I currently have a Running Springs power conditioner in which all of my gear is plugged into. The RS is plugged into one of my two dedicated lines. Is this overkill? Could I get away with a less expensive PC? Does one really need high end power condtioning when using dedicated lines?
I agree with Tvad. There are so many variables - no one can answer this for you. Overkill is doing more than you need for your setup and your gear combo. Some systems and decent power need NOTHING. Some gear combos and dirty power need a LOT.
I agree with Tvad and Shadorne, and will add: ALWAYS start with dedicated circuits and good outlets (like PorterPorts or Jena Labs) and listen WITHOUT additional power conditioning for a while. If you're still hearing some problem, or you just want to experiment, only then add your choice of power conditioning. After several days of listening with the power conditioner, once again remove the power conditioner and listen for several days. As Tvad says, your ears will tell you what is best for your system. .
This question still drives me crazy (and not because I don't like to see it posted either) as grounds and neutrals are all the same at the service entrance. I mean, in theory I understand why one would want a dedicated circuit and I actually have one for my gear only because nothing else is running on that particular circuit - just three wall outlets only used by my gear (technically I run digital and analog all on the same circuit). But still, as with mostly any residential wiring, the grounds and neutrals are all connected anyway. So what good does the dedicated circuit do besides giving your gear full service on the circuit without perhaps feeling the effect of a large central a/c unit kicking in and out, or the refrigeration compressors doing the same? Don't mean to sidetrack this post but I'll be anxious to read anyones thoughts here.
The above posts are right though, take it (the PC) out of the equation for awhile then see if you can really 'hear' a difference. If you can, leave well enough alone (assuming its a positive difference - not just 'different'). If you can't, maybe a lower cost unit would make sense if you could use the savings elsewhere.
I keep a low cost PC in my system more for the variety of outlets and trigger options then anything else. It sounds the same with or without. If my system actually needs something better, I've no clue. I'd rather just enjoy listening then worrying.
Sailfishben, just another data point: when the dedicated circuit is installed as a home run line from a single outlet to the circuit panel (as I believe many of us have done), an additional benefit gained is not having any connections or splices in the line. Every time there is a connection (whether through a junction box or an intermediate outlet on the line, even if unused), there is the opportunity for micro arcing at that connection. This introduces distortion spikes on the line and these spikes can have an impact. So, when we talk about running dedicated lines, we should additionally make clear that these ideally should be dedicated home run lines to each outlet. .
I had 3 dedicated power lines for many years before adding a conditioner. I added an Audience Adept Response coditioner, which is very pricey, however it took my system to another level entirely. I was quite surprised at the difference and wouldn't go without it in my system.
I have everything plugged into the Adept, amp, pre , cdp and Martin logans. I went a step further and replaced the logan pc's with Foundation Research 1's powercord/conditioner which are also both plugged into the response as well.
Iv'e noted sizzle or "micro-arcing" from Zinsco brand circut breakers (common in older houses) you can actually hear coming from the breaker with heavy load applied. When different re-conditioned (no longer available new) or used circut breakers exchanged in audio circut, difference is quite audible. With a dedicated circut I am beginning to think the main quality difference is in the straight run of wire instead going through a series of brass screws on receptacles, Will start a new thread soon on my home setup.
I hope you understand that arcing is the breakdown of the dielectric which in this case is air. If you experience any kind of arcing in your circuit breakers or receptacles you need to fix the problem at once. This is not normal. If you have a tight mechanical connection, arcing should NEVER occur. Anything with a make break connection like switches, circuit breakers and solenoids will have a momentary arc when the electrical connection is first made or broken, but they should never arc once the connection is fully made or fully broken.
09-17-07: Cheapmike Iv'e noted sizzle or "micro-arcing" from Zinsco brand circuit breakers (common in older houses) you can actually hear coming from the breaker with heavy load applied.
Zinsco, was junk from the get go. They went out of business years ago.
Problem is poor contact pressure between the breaker female slide on connector, of the breaker, and the male breaker aluminum buss tie of the electrical panel buss. The load presented to the poor connection does not have to be that much to cause micro arcing. Under High load conditions I have seen where the aluminum breaker buss tie of the panel began to burn it's self free from the female breaker connection.
Any micro arcing can cause EMI noise on the line. Enough arcing will also create RFI.
