I pulled my amp(s) out of the power conditioner and went
straight into the wall years ago. Best zero dollar tweak I've
straight into the wall years ago. Best zero dollar tweak I've
With power conditioners there is no way to know for sure until you try and see. Some integrated and power amps improved with some power conditioners and some not. Many other factors are going on within any given system/room/electrical system. So to think because someone on forum says his xyz amp improved with certain xyz power conditioner means your same gear will do likewise could be mistaken assumption.
Powersupply conditioners are usually ok for equipment have regulated power supplies, sources like cdp's, phono stages, preamps tuners T/T etc;
But for most poweramp/s their output stages are not powered by regulated supplies, they're just rectified, these supplies need to be "stiff" (low esr) right back to the mains, and by introducing a power conditioner, they usually no longer remain "stiff" and the bass tightness will suffer in most cases, and sometimes the dynamics as well.
Only one poweramp I can think of that had a regulated supply for it's output stage, was the Naim 250, I'm sure there are a couple of others, maybe the big Halcro poweramp for memory as well.
Mapleshade Records sells a power strip conditioner which does not limit power and allows both amp and front end components to sound better and unconstrained.
Plug this strip into one of the AC wall sockets and then plug a Machina Dynamica Flying Saucer RFI/EMI blocker into the adjacent socket.
At modest cost you should easily hear a meaningful upgrade to overall performance.
Well I'm running my 200WPC 833C SET monoblocks off PS Audio P5 power regenerators, and they sound better WITH the regenerators. Because of the power draw of the amps, I need to use one P5 per channel, but the dynamics seem to be better with the regerators. Perhaps that's because of the low output impedance and 50 Amp peak power capability that PS Audio claims for these units.
The Midlife Crisis
Any amp of decent power that sounds better plugged into a power conditioner should be sold ASAP.
That may be a slight bit of hyperbole, but ask any reputable amplifier designer if you should plug their product into a conditioner. The answer will be universally - NO! (In fact, one reputable designer already responded to this thread, so you don't have to take my word for it.)
Virtually everyone I've come across in this hobby who has tried it themselves comes to the same conclusion as the original poster in this thread.
There are some that do less harm than others, and there are some parallel devices like RPGC you could get away with using, but you're going to waste money gaining almost nothing.
Funny story...I had an argument on this topic with the designer of a power conditioner. We lived in the same town and I invited him to bring his $3.6k conditioner over, and we would test it. He was in the local audiophile group and they made a whole meeting around it. Others brought different power conditioners to try and guess what...
My system never sounded worse...In fact, one of them was choking my amps so bad that it was nearly unlistenable. Funniest thing is that they never stayed around long enough to hear my system with the amps plugged straight into the wall. They just packed up their 30-50lb conditioners and left. I'm sure some of them didn't want to admit being wrong, so they blamed my system for the poor audio instead of it being due to every single power conditioner.
Nevertheless, I knew what my system sounded like without conditioners on the amps, and the A/B testing on numerous conditioners gave me great confirmation of what every amp manufacturer says.
My experience is tube power amp benefits with active power regenerator like PS Audio powerplants. Tube amp tends to draw roughly the same current during use, so quick draw of high current is not needed as AB mode solid state amp in dynamic blast.
I have used two P10's for my 200w Sonic Frontier mono blocks for two years with good result. The sound is much better with the powerplants. Once, there was some problems with one powerplant and it had to be sent back for repair. I didn't want to turn on the amps without powerplant, the sound was flat and mean.
We need to distinguish between conditioners and regenerators here. The first simply filters the AC. The second regenerates it in a cleaner state and provides a store of energy for quick bursts of power so it shouldn't strangle the sound.
My amps have huge power supplies (I know, I built them). The output stage of each mono has >340 joules of energy storage! In a Class A amp! I find the sound to be cleaner and more consistent with the regenerators in place.
Lowest impedance path all the way back to the mains generating source is the best thing for unregulated poweramps power supplies.
If you have the knowledge or experience you can do this yourself, if not please get an electrician to do it.
