Review: Ernie's (Subaruguru) PCK12 + G and PoBox Power cord

Category: Cables

Some minor background. I've been reading a lot here and other places lately about power cables, do they? will they? are they snake oil? who's design? Bigger? thicker? Blah. To me it's all like talking religion in a bar, unless everyone there agrees with you it only serves to spoil a good beer (or in our case music) and if everyone agrees with you what's the point? I'm more of a bang for the buck guy and have built my system almost entirely of used components. I've been through a lot of gear over the last year and luckily it hasn't cost me too much because if there was something that didn't suit me I could turn around and sell it for basically what I paid for it. As proof of my bang for the buck attitude the only brand new stuff in my system are a Scott Nixon tubedac which I love, Philly Audio Blues 7b Ver. II which I reviewed here and have grown VERY fond of and I'm waiting on a Stratos Stereo Extreme from Klaus which was WAY out of character for me to spend that much was a present to myself for getting a certification.

Anyway, on to the cables. As far as power cords, I'm not 100% convinced that AC cables make a "REMARKABLE" difference in sound. If anything I think they can make things quieter which, of course, will improve dynamics and subtleties. One thing that directed me to Ernie's cables is that they are actually as cheap or cheaper than I can buy the materials myself in many cases and I don't need to bother with ordering from 5 different places and getting 100ft of cable or something ridiculous like that. Everything comes in one bag with good instructions. Best of all I can build a cable with the ground lifted as an option to kill some noise / hum should it exist (or sound better that way) and if not, just connect the ground and off I go - all on the same cable! COOL! That coupled with the knowledgeable emails, help and fast shipping - what more could I ask for?

I've got two of his 12AWG PC kits and a pobox kit and am very happy with both. In addition to being inexpensive and good it's also taught me how to build one, what goes into it and some of the theories behind PC's and power. This is a huge fringe benefit to me because I am Mr. Curious. I've sold my other previous cords which all cost MUCH more and have experienced no degredation what-so-ever in fact, the sound improved by using a 12awg kit on my preamp because the lifted ground help kill some of the noise I was experiencing. This is awesome because otherwise the Blues 7b wouldn't have lasted a day in the system - however, I've been able to leave it and experience the wonderful sound it produces. (I've got a couple ground loop issues which were the source of the noise, it wasn't the preamp's fault.)

Boy, this really got long, sorry. I'm not in anyway associated with Ernie or anyone who knows Ernie either biblically or otherwise. Just a satisfied customer.

Associated gear
Odyssey Stratos Stereo Extreme amp
Scott Nixon Tubedac
Sony DVP-S7700 transport
Philly Audio Blues 7b Ver. II preamp
Polk RTA11tl (modified)
Zu Warmouth & Wax cables
Virtual Dynamics Audition Digital

Similar products
Virtual Dynamics Power1
Virtual Dynamcis Power3
Zu Birth
PS Audio UO high current
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More-sophisticated 4 conductor "starquad" models have pretty much superceded the original "twisted-pair" PCK12 ($45) reviewed above. The PCK13Q ($42)is thinner, and thus more flexible, and VERY refined for front end components.
The beefier PCK11Q ($69 with WattGate IEC) is perfect for almost all amps extant, while the PCK9Q ($79) is for kilowatt monos. The newer "statement" Prelude & Fugue Series (assembled, $160-240) are for VERY high rez components. RSVP anytime for a consult re dedicated lines, duplexes, power boxes and affordable PCs, of course. Ern 781 483-3922
This appears to be a high end bargain Ernie, thanks for the follow up post.
As someone who pestered the heck out of Ernie with some custom boxes and multiple follow-ups (including dedicated lines and power cord kits), I can tell you that he is absolutely tops as far as customer service and help is concerned. I feel that his products are, indeed, a relative bargain, and represent a good way to explore AC cable upgrades without breaking the bank. And when you deal with Ernie, you're not just buying his products, you are gaining an education, that's for sure!

And while I'm at it, Mr. Porter is another truly great Audiogon resource! I have 8 or so of his Porter Ports in my system (including in the custom boxes from Ernie), and I am very happy with them.

I recently purchased Ernie's PCK12 and PCK 11 as a DIY Kit. My experience at wiring was from installing several car stereos. When I received his kit, the instructions were very difficult to understand. There was no key to explain component names nor were there any illustrations. Because of that, it was extremely difficult to figure out how to put together something so simple. I might also add that an electrical engineer and electrician friend had the same concerns about his instructions. I highly recommend you spend the money to have him put them together.