Which Power Cords: I Need Some Informed Guidance

Working on a system upgrade. I recently purchased:

Krell s300-i Integrated
Cambridge Azur 840c CDP/DAC
Streaming Apple Lossless wirelessly from a G4 Powerbook (other side of the room) into an Airport Express, then optical out of the airport, into a Musical Fidelity V-dac, then RCA into the Krell.
Ps Audio Quintet Power Conditioner
I'll swap out outlets as well...sometime soon.

Looking for Power cords. Something under $350 or so.

Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

In general, all cables sounds diff from each others from a degrease of levels to diff brands. They are like ingredents to your stake, so let us know how do you like yours?
A very helpful info is the types of music that you are listeing to? warm, sweet, and romantic? Neutral, grainy, or fast and details?
W/O this, you'll see people throw in left and right what they have, what they like which could possibly set you off track.
Learning from your sources, I can't really guess to narrow down to the type of what you are listening to. Krell and Cambridge, hummm, let's see what do they have in common?
You might try the current auctions here on AudiogoN for the Electraglide S.O.T.U. power cords. These are Electraglides top power cord available in a no reserve auction. You might be able to win one of these auctions for under $350. For that money these cables would probably be hard to beat. They retail for $2700. I haven't tried them personally but I have heard other Electraglide cables and thought they were very good.

Another option would be used Shunyata research Taipan Helix power cords which sell for the upper end of your price range and are exceptional.
Hi Folks,

Thanks for the input. Yes, some additional details would be helpful, so here it goes.

Sonus Faber, Grand Piano Home (newer front ported)
MIT speaker cables
Transparent ic's

Musical tastes (not necessarily in order of preference):
Classical (usually symphonic, but I also love pieces for strings, or piano)
Rock/Pop (Beatles, Bowie, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, 80's new wave, Alt Country)
Folk & Roots

The Shunyata Taipan Helix is on my list, just based upon readings, and I'm not familiar, yet, with the Electraglides.

This whole AC path is new to me, so thanks for the questions and suggestions. Looking forward to further discussion.

My venture into the power cable end of audio is somewhat limited to just using shunyata products.Just upgraded to the helix range on every thing,power cond included.Wow what a differance.Not sure if your Quintet is passive?that might not be important to you...your krell will definatly need a descent cable.The cd player is not to be overlooked either.
Power cords make a HUGE difference in sound.
I would never have believed it if I hadn't
just tried them.

I keep trying different power cords. I ordered an
Acoustic Zen Tsunami to try out. Don't have it yet
but read it's a great powercord for the price.

Audience is supposed to be another winner but I haven't
tried it yet..

I considered the Shunyata Tiapan Helix but when I
saw to purple/lavender sleeve on both ends I decided
those guys at Shunyata are idiots. Like I want to see
a bunch of lavender colored cables when I listen to my
music. I don't know why others haven't complained about
the hideous color..
Cables asside neutron....You might consider going up the chain on a power conditioner too?that has hugh impact as well.
Some ideas below in your stated price range (mostly).

1. I would contact The Cable Company and ask what they recommend for your gear in that range.


2. For your Cambridge 840C I would check out the JPS Labs Digital AC power cord and the Shunyata Research Diamondback Platinum and Taipan Helix VX (the latter a very good deal right now on close out, but still over your stated budget) - I can vouch that the Shunyata cords sound very good with Cambridge Audio CD players

3. For your Krell, I would suggest you check out the Analysis Plus Power Oval 10 and Power Oval 2, the JPS Labs's THE POWER AC +, VH Audio Flavor 4™ Power Cables
with the upgraded Furutech connectors and the Shunyata Research Copperhead and Taipan Helix Alpha (also a very good deal right now on close out, but also over your stated budget)

4. Once you get your new power cables, you may want to upgrade or downgrade your power conditioner. Try plugging your gear directly into the wall socket and see if it sounds "better" or "worse" than routed trough your conditioner. If you live in a single family residence with decent wiring, chances are your system will sound better with no conditioner at all. If this is the case, and you still need a power bar for multiple AC connections, I suggest you check out this low cost but excellent solution:


If you are an apartment/condo dweller, more intensive power conditioning MAY BE necessary. Trick in this case is to clean power up a bit without sterilizing it (i.e. clipping musical transients). This may cost a lot of money to get truly transparent filtering - if such a thing exists at all.

