Power cord choice?

Hoping to change (or upgrade) my current PC in use with my ARC CD3 Mk2. Currently I'm using a Locus Designs Polestar and setting a limit $600 max. I'd like to find a cord that can get more micro details from the ARC yet, I'd like to retain the smoothness but, try to open the sound stage and get a little more bottom in doing so. I listen to Alt rock (Sir Sly, The Killers, Gargage), rock, blues using Classe CAP 151 integrated and Apogee Slant 6s. I know this is subjective but, I'm also doing my best to work with my budget constraints and I'm not going to change if the improvement would just be slightly incremental. I'd like suggestions to consider, please.
I'm sure I'll take some heat for this post but I'll say it anyway.  The power to your equipment travels miles from the source to your home.  Through your main panel and walls to the final outlet.  Your amp and/or power conditioners are designed to take the raw power, filter it, clean it, do all the other magic and then send the signal to your speakers.  How do we believe a 3 foot piece of cable, from the wall socket to the amp is going to change the sound coming out of the speakers?  I've been down this rabbit hole.  From the stock cable the amp came with, to a $300 dollar upgrade, to a $1500 Furutech with Carbon Fiber connectors.  Can hear no difference in the music between the three.  I believe confirmation bias accounts for the difference some people hear.  I believe it sounds different, therefore it sounds different.  Kraft must sponsor a lot of the advertising as this hobby drinks a lot of Kool-Aid.  This may only be my opinion, but that's the beauty of a discussion.  My opinion is just as valid as the next.  
Power cables as a tone control and music genre specific-? 

Good luck with that.

Better to just buy a few with a return policy, and you're just out shipping. Asking on a thread will just increase your A.N.
I have all ARC equipment (click on my user name to see my systems). I prefer Transparent interconnects and power cords. You want interconnects and power cords to do no tonal changes to the ARC signal. I have found Transparent best for that. I am not alone… it is a “known” synergistic association.

Shunyada has a good discussion of why the “last few feet shouldn’t matter argument” does not work. But logical arguments don’t really matter, when you change the PC and the sound dramatically changes… you just have to throw the argument out the window because it doesn’t explain reality. 
Sounds like a big waste of money.  I would add a power conditioner before I wasted $600 on a power cord.  
bigtwin, why are two opposing cylinders a good idea? Taking the heat?  It may be better to have one larger one, or instead four. Or watercooling is the only way. The Kool-Aid work's best with high percentage of Vodka. I celebrate that I can poop on your opinion, also. Seriously, there are MANY personal experiences of trusted, or respected members accounts here resulting in much "perceived" improvements in the addition of such upgrades. Your experience did not pan(head) out, vive la difference. 
@isochronism   Kudos to you sir for recognizing the reference of bigtwin.  So few do.  As I stated previously, your opinion is just as valid as mine.  I only state the facts of personal experience.  Upgrading cables has made little to no difference.  And clearly I am not alone in this camp any more that you are in yours.  We should all endeavor to persevere in the search for an improved Hi Fi experience.   
Big Twin: just curious, what power cords did you try, and in what equipment? Thank you 
Better to just buy a few with a return policy, and you're just out shipping.
Big +1.  I’d recommend trying Triode Wire Labs, Underwood/Core Power, Audio Envy, Cullen, Raven, and the Zavfino mentioned above by @lalitk also looks very intriguing.  Best of luck. 

