I guess my budget is around $500.
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Triode Wire Labs. Some of his product comes under your limit.
Also, try thecableco.com. They have a lending program where you can try out some cables, and all you have to pay is return shipping and a 5% restocking fee.
All the best,
I'm getting excellent results from the Cullen Cable Crossover Series ll power cable that twoleftears mentioned. They use the Sonarquest Carbon Edition Rhodium plated plug. In my system they make a difference.
Over the past six months I have replaced all my power cables with Cullen cables. In fact all the cables in my system are Cullen. I am extremely happy with the results.
Wow, Cullen Cable has upped their game. Those are some great prices and they look like they use similar plugs to what others offer at a fraction of the price. I use two of his power strips and two of his power cords on some of my gear, except for the two TWL PCs that I use on my integrated and SACD player. If the Crossover Series II were available back when I got the TWLs, I might have gone for the Cullen PCs.
All the best,
I have tried literally hundreds and hundreds of different cables. I have to agree with the above comments about the Pangea AC cables. These are the only ones that I liked better before they broke in. After break-in, slow, dark, thick, colored, muddy.
Some of us use the Signal Cable Magic Power Cable. Very inexpensive and a wonderful full, open, quick sound. Very balanced all around. Save your money and buy these and LOTS of music. That's what it's all about anyway...
Although it looks more like a power conditioner than just a power cable, it's hard to fault the sound of a Core Power Tech 150, which Mark at CP sells occasionally for under $400, closer to $350. I use one on the TRL DUDE preamp, and another to take power from my Synergistic Research QLS-6 strip to the Maestro outlet. Each made a significant difference in the overall sound to more live and real. with detailed & organic sound. To be honest, I haven't heard any of the really high cost PCs over $1000, but do have a Dynamic Design Spirit II that was $900 when I bought a demo from DD for $475 that powers my Modwright 5400 CD/SACD.. The CPT cords are much more real and involving sounding than it also. I still like it enough to keep using it in my system. It gets the benefit of the CPT-150 as all my front end components are run through the QLS-6 into the CPT-150.
The New Pangea mk2 , and mk2 dig
Use now only Cardas best Copper and it is a warmer sound in msny
System a a plus. Especially under $300.
Sure you can do better if you have several times the $$ to spend.
I have one on my DVD player. I use the New Verastarr power cords
And system cables totally reference wuality cables.
I’ll second the Signal Cable recommendation Mofimadness provided above. Based on recommendations by him (thanks, Mofi!) as well as numerous others in past threads here I chose Signal Cable power cords for my CD player (a Bryston BCD-1) and for my power amp (a VAC Renaissance 70/70 MkIII, which is a tube-based design biased in class A), and I’ve been very pleased with the results.
I’m using Signal Cable’s Magic Power Digital Reference cords for the amp as well as for the CD player, by the way, even though that cord is nominally intended for use in digital applications. The 12 gauge wire it utilizes, while narrower than the 10 gauge of the less expensive non-digital Magic Power cord, is more than adequate to power this amp. And I chose the Digital Reference cord particularly because of the excellent double shielding it is said to provide, since in my setup these cords are routed such that they pass fairly close to my phono stage, which I didn’t want to be exposed to amplifier-generated noise. Also, the fact that the amplifier operates in class A (rather than class AB or class D), and therefore draws essentially constant current regardless of the dynamics of the music, presumably lessens the relevance of the advantage some other more expensive cords **might** have in their responsiveness to abrupt changes in demands for current, i.e., in their bandwidth.
In general, shielding quality tends to be particularly important in the case of power cords for digital components and power amplifiers, both of which can couple RF noise into their power cords, from where it can find its way into other cables or components in the system.
There are just so many. It seems daunting.Hopefully the kinds of considerations I described can help you narrow down the possibilities a bit.
Look at Zu Audio A/C Mission or Birth cables. I have replaced all A/C cables in my system with Zu Audio Mission cables. Exceptionally well constructed and was an amazing overall improvement to my Pass and PS Audio stocked system ! Save some $$$'s and try them out . ( Save even more by getting them through bids on eBay direct from Zu !!! )
There are just so many. It seems daunting.
