Jasman, I have one in my system along with a JPS Digital PC on my CD. The two power cords really smoothed out my bright system.
The strengths of the Black Mamba have been discussed here many times, and it makes sense for higher end systems, cost is very high at $700 new/450 used, but performance is outstanding. To further complicate the matter Shunyata Hydra is available for less than the cost of 3 Black Mambas. I have often wondered how a Hydra/4 Sidewinders would compare to 4 Black Mambas with no Hydra.
I own four Sidewinders currently, if I were budgeting more money for power cords I think I would try a Hydra first before spending big bucks on indvidual higher end snakes.
Seems like a more "complete" solution to power upgrades.
I am using 2 Black Mambas (on transport and DAC) and three PS Audio Lab Cables plugged into a Hydra. I find the background to be much quieter than w/o the Hydra. Also tried the Hydra with the stock PCs and found a definite improvement with the high-end PCs in place. This is probably due to the fact that RF noise is being emitted/picked up by the stock PCs and not with the shielded PCs.
I was stunned by the improvements I heard when I first put a Black Mamba in my system. And I want to add that this cord is very flexible (physically, it bends easily), which I consider a MAJOR plus. Some cords on the market are so stiff that if can be nearly impossible to keep them from pulling away from the component or the wall. If you can't make a good square-on connection, what good is it?
This seems to be one of those rare opportunities to give you my personal opinion knowing I will collect twenty plus negative votes. I'm writing my experience/opinion not to stir the water or look for trouble, but because I truly believe my opinion has value here.
I have used a number of these relatively expensive power cords (King Cobra and Black Mamba) in my system and found them to be well built, user friendly cables. I also found they changed the sound, on some equipment quite dramatically but I always felt it was something added. Not closer to the original performance but more an embellishment of the recording. I'm not sure I can explain it any better. On the cords I use now it always seems that something (a fog) was taken out, with the snakes I didn't feel that way.
A lot has been said here about power cords and the value they bring. There is a strong voice (now quieted some) that I will speak for that feel power cords are a hox and a pure waste of money. It is my opinion that these cords are one of a few that add to that hype. For the money, I believe there are a lot of options available, and to buy for brand name could leave you holding something less than you were looking for. My proof? Well look at the for sale listings. It's almost 25-40% snakes at any one time. Why are so many people selling there snakes?
I'm not one to trash a brand or a product, these are just opinions. For me, spending the money required for a snake, opens up a lot of great options. J.D.
JD you will get no negative votes for expressing contrary view in a civil manner, every one has valuable opinion.
I can address two points you raise.
1)Most powersnakes are being sold to upgrade to other snakes, you will see resale value is very good for Sidewinder and Black Mamba! A small number may be switching to another brand.
2)ALL power cords add/subtract something from the sound, powersnakes are no different, there is no PERFECT cable that
has no effect on signal being transmitted. Some may not like the snake coloration, that is fine and very dependent on personal taste. That is why there are so many different
brands that each can sound different.
BTW I gave you plus vote for having the balls to give contrary view, this vote system stinks!
Another voice from the wilderness: A point seems to be missing here, and that is the particular component the pc is plugged in to. A pc only supplies power and filters the RFI/EMI. The component makes the sound. If cleaner power makes for "dirtier" sound, then the component doesn't necessarily do well at low level detail, which is what is being brought out by the quieter cleaner background. Is it possible to be too quiet?!
Everyone's experience seems to be different. Everyone also focuses only on the pc. I suspect it is the synergy between the pc and component as whole in one's own system that is important.
I would add that there are many exceptional power cords deserving of audition, and a number of them can enhance the listening experience on a par with major component upgrade.
I completely disagree with you Jade, that power cords are "a hoax and a pure waste of money". I think comments like that serve little purpose other than to troll for attention and polarize what was an even handed dialogue. Your qualifying comments aside, it's pretty clear you're making a concerted attempt to incite rancor or, well, I'll not hazard a guess.
My many trials and experiments have lead me to believe that a music system's power-lines and the type and pedigree of the power supplies in the components we use, provide the very foundation of realism in music reproduction. There are countless hobbyists who squander thousands of dollars on component upgrades with nary a backwards glance to their power-lines. Or worse, they simply buy whatever AC bandaid is popular at the moment, without taking the time to listen to a variety of AC alternatives.
No less attention should be paid power-line optimization than that paid to the choice of one's amplifiers, source and speakers.