Good luck.
Since when do we listen to cables based on what color they are? One of the more ridiculous statements I've heard here on the Gon.
Wow! Deja Vu. Are you me? We almost have identical electronics (minus the Cambridge and MIT) and the types of music. Scary!
I was going to post couple P/C that I didn't like, but, to my experience, what I didn't like yesterday, didn't mean I don't like them today. Since I spend a lot of time playing (mix /match) with my system and friends', it's good to keep them all. Some of them sound flat in my system but they sound very detail and punchy in my buddy's or with diff combination of ICs.
Sorry, I didn't mean to give you a run around, but that's my .02. Just feel confident to buy what you can afford and the most popular ones. (You can always resell them here at the A'gon for any reason.) I have not seen any of P/C that is awfully bad except for my DIY from HomeDepot ones.
Don't forget to keep us posted. I'll be watching your posts closely since I have the SF GP Home series (front port) too. If color is matter, mine is in Cheery wood, lol.
As Tom92602 says, P/Cs make HUGE diff. and I hope others may shy you a brighter light.
Good lcuk,

here are my thoughts;

1.try Mapleshade cords.it is almost as good as Argento MR ,which in my opinion,are amongst the best around.and it cost so little it is just increadible!!!!

2.you should try the mapleshade IC and sp cables too..again unbelievable value for money.

3.you MUST cook your cables with the Audiodharma cable cooker.I have one for myself but you could easily find a dealer who could cook it for you for a small fees.anyone I know who has had their cables cook will not listen to an uncook cable again.

4.finally all cables should be treated by deoxit gold. it just sound better.

I use krell too.. The 400xi & DVD showcase.

What "recipe" did you use for your Home Depot-baked cable? What gear did you use it with and what did you compare it to?

I made a 12 gauge cable to replace the 18 gauge dedicated lamp cord on my AMC integrated amplifier and it made a huge difference in overall presentation. Better bass, better musical flow, smoother but more extended treble, and able to play noticeably louder before compressing sound.

Could attribute most of this difference to larger gauge, twisted geometry and better(?) dialectric material. No easy way to compare with other amp cables without sacrificing IEC connector/finish - partly why I made my own.

My recipe:

-Pass & Seymour/Legrand PS5266-XGCM Heavy Duty AC plug

-Carolprene® Jacketed Type SJOOW 90ºC 300 Volt UL /CSA Portable Cord, 12 gauge - 5 ft. (essentially, bulk water pump or replacement hand tool cable)

-light coating of Mapleshade SILCLEAR on all connections

-wire nuts + electrical tape for internal connection

Total cost including tax $17.69 (SILCLEAR was on hand)

For building complete cable for exchange use between gear - I would probably experiment with different wire types. Note that IEC connectors would double the cost of a homemade budget cable
Hi. I recent bought some kaplan cables which i like very much. You can get at tweekgeek, in your price range, and I believe you can return within 30 days if not happy. Lots of discussion of these on audio circle. good luck
04-20-09: Garyjames
Hi. I recent bought some kaplan cables which i like very much.

What other after market power cords have you used?
this really is the first time i'm tossing my hat into the arena. i haven't used any after market pc's yet, and it seems that, inevitably, i'll be expanding my budget (why does this always happen). i tried getting in on the "electraglide sotu" dutch auction tonight, but got priced out. i can't figure whether they're snake oil or the real thing, as i keep reading some stellar reviews, as well as more than a few sordid tails. anyway, these are my current thoughts. i have to admit that i do find them intriguing.

so, in particular order:
shunyata taipan helix alpha, used, or on closeout. by the way, i wish i new as little as "knownothing", this would be alot easier. by the way, i have an inquiry into "the cable company", so thank you so much for that great lead. i trust that this cord won't add any color to the music...that's a joke, okay :)

audience powerchord

electraglide sotu. they seem to be out there

analysis oval 10

kaplans. they also sound intriguing, and they won't break the bank.

