Which power cord more important?

I'm thinking of changing my stock power cords for my cd player and 100 wpc integrated for better ones...however, I might have enough just to change one of them for now....am I right assuming that the power cord for amplifier will make a bigger difference than the one for the cd player?
Check out these pc's from PS Audio.I use them on all my equipment.They add nothing nor do they take anything away from the music,a good thing IMHO.Very affordable,also a good thing!!!

Tpreaves, with all due respect, if the PS Audio power cord added nothing nor took away anything; in order words, it had no effect on the music whatsoever, why would you want to spend money on it?
Virtual Dynamics "Nite" Power cord works wonders for Digital for me ..( Meridian 508/24 )..Stiff, but very well worth the effort...In my opinion......
Think the conventional wisdom is that the more refined power -- such as you might hope to find with more expensive wires (ah, were it only so simple) -- is commonly better applied towards the beginning of your chain on lower-power items. In case that made no sense, a CD player is an awfully delicate item that deals with rather small power consumption and some real complicated tasks (reading bits off of a spinning disc with a laser, converting it from a digital to an analog signal, amplifying it a tad to output volume, etc). By comparison, an amp is a brute force item, it takes whatever signal is fed to it, sucks a bunch of power, and amplifies it (or more often attenuates it, but that's another story). The theory goes, better power delivery thus makes a bigger difference on a CD player than an amp, because the little differences are much more important at that stage and for the task at hand (and hash in up the chain only then gets amplified at the amp and made worse). Now, with an itegrated, you're complicating things a bit because the pre-amp section on the integrated has got some relatively complicated (by comparison to the amp) stuff to do itself (the volume pot in particular).

In reality, however, I suspect that the "rule&" doesn't count for squat. If you go with one, try it on both and see what you think. And if it helps on one and not the other, you've just saved yourself the price of a second....
Think the conventional wisdom is that the more refined power -- such as you might hope to find with more expensive wires (ah, were it only so simple) -- is commonly better applied towards the beginning of your chain on lower-power items.

Although there are lots of technical arguments that can be made in favor of the opposite conclusion, including the facts that low resistance in the power cord and its connections is much more important when the current involved is high and is fluctuating (as in a power amp or integrated amp), and the need for shielding to keep high frequency noise generated by the amp (due to inductive kickback from its power transformer) from contaminating other parts of the system.

See Atmasphere's posts in this thread:


-- Al
Paul McGowan from PS Audio advises to use the best power cord closest to the source of your AC. So if you are using a power conditioner, the "best" power cord should go from the wall outlet into the conditioner. That allows the most efficient power delivery into the conditioner that feeds the rest of your system.

Considering what to do with a CD Player and Int. Amp., use good quality cords on both. Use the cable with the largest gauge conductors for the amp and smaller gauge conductors for the CD Player as it demands much less current to operate optimumly IMHO.
Sidssp,the pc's on my amp and cdp were getting loose on the iec end so I tried the PS Audio's.I like them for the reasons stated in my first post.
All of the above advice, I think, is valid. The only thing I would ad is that power cords do not always make a better difference; a lot of times they do more harm than good. Also, when picking between one of your two components to do the cable upgrade, I would go with what ever component is weakest from a design standpoint. For example, if you have mass market sony or denon universal player and a roland or ayre int amp, the source would be the weaker component by design and would get the cable. The amp in this case would already have some power conditioning built into the product so the need would be not as great. It is a vague example based on the variety of the components out there but I think you can get the basic idea what I mean
The weakest design is the one depended on PC or interconnect quality.
The small manufacturers of audio equipment hide behind "clarity, transparency and simplicity", but in fact filtering and delivering clean power on the component level seems to be quite complex especially for the amatures.
The bottom line is that there's quite a number of devoted and hobbyists along with business given to more 'enterpreneurs' in high-end audio market with cable business in particular.
You should try to demo before you buy. I just demoed over a three week period a shunyata diamondback and a ps audio perfect wave ac10 on my Plinius 9200 integrated and my Naim cd5i-2. All i can say is, both these cords did nothing for my system. Maybe they needed more break in time but, i could not keep them any longer, i had to return them to my dealer. I am not saying power cords don't do anything, it's finding the right one.
Get one you can afford and try it on the cd first, then swap it to your amp. Leave it where you like it most. I suspect you will hear more improvement, depending on the geometry/connectors/conductors/connections on the CDP.
Thank you all for your replies, when I finally get around and buy one, I'll be very curious to hear the results...so far I'm a bit of a sceptic but would love to be proven wrong :-) ...
I've found once both ends of the chain are accessorized properly, the middle can stand some looking at too.

