where to invest???

hi all, back again looking for some advice from the group. not sure where to post so i thought i'd start here. saved up a couple bucks and was looking to upgrade cabling first. but actually i am not sure what upgrade/additions would benefit my system best and to take care of first. specifically my system needs: isolation for evrything(was thinking herbies), upgrading cableing, ic's and speaker(am using blue jeans throught, was thinking pnf, ps audio statement, straley), aftermarket pc's(currently using all stock pc's, was looking at TAD's jellyfish ironlung all around to start or ps audio powerpunch), OR upgrading power conditioning(currently using belkin pf30 and a quantum symphony. was looking at audiomagic stealth basic, blue circle noisehound products, maybe a ps audio product). i can only do 1 complete category for the near future(at least a year). where do you guys think my money would be best spent?
dedictaed lines
jaton operetta 5140
marantz sr-6003(as pre)
totem dreamcatchers
belkin pf30/quantum symphony
bluejeans cable
If you own your home, consider an Environmental Potentials EP-2050 whole
house power filter/surge protector. Installs at the circuit panel, and it filters the
power throughout your home.

$550 plus installation. If you're handy with AC, you can install it yourself.
thanks tvad. looks interseting. their standalone conditioner seemed well reviewed as well.
I have installed an EP-2050 in my service panel with good results. It made my Sony LCD look cleaner and clearer, my stereo sound a bit better, and my toast tastier.
I vote for dedicated lines and room treatments. Clean power and taming the room are often overlooked.
Tvad or Stringreen,
Have you used something like the EP 2050? How did it affect the sound, and did make you get rid of conditioners and or aftermarket power cords?
Dedicated lines for sure - that was an instant and pleasant upgrade for me.
As attractive as is 'tastier toast' actually is, just how did it do with the clothes dryer? if it thereafter precludes the need for fabric softener sheets... Why the savings there, alone would pay for it!

Power cords and power line filters or conditioners, such as a twin outlet Hydra, or perhaps better still, Ps Audio Duet or UPC 200.

herbies Audio too offers some viable inexpensive solutions, though I do get better results with Bright Star compliant nodes, if you are thinking Big Fat dots and the like.

Small wood blocks of varying tuypes also contribute to isolation and promote different aspects of the general character of the system's sonics.

Albeit, following the implementation of some power cable of line considerations, I'd suggest a good component rack.

Naturally, these measures translate to other components you may upgrade too eventually.

Thereafter play with signal cables, as you will have addressed, to some degree more or less, those things which are most subtractive to system performance... vibration and dirty power.

Because it's a 'system', addressing the foundation (s) or fundamentals, initially, always seemed the best approach to me. Certainly, there are other paths, but that's how I've done all of my rig building efforts... after I saw first hand their importance. Previously, I didn't believe any of this stuff... then I tried some of the suggestions provided by others here at Audiogon, and found out this most valid thought... "Everything makes a difference!"

Then of course, you get to judge if that difference is better or not... and nearly everything available is capable of providing you a 'different' sound.

Welcome... and good luck
thank you gentlemen, so i gather vibration and AC purification are more fundamnetal to good performance than cabling, at this point in the systems life? i do, supposedly, have dedicated lines. but who knows what the electricians really did. whether they took the time to follow my instructions or not i cannot tell because i was not home while the work was done and these particular guys cut a few corners in other areas.
thank you all again.
Tweeks can definitely improve a system. You can spend a lot of money on tweeks, sometimes at the expense of component up grades.
You can tweek a VW Beetle, you can tweek a rolls Royce. At the end of the day, you still have a VW or a Rolls.
The beginning and the end of your chain have the biggest influence on your system.
Garbage in, garbage out applies in both directions. Build your system the way you want, then tweek, tweek tweek!
I have had poor results with "audiophile approved" power conditioners that one plugs into the wall and then their component into the conditioner. There was always a change, however, there was always a change for the worse. There may have been a wider soundstage, but decreased dynamics as an example. I am therefore going straight into the wall. The use of better power cords however, made a huge difference. ALL power cords sound different in my system...even different on different components from the same manufacturer. My suggestion is that you search for the cord that works in your system on the component that is specifically used. As an example, I am using Accrolink with Oyeida plugs on my Ayre C5xe, and Accrolink with Furutech F1 plugs on my Ayre V1xe amp. If I switch the cords, there is a definite loss of detail, and soundstage. The Environmental Protection gizmo provided a slight increase in clarity and soundstage with its protection, yet has no ill effects that I can hear.
I have an EP-2050 installed at my service panel. Like Stringreen, I noticed a subtle change in improved clarity. I'm comfortable knowing the product is used in commercial applications, is a proven technology, and my entire home benefits from its filtering and surge protection.

