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One thing Nelson HAS to do is keep from getting sued so he supplies a UL approved pc and it's a good one. I'm not surprised you found it better than the ones you bought on ebay.
As to the best....that's up to you to find out. For my 100.5's and 30.5, I am using DH Labs Power Plus (ballpark $300). It's not in my DNA to spend more than a few hundred on a pc.
I also tried Liz's Pangea 9's on the XA.5's with no complaints. You mentioned "punching power". Those are 7 gauge compared to the 14 you are using now. Might give you more punch.
There is no doubt in my mind Nelson Pass selects the best power cord for his products.That was a joke, right? All high end manufacturers bundle appropriately robust but otherwise very basic and inexpensive cords with their gear. They do this because they know the market demands detachable power cords and consumers want to experiment, so why should they increase the cost of goods only to have everybody second guess their choices. Likewise for feet, fuses, etc.
If a manufacturer felt strongly about a particular cord, they should hard-wire it. The chassis IEC inlet has got to be a meaningful sonic compromise, but somehow we are all okay with it.
"If a manufacturer felt strongly about a particular cord, they should hard-wire it. The chassis IEC inlet has got to be a meaningful sonic compromise, but somehow we are all okay with it."
I'm not ok with it and most manufacturers were not ok with it either, but the reviewers, dealers and eventually the market demanded it. The price of a power cord has nothing to do with its ability to improve the sound. Do you really think a manufacturer would provide a power cord they know is inappropriate? Aftermarket power cords are just another snake oil variable to muck up the sound in my opinion. Too much emphasis is placed on air, openess and a bunch of other things that have nothing to do with music. That is why we have people on this forum telling us how much better their system sounds than live music. What a pathetic statement!
Be careful with aftermarket power cords on Pass amps. On my Aleph 0s the iec female is inside of 10mm of milled steel. The heavy gauge stock power cord fits perfectly. No after marker connection I have tried fits correctly into this deep recess. I found this out the hard way when one of them made poor contact and shorted the iec and power thermistor.
home audio = live music - really? Give that one more thought! Aftermarket cords and wire - that is aftermarket brilliance!
The ultimate profit - wire builders and sellers giving audiophiles what they demand - always looking for sound improvement. How many audio nuts are willing to spend 2K on a cable when it really takes the next price point in an amp, speaker, or frontend to make a noticeable and sustainable difference. That in most cases is a much bigger jump - 5K, 10K or more and that takes a bold move that lightens the bank account significantly for most.
The OP got it right. He did not use the original power cord because it did not look "fancy". However, he finally decided to give the original a try only to find it sounded better than the aftermarket cord that was degrading the sound.
If you have assembled your system properly you will not need aftermarket power cords, power conditioners, room treatment, outriggers, cones and all of the other crap they have you believing you need to get good sound.
Call Pass and ask them Specifically about the amplifier's ability to deal with noise
coming through the wall outlet. they have ALREADY supplied you with a cord which will pass ALL of the CURRENT you will ever need. Depending on their
answer you may or may not feel you need a power cord that helps in some way to lower the noise floor.
i bought a Rowland Amp which came with 20 Amp cords (very substantial).
so i asked them if there was any benefit to getting something "better". they responded that #1 their (#12) amps were impervious to incoming noise due to the technology built-in, and #2 all of their sound-quality and bench testing was done with the same power cords they include in the box. so that didn't leave much room to argue that i needed to shop for better PC's.
I have been in OTHER situations where i needed to buy some power cords, but not
necessarily to improve the sound. i plead guilty in certain cases to buying a few
pretty expensive ($1K on sale) cords. in those instances there wasn't any stock cords provided, and i had to choose something i would be keeping for the long run.
but i also had to REMOVE a pretty expensive cord from a powerful integrated amp
and PUT BACK the Belden stock cord to smooth out the hashy treble coming from my speakers. so each situation is unique. And i admit never having heard a demo using really expensive cords so i don't dare comment on their sound VS price.
I've owned two Pass amps, the XA250.5 and the XA30.5. IME, both amps are somewhat less sensitive to differences among power cords than some of the other components I've owned. I suspect that is attributable to the robustness of the amps' power supplies.
I've experimented with expensive power cords (>$1K) and inexpensive ones (<$100). I've heard improvements with both. In my system, to my ears, the differences between the expensive power cords and the inexpensive ones wasn't that big. I understand that other folks have had experiences that suggest otherwise. I'm not challenging their hearing or their judgment.
I think the variation among people's experiences with power cords reflects just how system-dependent they are, a point frequently made and persuasively explained by one of A'gon's most knowledgeable and reasonable contributors, Al (Almarg), as you can read here, here, and here. The conclusion that follows from the system-dependency of power cords is obvious... Experiment.
Which brings us back to Pass amps. If my experiences are representative, Pass amps aren't terribly sensitive to differences among power cords (assuming some basic parameters are met, like sufficient gauge). But don't take my word for it. Experiment. I would start with the inexpensive options first, but that's just me. I like to get my feet wet. You may prefer jumping into the deep end. Who am I to tell you not too? Of course, sometimes there are rocks in the deep end, and when the water is dark, well... trips to the Emergency Room are pricey.
