Lots of debate on this. Some amps come with very good stock cords, many do not. Transparent and Pangea make some very good cords that can be had for under $100. Gene Rubin sells some great Naim power cords for $33.00
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Opera Audio-Ella Baby. Quest For Sound discounts these so $100 a pc is possible. The sound is big/bold and dynamic. NOT as refined/relaxed as my Acoustic Revive-Reference($1250 retail) or as detailed/resolving as my Audio Magic-Liquid Air($400 retail) but are more dynamic then the AR or AM! Since your not using these on front end components their shortcomings are less of an issue. FWIW I have found mixing different power cords can achieve better results then using only 1 brand.
I went ahead and ordered the Pangea. Besides being recommended by many, they are short which is helpful since my amps a very near the outlet. I'm not missing anything per se but the cords I'm using are mismatched with each other and I just figured that a good low cost power cord would sound at least as good if not better and even if there's no difference, it will all look better. I chose $100 because I'm saving for a new phono preamp :)
Thanks for all the suggestions!
Ghosthouse is right. I have some 2 meter Pangea AC9 power cords that I got at a good price that I'm using in tight spaces for my power conditioners. It was really like wrestling anacondas and in some cases I had to situate the cables so that they wouldn't partially slip out of the PS Audio Decora PowerPort plugs I have. I propped one up with parts of a 2x4. These cables are no joke.
For my money, this is the last area in which I would consider an upgrade. I've done it with little impact. I've got a nice system and great sound. Don't need the braggin' rights (if there are any) of overpriced cords. I'd keep the cost well under a 100. Interconnects is another story in terms of impact, but even there you hit a point of diminishing returns rather quickly.
Yahoochaz-You have the wrong mindset. Most of us that have premium power cords don't buy for "braggin" rights(lol). Have you forgot what this hobby is all about? The power cord and cable debate has long been settled. But there are some that refuse to accept cables as another component. Power treatment, vibration control and room acoustics also get overlooked by the doubters. There is alot more to this hobby then buying a power amp with those pretty blue meters. If you refuse to accept this it's your loss.
If you can attach your own plug/connector DH Labs has two cables that fit your budget and person extremely well
The Encore is their more affordable option and ideal for source components and lighter powered amps (up to 50 watts)
The Power Plus is for heavier current use like amps and also performs very well
I have both and the Power Plus performs very close to the Furutech 10 gauge cable I have, which cost about 4 times the price
The connectors I have used can be bought from ebay for about $21 for two are of the Vanguard brand and use gold plated copper conductors.
Cords got here Tuesday. They are a handful to get into position but they do look nice and because of the short length everything looks so much more organized. How do they sound? Same as my other cables. Maybe they'll burn in and be better. Not really holding my breath... but they do deliver power from the wall to the amps. I've only once had cables that sounded better to my ear and that was when I added Purist Audio cables to my last system. Unfortunately they are too space gobbling to fit in our new apartment...
The Volex 17604 power cords that are available now are NOT the same as the ones from years ago that offered great performance for the budget audiophile. I can't find the threads but the newer Volex 17604 power cords are now Baohing labeled power cords. An old tech gave me a Volex 17604 from the early 2000s late 1990s and I compared it to the Volex 17604 that I got from Newark in 2010 and there are differences. From the connectors on each end to the labeling on the wires there are differences. I have yet to cut and strip both cords to see the difference with the copper though.
I'm now trying out a 3 meter Pangea AC9 which is replacing a Volex that I terminated myself. I've had it on for about a week on a Sim Audio amp that I leave on most of the time. So far it's a disappointment in that it has tipped the audio up to the treble and I have lost the slam at the bottom. It does some nice things with the high end and imaging. But that doesn't compensate for the loss at the bottom. Kind of surprising for a thick cord. Could it be those fixed terminations? Do you think more break-in will help? Or am I wasting my time?
Melm, The AC9 typically firms things up, but power cord performance varies in different systems.
There are no absolutes with power cord performance.
