I have recently been auditioning power cords myself since I have finally acheived close enough to Audio Nirvana with my 2-channel system in my dedicated listening room. Here are my results for what it is worth.
MIT Z-Cord: - You can purchase them for $50.00 @ HCM Audio
(Better than OEM cords, Quieter and Smoother sounding when used on my Amplifier, DAC, and Transport with better bass definition. Not a huge difference, but noticable)
XLO ER-10 Green Jacket Cord with updated Wattgate Ends: (This cord was a more dramatic difference and has a HUGE effect on the bass, The bass seemed deeper and more full and the midrange truly came slightly forward with nice extended highs. Not quite as smooth as the MIT but very enjoyable, not bright by any means)
Shunyata Black Mamba: My friend just purchased this cable and I will tell you that the difference I heard was huge. The bass was much like the XLO but my system gained a sense of Air and Pace I had not witnessed. However, this cable is very much on the WARM to Smooth side of the fence. I was FLOORED by this cable and it seemed to work better on my system than my friends. These results are based on using this cord with my amplifier. I am now trying it with a power strip and my DAC. If your system is already slightly veiled, I would reccomend that you look into the Viper2 by Shunyata. Apparently it is not as smooth in the top end.
Anyway, my two cents for what it is worth..
Associated Equipment for evalaution
Electrocompaniet ECI-3 AMP
Theta Digital Pro Basic II DAC
Pioneer Elite PD-65 Transport
Sonus Faber Concertino HOME on Sonus Faber Stands
XLO Reference Type 5 Speaker Wire
XLO Reference Type 1 Interconnect
AudioQuest Digital 75 Ohm Cable
This is nice 'gear' that you have, but i would look elsewhere for:..." More resolution/clarity. Presentation sounds slightly veiled". Rogue 66...perhaps the weakest link?
I don't know of a system that couldn't benefit from a power cord upgrade. However, much like ics & speaker cables they will change the overall sound. Thus, it may require some trial and error.
If I may offer a place to start there are currently a pair of BMI Eeels at auction for $400. These cables have recieved good reviews and if your not pleased I'm sure there is another gonner who would be glad to snatch them up from you.
Do you have at least two but preferably three dedicated circuits in place? I would couple that with some better power cords and a better power conditioner to obtain optimum performance.
In the past I have asked myself the same questions you are asking. In faith I added the power cords first. (no big change) Then the power conditioner (helped a little) Then the dedicated circuits with isolated grounding and dedicated neutrals. (PAY DIRT!!!) That's when the last two upgrades paid off, lowering the noise floor dramatically in addition to other positive sonic improvements.
buy fim gold ac cord,you will get what you want to get.also
1 ps audio ultimate outlet for amp.
We have been advocating for many years now that it all starts at the wall. Dedicated lines with copper ground and decent ac duplexes to begin clearing up your ac. Good quality powercords make a huge difference. Try Shunyata, Synergistic, Electraglide, Audio Magic, FIM, etc We had some customers over yesterday that were non-believers and we tried 6 different cords and they could distinguish a difference in all 6 cords. A really good line conditioner be it a Hydra, a Stealth, a used Bybee Pro, etc. will be significant. If you go in that direction the best powercord to put in your system should go to the line conditioner, then your digital and then preamp.
Small tweeks like adding really good cones under your components especially your digital will focus and tighten eveything.
Powercords will amaze you have fun!
I would not discourage you from experimenting with power cords (though I will say that the results will be very system-dependent, so don't take the above specific recommendations as gospel). But for what you say that you're still looking for in the sound, I believe you will eventually want to look at upgrading your speakers and amp/preamp setup. For the money, you undoubtedly have a nice combo. But if you want to take the next step, I'm afraid it will require a higher level of investment on these fronts. For what it's worth, when you begin, I would start with the speakers, move next to the amp, and lastly the preamp. I'm sort of in the same position myself, but aren't we all? Enjoy the madness.
Will you reach audio heaven with cords? I don't know. But as far as I'm concerned, you can't realize the true potential of the components you already have without aftermarket cords; and I own equipment which is a lot further down the food chain than yours (with the exception perhaps of that monster conditioner). Definitely start experimenting with some cords and the advice above to buy used and resell at a minimal loss if you don't like is excellent.