@xenon There are many, many options. But it doesn’t have to be "daunting."
I recommend borrowing two or three from your dealer or an audio buddy or from a lending program like the one offered by The Cable Company.
None of us can tell you what you will prefer and what will work for you in your system. The only way forward is to experiment and learn and come to your own conclusions. All the best.
Hi @xenon - I agree, the choices are daunting, and there is no shortage of opinions but it's very hard to apply them to one's specific situation. When I'm reviewing gear it's only more complicated as I have to try so many different permutation of components and cables and figure out how to sort this all out for the reader. I'll try to comment on a few things as a starting point.
I generally agree with the comments on Pangea not being very good. I have one of the newer ones, I think $80, and it has only ranged from pretty bad to okay on the components I've tried (integrated amps and DACs). You can do much better.
I have not tried Signal Cable but they make a quality cord at a great price, and many people like it. If you want a starting point, that seems like a safe one without blowing too much money.
My go-to that sounds at least very good in pretty much every situation I put it in, and at its best is superb, is the Audience powerChord. I have a short post about it on my blog, but it is incredibly consistent and versatile. It accomplishes a primary goal of freeing up whatever it is feeding (I call it "unkinking the garden hose") so the music can breath, without messing anything up. If I had to recommend one cord to anyone, no doubt this would be it. Tubes, solid state, amps, DACs, you name it - it has never let me down. The latest SE-i is out of your budget ($900) but you might be able to find an older used model for well under $500. I have a bunch of the older ones and they are great.
The other wrinkle here is that John McDonald of Audience has just sent me his new entry level cord, the Forte. I haven't plugged it in yet but it looks very nice and retails for under $300. He's very proud of it and thinks it will be a go-to cord for many people. I will report back on my blog/Facebook after I get a chance to give it a listen, but it seems very promising. (If I sound like an Audience fanboy, it's because they make really consistently musical wire at relatively sane prices, and consistent musicality and value are both key for me.)
FYI I also have two cables from DH Labs, the $850 one and the $100 one. Reviews are in progress (the $100 one was sent with a EU plug so I need to request a new sample).
Feel free to PM or message me on Facebook if I can help.
I bought 3 Nordost Valhalla 2 meter for $500 each. At the same time I bought Valhalla 4 meter speakers wires. The SC were in need of repair. I thought what the Hell I'll put the PCs in while waiting for the SC to come back from Nordost. I ran one into my pre amp the other into mu mono blocks. I run dedicated lines. Was never a believer of high end cables. That has changed. I got back the Valhalla SC. They are amost broken in. Given the MSRP of $52k, I would Have never bought them. My price of $3,120 all in repaired and certified. Side note, I purchased Tyr interconnects and additional PCs that cost me more then my original investment. All good, system warrants it.
I tried cables from both signal cable and Pangea and all the cables did not work well in my system (every system is different). I think a few users mentioned it but for me they sucked the life out. The stock power cables were better. For reasonably priced cables, I would look into cables from audiosensibility.com. They use OCC cooper and that seems to make a difference. I also use Audio Art cables, both the Power1 SE and the statement 2 cables. Great cables. Good luck!
I went from a Furman power conditioner & Pangea power cables to all Shunyata in my 'reference' system and have never looked back. I will say that the Pangea AC-14XL cable seems to work reasonably well with my source equipment (i.e. Oppo BDP) and I use their AC-9SE Mk II with the sub-woofer on my home theater rig, but I will no longer use their cables for regular amplification. Try a used Cardas power cable or used Shunyata, if you can find one - you can always re-sell them if you don't like them.
I second-thirds? oh what the heck I would like to reiterate what Samac and Nonoise said at the begining of this thread about Cullen PC Crossover 2's. They PC's take a little bit of time to break in BUT when they do they add a wonderful neutral clarity to the music. I would also like to add that the Sonar Quest plugs are just great plugs and they are so reasonably priced (well reasonably priced for this crazy hobby).I have re-terminated some old lossless PC's with the Sonar Quest plugs and it was a very nice improvement.