If you just want to cut to the chase, do try the Plasmatron at VH Audio. A very underrated product. What it does for digital is just wonderful. Analog benefits as well btw. I took mine to 6 audiophile friends houses and all but one bought a unit. The only holdout had just purchased a PS Audio powerplant regenerator.....we added this to his regenerator and the sound was so much better we were all just slack jawed......Unfortunately he had just spent a wad on his and would have to make it work... It was like vinyl spinning without the noise. He was saddened when I removed it. He asked if I was leaving it longer..... If you are in the Bay Area, you can try mine for an evening. Truely a big improvement. I have heard just about every conditioning configuration....then heard this and was smitten....the best I have heard by a large margin. More air, detail, space, texture and just a musical ease....live music seduction. Not cheap, but really worth an audition. Not every configuration will be magical so trying is imperative, just like any other component. The only DAC I did not like the synergy with was the Luxman. Just did not feel the connection. The 5 or 6 other DACs were magical. Contact vhaudio. Regards, PT
I tried various models from a few manufactures such as Shunyata, Ps audio, and Richard gray. they all sounded different/better but in the end I preferred my system without them. I recently auditioned the SR Powercell 10 se III and did experience a noticeable improvement also the SR in non current limiting am able to use it with my amps. I will be keeping it around highly recommended.
Thanks Plasmatech. "like vinyl spinning without noise" is the best quote I've ever seen describing the incredible benefits of isolation & conditioning for digital.
Thanks Ken. I understand Wadia p/s is very good. I'd be interested to hear the difference a Sound Application unit would make system.
Any chance you can audition?
I have heard the SR power cell, and their limited production unit, top of the line R. Grey, PS Audio, and many others. I neglected to mention the Plasmatron can be plugged into your high current conditioning/surge protected outlet. One of the best improvements I heard was the Plasmatron plugged into a top of the line Richard Grey system with 220 V etc. Just stunning what that level of treatment does to not letting AC influence the sound. Recordings suddenly had an a loss of edginess, and recordings were more individual sounding. The sound of the different recording venues were vivid. As mentioned before, worth a listen....and no, I don't work for VH Audio, and I had to pay hard currency as well for mine. One friend did return his unit....only to upgrade to a bigger one. What did it for me was how much video improves with one. Really interesting....... PT
The Shunyata Triton has put to shame all contenders in my system including the SR MKIII and Bybee Stealth.
Tried the Mapleshade unit primarily due to good results with their isolation products. The AC conditioner would seem to be too cheap and mundane looking to do much good, but was pleasantly surprised with the results in my highest-end system. It's a keeper!
I like Furutech because they don't change the sound of your system too much.
after using PS Audio, Furutech, Isoclean I settled on HB Cable design....the best and the most natural(means no artefacts or limits for all system).
Prcinka, which HB product are you using? If one of their power strips, are you using any of their power cords or signal cables?
Thanks Plasmatech for your info on Plasmatron. I had been unaware of it. Have you used any Sound Application device?
Thanks Sabai. I expected the Triton to be excellent. Have you used a Sound Application conditioner? Do any of your hi-fi friends have experiences with SA? I've just tried one and found it to be transformative; but I have a unique ac power supply so am looking for others experience.
Thanks Prcinka. I just looked up the "review" by MARSHALL NACK in Positive Feedback issue 71. He claimed 'magic' and stated "Bottom line: If I had an unlimited budget, I'd sooner purchase the HB Acrylic than any power distributor or conditioner on the market." Wow! It would be nice to know the distributors and conditioners he has investigated?
I have only heard a Sound Application at a show. It was a $20,000 item that impressed no one in the room.
I used to own an Acoustic Revive RTP-6 Ultimate which is more of a high end distributor, but claims to offer some conditioning. The RTP uses top flight cryo'd Oyaide R1 wpo's and sounds fast, detailed and neutral/natural. I recently upgraded to a Gigawatt PC-3 SE Evo conditioner which was a significant upgrade. This condition has excellent engineering and build quality. In terms of sound, straight out of the box I noted the following improvements in random order; - smoother sound (more liquid), blacker background, more body, inner details, more detail in general & slightly improved dynamics. I'm told this conditioner needs around 200hrs to open up and settle down, so the best is yet to come!
Interesting Sabai. Did you have the chance to listen to the system with and without the SOUND APPLICATION unit? $20,000 is a lot of money so I'd have high expectations. Do you remember who it was displayed with? Appreciate your input.
Yes, we listened with and without the unit. It was in a Raidho room at the A/V show in Singapore.
I have not used any Sound Application devices. I might add that I loaned my unit to a retail dealer for YG Acoustics...he bought one .....says a lot to me. They are only available factory direct. He trusts his ears, he has very good ears, and heard what I did as well. His room at the Bay Area Audio Show never fails to impress. A picture is up at either his website for Loggie Audio or at VH Audio. I can't recall which one.
Apparently the tube used is a Thyratron tube and affects the phase angle. An EE may want to chime in and contribute more as I am not an EE. All I can say is that when in a system, computer based, cd, vinyl, especially systems with non tube power supplies, the results are very positive. With tube power supplies, I note less of a difference.
Sabai, any chance the show was using balanced power? Why were all in the room unimpressed?
sorry for the late reply...I am too busy listening to music! I use the HB Cable acrylic power slave and also the power dragon alternating with Yamamura power cord as I have all my cables from Yamamura, so I give a bit of preference to the sound of all yamamura ssytem cabling...
