Well, since you have the aftermarket power cord and the power line conditioner, you could try it both ways and decide for yourself.
This hobby is so subjective, with synergy and personal tastes amounting for so many differences of opinions, that the only way to know what works best for you is to do the experimenting for yourself.
Agree this issue is a 'You have to try it for yourself, and decide which sounds best' type.
For example, I bought a few of the better Pangea powercords. So I have a few pangea AC9 and then the more expensive AC9SE. I stuck an AC9SE from wall to Furman power conditioner just to 'break it in' and was shocked it really made EVERYTHING sound better. WOW. Never thought that could happen.
Anyway I then went and tried the better cords in all the places I had other IEC cords.
And some places the new Pangea AC9SE was the best. In others, suprisingly, the AC9 was better sounding. A few the AC14SE sounded best.
For my PS Audio P600 the AC9 was a lot better than the AC9SE.But for my Bryston Preamp the AC9SE was the better one. With the AC9SE on the Furman, Which cord to my amp? I left the AC9 as not any difference I could hear with AC9SE to amp.
So you have to experiment. Really no possible 'rule' is going to cut it in the real world for which cord should go where. Every system is different.
And do not dispair if you cannot hear any difference.
For now, it does not matter. When time passes you may nnotice a difference as you stuff gets better.(even breaking in can change it all.)
And really if you can't hear any difference do not worry about it. Some stuff there is not a whole lot of difference.
I just plugged my amp and preamp into the wall, after having both in power conditioner, and found the wall was surprisingly better. Same result with my integrated amp. Told two audiophile friends who did the same and much preferred the wall. I still have my digital and analog sources plugged into the conditioner.
It depends on a lot of things. I live at the end of the grid and the power is really spotty. Otherwise, amps into walls is often a good idea. I think front end stuff benefits most from conditioners....but the listen and match up is the way to do it. Aftermarket PC's are the bomb and if the one you have isn't making a big difference, try another because eventually it will.
All that said, I ended up with a big hospital style Topaz isolation transformer in my basement on a dedicated line....it's out of the way anyway!
Rule of thmb is best pc to your condition. I think I gave myself a hernia wresting with an Elrod Statement once!
Thanks to all who have responded so far. Trial and error seems the way to go and makes sense. I just don't know where you guys find the time to run these trials
BTW, Several months, I ran a trial trying to determine which speaker cable sounded better. I play the Who's (remastered) track "Won't Get Fooled Again" six time in a row. After the sixth play, my upstairs neighbor knocked on my door and ask me if I want to see his shotgun and hunting knife collection. Hmmmm!???
TO ELIZABETH....I THINK IT IS TIME TO BURY THE HATCHETS. YOU REALLY OFFER A LOT OF HELPFUL ADVICE AND INFORMATION, AND ARE GENEROUS WITH YOUR TIME. I WAS OUT OF LINE AND OUT OF CHARACTER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUGGESTIONS
OK. I really do not hold any grudges. If someone hassles me I give it back, then that is it. No problem.
Glad you realize I am not all bad. Well maybe only 80% bad..
Would not be without my Power Plant. AC line is full of garbage which causes my music to sound grainy and unfocused. A good PC is must whether you plug directly into the wall or a conditioner.
To me it depends on the equipment and the location of where you live. Audiophiles in my area have long decried the quality of the electricity in my neighborhood. So my sources get plugged into an isolation transformer and/or power conditioners with their aftermarket power cords. My amps that have Pangea AC9 power cords get plugged right into the wall but I changed out my outlets to Albert Porter Hubbell based outlets.
Well, I could stick my finger in the electrical socket to judge the quality of the AC, measured by how far it propels me across the room
The quality of electricity in my neighborhood seems OK, except occasionally when the lights dim for about a second. I live in a high-rise building that has 329 units. Everybody has got a washer dryer combo. When I first moved in, I picked up RF interference through the speakers when I played LP's. Mainly, FM broadcasting. The power line conditioner eliminated that almost completely.
Though, I have to agree with Sonic Genius, there is a lot of garbage that comes through the AC. Once I picked up a Coast Guard cutter transmission off of Oahu....Fortunately, it was not classified, but only about the beer supply on board, and shark repellant
I will give the wall socket a shot.
"Well, I could stick my finger in the electrical socket to judge the quality of the AC, measured by how far it propels me across the room"
That was a good one. We couldn't have you doing that. Who would keep the Audiogon forum alive and exciting.
One way to check the AC was with a Kill-A-Watt. I plugged that into the socket check consumption of my gear and found settings for it to check voltage from the socket. I found that in my audio rooms the voltage goes from 118v to 125v. Lots of spikes throughout the day. As for how dirty it is I just took the other guys words for it. I don't know how to measure that.
