AC Power Cords

Dear TAS,

I need an advice on AC Power Cords.

I've been introduced to the concept of changing AC power cords improves sound. Even though I couldn't wrap my head around it at first because I could make myself believe that Hi-End audio manufacturers with a very good reputation will cheapen out on the something like this. Anyway, after trying it out for myself (i put the power cords in my CD and Amps) I did find that it improves sound so no the question is do I change the AC power cord on the every electrical equipment in my Audio chain? I asked my dealer and he said yes, but I'm skeptical because he might just want to sell me more power cord, so I'm asking for your opinion (a very well-informed and trustworthy source in my personal opinion).

I have the following equipment that the dealer says needs to get an AC power cord upgrade.

1) Subwoofer

2) Line Conditioner

My question is should I upgrade? Will I really get that much better sound from the Sub with an AC power cord upgrade? 

My second question I have a hard time believing. The whole point and the sole purpose of buying a 1,000 dollar Line Conditioner is to make the power more stable and more clean so you would assume that they would do everything necessary to give you the best and cleanest power to your electronics (Don't forget that this is already an upgrade dealing with power issues) no I got to upgrade power AC cords to the Line Conditioner which is an upgrade in the first place? What the hell?

Your answer would be highly appreciated.


3 Answers

  • I would advise some A/B listening.

    Try substituting power cords on the sub and line conditioner.

    If you hear a difference, fine. If you don't hear a difference then you can keep using the less expensive AC cables.

    If you hear a difference with known A/B tests, invite someone else to either switch (or not switch) the cables while you do the listening. Still hear a difference? Then you need the better cables...

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  • I can add my own experience to this thread.  I purchased a power cord for my integrated amp.  When i came home that night, I listened to the amp with the stock cord and then changed to the new one.  However, just as I sat down, I realized that I left the sub-woofer on.  I didn't intend to do that because I wanted to evaluate the amp without the sub in the chain.  But when I got up to turn off the sub, I found that it wasn't turned on.

    That new power cord gave my amp a good 1/2 to a whole octave of more bass than i got with the stock cord.  Also, in listening to more music. I realized that the cymbals on Elvin Jones' drum set were much more defined and prominent in the mix.  I was surprised by the extra bass, but i was shocked by the more prominent cymbals.  Don't ask me why, but I really didn't expect better sound at that end of the sound spectrum.

     I'm convinced!

    By-the-bye, the album was McCoy Tyner's Trident (McCoy on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums) and the power cord was the Synergistic Research Basik cable.  I can highly recommend both!

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  • A couple of months ago I thought as you did and was quite skeptical of replacing the power cords. However, after going to the Nordost room at RMAF and seeing the power cord demonstration I became a believer. Upon my return, and on the advice of my dealer,  I replaced the power cords on the amp, preamp and, yes, the cord for the power conditioner. The logic here (I'm told) is that the conditioner can better function if it receives the best line power possible. For these three components I used Nordost Valhalla Reference Power Cords. I also changed out the music server, DAC and a qol Signal Completion Stage with Nordost Frey 2 Power Cords. For the Blu Ray / SACD player I used a Nordost Heimdall II cord. The first time I played the system after replacing the cords I could not believe the difference in sound. The bass was the most dramatic improvement. But overall the difference was profound. And now a few weeks later the sound has improved yet again. I can only attribute this to the power cords breaking in- if power cords even break in.  In any event I am now a firm believer in replacing power cords. I'd also suggest that if you do look at making these changes that you spend your money on the main components. One of which, in my opinion, should absolutely be the power conditioner. The only component I have not considered is my turntable. The power cord here is just controlling a motor and a reference cord should not make any sonic difference. Some may disagree on that point but that is how I see it. Obviously you can easily have a different result than I had, but I suggest taking Steven's advice and at least give it a try. I think you will find that better power cords will give a welcomed improvement. 

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