I landed up running the stock cord from an Act 2 into a Exact Power EP15A everything else thinned out the sound when playing digital, as the sound stage expanded the sound became more hi-fi'ish IMO.
28 responses Add your response
I put the stock cord in and was surprised it sounded as good as it did. There was a good balance in tone. However, when I inserted the Shunyata Taipain Helix, the sound stage width literally expanded by two feet in both directions. It was crazy. Apparently, the 100 hours of break-in on my CT5 since the last time I swapped cords was more significant than I thought because the PS Audio now sounds a bit harsh compared to the Taipan. Guess I'll live with the Taipan for a while.
although i have not used them with the ct5, i am quite fond of the tara labs the one cord. very natural, slightly warm and just a bit dark sounding cord. i think it would compliment the thiels quite well, which by the way are some of my all time favorite speakers regardless of price. second would be the kubala sosna emotion cords which are similar in sound, maybe a bit more dynamic.
CJ equipment like McIntosh, usually doesn't respond to well with aftermarket power cords. I've read and heard that if CJ and McIntosh wanted one to have a better pc then they would have supplied one. I know when my dealer would demo CJ the stock pc's were used. The same with McIntosh. To me both companies equipment are so well designed and engineered with well built power supplies maybe the supplied stock pc is only needed. For what it's worth the Kimber PK 10 Palladian's with WattGate AG connectors see the current flow throughout my system but the stock pc is good but not like the Kimber.
I used the Shunyata Taipan with my cj 17LS but ultimately went back to the stock PC. I couldn't hear any discernible difference. In talking with other cj owners/dealers over the years, there seems to be the consensus that with cj amps, in order to realize significant results through a PC upgrade, you will likely have to move way up the PC quality chain.
I have a Cardas Golden Reference on my CJ power amp and it is warmer than some of the other cables that I have tried by Nordost, Electraglide and Virtual Dynamics. In my system it works well and I was looking for a little warmth. However, I have seen many posts by others that
claim the Golden Reference lacked dynamics and was slow and muddied in their system.
I appreciate all of the responses! They're all instructive and helpful. My experience is that the effectiveness of power cords is very system dependent. That said, I think various pc manufacturers have a "house sound" whether they want to admit it or not. Shunyata's emphasis, according to my ears, seems to be on microdynamics and soundstage...whereas another company, like PS Audio seems to striving for warmth and balance. All of these worthy goals come with associated compromises which some systems will emphasize and others will downplay. As to the stock power cord for the CT5...in my system it doesn't compete well with the Shunyata cords because I LOVE a wide, spacious, cinematic soundstage...for others it's not so critical.
I use PAD Dominus Ferox on mine and I love it. Main thing was a bigger soundstage, finer detail, fuller sound and very natural/effortless...but I agree that it seemed less dependent on PC than other components. My Gryphon Antileon benefited more...better power delivery in sound...and the Zanden DAC was a night and day improvement.
I have returned to the Shunyata Taipan Helix. I have not had a chance to try the many interesting suggestions on this forum. The PS Audio statement lacked the soundstage I was looking for. Virtually all of the "forward" and somewhat "harsh" sound I was getting has disappeared after more rigorous break-in of the preamp. I have a Python CX, but I can't really audition it on the preamp because, once I remove it from the DAC...all bets are off.
I wish more people locally in St. Louis stocked decent power cables for audition. The whole shipping thing is a hassle and I hate returning things that way. As I'm sure you know, some cable brands are more easily "flipped" than others.
I use Virtual Dynamis Master Series 3 on my CT5 with good results. Sound is more fleshy and bass more powerful and distinct but still more natural than my previous Transparent Reference PC.
Unfortunately, according to their homepage, many of their PC:s are out of production to my disapointment. I would like to purchase some more. Their concept of separate insulated conductors for live/neutral/earth makes the whole difference I believe. It also makes their PC:s more stiff and difficult to handle, especially connected to light weight components. But it´s doable cause you can bend cables to any angle.
Yes, it does. I'll take this opportunity to comment that I've a/b'd the original PC with three different brands and non have matched the massive soundstage created by the Shunyata Taipan. That aspect of sound is not as important to everyone, but it is to me. I'll be auditioning a Moray James PC next week...his digital cable is simply OUT OF THIS WORLD...so I thought I'd try the power cords. I'll try anything anyone out there wants to send me with no obligation. ;-) Wouldn't that be nice.
I have used the stock cord, Tekline Reference and currently use the Elrod Silver Statement cord. The Elrod can tend to make many components sound good however the stock cord is very good with the CT5. The main thing I found is that everyone says that the CT5 is broke in at 300 hours and I very much disagree and think it starts to open up and become way more organic at 850 hours. I now have 1500 hours on mine with the Elrod cord and it sounds pretty magic. I have never experienced Teflon caps. that can break in at 300 hours but some will disagree.
The longer I listen, the more I think you may be right abou the CT5's break in period. I'm just past 500 hours and, to my ears, it's still improving. So, your comment confirms what I'm hearing. It certainly was wretched out of the box and I think it's difficult to exaggerate what happens with teflon (though I have no technical understanding of the process). I would certainly NOT experiment with cords on this unit until at least 300 hours have passed.
I run horns with a 45 amp. and they are very sensitive to everything. With that said I just plugged and played a cheap DVD player (to the AUX jack) to the unit when I got it new and I could hear the differences along the way. I just switched to my big rig when I listened. At 850 hours or at approximately the 30-35 day mark the system opened up and some magic in the soundstage began with more subtle details and more body to the sound. I had not changed anything else in the system. I also confirmed what Brent Rainwater stated in an earlier post of the Act2 that at 0-100 hours do not even listen, 100-300 you can listen, 300-750 plus hours it is quite nice, 850 plus hours you will not want to quit listening. I honestly believe mine has improved now at the 1500 hour mark and I hear little differences at this point but I believe way to many owners with the teflon capped CJ's do not even break them in before passing judgement. CJ of course is going to tell you they break in at 300 hours because of sales. This is just my experience with my system and of course your experience in your system could be different but be sure to try this.
Well I might as well throw my 02 cents in. I've had my
CT-5 for a while now and have tried various power cords,
including the Purist Dominus, Telwire, TekLine Reference
and lately the BMI Hammerheard MK3 and MK4. Of that list
I really thought the BMI Hammerhead MK3 was an amazing
match for the CJ. My current MK4 cord is still breaking in
so I'll reserve judgment on that. The Tekline Reference is
also excellent and offers a lot bang for the buck.
I thought I'd post a final update on my quest for the right power cord. Now that the CT5 has more than 1500 hours and I've updated the tubes, I decided to try a fully broken-in Python CX. It's a winner. It doesn't change the CT5's character;it just enhances what I love about it. There is a greater three-dimensionality to the presentation, deeper soundstage and greater control of the bass....and all of these things were great to begin with. I'd also like to note that through this quest I learned that power cords should ONLY be auditioned after equipment is fully broken in and that swapping a power cord from one piece of equipment to the other confuses matters. (I know..duh). With the Shunyata line I've noticed that the addition of each new power cord creates an experience that is greater than the sum of the system's parts. One PC is great, two are more than twice as good. Three is stunning. It's synergy, I guess. Of course, YMMV.