Some of the members and I have had some luck with Virtual Dynamics Power cords. They remove mechanical distortions from the AC. Go to www.virtualdynamics.ca and call Rick for more info. Check the threads here for more info on the cords.
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The improvement (or degradation) in sound depends on how dirty your AC is. In many urban areas (most probably), the AC is likely to be sorely polluted by the high density of appliances, machinery, RF interference, etc, that tend to degrade the sound of your audio system pretty significantly. In these cases, even an inexpensive (yet decent) power conditioner will have a noticeable impact. In areas where the AC is relatively clean, adding in filtering where its not needed simply puts one more sink between your equipment and the power it needs. You'll need to make the call relative to your area.
I put a Monster HTS-2500 in line with my system and the improvement was pretty dramatic. You might want to see if you can borrow one of these units (or the smaller HTS-2000) from a dealer (it seems as though everyone carries Monster these days) and see if you notice any improvements. If you do, then you might want to consider auditioning PC units and find the one that suits you best. If you don't notice any immediate changes, then its unlikely that any of the lower priced power conditioners will offer much value (other than surge protection, but that's another thread).
Yup, I am using VD powercord to "filter" the ac going into my PS Audio Juicebar. Works decent in clearing up hiss, static and pops (my system is sensitive to voltage shifts since my alpha dac hooks straight into the amp). However, components like my trans sounds much better when the VD powercord is directly connected to it.
I dunno, cfb. I'm rather skeptical of tweaks but it is so easy for me to demonstrate that my Monster 5000 makes a huge difference in video and audio that even the most hardened objectivists end up saying "Yup, yup." I put in my power conditioner first, then added my dedicated circuits. I didn't really see any difference when the new power cut in. Now, if I turned off the Monster, the new power was better than the old power, but the Monster made a much greater change than the new wiring, fuses, etc. I suspect it has to do with individual circumstances of power quality.
I'd say do both.
You can see the Richard Grey P.C. difference right on your
TV.It gets better with the more AC problems you might have
and don't even notice.Your 'blacks' will become really black
not some darker shade of grey.Skin tones look normal not
washed out.PC cords can make a diff but its not as easy to tell w/o a hi rez system. Video cables can make a Big and
easily seen diff, espec S and component cables.
I tried numerous power conditioners and did not have too much luck with them. The inserted the PS Audio PowerPlant in front of my CD Player and Preamp. I bought it used, thinking I'd be selling it in a few days, but it's amazing and will stay. More clarity and more defined bass were the major improvements. The other thing is that my power amp is on a dedicated circuit, which made for better dynamics.
Some power conditioners work in some systems and some power conditioners don't work in other systems and some power conditioners don't work at all and some systems don't work at all.
Now that I've cleared that up...
If you have a high quality power conditioner and a good to excellent high-end system, the chances are very good that you will become quite excited at what a good high quality power conditioner can do for the sonic improvements of your already good to excellent high-end system.
I'm using Foundation Research LC-1 in-line power conditioner's for my source and my pre and an LC-2 in-line pc for my amp. The improvements are very good and I already have 3 dedicated lines for each component.
If your not going to spend at least $1000, I'd say put the $$$ in dedicated power lines (20 amp) and maybe pick up some after market power cords. If/when you decide to spend the money, I'd look at the folowing:
*Cinepro (expensive, but I am now a believer in balanced AC)
*Dezorel (new to the USA, but suppose to be good stuff)
*VanEvers (suppose to be good, and resonably priced)
*Tice Model IIIC (suppose to be good...I've heard good and bad things of Tice's older models)
*Eqi-Power (wrote the book on balanced AC, but EXPENSIVE)
*PS Audio Power Plants (suppose to do wonders in 90% of all gear, but very expensive if powering lots of gear)
Monster makes nice high end SURGE SUPRESSORS. I wouldn't say they are wonderful "line conditioners" but if you dont want to spend $1000, check em out...reviews at: www.audioreview.com
I have just decided to go with CinePro from Monster. Haven't gotten te unit yet, but would be happy to send my review...email me if you want to hear me rant some more.
They sucked the air right out of my audio system! I have tried the Grey stuff, various Monster products, as well as MIT. They all to some worsening degree, degraded my audio only set up. I have 3 dedicated lines and now only use the Sonoran Plateau power cords.I am not a videophile so my statements may not apply to video projectors or plasma tv.If you think you may want to use a conditioner make sure you try before you buy. Your best bet is to first put in one or more dedicated lines wired with high quality cable,receptacles and separate grouunds. Remember it all comes out of the wall first.
Maybe "Theaudiotweak" should try a Custom Power Cord Company
Top Gun Power block and their Model 11 power cords. I did.
I will never be sorry. I tried them all and felt the same as Theaudiotweak, i tried PS audio, monster, chang, audioprism and the CPCC top gun was the first that did not degrade the sound at all. It had the Lowest noise floor of them all and opened up the imaging. I only have 1 dedicated 20amp outlet. Call John at audio Connection in NJ 201-239-1799.
Power conditioning products initially seem very impressive. I have used the Shunyata Hydra, Sound Application CFX, Audio Magic Stealth, and Bybee Pro. Over time, I realized that the conditioners weren't really conditioners at all, they were more like "coloration-ers". Each of these top "conditioners" produces a sonic signature which shows up in your system as a coloration. As I cycled my components on and off of these products, I found that ultimately I preferred only the digital source be connected since all other components were not benefiting in a neutral way from the devices. The added color these conditioners brought to the digital source component was welcome but given that conditioners have several outlets, I found it ridiculous to have that much of an investment in a device that was only used on one product. Therefore I came to the conclusion that this is the best setup:
Dedicated lines for each component - 10AWG Romex in the walls - good outlets (Hubbel makes a new outlet that has far greater conductivity than any other available. Going from memory here - I was informed that commercially available outlets including Wattagate - PSAudio (also a hubbel) and others only have between 7 to 12% conductivity. The new Hubbles have upwards of 32% conductivity. You might want to contact Jim at Sound Application to get more info on these outlets.
Select unique power cord for each component - avoid using multiple cords from the same manufacturer in one system. This will allow you to custom tailor your system to your preferences and produce a more neutral tonal balance, greater transparency, more weight and body, better dynamics, etc....