After my experiments, I settled on inexpensive power cords (~$100) on every component except the power conditioner, which still has a relatively expensive cord (~$500). The inexpensive cords I now use are the AC-9's from, uhm, Pangea. No, Snofun, I don't think they're the answer to every question. They may not even be the answer to THIS question. But they are a place to start.
I tend to believe that pass amps don't need expensive cords. I'm good with the original (for now). Based on other reviews, another good cord that matches pass labs is the transparent premium power link which is only $500 a piece. I agree with Byron that pass amp has robust power supplies. Not only that, it can also drive a wide range of floor standing speakers. This amp will stay w/ me for years.
The irony is in most power cables if you remove the megabuck cable plugs and inlet and hardwire the cable into the equipment you can halve the cost and increase the sound quality. It cracks me up to see audiophiles buying jewellery type connectors, when if they simply bypassed them ...
Same with earthing, well implemented single earth path for the whole system can yield significant improvements in noise floor and transparency. Again it cracks me up to see megabuck systems compromised by having multiple power feeds and hence multiple grounding points that inevitably increase the likelihood of hum etc.
A little housekeeping goes a long way.
I think its a bit of both, I've heard power cables make bigger differences on some amps than others. If the power supply in the amp is properly designed then pc's should make less difference. Some of the top ss amps now have power factor correction built in as well. IME a lot of the boutique power cables are detrimental to sound due to poor design, they seem to be built by marketeers rather than engineers. This is really what audiophiles deserve though - look at some of the recent post/questions - power cables that will speed my power amp up, power cables that will give me more bottom end. The number of posters here looking for cables to fix a system issue is unbelievable.
The amp that reacted least to pc changes was my Rowland monos and some Airtight ATM3 monos.
The original pc's work well, for now. I have read other set-up that transparent premium power link is a good combination with pass amps. I then look at the technical specs of transparent and it seems I will gain substantial improvement. Maybe in the weeks to come I might be able to try one. I will let you guys, thanks!
No matter what Powercord will be used, all of them have upgrade plugs. The Plugs have in general an improved contact area and I think, this is one of the real advantages. You can try those with the existing Power Cord and I think, you will get an improvement, too. I bought those from Oyaide, internally they are really good. I use some of their Tunami cords, they are a real serious solution (technically and from the material inside), shielded and safe.
I agree with increasing the contact area, the main issue I see on 15amp iec sockets is they are loose, even the audiophile types. I always replace these with either 20amp with their increased contact area and much tighter fit or hardwire straight into the equipment. The Tsunami in my system sounded very beautiful tonally, but the sound was very slow and slugged when trialled on both source and amps compared to the MIT I use.
Jerrypan, have you had a chance to try out other powercords with the Pass amp?
Correo, I'm thinking of getting a PS AC12 for my XA30.5/XP-10. Is your amp Pass as well?
I wonder if Rrog has ever tried an aftermarket powercord? If he hasn't (none of his posts suggest that he has), it's very puzzling that he wrote so many posts on something that he has absolutely no idea of.
I owned the XA/30.5, 60.5 and 100.5. I played with the XP/20. Now I own the X250.5. I think I will go later back to 100.5 or 600.5. I tested many powercables on these amps. This week I received the latest Purist Audio LE powercable. This is by far the best powercable I ever heard on a Pass labs. It gives the best articulation of voices I ever heard. I even did not here this at Pass Labs show. Of many recordings I played hundreds of times I now heard people breath in and out during singing. I can easily hear all the words endings. The stage is wide and deep. But the individual focus is sharp as a knife. Pass Labs gives a wide and deep stage. But you need cables and sources to give you a realistic individual sharp focus. And this is a part were Purist Audio is a lot better than many other brands. The low freq. go even lower and the definition is awesome. It gives the feeling if the speed is a litle higher. I am tapping with my feet all the time. The bassdrum was never this good. Voices are more open. You hear the air and room around the persons and instruments with ease as well. Between the instruments there is a lot of black. This cable gives you athority and grip you always dreamed for. For me it is the perfect match to heaven. Soon I will write a review on Audiogon about this powercable!!
I have owned many Pass Labs amps. Back when I had the Aleph 2 I bypassed outlets and power cords by getting JPS Labs In-Wall AC cable and running two 15' lengths directly from separate 20 amp circuits on my panel through the floor and terminating them into Furutech IEC contectors and plugging those into the amps. I guess these are essentially DIY 15' power cords, though they have the benefit of avoiding the outlet, in wall romex and another cord. The drop in noise floor was substantial over the stock Pass cords.
I have used these with the XA160, the XA100.5 and now the XA160.5. It makes a real difference. The latest generation of Pass amps probably has better noise suppression and power supplies than the older Aleph series, so this solution may not be as effect as it was on the Aleph 2. I haven't tried the stock cords through outlets on the XA160.5.
I have been using a pair of Virtual Dynamics Master power cables with my XA100.5s from when I bought them. I have tried a few other cables but while a couple of cables better the Masters for top end clarity, none so far can beat the Masters for its mid-range and bass dynamics. Has anyone else tried VD power cables with their Pass amps with similar results?