Power Cables

Any recommendations for power cables under $500 for 

Streamers or DACs?


Please tell me your reasons for any you recommend. 

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Pangea cables are nicely made and not too expensive, especially if you get them used. I admit I have not heard much difference over cables that came with the gear, but I didn't spend that much and they look nice. Of course there are opinions about them -- see here, e.g. -- but for me they hit the sweet spot between "doing nothing" and "going down a rabbit hole." 



"Stop listening to audiophools and their drivel about power cords!"

- your opinion does not answer the OP’s question.

I think JB is saying don't waste your money as a power chord is a power chord and will sound the same.

Power cords don’t sound the same as I’ve experienced differences with my Amps power cord. 


Curious did you find a bigger improvement when you placed the Nordost on the DAC vs the Streamer? Which had the most impact to an upgraded cord?


Nice @hilde45, your link is to a post by Elizabeth. I haven’t seen anything from her in quite some time. I hope she is well.

To the OP, if you want to do something without going down a rabbit hole, I agree the Pangea cords should work well. OFC copper is good, PVC insulation is good for a power cord, and the shielding is excellent, which is important for front-end components. A braid shield typically provides about 80-95 percent coverage but the foil provides 100 percent coverage and having both should make the cord quite immune to picking up EMI/RFI. 14 awg wire size per pole should be plenty for the power draw by a front-end component. The PCOCC conductor is overkill for a PC, IMO. Pangea’s connectors are molded to the cord if that matters to you, and I don’t have any experience with how well they stay seated, although maybe better than some "audiophile" cords since the connectors wouldn’t be as heavy.

Check back in and let us know what you did and whether you hear a difference.

"Stop listening to audiophools and their drivel about power cords!"

Consider yourself lucky that you can't hear any difference. Definitely will save you some money.

That cross section view of pangea is ugly.

Edit:  just realized that it is made with a saw.  Those solder joints look uncrimped to me.  You want good copper-to-copper contact with the solder holiding all in place,   You don't want the electrons travelling through large masses of lead and tin.

Suggest giving Audio Art Cable power cables a try. I found even their entry level cables to provide SQ benefits that are clearly evident

Take a look at moon-audio.com and their black or blue dragon power cables. The under $500 black version uses quality Furutech plugs. I use them on my main system.  Big fan of Cardas and the Parsec is good for affordable PC.  




Just read some impressive stuff on Ice Age power cables, especially their upper range OFC line that’s still well within your budget, and I believe they offer a trial period so that’s definitely what I’d do.  Heck at this price you could get a PC for your DAC and streamer for not much more than $500.  Best of luck.


Here’s a review fyi…


I would look for used, typically available for half the original price. Pay attention to their purpose / construction. High current models are for amps… highly isolated noise reduction are for components. It is best to try before you buy.

I would look at mainstream brands. They have long track records and you can be sure of getting well thought out technology designed to make a difference that is highly reviewed. I recommend looking at AudioQuest, Transparent, Cardas, and DHLabs. AudioQuest Storm series has been a real leap forward in performance for that company. You can expect lower noise floors, usually more detail, and more dynamic presentation with good quality power cords from these companies. But as with all wires associated with audio equipment it will depend on your components and system as to the degree of improvement you will get and under certain circumstances they could sound worse. This has happened to me with not very good sounding solid state equipment. Adding higher resolution power cords to a noisy and/or distorted sounding component will make your system sound worse. In this case I highly recommend low cost Cardas as they are designed to be warm and forgiving.

I use Transparent power cords on all components of my main system except the amp where I use an AudioQuest Hurricane and a combination of WireWorld and DHLabs on my other systems. I have found the lower tier Shunyata, Cardas, WireWorld and some others to provide little or no improvement.. although most of my components come with very good quality power cords… although they are clearly bested by mid-range and better aftermarket power cords.


For some reason I am completely in the dark as to why, the same brand and level of power cord seems to have the same effect as the interconnect. 



Check out Wavetouch power cable (WTPC v2), if you are in pursuit of a perfect sound (= the original music). WTPC v2 in US Audio Mart.  Your system will sound one step closer to the original music. The price is well under your budget and 100% refund on return in 40 days.  

Click 14:38  = WTPC v2, This opens a YT window. Click time stamps in description for other PCs. Alex/WTA

@jfrmusic I would say the improvements on DAC and streamer are comparable. If you’re upgrading one power cord at a time I would start with the amp and work my way upstream. Similarly, if you’re doing only one power cord upgrade for digital I would place the best one on the DAC but as everything in this hobby, try and listen to what it did. 

First off, as suggested, I would definitely look into the used market as you'll get the most for your money.  Also, as suggested, I'd stick with name brand cables as they're tried and true, and in the future, if you decide to sell, they'll retain more value.  That said, you already know what's out there as far as the brands are concerned (and there's a million of them).  Now, you must experiment with multiple cables to the best of your ability in order the know 100% which cable is the right one for your system.  That's the only way.  Happy listening.      


johnto - "I think JB is saying don’t waste your money as a power chord is a power chord and will sound the same."

