Good Power cables that won’t break the piggy bank

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Just Curious if anyone has any solid recommendations for Power cables that are better than the generic black computer cables but not priced in the stratosphere? Is DIY the way to go?

I am not looking for a cable debate here. I am seriously just looking for something that looks good, works well, and is affordable. If it doesn’t burn my house down, that would be a plus.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Just Curious if anyone has any solid recommendations for Power cables that are better than the generic black computer cables but not priced in the stratosphere? Is DIY the way to go?

I am not looking for a cable debate here. I am seriously just looking for something that looks good, works well, and is affordable. If it doesn’t burn my house down, that would be a plus.

I'm curious too. I have a couple AQ cords. What I don't like is the woven fabric sheathing. It looks good but gets dusty and gross, and tough to clean.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
In all, I would need various lengths for the whole system. I figured if a decent cable at a standard length could be found, it would make the longer or shorter lengths also viable? Lets start with 1 Meter though to get the conversation going. I am starting to feel like a DIY option may be the answer. Though there are a few eBay cables that look the part. But I am a bit wary of going that route.
 

DC

Active Member
I'll jump in: as an experiment I recently bought a moderate quantity of Pangea AC14SE (and MkII) cables to re-cable several source-components at once. Mixed in there is a PS Audio AC-3 (I think) on the pre-amp, and a couple of Shunyata cables on the amp and amp-conditioner. Except for one (the cable from the wall to the Denali conditioner), they're all basically entry-level, or similar.

Color me satisfied: the not expensive Pangea cables made a difference - an improvement here - and did not break the bank. I did quite a bit of shuffling and swapping around, and found I preferred the PS Audio on the preamp and the Pangeas on the rest of the source components. I did not try the Shunyata cables on anything but the amp and amp conditioner, where they were intended from the start.

The Pangea are definitely "value priced" in the world of hi-fi power cables, but they appear to have good materials and quality construction, and were a significant upgrade over the simple black "commodity power cords" (to quote Caelin Gabriel) included with most gear. The sound difference was more subtle than what meets the eye, but again I though it was definitely an improvement.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I'll jump in: as an experiment I recently bought a moderate quantity of Pangea AC14SE (and MkII) cables to re-cable several source-components at once. Mixed in there is a PS Audio AC-3 (I think) on the pre-amp, and a couple of Shunyata cables on the amp and amp-conditioner. Except for one (the cable from the wall to the Denali conditioner), they're all basically entry-level, or similar.

Color me satisfied: the not expensive Pangea cables made a difference - an improvement here - and did not break the bank. I did quite a bit of shuffling and swapping around, and found I preferred the PS Audio on the preamp and the Pangeas on the rest of the source components. I did not try the Shunyata cables on anything but the amp and amp conditioner, where they were intended from the start.

The Pangea are definitely "value priced" in the world of hi-fi power cables, but they appear to have good materials and quality construction, and were a significant upgrade over the simple black "commodity power cords" (to quote Caelin Gabriel) included with most gear. The sound difference was more subtle than what meets the eye, but again I though it was definitely an improvement.
Now were cookin with Gas! I have been looking at Pangea cables and even found that I own one!
 

DC

Active Member
I'll add: There's a listing on Audiogon right now for five used Shunyata Venom-3 cables for $600, which isn't a terrible deal, and a quick way to jump in. And there are lots of anecdotes that Shunyata's entry-level cables tend to beat just about everybody else's entry-level offerings, and many better ones, too. They're just a tad more money than the other entry-level competitor cables, and don't "look" very audiophile (less bling-y), but the performance is there.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Now were cookin with Gas! I have been looking at Pangea cables and even found that I own one!
SignalCable would be a local (to you) option, handmade, quality, I don't know of anyone else selling a 10awg power cable suitable for a big amp at $79/3ft.

On the completely generic yet high quality from a known entity level, you can't go wrong with the 12 and 14 gauge power cords from Mercury Magnetics, probably made for them by Belden if I had to guess.

Any color you like so long as it's red, it does well when adding a splash of color to things. Any length you like so long as it's 2, 6, or 10 feet in 14 gauge, 6 or 10 feet only in 12 gauge.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
SignalCable would be a local (to you) option, handmade, quality, I don't know of anyone else selling a 10awg power cable suitable for a big amp at $79/3ft.

On the completely generic yet high quality from a known entity level, you can't go wrong with the 12 and 14 gauge power cords from Mercury Magnetics, probably made for them by Belden if I had to guess.

Any color you like so long as it's red, it does well when adding a splash of color to things. Any length you like so long as it's 2, 6, or 10 feet in 14 gauge, 6 or 10 feet only in 12 gauge.
I have taken a few looks at Signal Cable site and recommended them for interconnects also. May have to take a gander once more.
 
