Thoughts on Kacz's ac cord

This is Kacz's home-built, and inexpensive Romex brand 10 gauge x 3 (the third being the ground), solid core copper power cord, with very nice Leviton male plug, and I forget which female plug...........................Let me first say that the cord was too short to use in my main system with speakers, so I tried it with my HD-600's, Musical Fidelity X-Cans (and psu power supply), and the Resolution Audio CD50. The main thing I found was that it DID sound better NOT plugged into the Chang 6400 CLZ filter, which surprises me a little. I must credit Todd with this, because he said it would be this way. The large and stiff solid core conductors must have a little bit of the hf noise supression inherent in their conductors, because I don't believe Todd (Kacz) has done anything additional with the ground wire for filtering. It certainly let more of the dynamics thru (the cable's strongest trait), to plug it into the wall.............................The Sound I got in the context above: Quite dynamic, not very resolving of detail, soundstage depth and width a little constricted, not particularly adept at the "rhythm and pace" factor, tonally NEUTRAL (except for a very slight emphasis of the 4 khz presence region, evident on vocal sibilence), and perhaps a tad of a blurry sort of grain overlaying music through the whole frequency range (this didn't necessarily jump out at me, though). I compared it with three other expensive cords that I happen to be auditioning: the Shunyata Black Mamba ("original" if that has any meaning for you), the Synergistic Reference, and the ESP Essence. The "musical background" was not very quiet, and the air around instruments not very clear. The separation of instruments, and imaging specifity, were not on par with these other hundreds-of-dollars power cords. HOWEVER, this was admittedly an UNFAIR comparison, and the dynamics and "weight" of images, the decent macro dynamic contrast and bass extension, and the (mostly) tonal nuetrality of Kacz's cord, FOR THE LOW COST of the parts to assemble it, make it very interesting nonetheless. To sum up, basically it primarily only lacks the detail retrieval and the overall refinement (in all performance aspects) that you (usually) get when you pay hundreds for an AC cord. If this were the only cord I could use in my system, I would, and would likely still listen as often as I do than with the more costly choices I've made, and am making, with regards to cable choices......................I need to try a homemade cord myself, but not an ac cord. What I need is a large gauge DC cord for my X-Cans. If I like it, then I could make another one for my linestage (which only gets used for vinyl listening, currently)....but I digress.................I WELCOME THE THOUGHTS OF OTHERS WHO HAVE BUILT THEIR OWN POWER CORDS, or any cables...or even on AC cords in general.
I was recently tinkering with power cord construction after reading about using different plugs on this site: I have tried a few different power cords in the past and have never been able to tell a difference. So I have not detected any difference while just trying "one". I went to RatShack and got their shielded IC power cord and cut into it and put on the Levithon. I like to get an idea of their construction as I build my own cables. Anyway it's pretty basic construction. The wires are screwed down with a "clamping" type action with a nut and screw. Now, I couldn't readily find a IEC, let alone a high quality one. I'm sure they could be found, but all my electrical supplier had was one's the maybe cost a buck something. Wire too, seems readily available at your Home Depot stores, along with the quality plugs. ($8) Anyway, it was enough experience for me to see that some of the Power Cord manufacturers know what they're doing, and provide a quality product. So, I was doing this all prior to trying the cumulative effect of 3 BMI "Majik" cords. Now since, I hadn't noticed anything on previous experience, I pretty much didn't think there would be any. But, with my Solid State preamp, It was as much difference as a new or different preamp. And that was without the preamp even having one. 1 ea on monoblocs and one on an EAD MKII. I really "opened up" the presentation. Quieter background, and finer resolution. I am now trying the same everything with my tubed preamp and I really don't notice the change. So, for me it's been a combination. One thing is I noticed that moving things around to different outlets got rid of some noise. My stuff's nothing fancy, but it is high-end and very transparent. Since I biamp and am driving a total of 4-12" subs and 8 other high end drivers, they are exposed, and I can see how much they are all "working or moving", there's no doubt in my mind I saw them move with greater finesse and control then I had ever seen before. So, even though I didn't build a great power cord, I feel content to try a "Manufactured" power cord. It does make a difference "how" a power cord delivers to piece of electronic equipment. Again for me, it was a "cumulative" affect. I also cleaned and treated all connections and tried different outlets seperating components. For instance previously when I had the CD on in a certain plug it would add noise. But it didn't have a detachable cord. But moving its plug-in made it dead silent.
Carl, as you are wont to auditioning, let me suggest a power cord shootout. We could rig up possibly 5 or 6 homemade powercords for audition. As, in my past life I was a research scientist, matrix testing was the ONLY way to evaluate my formulations. Categories would include stranded vs large gauge(10?) solid core vs multiple smaller gauge(6 or 8 - 22ga) solid core. Also, of the latter 2 categories, there would be a copper, as well as a silver entry. Solid core wires would use teflon insulation. Perhaps, the copper used in the Kacz cord was not as high in purity as we need. I suggest a minimum of 4 - 9's for our metal. I know we can produce magic.
I have so many cables I'm trying right now, that I don't want to commit to trying anything else. I tell you what, Tre, how about this? You test one or two of these against a Synergistic Reference Master Coupler. If it beats the SR on your power amp in every performance aspect, then send it to me, and I'll try it. I've been trying power cords for months now, and feel that this SR is the one for me (for either my Krell or Rogue amps). I've not tried the Shunyata King Cobra yet, and apparently those guys that are selling them used, are asking the same price as the discounted one that they paid new, so they can go buy the new version (which is likely discounted down to what the MSRP of the original one was). And NO ONE seems to want to let me audition one of these "first generation" ones, in any case...
Carl: What your findings suggest having MIT at source .. Seems you prefer Reference MC, your second and third choices so far... My apologies for not contacting you the right way.. Big thanks
ALL OF THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION. Cabling and power cords are so system dependant (and many other factors-dependant), that I don't feel comfortable recommending powercords, per se, for specific equipment.................Anyway......For amplifiers? It's tuff to decide what I liked second best, because I had to use different ic and speaker cabling to get the most out of them. Maybe my second favorite combo on the Krell, was not using the MIT on the CD player at all. Instead, it was the Purist Audio Proteus on the CD player (still plugged into the Chang 6400), and the Shunyata Sidewinder on the Krell. These cords were such polar opposites, that they almost cancelled out the drawbacks of each, when used together. I say, almost. Another combo that might have been third, was the MIT on the CD player, and again, the Sidewinder on the Krell. Another one, the MIT again on the CD player, and the Magnan signature on the Krell...this one literally made the treble range (even though slightly forward) have about the same "ease" factor as my Rogue tube amp, with the SR Ref. It really had even more extension, and an "analog" quality that I'll never forget. But dynamics were so pinched, that I just couldn't live with it (but that was before I bought the MIT T2 speaker's possible that this ac cord combo, with the T2, would have been much better...I hear Magnan makes a cheaper version of that cord, without the filter). Anyway, Magnan's lit says it's ideally suited for CD players, and things turned horribly bright and gritty when I put it on the CD player. I DON'T ENVY YOU having to do cable comparisons, because it isn't really much fun.
Carl, I can more than empathize with your lack of time. I often wish I'd win the lottery(I don't play), just so I can dedicate myself to full time stereo fun. My next move is an interconnect shootout for my Jadis amp. Then speaker cable. I'll move on to power cable after that. I'll rig up a bunch, and compare them(along with the silver cord I'm currently using) to the SR. This will happen probably in the late fall, but I'll get to it. And I'll be around in the meantime. We may someday write the book!