That said, I also use aftermarket power cords, and an Alan Maher Design Reference Power Center V2.

Doug at Environmental Potentials recommended using their EP-2450 Home Theater Power Supply in addition to the EP-2050, but I have not tried it.
blindjim, why do you suggest a twin outlet unit? my entire system has over 8 components to plug in? are you suggesting i plug the belkin into the hydra or ps audio unit?
more thanks to everyone!
See PS Audio's Premiere power regenerator and save yourself all the electrian/contractor hassles. See the abundant reviews for this unit that takes your wall outlet power and reprocess the output as "perfect" electrical power at rock steady voltage with no discernable distortion. On sale for $1700 if you look hard enough. It's better than any filtering, or house electrical upgrades.
No. i was just thinking entry level... small.. not pricey... to find out if you felt it was a qualified improvement and if so, another step or two up the food chain would then be a more likely move... Rather than going all in on a $500 - $1000, "something or other" you've not tried yet.

There is also the prospect of buying accordingly to the component (s) on hand. Many have difficulty with adding a $1000 power cord to a $500 amp... or even a $1000 amp. I had a lot of trouble justifying such expenses a while back and still do sometimes.

In fact I've got a $1500 power cable on a $1300 power cond. A $900+ pc on a $1200 HT receiver... from time to time... and so forth. Why? 'Cause I can and it sounds better. Dig?

Sure, as I said, all will be different but the flavor of many product lines is visible in much of their products, from the least expensive on up to the more or most, expensive.

While on that PLC/PLF note... I prefer a separation of filters/conditioners... One type for sources and low current components, and another for amps and preamps... when ever possible. but that's just me. it may wind up being I use two identical conds, but with different supply cords, as the only difference. Well... it works for me.

Many folks do have success with the 'one size fits all' approach. Prefering to use one unit for every component plugged into it.

The poster who prefers not to use the conditioners is not alone. The better the power supply itself feeding the home, and as well, on the power train, amps, or preamps, the lesser the effect the majority of power filters will have upon it/them.. usually. Some so called non current limiting units do in fact limit current, BTW. Current limiting cmoes off as restricted dynamic thrust. The overall effect however may wind up being simply a trade off, and the result can be one of improved sound, regardless.

I agree too, that power cable upgrades are a just about necessity and a slam dunk easy enough place to begin. All alone, you should realize noticeable gains then and there.

Natuarlly results can and do vary... and again, why I said "wade in, rather than dive in head over heels" right off spending money unecessarily.

Everything matters. Systems are a mix, a concoction, or stew if you will, add different things to the same stock and you'll wind up with something different each time.

BTW... This is my exp... not simply my advice. I began with a set of power cords, then others, then PS Audio plc, then a Hydra.. then isolation, rack, and somewhere just lost my mind and went a whole different route when things were the best I'd ever had! So just have fun and good luck.

Clear as muc now?
thank you sir, for your being so thorough and to everyone else. my "dive in" philosophy is based on my reality, unfortunately. there's a cupula bucks available so i need to spend it or...if the roof leaks its gone, a car tire goes its gone, my daughter asks for new shoes its gone. you get the idea. my wife does the financing and while there would be other methods to finance such inevitabilities, the audio budget goes first! feel me? here's what i've come up with today:
2 blue circle PLC thingees, 1 plugged into each of my dedicated lines outlets, so i can isolate certain components with their yalu surge protector into the other socket of each outlet. then...
vibrapods under everything. live with that for a bit, swap out some isolation every now and then cuz individually they can be cheap(expensive too i know!), and then when another another large(everything is relative)chunk of change comes along play with cables. the bluejeans cables i have are regarded well. wat do y'all think of that direction? ......or treat the room. whoah can of worms.
btw, i am following the "dumped power conditioner thread" which is in line with your thoughts mr. green. very interesting swing of the audio world pendulum i feel. it was suggested in another thread that powercords have the most impact outside of major system component upgrades as well.
Look for a power cord for either end.. source or amp. In fact, the supply cord to the Blue Circle filter/cond will be as good a spot to begin too.