bigtwin, I agree with you fully. Btw, I own a twin Ducati, never ridden, but look's nice on display. Harley's are legendary! Good to have you aboard here. 👍
@thyname  I use a Furman P2400 IT conditioner, Hegel 590 integrated Amp, Acoustic Zen Crescendo Mark II (also Goldenear Triton Reference), Thorens turntable with MC cartridge, Vertere phono preamp XLO Signature 3 speaker cables.  Quality interconnects.  What I would call a decent system that scratches the surface of true high fidelity.  My first PC upgrade from the stock cable was from Gutwire.  Then I moved to the current Furutech.  Have no plans to try more cables in the future.  I agree that switching from a really cheap cable, that starves your amp of the current it needs, to a decent 12 gauge wire in the $100 - $300 range would probably benefit your system.  If nothing else, getting rid of the hum from an underpowered amp.  But past that I believe in the law of diminishing returns.  Reading about a PC where the manufacturer uses six9 copper, I get it, and then cryogenically freezes the wire?  Now I understand that copper may have different/better transmission properties at extremely low temps, but my air conditioner just doesn't get my sound room down to -175 degrees.  And I question if anys gains realized at those temps doesn't disappear when the wire returns to normal room temp?  And riddle me this one.  The finest made, $10,000 PC should claim to pass the current through it and add nothing to it?  I haven't read anywhere that the PC has filtering properties?  If this is the case, then any noise or interference that is inherent in the home power source should get passed right through the PC?  Common sense tells me to use a decent cable to deliver power to the conditioner.  My personal experience, and let me stress it's my experience, that upgrading the PC has not enhanced what comes out of my speakers.  Heck, I want to be a believer, I want to hear the magic, but that simply has not been the case.  If the holy grail of cables may in fact be out there, but my money will be spent on more tangible results.   
Well, what can I say, you tried, power cords did nothing for you. I am surprised, but it is what it is. We all hear (or don’t) differently. It appears you appreciate the cables in general. I used to own XLO (Signature and Reference) many years ago. Oldie but goodie for sure. Enjoy the music and good audio, whatever path you choose to get there does not matter 
You could keep the Polestar and simply upgrade the plugs.  I checked another post from you and it looks like those power cords use the Oyaide 029.  Going to the 046 or 004 should increase detail and improve the soundstaging.  I think the 004 is the more dynamic of the plugs though it is also the more likely to become aggressive sounding in the wrong system.  Still, either should be a rather obvious improvement and fairly cost effective.  Another great plug option coinciding with your indicated preferences would be the IeGO 8095.  I've tried several other IeGO plugs and the 8095 is in another league altogether.  

I’ve experimented with Audioquest and Pangea power cables of various flavors on my Bryston B60R Integrated Amp and it doesn’t care what I feed it with. When I think of the cheap service panel, circuit breakers and Romex cable to the outlets, it’s unreasonable to think that 5-6 feet of expensive power cables is going to make a significant difference. Bryston and Pass have long-maintained that there is NO benefit in replacing the stock power cables with "boutique" ones. Perhaps the robust design of the power supplies in Bryston and Pass equipment explains their indifference.
You guys keep posting about the “last 5-6’ of expensive power cords” at the end of miles of Romex. That’s a huge misconception, and wrong.

Perhaps confirmation bias? You know, that works both ways.


Misconception #1: AC Power is like water coming from a large power tank, flowing through several 10s of feet of power hose into a component. This implies that the component is at the end of this system.

Answer: “Actually, the component sits between two power conductors: the hot and the neutral. AC power oscillates (alternates) back and forth at a 50-60 Hz rate. So power does not pour into the component at all. The component's power supply is within a complex network of wires and connectors. ALL of the wire and connectors can and do affect the performance of the component's power supply.”

Misconception #2: AC power can be contaminated just like water in a hose. This implies that once the water is contaminated at some point up stream, that is must be cleansed before it arrives at the audio component.

Answer: “As stated in #1, the component is not at the end of the power hose. It is between two power hoses and the current is oscillating back and forth. Further, current is not like water at all. Electrons cannot be contaminated. There are two aspects to power transmission: the electromagnetic wave and the current flow. The current itself cannot be contaminated but the electromagnetic wave can be modulated with other frequencies. We usually call these other frequencies noise or Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). Within the various parts of a power circuit there may be EMI in certain parts that is not present in others. Electromagnetic energy can be transformed or redirected to lessen their effects.

