Power cords or power conditioner

I’m at a cross roads and I’m looking for some advice from those have have gone down this road. I recently added a 2 channel integrated amplifier to improve my 2 channel performance. I had been using my Datasat LS-10 for music and while it sounded really nice, it was missing the depth and clarity that I know my speakers are capable of. My speakers are KEF Reference 3s, rest of my 2 channel set is is as follows:

Luxman L 509x

Luxman D-03x

Roon Nucleus Plus

Lumin U2 Mini

Transparent Audio Super speaker cables

Nordorst Red Dawn XLR, Blue Heaven USB

Wire World Platinum USB

All power cables are DYI using Oyaide Tsunami V2 cable

So what I feel I am missing is that 3D holographic sound stage. It was there with the Luxman 509 when I demo’d it, but I am unable to get that experience at my house. I feel that majority of equipment is up to the task but I am curious if I should ad a top shelf power condtioner like a Shunyata Triton or Torus AVR20 into the system or replace my Intergrated’s power cord with a Shunyata Alpha NC? I’m getting tapped out, so for now it can only be one or the other.

Or should I skip the above and focus on room treatments?


1. Run your D-03X directl to the integrated.

2.  Stick to inexpensive units like Furman with SMP.

3. Yes to room treatments.

Here's how to guage how your room is acting.  Set your speakers up about 4' apart and sit 3-4' in front of them.  That's how your speakers would sound with a great room.

Most likely positioning and room treatments should get you the results if it is possible in your venue.


It would be very helpful to see photos of your system and venue.

The placement and room are really critical. You need space and dampening. Of course power conditioning will help… but after you get your system setup. Mine has great imaging… see my system. I have five feet behind my speakers and ten or more feet on either side… no central obstruction.

Most likely positioning and room treatments should get you the results if it is possible in your venue.

I’ll have to agree with @ghdprentice here.

Cables and power conditioners can theoretically only help with noise. And all the stuff you are talking about is from room bounce and interactions.

Only reason I am asking about power cords and conditioners is I keep reading about guys claiming about the change in sound stage depth and width with the change of power cords and conditioners.  To me it doesn't make since, hence why I asked.  

With my current set up the Luxman D-03 goes straight to my integrated amp. For music I 100% bypass the Datasat.  My Kefs are 8' apart and I sit 8' from them, they are around 2.5' from the wall behind them and I have about 6' from where I sit to the back wall. .  I do have bass traps in the corners but that is it so far.   

Thanks for the advise.  I'm going to work on cleaning up my rooms acoustics next. 

In my direct experience, the addition of a good power conditioner/regenerator can and probably will increase the dimensionality of your system.  My PS Audio P600 died a couple years ago and NOBODY wanted to fix it.  I plugged my amps, sources, and crossover into a distribution block for a few months using the same cord I'd used on the P600 and damn!  The sound quality was quite diminished.  The soundstage was flattened with a depressing loss of inner detail, especially decays.   I didn't want to pay for one of the newer PS Audio power regenerators so I bought a Core Power Technologies  Equi-Core 1800 (the original) based on reviews.  It's much better than the distribution block but not quite the sonic improvement the P600 offered.  So yes, in my experience, and I'll assume your choice would be for a newer, even better power conditioner, such an addition could bring you a more 3d sound.


And, there's no doubt that a good power cord can and will get you closer to that sound as well.  I've been going the DIY route on power cords for years so can't offer any current recommendations specifically. I'm using some very heavy gauge silver clad copper solid core wires with either Oyaide 046 or 004 plugs to good effect.   I find my sound to be quite detailed with fairly good front to back depth, excellent lateral image placement and completely satisfactory image height.  Images have a nice roundness or fullness.  They usually occupy a decently carved out 3d space.   To validate my recommendation that power cords can/will improve the holographic imaging ability of a system, I pulled out all of my DIY power cords and replaced them with suitable stock cords (larger gauge on the power conditioner and amps).   And the results......flat, cardboard images not to mention the obvious reduction in detail.  Al in all, I wouldn't want to listen to it.  


Maybe getting a single high quality high current power cord and a good distribution block (make your own---its pretty simple and good outlets aren't expensive) would allow you to hear the improvements across all your components, not just the amp, until you get a good power conditioner as well. 