I know it's wrong (don't roast me here and yes I know they have to be fake), but I've had my finger over the BUY button multiple times on eBay. The product? The seriously cool looking "Accuphase 40th anniversary power cords" in China. No idea how they sound, but they look killer....
 

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S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I know it's wrong (don't roast me here and yes I know they have to be fake), but I've had my finger over the BUY button multiple times on eBay. The product? The seriously cool looking "Accuphase 40th anniversary power cords" in China. No idea how they sound, but they look killer....
No roasting from me. I have been looking at ones labeled "Krell".
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
I'll add: There's a listing on Audiogon right now for five used Shunyata Venom-3 cables for $600, which isn't a terrible deal, and a quick way to jump in. And there are lots of anecdotes that Shunyata's entry-level cables tend to beat just about everybody else's entry-level offerings, and many better ones, too. They're just a tad more money than the other entry-level competitor cables, and don't "look" very audiophile (less bling-y), but the performance is there.

i used Shunyata in my system for quite some time, only sold them for other cables in my system, particularly interconnects and speaker cable which made more difference at the time. I’d go with them again at some point. I also used PS Audio which were terrific, purchased on a special from them, and thought they may have edged out the Shunyata, just slightly.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
i used Shunyata in my system for quite some time, only sold them for other cables in my system, particularly interconnects and speaker cable which made more difference at the time. I’d go with them again at some point. I also used PS Audio which were terrific, purchased on a special from them, and thought they may have edged out the Shunyata, just slightly.

Both my Power regeneration units are PS Audio and came with PS Audio Cords. Very serious looking cables.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I have used WyWires, Wire World, Audioquest, Morrow, PS Audio, and I'm sure a few others. Over the years I've kind of lost track whether or not any of them had any particular signature. None of them made a transformative affect but perhaps cumulative, when I changed out everything. If I had it to do all over again I would focus more on how flexible each cable is, as some aren't (at all), and the quality of the build is (as some, cough cough, WyWires, ahem) have needed me to take them apart and fix broken connections. Also I wish I'd have matched them all cosmetically so that it all just looked tidier.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I have used WyWires, Wire World, Audioquest, Morrow, PS Audio, and I'm sure a few others. Over the years I've kind of lost track whether or not any of them had any particular signature. None of them made a transformative affect but perhaps cumulative, when I changed out everything. If I had it to do all over again I would focus more on how flexible each cable is, as some aren't (at all), and the quality of the build is (as some, cough cough, WyWires, ahem) have needed me to take them apart and fix broken connections. Also I wish I'd have matched them all cosmetically so that it all just looked tidier.
Aesthetics are a serious consideration in this endeavor. Flexibility is a factor that I did not consider.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Looking at PSAudio site, it doesn’t look like they are “in the business” but think highly of the AQ cables.
Shunyata quality was consistent but weren’t very flexible.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Aesthetics are a serious consideration in this endeavor. Flexibility is a factor that I did not consider.
I bought most of my cables when flexibility wasn't an issue but later I moved everything into a credenza, and couldn't use some of them as the space...especially the space behind gear...was tight. A few of them are almost like broom-handles, they just don't bend at all. But the other end of that, was WyWires. Those cables were very flexible but repeated flexing of them, moving them in and out of different systems, broke some of the terminations on the plugs. Nothing shorted or anything, just lost power and couldn't figure it out.

Those Shunyata cables look nice, as do those Signal Cables. Ya'll giving me ideas, too (don't worry, I won't snipe the Shunyatas... I'm not home right now to receive packages!)
 
@S0und Dragon I've had PS Audio and Silnote Audio power cords in my system--I appreciate the upgrade but I never see myself going beyond the entry-level cables, as I'd probably have to spend multiples more to be able to hear an improvement, and it's just not worth that much to me. I need a dedicated line, and some line conditioning, before I need upgraded power cords. All of these were in the $100-$130 range, so within the budget.

I got some longer DH Labs Encore power cords for my speakers (3M length) and they are good cables as well. These were $192 each, Canadian (I ended up with an Amazon.ca gift voucher I had to use--I bet the dealer thought I was nuts). Shorter runs would probably be within the budget as well.

Looking at PSAudio site, it doesn’t look like they are “in the business” but think highly of the AQ cables.
They no longer sell power cables, but as you noted, they resell Audioquest. I could find out why, but I am betting it was a supply issue. Their remaining power cords slowly went out of stock over the course of a year or two, so I kind of figured it was over. They do come up used, though, at the usual places. The three levels were the AC3, AC5 and AC12.
 
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