"Some power cords use capacitors, inductors, or ferrites in an attempt to control the electromagnetic fields around the audio component. The success of such an approach is completely dependent upon the specific design and the reactance of the power supply of the component to which the power cable is attached.”

Misconception #3: There is up to a hundred feet of wire in the walls, so the last 6 feet of power cord can't possibly make any difference.

Answer: “The power cord is not the last 6 feet, it is the first 6 feet from the perspective of the component. As stated in #1 the local current and electromagnetic effects directly affect the sonic performance of the component.”

@turnbowm  My Furman power conditioner, weighing in at 100 pounds, has a huge storage of power to meet any demand from my amp.  It contains all the circuity to filter, balance and isolate every outlet to prevent ground loops. (I hope I'm using all the right terminology).  Not sure what the PC brings to the table.  As asked before, does any manufacturer of PCs claim their product "cleans" the power source?  If not, is the best PC in the world not simply passing through all the problems inherent the average home power supply?  

A good power conditioner does far more to improve sound than an expensive power cable. The Furman Elite/Reference and Audioquest Niagra 3000 (and above) are good examples. 

A good power conditioner may improve the sound of your system, it may not… it may have a negative impact. As is nearly always the answer, it depends. It will depend on your power grid and system. Some people do best without. Just to retest mine, I took mine out and used a Cardas power distributor…only took a couple minutes to put my power conditioner back in. 

515 posts
07-24-2021 4:40pm
"A good power conditioner may improve the sound of your system, it may not… it may have a negative impact. As is nearly always the answer, it depends. It will depend on your power grid and system. Some people do best without. Just to retest mine, I took mine out and used a Cardas power distributor…only took a couple minutes to put my power conditioner back in."

If a power conditioner has a negative effect on sound. then it's not a GOOD one. An example would be a series-mode surge suppression/conditioner that doesn't use Power Factor (energy reserve) technology. The result would be reduced dynamics and bass impact due to dynamic current-starving of a power amp.
I’ve always made my own; using 16/3 old-fashion style fabric covered cable, hospital grade plugs & locking IEC  connectors. While I’ll readily admit I can’t hear any differences between mine and the stock ones; mine definitely are a lot more attractive!  And the materials are quite reasonable in cost. 
Signal Projects power cables are relatively unknown but are very impressive in terms of performance. I just got their Atlantis power cable and I was actually very surprised how much tighter and detailed all genres sounded. Soundstage was also noticeably better.
Signal Projects also service a very wide price range with all of their different families. For your budget I would go with either the Monitor or the Lynx power cables.
I tried different PC, didn't here anything earth shattering. The most expensive being synergetics blue. I then tried audio quest tornado and monsoon. Kept the monsoons for my 3 Amplifier's. They fit the best in my Parasound amps. All other PC are audio quest paid for with points from Amazon. 
I would try an audio magic power cord they are incredible on source components.
You guys are all wrong. Watch this video from an electrical engineer/musician. It’s solves the battle

@thyname, you got any ranch dressing for that word salad?  Those quotes are complete and utter nonsense.  And that bit about the PC being the first 3 feet as seen by the component is classic slick advertising.

I can send you a "Noteworthy Acoustics" PC that will likely exceed your expectations. These use high quality Furutech connectors as well as passive filtering in the sheathing (via various compounds) to reduce static electricity & RFI/EFI issues. MSRP is $800 but if interested, will send you a 6' PC for $600. If it doesn't meet your expectations, send it back within 45 days for a full refund. 

Disclaimer: I'm the owner of "Noteworthy Acoustics" 

Best Regards  
Raysmtb, thanks for the link above to the youtube video. That was interesting.  

Tim of Noteworthy is a great guy. @slaw has direct critical listening experience with his cables. 
I’ve listened to many different power cords in my system and yes they sound different with everything else being the same. Get a few and try them out. The most expensive ones don’t always win either, but your brain may convince your ears otherwise. 
Thanks Jim. 

I do not have a website yet (but am working on that with a website designer) & yes, you can have the same deal. Thanks for asking. 

