Condition this baby

When I first got my gear, I was advised to protect my investment with a surge protector. Being the smart, savvy guy, I knew that investing in a power conditioner was like wasting money on good cables. They were not going to trick me from my money! So I bought a Trip Lite unit for $100.

Of course, now there are Coincident speaker cables, I/C's and power cords all around. And when I put in a couple of FIM outlet's the difference was huge!. MY amp seems to clip at a fairly low level and I'm thinking that upgrading the line is the best way to go. I have Marsh gear, so I like the ides of the Monster 5000, which is designed by Richard Marsh or there are a couple Panamax units inn my price range. I would like to spend in the $200-$400 range.

My gear is a Thule CD and Rega 25 front end, with a marsh P2000T and 400S. I also use a CJ PV-11 for the phono stage, driving Audio physic Virgo’s.
Upgrading the ac cable will prevent your amp from clipping? Say that again? I am hearing things. The one thing that no one can accuse the participants in this forum of being is versed in the fundamentals of electricity. Tell me I did not read this. The difference is HUGE. Please explain for all readers on this site how this can be. I assume that just saying that something sounds better, makes it so. Like I wrote before, the only way is to move next to the power generating station. Nothing short of this will do. Or maybe battery power is what is required, but then I am sure the type of battery would be said to alter the sound. BTW do you know what type and length of cable there is between your amps and the generating station? Frightening I say compared to the twenty feet or so from your electrical panel to your amp. I am buying a small lot next to Manic 5 and will get the power at the source, so to speak. "Feel my aura Dora, it's real angora"
Perhaps upgrading the line means dedicated lines. That would make the amp seem to have more power, especially if it is on a circuit that is shared with several other hungry components. This was the case in my home, built in the late 1950's. It was not until I replaced my entire electrical system that my system finally began to really bloom.
Your amp clips because it doesn't have enough power for the volume level you are playing it at. Or something is broken.
It appears that I was not as clear as I could have been. I believe that the Triplite surge protector is limiting the amount of current. I believe that my amp clips because of that. I may be off, but my goal is better music at a louder level. I would like to replace the Triplite unit with a Monster 5000 or a Panamax. Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether this would improve the quality of the music and or limit the clipping on the amplifier?
What wattage is the Tripplite surge suppressor / power line conditioner rated for ? It is possible that you are drawing too much power through it, which causes audible distortion. I would check this aspect of the situation first before jumping into anything else. You might also want to try plugging your amp in directly to the wall socket and see if that does anything for you. Sean
I do not believe that insufficient line power will cause your amp to clip. Beyond that, I defer to the EEs among us.

As regular readers know, I'm fairly skeptical about add-ons and tweaks. One I do agree with, however, is the importance of clean and adequate power. You can pay a lot for power conditioning but I've found the Monster 5000 to work just fine for me. Your own ears will be your best guide.

I'm not of the school that thinks you need to rewire all the way back to the generating station but I do believe that a dedicated circuit for your amps is a sound idea, preferably one not shared with digital devices.

Good luck!

Will, since your amplifiers output is based on the rail voltages present, reducing available power to the amp will reduce its' potential for output. As such, LARGE voltage sags can become audibly noticeable if standing on the throttle due to reduced output and add to the potential for clipping. Sean
I messed around with conditioners but finally got what I needed by running 2 separate circuits(I'm about to run a third) for my stereo only. The ground for these circuits is connected to a separate ground rod instead of connected to the breaker box with all the other grounds and neutrals. I have much better sound than any conditioner i've had in the past. And lets face it ,if lightning hits big time on my house electric, Unpluging is probably the only thing that will save your equipment.

Sean, are you sure about that? How much voltage sag are you talking about? I know that power in many parts of the States is hit or miss in terms of keeping it to a decent spec, but how bad can it be that the power output of the amp can be throttled? I guess if one believes that nicely polished wire can produce audible benefits on the music coming out of one's system, the sagging voltage would be many degrees of magnitude greater in its negative audible effects. I still think that a dedicated circuit is a good idea if it helps to reduce the nasty influence of refrigerators , air conditioners and the like turning off and on. BTW, why is added filtration, conditionning etc of the ac required in the case of power amps with the large transformers and caps used? Oversizing components for sonic benefits seems to be a big part of the high-end. Did you notice that gigantism in audio components started as an American phenomenon, and has spread from there. Does anything in audio ever get to the point of insane overcapacity? The continuum is big, bigger, biggest, best. Once in a while a curve or sinker is thrown in for good measure, such as the odd skinny wire. BTW Bryston is of the opinion that their power amps do not benefit from the extra filtration etc.: just plug it in the wall socket and enjoy.
Wasn't Bryston endorsing the Richard Grey Power Company units for their amps? Someone told me so...
Pbb, yes, i am sure of what i stated. One is likely to run into severe voltage sag when the circuit is overloaded. Overloading a circuit could occur because:

1) you have too many items plugged into that circuit with all of them turned on

2) you have a single "hungry" device that pulls LOTS of power on a dynamic basis and the power source can't feed it fast enough on demand

3) there is a long run of wire from the main that is too small of a gauge to pass the required amount of current on a continual basis

4) you have a resistive connection somewhere along the line

Physical signs that you are loading down that circuit ( and sometimes even the mains of the entire house ) are when you can "modulate" or "flicker" the lights in the room or other sections of the house to the beat of the music. If the lights dim out upon "firing up" of the amp, that is also another sign that the supply to the amp COULD be "choked" when standing on the throttle.

Under severe conditions, you can even experience "brown outs". Some amps, primarily those with switching supplies and fancy "digital tracking power supplies" may shut down all together or start producing MASSIVE amounts of distortion.

Since many of these conditions are due to sub-standard wiring that is either "antique" or was never installed up to code, running heavy gauge dedicated lines will resolve most of the problems mentioned.

Besides all of this, there are outside variables included. Power coming into your house DOES vary in voltage. If you doubt this, try measuring your voltage at 2 am and then try measuring it again in the middle of the day. This is especially true when there is a LOT of draw taking place, like when it's 100 degrees outside and everyone has their AC turned on. Not only can the voltage drop, it can vary sporadically as the load varies from thermostats kicking off and on at random.

As to a manufacturer making comments regarding their equipment NOT needing prior filtering, ask them:

Do large filter caps reject all frequencies above or below 60 Hz ? The answer is NO !!! This means that any AC based signal that made it into and past the transformer is now going into the circuitry.

Do large filter caps actually filter all frequencies and types of interference equally ? The answer is NO !!! As such, the equipment may be seeing actual harmonics that the power company itself has generated along with anything else that has found it's way into the wiring.

Can RF signals ride AC mains ? The answer is YES !!! With the length of wires used for pumping AC around the country, they make up what may be considered "the longest long wire antenna" in the world.

Is RF interference an AC based source of noise ? The answer is YES !!! As such, it can pass through a transformer basically unhindered if of high intensity.

Can an AC signal pass through a capacitor and / or rectification circuitry ? The answer is YES !!! RF is AC based and can EASILY "ride" or be superimposed on top of DC.

Can DC pass through a transformer ? The answer is YES !!! This lowers transformer efficiency DRASTICALLY and can introduce other types of distortion to the signal.

All of those are reasons why MOST equipment benefits from "extra" filtering prior to the power being fed into their chassis. Since the mass majority of manufacturers don't go to the trouble or expense of designing filters with sharp slopes into their power supplies, some noise and interference IS passed on through the power supply and into the circuitry. Sean