High end power cords do make a difference!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Tom Littlefield, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. LeeS

    LeeS Audio Research Fan


    I have some recommendations:

    On the more affordable end, I have found Triode Wire Labs and Shunyata Venom are fantastic.

    On the more expensive end, I have found Shunyata Alpha and Synergistic Atmosphere Level 4 are fantastic.

    As for power outlets, nothing has beaten the Furutech NCF and Synergistic Black outlets. In my own systems, the NCF has better bass but the SR is more open and clean sounding.
    Slippers-on likes this.
  2. LeeS

    LeeS Audio Research Fan

    One thing to keep in mind. Most of the upper end power cords now include true power filtration so the price of that does explain some of these high prices out there.
  3. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    Not to get off the main topic, but the transformers where I live, usually serve at least a dozen homes, sometimes a few dozen. So when my neighbors A/C fires up, I can see my lights fluctuate a bit.
    As far as isolation goes, we had an electrical "mishap" a while back at a sub station, few miles away, and Yes, it did create audible and electrical noise not only on my system, but also made the electric flash on and off multiple times in a short amount of time.

    I do believe in using good power cords, but also at the same time, think the whole chain supplying electric can create electrical and audible issues, transfomers or not.
    mando_dan likes this.
  4. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Active Member Thread Starter

    New Hampshire, USA
    And from what I have read the longer the cable the better the filtration characteristics.
    Linger63 likes this.
  5. Matt R.

    Matt R. Member

    I got a killer seal on a Shunyata ps8 and some venom 3 cables. I have been very happy with the investment.
    Dave likes this.
  6. LeeS

    LeeS Audio Research Fan

    That was my first love in ac cords. Still using the PS8/Defender combo in the headphone rig.
  7. Jvalvano

    Jvalvano Forum Resident

    I usually stay out of power cord discussions because they usually turn nasty. Maybe this one will be different.

    A few years back my wife gave me a Nordost Heimdell power cable for Christmas, out of the blue. Not something I hinted or begged santa for. ;) She talked with a friend who owns a local high end shop and she surprised me. I've known the owner for 20yrs. He knows my system. I put it on my integrated amp from the power regenerator I use. It was pretty amazing. I then ran into my friend/owner of stereo store at the symphony. I thanked him for helping my wife and told him I'd never spend that kind of money (I think $500) on a power cord but it was pretty amazing so I'm not sending it back. ;) He then told me to use it going from the wall outlet into the power regenerator. I told him that didn't make any sense since the regenerator is suppose to clean up the power. He said just try it and see what happens. I did, and it was a jaw dropping difference. I have no idea why it would make such a transformative difference but it did.

    That's my power cord experience. My personal price limit is usually in the $100 range for a power cable. Just something to have fun with and not go crazy. This Nordost cable was a pleasant surprise and not something I would have purchased for myself. :cheers:
    jea48, timind, scobb and 4 others like this.
  8. tootull

    tootull John Norman


    FLEMKE Forum Resident

    Power cables work even better with dedicated outlets. I have a big screen TV with the standard outlet and then a dedicated outlet next to it. By simply comparing a DVD menu from one outlet to the other, you can actually see the difference.
    Lonson and Dave like this.
  10. Higlander

    Higlander Well-Known Member

    "A speaker cable conducts an audio signal from the power amplifier to the speaker. The distance is quite small, on the order of a couple of feet to several feet. The quality of a speaker cable is determined by how well it can transmit the signal from the amplifier to the speaker without alteration.

    "A power cable on the other hand is not transmitting a signal. It is conducting A.C. power and its sonic superiority will be determined by its ability to deliver current (steady-state and instantaneous) and its ability to deal with the EMI effects of the components to which it is attached.

    Oddly enough they do not consider an audio signal A.C. Very oddly worded at the least.
    showtaper likes this.
  11. gov

    gov Active Member

    Some mentioned here are on the high end...has anyone tried those Pangea ones in the audio advisor catalog?
  12. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    Power upgrades, cable or receptacle, are cumulative. The regenerator is a component just like any other in your system.The beauty of placing the best cord (if you only have one) on the regenerator is that, as opposed to getting the maximum benefit out of one component in the system, you get a cumulative benefit out of multiple components that you have plugged into the regenerator, or conditioner, or power distribution block if it is of decent quality.

    So it usually makes sense to plug the best cord, especially if it is light years ahead of other power cords in your system, or you are using stock cords elsewhere, into the wall feeding a regenerator, conditioner or decent quality power distribution unit. Then improve the other cords feeding components upstream.

    Same with receptacles: start at the wall feeding the conditioner or regenerator feeding a large number of components in your system if it is configured that way. Then upgrade receptacles in your conditioner or power distribution unit.

