Recommend me some Hi-End Power Cords, USB and IC’s.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by fish, Oct 16, 2021.

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  1. fish

    fish Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, USA
    I know im not the only one that hears the differences in power cords.

    I honestly believe that they make the most difference in a HiFi, always blows me away when I get a chance to listen to a few in a resolving system.

    I really don’t know why but the differences that cable make is extraordinary!

    Ive been using Harmonic Tech AC-10 cords for years now, (4) 6 footers. I also still have a Kimber PK-10 Gold at 9 feet and (2) Igor Kuznetsoff's K Works power cords. They were all in an older system and don’t really fit into the new gear well enough. Doesn’t sound its best.

    So I lent a fellow Audiophiliac buddy my DAC to listen to for a while. I then got an opportunity to hear it in his very resolving system (magnepan 3.6r, mcIntosh MC402, Ayre, PS Audio….) He used all my cables at first; MIT S2 ICs (rca), Harmonic Tech PC, AQ Carbon USB to his Mac mini and BHK Preamp.

    It was rather good but not Nearly as good as his DAC I know well. Then he swaps out MY cables for his and i was just BLOWN AWAY! It didn’t sound like the same DAC. it actually sounded allot like his Ayre DAC. He said he was so pleased with My DAC that he could be happy with it if he owned it. We then tried an ARES Ii and in NO way did the DAC sound as good, and the very best cables we had didn’t make much of a different after a certain point. We had many to listen too from cheap too expensive. The ARES capped out while the other DACs just continued to get better and better as the cables rolled.


    Everything matters! Every cable sounds different. Every fuse sounds different. Every piece of wire sounds different. Outlets, Breakers… i don’t really know why, but they do! And I don’t know where you draw the Line!! I really don’t know.

    Your cables are just as important as your components!

    Im looking for recommendations for Great Sounding cables you fellow Audiophiliac’s have heard or auditioned. Tell me why you liked or disliked them.

    USB Cables
    Digital Power Cords
    Class-D Amp Power Cords

    Used or New no higher than $600…maybe $800 if stelar good.

    The reason I set that price is because the USB cable I liked the best was $1200 and the Power Cord I Loved was almost $2000. Just too much for me right now. So I guess thats where I have drawn a line but its grey.

    My old Harmonic Tech power cords sound good, Rich Bass and have lasted through lots of gear over a decade or more. $300-$500 each over 16 years ago.

    My old MIT S2 single-ended ICs have the same story to tell, many years and still good but not appropriate for this newer system, too fat and loose.

    The Audio Quest Carbon USB is sharp and transparent but lean and not musical. I listened to a DH Labs USB Diamond and it was more musical but not particularly transparent or detailed.
    A Purist Audio I heard was just Amazing! it did it all very well! Deep, tight bass. Very transparent, focused images. Blew me away!! Just a stupid USB cable and it made that much of a difference. Try throwing in a stock computer USB cable and in comparison it sounds dull, lifeless and lean. Horrible!

    And why are they expensive? because someone had to find it. People had to listen to hundreds of different wires and make something that was actually superior than most others. Thats why! Jewelry? Not really, most of these hi-end cables are rather ugly and i prefer simple and black but whatever it looks like is fine. I don’t listen with my eyes.

    :hide:
     
    RayMusicLover, bever70, Tim 2 and 2 others like this.
  2. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    Why not use the power cord that came with the component ?
     
  3. TEA FOR ONE

    TEA FOR ONE Listening to the world one note at a time

    Location:
    Rochester,NY
    I recently purchased a used preamp,and the owner graciously included a Morrow Audio MAP4 PC. I haven’t used it for the pre,(I’m currently using an older Virtual Dynamics Testament 2) however,I am using the Morrow on my DAC in my secondary system with wonderful results. I’m on vacation for the next 2 weeks,and one thing I’m going to do is swap PCs for my DACs. In my primary system I’m using an Anticable Level 3. It should be an interesting comparison. I’ve had great success with Morrow,Anticable,and also Virtual Dynamics. I do not use any usb cables,so I have nothing for you there.
     
  4. Jim Hodgson

    Jim Hodgson Galvanically Isolated in Greenpoint

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    OK, I definitely draw the line earlier than this :p … even though I’m a cable believer. (Although “belief” actually has nothing to do with it, right? If you’ve heard it, experienced it, this is something you know as fact. Regrets to anyone who’s not there.)

    IMO, our best cable minds—Bob Crump (for power and analog) and Lee Weiland (for digital)—have departed (RIP). But, their cables live on, even if they’ve become desperately hard to find.

    Other than that, here are a few FWIWs:

    • I think the introduction, and then refinement, of the OCC process has been revolutionary.

    • I think silver is best if your system can tolerate it.

    • I think NeoTech deserves a lot of attention. (And so do your favorite “cable manufacturers.”)

    • I think digital cabling is still neglected—although it’s overcome a lot. (In the cable realm, my system is most sensitive to USB. I liked and still have the Locus Polestar and Axis—and could never afford the Cynosure; but, I currently use the iFi Gemini since it produces the widest soundstage in my cramped quarters. It also allows a 5VDC battery to be used on the power leg—nice benefit.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
  5. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Location:
    Mid South
    Because expensive high end cords sound better.
     
  6. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    You can hear a difference ?
     
    searing75 likes this.
  7. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    ultron9 and Acapella48 like this.
  8. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Just go to Nordost, Shunyaya, Siltech and enjoy the high end cables there.
     
    DrZhivago, Tim 2 and MGW like this.
  9. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Location:
    Mid South
    Yes.
     
    Dave, rednedtugent, izeek and 4 others like this.
  10. FuzzyNightmares

    FuzzyNightmares Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oregon
  11. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    Can you hear the difference in different speaker wire or Interconnects as well...?
     
