I keep being reminded of how much power cords mater

I went through a major upgrade a couple years ago. I quickly upgraded my speaker cables and interconnects. But just listened for about a year. Then one by one, in absolutely no hurry adjusted my venue, and USB, power cords… etc. it seems every month I consider and optimize one thing. I know what my system sounds like.

I noticed a couple weeks ago that I still had a Cardas Clear Beyond power cord on my preamp… but that I still had the Transparent Ultra power cord I had purchased for it in my storage room. Hey, I’m 70… my memory was never good… not getting better. Cardas Clear Beyond are good… when you need a little warmth… I do not. I put the Transparent back in… A great shift in the balance, adding detail without loosing the warmth and midrange balance. A very happy and perfect adjustment. (A friend is a real Cardas fan… I had bought as an experiment, and never swithed back).

That got me thinking, what was on my Audio Research Phonostage? I looked. Turns out it was the original Audio Research cord… they are now very heavy copper with 20 amp connectors. So, I took the Cardas Clear Beyond power cord and put it on the phono stage. Wow, what an improvement. Just in case I had not recently tried a stock power cord, this reminded me why one uses high quality cords.

The power cord for my phonostage is definitely not done. I am pretty sure that a Transparent would be better on my system… but I’ll have to try it… or maybe an AudioQuest. So, my odyssey is not over. But each small change ultimately nets a better sounding system.

Looking back at all the increment changes that have mattered in the last few years… the improvements between direct lines, cables, interconnects, power cords, positioning seem to add up to as much improvement as the upgrades to all my components. But the cost of these probably only 15% of the components.


Incidentally, it's not just the pc. I've upgraded the motor controller power supply as well. Converting from AC to DC battery is huge. Turntables and phono stages are great for this because current demands are low and so something like an ordinary motorcycle battery will run a turntable for days. Connected to a AC charger, something interesting happens. The turntable is then always run off the battery, but can be run with the charger on or off or completely unplugged and disconnected. Guess which one sounds best?

So even when being run off a battery, if connected to AC then ripple or RFI or whatever junk is riding on the AC gets a free ride right across the battery. 

I upgraded my speaker wires, digital cables and power cords to my amplifier and BlueSound Node 2i.  I heard a huge difference in speaker wires but not on the power cords.  Still wonder if using a digital cable was a good idea because by doing so I lost MQA streaming Tidal.

@ghdprentice nice!!!

@millercarbon and all…I haven’t tried swapping power cords on a turntable but please help me understand how a power delivery to the turntable motor alone can make a positive change on the sound. I know everything matters and I’m willing to try this but a power cord for a turntable motor just powers the motor…it shouldn’t have any impact on sound quality unless…there’s electrical noise from the motor that travels back into your outlet or power conditioner via that cord that contaminates power for other components negatively impacting their performance(phono stage, pre, amp)…did I just answer my own question here?