At the very least, if you're to the point of spending $1K on a power cord, it makes a person wonder how much has been invested in the whole system. If I was at the point of having $1K to spend on my system, was convinced that a power cord could/would make a difference, and was furthermore convinced that the difference it made was the next most significant thing spending a grand on my system would yield, I'd still be hard-pressed to justify to myself, much less anyone else, that the enjoyment of the improvement exceeded the enjoyment I'd get from purchasing 100 CDs with the same money. Maybe that's the difference between "audiophile" and "music lover".
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Best not to try to categorize us.We all do this with different budgets,and while your statements represent your feelings;don't assume you know the rest of us and or prioritize our expenditures. I'm pretty sure many will agree with your thinking;no problem with that.I have some where near1,000 cds;the same count for lps.So improving what I already have is more important---to me.I have a plethrora of power cords ranging from just under 100 to 2,000.And yup,you get what you pay for.I don't figure one should put the 2k cord on a 1k piece.If your equiptment is up to it you will hear what you paid for.The advantages of powercords are twofold.You can improve your cd player,your dvd player your pre amp for lp playback on & on;and you get to keep it if you sell a piece.For my money,something to improve what I already have is better than 5grand for a sacd player as an example.--your milage may vary.
I use a Cinepro Line Balancer, whose creator, Eric Abraham, says that it makes power cords less important. Still, when I tried a Stealth HAC power cord, the improvement was very obvious. At well under $200, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, I think it's foolish to be guided by theory and decide one way or another about whether, and how much, power cords matter. Like so much else in high end audio, your ears are, and should be allowed to be, your primary guide.
Drubin, I have a few different cords right now in use. Synergistic AC Reference on my Classe amps, MIT Z- Cord II's on my ML Quest Z's, AQ12's on some source components (all cords bought used). I'm as guilty as the next in tweaking, I'm with George on fiddlin' with good gear, rather than swapping out perfectly good stuff. My point is, even with a generous budget, it can begin to get silly some of the "black magic" claims made, with no logical engineering principles to support the apparent claims. My observations are well supported, look how many "high end" power cords are on Audiogon on any given day. To each his own? Yep...
I, too was afraid of laying down big money on a power cord. I laughed at a guy who told me he was using $3000 power cords. Then when I was in the market for a tube amp, I went to Audioreview.com. I read the reviews on one amp. It was very reasonable, but one person said the unit was world class when changing to tube x and powercord z. Never heard of such a claim. So, I then read the reviews on powercord z in disbelief. What the heck, I'd give it a try. So, I picked up a silver powercord here cheap, in an auction. I played my amp for 1 hour, listened intently, then hooked the new cord up. INSTANTLY better sound. And I didn't have to strain a bit to hear it. All that stuff about focus, imaging, bass, midrange, treble, etc. was all true. Dirt that I never even realized was there was removed. Yep, all these people were right. And, from what they say, the effects on an amp are much less than on a source component. I'm a believer.
I have what I consider to be a pretty modest system (Audiolab 8000A, Arcam Alpha 8SE CD, Michell Gyro with Premier FT3 and Ortofon MC 20 Super, Elipson 1313 Speakers) much of which I acquired 2nd hand at reasonable prices. My system doesn't warrant, in my opinion, the real pricey cords. I think it sounds pretty good, but I can tell you it sounds MUCH better with good power cords. I have experience with the following cords (in ascending order of price) BMI Edge cords (purchased on Audiogon Auction), LAT International, XLO, MIT Z cord (original not version II), Blue Circle BC 62 and Cardas Golden power cord. I can honestly say that the $565 Canadian (about $380 US) I payed for my Cardas and Blue Circle cords really vaulted my system into another league and was a "component upgrade" as opposed to a wire change. There are definitely sonic differences between cords and you have to try within the context of your own system. I prefer my system with the Cardas on the amp and Blue Circle on the CD player, although I believe that the Cardas is definitely the better power cord (would have bought another when I bought the Blue Circle but couldn't find one at a good price-that being said, the Blue Circle is an excellent cord which blows away all the others which I mentioned). Only your ears can tell you-try and audition some cords without having to buy to hear for yourself.
As long as you dont spend 3 g's on a power cord for a 3000.00 amp fine..To each ther own.I can say that if the equipment has the connection for an upgrade on a power cord just use common sense and your ears.All my equipment has dedicated power cords now but when I had my Threshold amp and placed a Syngerstic Research power cord there was a DIFFERENCE.I didnt spend a kings ransom on the cord and all you do is use your common sense and what your budget can handle,and the abuse verbal or othewise that you'll be hearing from your spouse...What 500 bucks for a POWER CORD.Enjoy the trip...
