Author Topic: The power conditioning thread  (Read 9055 times)

watchdog

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The power conditioning thread
« on: September 11, 2016, 04:14:12 PM »
Starting a thread to share and talk about power conditioning. I've set out a bit of what I've tried and the results.

1. Outlets with built in surge suppression and filtering

These range from the cheap and cheerful computer variety type of outlets (like Belkin, APC etc), to the dedicated audio brands like Tacima or China brands like Bada, Longyu and Weiduka. Although the parts count varied, you would expect to find a MOV for surge suppression, a couple of capacitors and a choke(s) for filtering.

I personally didn't have much long term success with these from a sonic point of view. For models that use universal outlets (you know, the type that can accept both a UK or US type plug), I always had a problem with intermittent contact.

2. Parallel filters

The really popular products of the past were the Audioprism Quietline and the PS Audio Noise Harvester. The main advantage of these products is that they were connected in parallel to the mains, and did not limit current. Many products in category 1 incorporate parallel filters. These operate at radio frequencies and above. As they are quite small, you can use a few, close to the source of interference where they are most effective.

I actually find these quite useful. I made my own, and the parts used have a profound outcome on sonics. Sadly, the best sounding capacitors are not rated for continuous mains use. That being said, you could get decent results using properly rated parts.

3. Regenerators

Made popular by brands like PS Audio and Pure Power. You have the rectified DC, and an inverter to regenerate the 50 Hz (in Singapore) sine wave. The Pure Power threw in a rechargeable battery.

I personally use the CSE RG-100. Regenerators tend to be big, heavy and not particularly efficient. My CSE runs at 50 % efficiency and generates a bit of heat too. They can sound really good, but I dislike the fact that you can't leave your equipment permanently switched on (at least without a shocking electricity bill and shortened regenerator lifespan)

4. Isolation transformers

Like balanced transformers, the type of transformer used has a big effect on the sound. Concept is quite simple. Have your mains line magnetically coupled via a 1:1 transformer. The 50 Hz AC gets across, while all the rest of the nasties don't (at least in theory). Your are limited in current based on transformer size. Transformers large enough to power a large hifi system are big, heavy and bulky. If you are really unlucky, you may even end up with a physical buzz on your transformer.

5. Balanced transformers

The concept of balanced power is interesting. Split the incoming mains into two legs, e.g. 230 V gets converted into 115V+ and 115V-

Have a read here for more information, http://www.equitech.com/articles/bpng.html

Noise is cancelled via common mode rejection. Like isolation transformers, you are current limited by the size of your transformer. I currently use our locally made product, the Plixir BAC from Sound Affairs - quite good results.


WildRain

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 10:16:51 PM »
Great thread bro!!!

Based on learnings from the little experience, the dilemma of mains products are the trade-offs -

Reduced Noise/quieter background/more resolution, etc. on one hand v/s lesser dynamics/attack/less bass/lost emotions etc. on the other.

We all strive to walk the tight rope between the two
Sony Z1es | Densen DM20 | DM30 | Dynaudio S1.4

Nordost Heimdall | Baldur | QED Genesis

Maestro | 7N-4030 | Plixir Elementa BAC3000 | PC

watchdog

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 09:54:01 AM »
Wildrain,

You bring up a good point. The tricky part is that sometimes we mistake high frequency noise as air and ambience, while loose bass is perceived to be big and impressive.

Some of the transformer based solutions I've heard blunt dynamics or sound too dark, dead or lifeless. The amount of loading the transformer is handling also plays a big part.

 

Wizardofoz

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 01:27:29 PM »
I have a friend with a recording studio and a lot of the analogue gear is powered via a large step down transformer (8KVA I think) to support the 110V power requirements. I wonder if this affects their perceived audio....He doesn't seem to have any issues with it nor has ever mentioned it. Much of the gear is controlled by MIDI and interfaces with Protools or occasionally Logic

In the digital domain I guess perhaps this has less impact but for the mastering of the tracks audio monitoring also doesn't seem to be an issue.

Maybe will test his ears one day with some power conditioning and see what he thinks...his ear is far more sensitive than mine.

The Analogue rig...

« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 01:30:22 PM by Wizardofoz »

Francis Huang

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 04:20:07 PM »
Yep,
More often than not, we get confused.
Noise become air and rolled off highs become low noise floor.

The new plixir is working very well for me. I have the pre cond version feeding the power distributor that feeds my source components. Noise floor drops without sacrificing dynamics and i did not detect roll off in the high freq domain.

Wildrain,

You bring up a good point. The tricky part is that sometimes we mistake high frequency noise as air and ambience, while loose bass is perceived to be big and impressive.

Some of the transformer based solutions I've heard blunt dynamics or sound too dark, dead or lifeless. The amount of loading the transformer is handling also plays a big part.

Darknight

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 04:36:58 AM »
I'm using the PLiXiR elementra 2500 with very good results. It is a step up from the previous PLiXiR 3000 BAC which I had replaced in my setup.

