Buy used virtual Dynamics Master.Period.Read the rewiew in the new Absolute Sound.
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One of the best new PC in the price range you're talking about are the VH Audio Flavor 4 with the Wattgates, a little over $300 each. Good luck trying to find these used, they sell in minutes, proves their worth. I continue to use these with much higher priced cables and you really don't lose much in comparison. I would also always purchase 6' lengths, as anything shorter you may have problems reselling.
Some others to consider at used prices: JPS has a nice PC for digital in your price range (forget the model), also Synergistic Master Coupler and Cardas Golden Reference which can both be used everywhere. I'm sure I'm forgetting some others.
With 3 cords in mind. Go for the VH Audio flavor 4 for you amp ( $300 ish ) . a Used Virtual dynamics Nite 2 cord for your cd player $400- $500. Keep the rest and take the wife out to dinner.Those two cords will transform you system to new heights! and your wife will wonder what you did wrong by taking her out.
Buy used virtual Dynamics Master.Period.Read the rewiew in the new Absolute Sound.I agree, great PC. Use one myself, in fact. However, he needs to buy THREE PC's, and three Masters will put him way over budget. My suggestion is to consider spending the bulk of the money on upgrading or modding your CDP, and then put a $100 PC on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big believer in the "power of the PC", but in your case I think you will experience greater benefit with a source upgrade. The cables and equipment operate most synergistically when they are of commensurate performance levels. No sense in making your components play catch-up to your cables. Hope that helps.
I would buy one used or new Purist Audio Dominus Ferrox 15a power
cord for ~$900, and buy two Volex 17604 at ~$11.00/two including
shipping. Experiment with placement of the Purist cord. The Dominus
cord should produce benefits, and the Volex cords will work
harmoniously with the Dominus and provide a balanced sound with
If the Purist cord does not produce an audible improvement, then re-sell
it for close to what you paid, and stop looking for upgraded power cords
for your present system configuration, because IMO, if the Purist doesn't
reap benefits, then nothing else will.
IMHO, I would recommend that you contact A'gon member Subaruguru. Ernie Meuner (subaruguru) makes do it yourself power cord kits that are fun and easy to assemble, and, very high in quality. For a modest additional sum, you cannot only specify length, but also, he will assemble them if you don't want the bother. You will save major cash. I have personaly been quite happy with the power box I have bought him. Check out his feedback and contact him, he is knowledgable, and reasonable. Happy Listening.
"My wife has a very limited patience level when it comes to swapping in and out multiple iterations I am enlisting your help to point me in the right direction." I can sympathize with your wife. Wife swapping is degrading and diminishes her self-worth, as well as yours. You need to get professional help. There is no iteration better than her. In leiu of a support group, when you get the urge, just play with your cord.
The Volex cords are surprisingly good. Go to the hardware store and get a couple Pass and Seymour 5266 plugs to replace the molded ones. You have a pretty good power cord for under 10$.
As Tvad says-it lowers the noise floor quite well.
I have used them on all kinds of equipment and still use them on my pro audio stuff.
Will also chime in for VH Audio. You can get them used here on AGon, but they do go fast. I have Flavor 1,2,3,and 4 and am quite pleased and didn't break the bank.
Big money is really better off spent on source upgrade at this point. Get that Denon modded somewhere or replace it.
I agree with the suggestions to spend the $1000 on a better component,
but if I've learned anything on Audiogon, it's to give 'em what they
want...not what they need.
What you want is power cords. I've already made my suggestion there.
What you need is a better amp or source (which will give you what you
REALLY want, which is better sound from your system).
I am a big fan of VH Audio... The AirSine is awesome if you can afford it, but the Flavor 4 is also an excellent PC and works extremely well on digital gear (at least for me ;-)
I've also recently purchased two Black Sand Silver Reference power cords -- one for amp (McCormack DNA-500), one for preamp (ARC SP9) -- and I have to say that these are really stellar power cords that compete with the best I've heard. There's also an interesting thread out on AudioCircle.com about Black Sand in the Critics Corner worth checking out.
Both VH Audio and Black Sand offer evaluation periods. Black Sand is currently running an auction for the Black Sand Silver Reference.
I have a similar setup (Rotel 1066 and 1075 and Denon 2200) in a 2nd system and use the VH Audio cords all around. You can get all three for well under $1000. See VHAudio.com for details on the various "flavors" to match with your components, although the Flavor 4 (as previously mentioned)is great on everything. The AZ Tsunami cords are very good as well and are in the $300 range new. IMHO, I wouldn't spend $900 for one cord in your current setup.
