Anyone have the Answer?


I am trying to learn how to measure my ac lines to see if they need
conditioning or Regeneration. 

Now it seems to me a person would want to know how bad an issue
they have before tossing out $3-7k for a machine to fix it.

I have asked this question on several forums and so far no one has ventured an answer.

Or are we as consumers supposed to just accept an issue exists and buy the product?



94b60302 cac0 4543 8dcb 330d93295659chorus
I'm not an EE but I use an Alpha Labs EMI line meter. It allows me to see what's going on.
LOL. Trip lite 300.00 usd.. 10-12 copper outlets.. 2400 watts, filter above 20k and 40k. Save your money.. 5K? for what? I spent 8 dollars on silicone to quiet the transformer noise by 95%. All 3 work perfect and very quiet.. It has lights in lue of gages to show surge.. 308.00 They maintained 120 vac on a 110 vac line for 3 months.. That's fixed now. They are tough...NO they don't have 5K of jewelry called a case with gages.

Regards
Post removed 
Maybe not the answer you are looking for but see if you can find on Ebay etc a Monster Power, Dr. Power which will plug into your AC outlet and allow you to listen to the noise on your AC line at each outlet you plug it into. There are some other devices that do the same thing but at the moment I can't think of their names.
There is a whole suite of measurements you can make to assess power quality, using devices such as this. The extent to which any of these factors actually influence the sound is a matter of some debate, obviously.

One power quality factor that is often overlooked - and which can have a definite, measurable influence on your system - is Power Factor. It can be measured with something like this.
Measuring the AC mains noise isn't really that important as ALL electronics that are certified will have internal filtering. If it makes you feel better then use something like a Panamax but I wouldn't spend over a few hundred dollars they give you plenty of outlets and even some of the less expensive ones now show your voltage. Watch the first video I posted it explains why internal filtering is mandatory for certification as the internal noise is worse than any incoming on the mains and since it travels both ways the internal filtering is required to keep noise from being injected to the mains line. This is one of the least understood issues and most oversold as far as cleaning products for your mains.
Great answers, here, mostly! I had the same question.
Easiest method is buy a Power Plant try it. If it doesn't work return it.

I use one, works according to my ears and eyes(TV).
tablejockey
Easiest method is buy a Power Plant try it. If it doesn't work return it.
This is such great advice that it is hard to understand why it is not a more common practice. In this instance, PS Audio offers, "Free shipping & free 30-Day returns for all US customers, including Hawaii and Alaska," according to its website. So it seems there is zero risk, other than your time and energy.
Post removed 
I am trying to learn how to measure my ac lines to see if they need
conditioning or Regeneration.

Now it seems to me a person would want to know how bad an issue
they have before tossing out $3-7k for a machine to fix it.

I have asked this question on several forums and so far no one has ventured an answer.

Or are we as consumers supposed to just accept an issue exists and buy the product?

Right, we as consumers are supposed to consume. Duh. By definition.

Was there some other question you had? Anything related to audio? Not that I can’t help. My knowledge base is encyclopedic. But the better the question the better the answer. You asked an unserious question. That is, one inclined more to make a point than evoke information.

Okay so we get it. You made your point. You think the whole thing is bunk. Fine. So, what’s your question?
millercarbon
Was there some other question you had? Anything related to audio? ... But the better the question the better the answer. You asked an unserious question. That is, one inclined more to make a point than evoke information.
The question seemed clear to me. It must have appeared clear to others, too, because the OP got some thoughtful answers.

Yeah well they maybe didn't think it through very well then. Using a meter merely removes the decision making one step. You still have to decide what meter, what to measure, and why? Usually the reason we measure is to get better sound. Unless of course the whole point is to sit in the sweet spot looking at your scope and printouts? 

Well then if you listen, who cares what the measurements say? The consensus of the "thoughtful answers" seems to be measure something, buy something based on the measurements, and then if it turns out bad send it back.  

How is the OP supposed to know if it turns out bad? Is he gonna measure it? Or listen to it?  

So for all the "thoughtfulness" it never seems to have occurred to anyone all they are doing is moving the decision one step down the road. Kicking the can.

Of a guy who started out from the very beginning telling us he has been can-kicking at forums across the land. 

That is the result of genuine thoughtfulness. Unless you meant I should be thoughtful not of the question but of the questioners feelings. Well, again, he came here telling us up front he'e never been satisfied with any of the answers he's gotten anywhere else. Tantamount to telling us he is just going to waste our time. So why should I be overly concerned with his feelings?

No wait actually its worse than that. What he actually said was, 
I have asked this question on several forums and so far no one has ventured an answer.