The best way to power amplifiers, is to have a dedicated mains circuit for your amps, and a good heavy duty contact mains fuse for it, I prefer the old fashion ceramic push in with fuse wire instead of circuit breakers as they have very beefy brass contact wipers, where circut breaker do not, as they have a switch wiper inside them, as well as the weaker push in contacts.
And get your electrician to tighten all contacts (active neutral & earth) while he's at it before and after the meter box.
I even got the electricity suppliers to come out to clean and tighten the barge board contact to the house and where it connects the the mains line as well, as these get green and compressed and get loose with age. and should be cleaned and re-tightened as well.
The difference was quite stunning, especially in the bass.
No mains conditioner/regenerator can make up for these high resistance problems above.
How do you guys feel or what has been your experience with a balanced transformer in front of your amp? Do amps generally work better connected to balanced power than connected to the wall?
I want to tackle power treatment for my system, but I'm unable to try different options here. I would need to buy it (import it) to try it. My system: McIntosh MC275, Lamm LL2, Metrum Octave DAC.
My room has 20 amp dedicated circuits and with my amplifiers(8 watt
SET 300b, 40 watt el34 PP, and a 100 watt KT 88/6550 PP) plugged into the
wall outlet the sound is good. When any of these amplifiers are plugged
into my BPT3.5 Signature Plus (balanced AC transformer-conditioner) there
is undeniable across the board improvement. Dynamics, nuance, tonality,
naturalness, you name it, it all gets better.Some conditioners are inferior to
direct wall outlets and some will be clearly superior to direct plug in .
There's a wide range of quality like any other audio component/accessory.
I've been very happy running Transparent PIMM surge/conditioners with my pre, power amp, and integrated.
I've done A/Bs with numerous conditioners, and most will kill an amp's soundstage. The PIMM actually appears to improve the sound slightly. Part of my situation is that the PIMMS also provide some insurance.
I'm in a condo, and my neighbors will on occasion spike the lines. One brown-out fried a $400.00 conference phone, and that was enough of a lesson. I run multiple PIMMs I picked up on closeout with the pre, amp, and integrated respectively, a Shunyata Hydra with my sources, and a Panamax M2-Sub with my sub. The Panamax does impede the sub's performance, but I accept the trade-off as part of living in a highrise.
I guess your KT88 PP 100-Watter is close enough to my amp. I was considering one of the smaller BPT units, but I was more inclined to use it on the digital front-end and maybe the preamp. Maybe I should go larger and add the amp into the BPT.
BTW, do you only plug the amps into that BP, or do you also have pre and source on the same unit?
I have a BPT BP-1 and a Furman P-2400 IT, both balanced power conditioners. My system typically draws 3.5 amps if I use my 300b amp. (my system draws almost 9 watts with my OTL amp!).
Last week, I plugged my entire system, with the 300b amp, into each power conditioner to hear the difference. With the BP-1, which has an 8.5 amp continuous rating, the sound was nice, but it seemed a bit restrained. With the Furman, which has a 20 amp rating, I experienced what Charles described.
The BP-1 works great with source components and preamps. I would not use it with an amplifier.
You make a good point. I should have mentioned that my BPT 3.5
Signature uses a large heavy duty 20 amp transformer (their largest model).
That's why it easily handled all three of my amplifiers. I believe that
balanced AC power is an asset for better sound quality. BPT, does offer a
variety of ampere ratings in their model's transformers depending on need.
I run tubes monoblocks and tried different conditionner active and passive ones. The best in my system were Lessloss Firewall (first version). I sold it to a Swiss guy who replaced a Blue Circle . The Swiss was not self assured it could be better as he was happy with the BC...sometimes audiophiles are strange people that want what is very good to be bettered. He was so happy with the Lessloss he wrote me back to thank me.
I briefly tried Acoustic Revive RTP2 and found it in the same league as the Firewall, but only 2 outlets.
I made the gap when I bought the Bybee Stealth that blows everything I tried until then. Recently I changed again in trading in the Stealth for the Bybee Holographic and the gap is enough to make me happy.
I think the new AC modules make a huge diference. The whole reproduction of music is in one word : "Purer" more natural less hifi and more involving about only music.