Signal Projects power cables are relatively unknown but are very impressive in terms of performance. I just got their Atlantis power cable and I was actually very surprised how much tighter and detailed all genres sounded. Soundstage was also noticeably better.

I am also looking at Signal projects.  May I ask what cable you replaced to get the improvement from the Atlantis?

Virtual Dynamics Power Three will bring you in under budget at $250-$300

You can thank me later.
I bought speaker cables and IC from Triode Wire Labs and I am going to buy PCs from them, just need to save some... Ask the owner, he is a trustworthy real life down to earth expert. But I guess there are a few more. I would advice you to "buy the seller" not the product. 
Hi bigtwin
Well said and you are absolutely correct.
You've done my job for me.  I've replied to all power cord posts with what you say, namely electricity travels miles down cables and wires that don't belong to us and we cannot influence and some fools say that changing the last few feet can somehow clean up all the mess that lies before.

Hi thyname.  The first shall be last.  You're turning the world upside down just to try to evidence your misguided theories.  Of course there are two wires and they both come from the power station.

As for the plug pluggers and the fuse fiddlers, words fail....
You didn't really mention this but...are you already using an outboard DAC for your ARC CD3?  If not, the addition of a good outboard DAC is going to make a lot more difference in the sound profile than changing the power cord.  (And no, I'm not a PC naysayer; I've got my share of aftermarket PCs.)
I like to see new ones in the power cables battlefield. Still what connects to the power supply of a component is the starting point and not the finishing line.
You start from there and go all the way up to distribution panel. Simple. 
There is repeated testimony that power cables can (not must) make a difference. The theory that *everyone* who claims to hear a difference is having placebo effect, a shill, not listening carefully is more dubitable than the claims for power cables. 

If I compare two theories and one is less fantastical, that's the one worth investigating. The "power cables can make a difference" theory is less fantastical than the "everyone is duped" theory. 

It is standard for old theories to find themselves tested by new phenomena which cannot be explained. That's why the sun is at the center of the solar system, and not the earth. 
Nordost blue heaven 1 meter power cord at 250 bucks is a very well made power cord, and for not a ton of money. 
Triode Wire Labs make great cables at reasonable prices. Maybe contact Pete and ask his opinion.
Pete uses very good connectors and his wiring is very good as well.

A CD player has a constant (low)current so you don't need a cable that can deal with high current transient spikes.

A Straight Wire Black Thunder II would also be a good choice and is around $500 I believe for a 1.5m length.
Power cords are really pretty simple.
They are filters.  If you can't hear any difference between power cords, you either are 1) blessed with pristine power, due principally to your location in the world, or 2) are cursed with some component(s) in your stereo that is such an underperformer that it masks the improvement the power cord brings.
I just switched from a $160 Pangea power cord on my Innuos Zen Mk III streamer to a $260 GR Research cord.  At first, I was shocked.  The soundstage collapsed from wider and deeper than my room to about 3' wide!  It sounded like the music was in a tunnel.  About 2 hours later (I'd left it playing), I was shocked again.  The soundstage was back to it's original size and I suddenly had the most dynamic and tightly controlled bass I'd ever heard.  It was not subtle.  Better than much more expensive systems I've heard elsewhere.  I couldn't stop listening for hours.

GR Researches power cords are returnable for a full refund for 30 days.
I haven't noticed any difference in my system. I did go with a power conditioner but the pcs did not appear to add or remove anything after that. I continued to replace the stock pcs with fancy ones but just to pimp the system a bit.

If you are curious about a new power conditioner, take a look at PI Audio's UberBuss. Very reasonably priced and as good or better as much more expensive PWC's.

Also, the power cable to the power conditioner is the most important PC in the chain.

If you are able to get a 20A or 30A dedicated line installed from your breaker box to your equipment receptacle, you will notice a big sonic improvement.