However, for the PLiXiR Elite range, I would caution those who are keen to try it out in your setup before purchase. It may be more of a side step, gaining added bass but sacrificing refinement and 'air'.
Associated Equipment: MSB Platinum Transport > Schiit Yiggy > Pass XP10 > Acoustic Imagery Atsah 1200 monos > Wilson Sasha

jb

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 01:05:12 PM »
For power conditioning, those type of outlet that use low pass filter choke and high frequency by pass capacitors is only good for low current audio equipment like CDP, preamp, but will failed to deliver the peak current required by high current power amplifier and will cause lack of bass dynamic and generally slow down your system. generally I will not recommend this type of outlet for Hifi usage.

Best is for power amplifier to connect direct to AC outlet and tweak with different type of wall AC socket with different plating material and may be different power cable to RCCB distributor box. For CDP, turntable, preamp and low current equipment connect to balance transformer for best low noise.

However, for balance transformer use, unless your amp, preamp internal circuit has the AC Netural and Ground wire both ground to equipment chassic, then using balance transformer will help. But if your internal only have AC ground wire to equipment chassic and Netural wire is not ground to chassic, then the gound loop current is broken and does not effect your circuit, then using balance transformer will have less effect. See attach current loop diagram for balance transformer

jb

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 07:46:16 PM »


Top is how a normal AC supply to your audio amplifier look like , and because there may be a difference of voltage potential between Netural and AC ground, a loop current will create noise for your audio system.

Below is if you are using a balance transformer, the virtual ground create on the centre tap of transformer and amp chassic stop the loop current and thus the noise. Thus using balance transformer will reduce noise.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 05:16:49 PM by jb »

annapurna

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2016, 05:03:10 PM »
I had a Purepower 3000+ generator with a battery pack.  I used it for preamp, Network player, turntable and cd player.  So far the result has been very positive.  My incoming voltage has always been very high during the day, up to 239V and with regeneration to 230V.  With the Purepower, a layer of congestion has been removed and i can hear more detail all the way to the background.  Some brightness that is always present in the mix is no longer there.    Initially it seemed that the high frequency has been rolled off but with prolong listening, it is not.  It is just so quiet that Music sounded smoother and more relaxing to the ears.   I have yet to connect it to the power amp and will do that when I am free. 

tane0019

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 10:06:43 PM »
Any bros experience the new range of conditioner from Shunyata - DENALI Series ??

Think the design seem to be PURE "Parallel Filter".

Told by the local agent that it will not affect dynamics & etc .... (ie connect source, pre and power amp - all in).
Don't know true or not.  Don't think they provide home trial ....   :-\ :-\ :-\


For Info.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkRAjZ8sM5U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H77ivPYVIvg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6f1kwyZbM8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0k417ET7K8
HUAT AH !!!

watchdog

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 12:15:17 PM »
Any bros experience the new range of conditioner from Shunyata - DENALI Series ??

Think the design seem to be PURE "Parallel Filter".

Told by the local agent that it will not affect dynamics & etc .... (ie connect source, pre and power amp - all in).
Don't know true or not.  Don't think they provide home trial ....   :-\ :-\ :-\


For Info.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkRAjZ8sM5U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H77ivPYVIvg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6f1kwyZbM8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0k417ET7K8

A parallel filter design shouldn't affect dynamics. If you happen to try, do let us know what you think of it.

jb

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 08:24:52 PM »
Recently after listening to Hifi system with PS audio P10, the sound difference changes is great especially if connected to power amplifier which prove me wrong as usually it will limit dynamic range for power amplifier but not in this case. The sound with and without P10 is like changing a new amplifier and the improvement is overall from low bass, mid range and high frequency, seldom a device will able to improve in all area. I will definitely looking into P10 in the near future to see how it improves the sound technically.

Another forum has done some DIY modification using Furutech GTX-D NCF to P10 and getting good results from it just for our reference....








« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 05:20:07 PM by jb »

jb

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 08:25:40 PM »
The final modified P10 with Furutech NCF...



« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 05:20:34 PM by jb »

jb

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 01:01:32 PM »
Any forumer here using PS Audio P10 power regeneration? what is the best setting for house voltage here? Voltage setting? Sine or multiwave? phase control? low distortion or high regulation? which setting sound the best?

sumotan

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Re: The power conditioning thread
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 11:09:01 PM »
Nice thread but it would be nicer to also include some diy ideas instead
of having to spend mega dollars. Let me start if I may, go try out the good
old Jon Risch line filter. It works on amps real good cause I build one into
my amp. The difference in mine were the inductors, I hand it wound with thick
wire over laminated (I) plates instead of the recommended Corcom ones.
There is a little draw back though, for the filter to work really good, one has
to load the filter with a 100 watt incendescent bulb. With & without loading
the SQ is immediate no 2 ways about it.

Cheers