Bright Star nodes, while a mite priceier than 'pods' at near double their costs, will firm up the sound, and have it more tactile and not as soft.

Wood blocks from any local hobby shop of wood working shop... like Ebony, Mahogany, Teak, etc... found in off size pieces can be cut to equal sizes and used as near no cost footers, with suprising results. Ask if you can check out their refuse bin.

Audio Art, and Micro Pearl, ICs aren't expensive (< $100 pr. new) and do an eye opening job. Also I think a pair of Cardas Neutral Ref ICs should be issued to every audio hobbyist. AZ Matrix ref, SR Alpha Quad, Kimber Hero, MIT Shotgun S3, and others are pretty good non wallet busting signal cables.

I currently use the AA & MP, and have owned nearly all of the others I listed here. Older Synergistic Research & Audience Conductor, cables too are quite good and often traded here... and there's tons of DIY cable making threads online.
do you refer to goertz micropurl? i was vey interested in goertz but the amp oscillation thing shyed me away. i also looked at audio art and rs audio for IC's. but for my first foray into boutique cabling i was hoping to stay within 1 companies products to see if i could learn to hear their sound and switch things in and out 1 at a time, just having fun and experimenting. others i was looking at were kimber 8tc and pbj, pnf, MIT avt1 series, anti-cables. it was a toss-up between the nodes and pods, really and arbitrary choice at this point without listening. i could easily go with the nodes instead. anyway, thanks again, lots of food for thought. so, between upgrading power and isolating all my components(maybe could do both right now, but might have to choose one, and i'm pretty sure, while everything looks very nice, my componenets are speakers are not sitting on stuff that is very good for fidelity)which would y'all choose?
I second the vote for a PS Audio's Premiere power regenerator. I am not giving up mine anytime soon.
gold...and as much as possible

yes... I did mean Goertz. I never can recall that co. name. I've had no adverse issues with my Micros and FWIW Stereophile recommended them some time back in their budget components list.

Be it all one brand or a mixture of, once all is in and settled down, it matters not. Then you'll have a base line regardless.

for each change thereafter, the sound will be different anyhow. At a certain point in system resolution, you'll begin to hear even the most minor of alterations. Footers... Tube rings... platforms, cones, cables, adapters, outlet changes... even humidity differences!

When I have to redo or just start out now, I start at the bottom and work up... for me that's power cables, stablization of the components, ie., rack, stands, and/or footers, and power conditioning/filtering.

Then work fromt to back on the signal path. Source to speakers, as it were. usually.

good sense too is a real aid. so is paitience. Just get in where you fit in. Do what you can, when you can... and enjoy the affectation and effects, as much as possible.

Most people's power coming into their apt. or home, isn't too good, too much of the time, and that one thing really, really does matter... and why I said do a PSA Duet soon. I've also posted reviews here on a couple power filters you can get some ideas from too. Also some on power cords... a couple of them were done very late at night and I tended to ramble some, but you'll get an honest appraisal there with them being used in a mid fi system.

I used whatever for racks and stands for a good long while myself... due to not being convinced they even mattered sonically. They do. Most of the stuff in the hobby is like that too. I'd say to myself... you either have lost your mind or have more dollars than cents, so you all buy into all this nonsense! Then I tried these things... cables, racks, power conds, nodes, footers... etc. They do matter. Some more. Some lesser.

In the best bang for buck categories, with component quality aside, I see it this way:

1. Power cords
2 Power filteration/conditioning
3 cables
4 isolation, racks, stands.

There's plenty of arguments for or against any and all of the above items, but I've proven to myself those areas when addressed yeild very good to excellent results most all of the time... with power conditioning likely being the most contested.

But just try some things here and there and if you don't hear or see a diff... send it back, or flip it.

good luck and do enjoy the trip.
Get a Porter Port cryo hubble receptacle from Albert Porter
this is where to start your tweak at . The receptacle only cost $35.00. If your on a tight budget and you can diy try making your own power cords, ic's and speaker cables.
Also I found the use of Deflex Paneling a significant tweak
for vibration control not only inside the peakers,but everywhere else,around your cables all of them, on your wall plate,behind the wall plate,inside the bottom of your cd player chassis.
Well have fun tweaking.
Don C.