No one has even tried to answer? Seriously? Say again, bad faith question. Got the answer it deserves. Ask a good question, get a good answer. 
millercarbon
... maybe didn't think it through very well then. Using a meter merely removes the decision making one step ...
No, it offers the potential of having solid information to help inform a decision.
... if you listen, who cares what the measurements say?
Hopefully nobody while they're actually listening. Listening and measuring are two different things. 
So for all the "thoughtfulness" it never seems to have occurred to anyone all they are doing is moving the decision one step down the road. Kicking the can.
They are suggesting a step you're willing to forsake. And that's fine. It isn't clear why that's a problem for you.
Preach it Brother Carbon.. LOL You've pointed out the demon, and it seemed to need an exorcism.. Be gone. or is the A Gone..

Yup there was a lot to point out in the OPs question. So I pointed out, skip the CRAP and plug in a 300.00 usd solution... You know the grid is ok at best, no matter the measurement.. The device to measure anything of any significance, would cost more than my whole fix.. The irony..

Regards
Using an oscilloscope is the best way I know of.  Unfortunately they will still put you out around $300-$400, and if you don't have a background in electronics are going to be difficult to set up, and interpret.
Preach it Brother Carbon.. LOL You've pointed out the demon, and it seemed to need an exorcism.. Be gone. or is the A Gone..


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0ZS9sImoOE

These two had it easy, only the one demon at a time.
They make products to measure your ac lines for sure but i can tell you that a good conditioner will improve the sound of your system whether the line is a good one or a noisy one and you do not have to spend thousands to hear the difference.
First things , I had installed dedicated 20:amp lines awg 10
with and this is key 4 wire ,dual ground one common the other a insulated isolated ground with copper gold plated outlets .
a night and day difference in detail as well as silence. That was the
best value per $$ spent in Audio ,and I hav3 had a friends AQ5000
line conditioner ,slightly better then my line by maybe 2-3% 
if it is a great recording .
What I been saying for years, the single most cost-effective power improvement is to replace the standard outlet to outlet circuit with a dedicated line. The details of wire, gauge, etc are very minor compared to this one thing.
Here's your answer. I believe a balanced power unit makes sense. I was able to obtain mine for under $1K. My system is completely black.

https://equitech.com/what-is-a-balanced-power/

Also, watch this......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITkuBgFtTjs

There was a Shunyata video where they identified and demonstrated some sort of device they had acquired that demonstrably measured line interference both before and after they used their line noise reduction equipment on a circuit. It shouldn’t be too hard to find that video on youtube.

Or give them a call and I’m sure they could point you to the video, or better, even let you talk to the equipment designer using it in the video. They are quite accommodating when you call, and should be able to direct you to the person that could answer you question

Mike
I thank everyone for making a good faith effort to respond to the question I put out. It was in the first sentence for those misguided.

There are some good thoughts and some less practical- unless
you are already in possession of the $10k Fluke instrument suggested.

I have had fairly good luck in the past reading through a myriad of
AG responses and deciding which way to go. I think anyone reading
this thread may begin to understand why I even pose the question.

If I thought the idea was all "Bunk" i wouldn't be wasting time on it.
I think it is probably valuable but I am not spending a dime until
someone shows me. Love the MO folk.

I do have two dedicated 20 amp lines. Now are those for analogue and digital or for audio and video? Heard both ways. Pls explain your position if you have one.

The straightforward solution to any audio uncertainty is to buy one
on a trial basis. Not always a practical solution however.

I tend to think that there are enough experienced people reading
this forum that if I read all the replies carefully, I will find one that
is most helpful. I thought I had a well worded question but maybe not.

Believe it or not this method of learning has been working well for me over the past 5 years. However as I mentioned this particular question seems to stump people more often than not. 

I think my next move will be to reach out to the Shunyata people
to get their take. Good suggestion-thanks! I will share what I learn.

Eric- I fear your answer must be the closest to correct which is
why no one else tries to respond.  Way over my head. 

Thanks all!!


MC-you keep rattling off garbage and most people think you are a fool. You turn a simple question into some BS propaganda that doesn’t relate to anything and you put people down in the process. We all get a good laugh out of your silly replies so don’t stop, they are also keeping the aliens from talking to us. Just like somebody mentioned to you before: have another drink because with each drink your system sounds better and better
p05129 Yeah, I really don't understand MC, he does have some very good experience and knowledge to share, he even thanked me once for a musician I recommended on another thread, so I know he has a heart. But for some reason likes to trash/insult people, especially new people here, or sometimes simply goes on a rant that is not at all helpful to the OP. Maybe could use a friend up there in cold and damp Seattle to warm his heart up a bit more. Or a better Bourbon. 
There are some very useful USB oscilloscope add-ons for computers, about $65. Plenty accurate enough for taking a look at your incoming ac power. They can record on your computer screen Hz and voltage excursions. 