  12. FuzzyNightmares

    FuzzyNightmares Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oregon
    Maybe it’s just me but I hate searching for cables online. Half of the cables I look for I end up with Alibaba links selling cables for $20, an eBay listing saying “authentic in original packaging for $500, a website for the manufacturer that doesn’t actually list prices and just refers you to dealers, then some other online shops that list them for $30 a foot or something. I honestly have no idea what to believe :yikes:
     
    ChristopherFletcher likes this.
  13. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    You can definitely hear a difference in different cables, and sorting through the thicket is not easy for a number of reasons:
    the measurements and results don't match;
    the synergistic combination for a particular set of components may be pretty well established by other user experience, but I still would not put the cart before the horse;
    I think the money is best spent on the components that comprise the system and how that system integrates into the room; sympathetic combinations of wire may add to the positive attributes of the system, but I'm not one to place a high priority on this. Buying by brand is not a good criteria for matching the performance of certain wire with the needs of a particular system.

    I do have high end cables. And recently, when I needed to send one long interconnect back to the manufacturer for retermination of the XLR connector, I wound up using a Mogami/Neutrik wire as a stop gap and the system did not suddenly sound horrible. I do believe that there is more harmonic richness with the cable I use, but that is not only very system dependent, but subjective as well;
    the best way (and the most costly in many cases) is "total loom" so you can best hear what an entire system wired with the same brand cable is actually doing to the sound; I would always try before you buy.
    The effect of cables is something I've been attuned to since the late '80s. However, I would not shape my purchasing decisions of a system based on the wire. Nor would I factor in a huge amount of budget to it. Wire is highly marked up and getting the right stuff that does justice to your system should be a matter of sourcing through channels before you plunk down retail level prices. The try before you buy is good, and you pay for that, but probably worth the price of admission.
     
    Dave, bever70, jfeldt and 2 others like this.
  14. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Location:
    Mid South
    Yes.
     
  15. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
  16. aorecords

    aorecords Forum Resident

    I'm using Audioquest NRG Z3 for my amp and CD player. These are way below your budget but I'm pretty happy with the results. I'll say that the CD player had more improvements with this cable. I'm hoping one day to run something a bit more substantial to the amp. Audioquest told me that the Z3 will yield improvement in the amp but really I should move up to the next level, which I think is the Storm series.

    I don't know how DIY savy you are but I've heard great things about some of the parts Furutech makes.
     
  17. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    @fish for my part I would strongly recommend trying a few different brands before committing, not least, as @Bill Hart has said, the loom approach adds additional layers of improvement.

    In my system, Nordost works so I currently have a mix of Heimdall II, Red Dawn with a couple of Blue Heaven thrown in. With the exception of the ethernet cable the BH cables are for older/less critical components.

    The more critical stuff is Red Dawn power/speaker and Heimdall II signal (SE and Balanced and digital coaxial).

    Again, in my system the Nordost has outperformed anything else that I tried when I started down this road (Audioquest, Supra, a few others that I now forget this was about 2005). Each step up, eg Blue Heaven to Red Dawn, has been a significant step up on a cable by cable basis

    I had thought that Red Dawn was about as good as it was going to get, and no problem with that! Then very recently I had the opportunity to pick up the Heimdall II very lightly used for a very good price. I was more than a bit flummoxed by the improvement, ... significantly lower noise floor that just seemed to allow the music more space and present it more naturally, realistically, etc ... basically even more musical, better defined bass, cleaner treble (without introducing any undue harshness), and a wider, deeper, higher soundstage.

    You can see exactly what I have/use in my profile. But, I have never had, nor had need for, a USB cable in my system
     
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  18. Blue Devil

    Blue Devil Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tuxedo Park NY
    Oh good. I'd hate to start my Sunday morning without a new cable thread.
     
  19. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    Super Sunday morning thread, wires wires wires :help:
     
  20. MikeMusic

    MikeMusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surrey, England
  21. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Welcome Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

    The majority in this study preferred generic el cheapo power cords over $2500 Nordost Valhalla. ymmv, of course. :)

    Im still looking for a single blind ABX cable study that proves what all the shmarketing drivel claims. Seems like *anything*and*everything* can be found on the internet *except*one*of*these*studies*. Please prove me wrong and post a link to one, thanks!

    I have a problem disregarding the scientific method when people claim differences are so noticeable.

    Having said that, I am NOT saying YOU can not hear differences.

    I bought some Harmonic Tech Truthlink single crystal balanced interconnects 24 years ago to use as mic cables. Before I bought them, I talked with Mr. Lee (now of Acoustic Zen) for quite some time. Mr. Lee knows his stuff (metallurgy/materials science) big time and I do not consider Harmonic Tech a foo foo cable company. Could I hear differences bw Truthlink and Monster M1000 or el cheapo mic cable that came with my Rat Shack #33-3007 mics (mid 90s TOTL made by Shure) when used in my Schoeps CMXY-4V>Grace Designs Lunatec V2>Sony SBM-1 recording rig? No. Might someone else? I do think an very small % of people (like Steve and Kevin and some of you) could though. But this number is a lotttt less than think they can hear differences IMHO. Sounds like you are one of the "lucky few" in "my cable beliefs".
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
    krimson likes this.
  22. fish

    fish Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY, USA
    Because it sounds sub-par. Honestly the supplied cords are the absolute worst! I always try them and they always wend up in a box somewhere.
     
  23. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Long story short, used Wyred4 Sound interconnects power cords on their components.

    M~
     
  24. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    Can you hear a difference between speaker wire as well...?
     
  25. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA

    I hear you, here we go again. He just wants recommendations for his system. Damn!

    M~
     
    MGW likes this.
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