- I know what he said and I know you are saying the same thing. Neither answers the OP’s original question. All you both are doing is injecting your opinions when it was not asked for.

Anything from Audio Sensibility new or used in your budget.  Neotech makes nice cable (if you can find it).  I can not recommend Pangea or Blue Dragon PCs from Moon Audio unless you prefer your highs to be rolled off.  I wasted money on those, was told to break them longer and lost track of the return window.  My fault, I should have insisted an immediate return...  So I relegated them to LPS units.

@jfrmusic I realized I didn’t exactly answer your question…

so…having the Nordost Heimdall 2 on dac with “cheap” cord on streamer is a bigger improvement than cheap on dac and nordost on streamer. 


Thanks. From other sources I’ve gotten the same information. The DAC is more important than the streamer concerning power issues. 

Yes but as I mentioned the degree of improvement is similar. If I remember correctly you have Aurender N20 paired with MSB Discrete DAC. I would go up to Frey 2 or even Tyr 2 on a used market for the power cords. Heimdall 2 is very nice but Frey 2 is an audible step up. I have Frey 2 on pass mono amps. Nordost should be a nice match in your system with harbeth speakers.

Audio advisor , Pangea sig MK-2 awg 14  are very good for under $250 

using copper connectors far better then bright brass and 3x more conductivity

and use Cardas grade 1 Copper wire. Give him 150 hours to runin a very good value.

Wywires is running a sale. Both the Silver and Platinum Digital Series are fine cables. I started with all Silver Series throughout my system and have sold and moved up to the Platinum’s. To my ears they just get out of the way, being very transparent, and throw a wide and deep stage. Have both the HC - High Current and Digital type and on digital components the Digital build do sound better. They don’t come up often on the used market but when they do, they move so grab them when you can or wait for Alex to have a sale. 

-1 Audio Envy.

I have a couple sitting in a box in the garage (replaced them with Anti-Cables).  Contact me if you want one.


Of course check the used market as there is thousands out there and thousands more made every day. Different colours, sizes, textures, gimmicks, satisfaction really depends on how many years you wanna play in the rabbit hole. With regards to the brand names, most produce their share of new product by yearly as well. May l suggest week on week off sampling with music you like, won’t seem like such a waste of time. 


GR Research power cables are within your budget and work well digital sources.  I replaced my Pangeas with them.  And you can return if you don't like them - the only way to buy cables.


what’s the rest of your system?

Audioquest NRG4 power cables have been as much as 60% off lately and I bought a couple “Open Box” to try and so far they sound good. They were like $140 each.  Another power cable I’ve been using is the Audience F3. They are half price all over, like $150 a piece.

All the best.

The WireWorld Electra and Silver Electra line is a good value for source components, shielded and all OCC copper.


I haven't seen this recommended yet so I'll weigh in:  Ice Age Audio (iceageaudio.com).

I just purchased their "FrankenCable" power cords, along with their OFC speaker cables and interconnects.  Because I replace all three at the same time, I can't attribute the difference I'm hearing solely to the power cords, but I was blown away at the difference in what I heard.  Much better sound stage, and the clarity and detail in the music was mind blowing.  After installing them, I started listening to some music to see if I could hear a difference, and ended up listening for hours.  It was like hearing things for the first time.

The best part is that, compared to many other brands, they are MUCH less expensive.  I can't say enough good things about them (and I also have to admit, I used to be part of the "can wires really make that much of a difference" school of thought). 

I'm listening to music on an EverSolo DMP-A8 > Parasound A51 > Usher Dancer Mini-2 Diamonds.

If you must have a fancy power cord the voodoo cables black magic cord looks nice, is heavy gauge, well made, for $325. I bought it not expecting to hear a difference, and, I don’t. But I do like well made things, and frankly it just looks cool having an anaconda feeding my Hegel h390. :)


Actually I just ordered an Ice Age Frakencable power cable last night to try. Should have it by Monday. It shipped today. 

+ 1 for Ice Age Frakencable power cable.

Why ? Becouse it plays like 10 times more expensive and it is cryo-treated.

I have had Pine Tree Audio cables throughout my system. Silver coated copper or all OCC copper.  Nice workmanship and a nice guy.  Neutral and detailed for interconnects.  Then I thought,  what the heck for $200 I got some speaker wires, silver coated copper with locking 45° Rhodium coated banana plugs.  This really made my system sound better.  I had spades which I could not keep tight.  I really liked listening to the silver coated copper interconnects.  These are all Chinese but the workmanship is good .  While I listened to this set, I sent my Pine Tree  Audio Ribbon speaker wires to have the same Rhodium connectors installed.  The silver sounded good. Then I got the ribbons back.  After about a week, they made my system sound accurate, detailed, wonderful voices,  bass a little more power and tight.  The ribbons are staying and I still have all the silver coated interconnect and coax.  Power cords are all Pine Tree.  My system is really quiet.