As others has stated before, its about positioning. Even with generic 'black' cables you should be able to get the 'stage' if you put the speakers (and if your rooom alows it) right.

Try playing with them, space behind speakers is crucial for 'depth' ,find the best angle, first 'aim' at the center of your listening position or maybe just little bit in front, or perhaps aim 'for the shoulders' (yours, in your sitting position), try different angles, but be sure to mark your starting point, so that you can be very precise when moving them next time. Mark the one you like the best,for fine tuning,even one inch can make big difference.

It took me few months, laser meter and lots of tape on parquet floor to get it right, with small two way monitors and in almost dedicated room to get it right..

Power cords and conditioners (if choosen right) will improve the overall sound, but not before you you place your speakers in a 'right' way...




1,023 posts


I have yet to hear a power cord make a difference.


My money is on “you’ve never even tried”…..


@secretguy +1! If changing an interconnect or power cord brought a real sonic improvement it would be a wonderful world indeed! Alas ...

2 1/2' off the front wall may not do it.  I'd try moving your chair back and moving your speakers out more from the front wall.  I had a similar problem and this helped soundstage depth for me.  Nice system btw.

Room first for sure.

I went with Shunyata power conditioners and NR Shunyata power cables. This changed dynamics and texture, but I don’t recall a big change in soundstage. There was a better image but not an expanded soundstage...like more air surrounding the vocalist. What I did with power was to purchase with 60 day trial, but in my system and with my power the Shunyata products worked for me.

The power cord to your amp will likely have a large impact. Given what you are attempting, I recommend trying an AudioQuest Hurricane. I would borrow or rent. These have become extremely popular because of their ability to add transparency and detail without negative impact of the bass of changing the tonal balance. They had a huge impact in my system.


A power conditioner is going to be more challenging for you with an integrated. Almost all power conditioners have a negative impact on current flow… so amps are usually not plugged into the power conditioner… but straight into the wall (direct line will also help). But the preamp and all other components plug into the power conditioner. Without the preamp plugged into the power conditioner you will not get as big a position effect from a power conditioner.


But to address your problem. Each of the things discussed will make a difference. They are additive! This is key. You may have to do all of them and slowly work step by step to get to where you want to go.

You want direct line/s

Top of the line power cord to amp

Power conditioner

You will get greater transparency through Transparent Ultra… although at greater cost. The new generation are better than older.

Careful running of cables… 90 degrees at crossing. Cable lifters.


I would pe patient… just slowly work one thing at a time and get it right. It is very likely you will get there.



My money is on a exhaustive speaker setup/sitting.Nail that and the rest is the easy part.Should be able to achieve some level of what your desiring.I went through this last 2 week’s,I havent had a power conditioner for years.Cd and amp straight to wall socket.It has produced some great results.I have a great sound stage before the addition of conditioner...as George said it just add’s that element of a "cleaner" signal... and fwiw mine will stay in for now i believe

Thanks guys!  I have DYI power cords on all my two channel equipment.  I used Oyaide Tunami V2 for the cable.   Not the best but far from the stock wire. So my power wires are not bad, just not up to reference level, if that is needed. 

As to speaker placement, trust me, I'm been playing with the placement for a year.  I've got them where they sound pretty good.  I did pull them out another foot from the wall today.  It did help give more dimensionality to the sound. 

I have an 80" TV in the middle of my sound stage so I tossed a thick blanket over it and it helped.  My center channel KEF Reference has a large aluminum face so I tossed a blanket over that next.  Helped a tiny bit more.   I think I'm on the right path!  😂 Total spend for improvements today- ZERO. 

wrong a good power conditioners only afecting noise the right power  conditioner can dramaticallyimprove systems soundstage width and depth we run dedicated lines and the addition of a good power coproduced far. superior results out of our reference systemfurmans are a joke good units audience isotek audioimagic


we have tried most of these kinds of devices


Dave and Troy

Audio Intellect nj

dealer for audience isotek audio magic

I've had good results with power cords, but not with conditioners. Easy to return a power cord if it doesn't work for you, so really no risk...

