Power Cord; upgrade vs tweak

I have a no-name tube amplifier in my bedroom for music listening(it is black, has 4 tubes, rated at 30 watts and actually has no name on it that I can find). I bought this amp at a garage sale and all the info I get from it is written on the case. A friend of mine guesses that amp brand new was probably about 400 dollars, if that much.

It has an unremovable, molded power cord. I have never tried power cords before and I thought it would be a good test to see exactly what a after-market power cord can do.

My question is; would it be better to upgrade to a better amp with a removable power cord or tweak the amp I have and get a removeable power IEC setup?

When can someone tell when to choose an upgrade over a tweak? Is it just money?
Get one of those dremmel tools, cut a hole for the IEC and get a good power cord. It'll be a a nice improvement over the stock cord. If you have the cash I would but a new amp.
Matchstickman, I would love to know what that amp is. Do you think it's modern or something from the 50's or 60's?

I agree with Buckingham about fitting the male IEC into the chassis. This allows you to experiment with off the shelf and aftermarket cords and not be required to give up your investment should you decide to sell the amp.
You may also use a DIY Cord recipe and hard wire it to the amplifier. It should be better than the stock one while you will not expend much at it.

Happy Christmas.
I agree with Jahaira. Just build a quality DIY cable like the Bob Crump Asylum cable from AudioAsylum.com. The parts are easily available and you just need the bare Belden cable and the plug. It should cost about $20 and take less than one hour.

Don't worry about an IEC for this low priced amp. Just directly connect the DIY cable in place of the original.


IEC connectors are actually a drawback in terms of the quality of connection. Quite honestly, i think they suck but we are kind of stuck with them. They were added to audio components strictly as a way to bypass specific UL safety tests. The fact that one can change cords now is strictly a benefit that the original manufacturer that came up with the IEC idea never thought about.

Having said that, i would find a good cord that you like and solder it directly into the amp. If you can provide some vital statistics about the amp ( type and brand of each tube, etc... ), i'm sure that one of the "bottleheads" can point you in the right direction as to what cord should work well. Sean
Unless this is your main system, I wouldn't touch a thing for two reasons:

1. Chances are, on a vintage unit like this, you'll not hear any sonic improvements.

2. If you screw it up, it's ruined. Sometimes a classic (or whatever) is best left in it's stock form for genuine purposes.