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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have kept my receiver plugged into a power strip, along with 4 other devices for my HT. I read a post on here a couple weeks ago which questioned whether power strips ultimately distort sound. Recently I've noticed the receiver's Dolby Digital signal has seemed overly bright, and really irritates the ears even at lower volumes. The only conclusion I came up with was that either the room was too small (too close to all this sound), or that "unclean" power was creating tinny-sounding audio.


As an experiment I tried removing the receiver cord out of the crowded power strip, and plugged it into an extension cord running to its own outlet. The result - the soundtrack seemed much warmer and far easier on the ears without any of the audio integrity sacrificed. There was defintiely a palpable change with the audio. The reason I know it was different - I stood up after an hour of movie watching with close to zero ear fatigue. This was a new experience for me in this new room.


I tried different configurations of power outlets - and for some reason the extension cord running into a secluded power outlet did the best for the audio.


This is another angle of audio I just was not aware of. Can someone explain why this is happening?


Thanks!
 

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All due respect - its probably "Psychoacoustics." A powerstrip is not a power supply. Though the nature of the mov's in you powerstrip is such that they filter high frequency noise which is of benefit to audio and video digital processors.
 

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Add some room treatments, you would be floored by the improvements. Even adding some heavy curtains over any windows will make an improvement.

Before I had any in my room I could never really enjoy the sound, & alot of things just sounded like there was things missing. After doing some treatments my sound quality improved beyond what I could had imagined. Harshness with some music disappeared, detail came out that I wasn't hearing before. Voices sounded much more clear & natural, & my imaging improved a ton. My bass is much flatter & blends in with my mains like their one seamless system.

Its not something for everyone, but it is one of the cheapest & best improvements IMHO you can make in a system.


Im also going to have to agree with the other poster on the "psychoacoustics". I don't think your power strip is going to add any harshness to your system. I have a Monster HTS-5100 with all my gear running through it. I've always heard that they can degrade the sound quality & hinder performance of your amps. Well I have three amps plugged into mine, & Ive went direct to the wall as well. I've never noticed a change either way. The only reason I even have mine is convience & surge protection. I use the switched outlets to trigger my amps of & on.
 

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Quote:
Though the nature of the mov's in you powerstrip is such that they filter high frequency noise which is of benefit to audio and video digital processors.

They do?

MOV"s are not frequency sensitive devices, they simply begin to conduct , when a certain threshold voltage is exceeded.

Quote:
I read a post on here a couple weeks ago which questioned whether power strips ultimately distort sound.

If you run a 350V audio signal through a power strip with MOV's in it, you will probably hear distortion, due to the clipping by the MOV's...so don't run 350V audio signals through a power strip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a few treatments up. It could be "psychoacoustics" with the outlet issue, although my ears are very sensitive.


I did a little comparison, and noticed audio sounded noticeably smoother when hooked up via a secluded power outlet as opposed to a power strip. Again, it could be nothing, although still my ears usually do not lie. So i might experiment with it a little more.


So in theory - I should not be seeing any difference between power outlet in regards to a wall outlet versus a power-strip? As far as i was concerned, electricity is electricity, and the receiver does the rest.


Previously though, I was not aware that any outlet (powerstrip, surge protector, or not) had ANY effect on the sound.
 

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Any chance the outlet you ran the extension cord to was on another circuit? Maybe one with less stuff plugged into it? I've heard that microwaves, dimmers, major appliances, certain types of lights, etc can put funk on the power lines.


Tripp Lite Isobars are VERY nice, and will be much better than $4.99 outlet strips... of course, they cost more too...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus /forum/post/0


They do?

MOV"s are not frequency sensitive devices, they simply begin to conduct , when a certain threshold voltage is exceeded.

How exactly do you run a 350v audio signal through an AC power strip?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus /forum/post/0


If you run a 350V audio signal through a power strip with MOV's in it, you will probably hear distortion, due to the clipping by the MOV's...so don't run 350V audio signals through a power strip.

They operate based on volatage level, but they do have a frequency resopnse, and act as a shunt for high frequencies as well as voltages above clamping.
 

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I too am under the impression that audio equipment sounds better when plugged directly into the wall...


But then what to do about the potential of surges harming your equipment?


I've been trying to find a surge protector that would provide identical performance as plugging directly into a wall...I kind of gave up, and using a Belkin PF60 for the time being.
 

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But then what to do about the potential of surges harming your equipment?

Let the MOV's built into any decent power supply take care of them.

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using a Belkin PF60 for the time being.

So the MOV's that are high impedance, and effectively out of the circuit most of the time, sound worse then the current limiting series inductor in the PF60?
 

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You would connect the positive amp output to one of the conductors in the power strip, and the negative (or ground) terminal to the other conductor....is that clear enough?

When the signal exceeds the MOV threshold, they'll conduct, clipping the waveform.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus /forum/post/0


You would connect the positive amp output to one of the conductors in the power strip, and the negative (or ground) terminal to the other conductor....is that clear enough?

When the signal exceeds the MOV threshold, they'll conduct, clipping the waveform.

OK, this went completely over my head, Your point being the absurdity of the whole sound quality and power filtering connection, gotcha. Your way ahead of me friend.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamt /forum/post/0


Is there any kind of power conditioner/surge suppressor that you can hardwire inline on a whole circuit? Not the whole house just a single line that comes out of the breaker box.



Why would you want to protect only one half of your incoming power system?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamt /forum/post/0


Is there any kind of power conditioner/surge suppressor that you can hardwire inline on a whole circuit? Not the whole house just a single line that comes out of the breaker box.

It doesn't really work that way. Anything you connect to a single breaker in the box is also connected to the rest of your power system as long as the breaker is closed.


Now, the closer the TVSS is to the line you are interested in, the better it's performance will be (line impedance is critical for surge suppression).


Truth be told, you will get the best surge suppression by applying a combination of both a whole-house TVSS and point-of-use surge suppressors.


As for the original question, I might (might, not absolute) believe that you heard a sound quality difference when switching from the power strip to the separate outlet, but I'd bet that it had nothing to do with the TVSS function, per se. I would expect it to have something to do with the loading on the power strip (or the circuit it was attached to). If you had enough load (or circuit impedance) to create a significant voltage drop, this could cause your amp's power supply to act differently.
 
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