In that price range I like the Blue Circle BC62.
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Sugarbrie, Is your recommendation based on synergy with Arcam? I'm asking because I'm expecting my DV-89 to arrive in a couple of days and I've been looking for the right P/C for it. I realize that amplifiers and front end digital have different P/C needs. Is Blue Circle still your recommendation for Arcam products?
I know before I even make this post that the following comments are going to irritate some of our readers. PMP, you asked an honest question, and what I am about to write is NOT intended to offend you, or anyone else, personally.
The whole subject of audiophile-quality power cords makes me a little crazy, since I think the vast majority of these cords are a stupendous rip-off. I am absolutely fascinated that people think manufacturers of high-end audio gear can make good to great gear, but somehow lack the intelligence to put a decent power cord on their gear. Electric power is transmitted across a huge power grid, goes through umpteen transformers and switching networks, travelling hundreds of miles across less-than-audiophile-quality wiring, all the while exposed to various kinds of line noise and contamination. Amazingly, audiophile power cords are supposed to magically "repair" all of this in the final six feet between the wall outlet and the component. AT BEST, a good power cord can only carry the electricity that comes out the wall without further contamination, which is something that any decent $50 power cord can do.
Another point: a power cord for an amp is fundamentally no different than one for a digital component. Both cords have the same function, which is to deliver the power from the wall to the component. Neither cord should be altering the current in any way. The only relevant difference might be in the gauge of the wire used for the amplifier power cord, since a high-power amplifier will draw substantial amounts of power, and would therefore benefit from heavier gauge wire. How the component processes the audio signal -- analog or digital -- has no relationship to the power cord carrying the electric current.
So, PMP, don't obsess over megabuck power cords. If you have "dirty power" in the area where you live, you'd be far better off to spend your money on a power regeneration system that cleans up the juice coming out of your wall socket, and not worry about needing a garden-hose size power cord.
I mean no personal disrespect to fellow 'philes who have found audio nirvana in a power cord, but if an upgraded power cord actually makes an audible difference in their system, then I submit something else is going on, and there are only a couple of possible conclusions:
1. the original power cord was a total piece of crap (unlikely in any product from a high-end manufacturer);
2. the replacement cord is somehow modifying the flow of the electric current, thereby affecting the frequency response of the audio signal;
3. the audio equipment itself has some serious design flaws.
If you really think that the power cord with your ARCAM Diva is in need of replacement, then consider a moderately priced cord by AudioQuest that can be purchased from HCM Audio for $50-60.
In closing, you might find it interesting to read the comments about aftermarket power cords on Bryston's web site. I find Bryston to be one of the most honest and refreshingly direct audio manufacturers in the industry, and they state unequivocally that replacement high-end power cords are NOT necessary if the equipment was properly designed in the first place. Infact, Bryston recommends that owners of Bryston gear NOT replace the power cord, as many of the aftermarket cords are inferior in quality to those that Bryston supplies with its electronics.
OK, let the "point - counterpoint" begin (but please be civil)...
Try this first, especially if you have your Arcam plugged into that noisy juice bar. Put in a dedicated line for your cdp. You will have, a power upgrade, for way less than $300 that will be the beginning of your power upgrade quest. It may end there. If not, when you have the $$ get one of the recommended power cords and you'll be further on your way. Then, of course, the electric power purification sickness may hit you, and you'll be ready for a power conditioner. Then? electric nirvana! Stop at whatever point your tympanics are content. happy listening..warrern
I have yet to get answer as to how the last few feet of power cord can effect the electric and then, how that electric changes the sound. For years I used Lat International power cords, with the addition later on of a power conitioner, which had a huge positive effect on my system. I went on believing that, now, with my power conditioning all I needed were my Lat International power (one of Erne's power cords from outlet to AM, as well) cords to carry the message to my electronics. I asked a golden ear audiophool the same question I posted a year ago. "How does those last few feet of cord change the sound?" He said he hadn't a clue, but it does. Big time. So I changed my power cords to and from my Audio Magic Eclipse. Amazing, significant change. Still don't have a clue, why. I ab'd Ernes with Sonoran, Sonoran with Harmonix, and Lat with....and on and on. There's a difference. Electric is, obviously, very mystical, and has inherent properties that cannot be quantified or explained sufficiently. There are oodles of cable manufacturers that have 30 day trial periods. Trust your tympanics. You'll know in 30 days. Happy listening, warren
There is one good point that Warrenh is making and being an electrical engineer myself. I had a difficult time buying into the whole "power cord" deal a few years ago. However, I have been put into a unique position to be able to try many, many power cords and have found that indeed there is some fact to this fictional idea. Mostly due to the technology of braiding cables, purer materials, better terminations, less resistance, chokes (for emi and rf) and a slew of other new things coming out everyday. I have found that most of the major brands out there (Cardas, Kimber, AZ, HT, Elrod, etc.) have done there homework and have serious technology involved in there designs. That being said, brings me to another issue.
