I've heard the Hydra-8 and the BPT and liked the BPT better. Thats a great balanced conditioner. You're going to be in for a treat when you start addressing you ac.
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Thanks for the input.
OK, maybe not *completely* ignored. I've installed a Porter Port outlet (big gains) and 2 Blue Circle BC 86 MKIII filters (less so). I'm hoping a more sophisticated conditioner will provide huge improvements given the cost. I've just felt that with that kind of money I would be better off with speaker or electronic upgrades but now I think the level of AC componentry is lagging considerably.
At this point I think it's a toss up between the 3 and I'll take whatever deal comes through first on the used market. Still, I'd like to know of a compelling reason to pick one over the others before I bite, if anybody has one.
I have`nt heard 2 of the the 3 choices.The BPT 3.5 I `ve owned for 3 years and it is superb. My entire system is plugged into it and the sound improvement is substantial. Every parameter improves with it`s use and I`ve yet to find a negative tradeoff. The noise floor is much less, this allows the music more nuance,dynamic flow/ease and there`s improved 'natural'tone and dimensionality.The overall presentation is larger in scale and improves realism in my experience.
Balanced AC power has become absolutely mandatory now.
I `d think the BPT and Equitech are very similar in results. My BPT is silent and has no hum issues.
I have an Audience aR6 and like it a lot. If you decide on an Audience, be aware that at some point Audience changed the grounding system on both the aR6 and the aR12s. The Audience website mentions an upgrade option, and identifies how you can tell if a specific unit has the newer grounding system.
I have owned both the Hydra 8, BPT 3.5 Sig, and the Equi=Tech 1.5Q over the years. My amps lost dynamics with the 1.5Q and sounded better going to the wall. The Hydra 8 did not have this problem, and sounded very good. The BPT 3.5 Sig. sounded even better than the Hydra 8, with improved dynamics, detail and 3-D soundstage.
You will find that the stock power cords for each will be a VERY limiting factor. Upgraded cords from these units to the wall make a big difference.
I`ll defer to you since you have experience with all 3 units. I just assumed the Equitech would be quite similar to my BPT 3.5 Plus(share balanced AC concept) I guess I was wrong.You are right, amplifiers are better with the BPT than when I had them plugged in my wall(dedicated line with 20 amp service).This is true for my 8 watt SET 300b amp as well as my previous 100 watt push-pull tube amps.
Bigshutterbug, that's a good point. The Audience units come with a powerChord e, which is my cord of choice and used elsewhere in my system. It would be great to hear from somebody who has used an aR6 or aR12 and one of the balanced power units.
Raks, I'm not seeing the info on the newer grounding system for the regular models, but I have read elsewhere of the changes with the T and TS models. Is that what you were referring to?
Here's part of the Audience May 3, 2010 Press Release that announced the new grounding system I mentioned... "Owners of a previous aR6 or aR6-T can have their power conditioners upgraded to include the new ground plane for $450, and $650 for the aR12 or aR12-T. (Units that have a G in the serial number already have the new ground plane.)
If you look at the website picture of the Audience aR6 or the aR12, you'll see what is a copper bar the runs the full width of the unit. That's the new "ground plane".
When you Google the words "Audience Now Shipping Upgraded", you'll get to the full Press Realease.
I have been an advocate for tweeking the power for a few years and until you do, you aren't getting the sound out of the gear you paid the big(or bargain)bucks for.
Lots of folks throw money around on endless amp or speaker swaps looking for the "BIG FIX".
But it's not their fault, they've been conditioned to believing this way,from audio mags reviewing killer gear promising nirvana with the latest 100 grand power amp, to audio "friends" who think that power cords, conditioners etc are just snake oil.
Getting the power right is the first thing to get right.
After that everything falls into place and the things that some folks can't hear start to be heard.
I use a combination of power conditioning and have found that my sound works best when I use a Hydra 2 on the amps(with a Annaconda 20 amp PC), and a Hydra 8 with a quality 20 amp PC,for my phono /pre and my turntable.
The two Hydras and associated gear are plugged into a Shunyata upgraded power receptacle,an RZ1 or something.
This is fed a dedicated 12/2 romex feed from the panel.
The cd player has a Shunyata Annaconda VX power cord and it's plugged into a Furman Balanced power IT 1550 on a separate line.
The cd sound was greatly improved when I took it out of the hydra 8 on the dedicated line and put it into the Furman on another line.
Everything opened up, instruments and vocals became easier to differentiate.There is less of the glare or edge that is regarded as a fact of digital life.
In my experience,it doesn't have to be, and if you complain about the bad sound of cd replay, then there are ways to remedy it.
So from my experience with a few power products,I can state that it's not so much about who made them but where you impliment them for best effect.
Also, skimping on the power cords is a sure way to be less than impressed with the purchase of any power product.
Really, when you work from the panel back to the gear and upgrade everything associated with the power(yes, fuses most definitely included in the list)you will discover how really good your gear already is, and perhaps never need to make any more gear upgrades.
It may seem like an expensive practise but if done right the first time,you'll never need to make any more power upgrades.
The bonus is, that if you do decide to go for that big amp upgrade for example, it's sound will not be compromised, and you'll get your money's worth out of it.
My final thought?
Any of the above products and others that have been mentioned are miles ahead of wallplugging it.
That was fine in the 70's.
Lacee, I agree with you. I also have direct 20 amp lines and upgraded receptacles. I only differ from you in that I prefer my amp plugged right into the wall. My Aesthetix Atlas amp prefers this as the reviews have stated.
Other powerful amps I have owned also seem to like no conditioner. I use my BPT on everything else including my two subs.
I will also add that the differences when I added a dedicated 20A lines were marginal. In terms of significance for me: aR2p-TO line conditioner >> Porter Port outlets >> dedicated lines. I know I am in the minority here. Perhaps my existing shared line wasn't so "dirty" to begin with.
I just swapped out the outlet in my bedroom system for the Porter Port and again it has made a huge improvement in clarity/transparency, definition, imaging, and extension.