…is still in its early stages.
A couple of months ago, I bought a Shunyata Venom 3 power cord, and the Venom 3 extension cord, for my McCormack DNA-1. I’d had the McCormack upgraded to Silver, and I also got a couple of other upgrades, like the Plitron transformer, and it seemed like I should give the amp a quality aftermarket cord. Also, my entire system is fairly laid back, which works for me, but I wanted to see if I could get a little more forwardness in its sound. (I should say that, aside from that, the amp, and the system, sound like a dream. I love them very much.)
Right off the bat, the cord(s) sounded like crap, which didn’t really surprise me. I didn’t have the patience to let the cords burn in on my system, so I connected them to a number of devices – my computer, my A/C, my fridge – and let them sit for a few weeks, periodically putting them on the amp to check burn-in progress. The cords definitely became more listenable over time.
I finally took the cords off of their appliances, and put them on the amp a few weeks ago. Still didn’t like the sound, at least compared to the aftermarket cord I was using (something cheap and low-gauge from SF Cables). I kept them there for a few weeks, hoping that they would “settle” and give me what I was looking for. Unfortunately, they didn’t. The Venom 3 did give my system a more forward sound; however, it also made the soundstage sound constricted; some details were lost; the forwardness was actually a bit too much; there was little or no air between tracks, like there had been; and most worryingly, they took away the amp’s lovely holographic qualities. Everything seemed to be happening in 2-D, versus the 3-D I was used to (and loved). I tried them on the other components, and still didn’t like what I was hearing. So, after a few weeks, I took the Venoms off of my system, and put the old, much cheaper cords back on.
I wonder, did I let them burn in long enough? Did I give them a chance to settle on the other components? I’m not sure. I had them on various appliances for well over 600 hours before I put them on the amp…Anyway, the upshot is, for now, I have to say that the cords didn’t give me what I was looking for, and that overall, I don’t think they improved the sound. I may have to accept that my system is laid back – the amp, the (incredibly) neutral preamp, the cdp and the speakers. The forwardness that the Venoms introduced, and that I thought I was looking for, might just not work with this equipment. Or, the Venom 3 might not be the cord that will give me just a little, but not too much.
I now know at least one true thing: power cords can affect the sound of your system, in unsubtle ways. Their “signature” may not be to one’s liking, but it is undeniable. So…I’m probably gonna grab a Pangea AC-9 and try that out, because the sound that people ascribe to it is something like what I want: warm, with presence, but also detailed. Also, I’m still not ready to spend big bucks on cords. I plan to get the AC-14 for my preamp and cdp and give those a shot, too. And I’m holding onto the Venoms, for now, because who knows? Maybe if I have the patience to give them a little more time on the pre…
Just wanted to share.