My method would be always to keep upgrading the main power cord from the wall outlet as it effects everything else plugged into it
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Bojack is correct. This issue has been discussed a lot in previous threads in the archives and there have been a lot of varying answers through the years. I'm thinking since this question has been asked a lot people didn't like the answers they got.
There are camps that have found the best power cord should go from the wall outlet to the power conditioner. Some have found they got the best improvement by putting their main music source (CDP, DAC, Record Player etc etc.) Unfortuneately you are going to have to experiment to see which piece of equipment works best with the Zu Bok. Did anyone @ Zu specify what components they thought benefited the most with the Bok power cord?
This is the stupid thing I did. I didn't want to bother with trying different power cords on different components. I didn't have the patience to keep switching out the cables so I saved money and bought multiple copies of the same power cord and used it on all my components. My source, preamp, and amp all have the same power cord. My power conditioner is an old one and already had a captive power cord so I didn't have to worry about it. Luckily it all worked out and my system sounds good to me. If it didn't I'd be screwed. Good luck with the search.
Jedinite is on the money. There's no hard and fast rule, regardless of what people say. I've bought many a very high end power cord and found the most noticeable results on the preamp, not on the line conditioner. Just break it in, and use on each one for several days to give yourself enough time to become accustomed to the sound. Then switch. The reason I say "days" is that it takes time to become emotionally connected. When you switch them around, you'll know which way affects you the most (which will usually be the path that leads to the most emotionally communicative rendering of the sound). THAT is your answer.
Many thanks folks. I did look through the cable threads previous to posting my query. The reason I posted this one was in the hopes of getting a less ambiguous answer to the question than I found elsewhere. Usually, when I research out a question, I find a sort of consensus that I can use as a preliminary guideline. In this case, opinions seem to be all over the place. As I stated in my original query, I expect trial and error to be the ultimate arbiter. Yes, I intend to let the cable burn in, then I'll move it around for best effect. I think I'll simply connect it to the wall for burn-in, but I think it might eventually be connected to the preamp directly. I'll let you know my impressions once I do.
Iramirez, I find it difficult to believe that you ever find a "sort of consensus" on anything. I think people should tell what their experiences are and never say it is the best whatever.
Personally, since you are using a conditioner, I would first try it from the wall outlet to it. After that I have personally found no certain other first trial application.
Ha, I mean 'consensus' quite loosely. I know what you mean about not finding it. I own a pair of Zu Essence speakers. Just look up the comments on them; people either hate them or love them, there is no middle ground. I only bought mine once I'd actually heard them at home. There was no way to come to some sort of general understanding based on opinions expressed... Like Lou Reed said, "believe nothing that you hear, and only half of what you see..."
Ivan - as people have said it can be a "touchy subject" but I'll wade in anyway, since I have just finished playing with all of my PC's!
I have, what I consider my best cable, on my amp. A DIY Furutech 10 awg cable
- why there, because as I upgraded the other cables I wanted to be able to easily hear any improvements
- plus - it gave me the most noticeable results
- plus the benefits were heard no matter what source played
I then had funds for other cable choices, so I next upgraded the power cable on my power conditioner to a DIY 12 awg DH Labs Power Plus, which powers only my source components
- why there, because when I upgraded the cables on the source components I was able to easily hear any improvements
- again - the benefits were heard no matter what source played
- however I did try it on the amp just to see how it would perform
- it performed as well as the Furutech 10 awg which was 5 times the price
- It's not built to the same "TANK-like" standards as the furutech is,
- but it performs like it! - I wish I'd found the DH Labs cables first!
Finally I upgraded my source PC to a DIY Furutech 15 awg screened cable
- another outstanding upgrade
- the differences were immediately noticeable and what a difference all the upgrades made!
- why back to Furutech? - well, it was previously on the power conditioner :-)
Now all PC upgrades are complete and the system sounds amazing.
Some source upgrades were incremental, but taking this approach allowed me to hear the differences each incremental upgrade made immediately.
During this process I read lots of info on PC's and the reason why PC's work is...
- even though the outlet voltage is constant at 120v...
- the current drawn from the outlet is as dynamic as the audio signal itself
- therefore you need great quality conductors in the mains cable to handle those dynamics
- just like you have good interconnects and speaker cables to handle audio dynamics
- in fact, interconnect, speaker and power cables in a system should all be of the same quality levels
- otherwise the benefits from money you spent on those good quality components/cables is not being realized
- and those that are of a lessor quality become the "weakest link" and
- drags the whole system performance down to that level.
Hope this helps and Good Luck
Well, I received the new power cords yesterday. I ended up getting three of them. I decided to plug one to each Manley 300b amp and one into my Shrimp pre. I got home relatively late last night, so I only listened for a short while and at very low listening levels 64db avg. I put on Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, an album that I've been playing a lot lately. The improvements were readily apparent. Normally, it would take a lot more juice to get the soundstage to be so precisely defined and so stark in appearance, but there it was. The noise floor has clearly dropped lower than I've yet to experience; so, instrumental separation, side to side, and especially front to back, really stands out. Most importantly, however, is the astounding clarity of tone that I perceived. Every instrument sounds more like itself rather than a reproduction. I guess that the most intense change is in micro-dynamics and tonal accuracy. These are just my preliminary perceptions, right out of the box. I am very impressed with the Zu Bok cables. I hardly expected a power cable to have such a positive effect on my components...
But Ivan - it's just a power cable! :-)
Despite all of the positive comments from people that have experienced improvements, there is still a large body of people who choose to believe they DO NOT make a difference.
Welcome to the power cable club!
If you are interested I have place an explanation on my blog at
I currently run Silnote power cords . I just replaced the 20 amp cord on my Power unit with a Syunyata Venom HC , I could immediately tell a difference . So I purchased 2 new cords from Mike Morrow . They are better than my Silnotes . But I needed 5 . Mike recommended replacing the Pre and Power amp cords . He said he recently changed HIS PHILOSOPHY on placement of cords . The cords had 240 hours burn in when shipped . I placed them as he suggested, and let my system IDLE for 24 hours . There is a noticeable improvement. Had I not asked, I would have done the DAC and the Pre. I think it’s a crap shoot , but I’ve had improved SQ with the more expensive cords . FWIW, I spent a whole day 3 weeks ago cleaning and treating all connections for all cables on all devices . I also have Hubble outlets . If I didn’t have an improvement, I would have returned the cords . Cheers, Mike.