I feel for you though. Playing all those WHO tracks and getting threatened by a neighbor. things like that is part of the reason why I just stopped tweaking and just plugged and played a lot of stuff I have now. Listening to music became a chore where you are just trying to pick up differences. I had a notepad with thoughts and findings of tubes I used, all sorts of IC speaker and cable combinations etc. After playing a favorite Depeche Mode track for the 5th time straight I just said screw it all and this is just not fun.
Let us know what you decide...
Actually, my upstairs neighbor was not exactly threatening me. He likes the "Who", and especially the album "Who's Next" Nevertheless, after a few beers, and laughing over how bad the Cubs and Phillies played last season, he chilled out.
However, whether it was audacity, balls, or neurosis. I involved him in the speaker cable merry-go-round listening session. and which sounded best on the (now) 7th play of 'Won't Get Fooled Again" Was it cable #1 (a dealer loaner Audience 24e) or cable #2, Nordost Frey speaker cables( also a local dealer loaner). He both liked selection #2 a tad better. When I mentioned the approx. retail price of each cable, he explained he could probably buy three new shotguns and a replica of Jim Bowie knife.
Now, I know I am going to get schooled on shotguns technology, hunting knives,and survival techniques.. However, he is a good guy.... I just hope he likes Lou Reed, inspired album, "Rock and Roll Animal"
JL135, I will let you know about the power line experiment, and not about how well I can hit a skeet at 50 yards.
I plugged the Acoustic Zen Tsumani PC directly into the wall socket, NEXT to the power line condition PC. There seems to be a marginal improvement in the sound. The remaining PC's are plugged into the power line conditioner
One unknown factor is: I switched IC's from the Rega CDP to the integrated amp. I am trying out the Nordost Red Dawn Flatwire a previous generation IC against the Morrow MAP3 which previously ran from an outboarded phono preamp, the Musical Surrounding Phenomena II which was sold as part of Project Downsize. However, the Morrow was adequate for that task, but not serving as a CDP IC. Interestingly, the Nordost has more inner detail, and better dynamics but the upper highs are somewhat congested Cursed trade-offs!!!
Both replaced a Chord "Chameleon" recommended by Rega for the Apollo CDP, and yes it did sound better when I first plugged it in 3 years ago. It is more balanced across the board. The question arises is finding a much better IC for the Apollo., like putting a Ferrari engine in a VW bug. Somewhere in the sound transfer, the law of diminishing returns becomes one of finished, caput returns.
However,the Nordost and Morrow Audio ICs will be sold and came out of my prize possession of old dog IC's. For example, the Synergistic Research Alpha Sterling, Monster Cable Reference( vintage 1988), MIT budget IC which is a dog, an Audioquest Cobra ( under $50) and lastly an Audio Magic Spellcaster II which was my major IC for years, and served multi-purposes. Bright and somewhat edgy, it is very detailed and possess explosive dynamics. However, its connectors need a DETOX cleaning because you got to screw the connector shell to tighten the connection. This IC according to Audio Magic was $700.00 (vintage 1991).I paid less than half via a rep's misquote
However, and this is the problem with the IC merry go round, they get outperformed, or become obsolete over (a short)time period. Whereas in my experience, speaker cable seems to have a "longer shelf life" in terms of delivering respectable, competitive sound.
Maybe because you listen more closely in evaluating new speaker cable and the improvements check list is multi-faceted: better bass, smoother highs, transient speed, and a few other areas related to overall speaker performance, including the elusive quality of musicality....that is, does it draw in the listener; hold their attention; offer a mesmerizing euphonia; or deliver that much over used phrase....it sounds like "real" music, or "natural" sound, or gets you "closer to the source".
Sunnyjim - I find the sole largest indicator of plugging direct into wall or not is (1) the quality of my line conditioner and (2) the quality of my house wiring. My home was built in 1990 so wiring fairly new and I have no issues going direct to wall on my amps, and they actually sound better (or at least I convinced myself of this). I have lived in older apartment buildings in NYC and amps direct to walls their did not sound better (different amps but much poorer AC distribution). It is all trial & error. The key is these forums...using someone else's trials...
If one plugs directly into AC wall outlet there is still the opportunity to keep adverse effect of noise or interference within the house wiring from affecting the component directly plugged in.
Different vendors sell items to passively diminish noise and whatever interference is preventing system clarity by plugging such an item into an unused outlet in the same circuit.
The least expensive one which worked for me is the Flying Saucer (from Machina Dynamica) for AC wall outlet. With some of these inserted in unused outlets their cumulative effect can be startlingly effective in letting us hear just how much better things can sound without changing components.
A cheap and simple step toward optimizing your system performance.