DAC Being Impacted By Home Power Issue - Help

Over the past year and a half, I've been making every effort to put together an audio system that I could happily live with for a long time. This was important, given that fact that, while I knew it was coming, and was extended for almost 12 months for transition, my forced early retirement, after my corporation eliminated my department, begins on January 1st. So the reality of a much lower fixed income is finally here. That said, I have been able to put together a system that I am truly happy with, in preparation.

And then I ran into my current problem. The last piece of the puzzle was a really high quality, and technologically new DAC. I was more than fortunate that an old friend, for whom I had done a number of significant favors over the years, recently came into a great deal of money and gifted me with an incredible DAC by way of saying thanks. After connecting the DAC to my system, I listened briefly to some incredible sound, and then, the sound started dropping out, almost literally every five minutes. I had a friends brother, who runs his own electrical contracting company stop over to look at the issue. He was able to identify the problem as being associated with my refrigerator and large wine refrigerator, which are on the other side of the wall of my listening room. Every time they turn on, or cycle, the drop in power affects the DAC,

The problem now is finding what I can do to resolve this. Because of the construction of the house, the electrical contractor said the only option would be a VERY expensive dedicated circuit running almost the length of the house. Due to the fact that the first two levels are on slabs, with no pathway, he also said they would either have to start tearing out drywall, or, alternatively, run a visible (but enclosed) circuit along the base of the walls, up the stairs, and across the house to the listening room. Neither of those options are acceptable, or, honestly, affordable.

At this point, I'm desperate, especially with very limited finances from here on out. Is there such a thing as a UPS (and a reasonably priced one) that could be used in a high quality audio system? I would need it to power not only the DAC and associated streaming unit, but also the tubed power amp, and tubed preamp. I've never seen a UPS of any size that doesn't use fans, which would rule it out, and I would also think it might introduce distortion, but, as I said, I'm in desperate straits here trying to resolve this. Any assistance or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

John, your best and imo only move is running a couple of dedicated lines and as it happens that would probably be the least expensive option as well. All the regenerators and UPS's mentioned here change the nature of the sound, and generally not for the better.

You can run the wire on the outside of your house from your main utility box directly to your listening room, punch a small hole and bring the line into the room, add a breaker box and run a couple of lines on the floor to simple electric boxes with outlets. This way you avoid both the costly modifications to your house and the unsightly alternative of running a conduit. You can email me offline for pictures if you need them.


The APC S10 does NOT change the nature of the sound, believe me. I am as obsessed about my sound as anyone on AG, and if the APC changed it, I would not have it. Nightfall, try the APC S10, and if it doesn't solve your problem, I will eat my words. Btw, I bought a silver one new for $250 5 years ago, sprayed the front and top black (it turned out great), and it has operated flawlessly and silently since then.
Bojack, depending on our starting point and individual sensibilities our mileage may vary. While according to APC's literature the unit might protect against against power drops,has a fan something the OP expressly wants to avoid.
A review in Stereophile by Kal Rubinson (KR4 at Audiogon) of the APC S10's similar but more powerful big brother, the S15, can be found here (scroll down to the middle of the page). There is no mention of fan noise amid his very favorable comments.

I would re-emphasize my earlier suggestion, though, that the first question which should be addressed is whether or not the outlets used for the system are connected to the same AC phase as the refrigerators. If they are, and assuming they are not on the same breaker, a simple wiring change at the breaker panel could very conceivably solve the problem. ZD's suggestion of trying a long extension cord to different outlets may also provide useful information.

-- Al

"Due to the fact that the first two levels are on slabs..."

Are you saying that your first and second floor are of concrete slab? If so, then
yes, running a circuit to your listening room will be very expensive.
However, If your second floor is of wood frame then maybe I would contact
another electrical contractor to look at running a dedicated circuit to your
listening room. I am very familiar with holmes on slabs and can tell you that
there usually are ways of feeding a wire to another level and on the opposite side
of the house without breaking the bank. Typically you would look for possibly 2
closets stacked one over the other (or maybe a utility room under a closet, ect.).
A good mechanic would be able to remove the base, drill holes and fish the wire
up to the attic. And then make a drop down the wall where you want the
electrical outlet.