What the heck is a power cord?

I mean I hate to be a dunce but have been around this site for an hour now and saw some for sale and saw them talked about in this forum but cannot tell exactly what they are. Are they the cord that goes from an amplifier to the 120v wall socket? If that is the case, does one open their unit and disconnect their old at the power terminals and connect these? Or are they in series? Help me out, with some plain english, thanks.
Here's some good info for you. Go to the home page & on the right side under the heading >Learn< click on the link that says >Discussion Forums<. When that comes up just type in what you want to research.

Almost all ads are for removable PC's but as you guessed you can hard wire these or install an IEC jack to a component. Do a search for whatever & you'll be enlightened.

Welcome to A-gon.
You're not a dunce. That's a legitimate question. Actually, you have the right idea. A power cord is indeed what plugs in from the componet to the wall source. It's just that many components have removable power cords. This is the market that these are designed for.
Welcome to the money pit:~). Once you've invested a couple grand in power cords you'll need a power conditioner to plug them into. Then plug that into the wall but not until you run those dedicated circuits from your electrical panel. After that it's all down hill just figure about a grand for each pair of interconnects and two grand for speaker cables. Have I mentioned components and speakers yet? Figure about thirty thousand for a basic rig. And please don't get me started on sub-woofers, component stands, plasma screens, center channels and, and, and oh yea how about a vast collection of software. Figure a thousand cd's for starters and if you’re a movie buff five hundred DVD's should get you up to speed. We'll talk about vinyl a little bit later.

Welcome to Audiogon, you are now what we call an Audiophile so crack open that checkbook and lets get started!!!

In all honesty Rome wasn't built in an hour but if you stick around you'll learn more then you need to know and have better sound than you could ever imagine.

Sincerely welcome to the web site and feel free to ask lots of questions.
The cords are mostly removeable cords as mentioned. The are for gear with and IEC power cord socket. What is an IEC socket? Look at what the power cord on your PC is plugged into. If you are ambitious you could hard wire a better cord to a component without an IEC, or you could have an IEC socket added.
Glen, you forgot to mention the $50.00 PS audio power port for the dedicated line. I dont think a 99 cent leviton is going to be audio grade in this application.
I have $12,000 or so wrapped up in my equipment but at some point, it seems to me, one gets to the point of diminishing return. I live in a 200 year old farmhouse and the electrical outlet my stereo is plugged into was probably the one installed when electricity was invented. I think, as a test, I will replace the outlet and see if I can hear a difference. If I do I will be amazed but it will prove the point. Because in stereo equipment isn't the first place the electricity goes is an isolation transformer? Could be wrong, been so before. I'll post one way or another, Thanks....Jim
Jim, As long as your having fun with this hobby that's all that matters. I stand corrected on the receptacle please forgive me Haoleb I don't know what I was thinking:^)
Can you imagine that I had a same question before when I started to know and to listen to "High End" stuff until I really and seriously get involved. I was also not believing that AC power cords did not help any improvement of the sound but once you carefully listen to the musics you love you will be able to hear the changes. I would say all details including vocals, instruments and even the breath of a singer,etc... That is all my opinion to have upgrading the stereo or home theater systems with the power cords.
I was skeptical, too, then made dedicated lines AND DIY PCs (from Belden 83802), and am thrilled at the result. Another veil lifted, and increased low-level dynamics.
Those ACME outlets are a nice way to go too.
Have fun.
Jimmy -- I live in a very old, cheaply built house with wall outlets that can't hold onto a plug to save their lives. I replaced the one that the audio equipment is plugged into with a $7 Leviton outlet from Home Depot and the difference was startling. Not to mention that I no longer had to get up and shove the plug back in every time it fell out ;-).
Jim we also have an old farmhouse with old wiring (excepting that new dedicated audio AC line). We also have an old EE living there who would have never believed that signal cables affect sound, and in not-so-subtle ways either. This same guy would have never believed that changing an AC cord affects sound, not to mention changing the outlet. Hey I use to think that there should be no sonic differences between components either, but I've been in this hobby for a long time so I finally decided to experiment for myself & guess what *everything* matters. Even the type of wire carrying your AC source & even the saftey device (type of fuse or breaker) matters.
Now, just my cabling & accessories budget is more than my whole rig used to cost. I'm only relating this story because I used to not believe it either. Now when I make a change in the rig I intentionally don't tell "her" about it just to see what she'll notice, & how long it takes before she does (it's normally not very long either).
To be honest, I'm not sure that I hear enough of a difference between good $50 power cords and great $500 power cords to make the expensive ones worth the price. One thing is for sure, though, if the cord/outlet/wiring/circuit breaker can't deliver adequate current, you're going to hear serious loss of dynamics, among other things. For that reason, on a couple of components that didn't come with IEC sockets I've opened the cases and replaced the stock cords with DIY types.

I'm amused by manufacturers who tout that they use "medical grade" plugs and outlets. Read LSC 101 and related documents and you'll find that the requirements don't speak much to things that we afiles find important. One thing they do touch on, though is the force with which the contacts in the outlet "grip" the blades of the plug. This is important for current transfer.

In my own case, I use a dedicated circuit but one that preexisted and was connected to a wall switch to control two floor outlets. I checked the guage of the in-wall wiring, removed the switch and soldered the wires at that point, replaced the circuit breaker, and upgraded the outlets. Did it make a diff? Yeah, sort of. Was it worth it? Yeah, I guess cuz it didn't cost much.

I got a MUCH more dramatic improvement by installing a power conditioner. That really made a difference in clarity, upper midrange brilliance, and overall definition.

As always, YMMV. If you are of an objectivist bent, you may conclude that you don't hear much difference because there isn't much difference. To which more typical afiles will reply scathingly that you obviously have no ears.

Do want seems right and proper to you. And have fun.