Why not both, power (distributor and cables) and room treatments. And honestly implementing room treatment is relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.It just needs a lot of work. For me, I gotten everything I could possibly need, goods and advice, from GIK Acoustics. And of course, speaker placement, toe in, distance from listening position, etc. which are of course …. Free. Just some work.

From my own experience with real people, those who proclaim power cords and conditioners make zero difference, and room is all that matters, typically have zero room treatments in their rooms. They just love to bash cables. As they say, don’t pay attention to the preaching of a naked priest. Or something like that.

wd1099...i read a story at galen carol audio about everything matters.Getting my stands right,speakers balanced and spikes anchored was huge fwiw.Was ready to give up on my speakers...it wasnt them.

Your power cables should be fine.

Power conditioners can do more harm than good.  Test by plugging directly into the wall on a clear day (no storms).  

If you insiste on a conditioner, get an inverter/rectifier with near-zero output impedence.  I use the psaudio pp10 and highly recommend.

While it might be your room, I'd try a better DAC.  I find the DAC to be the most important component in achieving the transparency and soundstage.  Never been a fan of the dac's that are built into CD players but I am not personally familiar with your luxman.


+1 @marco1 that your speaker placement is probably playing a large part in this as your equipment seems perfectly capable of throwing a large, 3D soundstage.  I know you’ve played with placement already, but try this — pull speakers out another 2 feet from the wall and put them only 5’-6’ apart and toe them in so they fire just past the outside of your shoulders and move your listening chair back accordingly and see what happens.  If this yields a significant improvement try moving them out another foot (this is pretty close to how I have my speakers positioned to great effect) and see if it improves further or if you’ve hit the point of no/diminishing returns and go from there.  I have a feeling you’re going to experience a larger and more open 3D soundstage, but it’ll at least be worth a try and like you so aptly stated — it’s free!  Sounds like you have good PCs and while a good power conditioner can certainly help I’m not sure it’ll give you the level of soundstage improvement you’re looking for but always a good thing to add to your system regardless.  Hope this helps, and best of luck. 

Wow, like all threads you have so many contradictory posts, but you can figure things out for yourself if you can return what doesn’t work. I think that @ghdprentice got it right. Even McIntosh wants you to plug your integrated amp into the wall, but notice the word "almost" in his remarks. Personally, I’m sold on Shunyata for power, but others look elsewhere, but with power cables, you are going to spend $6K to $13K on a conditioner and the proper cables just for your conditioner and integrated.. Now you enable the dynamics of your power amp and not dull the dynamics. For me, that’s not spare change, so I demanded a real noticeable..not subtle improvement. The problem here is how far do you want to take it? I still have to buy NR power cables for my DAC, streamer and phono preamp. I know that at $2400/cable I’ll have close to maxed out my system and I have bought into Shunyata’s Noise Reduction cables where component noise doesn’t contaminate other components. I purchased less expensive NR cables for my subwoofers and I think this worked well, but buying more $2400 cables is tough.  So the problem with conditioners/regenerators is that you have to spend a small fortune to do it right.

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Why not both, power (distributor and cables) and room treatments. And honestly implementing room treatment is relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.It just needs a lot of work. For me, I gotten everything I could possibly need, goods and advice, from GIK Acoustics. And of course, speaker placement, toe in, distance from listening position, etc. which are of course …. Free. Just some work.

From my own experience with real people, those who proclaim power cords and conditioners make zero difference, and room is all that matters, typically have zero room treatments in their rooms. They just love to bash cables. As they say, don’t pay attention to the preaching of a naked priest. Or something like that.

“Why not both,” is because the power cord and conditioner cannot fix a room, nor fix placement.

One cannot change the physics of the room interaction with a high $ cable.

Secondly, it is better to do the things have have a greater impact first, as well as the things that do not require a trip to the store.

Cleaning corrosion off the RCA/XLR and speaker connectors… and making sure that outlets connections are tight are some of the things that can make a difference. But moving a speaker almost always has a huge impact. And it can take hours or days of futzing around.

Once all that is done, I stop… But I am more of a cable denier so there is that. But a believer should probably start their cable search when the system is “as right as it can be.” And not start with cables and power conditioners as a strategy to fix and room and speaker placement issues.