After that, it depends on how clean and robust you want your power to be. The PS Audio Generators rectify and filter the incoming ac. Then it has precision inverters to rebuild the 50/60 Hz to very precise % with virtually no noise. It produces a very exact sine wave at 110/120 vac that doesn’t budge at all with your load. Clean, noise-free, unwavering ac voltage, sine wave, current, and frequency. Even if your power line goes down to 20 vac, 45 Hz, with lots of noise, you’re going to get 120 vac/ 60 Hz clean to your load.
OK time for a new guy with limited audio knowledge to ask a stupid question or two to try to get some elementary understanding as I am obviously missing something.
if you turn up the volume to the max while not playing music and hear nothing -0- from your speakers I would think you do not have a noise problem. Further, when playing music at various volumes and you hear no noise I would think you do not have a noise problem. I say this as I just did it and that's what I heard lol.    So given the above how does the electrical noise negatively affect the sound if you can't hear it?   What is it affecting negatively, the dynamic range,  imaging, soundstage, etc.? What's the science say.
As an aside  I would have hoped by now audio manufacturers would have addressed this issue in their amps as dirty electricity is a universal and persistent issue. 
Be that as it may the idea of a uniform electromagnetic wave
 flowing thru the system versus one with irregularities seems desirable.
 



  
scott22-
OK time for a new guy with limited audio knowledge to ask a stupid question or two to try to get some elementary understanding as I am obviously missing something.
if you turn up the volume to the max while not playing music and hear nothing -0- from your speakers I would think you do not have a noise problem. Further, when playing music at various volumes and you hear no noise I would think you do not have a noise problem. I say this as I just did it and that’s what I heard lol. So given the above how does the electrical noise negatively affect the sound if you can’t hear it? What is it affecting negatively, the dynamic range, imaging, soundstage, etc.? What’s the science say.

Right. You will never hear the AC line noise I am talking about, not like you think, not at any volume. It is not noise like record groove, or hiss or white noise. You will only hear it at all if it is super bad, like static from flourescent lights or an appliance or something.

The vast majority of AC line noise is not like that. Some of it, a lot of it probably, is RF riding on the AC. RF is everywhere, and every wire is an antenna. Also everything connected to the power grid is connected to every other thing. Electric motors mostly, but everything else as well to some extent, generates a sort of reflected wave called back EMF. The combined upshot of all of this is a lot of low amplitude high frequency distortion riding on the 60Hz sine wave.

Also there is this thing called micro-arcing. No connection is perfect. On a micro scale it is craggy, with microscopic arcs sparking across the gaps. We want a smooth steady flow but instead we get all this static type flow.

If you were to zoom in on this with a scope or something you would see all this as tiny squiggles riding on the huge 120V wave. Running a direct line eliminates a lot of micro-arcing. It also eliminates a lot of opportunities for RF getting in.

Every power supply has the job of converting AC to DC. They all do this with diodes, caps, and transformers. The goal is to produce perfectly flat even and steady AC current and voltage regardless of the demands of the music. Because otherwise, if the power supply wavers at all this fluctuation will wind up in the signal. No power supply is perfect. Whatever imperfections are in the incoming AC, some of that will make it through even the best power supply and into the music.

This is the noise we are talking about, and this is the reason things like a dedicated line, power cords, and conditioners can make so much improvement. It affects all of those things you are asking about- imaging, dynamics, etc. 

If you want to hear for yourself what I’m talking about, simply go flip off all the breakers except for the system. You will hear a big jump in clarity and detail, with a much lower noise floor. This is because cutting the breakers disconnected all those wires that were antennas bringing RFI into the system.

See guys, it is easy to get a sincere answer- simply ask a sincere question. Don’t make up no fake crap about how you been asking everywhere and nobody even tried to answer.
MC is exactly correct in this description which is what Garth Powell discusses (and demonstrates) in the video link I posted. I'm not advocating for or pushing Audioquest products but as a former engineer with Furman Power he offers a lot of useful information. If you want to reduce/eliminate AC line noise, read the paper I linked to from Equi-Tech, the company that developed balanced power.
Loving both my furman pst-8 and AQ Niagara 1200. I am also fond of my AQ thunder, z3, and x3 power cords. Lastly, my 12/2 20 amp from power panel to AQ Edison receptacle dedicated circuit for my hifi. All these things have made a significant difference in both clarity and noise floor in my particular system. It was all well worth it.

You will need a pry bar to remove the plugs from the AQ Edison receptacle, incredible grip.

Unrelated, but also using a Dedicated winegard hd 6010  antenna in the attic for FM signal. The FM sounds as clear as a CD from over 30 to 50 miles away!  I believe in dedication i guess...
The only problems you can get into are not being able get enough current to a high powered amplifier and overloading a circuit by plugging too much into it. Number one you solve by running separate 20 amp lines to your amps and use low gauge power cords, 12 gauge will do. Number two is solved by running two separate circuits, 15 or 20 amp if you like to the system area and dividing the equipment between them.