Yes,in part, but I suggest that you also consider replacing the Monster power conditioner with another unit that is less constrictive.
After lots of trial and error, I decided on the Harmonic Technology Pro AC-11. It's a fabulous cord and won't kill the wallet. Soundstaging expanded and bass is nice and tight. I also use a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet for my power amp only. Source components are plugged into an AC Line Conditioner.
I agree with most everyone that an aftermarket powercord WILL make a huge difference. But, be careful 'cuz there's a law of diminshing returns regarding price/performance ratio. The Harmonic Techs provide a great sound for a very reasonable price. Try 'em.
I was looking for the same improvment in my system as you are, and was asking the same question. I researched a lot of different power cords and kept seeing favorable feedback on the BMI Whale Elite MKII power cord. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I thought if it delivers what it promises, it would be worth it. I bought one and put it on my power amp, and let it burn in for 2 weeks, and to be honest, the improvment was subtle. So I tried it on my pre amp and WOW!! The improvment was dramatic. Everything got better. Bigger, more open soundstage, better imaging, and tighter bass. So, yes a good power cord does make a difference.
Hi Greh, one of the best improvements I came across was PCs.
I will never forget when I replaced 4 of my PCs with 2 Shunyata Cobra's and 2 King Cobra's. This was one of those audio memory makers. I have since found PCs that I prefer over the shunyata, but that is just a preference thing. Give it a try, you may be amazed with the results. IMO, PCs are just as important as your components. I agree 100% with SOS as to where you should start with the PCs. Remember, not all PCs are created equally. Like Zaikesman said, enjoy the madness.
I had one of Brulee's audio memory makers when I upgraded power cords a month ago. When I installed some Power 2 PCs from Virtual Dynamics, I experienced all the positive attributes you've listed. I didn't think a PC upgrade could do this, but I was wrong.
Just like anything in this hobby, it's about synergy. Absolute Power Cords have worked very well for many people here, but they didn't for me. The Virtual Dynamics completely transformed my system. I hope you find something that works for you.
I would install Acme Audio outlets prior to any power cord audition. I have these installed throughout the circuit serving my audio system. After you have broken these in try some "good" cords. Marigo, Zcable, Shunyata and TG Audio are some brands worth looking into. Zcable's "Lightning" is a very good choice for under $200. I started my PC quest with the Absolute Power Cord and enjoyed the results until some system changes were made and then the Absolutes ended up sounding too forward. I have heard the Absolutes described as too laid back, so there are obviously synergy issues involved.
I just added some power cords and conditioner to my system. I listened to several, Shunyata, Synergistic, the fishy ones (eel's, whales) whatever they are.....I decided on Custom Power Cord Company. David Blair only makes power products. His cords are a must hear!!! They rival cords at twice the price. I also purchased his Top Gun Power block-
with 4 filterd outlets(no protection) just CLEAN, Pure A/C
filtering!!!! An Absolute Sound Golden Ear for 2 years for his cords and power block.
You can call David Blair, he is a great guy to talk to.
Audio Connection in Verona, NJ and the Cable Company in PA
are Both dealers and will allow you to try first.
You will be sorry if you do not!!!!
Many many thanks to all who gave their feedback.
I of course will be purusing Audiogon for power cords.
This really is madness!
You never mentioned the manner in which you support and isolate your equipment.I admit to being biased in this area as I am a manufacturer of an isolation device but each and every sonic and musical criteria that you address is highly affected by isolation measures.Power cords will most certainly have a positive effect but unless you have provided your system with good supports, you will still be falling far short of your system's true potential.
Thanks for responding to my thread. My system is placed on A Target equipment rack which I must admit slightly shakes when I press the play button on the Cary.
My speakers are placed on Vibrapods that sit on mica board.
The rack of course needs to be upgraded.
In regards to isolation devices, I was completely sold on the Townsend seizmic sink when I auditioned it.
Because I heard a difference when I placed it under my cd player, which at that time was a Marantz 63se.
Yes, I agree with you, isolation devices do make a difference.
also consider some better line conditioning than the Monster