OK. Fair. Nothing you said is essentially terribly wrong. Show me your room & your room treatments and I will eat crow. You can PM me or post a picture of your system here under “systems”.


But I am more of a cable denier

The good thing , again, is admit this 😂

And for some reason, you folks believe that people who spend $1,000+ on a power cord do not take care of their room and the room treatments and speakers positioning 🤦‍♂️🙄

You quoted me on this:

From my own experience with real people, those who proclaim power cords and conditioners make zero difference, and room is all that matters, typically have zero room treatments in their rooms. They just love to bash cables. As they say, don’t pay attention to the preaching of a naked priest. Or something like that.



Let’s just leave it here:

OK. Fair. Nothing you said is essentially terribly wrong.

Once the OP sees if anything helpful can be done with speaker placement, then they can do the power cords.

My main statement was that I would do the easy stuff first.

Since we seem to agree on that, let’s just stop there for now.

Great sonic improvements were made with a dedicated 20A circuit, a PS Audio PowerPort Plug, and a good power cord to my amp. Did try plugging my amp to a Panamax conditioner that I use for low current components, it was awful.


I recently replaced my stock power cables with Cardas Clear Beyond to my Electrocompaniet AW400's which run Kef Blades and I and my wife noticed a definite improvement with what you're looking for. Yes my room is already treated.

I would start with speaker placement and room acoustics. What’s on the floor between you and the speakers? Place an area rug if you have bare floors. 

Move speakers to be about 4ft from the front wall. That should deepen the soundstage. 

Treat first reflection points at a minimum since you already have bass traps. Diffusion or absorption on first reflection points should help widen the soundstage. 
GIK Acoustics panels work pretty good  

Power conditioner on source components should also help. Depending on how dirty your power is, lowering the noise floor will help the details emerge out of a much quieter background. You have decent power cords but it wouldn’t hurt to experiment. If you’re changing the power cords tackle the amp cord first.

I’ve found higher end Audioquest Storm series high-current power cables on power conditioner and amplifier make a nice improvement in my system.
I’m using AQ Hurricane on power conditioner and Tornado on amp. There are tons of other options you just need to try…after you get your room acoustics squared away. Just my thoughts. Have fun and good luck!


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Hello Op

You have a great start to your system but you will find over time you will continue to chase the elusive dream of perfect sound for the rest of your life.  Yes, a good Power Conditioner will help.  I have an Inakustic 3500P.   Yes, a good Power cord will help and so will interconnects.  Even a great fuse will help a lot in your system. 

As others have mentioned speaker placement is important and a no-cost option.  Room treatments are really important depending on your room.  Do you have bass boom or echoing?    

I had the Lumin U-1 mini, D-2, A-1 and X-1 Streamer / DAC's.  As you go up the line each improved my sound dramatically.  Now I have a Lampizator Pacific DAC and Lucas Audio Music Server and my SQ is several notches up.  And if you go to tubes, just changing the tubes can alter the sound.

I have been testing multiple RCA, SPDIF, and USB cables in the last two weeks.  I will play the same songs for hours using different cables.  It is amazing to see how each cable affects the sound.  My next test will be with a few Power Cords.

So in summary, to answer your questions...Yes and Yes.  Everything you do will help improve the sound.  It might not be much but every detail counts.  Enjoy the journey and when your wife asks you is this it...just smile at her and wink.  



If you have dirty/noisy power, than a power conditioner can be great. If you have clean and quiet power, than a power conditioner is most likely a waste of money. A couple of houses ago I had noisy power and I bought an Audience AR-6 and it worked like a charm. A few years later, we moved out to gods country.  A brand new subdivision, new everything  and the power was excellent. I ended up putting the AR-6 back in mostly because of the magnetic circuit breaker.  Now I’m back in the city again and my power is mostly good at night, but it’s all over the place during the day, so the AR-6 is in.

ozzy62's avatar


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1,023 posts


I have yet to hear a power cord make a difference.


My money is on “you’ve never even tried”…..

You would be wrong. Doubtless, not the first time.

