I’ve stopped doing this to myself. As Anup and you both note, the place to start is with the power itself. Anything that can [reasonably] be done to improve power reliability and purity, while insulating the system from the trash behind the wall socket, is the first step [or sometimes an incremental set of steps over time]. The better I made my power, the less the actual cord choice mattered. I agree that the DAC [and turntable/phono preamp] may matter most, but depending on the system, the power amps can also be significantly affected. But again, fix the power, and a properly engineered mains cable should perform just fine. I’ve said it on many occasions, that I want to understand why a cable should perform better/worse/similar as compared to something else. I am genuinely tired of the audiovoodoo. A company or designer that explains their engineering and why it matters, rather than touting some exotic property of their material—most cable companies are assemblers, very few actually make the materials that go into their product—simply gets more traction with me.
But no matter how good a cable is, by itself, it is highly unlikely to fix what’s wrong with the signal it is receiving. Now maybe a [poorly designed cable] might soften some harshness. And I suppose someone could try to design a mains cable that is customized to someone’s home power to make the best of it. But neither of those solutions can be as effective as simply fixing or improving the power. And improving the power has the benefit of helping all components.
By the time one has purchased just a few decent “audiophile” power cords, one could easily put an isolation or balanced transformer [I like Plixir, Equi=Tech, and Torus, but there are other very good choices], or power regenerator [PS Audio has a good sale going now], or whatever flavor of good power conditioner one wants, into one’s system. Once I got my power where I wanted it, I was able to standardize on mains cables. There was some debate between my ears about the mains cable from the Torus power conditioner to the wall socket, but repeated listening convinced me it was probably more about what was in my glass at the time.
Pete, I will be interested to hear about the power cord you are trying out.