Widescreen review says:
Balanced power is delivered in three wires that carry 60 VAC, 60 AVC, and ground. This is achieved using a transformer to â€œsplitâ€ the AC power. The main benefit is cancellation of noise that exists on both lines at the same time. In the normal 120 VAC world, the noise would travel to your equipment rather than being cancelled. Differential noise that exists on only one AC line at a time is not affected by having balanced power. Filters are needed to remove differential noise from the AC power source. Thatâ€™s the job of all the other filters inside the HTPS 7000. Monster Power calls the filters in the HTPS 7000 Stage 5 Clean Power, which identifies them as the most thorough filter networks in Monster Power PLCs to date. These filters combined with the Dual Balanced Pure Powerâ„¢ transformers not only remove noise from the AC power source, but filter noise generated within audio and video components so that it doesnâ€™t get to other components in the system.
Balanced power PLCs have to be very large, very heavy, and very expensive in order to deliver balanced AC power to every component in a big system. The reason for that is the size of the transformer needed to convert 120/neutral to 60/60 balanced. Amplifiers draw very large amounts of current when they are called upon to deliver high sound pressure levels. But, that current cannot flow to the amplifier half the timeâ€”an amplifier that specifies 12 amps current draw is giving you a misleading specification. The 12 amp rating is an average power rating. If you look at what the amplifier draws using a current probe on an oscilloscope, you will find that the amplifier draws zero current for 50 to 60 percent of each AC cycle depending on the power supply voltage. The higher the amplifierâ€™s power supply voltage, the less time the AC power is high enough in voltage to recharge the power supply. That means the â€œ12-ampâ€ amplifier is drawing current at the rate of up to 24 to 30 amps half the time and zero amps the rest of the time. If anything limits these current peaks, the amplifierâ€™s dynamic capabilities will be compromised. Sound will compress and subtle detail will be compromised. This will happen only when the amplifier is pushed, of course. Listening to dialogue and soft music wonâ€™t require large amounts of current. Itâ€™s the dynamic peaks, effects, and bass that will push the amplifiersâ€™ power requirements toward the maximum rating.
Making a transformer large enough to deliver 30 amps or larger peaks without distortion requires a large core and a lot of wire in the windings. That makes the transformer large, heavy, and expensive. You can pay multiple thousands of dollars for multi-hundred pound balanced power transformersâ€¦ transformers so large and potentially so noisy that youâ€™d want them in the basement or garage so the hum they would inevitably produce would not be objectionable.
Monster Power went for a cost-effective partial system balanced power solution instead of the prohibitively expensive whole-system solution. That means enough power to provide balanced power for the critical components, but normal AC power for the high-current components that would bust the budget due to the large transformer that would be needed. Balanced power for amplifiers is â€œoutâ€â€”amplifiers being the largest single current hog in a home theatre system. The second largest power hog is potentially the video display. Projection or direct-view CRT displays are often rated at 150 to 350 watts or 1.2 to 3 amps. However, most of these displays will appear as a near short-circuit when they are powered up. That means they would need a very large transformer just to deliver the power-up current surge.
Balanced, Part Deux
Monster Power chose to use two smaller transformers rather than a single large transformer to deliver the balanced power to the â€œDigitalâ€ and â€œAnalogâ€ outlets. This provides another degree of isolation of the two banks of outlets compared to having a single transformer. Thatâ€™s an important concept because power line noise isnâ€™t a uni-directional problem. Yes, there is noise on the power line when it enters your house, but every component in your home theatre system generates electrical noise that is delivered back onto the power line. Once it is on the power line, it can get to any of the other components in your system unless it is filtered. Good power conditioners can filter noise traveling in both directions. Monster Power does that using separate banks of filters connected to each pair of AC outlets on the back of the PLC in question.
The two transformers Monster Power chose to use are toroids capable of delivering up to 2 amps each, or 230 to 240 watts depending on the AC power line voltage you have. A fuse protects each balanced power transformer from overload. If you are tempted to connect your CRT-based video display to one of the balanced power circuits, youâ€™d better have some fuses handy, thereâ€™s a good chance youâ€™ll blow the protection fuseâ€”I did. One of the balanced power transformers is dedicated to digital components. There are four AC outlets provided for these connections, but each pair of outlets has a separate filter network to isolate pairs of components from one another.
The other balanced power transformer is identical but has only two AC outlets connected to it. These outlets are labeled â€œAnalogâ€ indicating they would be best suited to a high-end preamp, analog tape deck, or turntable. However, in this digital age there are systems which have no analog components. Do the â€œAnalogâ€ outlets with their valuable balanced power transformer have to sit unused if you have no analog components in your system? Heck no. The filter for this transformer is about the same as the filter for the â€œDigitalâ€ outlets. You could actually use the â€œAnalogâ€ outlets for digital components that need more power than some of the other digital components. Some surround processors, for example, need a fair bit of current to power the processors and DSPs so you could connect the surround processor to one of the â€œAnalogâ€ outlets and have it even more isolated from the other digital components than it would be if you had it connected to a â€œDigitalâ€ outlet. Donâ€™t worry about Monster Powerâ€™s naming of these AC outlets â€œAnalog,â€ as they are eminently usable for digital components if you have no analog components.