200 hours should be enough break in time, so I would wait until you reach that point. I would also turn off the Sim for at least a few hours at the end of the break in, and then turn it back on, let it warm up and see what you hear. If the low end is still absent at that point, I'd return it.
Here's my report on the Pangea AC-9 referred to above. I've always been a power cord skeptic, and am now surprised at how they can differ.
Many years ago I replaced all my IEC cords with Volex 17604 which was highly respected and cheap. I wasn't much into power cords then. All were stock except the cord to my 200 waat per channel amp. I had read that some times the crimpings were not so great, so for the current hungry amp, I cut the 14 AWG cord and terminated it myself.
Now for the Pangea. The bottom end, very weak at first, surely came back. However the top end remains a bit gritty and a lot of the depth is gone as all instruments are moved forward. Most of my music is classical. Though I change the cords on the amp without changing the volume on the pre-amp, the music seems louder with the Pangea, but also somewhat confused with a loss of focus.
During this period, I changed the Volex cord on my Oppo 105 to a Supra Lorad with cheap Chinese Oyaide knock-off terminations. This inexpensive cord gave me a distinct improvement in smoothness (anti-digititus) and focus, that is, it's more like analog. So I went back to the Pangea to see if the two cords complimented each other, but no deal. The Pangea goes back.
Now I'll get a 3 meter Lorad and some more cheap plugs and give my amp a try with it. It's 13 AWG. If it doesn't work I can always cut up the Lorad and use it on preamp, tt and such.
For well below $100 there can be made many feet and many lengths of DIY power cords in excellent quality. For some years now I've been happily using PC's throughout my entire system comprising 16AWG solid-core copper installation wires, bought at the equivalent of Home Depot for a measly $3 per 5x1 meter(where each wire is individually insulated and then bundled under one outer sturdy insulator, which requires some stripping/cutting work to free the individual wires from the outer "casing"). The coppper quality is top notch, despite what may be claimed to the contrary, and though the insulator is PVC I'd not worry about it, seriously; much more important is that the wires are not stranded but SOLID-core. The lead and return wires are twisted(~3 twists per 4 inches) and the ground wire is then twisted around these in the opposit direction. Each length of power cord is a little over 7 feet. The power cord from the outlet is heavier gauge 14AWG solid-core installation wire due to some 15 feet run, constructed the same way.
I urge you to try out the above. It requires a little work, but it's cheap as hell and I'm fairly certain the sonic result won't disappoint, making for a true cable-bargain and loosing no sonic face to much more expensive alternatives I've tried.
signal cable makes a very nice hybrid that is a Silver alloy over high purity Copper.for $149 it is a Effective awg-10. With good balance not to warm ,and also dynamic ,and open sounding. For a hand assembled cable
This cable competes with cables of much high cost.
That being said under$100 Signal cable makes a nice powercord awg 12
copper. For the $100 marker you are not going to get a reference
Cable Anywhere, the $149 cable is much better.
Another vote for Signal Cable. Great sounding value for the money that truly stomps stock cables (of course). FWIW, (not to step on any toes) but I have tried a couple of Pangea's, including the AC-9's and found them detrimental to the music.Yes : detrimental, as in "bland, uninvolving, anemic". I would stay away from them wholeheartedly. Just my personal experience but of course YMMV. Good luck.
Patrick nice person communication. But it has nothing to do with its cables.
This cable for sound just awful. Reduced dynamics, poor detail, stuck to the sound speakers.
I was very disappointed.
Patrick suggested that I return the goods. He's honest.
But the question here about the quality of the cable.
I do not advise buying this cable if you do not want to disappointment.
Try a Synergistic Research Synergistic Research CORE AC Power Cord. It used to be called the Precision AC Basik and it one a shootout of cables in The Absolute sound and won editors choice award.. It bead the Venom 3 plus a whole other popular cords. I agree, I use it in my ultra expensive system and it sounds wonderful. I also own a Venom 3 in my HT System. Very good at its slightly cheaper price.