First, I have noticed that in the last year or so here on Audiogon. Everybody and there brother are putting out cords and claiming they are next to "Godliness". Shame on the knock offs! I have tried a few and ripped them apart only to find horrible soldering jobs, terrible Home Depot wire and a slew of other "home made" problems. Without the ability to do REAL research and development none of these so called "best cables on the planet" will ever compare to the cables that actually have engineers with degrees and skill in this area. And don't get me started on the other issue of interconnects. What a nightmare Audiogon must be for the newcomer.
All of this being said, I will tell you that no power cord is going to make a 2K system sound like a 10K system. That they do not do. But what they do is take out some of the junk that Warrenh mentioned initially. A good conditioner might be another option. Shunyata is making a lower cost version of it's Hydra 8, the Hydra 2. That may be a consideration as well for you initially. But unfortunately there is no single "magic pill" that will do the transformation I mention before. What I have found after years of doing this is to find a large reputable dealer (i.e Galen Carol, Sound By Singer, and a select few others) that can recommened a direction to go. I have found in this industry of crowded rooms of new companies that there are those that do what they claim. But unless you are willing to spend, spend, spend, until you get the one that really creates the synergy that you are looking for, I would trust a professional. Not a Best Buy employee, not a small dealer with one or two products, but a large place that has had the opportunity to experience the equipment you have and listen to what your needs are so that they can make some suggestions. Tweeks like power cords work, but maybe the major problem lies elsewhere in your system. I hope this has not been to rodundant, but it is in my opinion better to trust people who have been there, not the one's who don't know where "there" is.
One final item, Warrenh was right about making a dedicated circuit to your system, it does help. But only helps with the internal noise your own household items create themselves. It does nothing for the garbage coming in through the main. Have a great day, and enjoy yourself!!!
I second Semwin1 on some points. There is a lot of homemade junk around. Understanding that if you take your outlet out of the wall and connect all of the wires together w/o cutting the circuit at the breaker box, something electrically bad will happen, does not make you and electrical engineer. AC power cord geometry and quality of materials and construction are necessary to clean up some of the grunge that arrives in the Romex. Romex provides Direct Current (DC) one way into your house. From the outlet to your amp is Alternating Current (AC) where the current needs to go both directions. The AC power cord has a job to do just like I/C's and speaker cables, and it's not quite as simple as some would have us believe other wise we would be connecting our amps directly from the wall with 12/2 or 14/2 Romex. As I stated before, this job is to allow for enough current to arrive at the amp without constriction and to provide this signal as cleanly as possible. Now this sounds simple enough, but as we all know with any State or Federal employee, some do their jobs well and others....don't always have the quality components necessary to do the job at all. For those of you who live/die by the Bryston article, there are amp designs and manufacturers who include adequate for their equipment and others who will admit to including cords which should be upgraded. The reason I've heard for not including better cords is that they do not want to endorse a particular aftermarket cord company and will leave the chioces up to the customers. I'm not sure i agree, but I've heard it. The standard cord that arrives wit Krell, BEL and others looks to be about 12AWG (although cheap looking) where many others are 14AWG or smaller. It's simply a matter of belief and I fully support both sides of this argument.
