some power cords that range in price between $1000-$6500.
If I had only known then what I know now I could have saved some dollars! LOL, part of the hobby and learning cirve.

I recently found great improvements in my system with the low end Silnote Posideon and Shunyata Venom 3 PC.  Both are around $100 and offer a 30-day trial period.  The Silver Ghost PC was also auditioned, but offered far less improvement in SC that the other two.  Start modestly and then move up the food chain, that is my best advice.  
@nutty, I tried on my previous DK Design VS1 MKII and my current amp, Audio Analogue Maestro Settanta (70). The Blue Heaven did have any effect on either of the integrateds
Manufacturers do not advise to change power cords.  They already had thought about it while designing, listening, showing, and selling the product.  Rest assure, they would not compromise their product over a stupid power cord.  If they could make it sound better with a special power cord, they would.

Why don't they still hardwire? They know we are going to throw away the power cords that come with their products, and add ours, so why would they jack up their cost.

A few manufactures do sell cords with their products. Shindo and Merrill Audio come to mind.

If you study the pricing of certain cords you can buy the best cords to see what they have to offer and resell at a gain. The best I have heard were Elrod, Ch Acoustic, and High Fidelity. l think Lak has heard these cords and likes the ones he recommended better. Very good recommendation.

 Hope the OP lets us know what he thinks, even if he can't hear anything different. The lucky ones don't.

@chrisr  Some manufacturers DO recommend aftermarket power cords.  I received such a recommendation within the last couple of weeks from a well known audio manufacturer. Your statement is a bit too general. 

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I finally received my powercords a short while ago and am breaking them in. Red for cdp, blue for amp. I will soon compare them to stock, but i have changed many variables lately, ran 2 10 guage 20 circuits to the system, speaker placement, isolation devices, cleaning out ears, etc. So, i will AB compare soon and hopefully it's not a case of the emperors new clothes. One question. With everyone touting "20 amp dedicated lines", why do the aftermarket cords just have 15amp plug ends?  Won't this just choke up the current and negate benefits of 20 amp circuit? Be tolerant, i'm not the brightest bulb in the box.
Post removed 
Thank you, ebm, for your support and wellwishing. As i said , soon i will listen to them more critically, and try to enjoy them, as you stated. Your positive post just warms the cockles of my heart. Unfortunately my mediocre means preclude me from anything other than a mediocre powercord. I am happy for you that you are fortunate enough to rise above mediocrity in your audiophile endeavors. Maybe you can suggest a superior cable that i can save for. Sincerely, Oleg
@Droleg,

Congratulations upon the updates you made to your system (ran two, 10 gauge 20 amp circuits to the system, speaker placement, isolation devices).
I'm sure you know this, but I want to reinforce that one might make one change at a time (baby steps) so you can hear and learn what each change in your system has accomplished. I would think the two, 10 gauge 20 amp dedicated circuits might have been the biggest game changer.

"One question. With everyone touting "20 amp dedicated lines", why do the aftermarket cords just have 15amp plug ends? Won't this just choke up the current and negate benefits of 20 amp circuit"?

Droleg, your 15 amp male plug, cannot choke the current coming out of your 20 amp circuit, a 20 amp male plug looks a little different regarding the configuration that plugs into the socket however there isn't anything that limits the AC draw. A 20 amp male plug is a built in safety feature so to speak, a 20 amp male plug usually has a 20 amp IEC on the other end and can only be plugged into a 20 amp AC wall outlet. Google the outlets and look at the pictures to see the difference.
I hope this helps clear up the confusion?

You should have some fun with those new power cords ;-)

Best regards...
Lak

+1 droleg. 
As my mother said:
'If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing'.
But, that was a long time ago...
Bob

PS- I hope you can find a difference in sound with you new cables. I am in the process of switching out some power cords, if you like, you can try them.
I appreciate it, Bob. Let me get settled in with these and then maybe you can recommend something of yours to try.
And thanks Lak. I realize thet on a 20 a plug, one of the prongs is perpendicular to the other, but i wasn't sure if they used different sized conductors to handle the higher current. So much to learn. Enjoy your evening.
@ droleg

roflmfao

I darn near spilt my coffee reading that!
Glad that i could make someone smile today!
eBay search 3 prong power cord.   I got one for $.06 cents shipped, very nice.
eBay search 3 prong power cord.   I got one for $.06 cents shipped, very nice.
Droleg, you do know that you can plug a 15amp male plug into a 20 amp female outlet without issue?