I don't understand the point of this discussion, of course a good $1000 cord will sound better than a good $250 cord, just like a Mercedes performs better than a Honda Accord. The only question is can you afford it, and will it be the best use of money for your system.........it is foolish to even suggest that there is no real performance increase compared to cheaper cables, and you are just buying "black magic".........$1000+ maybe overpriced, but so is a Mercedes at full sticker price, most people are happy with the Honda....regards, Sam
How about the power cord inside the wall??? How can this power cord bypass the power supply from the house?? Aren't we concern about this part of the power supply?? I, too, tried a different power cord to my mono block Sonic Frontier power 3 (I made the power cord from a 10AWG from Home depot) and what a different a cord make - and it cost me +/- $20 per side), but my house wiring is using also 10AWG/per side directly to the service box.
One thing to keep in mind, is that the good and/or "expensive" cord coming from your wall, is still the final link between your component and the current. In other words, the cheaper wire coming from your circuit box, to your listening room, may only be 10 or 12 gauge. But, your power amplifier will still achieve more dynamic contrast if it's own cord is even larger than the cable inside the wall...it could be 9, 8, or even "ought" gauge. My house power cable is only 12 gauge solid core, but the 8 gauge cord I'm trying with my amp is much more forceful, and has better bas extension, than all the smaller cords I've tried.
Carl, consider yourself lucky to have "only 12 gauge wire" in your wall. I have no idea as to the construction of your house. Standard household wiring since the '70s(which is better than it was previous to that) would be 14 ga for most applications. That would include the wiring to your living room, bedroom, den, etc. 12 ga is used in higher demand areas(probably a kitchen, laundry room, etc.). Personally, I would love to be in your shoes, my house has 14 ga to my listening room, and that wire goes to many other places. I researched this subject quite a bit, my father is an electrician. I found out that when wire is run, the same line often goes to opposite ends of the house. This sounds crazy to me, but is the norm. I'd love to install a low gauge dedicated line one day, but it isn't feasible right now. Even so, my power cord has made a believer of me. Currently, the standards have even regressed, the average new "suburban mansion" is featuring sub - 200 amp service(glad I don't in one of them). Thank you for your very insightful opinions, and keep the debates progressing.
Although I have no doubt that changing power cords can effect, both positively or negatively, sound quality, I do not use specialty cords. The power cord is only the final element of electric power delivery and it should only be upgraded after the other elements have been addressed. Power line regenerators, dedicated power lines and even replacing and upgrading the main power line to your house are upgrades that should be completed before spending major money on power cords. The power cord is not an active device and it cannot improve the quality of the electricity going into it. A LOW COST TIP: go to an art supply house and in the stain glass section there should be copper foil tape ($5 to $10). Wrap the tape around your power cord. The copper will provide an added layer of electro-magnetic sheilding. I can't honestly say that I "heard" a difference, but it's a fun project. Give it a try, see if it works.
One other thing worth pointing out is that part of the importance of the last bit of power cord is that it comes closest to your other wires and gear. A high quality power cord is well shielded so that interference stays out and so that the power cord doesn't interfere with OTHER parts. Personally I am not fond of 60hz signals on my speaker cables.
Carl is oh so right, that expensive 6ft cord dosen't just transmit electricity, good cords use elaborate metals, sheilding, special conductor windings, other special conditioning elements or materials to clean and condition electric current.......if you analyze the current entering the cable and exiting the cable it should be much cleaner and more stable, making it much more useful to component it is attached to......if you think this is a bunch of BS you shouldn't be buying aftermarket cords, regards Sam
All the above statements have their merits, but no one has mentioned power conditioners. If you could have a device between that the gunk coming out of the wall(emi,surges,etc) that can keep current at a stable medium and then connect that aftermarket cord with all that it is offering what differences could you REALLY hear. I use a changlightspeed conditioner with my gear and I really believe that this unit makes a difference when using a aftermarket cord. Good listening
Carl, I readily admit a power cord can make a difference, but I take the position that they should be used as part of an overall electric service upgrade. Doing so will maximize the effect of the power cord. Megasam, power cords are passive, at best they provide some filtering. They cannot enhance the electricity. You need a power line conditioner, an active device, to accomplish that. "elaborate metals", "special conductor windings" -- don't believe the hype!
South43, I agree, I love my Chang, but don't use it for the power amps............Highwayman, I don't doubt that optimizing your house wiring and circuitry is a huge benefit, but there's no need in saying it's a "must" BEFORE you even try a highend cord. Also, my Chang is indeed a power filter, but it is NOT active, so this idea that filters must be active, to be effective, is in error. I'm all for the performance the PS units allow, but they consume far too much power for me right now, and cost too much. I'll get a used one sometime, perhaps. I don't think any of you would believe the performance I'm getting from what I've got anyway, though, so I won't waste my time trying to explain.