If you must have a fancy power cord the voodoo cables black magic cord looks nice, is heavy gauge, well made, for $325. I bought it not expecting to hear a difference, and, I don’t. But I do like well made things, and frankly it just looks cool having an anaconda feeding my Hegel h390. :)

Ha, that's funny, and true. I have a VooDoo infinity 20amp feeding my T+A , and it looks nasty! But it DID open up the amp a lot compared to the stock cord.

Too heavy for the average DAC though!

True. Too thick for anything but a power amp. It’s a badass looking cord though. :)

DAC - maybe. Streamer? No. Is your desktop computer faster, dissipate less heat, screen seem sharper and colors start popping out when you user expensive power cord? Try it. Streamer us just an ARM computer.

Is your desktop computer faster, dissipate less heat, screen seem sharper and colors start popping out when you user expensive power cord? Try it. Streamer is just an ARM computer.

Comparing a multipurpose computer to a dedicated audio streamer is like comparing a Porsche to a Toyota Corolla — they’re both built to get you from A to B but do it very differently given their design and purpose, and that matters a lot. Everything in audio matters, including power cables on streamers.  Go to any audio show or high-end dealer and none of them — none — use a stock power cable on their streamers. 

Anticipating that I would upgrade my Krell Studio DAC to a Denafrips (which doesn’t come with a power cord), I decided to buy the power cord first. That way I could break it in before the upgrade and my DAC comparisons would be apples-to-apples.  I saw a review of some power cables from Passion For Sound on YouTube.  The SUPRA LoRad 3x2.5 Power Cables (eBay) were about $100 for 1.5 m. I wasn’t prepared for how much improvement they made to my digital playback.  I tried the cable on my Rowland preamp and again was quite taken back at the improvement (I bought another of the same power cable).  I’ve owned that Krell DAC for 30 years and for the first time, I actually like my CD collection.  I decided to keep the Krell.  I just now checked eBay and those power cables are even less expensive now than when I bought them.  They are the most cost-effective upgrades I’ve ever made to my system


Congrats on the Frankencable purchase, please do let us know how you like it.

For others looking for reasonably priced cables, here are a few reasonably priced cables I've tried and own and can recommend: Anti-Cables Level 3 8awg ($330 for 5' cable), Zavfino Majestic MKII OCC 12awg ($450 for 5' cable - amp/preamp), Zavfino Fina OCC 14awg ($345 for 5' cable - signal components)

I can HIGHLY recommend using Japanese Furutech Triple-C (TCS21 14awg or TCS31 12awg), Furutech Nano-AU/AG (S022N 14awg or S032N 12awg or S055 10awg), Oyaide Tunami PCOCC 10awg, Neotech UP-OCC (NEP 3001 10awg or NEP 3002 11awg or NEP 3003 13awg), or Acoustic Revive 8800 OCC 13awg.....these can be purchased pre-built, or DIYed for about 50% less cost

@soix - of course dealers use what they want to sell you.

Streamer is an ARM Linux box. I'd be happy to learn what is there "built to the purpose". Power supply? RAM? SSD? Fans? USB circuitry? Special network software stack?

I am eager to study how power cable would affect execution of my compiled code. Please elaborate.



May I suggest you spend some time with a quality audio system and get experience with high quality streamers, and power cords. What you are claiming is very logical but utter wrong in the real world. 

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@ghdprentice may I suggest you study network protocols and operating systems? So tell me, how does performance of your computer changes when you upgrade its power cable. I’d love to hear.

Still waiting for an explanation what is exactly a "built to purpose" streaming ARM box. What is custom there as opposed to a just a "computer".

@ghdprentice may I suggest you study network protocols and operating systems?

Oops. Me thinks someone finally just barked up the wrong tree of a fellow IT guy who actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to digital audio. 🍿🍿🍿

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@mikhailark my rudimentary understanding is that better power cables can help improve sound from digital equipment in several ways.  One is reducing resistance from the outlet to the IEC inlet, supplying current as needed, why OCC copper wire can sound different from OFC, and silver power cables and connectors can sound very different.  Another is keeping noise out of the power supply cable from surrounding cables, power supplies and processors. The last is keeping noise that might be generated in the digital device from interacting with other devices or cables, especially low level signal cables, along the length of the power supply cable in a system setup.

In even simple systems (by network standards), the performance of a power or signal cable is not just about the relationship of that piece of gear to the wall or the connected box, it is about the sum of interactions between power, digital and analog cables and whatever is going on in and around all the boxes they connect.  Computer networking logic does not necessarily apply in a consumer hifi setup because while significantly more complex in terms of components, none of the signals are critically important low or high level analog signals that degrade the moment they leave the electronics where they are generated or amplified.  

Hifi cabling is a system that can be optimized to achieve lower noise and more enjoyment.  But each cable application must be seen as a part of an overall system design.  Because there is no standardization from one hifi system to the next in the quality of the wall power, the performance envelope and isolation inherent in the individual boxes and wires used, and how closely the boxes and wires are arrayed in space, the only real way to optimize the cable system is through trial, error and success.  In my experience, this includes experimentation with power cables on the “computers” in your rack.  YMMV.