Audience aR12-TSPrices: $8995; $10,545 with 6’ AU24 e powerChord AC cord

Website: www.audience-av.com

Ryan said: The Audience aR12-TS is a good power conditioner. A damn good power conditioner. I could live happily with it, so little editorializing does it do. I wouldn’t hesitate to plug an entire rig -- up to a dozen components -- into it, confident that I’d be feeding each of them quality power. If you’re in the market for a single product to provide excellent power for a large system, the Audience aR12-TS is an easy recommendation.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Expensive but very high-performing power conditioner.

Audience aR6-TSPrice: $5000 with 6’ powerChord e AC cord; $4500 without AC cord

Website: www.audience-av.com

Doug said: Going from no power conditioner to the aR6-TS was such a revelation that it was difficult to believe that a mere power conditioner could make such a huge improvement. If you think your system already sounds as good as it can, you might find it hard to believe what an Audience aR6-TS can do for it.

Select Component

Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: One of the best passive power conditioners.

DH Labs EncorePrices: $125 per 2m cord

Website: www.silversonic.com

Hans said: These entry-level offerings from a company already known for its rather humble pricing policies are as unassuming in performance as they are in appearance. Doing nothing wrong and a good deal right, they offer value in the form of affordable performance, a quality sure to be appreciated by any listener.

Great Buy

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Sanely priced, good audio cables. Imagine that.

ESP MusicCord-Pro ESPrice: $399.99 per 2m cord

Website: www.essentialsound.com

Aron said: I find it difficult to imagine a better-sounding or better-built cord for the price. They may be designed for the professional market, but they’re an excellent way to improve power delivery to a high-quality audio system and enhance its performance at a sensible price.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: The cord to buy at the price.

Hemingway AudioPrices: $3500 per 2m cord

Website: www.hemingwayaudio.com

Michael said: Hemingway Audio’s Prime Reference Mk.II speaker cables, interconnects, and power cords were sonically revealing and an absolute joy to listen to. They’re extremely well made, and their connectors all fit tightly and snugly, but not too much so. They performed optimally with both tubed and solid-state gear, which not only allowed me to hear the strengths and weaknesses of electronics of any type, but also made it easy for me to enjoy whatever music I was listening to. More important, they not only made an incremental improvement in the sound of my system, but would make excellent reference tools: They helped me dissect what I was hearing without pressing their own agenda.

Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: Another good expensive set of cords.

Siltech SPX-800Prices: $2750 per 1.5m cord (Siltech Ruby Hill II); $1250 per 1.5m cord (Siltech SPX-800); $3300 (Siltech Octopus Signature Eight)

Website: www.siltechcables.com

Garrett said: No, they’re not inexpensive, but they are ultra-high-quality items that added refinement, tonal weight, timbral complexity, and an overall naturalness in the flow of the music to the qualities my system already had. Like paints, brushes, chalk, pencils, charcoals, paper, clay, and canvas for a Raphael, and as much as any other components in your chain of audio amplification, power cords and power distributors are materials that can ease the transfer of recorded sound and bring you closer to the artistic conception of the music. They can make a dimension’s worth of difference.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Garrett's reference power products.

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