Onhwy,let me reword my previous post, the reason good AC cords improve the sound is by various means they "enhance" the performance of a components power supply over using stock cord. Let me be more specific, they improve the "dynamic" delivery of current by using high purity conductors(silver, 6N copper etc), improved connectors each end, superior soldering or fusion etc.....but most important they control and filter electro-magnetic fields created by current in the "critical" 6ft leading up to component by using various techniques......that is why some of these cables are 2 inches or more in diameter.....the manipulation of these variables results in different sounds various AC cords have, I don't think it is hype, I hear significant differences, BTW I have no electrical background, I just try things and listen, regards Sam
I am old enough to remember when speaker cables were 18 gauge lampcord and interconnects were the cheap vinyl-insulated RCA cables bought at Radio Shack. I also once thought that buying 10 gauge Monster Cable for $1 per foot and gold-plated interconnects for $15 was outrageous and that I was gullible for buying them. Now I have High Fidelity cables that cost over $10K each and have bought special vinyl pressings that cost hundreds of dollars each, not even mentioning what I have paid for components. We have paid a price for improved technology and I certainly am guilty of supporting the exponential increases in costs to be in this hobby. I am also not sorry I have done so given the major improvements in sound. It seems as though what is just out of reach financially sounds absurd to us.
I agree the high fidelity ultimate helix has a zero noise floor and a see through transparency that will not allow me to let go of it. There are companies that are pushing the limits of sound to unbelievable heights. I didn't understand at first. I remember Rick let me listen to veloce ls1 pre amp with the saetta mono blocks. It's was almost see through. He has managed to get that sound using his technology which is almost a component level difference. Im using this power cord to feed my resonessence mirus dac.
I think expenditure on power cables should be relative to your equipment. I don’t subscribe to the view some audiophiles hold that cables should be elevated to the status of components (with commensurate expenditure). Connecting cables of equal or greater cost than the connected component is stupid IMHO.
I own Vitus Signature series gear & use Jorma Prime pc’s ($4900US) re-terminated with cryo’d Oyaide M1/F1 connectors. The Prime pc has wonderful tone, timbre and texture, plenty of detail and sounds natural and sophisticated overall. Fred Crowder at Dagogo found the Prime pc works superbly with front end and preamp components, somewhat less successfully with high current amplifiers. Thus I may upgrade my pc’s in the critical positions of wall-conditioner & conditioner-power amp to Siltech Ruby Double Crown pc’s at some point in the future which have notably good bass. They are probably the best pc’s in the world.
Search for the sound you want and enjoy it. I haven't heard the Jorma cords I would imagine that they are great. I just know that the high fidelity helix cords are just so clear, open and transparent that it sounds like a component change at times. Of course you should get the equipment possible. I think that if you are looking for the best power cord possible this is on your must consider list. I'm pretty much stuck with my speakers and integrated and I'm happy with the performance. My system is very niche. I have a speaker that is really good but not been heard a whole lot. The gato fm6. My integrated is the kr audio va 900 again not heard a lot. The resonessence mirus dac. Again not a big name. I'm making a few minor adjustments and Im good. Expensive system but very niche. I have heard the elrod cords that are great but the high fidelity ultimate helix is my go to cord. Enjoy everyone
I find all components in a system equal importance. If PC happens to be the most expensive but ROI is justified, it's ok with me.
The joke might be on you. It's likely the recordings you listen to came from a mike attached to a Belden 8402 microphone cable through to a recording studio that used it or Mogami to lay it all down. Plus there are an awful of folks in the audiophile world better qualified than you using it as well as recording professionals and musicians. Best, Rob
I hear you Mikirob but does that really matter? The way I see it power cables and other components bring whatever the recording medium and however it was recorded to your speakers as optimally as possible in your home.
Junk in junk out is true, but are you not adding insufficient reproduction by not optimizing your own system - because you are either adding or detracting once you drop the needle in the groove - why not make it pleasing as possible.
Hi Jeffloistarca!If you have tested and identified a powercord of a certain brand for ex(shunyata, purist audio design, transparent etc etc...)that matches in an specific equipment, then the cable up in the line will perform neccesary better than the ones down in the line.So the question is how much is the amount of money are you able to spend in a power cord??....That depends on the importance you give it to the sound results, compared to your pockets.IMHO there should be a balance between cost and result.Anyway I would choose first the equipments I want to keep in my system, and then upgrading little by little with better powercords.Normally entry level powercords from renowned brands as Shunyata, Purist Transparent and others, have a very good result and doesn´t cost a fortune.Then if you are tempted to go up in the line ,is just up to you.Everyone has its own limits and take decisions accordingly.Cheers!Raf.
For more than 25 years now I've always thought power cords made more of a difference than speaker cables or interconnects, and still feel that way! I just received a new cord from S.I.N. Audio and all I can say is WOW! Don't even know the cost yet but doesn't matter this is one special cord. It actually uses the new Furutech NCF (Nano Crystal Formula) connectors. The separation of instruments and clarity is truly amazing.
Here's a link to what it looks like: