Pangea from Audio Adviser. When I needed a PC for my BEL 1001 amp that's what I bought ($90). Excellent quality! Why pay more?
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You can certainly hear differences in power cables , if your equipment is up to allowing you to hear it.
Then it becomes a matter of how much difference you can hear. I have owned the Purist Audio Dominus Fluid power cord as well as the Dominus Fluid speaker cables and the Interconnects. They are the best cables that I have ever heard..IMO.
So, you have to decide how much better any are vs. what you have . You can only do this by trying them in your system
Given your goals and short of making your own cords, which you should seriously consider, I think your best bang for the buck will be Cullen cables. On paper it looks like the Red Copper cable is a great value at $99/6ft, but if you can swing it there’s a lot more built into their Crossover cable at $199/6ft. These two cables seem to be more neutrally voiced, but if you’re looking for a little more warmth in your system the Gold series cable is $129/6ft. Cullen cables get great customer feedback and the prices are tough to beat. Hard to imagine you not getting a significant benefit from switching stock cords to these.
As a a dark horse option, I recently heard of Raven Audio that also seems to make high-value cables. Their Soniquil power cable is $169/6ft. and comes with Rhodium-plated connectors that you’d need to step up to the $199 Cullen Crossover to get. There’s obviously a lot more to it than the plugs, but to me it indicates good value and may also be worth a try as you never know which cable will synergize with your system and tastes. And both offer trial periods, so you can try both with little/no risk. That’s what I’d do. Anyway, hope this helps, and best of luck.
I also decided to dip my toes into the aftermarket power cord market and needed a large number of cords. Not knowing what to expect in general I didn't want to spend too much. At the suggestion of an Audiogon member I purchased these low cost cables at $50 per 6 foot cord. They certainly SEEM well made (in China).
These are my first venture into power cords and they make a positive difference in my system.
Some of the companies you listed have a trial period with a return policy. Take advantage of this.
I agree that Cullen is a best buy. I have some thousand dollar Audience cables but since I discovered the Cullen Crossover PC, I've been adding them to my system. They have a neutral signature and present realistic sonics with detail and a spacious soundstage.
I've gone through a bunch of PC's from Signal cable Magic, Silver Ref., Digital, to several Wireworld from150.00 to over 500.00 each.
Also DH Labs, Cardas, and others. By far the best have been the very costly Kubala-sosna Emotions, that I use now. But next to them I like the very affordable Signal Cable Magic versions.
For the budget you are looking at I would suggest either the Shunyata Venom or the DH Labs power cords. Besides both being well constructed these are good choices because DH Labs are very available and often available new at a discount. Cable Co is having a 20% off special on DH Labs power cables. Shunyata Venoms are very available on the used market. I am taking about the just replaced Venom line. Not the V2 Venom line.
Has there ever been any lab testing on power cords by an independent lab? Something where SCIENCE can confirm these costly cables are actually doing something? Otherwise, I would wager that those who spend the coin have a problem with confirmation bias. It's your money...go ahead and spend it how you wish, but if McIntosh is saying their power cables do the job just fine and that your better off buying music etc., then that's good enough for my ears.
I would wager that those who spend the coin have a problem with confirmation bias.That can’t be the case for those who initially doubt that a different power cord would make an audible difference. And many audiophiles start out as skeptics, so there’s obviously another mechanism at work here.
... if McIntosh is saying their power cables do the job just fine and that your better off buying music etc., then that’s good enough for my ears.Now that looks like an extraordinary example of confirmation bias. You seem willing to accept the claim at face value, rather than listen for yourself.
Incidentally, on what do you base your suggestion that McIntosh "is saying their power cables do the job just fine?"
For what its worth I don't have hardly any experience with different manufacturers of pc, interconnects or speaker wire. But it was recommended to me by the cable company to use dh labs with my equipment (Rogue) and have never found the need to change. And as far as do pc make a difference in sound in a word YES! they do. And I know this to be true because I unknowing did a double blind test on myself with the pc to my amp. I installed it and totally forgot that I did and when I went to listen to my system that night it blew me away how well it sounded and took me a few minutes to figure out why, the power cord! Now I know are system can have good sounding days as well as bad ones for varies reason but I know for a fact this was not a psychoacoustics effect but it was do to a better pc.
All I can tell u is that shunyata venoms sound much better than stock cables and also better than many well known brands which cost more. I have replaced more expensive power cords with venoms and still use them and my system is pretty decent
harbeth super hl5 driven by LFD NCSE with a bel canto E one streamer feeding a moded bel canto DAC and a luxman DA 250.
The only power cord that has bettered the venoms cost over 1k and it is an audioquest tornado and it does not blow the venoms away
Venoms are one of the best values in this crazy audio world we a part of!!
In my experience:
A= Significant improvement in sound quality
B= Modest improvement in sound quality
C= Minimal improvement / No discernible change in sound quality
Shunyata (Alpha Digital, 2016) for my DAC= A . I bought this for $500 from Usedcables ( owned by The Cable Company, but with a separate web site). Best money I spent on PCs, but after a lot of trial and error.
Highly Recommended- choose the model based on the current needs of your component. Older models with Ztron technology are terrific. Haven't tried the new Venom, Alpha, ....line
Allnic ZL3000= B. Bought new from a dealer on Audiogon for $840- do not recommend because they are overpriced for the small improvement
NRG Custom cables, Canada. Bought for CDN$400 = B. Recommended, but don't expect "instant improvement" like you could get from Shunyata.
Zavfino majestic, $225= C Also not recommended.
Signal Cable= C. Not recommended
Amazon- W ? or something= C .Not recommended
I strongly support the idea of auditioning cables from the Cable Library with The Cable Company ( they also own the site www.usedcables.com)
Hope this helps.
An audiophile for 40+ years I also worked for the power company.
The power coming into your equipment has traveled many miles to get to you. The last 50-100 feet of wiring in your home are probably solid 10, 12, or 14 gauge copper wire of varying quality. Can it make much, if any, difference to change the last few feet to high quality cable?
I would love to hear a technical explanation of why it could.
I believe that you need to seriously evaluate what your goals are. Come up with a strategy that works best for you. As this is a hobby, there are no wrong answers.
Do you want a system that is "good enough" as some would suggest?
There is nothing wrong with that if that is your goal, but I do not think it is as you seem to have made a committed investment in your electronic components.
You have also identified that power delivery to your electronic components is important. And you are right to believe so. Stock PCs will generally yield 50% (if that) performance out of your components, meaning that your units are not operating at the level they were designed to with stock PCs in place.
That said you have initially budgeted an average of $140+ for a possible upgraded delivery of power system for each one of those pieces of equipment. Based on the DAC alone - I am taking an average since you did not list the model, you are looking at a 5% investment
I doubt that you are going to make much of a difference with that kind of Budget. This is a step sideways rather than a step forward towards getting the maximum performance out of the components you have already invested in. Generally a 25 - 30% investment in power delivery is where you are going to realize substantial performance changes - in everything.
Think of your Power delivery as another Component to invest in. I would keep the stock PCs and start with a power distributor and then move methodically piece by piece. After the Distributor then make an investment by replacing the PC from the wall to the distributor. Next move to the DAC, Monoblocks and Speakers. You will be able to source out PCs with a better architecture and get the best return on your investment.
Also check out
For those that Care: Over the years I have been lucky enough to be invited to a few listening rooms from top Component Manufacturers.
Not one of them use Stock PCs.
I always go into this topic with some level of skepticism. However I think that a well designed/constructed cable should yield dividends over stock cables. The cost/benefit ratio in my mind is non-linear and is dependent on the resolving power of your system/room acoustics and the subjective nature of your hearing (as well as your insane need to eek out every ounce of sound and surrender your paycheck). For me the Pangea PCs are a definite improvement over the stock cords (a relatively inexpensive upgrade). Recently I tried an Audioquest Monsoon PC and was pleasantly surprised at the improvement over the Pangea PC. The Cable Company has a lending library (I think the cost goes toward the purchase of a new one) - they also sponsor usedcable.com which might be a reasonable alternative as well.