    Yes, power cables can make a very significant difference. You don't necessarily have to spend a truckload of money though. In the end, after a fair bit of experimentation with power cords in the $250-$500 range many years ago, I settled on DIY cords using raw DH Labs Power Plus and Marinco connectors, which I had cryogenically treated after assembling them, on all of my components, including conditioner. They cost about $75-$80 each at the time including the treatment and I felt they outperformed the other commercial designs I compared them to. Is there better out there? I'm sure there is, but at a price.

    Every once in a while I think about improving the connectors on those power cables but I just have not gotten around to it. I'm sure there's more improvement available at a not outrageous cost with higher quality male & IEC connections.
    jea48, Jvalvano, AmericanHIFI and 2 others like this.
  13. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Time to trot out my old story about a power cable. :)

    There was a local shop that I visited a few times (now sadly gone) and my two strongest memories are 1) hearing Tannoy Prestige speakers for the first time ever with a low watt tube amp from China (I've no idea what brand it was) - amazing sound! and 2) a standard power cable that they lent me, the kind you can buy for $10.00 or so but they replaced one end (male, IIRC) with a Furutech connector that cost maybe $50.00. All estimated prices Canadian. :D

    I was impressed with the difference in sound, lower noise floor, clearer music reproduction, etc. And the only thing they changed was one end of the power cord.

    IMHO the connectors are just as important - or perhaps more important - than the actual wire.

    What do you have now?
    jfeldt, Randoms and Dreams266 like this.
  14. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    I have a Pangea AC-9 and two AC-14s. The AC-9 is very thick and does not bend well at all. It was originally intended for my power amp, but it strained the socket on the gear. I use it to connect my Richard Greys Power Company 400S instead now as there was less of a bend, and the power supply should have a beefy AC cord anyway. The “9” is said to be close to an 8 or even 7 gauge in reality.

    The two AC-14s power my power amp and my preamp (both tubed). Even the 14 is much thicker than any stock AC cable.

    They sound good. Is it a huge difference? I’d say perhaps less on my tubed gear than on a solid state amp or a digital source. The tubed amps have massive power supplies, and they seem less succeptible to power issues than solid state. When I connected my digital source gear to the Richard Grey, that was the biggest difference I have ever heard from any power product. It was a “holy cow” kind of moment. So much more detail and impact. Never expected that.

    Anyone have any experience with the (Paul Spelz) Anticable AC cables? I saw them at the NY Audio show this past weekend and they looked to be well made. The top line Level 3 supposedly uses three #8 gauge solid copper wires, which is pretty massive.
  15. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Greater Vancouver
    :laugh: So now it comes out why you asked me about Furutech years ago.
    Gary likes this.
  16. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    Interesting how Audio Advisor has gone "all in" for Pangea - originally they had the one power cord, and now they seem to have everything, from outlets to interconnects. On every page is an ad for something from Pangea. Makes you wonder what Audio Advisor's stake in Pangea is.
  17. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    I'm terminated with Marinco male and IEC. Same product as Wattgate but less money. Spread in price is not as big now as when I built my cords.

    Furutech makes some very good products. And they cryo everything. It's not the only reason their products sound as good as they do, but it sure helps.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    Gary likes this.
  18. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    That must make for a very limited selection of compatible songs! :D
    Higlander and Pastafarian like this.
  19. gov

    gov Active Member

    Stones did just fine with one less ;)
    timind and Strat-Mangler like this.
  20. bdfin

    bdfin Active Member

    Washington State
    I've got an Pangea AC-9 and the smaller AC 14. I use the AC-9 going to Marantz receiver and the AC14 to the Oppo 103. I didn't notice much if anything on the change on the Oppo, but I did notice the change
    on the power cable to the receiver. It wasn't night and day, but I could easily tell a positive difference....and I think worth the 90.00-100.00 bucks I spent on it. It may not equal to some of the higher end cables mentioned in this thread but....it did make a difference.
  21. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    CT, USA
    I have no idea what brand sounds best. Being a DIY guy I used a length of Belden 29523C and end devices from ZuAudio. The wire is 10/3 heavily shielded. The shield is joined at the wall plug side only to the plug ground. I used it on my Bryston 300w/chn amp. The sound seems improved to both me and my wife (Her ears are better than mine). How improved..hard to say we think things just sound more musical and pleasing.
    Higlander, Riotvan and timind like this.
  22. thxdave

    thxdave Well-Known Member

    So what options do I have available on my old Marantz receiver which predates IEC sockets by quite a bit.
  23. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    I assume that it is actually their "house brand," a product that they make or have made for them.
  24. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    I agree - I am just being silly.
  25. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood New Member


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