The HTPS 7000 was completely silent in operation even when both balanced power transformers were loaded up to near their maximum output. When the video monitor was moved from the wall outlet to the HTPS 7000, the picture cleaned up noticeably, becoming less grainy with more observable detail from all sources. Objects became considerably more dimensional and the color gamut improved especially in the blues, purples, and magentas with more subtle shadings being visible. Winter Olympics coverage improved in many ways. The rendering of snow falling was much better when connected to the HTPS 7000 video filter. Reflections on ice were much more convincing. The various types of snow and ice on the ground were rendered with more detail through the video filter versus the more washed-out appearance when powered from the wall. Fireworks and lighting effects were considerably more realistic with blacker blacks and more subtle variations within the colors.
Amplifiers and receivers connected to the high-current outlets lost a gray opacity to the sound that makes the sound unnecessarily flat and dull. The HTPS 7000 gave those components a more open, clean sound that made listening to them much more enjoyable. Keeping the amplifier load to around 500 watts total output power will insure you donâ€™t ask for more power than even the HTPS 7000â€™s high-current circuit can deliver. That would mean you can connect just about any A/V receiver I can think of as well as separate amplifiers up to about 5 x 100 watts. When stress tested with 650 watts of amps for the front three loudspeakers and two 300-watt subwoofer amps for the two front subwoofers, the HTPS 7000 limited current enough during dynamic passages that I could hear some closing down of the soundfield. This is typical of most power conditioners though, and is mentioned only to illustrate that you can overload PLCs not intended for use with lots and lots of amplifier power.
DVD players connected to the â€œDigitalâ€ or â€œAnalogâ€ filters produced images with finer detail and less noise in the blacks. This was true for the $1,800 Onkyo DV-S939 as well as the $230 Panasonic DV-RP56. The improvement was noticeable on both film- and video-sourced DVDs. The better the DVD, the more the improvement. Interestingly, some special effects that disappoint by looking too much like matte paintings, look much better and are considerably more convincing when the DVD player is running on balanced power with Monsterâ€™s filters. Star Warsâ€”Episode I was the best example of thisâ€”most of the less-than-completely-impressive CGI or matte shots were considerably better with the DVD player on balanced power.
Surround processors connected to balanced power require some careful evaluation to notice the improvements. I found stereo music to reveal the improvements the most. Surround music from DVD-Audio was the next most revealing source, then DTSÂ® Digital Surroundâ„¢ music discs. Hearing the difference with movie soundtracks was possible, but it helped to know how the music reproduction improved first. You hear less background noise which makes silences more velvety â€œblack.â€ This allows very subtle detail to be heard against this quieter background. Spatial cues were considerably improved and were one of the easiest things to hear in movie soundtracks. Sounds of city streets, echo and decay in large spaces, footfalls in hallwaysâ€¦ all were rendered with a more convincing echo and decay when running on the HTPS 7000â€™s balanced power.
The digital cable TV tuner produced much better video quality when powered from one of the balanced power outlets. The images were less grainy and flat. On-screen graphics were sharper and colors were more vibrant.
Stereo music was played using the DVD player as a transport. The DVDâ€™s digital out was connected to an accessory that removes jitter and converts 16-bit 44.1 kHz CD audio to 24-bit 96 kHz audio. That was connected to a 24/96 DAC and the analog output of the DAC was connected to a tube preamp. With all of these components connected to balanced power on the HTPS 7000, the sound was less grainy and gray sounding. There was better transparency and the space the music emanated from was noticeably larger. This was a rather large improvement that made listening to music much more enjoyable compared to connection to a wall outlet.
I canâ€™t imagine anybody being disappointed with the performance of the HTPS 7000 compared to unassisted AC wall outlets. It stood up remarkably well to the reference hardware costing three times as much. That combined with the obvious superiority of the HTPS 7000 over the unassisted wall outlets gives the HTPS 7000 an excellent price-to-performance ratio. Throw in an almost staggering array of conveniences and features and the HTPS 7000 looks like a bargain. On top of that, you get a lifetime warranty on the HTPS 7000 and protection from surge damage for up to $750,000 worth of connected equipment. That all adds up to an impressive value package that may be impossible to beat for many home theatre enthusiasts. If you think your system is performing well, but you havenâ€™t added power conditioning yet, the HTPS 7000 will boost the performance of your system so much that youâ€™ll think you upgraded every component.
-I think I gotta get one of these...:D :D