@secretguy I believe you, and I think you’ve formulated your statement in the best way possible when you stated

I have yet to hear a power cord make a difference

I don’t doubt that at all and I think that’s totally cool. Many reasons why that could be.
However, it doesn’t mean others don’t hear a difference or shouldn’t try to explore what potential changes different power cords have to offer. But this isn’t what this thread is about anyways so we’ll stay on topic.

I know everybody is different but to this day best improvement I’ve experienced was adding a power conditioner. I added a Pass Seymour outlet and was a little taken back with what I heard so decided to try a Running Springs Hayley almost 20 years ago.


Noise floor went black from what it was. Every musician in the sound stage had there own space/air around them. I had never heard anything like that, with every move up the Running Springs line was an improvement. 


Maybe everyone’s system reacts different but I have always used a passive conditioner since the day I put the Running Springs in my system. Power cables are also as important in my room. They all have there own flavor which makes things fun. Don’t even get me talking about high end outlets.

I agree with most here that speaker placement and room treatments is the place to start. You need to get that right first.  The biggest thing that made an impact to soundstage depth for me is having the speakers towed out, so that they are almost firing straight ahead.  But that applies to my B&W 802’s, it might be different for you.  Definitely suggest playing with toeing out your speakers though, in addition to the other suggestions regarding speaker placement.

After that, for sure, I find power cables (and other cabling) and conditioners all play into the degree of soundstage depth as well.   However I found that the few conditioners I tried altered the tonal balance adversely.  I found that the Torus RM20 (which is not a conditioner but rather a big honking isolation transformer that weighs 90 pounds - super simple and super effective) was far more even handed and has more instantaneous current supply than your amp could ever want.  Torus told me that moving up to the more expensive AVR20 is pointless provided your AC supply stays within 4V of 120VAC.  They suggested I purchase a Kill-A-Watt meter from Amazon, which I did, and I found my voltage to be fine.  So I stuck with the RM20.  

After testing my amp (Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated) connected to the Torus and to the wall, I found it was actually best through the Torus.  This was NOT the case with the Audioquest Niagara 5000 I demoed where my amp sounded unquestionably better connected directly to the wall.


One clarification - when I mentioned that the Torus is not a conditioner, I meant not in the traditional sense. Rather than filtering noise out, it electrically isolates your system from your house’s AC.

Interestingly, it was Nordost who first turned me on to Torus, when I had some questions about my Valhalla 2 speaker cables. They told me they thought conditioners can be tricky and unpredictable and yes, they also mentioned they can have an effect on tonal balance. They then suggested I look into Torus, along with another industry-veteran contact of mine who also strongly suggested Torus.

The RM20 definitely helps with soundstage depth. Details become more coherent, and I find that mid and upper detail are prerequisites for soundstage depth. Or maybe they just happen to always go together, not sure. But as mentioned speaker position and room treatment first…

And, dare I say it given the controversy in my other thread regarding power cord length: I think @ghdprentice found that when comparing like power cords of differing lengths, the longer cord offered a deeper soundstage? His test was with Audioquest Hurricanes.  And while I think of it - in my experience if you are using a USB cord shorter than 1.5m that will also clobber your soundstage depth somewhat and will compress everything more.  I did this test with two Audioquest  Diamond USB cords and two Nordost Valhalla 2 USB cords.  The longer cords from both manufacturers were blatantly better than the shorter cords in terms of openness, detail and soundstage depth.  I thought it might be a burn in issue at first so I actually ran the cords hundreds of hours, with no change - longer cords were superior.  So you might want to ensure you have no ultra short USB cables.  


in the words of Nelson Pass the power cables supplied with Pass amplifiers are sufficient to deliver more current than the amplifier is capable of.  Typical of most reputable amplifiers.  

Bark up another tree to improve the sound in the ways you are attempting.  

@nyev  My usb cable is pretty short, I'll have to look at it but I think it is around a meter.  I've also heard that a longer power cord will work better than short one.   Never experimented with it thought.   

As to speaker toe in, KEF states in their owners manual for the KEF Reference to not toe the speaker in much.  They claim that their speaker design doesn't need toe in like many other speakers.  I've played extensively with this over the 2 years I've had these speakers and I agree.  When I used Monitor Audio speakers they responded well with pointing the speakers at ones shoulders as someone suggested. 