acoustic zen tsunami. though, i don't know where these should sit in the hierarchy.

the krell is a tad bright with the sonus faber's, though i suspect it would be a tad bright without the sonus faber's, and so, i would like something that may warm up the music with an offsetting tad.

again, thanks everybody for taking the time. the involved discourse is proving invaluable, if not a little overwhelming.

updates, as further hijinx ensue.
I've also changed over to the Kaplan Cables. Here's a review I did of a few different popular power cables and my impressions of each on both my amp and source components:


Good luck,

Really nice review!
I'll 2nd that "knownothing". thoughful and insightful, thanks very much bob. the more i research, the more i'm inclined to move the kaplans up the ladder.

given the brightness of the krell integrated, anybody with thoughts regarding the kaplans vs shunyata taipan helix alpha? also, is it worth pursuing the electraglide sotu?

thanks again for all the help, folks.
You have narrowed it down to a few polular great cables(resale in mind?)Nothing works like real world experience in your own system..youll know it when you hear it.With that in mind considering everybody tastes in music differs,sometimes alot.
Neutron call Don from DCCA,I am familiar with your amp,I
have heard that many times,ask Him for audition,so you
can hear it for yourself,His pc flesh out music, and they
are not bright.
Tvad, i have used audience and flavor 4. i demoed the esp essence (liked them a lot but too stiff for what i needed). not in my system, but a friend and i a/b the kaplans (both copper and rhodium) with kubala fascinations on his system.
I dare say you can not post a "review" of power cords. Every one that I have tried sounds different using different components...in fact, I am using my favorite cords which are Furutech connections on Accrolink, and Oyeida ends on Accrolink. I have an all Ayre system, and tried the Furutech on the amp and also on the preamp. Furutech sounds different on each of these components as do Oyeida. It was easy to hear that the amp liked the Furutech and the oyeida less so, with the preamp and Universal player liking the Oyeida, with the Furutech less so. In my system, any of the Cardas cables sound dreadful..though other systems may prosper from them. Nordost, Purist, Kabula, etc all sound different...not as good in my system, but may very well sound great using other components...one never knows until you use them in your own system.
woo hoo,

just bought my first power cord here a few minutes ago, the taipan helix. now i just need 2 more (wall -> power cond., integrated -> power cond., cdp -> power cond.), and an outlet.

now, some advice on where in the line the taipan should go (oe do i just try each point in the line), and what else should i get.
"just try each point in the line". My guess is that it will work best between the amp and the Conditioner - but it is difficult to tell in advance.
Way to go neutron...youll find best spot for it,i ended up going up to the python on cdp, taipans cond and amp.Would like to bump up to python on cond though.It does get better going up the chain (inho)
Let us know what works best!
wow!!! got my first power cord today. taipan helix alpha, used, great deal from audiogoner. a real pleasure to do business with, martay49, heartily recommended.

i'm now waiting on an audience powerchord "e".

back to the taipan...well not quite yet. with stock cord, everything was to bright, or voices blended into each other, bass was deep but not well defined, etc. now the taipan stuff. out of the box, and sitting between power conditioner and the krell integrated. haven't tried directly into con ed power, or from the wall to power conditioner yet. from the very first note of the 2nd movement of sibelius's 2nd symphony, a whole new world opened to me. soundstage becomes huge, in both breadth and depth. bass is now tight, amazingly well defined (imagine my shock, tympani's have character), and deep...viscerally deep. never thought that the sonus faber's were capable of moving so much air, the way the live performance demands it move. notes once misplaced, now have a place in space, they decay or dissipate the way my ears recognize as being right, i can tell that cymbals are made of metal, without sounding shrill...and there is a 1st violinist as well as a 2nd!!!...well, i think you get the message. i know you do, as you're the same folks who helped me find this road to ac lunacy. a lunacy that i now fully embrace.

i can't wait to get the powerchord "e", and continue with the experiment, and then on to ic's and sp cables.

i'm tapping my feet again. i'm not missing the tube stuff i traded for the solid state stuff. the new krell s-300i, at least to me, now sounds amazing...the reason i purchased it to begin with.

thank you, one and all, for your ideas, enthusiasm, and for helping this kindred spirit down the road to sonic bliss.