I don't know if the system was balanced. Why was everyone unimpressed? Because the unit did not do anything special for SQ.
Understood Sabai. (However if the ac is perfect no unit will make any difference. I think a real evaluation can only be made where the ac is needing conditioning. I think 'comparisons with other conditioners' are needed for evaluation.) I asked if the power was balanced because the SOUND APPLICATION is designed for normal unbalanced power with a normal ground--it won't work after a balanced unit. However it is effective if placed "before" the balanced unit. Most people would not be aware of this.
"...if the ac is perfect no unit will make any difference".
I can certainly appreciate that there may be some conditioners around that aren't particularly effective at making a noticeable difference in sound quality, but, FWIW, I personally believe that a big part of the underlying truth of the topic generally has as much, or more, to do with "electrical noise" as it does with the usual things like inductance, resistance and wire length/geometry and so on, whether we're talking about balanced applications or no.
Most of us are at least passingly familiar with the importance of the idea of "digital self noise". But, maybe not many of us have looked beyond that long enough to see that actually All our components pollute the electrical system (both in connection with AC and DC). The digital stuff tends to be noticeably noisier, but we've learned that the principles that effectively deal with digital self noise can also be good for the analog components. But, it really goes much deeper than that. When we start looking at exactly what it is about the components that is causing this, we find in the end that it is nothing, or rather everything - every little cap, every resistor, transistor, diode, etc. each part contributes a small, but significant, amount of electrical noise. It's believed to be triggered by vibration. This is the vibration found in literally every electrical circuit on earth. When power is present there is vibration...like with that occasional street, pole transformer that you can easily hear humming from more than 50 yards away. But, if this is true then that means that this "self-noise" phenomenon is nothing particularly unique to our gear...that there are indeed caps and transistors and microprocessors in anything and everything that we plug into an outlet anywhere in our home. That all our cellphone chargers, computers, coffeemakers, appliances - everything from our HVAC's to a nightlight is also continually pumping out garbage into the electrical system of the home.
And, wouldn't you know it, as we learn as hobbyists in connection with our gear, the better the individual part, the lower the noise. Why use a cheap cap in your power supply when a more expensive one may well have better noise characteristics, yes? IOW, cheap parts will translate into worse noise. So now, just how much noise do we suppose is really being created by that walmart, programmable coffeemaker we bought on sale a while back?? Or that new, energy saving bulb?? And it all adds up. The more stuff plugged into your home, the more electrical noise there is to contend with. It's as simple as that. The idea that the real culprit is "dirty power" that comes from outside the home ends up being at least something of a myth (most often, anyway). But, all this is why I would say that, in my opinion at least, NO AC system should be considered perfect. I believe it to actually be an impossibility, in terms of audio sound quality (...or video quality, FTM). Even under ideal laboratory conditions and even with audio systems that operate entirely off the grid. From this perspective anyway, any electrical system can be expected to be an inherently noisy environment.
I agree John and feel that's why I feel 'every' system would benefit from isolation and conditioning.
Well, I should say 'virtually' every system. : )
:) What digital playback are you wanting to treat...CDP, Transp & DAC, computer??? Let me know and I'll know what to suggest as far as my vote goes...
For that, I've been using an Alan Maher Designs Tricell Platform. It's an isolation platform that reduces noise - just put the component on it and plug the platform in. Doesn't draw any wattage from the wall, it only connects to ground. After 3 days it starts to sound really good, but you get the most out of it after 30 days. If you like the sound, try another platform on top of your CDP (on soft feet) and then place another component above on the top platform...you'll be reducing even more noise in your CDP and I think your jaw may drop all over again :)
Alan's web store is not quite ready yet, but you can get the Tricell at Amazon for the time being. One thing I like about Alan is he's up front about his noise spec. He tells you the amount of reduction AND how that curve behaves across the frequency range...(dunno who else is doing that, usually you have to guess). For the Tricell: 65db noise reduction evenly at all points between DC and 10ghz.
Probably not best to rest the platform directly on a flat surface. Some appropriately soft feet underneath should remove the slight midrange "grit" to the sound and your done.
You can also try the platform underneath a power conditioner to really turbocharge its performance.
Thank Ivan. I'm looking into it. I use vibration reduction devices now. Round rubber like balls in pucks. Can't remember names. I was thinking more of AC isolation and conditioning.
There is little info on Alan Maher.
Oops, sorry about that...and my delayed response. Alan Maher Designs on facebook (Alan P Maher), or alanmaherdesigns.net for his official site that is still somewhat under construction, although there's some info there, but you can send him a fb message to ask him any direct questions and/or browse through the fb site to see what he's been up to lately.
Also, forgot to mention that Alan has a facebook testbed group that he likes to keep in the neighborhood of around 300 people or so. As a member I have first crack at buying his newest stuff for at least 50% off retail. These are essentially prototypes and Alan gets the chance to real-world test their effectiveness and compatibility in electrical systems all over the world and let him make adjustments if needed. Whenever there is an improved (or 2.0) version released, we owners of the originals are usually offered an upgrade of the original model to the improved version for moderate fee. This has actually worked very well for me for the last 4 years and I recommend you contact Alan and see if he currently has any room available in the facebook group for you. If not, he may ask you to wait a few months or even a year, but, of course, the prices would be worth it, in my opinion. Just message him, introduce yourself, let him ask you a few questions and ask him about it and see...nothing to lose, really.