My answer to the Arcam question is...
I find power cords are NOT like interconnects. I find they either work well or they don't. If a power cord only works well with certain components, there is something wrong with the power cord to start with.
At that price point, I find the BC62 is nice and clean. There are better cords, but they are also a lot more money.
Even the smaller/cheaper BC61 is a good step up from a stock black cord. The larger BC62 is at the point where the laws of dimishing returns start to kick in, the more you spend past that point. In other words, the $100 more for a BC62 is worth it if you can afford it, but another $100 or $200 past the BC62 does not get you as much improvement with power cords I have tried. I obviously have not tried them all.
I have no real experience with $500 cords, but your question relates to up to $300 and I do have a bit of experience there. My suggestion is this: buy 4-5 ft. of the cryoed JPS in-wall cable from Gene at Takefiveaudio, along with a cryoed Marinco 5266 male and 320 IEC. Also buy the adapter for $5 to burn the cord in on your refrigerator for a week or two. Total cost will be about $125 U.S.
I have 3 of these in my system (one on integrated, two on line conditioners). In the past I've owned, among others, the LAT cord, the Blue Circle BC 62 and the Cardas Golden (not the reference, but a cord that sells for $370 retail nonetheless). This DIY JPS cord (no soldering, very simple to make) is substantially better than the cords I listed above and will save you a ton of money.
I have no affiliation with Takefive, other than being a satisfied customer.
Semwin, I really WANT to agree with you but can't on the issues of what to do about pc's/cables. You are absolutely correct about shoddy workmanship as well as seat-of-the-pants engineering by non-engineers (i.e. try it and see if it does anything). It would be nice to believe that the larger dealerships have it all together, but it just ain't so.. They are in business to sell what they can move in quantity and usually haven't heard any of the small brands (like Ridge Street, Empirical, Argent, Pure Note, Elrod etc that have current cachet on the internet). Also, you would think that the larger, better financially endowed cable companies would be better, but it's surprising how much bad workmanship shows up at $4000+ price levels. Talk to the companies involved and they will complain about how hard it is to hire good people... hence the lousy QA.
I have never heard a good answer to the issue of preserving independent entrepeneurship yet protecting the buyer. The only policing action that exists in high end is opinion - both end user and industry insiders. The second is fraught with politics, the first is fraught with ignorance. Internet experience among users may be the only guide, yet we are afraid to name names and the websites would censor any serious attacks on their sponsors anyway.
So I'm open to anyone's new thoughts here.
"Musical" Power Cord ?? From my experience a power cord removes unwanted things in the power path, that are getting in the way of the music.
Therefore, the equipment is musical. The power cord just removes whatever was making it less musical. If the audio system is not musical to start with, a power cord is not going to save it.
Thus my earlier comment about the law of diminishing returns. A good $200 to $300 power cord is going to get you most of the way there. After that, you are spending a lot more for not as much return. But if you feel your system is worth it, then go ahead and spend more.
I have recently added cryo'd VHAudio AC power cords to my DVI DVD player (a Bravo D1) and my LCD front projector (an Panasonic L300U) and immediately noticed a nice improvement in the video picture. I have to say I had never tried upgrading power cords and was dubious, but now I am glad I did. I went the DIY route on one cord and purchased the other assembled. You can get a very good deal by assembling it yourself and get a great DIY cord for between $50 -$100 depending on length, say 4 ft - 9ft. This prices range included cables and plugs that had been cryo'd, which is a far better deal than most i have seen advertised.
Mt10425: Romex carries AC from the AC mains aka "breaker box" to the AC outlets. From there, the AC outlets connect to your power cord. The power cord carries the AC from the outlet to the component. The component will then typically convert the AC into DC. Once it is converted to DC, it will typically be filtered and regulated ( to varying extents ). Some designs filter the AC coming in before being converted to DC and then apply more filtration once it is converted to DC. Sean