Power Cord with great tone

Category: Cables

I am on a look out for a power cord which I would like to hook up on my Transport. Basically my aim is to buy the best possible power cord I can afford and place it right at the beginning of the chain so as to maximize its effect.

My chain is pretty neutral and typically the fine tuning I do at the source level finally turns out to be the flavor of the system. To this effect I want to give the best possible power cord to my source (starting with the transport).

In my priority list, the very first attribute is TONE. I am looking for a power cord with the most realistic tone. I am not really looking for a coloration here but something which does super tone in terms of realism. Vocals should sound almost in flesh and blood.

The second on my list would a quiet background without eating into the micro details. I have noticed that there is a thin line between quietness and loss of micro details. Putting it on transport I cannot afford to lose details.

The third attribute (if I can choose) would be airy and coherent soundstage.

My transport is a modded TEAC VRDS10. AFAIK it has the ability to deliver all these attributes in spades but needs suitable cabling.

My budget is $1000 max. I would look at used market in general.

My shortlists are:
- Transparent Powerlink MM
- Purist Audio Aqueous, Dominus or the 20th anniversary which ever is available in my budget

Both these cords I have shortlisted purely based on user comments. I do not have the luxury of listening to them since I stay at India where there is no "Cable Company".
I am expecting you guys to help me out here by describing your experiences with these cords so that I can take a call.

In case you would like to add to this shortlist, please feel free to do so. BTW, in the past I have heard a Yamamura Millennium 5000 power cord and with my transport it was stunning. It did everything I have on my list of priorities in the that order but unfortunately the company is no more and the cords are very rare on the used market.

Please do comment.
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Tvad, Macdadtexas, first off, apologies if I could not communicate my thoughts well. I would try to elaborate a little more:
My source is a TEAC VRDS10 + Reimyo DAP777 (TEAC is the transport)
Amplification : Symphonic line (Preamp is vacuum tube)
Speakers : ATC SCM40

The system already has plenty of all the things I have asked for (Great tone, airy stage etc) and I know they are capable of even more. Now it comes down to some fine tuning with cables. My IC and Speaker cables are doing extremely well. I am now looking at power cords.

In general I have found power cords to have equal or more effect as ICs and speaker cable to the final sound. Especially at the source. Now, every power cord is ought to bring in some characteristics to the sound. Hence, for me the characteristics I am looking at are as described in my post. First off, tonally they should do really well. I have heard many power cords which can swing the tones in a relatively less natural direction (just like ICs).
Power cords enhancing the staging and air in the presentation is also not uncommon. So on and so forth.

Hope I am a bit more clear.
I suppose the power cords I have mentioned in my first post is pretty popular, hence an opinion would really help.
I've heard a cord recently that sounds close to what you've described and the manufacturer is in London with an in home trial/money-back offer. The Robusto from Sablon Audio (sablonaudioDOTcom) is warm, rich in tone, weighty in the lower registers with a BLACK background. There are a couple of reviews which should better describe the sound. It's definately worth checking out.
You might try a used Elrod Statement. This is a very good cable, and is right at your price point.

I think you are correct in your approach. One needs to be goal directed with good ears, for your sound to evolve. I've also heard a single PC take my system to heaven or to hell.
I have had good success using power cords from PS Audio. They are well built and have some engineering behind them. Paul McGowan at PS Audio indicated to me that the most important power cord is the one going to your power center.

Option 1 (no power center) - get a duet power center and a PS Audio AC-10 power cord and run it to the Duet.

Option 2 (have a power center) - get a PS Audio AC-12 and consider running it to the power center.

Option 3 - if you have a good power center and a "killer cord" supplying it, get a PS Audio AC-10 for your source.
Hi Pani,

If it helps, here is my own personal opinion. I own Transparent REf IC/SCs and 5 PAD Dominus Ferox or Anniversary Contego PCs. However, my last 2 PC purchases were from sablon audio. i am not affiliated with Mark, but i do know him. He is a very good guy and very responsive. And super passionate about audio...almost obsessive.

