Do a Google Search: "Romy the Cat Pure Power 2000 APS" to read some interesting observations.
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Don't know about the APS (although I am using a conditioner) but tube amps in general appear to be more sensitive to voltage fluctuations than solid state. I own the same ARC amp as you and while I really like it, it does require some very closely matched input tubes (2 matched quads of 6922's) as well as careful attention paid to the biasing procedure. Otherwise blown output tubes and resistors will result. The VT100 Mk3 may be an improvement in this area as the 6H30's appear to be more stable and the circuit design a bit more modern - similar to the REF110 input and driver design. I do have a thing for the ARC house sound!
Reading what’s on the internet about the PP2000 confuses me more than it helps me. That’s why I advocate people to listen for themselves. We are much more prone to believe what we read instead of making our own opinion, based on the music we actually hear from our system.
I found a great solution to protect my Audio Research gear, especially my “old” VT100mkII that I have built my current system around. I have tried to buy cheap tubes from the internet, but getting the bias right on the VT100mkII was a nightmare. Getting a new set of tubes from Audio Research, including the new KT120 output tube, in combination whit installing the Pure Power 2000 APS, has been a leap forward for me. The low end is tighter and more convincing, the double bass much more true and believable.
To Spinaker01: I’m very happy with the overall sound form the VT100mkII, it’s a classic, and I will hold on to it. My PH5 is also based on the 6922 tube, but my LS17 is based on the new 6H30 tube. My speakers, Amphion Argon2 Anniversary, have titanium tweeters, they are quite revealing and tend to be on the bright side. I understand that the newer ARC amplifiers, from the VT100mkIII on, have input-stages based on JFETS/6H30 (hybrid) instead of all-tube inputs on the VT100mkII that’s based on the 6922 tube. This makes the newer models more revealing, more “see-through”, but also prone to be more “bright”. And that’s not what I want with my current speakers. This is all based on what I’ve read on the internet and not on my own listening!
My next upgrade will be a pair of loudspeakers that function well in combination with my VT100mkII, in a small, well damped and dedicated listening room (12 x 14 ft.).
Got a question. An audio buddy suggested that I run between 4 and 6 dedicated power lines for my gear. As you can see from my System description, my electronics are all ARC tube. The amp puts out 130 wpc and "idles" at about 400 watts. When "fired up," it may draw between 800 and 900 watts. Another big power "consumer" is my sub woofer. It's pulls up to 1500 watts when working, and up to 4500 watts in a surge. Right now, all of my gear is sucking juice from one 20 Amp circuit, ergo the suggestion for more dedictaed lines. What's amazing is I rarely trip the circuit breaker.
Here's the question: if I was to go down the path of a PP 2000 AC regenerator, would I need one for each dedicated line? That would require dropping some very serious bucks. Any suggestions or alternatives?
Bifwynne: Your system it’s a dream ARC-setup, I’m impressed. I also checked your threads about different power lines for your gear. My experience is based on one PP2000hv running on one 230 volt, 16 ampere outlet (almost dedicated) and delivering current for my ARC VT100mkII, LS17 and PH5 and a Linn turntable (I rarely listen to CD’s).
I switch on the VT100 first and it drains the PP2000 for 100% of its capacity instantly, but this falls to around 25% within a second and stays there. Turning on the PH5 makes the PP2000 jump from 25% to around 40% of its output capacity, but it soon falls to 29% and then switching on the LS17 makes the same jump in output and then lands on 33% of the output capacity where it stays (660 watt). Playing music does not change much even loud music does not get the output over 35% (ca. 700 watt).
The VT100 is specified to use 380 watt idle and 585 at its rated output. The LS 17 and the PH5 draws max 50 watt each (i.e. max 685 watt).
I have tried the PP1050hv (with only half the capacity compared to the PP2000hv, hv = 230 volt) and it worked without any problem with the same setup. But there are clear sonic benefits using the PP2000hv (maybe from that extra headroom?).
Bifwynne, if you are running all gear on one 110 volt, 20 ampere outlet I would reckon that there should not be any problem to hook your ARC tube amplifiers (VS115, REF 5 and PH7, max 900 watt at rated output) to a PP2000. And a D-class amp (in your active subwoofer) should be very efficient compared to your tube-amplifiers and should not draw current anywhere near its limits. A PP3000 is also a possibility. You can ask Damian at Pure Power about this, they have excellent support.
If you try out a PP2000, be aware, that you might experience such an upgrade to your sound that you can’t live without it. That’s my experience.
Cool!! The audio buddy who recommended the power distribution upgrade has told me a "bizillion" times that I would be stunned by the differnce in sound quality. Sounds like you have a similar view, but going the PP route. Don't know if it makes a difference, but I live in the Philly area. I wonder if PECO/Exelon push higher "quality electrons" as compared to other regions of the country???
BTW, Farobari, have you ever given any thought to upgrading your VT 100 Mk II to the Mk III version. I don't know if ARC still does the upgrade or the cost, but I've heard that the Mk III version is pretty close in performance to the VS 115, which "ain't" that far behind the Ref 110.
Bifwynne, I guess the "quality electrons" is shifting not only in different parts of the country, but also at different times of the week. Before I got the Pure Power unit, I did experience times, when sound was clear and relaxed and I could forget all about the gear and just enjoy the music. This was typically at night in weekends. But the next day the quality of the sound was far from what I had experienced the night before.
It was frustrating, because I could not explain what happened and I wondered if something was wrong with me (was it my perception or recall of what sound that was wrong?).
I do not experience the fluctuation in the sound quality anymore, now it is better than anytime before.
After this my slogan in “recreated music” is: Trust only the sound you hear by your own ears. And do trust what you hear.
My tech asked me the same question you are asking: if I could upgrade the VT100 mkII to a later ARC model amp, when he tried to bias the amp after I had supplied him with not-specified and ill-matched tubes. But after getting matched tubes from ARC the biasing went fine and I want to hold on to the sound of the VT100 mkII. I would rather look for a good match of loudspeakers for my VT100 mkII amp.