Some are suggesting I spend the money on either upgrading my CD player and/or amp. Any suggestions on which players and amps give the best bang for buck?
Otherwise - VH Audio, Virtual Dynamics, and Purist audio appear to be the way to go. What about Shunyata Taipan for my amp and the vx version for my Denon?
Well gang. I've decided to try a VH Flavor 4 w/gold furutechs for my amp (figure the 9 ga conductors will satisy current draw well). VH Flavor 1 with Rhodium Furutech for my DVD and Flavor 1 with Gold Furutech (figure 12 ga is plenty of conductor for source gear). Buying as demo cords from Chris at VH. I have enough left over to seriously consider dumping my Monster 3600 and replacing it with a Richard Gray 400 Pro.
I've been able to detect improved punch with my amp when plugged directly into the wall vs thru the Monster yet am a little nervous having a $2k amp one lightning strike away from being fried. My understanding is the Richard Gray units have surge protection but also store additional energy.
Anyone out there care to comment?
Our utility company placed surge protection outside at the meter, and they have a $50K coverage for related damage. Costs us about $6/month, and we could detect no affect on the sound of the system. Just to be safe, I still would not leave the system on in the event of a lightning storm.
We have found that we prefer the sound with everything plugged directly into the wall. We used to have one amplifier that drew so much current that a steady flow from a regenerator was sonically beneficial in that case. Otherwise, the CDP, amp, preamp, all of it goes straight into the wall. Conditioners are like any component in the system. Try different ones. You may find one you like, and you may not.
Hope that helps.
Sempaul i see you ordered your VH cords.Curious as to how you find them.Anyway you may want to(if you can afford it) try ALL Flavor 4 golds on all of your components.I have that configuration and love the sound.Chris from VH Audio was using all Flavor 4 golds in his system as well until the release of his Airsine cord.Now his system has ALL Airsines.There must be a reason for that.I have found out that it just works better then the other flavors for ALL of my components regardless of the descriptions.Worth a check out anyway.
It's a year later. I have managed to upgrade my system in places:
Denon 3910 in place of the 2910.
McCormack DNA-1 deluxe as my main amp (still using the 1095 for surrounds, center channel, and 2nd room inwalls)
BPT Signature 3.5 in place of the Monster 3600
Neotech OCC Silver I/C's (huge improvement)
All VH Flavor 4 w/ Gold Furutechs.
With each change I have noticed increased width and depth to the soundfield. I also now have a truly tunefull bass extension and a very full natural presence in the highs and mids.
So glad you are finding some sonic bliss Sempaul.Great that you decided to use the VH Flavor 4 Furutechs in your system.They do sound great in my system as well and if i upgrade it will be to try out the VH Airsine.But i am in no hurry as the system sounds very good now.Just curious i guess.I use the Gold Wattgates on mine and wonder what the Furutechs sound like in comparison?I do know that the Gold Wattgates were a definite improvement for me over the standard VH Flavor 4 which was still a great cord in it's own right.I use that cord on my computer now and the sound improved very much using Mackie HR824's as my speakers there.I would say the gold is just more tuneful and a tad more relaxed without sacrificing any dynamics.
Thanks so much for keeping us posted on your journey!
I know you may be statified with your calbles. I agree with Strapper. You may still want to check out virtual Dynamics for Power Cord and Interconnects. They are very expensive but I just bought a pair used from agon. I thought my system sounded good until I tried these. imegine everthing you normally hear becomes so much fuller and all the details with out being brignt.
Put the money in the bank or upgrade a real component.
There is no data or clinical trials demostating that power cords can make any difference in sound of your system. What you think you hear is the "placebo effect" which is a real occurence.
There is no scientfic data/theroy, nor extraporlation of data to even suggest why they would work in terms of changing the sound comming from you speakers, they may connect to the wall better and have gold plated contacts but the electroms dont care only we do b/c of marketing and fancy nonsensical salesmen explantions.
If you have any double blinded proof that they can make a difference in the sound please let us know it would be the first in the world that I have seen. Your personal non double blinded experience are not scientific, and only support the placebo effects as there is no scientific reason why a power cord would change or improve the soundwaves comming from your speakers.
>>>"there is no scientific reason why a power cord would change or improve the soundwaves comming from your speakers."<<<
That is simply not true. There are easy to understand scientific reasons why aftermarket and stock power cords affect sound and performance in most systems.