My exp does say either and both ends. Which ever is first is first. So what? Pick one and go for it!

Out of pure coincidence I put some onto the amps I had at the time. Then my source got one added to it. Then I added a passive power filter. Then a power cord for the filter.

Then I changed things and did it all over agin, but differently.

Where ever is just fine. Amp first? Fine. Do that.

Eventually, all the ingredients are in the pot, right?

The supply cord to the filter is as key as anything else though. It's 'flavor' will be introduced into anything downstream of it. So in effect, the effect on the amp and it's sound is the combination of it's directly connected power cable, the filter or device to which it is connected, AND the supply cable feeding that filter.

Cook for 200 hours minimum if new, 100 if used, season to taste with software .... feeds reserved seating, and standing room only, as a rule.
i noticed very little when i upgraded my first PC. it was only after upgrading all 4 that the "wow moment" arrived.

connected the first one (PS Audio AC-10)from the 20a dedicated line too my quintet. i noticed a bit of bass extension but that was about it. got another PSA AC-10 for my integrated amp then 2 PSA AC-5's for my transport/dac.

things really came together after that.

i would guess the line from your outlet should be first but in the end....you should go all in and upgrade them all.
All power cords sound different....and different used with different components. My amp likes Accrolink with
Furutech plugs, and my preamp from the same manufacturer likes Accrolink with Oyeida plugs. If I switch the power cords around, the sound isn't as good. You must try your power cord on the component you wish to use it on and listen to tell if it is right for your system.
Further notes

By & large, my exp shows me the higher up the cable feeding chart I went ($$$-wise) the greater the noticed influence on my gear.

The beeter the gear, the more easily noticed the changes were.

When I've sought to supplant one or more cords ie., mono blocks, other pc's sometimes need to be changed as well... or the ICs themselves.

I got pointed towards Voodoo cables for a look see into power cables early on. That proved a good move IMO. Various levels there provided me quite different results and that exp laid the foundation for my speculations on higher priced cables affording certainly different, and often, better performance.

i stoppped at the Voodoo gold Dragons for amps. Bruce's Tesla II is different and questionably better. The Golds are simply best for amps, but can be placed about anywhere.

The Shunyata Python (red) is demonstrably better than the Golds, but tends to be a bit grainier. The VX version is my preff of the two, and ONLY for wayward didgital or spinning devices. The helix ver of the same cord was entirely different, being more refined, no grain, yet threw the SS way back from the LP. Loads of rear of stage info. Although the Helix was a tad more delicate sounding than the previous Red tipped ver, it possessed the same ipactful bass, and upper end extension. no matter where it was placed, yet proved beter on higher current drawing gear... eg., amps.

The Elrod Sig III simply put is an amp cable. Tube or SS, amps are it's 'Soup du Jour'. It does little wrong if anything. Arguably the lower end impact seems attenuated at first listen, and well maybe, yet following some ear adjusting, it seems more natural. I think some may call that 'tightening the bass'.

Likewise at the other end of the scale, I've found Audience, mid level to entry level PSA, Kimber (below the PK10 Pladium) to not show themselves as major players by contrast. In other words, they simply were different sounding... not truly improving upon or raising the bar of the sonic recreation.... albeit, better than OEM cables at least.

Every move or addition builds upon the last change in the system... and why I say Get in where you fit in... things will ultimately come together for you, regardless where you begin.

Different is a lot easier to find in cabling, than is truly better.

Good luck.

I knew that statement was going to come back to me the moment I hit the enter key. Your way makes complete sense but like everything in audio, I find there are always a few exceptions. The only reason that I threw that comment in was to imply that you need to be careful because you don't always see the problems that can occur when you upgrade your system. It can be very frustrating. For example, I wanted to try sacd a few years ago so I went and bought a sony dvd/sacd player. I think it was a 9000es. I really don't like the term high/low end with regards to audio equipment for several reasons. For lack of a better term, though, I would say the sony was the "lowest end or weak component" in this system, compared to the others. After a few days I was wondering why my system just did not sound right. To make a long story short; when I unplugged the sony, my system sounded normal again. Apparently the power supply was not designed that well and was letting a lot of noise escape back into the system. The fix was a jps PC with a filter made just for that and a small power strip that isolated the component. Not a problem that you see all the time, but a frustrating one. Also, some components, like my ayre v 5's do not like other power cords. I have tried at least 5 or 6 different brands and the stock cord always sounds better. I hope this info is more clear (and useful).
Your assumption is not necessarily case. I've never tested AMP vs. CD player but I tested Transport vs. DAC and the Transport (first in the signal chain) benefited more from my best power cable.