My own comparison would be that the PAD is sensational for black backgrounds and a richness of sound that is truly unique. However, i was shocked (for a lot less money) to find that the Sablon Audio Robusto also had a very black background with an entirely natural but realtively more lively sound.

I think Positive Feedback did a strong, favorable right-up of the Robusto. Worth checking out. Good luck and pls keep us posted on what you end up with. if you need to get a hold of Mark, just email me. His website is sablonaudio.com
Thanks for all your responses guys. I am now spending the money to buy an AC regenerator from Monarchy Audio. I heard it at a friend's place it was a super product. The performance improvement was just unbelievable so I made up my mind to first buy one of these and then look at power cords.
Hi Pani,

Sounds like you've found a solid path...good luck and please post when you've had time to let the equipment settle in. Would be interesting to read your review.
Pani, the best power cords I have heard in my system with extended listening are the Shunyata King Cobra CX (the current version) and the Purist Audio Design Anniversary.

The PAD Anniversary is much better than the other cables I tried (Transparent, Virtual Dynamics, Stealth Dream), especially on the things that you indicated are most important to you, and the Shunyata King Cobra CX is significantly better than the PAD Anniversary.

Hope this helps. Best,
Power Cords are not in the analog music signal path and hence cannot have a tone, per se.

They can perhaps serve as a better conduit of power and current to the devices that are and hence have an effect perhaps on their sound or tone, but do not contribute any distinctly identifiable tone of their own.

Splitting hairs perhaps but useful I think to help manage expectations regarding what effect a power cord might actually have and why.
Mapman, in my observation, power cords especially on source has the highest impact on every aspect of sound compared to any other cables in the chain. I am not talking about entry level sources like the NAD, CA, Marantz stuff here. They do not carry signal but they affect the way the signal is generated, which is a more fundamental aspect than carrying a signal. I have had in the past many power cords, all of them being tried on my Reimyo DAC and the results were worlds apart from one cord to another...it was not splitting hairs, it was like even my mom in the other room could hear it. The tones went from being extremely bright to extremely dull with one change of power cord that too on just the DAC. There are many articles on the net on why a power cord makes so much of a difference, however I just go by my ears and always suggest the same to fellow audiophiles.

Your experience is consistent with mine. I agree with you without qualification.
Pani, I agree the power cord can have an impact but realize that the tone is inherent in the device (better) powered and will vary from device to device accordingly.

The cord itself has no inherent tone. The tone is a function of teh device powered and will vary with that, not the power cord used.
Mapman gets it right. Tone emanates from the device, albeit it will vary according to how it is powered.
Everytime I read a thread discussion how cords sound, my minds eye pictures people sitting around trying to hear what individual cords sound like laying in front of them on the floor. I have not spent much time doing this, but all of my cords have chosen to remain silent when not connected to a complete system.

If I've learned nothing else from this forum, I've learned that the evaluation of any single component is essentially impossible as every connected component, as well as the individual room accoustics, has a vote in the final sound of the system.

My speakers sounded wonderful in the store and even better, to my ears, at my house, but the two sounds were very different. Base on this experience, I don't see how I could ever demo a cord of any type in the store and expect a similar result at home.

Asking for online advice on how something sounds is looking for a tangible answer for an intangible characteristic it seems. Too bad it's about the only way to go unless one can afford to purchase multiples of everything.
"Asking for online advice on how something sounds is looking for a tangible answer for an intangible characteristic it seems. Too bad it's about the only way to go unless one can afford to purchase multiples of everything."

Or you can buy used at a fair price on sites like this and then resell as needed without taking a big financial hit.
Hello Mapman and others, I suppose it is a common sense that tone is a function of the device being powered and not the power cord itself. It is just audiophile language that we keep using (abusing?) to describe things. Having said all that there is still a way to describe the characteristics of a cable, in this case a power cord. For example a VHAudio Flavor4 power cord clearly sounds forward with a big bold tonal presentation. Put it anywhere in the chain and you are most likely to hear this effect. Similarly I can describe quite a few power cord's sonic character in general. Thats exactly I expected when I wrote the title of this thread.