Being conditioned to first check Amazon for what they offer in terms of brands, I recently searched for power cables. I had just come from a showroom demo of McIntosh offerings, which included an unexpected, eye-opening demonstration of why they were using a $1,000 power cable. I had never heard or even seen a modern McIntosh component and was impressed by the beautiful power cable I assumed was native to McIntosh. I learned it was a special cable because it "sounded better". I was a bit put off that I was potentially not hearing the true sound of what I was there to purchase, the MA-9000. It still bothers me a bit that maybe it’s assumed at this level(?) that you either already have a "worthy" power cable will be leaving with the cabling heard in the sound room. Anyway, I asked that the stock cord be fetched so I could AB them. In the end I was shocked, awed, educated and disappointed. Yes, disappointed. I now had to have worthy cable. After all, we all want perfection, right? We all want to not be responsible for holding back our big investments, right? It’s how I’m built, so I was off to Amazon. The MA-9000 was home and needed to "properly" tap the wall. It took two days of endless research and I decided to roll the dice on the following:


I was sold on the image of how the cable is built / shielded, especially vs so many others. I have zero affiliation with Viborg or any other company in this industry. I’m simply a noob audiophile who recently dove into the hifi waters.

Realizing I’ve written a wall of text, I’ll cut to the chase. The difference at my home between the stock cord and this were exponentially more significant than the store demo. The difference was not eye-opening, it was jaw-dropping in terms of better dynamics, power, volume and detail. It’s something I now show friends and I love seeing their reaction! This is the best purchase I’ve made for so little money. I do not need to hear another cable because I’m happy.

The moral here is not to get a Viborg, but to test the waters before you spend big. There are diamonds in the rough. Best of luck.

I just looked at the website. That is beautiful equipment. Thanks for turning me on to PI. Currently I'm still using a Niagara 1200 which was definitely needed in the condo setup. I went with the AudioQuest NRG-Z3 for the wall-to-device cord. When I started replacing the stock pcs, the dealer recommended Nordost Red Dawn. I could not detect a difference.  I'm not saying there wasn't a difference but if there was, I could not hear it. If I'm being honest, I just liked the look of the Red Dawns so one by one I replaced the stock pcs. I do have a house I'm going to remodel and I plan on installing a dedicated 20a circuit in the the hi fi room. I upgrade to the PI after all. Thanks vinylshadow

My recommendation would be a Puritan PSM156 power conditioner. $2300 sound like a lot. If I had a $500 system today I would buy this power conditioner knowing what I know. It is that good. I would like to know which piece of equipment you are putting this one PC on. Also what are the models of the rest of your gear. I am a music audiophile but more importantly an equipment or gear audiophile. So I have heard the differences in several cables. If your system is not resolving enough you may not hear the difference or you need to correct the power from the wall first. Just add better ground rods (2) 8’ deep to your main breaker box will go really far. That panel and system is designed for your A/C, dryer, oven. Not your audio gear. Also, get you line going to your gear off your A/C phase or your refrigerator. It does make a difference. For what your asking out of the blue is a Nordost Blue Heaven. This is under $400. Even on my Denon surround receiver it took it to another level. If this is an amplifier go with Nordost Red Dawn and Blue Heaven on everything else. If you get a little more money in your budget go with Straightwire Black Thunder or even better Pro Thunder on the amp or preamp. Then Blue Heaven on the rest. On an amp you really need AWG of at least 14 AWG. Otherwise it’s like trying to run a marathon while breathing through a straw. If it’s an integrated go with the Black Thunder. If you have a CD player, DAC streamer that sounds a little too digital or a class D amp that is a little too dry go with the Puritan Classic plus. Really nice cable for $240 that really expands the decay. If you are in the Chicagoland area this store is a dealer:
They let you try before you buy. I have several types of systems in my house so yes, I have tested all of this and I have a really good ear. I hope this helped. There are dealers all over the world for all of these products. 
I enjoyed @thyname ‘s post. I’ve thought for a while about how plumbing and electrical wiring are different. This explains why. Thank you!