That is great! Once I got the all the cords right, I kind of fell off the merry-go-round for a while and am just enjoying listening to music instead of the gear. Enjoy!!
Nice, very nice to see great result with the Sonus Faber. I was looking at the cheaper Shunyata Diamondback but your excitement got me pumped up a little. The comparasion with the Audience would be grateful.

I compared several Shunyata cables pretty carefully and the Diamondback and Taipan Helix VX are both very nice. The Taipan is incrementally better, and the better your gear, the greater the difference you will hear. At the prices you can pick up a used or discounted new Taipan Helix Alpha for amp, or VX for digital, I would strongly recommend trying it.

FWIW, I did not find the Venom to be anywhere near the capability of these other cords, at least for use with digital front ends.
Nasman,if you can.. go up line to non sheilded helix line.As knownothing said you enjoy your system without wondering about the next level(off the merryground)at least a couple of months.These are hard times for me these days and just upgraded all to helix line.Can honestly say that was money well spent...imho.
with my limited experience, i'll certainly agree with knownothing and digsmithd. you can get the taipan helix nicely discounted from retailers, or from the cable company, or right here. i bought mine from agon for $350 (1.8m), and feel it's worth every penny (despite having only a few listening hours, so far). additionally, folks here love this stuff, resulting in supply that is well cared for, and often times fully broken in.

scheduled to get the audience powerchord e today. will post my findings sometime soon.
. Knownothing, did you have a chance to comapare both of the Shunyata's with your DIY P/C, any inside thoughts?
. Digsmith, wow! I din't know the Helix lines weren't shielded. I gotta look'em up again.
Thats grants interpretation,Copperhead,diamondback,ect.They arent hand made, up to the braided helix design?Helix design not being made by machine.This hobby is not a poormans hobby...this has made me do some things ive regreted.This is one i can live with though.

Did not directly compare because DIY cord is hard-wired to amp, i.e no IEC connector to swap. BUT in general, I would say that the DIY cord has a less sophisticated but very relaxed sound compared with any of the Shunyata cables. The music just flows now. If I was to try to rank performance, I would say I like the DIY "better" than the the Shunyata Venom, but don't think it can stand up to the Diamondback or higher cords. The Taipan Helix cords are clearly a much better choice with more air, better spatial cues and much tighter bass.

If I were to use better quality wire (say with Teflon dialectric and cryo treated) and connectors (say moderate to high level Furutech), I think its possible to make a rear-kicking cord for well under $200. I would call my current experiment (HA HA) with the amp cord a whim driven by how pleased I was with a recently purchased Shunyata cord for my CDP, and what I was able to find on the shelf at the local Home Depot. At under $18 and about 30 min. work, it was well worth the effort.
hi folks,

please, not wanting to distract from this fascinating diy discussion. i'd certainly like to hear more. where do you get plans for assembly, what raw materials and tools are needed, and how do you decide on materials. i would imagine that the materials are dictated by application.

i would also like to provide an update, and ask for more ideas...

hooked up the new powerchord "e" last night (utility --> conditioner), and got in about 2hrs listening. the taipan helix is conditioner --> integrated. boy was i disappointed. granted the powerchord is new out of the box and needs some time, but it seemed as if i took a giant step back in the direction of edgy narrow and shallow brightness. tried again this morning. now with about 5 hrs, the music is making a comeback. patience says to give it time, and i will. figured i'd test it a little though, so i put on leo kottke's "6 and 12 string guitar" to see what i'd get. well let me tell you, i can feel the wood character of the hollow body acoustic coming through on deeper notes. string plucking and strumming is coming through with definition, and the soundstage is opening up again. audience must burn in their cables prior to shipping, as i think this should be taking a lot longer. i know it still has a ways to go before plateauing.

so, i'm getting a bit out of control here, but changes need to be made, now that i've committed to the cable upgrade path. i bought some au24 speaker cables, and i'm very much looking forward to hearing them. i believe the choices have been spot on so far, and i will then happily get off that merry-go-round for a spell (knowing full well that there definitely must be many different stunning combinations available).

i now need interconnects, and would like to run some possibilities by you, in no particular order:

audience au24 (don't know if i would spring for the "e")
purist aqueous anniversary
kubala sosna fascination

consider this an official solicitation of your varied and welcomed opinions.