You may be right that component upgrades are more worthy than a power cord upgrade, it really depends on the system and context.
Double blind proof? In most cases the differences in comparing aftermarket power cords are so obvious that would not be necessary. However for the unconviceable--and those that have never run their own simple comparisons, even governmentally notarized triple blind proof would only spur more argument and cries of "prove it!" and "it's all a scam". In reality, there is no such thing as "adequate proof" for those that initiate and prolong argument on these points in chat forums.
This comes up less often than it used to, which shows that more people understand the pointlessness of on-line debate over such matters.
Placebo effect _does_ exist, however IMO it falls somewhere short of extreme self delusion and ignorance of the obvious, at least for those that have taken the time to perform their own simple tests.
Double blinded tests are the "gold standard " in all industries to prove if a product/drug does what it claims to do. It weeds out the BS from reality.
I am 100% sure if you got 5 or 10 or your friends together who are skilled listeners and identified the differences between stock and after market power cords that approx only 50% would be able to reliably ID thoses same differences under true double blinded conditions, and as you know a scores close to 50% mean that the difference was due to chance and that the cord had no real difference in the sound. What you thought your heard was the powerful placebo effect.
If you can do it above 65% of the time you might have somthing and you would be the first person on the planet to reliably hear diffences between power cords.
enyoy the rest of your system
In fact people 'hear' the difference between the same cord, somtimes! Yet, these same folks can't tell if the channels on a two channel system have been reversed. Believe me, I have witnessed this at a serious audio shop, trying to demonstate the difference among power cords (or is that power chords?).
To me, my DCCA power cord brings out the musicality of my system very much. One may have the phylosophy of investing in component upgrade, however, going from a cheap lower guage power cord to a giant 8 guage power cord for only $500.00 is more worth while than chasing the elusive better component than the one that is in my system which is already good. In my case the cdp power cord was the limiting factor. I heard the difference compared to the stock cord. This was my own single blind study.
Oh by the way, placebo effect applies only to drugs in my opinion. In double blind study of drugs, it either work or does not work. Though i may be new to audio (3 years), all cables will work, but some will work better than others. One good example is DCCA cable (8guage) compared to the original $5.00 stock cable (16 guage).
going from a cheap lower guage power cord to a giant 8 guage power cord for only $500.00
Indeed. Furthermore, many components are designed to be unaffected audibly by small details between one cable or another...they are supposed/designed to perform optimally irrespective of such minute differences/detail. Like your car - it should run without a perceptible difference on any equivalent appropriate grade of fuel...fill up at either Shell, Exxon or any number or reputable fuel suppliers without fear. (Refer to a Bryston manual for example)
Placebo effect is true for any product as it is an affect on the mind induced by apperence or preception other examples
the magic Q-Ring bracelet that is marketed to treat chronic pain via magents?? no clincal evendice above chance that it helps pain in controled studies
Another good example was the cheese wiz test a fancy french restruant displayed cheeze wiz on fancy french crakers on a silver tray the gourmet cheezs and cracker were displayed on paper plates more than 60% people thought the cheeze wiz was better vs 10% when they know what it was.
It is a real thing and sales teams use it to have us buy what there selling. "Buyer be ware " is a golden rule for a reason -fendergibs
Psychicanimal had replied to a power cord question in someone else's post. I paid attention to what he wrote because I'm curious about cord upgrades/sonic improvements. He suggested DIY for an amp, and investing in a higher quality cord for the CD player. Hope I'm not out of line quoting another member without letting them reply for themselves. I didn't think I saw a reply from him when I scanned input to your post. I was interested in his reply since I'd built a cord for my amp following a procedure at Parts Express. Was considering doing something similar for my CD player. Now I may try to buy something a little higher end for the CD player. I'd also recommend visiting the Cable Company and UsedCable on their site in particular. Just saw Tvad's reply. He might be giving you better advice - $1000 on an equipment upgrade will way outweigh $ spent on cable.
I don't know your Rotel amp or Denon CD player. What sort of upgrade on either of those might $1000 provide?
If you like your amplifier, you might consider sending it to Joseph Chow at Audiohorizons and let him upgrade it. He worked wonders for my AudioVanAlstine fet-valve amplifier. If you don't like the amplifier that much I wouldn't upgrade it. Upgrades of the wiring and internal parts has become a ritual with me with my amps and pre-amps. He also makes powercables; I have one and find it quite good.
Other power cables I like include LAT-international's top of the line silver/copper near alloy and the Shunyata power cords.