Logically, you want to treat your components starting with the first link in the signal chain. Assuming power cords remedy some deficiency in the power the component is receiving, by the time the signal reaches the amp the "damage" is done.
Logically, you want to treat your components starting with the first link in the signal chain. Assuming power cords remedy some deficiency in the power the component is receiving, by the time the signal reaches the amp the "damage" is done.

Not necessarily. "The damage" introduced by each component is a matter of degree. Your logic ignores the possibility that the magnitude of the damage that will be introduced by the first link in the chain (in the absence of the better pc), as amplified by what follows, might be less, or even much less, than the damage that may be introduced by a component which is later in the chain (in the absence of the better pc).

See my post earlier in this thread, and the other thread I linked to, for some specific reasons why that possibility may occur. And why, in fact, lack of good shielding on the amp's pc may RESULT in problems being introduced earlier in the chain.

-- Al

I'm curious what cords you've tried on you V5. Do you have it plugged into a conditioner or into the wall? I've a cardas golden pc on mine (into the wall) and much prefer it over the stock cord. I'm going to be trying synergistic cords though and I'm betting they'll blow the cardas away.
suggest taking a look at Audio Art Cable Powercord
Rlg, That's why I prefer a good quality components that work best with stock PC.
I also can do upgrades to tame the PS noise in any audio/video components which takes me to near 10x less spending on good quality semiconductors and passives vs. high-end PC.
Most of Macintosh equipment doesn't even have a detachable PC guess why?
if I were you I would try to borrow 2 powercables from a show/friend etc. Then just play with them, try to see if they make any difference at all.

I did play a little with powercable. My conclusion is that on my DAC the improvement was the biggest, next was the trasport. On my amp I did not get any improvement.
After reading some of the comments, power cord no matter the manufacture can only provide whatever is seen at the incoming wall line other words, "garbage in garbage out"!

The power from the wall plug is a 14gauge cheap copper that meet UL approval for loads that does not meet our sensitive levels.

So we think before the PC to place larger gauge wires back to the breaker panel and also forgetting the cable coming from the utility outside of the house will solve the issue and still problems.

So what I have done is to install a constant current isolation transformer made by Tripplite on my dedicate line and than ran pure copper 10 gauge silver braid shielded and grounded only at the breaker panel with MOV protection for RF noise and at the dedicated line putting hospital grade outlet plugs.

Only using line conditioners on my Digital front and providing direct wall plug in for my amp and analog front end.

After process of elimination I than start to experiment with different PC between my incoming power and my components. However it is again recommended to read your owners manuals, because of the power supply with, built in conditioners and incorporated in the design might not benefit and only creating an expense not necessary to place these "snake cables" in the path.

Be careful not to ground loop and read first your manuals of each component for such things as chassis,logic vs power grounds before lifting or isolating, anyways different topic for another discussion.

Enjoy Music!

very good advice Audiogalore. Get your ac and receptacles right, then work on your room. worry about pc`s and line conditioners later is my advice, heck might not even need a exotic pc(s) or line conditioners after the ac and room are finished. buy more music instead.
Some of my fiddlings of the last 12 months with power cords are discussed in my PFO article on the Furutech Evolution II wiring suite. See:
My general impressions is that there are power cords that are somewhat position insensitive, and can be successfully applied to most all positions in the component chain, like the Furutech Evo II featured in the review, which is my current general reference wire. Conversely, other power cords seem to be most applicable to a particular position or a particular component, e.g. the Shunyata Helix Anaconda Alpha, which I thought to be in highest synergy with the Esoteric X-01 CDp.Some other wires instead, I found not to be at all conducive to the sound I am seeking.
In the end, I suspect that the answer to the original question is. . . it depends! Depends on the individual component, on the overall architecture of the system, on the room acoustics, and on one's particular sonic/musical inclinations. G.
After owning a ton of cables and PC's and subsequently trying to challenge my own bias's and preconceptions, due in part to verbal lashings from other A'Gon members, I have come full circle....MIT products are superior for most applications. Every other cable I've auditioned has fallen short in the long run. No other manufacturer has done as much research into the transmission of audio signals through wire, or has as many patents to prove it! Everything else is just wire...sorry, but it's true:O( The new Gen 3 cables raise the bar even higher for the 2C3D lover in you...or maybe MA is more your style?
I was very sceptical about high end power cords so I contacted the cable company for an opinion and to audition power cables from there library. John at the Cable Company recommended a Synergistic Research Hologram D power cord for my Cary 306SACD player. I was astounded at the difference this cord made. It was as good or better than a component upgrade. Changed my views entirely
i have to second dave_b in my experience, i have not found anything near the performance of mit power products. i currently (no pun intended) use the oracle ac1's and recently added a z-stabalizer3 hg which is in the process of wowing me on my big krell. i had never planned to use a power product on that amp but tried it on a whim. now when i remove it, things just do not sound any where near correct.

