Stick with your stock cables ?

i recently installed my new m.levinson 383 integrated amp, and initially found the treble region sounding shrill and zingy, whereas my speakers (s.fabers) had always sounded fine before. this was a crushing disappointment in light of the fact that (1)i was expecting a significant improvement in musicality, soundstaging, bass, inner detail, etc. and (2)just spent over $3k. i then took the plug from the wall and moved it to an api 116 ultra power conditioner; there was some improvement in reducing the overly bright character i was hearing, but it was still too hard-sounding. then i substituted the stock power cord for the ps audio x-stream statement i had been using, which i thought was pretty good wire. NOW the amp sounded balanced and smooth, while retaining most (okay, not all) of the clarity the ps cable provided. well, hell, what do you know! and how much do these stock cords cost again?!
years ago i bought my 1st power cord, a transparent, to try out on a levinson 23.5 amp. it too brought out a bit more clarity, but added some harshness as well. since then i've tried ps audio, demarzio, and essence cords, while trying to avoid getting any $2k cords. not that i haven't looked at them, or read with some interest how people felt about the "clearer window" they are supposed to provide. and they probably DO to some extent, but to be driven out of the room by the sound of an expensive high-end set of components is just about the worst thing i can imagine, like early digital players and poorly recorded cd's. so once again, while i have no hesitation in adding a power conditioner or trying out different audio cables (some which are as good as upgrading a component imho), power cords to me do two things-provide adequate current, and reject outside noise.
as someone who used to work for jeff rowland told me, that their components had to sound good using the power cord they put in the box, or else it went back to R&D. doesn't that make perfect sense? it does to me...
Well, your conclusions also happen to prove that powercords can make a HUGE difference in an audio system. Anyhow, has the powercord been broken in fully? I've read criticisms of how the Statements rolled off highs, but never shrill and zingy.
well, of course i expected someone to respond that "they" (pwr cords) make a difference. yes, the cord has been in use for awhile. and yes, it does change the sound- the bass was more extended, things were a bit clearer and cleaner, and the highs were more open and extended- but just way too BRIGHT. but my MAIN point is, you should safely and sanely presume (correctly imo) that the cords that come with your audio gear are meant to do what they need to do, nothing more, and nothing less. OTOH, if at some point you still are determined to try an aftermarket cord, i would say don't do it because someone else told you that the cords you're using "suck", but that you yourself have come to believe that they're of poor quality, and/or are insufficient in some way. in my situation, i was pretty upset and stressed out for a while by the awful screach coming from my tweeters, and now i'm just relieved that i was able to solve this (annoying as hell) problem.
I agree. One should expect improvements from a $$$ powercord. But like you stated, it's also important to be open to the idea that the improvements brought on by new cable may not be to your liking. You trusted your ears.
It is also my position that a component should sound as intended with the stock power cords. This should be especially true regarding the tonal and timbral presentation. Some after market power cords did change the sound or other aspects of performance, but I found it best to select the ICs and speaker cables before selecting after market power cords. Of course this is in general, so there could be circumstances where this approach may not be the best, but I found myself trying to select ICs and SCs based on colorations added by power conditioners or was a mess.
Your PS audio Xstream statement has been burning in for how long? What I'm saying is the stock power cable that came with your mark levinson has to burn in just like the intergrated amp. It's something to think about. I'm sure it won't sound like the statement but it's worth holding on too.
A difference is not necessarily an improvement. I have substituted power cords and think initially they sound better only to find after a period of time some irritating aspect and return to the stock cord. My experience mirrors French fries on this one.