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post #1 of 9 Old 03-12-2013, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,
It's been awhile since I have been around the AVS forums due to departure of the hobby but I have missed it and I climbing back aboard. I have latched on to a few components and would like some opinions on what always seems to be a multi headed beast. What to use for power conditioning. The two directions I have narrowed to are either a regenerator(PS Audio P3) or an isolation transformer(Bryston Bit 15) with surge protection. Equipment I have but have yet to interconnect and fire up is:

Classe CA-400
CJ ET2 Pre
Olive 04HD
Peachtree IDAC
Kef Q900

I also have a couple Parasound Z's(Tuner and CD) as well as a Polk XM receiver.

Anyone have any pros or cons to using the power products?

Thx

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-13-2013, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ceedawwg View Post

Greetings,
It's been awhile since I have been around the AVS forums due to departure of the hobby but I have missed it and I climbing back aboard. I have latched on to a few components and would like some opinions on what always seems to be a multi headed beast. What to use for power conditioning. The two directions I have narrowed to are either a regenerator(PS Audio P3) or an isolation transformer(Bryston Bit 15) with surge protection. Equipment I have but have yet to interconnect and fire up is:

Classe CA-400
CJ ET2 Pre
Olive 04HD
Peachtree IDAC
Kef Q900

I also have a couple Parasound Z's(Tuner and CD) as well as a Polk XM receiver.

Anyone have any pros or cons to using the power products?

If you hired a professional technical group to answer the question, they would send some representatives on site to survey the power situation with technical gear. Given the kind of investment that you appear to be considering, what have you done along those lines to prepare for your purchase?
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-13-2013, 01:31 PM
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What to use for power conditioning ... Anyone have any pros or cons to using the power products?

What specific power problem do you have? If you don't have a specific problem, then you won't benefit from such products. Claims for "power" products that they improve audio quality are overstated (I'm being kind), other than removing obvious clicks and pops etc such as when an AC unit turns on or off. In 45 years of using audio equipment I have never purchased any "power" product, and I've never had a problem or had any gear die due to "bad power."

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-13-2013, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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What specific power problem do you have? If you don't have a specific problem, then you won't benefit from such products. Claims for "power" products that they improve audio quality are overstated (I'm being kind), other than removing obvious clicks and pops etc such as when an AC unit turns on or off. In 45 years of using audio equipment I have never purchased any "power" product, and I've never had a problem or had any gear die due to "bad power."

--Ethan

That's the kind of response I was looking for...I have read a lot of mumbo jumbo on these products. I don't have any power probs right now that I know of. I would be plugging the amp straight into the wall and using the conditioner/xfmr for the source stuff. I can see where filtering or run of the mill Monster or Best Buy type stuff could actually harm the signal however I am still a little intrigued by the ISO Xfmr to clean things up a bit and help out a little with SQ. I appreciate your input...

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post #5 of 9 Old 03-13-2013, 07:27 PM
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An isolation tx can help, if it is the right type and used in the correct way. Large EI cores with good electrostatic shielding are the best, and the best and cheapest places to get them are from the transformer manufacturers, of which there will be many in the US. Bigger is better and toroids are useless due the the close coupling of the primary and secondary giving too high a bandwidth.

Many years ago when I was involved in the development of a mobile test lab, in one instance we ran into the worst noise I've ever seen on the mains, bad enough to effect some very sensitive measurements. After a lot of testing, we used a very large 1:1 isolation tx, preceded by large common mode filter. Most of it we got surplus very cheaply, but it took a lot of testing and setting up. We ended up with a 3dB point at about 500Hz from memory which cleaned it up considerably. The two cores weighed about 120kg.

Most of the filters seen in commercial audio products are designed to work from several MHz and above. Placing one of these in a powerboard and then connecting equipment to it is pointless as the RF they blocked from the lead into the powerboard will likely still be picked up in the power leads from the powerboard to the audio gear. The best place for this type of filter in at the input to the chassis for the power lead. This is how they are designed to be used and they are typically made with the male IEC connector as part of them, so when correctly installed they become part of the full shield of the chassis.

For protection against a true HV surge from outside, whole house protection in the switchboard is the best. I'd still suggest good, inexpensive powerboards at the equipment location for second tier protection.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-14-2013, 11:19 AM
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Many years ago when I was involved in the development of a mobile test lab, in one instance we ran into the worst noise I've ever seen on the mains, bad enough to effect some very sensitive measurements.

Yes, that sometimes happens in some locations. But by and large, "power products" are not needed for audio, and they won't make any audible difference.

--Ethan
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-14-2013, 12:19 PM
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By and large, I would have to agree with all of the above. I have never personally heard a difference using power conditioners with my gear. I am running an APC S-15 right now on my main system and it is not there to improve the sound. It is there to catch the crap that my local grid provides as well as being used as a battery backup when the inevitable brownouts and blackouts occur. It gives me time to shut things down in an orderly fashion. The only significant improvement has been for the digital front ends. The cable box, blu ray player are essentially computers with operating systems, RAM & disk drives that really don't like power glitches. If it doesn't kill them outright then it really messes them up until one can basically reboot them clean. Having the S-15 has eliminated said glitches and everything runs smoothly. I haven't had to reboot anything in years.

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-14-2013, 07:05 PM
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Yes, that sometimes happens in some locations. But by and large, "power products" are not needed for audio, and they won't make any audible difference.

--Ethan
I never said any different, just explained that it can make a difference in some circumstances and took a couple of well qualified guys to effect the improvement with measuring gear. Most plug and play solutions are not that effective. However if someone is all hot to try an iso tx, then the best sources for them are not audio suppliers, but Tx manufacturers; I bet they'll be a damn sight cheaper too. Look for medical or instrumentation grade EI core units and speak to the manufacturer to make clear what you want and why, but leave the audiophile babble out. Many will have models like that as a stock line.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Many years ago when I was involved in the development of a mobile test lab, in one instance we ran into the worst noise I've ever seen on the mains, bad enough to effect some very sensitive measurements.

Yes, that sometimes happens in some locations. But by and large, "power products" are not needed for audio, and they won't make any audible difference.

It is a sometimes cruel fact of life (for us guys who do measurements) that environmental noise often affects measurements more than actual operation.

One reason is probably the fact that modern test equipment can be many times more sensitive than the ears.
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