With a dedicated circuit I am beginning to think the main quality difference is in the straight run of wire instead going through a series of brass screws on receptacles,
Daisy chaining the hot and neutral conductor of convenience branch circuits through the receptacles using the stab-lok feature on the back of the receptacle is one of the worse causes of not only micro arcing, but just plain arcing. This type of branch circuit wiring can cause lots of ac noise on an audio system that may be plugged into it. Especially if the equipment is plugged in near the tail end of the branch circuit.
Even daisy chaining the hot and neutral using the side terminals of receptacles can in time cause cause ac noise. With age the copper wire will corrode at the termination.
To this day NEC still allows the hot and neutral conductors of a single branch circuit wiring to be daisy chained through an electrical receptacle device.
Sorry to have injected an inaccurate/spurious term ("micro arcing") in the discussion. I couldn't think of a way to describe the phenomenon that has been explained to me. My poorly stated observation is that anywhere there is a connection, distortion can and likely will be introduced on the circuit. (As has been explained to my by more than one systems controls engineer who deal with industrial control systems as found in nuclear power plants and chemical production plants, these distortions are easily seen with the kinds of test used for final tuning of these control systems, and they can play havoc with the system.)
Whether there is arcing or not, Jea48 has identified the potential concern very well.
The point is: avoid the connection and eliminate the introduction of yet another distortion to your system. If you're serious about installing dedicated circuits, install them as home runs with one home run per electrical outlet. If a connection is unavoidable, use a top performing contact enhancer like Walker Audio Extreme SST. .
You cant compare an industrial setting to your home. Plants and factories have big motors, compressors, switching power supplies and other very noisy things. This is very different from the home environment. Dont get me wrong, there still is noise but its several orders of magnitude lower. You mentioned being educated on noise by control system engineers. Please understand that control systems are just feedback loops. They monitor the output and correct the input. In a feedback loop, speed (bandwidth) is very important. You can eliminate noise in a feedback loop, but you will severely limit its bandwidth [which is not desired]. So in other words, noise as it relates to a control system and noise on your power line are two very different things.
My poorly stated observation is that anywhere there is a connection, distortion can and likely will be introduced on the circuit.
I totally disagree and I challenge you to find a published technical article that shows distortion caused by an AC receptacle junction.
Sadownic, did I do something to ruffle your feathers? Your posts strike me as someone approaching this discussion as if it were a contest. If I misconstrue your intent, and you simply wish to insure that information shared here is accurate, then I welcome your continuing efforts to share better information with us. But as to the use of dedicated home run circuits as a "best practice," I think I shall continue to recommend that to those seeking some practical advice on trying to get the best sound they can from their home systems. .
My feathers are just fine thank you. This is the Tech Talk forum so I thought technical discussion was the purpose of this forum. What do you find in my posts that constitutes a contest? Is it because I challenged your statements? In my opinion, all Ive done is offer technical input.
Sadownic, sorry I missed your 9/21 post. Technical input and discussion are quite welcome. Imo, a discussion from which I can learn is always useful and appropriate; it's the reason I participate in Audiogon.
Thanks for the link. That marketing crap from Oyaide sure answers my original question of "how do you guys come up with this stuff". Too funny! It reminded me of one of those infomercials that sells expensive skin products to gullible women.
Hardly providing technical input in that last post of yours, Sadownic. Oh well..., I see this is not going to become productive.
Jea48, thanks for finding an example. This is consistent with why to avoid any greater number of splice or connections in a circuit than minimally required. Oyaide certainly has a reputation for good sounding outlets, even if I've preferred non-plated contacts. .
Hi folks, I want to report you my experience with regard to power conditioning. I've been using very rare Tamura (Tamradio) and Audio Consulting isolation transformers for quite a while. Initially I thought the sound became more "fleshy" and alive (through better dynamics), there was more 3D stage, more (micro) detail, etc. Yesterday I removed all the transformers out of my system, and guess what... the system sounded more musical to me without them! Of course with the transformers there was more silence between the notes ("blacker background"), slightly better dynamics and a more pronounced left to right separation (+ bigger soundstage), but I found that the sound also became somewhat "sterile" and artificial. Could it be that the exaggerated left to right separation and bigger soundstage was in fact a sort of out-of-phase phenomenon induced by the transformers? Without the transformers the system sounds less "clean" (because of increased level of noise floor) and less dynamic, but the whole picture is more like real music to me, less artificial. What do you think? Btw, do you have experience with the original Shunyata Hydra power conditioner? I think I will try this one in the near future.