While I'm new to a dedicated 2 channel set up, I've had many very high end HT processors over the years.  Lyngdorf MP-50, Lydgdorf MP-60 2.1, and now a Datasat LS-10.  I've also had some very nice amps including 3 BHK 300's that ran my front speakers.  The issue that I kept running into with the amps is nothing really sounded better than my current ATI amps.  A Mcintosh MC207 was the worst amp I've ever had in my system.   Now with the Luxman, I am seeing a nice improvement with things.

I did order a Shunyata Triton V3 with an Alpha HC PC.  I should have that possibly tomorrow.  It was between the Shunyata and the Torus I'm going to also order some sound panels to take care of the first reflection point.   I live in the City of Chicago, so I have a hard time believing my power supply is clean.  We will see, if the Triton doesn't do anything for me, I'll sell it.  

@wheelndeal1099 , try a demo of 1.5 or 2m quality USB cord. You might be surprised at the results….

No matter the vendor they always say that their products cannot be improved on. Best policy is to try for yourself, ideally with a blind test so it is objective, and see what you hear. Power cables can help improve soundstage depth, but I agree they shouldn’t be your first focus to address this issue though.



No matter the vendor they always say that their products cannot be improved on. 

Correct. Almost always. Yet, if you encounter them in audio shows, various in-house demonstrations, at dealers, etc. etc.... you will never find them hooked up to $2 junk power cords, or colored (also junk) interconnects, or lamp cords for speakers.


@avanti1960 ​​@secretguy

Excerpt from the Pass Labs XA30.8 manual…

Power Cords: Pass Labs provides a power supply cord that meets all legislated requirements for the market in which the product was originally sold. If you choose to substitute an af- ter-market product we urge you to choose one that is fully safety rated by the necessary local authority.

Hey even in the older .5 series the manual stated the exactly the same as the X.8 series manual I cited above.

I have owned both the .5 and the .8 series Pass amps and each amp reacted to power cord changes.

Just curious…what is your source for this information? Link us to the article where Pass says he doesn’t think aftermarket cords make a difference. The “quote” you posted says nothing about that and just translates to the capabilities of the stock cord to adequately power the amp

What’s your personal experience with pass amps and aftermarket cords? If you have none you’re just theorizing.


@wheelndeal1099 don’t let anyone tell you what you will hear. Go ahead and explore it for yourself. If you do or do not hear an improvement, you know you tried and move on. 

Agree with @audphile1 .  In my case, just for fun I tried substituting my very expensive Audioquest Dragon cord feeding my Torus RM20 with the stock Torus power cord.  The Torus in turn powers my entire system.

My initial impression was, it sounds much different, and actually not bad at all!  There was an immediacy and crispness that became more apparent with the stock cord.  But, the major difference was that the soundstage was all on one level, with less dimensionality to vocals and instruments, less air, and less of a holographic presentation.  

As stated your results may vary.  Of note, Torus told me they thought the cord from the Torus to your components matters more than the cord from the wall to the Torus, but as always, they said listen to your own ears.  Great advice.

@audphile1 That is what I intend to do.  It's like Audio Science Review, if the site owner can't measure it, then it doesn't matter.  Problem with that theory is most of the stuff that guy suggests as great due to measurements, sounds like garbage.  

Pulling my speakers out into my room has helped to broaden my soundstage and create more air around individual instruments.  The problem is, this isn't a dedicated music room.  I could pull the speakers out another foot, but it would ruin the function of the room.  

I'll soon find out how the other things improve or don't improve things.   

Thanks for all the advise and suggestions! 


It's like Audio Science Review, if the site owner can't measure it, then it doesn't matter.  Problem with that theory is most of the stuff that guy suggests as great due to measurements, sounds like garbage. 

Lol…. I do get a kick out of the audiosciencereview channel.  I find it amusing and utterly useless.  I do agree with Amir’s take on the importance of blind testing though.  Everyone is subject to confirmation bias, to varying degrees.  But nobody today can simply measure what gear will sound good or bad.  And given the small niche of our hobby I have a hunch that developing formulas to calculate performance of audiophile-grade equipment is not really considered a burning problem for humanity to tackle.  I think it’s one notch down from finding the cure for sleep.