Neutron, I may have missed it, but what P/C do you have to use for CDP?
Neutron, boy, you have jumped off into the cable deep end! Not much to add on the ICs.

As for building power cables, I have rudimentary experience with wiring and electrical circuits, so in terms of construction of power cables have been trying to educate myself about materials and what factors are really important. In terms of assembly, there is nothing really tricky about it, but if you really screw up you can blow a fuse or some tubes at best, or start a fire in the worst case.

On that cheerier note, here are some sites where you can get some more information pon building your own PCs:

VH Audio: http://www.venhaus1.com/diymains.html and http://www.vhaudio.com/index.html

DIY Audio Projects: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Power/diyMains/

DIY Cable: http://www.diycable.com/main/default.php
"...where do you get plans for assembly"
- It's not that complicated. It could be anywhere.

"what raw materials and tools are needed"
- As Knownothing stated, it could be just a simple screwdriver and a wire stripper /cutter. Ohm meter is highly recommended to verify continuity. However, I order my heat shrinks and snake /flex skin from PartsExpress.com; the Wattgate plugs from Ebay.

"and how do you decide on materials"
- It's trial and error process. I just continue to build one after another and compare them with the name brand ones that I have. But even diff wires from Home Depot give diff sound from each others.

Neutron, if you like, PM me with your mailing address and your desired length, I will send you 1 of my DIY. It's yours to keep.
"i now need interconnects, and would like to run some possibilities by you,"
- Neutron, first, I'm sorry I'm totally unfamiliar with the 3 name brands that youare listing above, but since I have great experience with the interconnect RCA LC-1 from BlueJeanCable.com. It's very affordable ($30/pair), give it a try. If some cables sound bright, others sound neutral or light, warm, or yet grainny, the LC-1 sounds very rich and punchy. I like it to go with my SF GP Home Series when listen to guitar, viloin, or percursion. However, it's doing just everage in vocals, classicals, and live music concert. It's very slightly lacking of the fineness and classy sound as the Transparent Reference's. I used to swap cables back and forth but I always ended up with the LC-1 in my electronics. Ince your case, I'm not sure how it'll intereact with your Krell, but it would probably matched nicely with your Cambridge CDP. Give it a try.
ok nasaman, you got me there. i'm getting a little ahead of the game, but an opportunity arose to buy the audience speakers, so i jumped at it. right now, i still have the stock pc on the cdp. earlier on, knownothing suggested the taipan vx, and i'm presently leaning in that direction (especially since i've tossed the budget out the window), but acquiring another audience "e" is not out of the question.

now i also have some interesting reading with regards cable construction. i think it'll be helpful getting acquainted with some of the fundamentals.

but right now, i'm like that little electron whose been bitten by some energy and jumped headlong into that higher shell. pretty soon though, i'll emit enough light (or spend money, in this analogy), and dutifully fall back to my original state, where i'll be content.
If you are leaning toward taipan i would email grant at shunyata.Get his opinion on which would be more approriate.He is very helpfull,i think the right cable on your cdp is the final icing (as well as conditioner).I never thought it would make as much differance since low current.Python on cdp made a huge differance.No more wondering if i try this cable.

It's good to hear you have had luck with the Blue Jeans ICs. I have been recommending this company's products for friends who are skeptical of wires that cost as much as their gear because the products appear to be well made and use quality materials. I am confident they will work well, if not expected to extract the last ounce of resolution, air or nuance from hi end systems.

For example, I purchased one of their HDMI cables for my father's HT system. It works great and was cheaper delivered than what they sell for at Radio Shack or the big box stores. Wondering if you have tried any of their speaker cables?