i can say the same for the rest of my mit cables too (speaker, interconnects, digital...).
I'm with Marcus- try Synergistic Research and start at your digital front end. My first high end power cord was a Synergistic AC Master Coupler- IT BLEW ME AWAY. I have since gone 100% SR Tesla. These new PC's are light years ahead. It is a good idea to audition several PC"s in your system before you buy. I've also had good luck with MIT and Audience.
As there are obviously several schools of thought. . . SR, MIT, Furutech, Shunyata just to name a few, it becomes somewhat evident that there may be no such thing as a universally recognized 'best' per se. Rather, there are a number of well respected cables that work very well for different individuals having differing systems and diverging sonic/musical preferences. . . . the only thing one can do is to try to understand some of the sonic preferences of some of the users, then perhaps try out some of the wires that you suspect 'prima face' may closest match your particular taste.

Regards, G.
Alot of the problems arise from users who do not take a holistic approach to their systems. When properly used, MIT PC's and cables will address more real world issues for the music lover who want's to experience the best possible sound in their homes. The technology used is unique, patented and effective. Most other cable juju is hit or miss at best.

My statements here are based on my own exp and point to those folks who aren't extremely well vested financially.

With respect to all others, my exp with wires which are best used through the whole of the system are as fine and well as that scenario indicates. Just as with components, one achieves a more certain step to overall synergy by going 'same same' all over. Sometimes.

I've noticed too that mixing components does change things, and can indeed improve upon system performance.

having tried some facets of that same same cabling, yet not 100% throughout, just with power cables primarily same brand diff models though on each piece... I find the main issue with going with the same brand all over just as daunting a task as is mixing things up, but the mixing seems to come out cheaper... and with substantially good results.

With MIT ICs on source and as mains, the sound I got then was far less colorful or vibrant. Not as harmonically rich as it had been.... somewhat bleached. I used Magnum 3 on source and Shotgun 1 as main.

With only one MIT in place things were far, far better, richer, more natural and less washed out. In conjunction with tube + SS amp, and all tubes.

I've not tried the MIT Oracle line at all so it may well be different, but I found it/them, cost prohibitive for me to try.

Similar results but different, came by way of using Nirvana ICs in those same places, but again, neither IC was the same model... SX on source, and SL on main. the result was a lackluster performance.

Nice. Way more than easily listenable, but uninvolving.

however, using Nirvana SX + MIT Magnum was a great exp. Same thing as using SX on source and HT Magic II as mains.

Prior to those experiments I used SR ICs and SR + MIT ICs for some time. SR + MIT were more than satisfying IMO. Yet SR + SR was not. I lost bass and midrange info the MIT Magnum supplied in spades.

So for whatever reason, my exp keeps showing me some combination throughout does lead to higher levels of performance.

Again, I’ll not dismiss the statements of those who validate the use of a single brand either. All I’m saying is there is more than one way to get to greater levels of involving, and satisfying, sonic recreation.

With power cords, I've found both ends of a rig can be improved by stepping up there. Front and back. Source and amp (s). Initially. Later or certainly thereafter, the preamp needs looking at.... some.

The bigger bang for the buck does seem to come by addressing each end of the chain first however.

RWV depending on both which brand and which model within that line up, you pick. So one needs to try out a few brands, and/or models of same same or mixed to see what's best. I can only say that there is indeed something to the idea of replacing OEM power cables.

As for the non migratory power cords being best suited to that particular piece.... how do you know? Add an adapter and plug in another upscale power cord.... you will realize a difference IF your gear is sufficiently resolving.

Don't think so? Spend the $10-$15 for the adapter and find out for yourself.

BTW, also for those folks... are you using a power line filter or conditioner? Which pc is atached to it? Then switch out that pc with some other and you'll see a different influence therre as well. The supply cord is way important and influences everything downstream of it.

You can think of pcs as filters. Like a gas line filter that keeps trash out of the carb or injectors. Same thing. Actual dedicated filters and conditioners do it better of course.

Or you can think of it like changing out the coil and spark plug wires to a higher level of performance units. you will indeed gain better energy/spark at the plug/component and realize more power or again, performance.

If you do not try it for yourself, it's all pie in the sky anyhow.
Well said...very good information! I may become a believer as well in mixing things up...just recieved an M4 Balanced IC from Morrow Audio. Well, I shed a tear after the third movement of Shostakovich's 8th symphony as performed by the LSO. Mr. Morrow may be on to something:O) Time will tell.