Dedicated lines, high grade outlets and top quality, synergized power cord selection has done as much to improve my listening experience as anything else in the signal chain. I've spent a lot more money on speakers, different preamps etc that did more to change the "flavor" of music's presentation rather than improve resolution, or absolute sound quality.
As MegaSam said, all components, power cords, cables etc change, color, or shift the character and presentation of music and sound. The $100 question is, Jade, which of these groups of products, individual cords or components have the proper balance and resolving powers that draw us all the way in to the music listening experience? The answer is as different and individual as each of our sytsems and tastes in music.
The holy grail of audio is individual time spent in exploration and the encouragement of the same in others, some of whom only too readily visit these sites in search of quick answers, and IMO, there are too many willing to give them.
I think if any hobbyist curious about power cords put together an audition list that includes AC cords from Electraglide, NBS, FIM, BMI, Audio Magic, PowerSnakes and JPS they'll come away with a profound apprecation of the effect a power cord can have on the sonic of a music system...which is best? Depends on system, taste, music, environment..how many pages can I write for? You get the idea.
Nice post Mega, I was a little more put off by the self important tone than you were.
Samual: If you will reread Jadem6's post you will see that he is not against upgraded PC's as a whole and that he does not think them all to be "hype". He just does not care for this particular one, which is his prerogative as I see it. By the way are you affiliated with the company that makes this cord?
Samuel, you must not know me too well. If you've read the past power cord threads you'll find I'm one of the vocal for power cords. I've found some excellent cords and some that do not work so well with my equipment. As Sharri stated, my experience is that certain cords match well with certain equipment. Please check out the post I made "the winter lessons" and you'll see a complete rundown on my trials of power cords. I do however believe the snakes are over rated compared to the market, but that is strickly my opinion.
Khaki I've found that power cords are so equipment sensitive that I hesitate to recommend any one brand. I've tried most (again winter lessons) and today have two BMI Whale one on my PS300 and one on my amp.(best value I know of, extremely neutral) NBS Statement, extremely open and I believe "the perfect match" for my SCD-1, and a Fatboy that will be replaced with a whale soon.
Indeedy. Power Snakes are no snake oil -- they do what they're supposed to do. I've got them throughout my system and I'm a happy puppy. Now, has anyone actually heard the Hydra versus the other two supposedly truly really good power conditioners: The Sound Application ($5000) and the Ensemble Mega PowerPoint?
Sherri - A word about radio frequency signals. We are awash in RF. Every cubic inch of our houses is filled with RF. The TV and radio stations fill the air with RF. It radiates into everything that is not shielded. Its in the speaker boxes. Its in the preamp and amplifier. The good news is that we cannot hear it or we would go crazy. Also, audio amps and preamps cannot amplify it and are not bothered by it under normal conditions. And, speakers are a dead end for RF. If a speaker and its unshielded wire were placed in front of a 100,000 watt broadcast antenna it wouldn't make a sound.
Power cords certainly have more effect on some components compared to others. This probably is a testament to power supply design of some equipment. Cords also seem to have less effect on amps. There is surely some truth to the phenomena as many people report hearing similar things. And it's not because they all read the same claims somewhere and are following the herd.
Echoing Mega's thoughts, I can appreciate your opinion and the general manner you spoke, which was honestly. Trying to distance myself from my appeal for PowerSnakes, I believe that all your implications are unfounded. Not absolutely sure of your thoughts on the KC, other than >they changed the sound<, I would add that people sell products all the time for a VARIETY of reasons, and that your post comes off as to imply something dubious about the Snakes. As you have spoken freely, I would say that they definately DO NOT add to "that hype". I have found them to offer substantial improvements across the board, as advertized. I would not limit my recommendation to JUST them, as I'm fond of the BMI
power cords as well, and I would add that there is a very large gap amongst many of the after-market cords out there so be careful about performance generalizations of this product type. Agreeing with your "other possiblities" comment; depending on your system context, I agree that untill you have addressed the inter-dependant core components, that power cord exploration should be delayed. Specifically about the King Cobra; are you saying that what it added to the sound was more detrimental than positive or that the cost of the KC, could be better spent (if only in your application)? MikE
Disregard my >all your implications< statement. I believe
some of your opinions are a bit zealous. >There is a strong voice (now quieted some) that I will speak for that feel power cords are a hox and a pure waste of money<...>IMO that
these power cords (PowerSnakes) are one of a FEW that add to the hype<. One of a FEW? That's a bold statement. MikE