Interesting that Blue Jeans hasn't figured out that Power Cords really make a difference and entered that market. Their approach would be refreshing and have a niche I would think. The owner is a lawyer - maybe he doesn't want the liability of making products for high current application...
"Wondering if you have tried any of their speaker cables?"
- No I haven't and I can't. Because of the room design, I must stay with flat speaker cables can design. Otherwise, with the rounded body ones, they would have to be long to go thru the front wall, pass the wall templates then another set of connectors and conductors to go to the speakers; too much possiblities when testing. With my flat ones like Nordost, they can just be simply slided thru the little gaps of the front entertainment.
- I currently have the BlueJeanCable's Hdmi 1M long in my system; the Belden Series-1.It's great for its price catergory, but it's no comparasion when tested side by side with the Nordost SilverScree 2M long. The Nordost SilverScreen's body is very thick, very hard to "sneak it" around behind my system. After I tested them both intensively, both tips of the Nordost finally came loose on me.
tip of the Nordost
A few things to note if you're going to DIY your own cables, and I've found from practical experience that these tend to be fundamental and similar whether constructing an interconnect or a power cord:

- the type of metal matters (silver vs copper vs ???)
- the guage matters
- the geometry matters (twisted, braided, side by side, etc)
- the insulating material matters
- stranded vs solid vs combined matters
- the connectors matter (and more expensive doesn't mean better here)
- the method of termination matters (solder vs crimp vs both)
- break-in is real, so first impressions may not be correct
- measurements don't nearly tell the whole story, and can quite often be deceiving
- the component you use it on matters (it may be different on one than another)

All this leads me to say that the possibilities are endless, and what may work best for you in one place may not work well at all for another. In the long run, after much time and money and lots of critical listening you will probably come out with something that is reasonably good. Better yet, you will come out with an appreciation of the art/science of the thing and some knowledge and experience you can share with others.

Not an easy road, but then again, you may luck out and develop something truly special. In any case you will surely understand why some cable manufacturers charge $500+ for their cables.

From what I have researched these powercords seem to be
a very good bang-for-the-buck:

1. Audience Powerchord
2. Shunyata Taipan (If you can stand the putrid lavender ends)
3. Acoustic Zen Tsunami
4. Analysis Plus Power Oval 10

I ordered a Tsunami myself but it hasn't arrived yet.
I'd love to hear if anyone has done a shootout with these
above powercords..
Power cords are system dependent (like virtually everything in audio), and unless you happen to own the same equipment as someone who has done a shootout, their comparison may or may no apply to you.

The only way to determine what power cords work to your liking is to try as many of the possibilities as you can in your system.

You are 100% correct. Makes a lot of sense..
I have had a hard time "believing" in the power cable has sound qualities argument. With that I just installed a pair of "massive" power cables I won off ebay for $37.00 a piece/plus shipping.
These babies are massive and seem to be well constructed.
They are called "Miova" brand. I plugged them into my Acoustats and I must say I can hear a definite improvement. The already good soundstage has gotten deeper and the whole system seems to be quieter.Which leads me to the question;what am I getting,better current to the speakers(cleaner)or is it all about the shielding which is keeping my interconnects (Prosilways) from interference?

The system seems like it has more headroom which makes me feel like there is more current and or cleaner current.

I am sure that there are folks on here that can explain it so I will sit back and listen.:-)
The system seems like it has more headroom which makes me feel like there is more current and or cleaner current.

Emorrisiv (Threads | Answers)

I have heard this over and over in my system as elements have been added/replaced that lower noise floor. A lower noise floor often results in an apparently louder sound.

IMO, system noise is often misunderstood. Some people expect system noise to be an easily recognizable hiss, buzz, etc., and sometimes it is, but there is system noise that's extremely subtle and difficult to "hear". However, when this noise is reduced, the effect is a clearer musical signal, and often a perception of playing louder, because one doesn't have to turn the volume as high to discern micro details in the music.

After market power cords can lower system noise by reducing noise in the AC delivery.