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What power cord for Corda HA-1?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What's the current thought? Is a special power cord (like Absolute) helpful for the Corda HA-1? Does spending $50 on a power cord really improve sound, or would an old computer power cord do almost as well?


Michael
post #2 of 29
I use a standard computer cord... I think a power cord upgrade is one of these last 1% things... Jan's power supply is like double choked and filtered like mad so an upgraded cord wouldn't have as much effect here as it would on say a MG OTL perhaps.

In other words the sound of a Corda with a stock cord is quite acceptable. I would personally take that $50 and throw it into some upgraded power supply caps and maybe a change of the 6171s in the first stage to OPA627 or 637s as these mods would have a much more dramatic effect than the power cord will.

DA has a Corda and says a power cable upgrade helps it out qutie a bit, however.

About the only way you're going to know for sure is to try it yourself.

Jeez, I can only *imagine* what Ricky would do to this thread!
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
I plan to purchase the Corda pre-assembled from Jan, not as a kit. How easy is it to replace power supply caps and change the 6171s in the first stage to OPA627 or 637s (whatever that means)? Is soldering involved? How difficult is that?

Michael
post #4 of 29
DCG.......where are you?
Dave recently purchased my Corda and has the Virtual Dynamics Power 3 AC cords. These are probably best AC cords for $50-75 but they are big and stiff and I was wondering if Dave was able to use them with small Corda amp? VD cords are advertised at Audiogon.

The Corda sounds fine with stock AC cord, but I do like to use aftermarket AC cords, and I have several brands. The guys at Headroom told me they only think AC cords effect power amps and have little effect on other items that draw little power..........I disagree, they have noticeable impact on CDP for instance

Markl recently had a real AC cord conversion using VD cords with his modded Sony CDP and Melos at the VD thread.

Now keeping balanced system in mind, if you don't have high end headphone set the $50-100 might be better spent upgrading headphones, just have to try some stuff and see what works for you.
post #5 of 29
The people I've talked to seem to think that the earlier in the chain the power cord is, the bigger difference it will make. So, power cords could be particularly important for CDP's and preamp/headphone amps, digital processors, etc.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by wacomme
I plan to purchase the Corda pre-assembled from Jan, not as a kit. How easy is it to replace power supply caps and change the 6171s in the first stage to OPA627 or 637s (whatever that means)? Is soldering involved? How difficult is that?

Michael
Yes, soldering is involved to change the power caps. The LM6171 opamps are socketed so that's reasonably easy to change to a different opamp but the current draw needs to be changed which will require soldering.

Overall it's fairly simple but not for the faint-of-heart.

I'll be happy to show-off my Corda (which was also Meier-built) with just the power cap upgrades (and I'm considering yet another power cap upgrade) before I upgrade the op-amps. It's a great amp and a great match for the HD600s.

If you decide to buy one from Dr. Meier I should have the opamps chagned by then and I'll be happy to let you do some A/B testing to see which you prefer. If you want to mod it at all I can help you out with that.

One thing I don't have is an 'audiophile' power cable (really, I want to hear what Ricky has to say about this). I do have some standard IEC power cables and a few heavy ones meant for powering some heavy-servers in a datacenter. This should show wether or not a difference can be heard. If not I saw some plans online to make a new power cord on the cheap. Their suggestion was if you can't tell the difference with the cheap DIY cable you likly won't tell at all. They felt pretty confident that a difference would be heard however and went to the next step by making a mroe expensive power cable. I suppose we could always try that route and see if we can hear a difference with our rigs.
post #7 of 29
I have the Corda HA-1 with the Absolute Power Cord. I haven't tried it with anything else, but it is only $50, only a bit more than a standard cord you could get at Radio Shack or a computer store, IMO it's worth it to just start with the APC. What it does not have that others have is shielding. But if an 8' well-built, well-reviewed cord is what you want, go for it.

I did see dcg at the Philly show this week. He brought a b-stock Virtual Dynamics Power 3 AC cord with him, which he got for a very cheap price from the mfr., who apparently didn't like a batch, perhaps for a cosmetic reason (I can't remember exactly what dcg said about why it was b-stock). He said it sounded great. I don't recall that he a/b'd these two cords, though.

The thing was thicker than my garden hose, and weighed twice what the Corda weighs. Betcha most of the weight was in shielding (or the water left in the hose when they built it).

Anyway, I think you're best off to put your extra money on interconnects for the HA-1, where they'll probably pay you back better. The Outlaw PCA cables are wonderful, and prevent any RF (with lesser cords, the HA-1 can pick up RF or show some noise at low levels). With the Outlaws, my Corda is silent at all levels when there's no input signal from a source. I meant totally, absolutely, positively silent, for the full rotation of the volume control.

There's a string or two on each issue/item that you can find with the search function.
post #8 of 29
I started with a POS power cord for my Corda HA-1, then went to a computer parts store and found a shielded cable and then finally began using a DIY Ven Haus designed power cable. I expected to maybe sometimes perceive a tiny difference between the normal and shielded IC because RF noise is so prevalent in my apartment. I didn't expect much of an improvement moving to the Ven Haus (and in fact planned to use the cable in other applications instead) but did actually notice an improvement--the bass response and blacks were better for me.

Since I consider myself an audio voodoo skeptic, this was one of those surprises for me. I've since had a few others. It pays to be on the open minded side.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
I suppose the power cord can be a gradual upgrade along with a better Sennheiser 600 cable. I'll start with the stock stuff and improve the cabling later. Thanks.

Michael
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by wacomme
I suppose the power cord can be a gradual upgrade along with a better Sennheiser 600 cable. I'll start with the stock stuff and improve the cabling later. Thanks.

Michael
Of the two, if you already have a shielded IEC (these go for like $6), I'd give the HD600 cable greater priority.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Kelly,

I agree. However, the Virtual Dynamics Power 3 cable is enticing at $50. Do they still have their sale?

Michael
post #12 of 29
I mad emy own power card for my X-canv2 a few months ago, cost me £20. But it's uses the same plugs as the £200 Kimber version, cable wise I use the thickest and most pure copper one I can fine in a DIY store. The result is pure excellence and well worth the £20!
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Raymond,

DIY cable is an interesting option. What's required? Just some simple soldering?

Michael
post #14 of 29
Has anyone done a comparison between Bolder Type 2 and Absolute Power Cord for use with headphone amps? Also, does shielding really matter in power cords? I was thinking of getting a Bolder Type 2 without the foil shield for use with an Elpac PSU.
post #15 of 29
It's a long read, but I'd say take a look at the VD thread here. As was mentioned, I went from an un-believer to a wild-eyed evangelist. At $50 the Power 3 is unbeatable.

markl
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