Try a used Synergistic Research Master Coupler for around 150 and you will be amazed. Stock pc do no have the same conducting materials, design and shielding.
I was wondering about pc years ago and now my system powercords cost more than IC and speaker cables. In fact, my King Cobra V2 retails more than my CDP.
Good luck and you could always sell the pc back if you don't like it.
I can't make you any promises, of course, but when I owned my Classe Seventy (the forerunner to the CA100), the addition of Synergistic Research A/C Master Coupler made a positive difference so large, I wouldn't have thought it possible if I hadn't heard for myself. This degree of difference, however, has not been duplicated on the other pieces of gear I own that can accept the cord. With the Classe amp, the SR cord opened up the soundstage, and extended and smoothed the frequency response while reducing grain. Taking the cord out made the amp sound rough and closed-in. These cords can frequently be found here on the 'Gon for about $150.
Buy one from a place where you can return it if you are not happy, and try it out. That's the only way you'll know if it makes a difference.
Before you do that, though, spend 10 bucks and replace your wall outlet.
I don't believe that all stock cords are made cheaply. Some manufacturers believe that the cord they supply is sufficient to do the job. Only by trial and error will you determine if an aftermarket cord will enhance the performance of a particular unit. I have had some success using an inexpensive ($60) pc from diycable.com on my preamp's power supply. I spent slightly more ($95)on one for my cdp and both work better than the stock cords they came with. With my amp it has been a different story - all pcs costing $300 or less that I have tried haven't done a thing to better the amp's sonics/performance.
Try to audition a few or if you can't try before you buy you can find pretty decent deals on used cords here. Cables are very system/your ears/your wallet/ dependant. I have found that in my limited auditions that pcs have offered the least increase in my desired outcome versus interconnects and speaker cables. Thats not to say that things might be very different in your system to your ears. But don't be afraid to admit to yourself after an audition that you didn't hear/experience anything positive. It may just be the fact that the cable you tried isn't the right one and you will find one that will "do" it for you. Don't "will" yourself to hear something that isn't there. If its there you'll know it...
In my experience stock power cords arn't enough for power amps. With limited wire gauge to 16 there isn't enough AC power fed onto the amp. In comparison to home brew design that I use, the stock power cord is more quiet(not because the bad mastered shielding but because more power is delivered I guess). The sound becomes more defined and more dynamic. I've used the hospital grade 12AWG OFC AC cable from wireworld.
I replaced all my stock power cords with Absolute Power Cords but didn't notice much difference. Then I changed them for Virtual Dynamics Power 2s, and have been completely stunned by the improvement. Quieter and blacker background, increased musical dynamics, much better imaging. Rick with Virtual Dynamics sells the Power 2s for $125 each with a 14 day trial period.
I have Syn. Res. Master Couplers on all my components and highly recommend them. But what you really need to do is listen to several diferent pcs and see what YOU think. I once auditioned 7 power cords (in a week) from $100 to $1000.-- some I liked, some did nothing in my system, and a couple made music worse.
I also agree with KP above, good hospital grade outlets are important, and I'd suggest Pass & Seymour-- about $10. These should be available at any good electrical supply store. Good Luck. Craig.
Get new power cords, stock ones usually stink. The power cord that came with my 20k+ pre is sort of insulting. Some members find that power cables make more improvements then any other cable upgrade, start with all of your digital gear and then do the amps-its what most every cable company recomends.
I bought new power cords for all of my gear, which has been an investment of over 35 grand (for the gear). I have to tell you, I'm not sure if it did anything. I can't hear any significant improvements, nor any change that would be considered consistent. I can assure you that I didn't shell out quite a few hundred bucks in the hope of being disappointed. I feel better knowing they are there, and that I'm doing what so many say you have to do to maximize performance, but there is a lot of snake oil with this stuff, so be careful. Also, take this analogy into consideration. If you are like 99% of the folks on this web-site who have 89 cents a foot Romex running from each 99 cent outlet to a 99 cent junction box and from there to a standard breaker box from good old Home Depot, what the hell kind of improvement do you expect to get with a $500.00 cord? The AC is running at 60 hertz, so am I to believe that a stock power cord is choking off my amp? If you stick 22 gauge wire into an active AC receptacle and you hold the other end, do you think you won't get electrocuted because the gauge is so thin? Is the radio interference so great where you live that your power cords have to be shielded so that no interference will penetrate them? And if it is, what are you doing to shield the rest of the electrical path? I liken it to putting a titanium link on an aluminum chain. Sure, the titanium link is great, but is it strenghtening the chain as a whole? Does the rest of the link magically become titanium too? Of course not! And no offense to Tireguy above. I do understand his wanting of an upscale power cord for his 20K+ preamp, but don't you think the folks who build 20K+ preamps know what they're doing? Is it possible that the omission of such a cord is that company's statement about this subject matter?
Upping your service to 220, running dedicated lines of high gauge shielded electrical wiring from the breaker box to your equipment and installing a very beefy, very expensive AC regenerating device............now that's making the difference. Then, I believe it may be possible to hear the differences between cords. If you can't do that, spend your money on improving the components you're using.
Just an opinion..........................................
pattmatt: great analogy! (the titanium link in an aluminum chain thing) i tend to agree although i haven't experimented with aftermarket PCs enough to say for sure. i guess i just don't understand how a high dollar PC is gonna help with a sucky house current? the great debate continues...
I own a classe Ca-151 power amp. I can highly recommend the Custom Power cord Company Model 11 at about 250. It is better then cables at twice the price. Call the Cable company. They will let you try before you buy. 1-800-fatwyre.
Those who are skeptic(cough-Don-cough) ask Bob_Bundus, he will tell you his experiences(who stick's out in my mind as being the biggest protagonist for PC's, he loves those little devils!) It is one of those unexplainable(to me at least) phenomena in audio, as suggested above give it a shot, the cables will speak for them selves. BTW thanks Don for telling me not to give up :) last night I took everything apart-cleaned the life out of it and relocated somethings and the rig has never sounded better.
tim, thanks for the advice. i'll try to keep an open mind about PCs. however, in this hobby, an open mind can get expensive....
glad you didn't give up on your stuff. i think you've earned the right to enjoy it. stop upgrading!
Everyone who reads this thread should do themselves a huge favor and read this month's issue of the Sensible Sound. Myth's are exposed on Power Cords, line conditioners, etc. It was excellent, and a must read for anyone who is lookingg to spend some bucks on these items.