Vintage preamp/amp power cords


Let me just say I don’t want to start a discussion if power cords make or don’t make a difference. I’m just curious to know if folks with older gear with captive power cords mostly considered a replacement with IEC type plug. The power cord on my McIntosh MC2200 is literally a little better than a high quality modern lamp cord, But it’s been there for almost 30 years. The main objective of the replacement would be safety as well as Sonics, if any.
Dfc79476 b7e2 448b 8f7b 3aed2a5e9ad4kalali
I’m guilty, Furutech IEC AC Inlets and a dremel. Other thing to consider is a better wire on the internal side from the IEC too.
Was there an improvement once I added an upgraded power cord? I would like to think so...*grinz
Edit: Wanted to add, various power cord materials will give you more lows, highs, or a neutral affect.
One of my early mods long ago, replaced the factory cord. Only my approach was, long as I got the soldering iron out.... hardwired the new one in.

This was back when I wasn't really even sure it would make a difference. Now I would still recommend hard wire if you have one you know you have heard and know you will be happy to live with. Anything other than that you need to audition several, and that means iec.

Safety, unless you see signs of overheating or fraying or cracking, you can just forget that one except if it helps as an excuse to rationalize what you should be doing for sonics sake. Even something as basic as Synergistic Research Master Coupler will be a profound improvement. Hardwire one of those directly to wherever the existing terminates inside the chassis, huge improvement.
Adding an IEC inlet will not help anything. It will only add another point of (I^2)*R (or more precisely, (i^2)*z) power transfer loss. You will not want to put an over-sized power cord on your equipment either, as it lessens the ability of the power supply’s filtering circuitry to reject noise proportionally as the cord impedance drops (ie false economy). 
I don't know sleepwalker65 if you're one who has yet to realize the value of a good power cord, or you can't see the forest for the trees. Either way, check it out: The improvement going from old oxidized lamp cord to a new high end power cord is many orders of magnitude greater than any possible losses from adding another connection. Heck you could twist the wires by hand and still be better off with a good power cord. You could for that matter throw ANY aftermarket power cord on there and be a whole lot better than the old lamp cord that's on there now.


I agree that the cleanest way is to avoid using an IEC socket, and instead replace the cord straight into the power supply.

Don't go crazy on wire size either. If you must increase the hole size, make sure you secure an appropriate grommet.


@millercarbon everyone knows that aftermarket power cords are for people who have nothing else to occupy their time. It’s very simple: meet the demands for current supply without a significant voltage drop. As I said before, some voltage drop over the power cord is definitely desirable, as the input impedance of the power supply should be lower than the power cord above 60Hz. 
sleepwalker65

From the OP
"Let me just say I don’t want to start a discussion if power cords make or don’t make a difference. "

kalali

I did this with my vintage Luxman equipment and was pleased with the improvement.
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I have replaced hundreds of power cords on older gear ( anything without an iec receptacle ). I do not like iec receptacles, but, having them is convenient, and I learn to live with them. Anyway, always hotwired, with a larger gauge cord, purchased from Lowes or HD. Always an improvement in sq, always. In the case of the 2200 amp, a 2 wire, with a heavy duty grounded 3 way plug, without the ground connected. Just make sure of the polarity.
When I was refreshing/upgrading ST-70s, I found that certain improved cords(ie: Zu Births and Mothers), could be fit into the chassis, through the original cord’s hole, with a large grommet. Didn’t want to butcher the original metal. The ARC preamps I owned, both got minor surgery, to fit IECs, plus internal wiring(beside my usual PS mods). Aluminum chassis are nice/easy to work.
Thanks for all the input. My preference is to replace the cord with a new 2-wire higher quality replacement, hardwired. The cord entry point is pretty tightly close to one of the speaker terminals so adding/converting to an IEC inlet will necessitate chopping part of the chassis which I prefer to avoid. Need to take a peek inside to see if its something I could do myself or get some professional help.

P.S. Full disclosure, better power cords did make a difference in sound quality in my other components, albeit very subtle.