Thank you scott22. You are absolutely right. It seems that people are scared of what they can't hear or see.

djones is also right. Any equipment with a decent regulated power supply will reject any noise. Don't buy equipment with bad power supplies.

Spending money on equipment on a lark just because you know you can send it back is IMHO silly. Expectation bias is going to make you think it sounds better when it does not which is why these companies bank on this sort of behavior. A company that has confidence in it's equipment will not accept a return unless it is defective. It's the old "Guaranteed or your money back" routine you see on TV all the time or there is a "sucker born every minute." If you get a power device flip to you phonograph and turn the volume all the way up. Is there any difference in noise levels? Sounding better can be an illusion. I can't tell you how many times people I know including myself initially thought something sounded better only to discover down the line that it really did not or even worse caused some kind of problem. If you think your phono stage it too noisy don't buy a power device, buy a better phono stage.

Always keep this in mind, the goal of any company is to make money any legal (sometimes not) way you can and lying about almost anything is called marketing (or politics). The audio world is loaded with scam artists.
Consumer beware.
 
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Your AC line measures from the back of the device it is connected to all the way to the power station that generated it and includes any substations along the way.  All of it, the entire distance, picks up EMI and RFI.
I used Tripplite for many years in both the 4  and 6 plug models and for awhile the Isolation Transformer models.  I considered the Surge Suppression mandatory as I live in Miami and we get lots of summer thunderstorms. ..  and I actually lost two self-powered subs to surges.
I recently decided to finish off the system I have been building from time to time over the last 30 years and decided to add a high-end power conditioning system.  I had reasonable beliefs it would be helpful since I can hear a difference in background grain from summer when all AC units are running in the 167 unit building and a cool winter day when few or none are.  The power lines are also noise polluted by refrigerator compressors, computers, florescent lights and so forth specifically including lots of RFI from broadcast stations.
I purchased an Audioquest Niagara 3000 and a Monsoon power cord for it, and upgraded all the other power cords in the system to Audioquest noise drain types compatible with current requirements and the 3000. 

It absolutely has made a difference in background blackness, noise and grain in the sound and other areas but I would say this..  if the resolution of your system isn't at a level that you can hear differences in different interconnects, tubes and power cords look for improvements in other places first since you are still baking your cake and it's not time to put the icing on yet.
Try this: find a dealer who will let you audition one of those really pricy power cords. If the cord makes a noticeable improvement, your power is dirty and a "machine" will help. Good Luck!
I'll stick to my 4 26,000 mf filter caps per channel, per 100 watts times six (3 amps).
@chorus 
Your question is very straightforward and I certainly understand why you asked it.
Unfortunately, certain users on this site feel like they own it and that they can deride people if a question is not worthy of their response. My guess is that no one will put up with their behaviour in the real world, so they troll this site trying to feed their egos. They usually know what they are talking about, but instead of helping people that know less than they do, they choose to mock them for their perceived ignorance. Luckily, there are many decent people here as well, as is illustrated by the number of actual attempts to help find an answer to your question. And, thanks for asking the question. I was wondering the same thing.

Surge protection won't stop Lightning strikes that's why you have insurance. For normal surges the best thing is have the electric company put a device beside the meter, next best is have an electrician put one in the panel box. 
A $400 scope would pretty much do everything you want.
" Any equipment with a decent regulated power supply will reject any noise."

So far, pretty much the only statement which makes sense here..... Rest is all snake oil.  Most noise & RFI is filtered out in a proper power supply.

That is what a power supply is for....... as well as also providing a low ripple DC.

The only downside of an unregulated power supply is that it will reflect the voltage variations of the mains on the DC line.

Thanks for even more good ideas to try!
The baking analogy is something that hit home.

Some clarification please:

1. If I try an excellent power cable to my Streamer or Dac or AMP-
(Which first? The DAC?) and I find I hear a very noticeable
improvement, is that telling me I should start with an AQ/Furman/PS Audio/Shunyata or ? conditioner/regenerator first
or buy better cabling/inters?

I read of those who tried conditioners  and felt the soundstage was negatively impacted. 

2. If I flip all breakers off except the two going to my system
and that produces a very noticeable improvement, does this tell me
I need a regenerator ?? Or just install a new J-box and cut off the
wife when I listen?

3. I am beginning to see which direction to go. I am no E.E. and 
the thought of comparing sine waves leaves me woozy.

Thanks for all the various approaches.

Best,

Jeff
Based on posts here, I'm checking into the Puritan line......very interesting.
@chorus,
Check out Danny Ritchie’s videos (GR Research) on cable building. Very enlightening.
Planning a visit to Danny soon. 
Thanks!