I audiotioned the Richard Gray products with my Linn system and was not impressed. I followed up with an e-mail to Linn support and they are totally against power conditioning for their products.
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I have tried several devices and they all worked equally well. Perhaps my noise problem was minor. I think it is worth trying several devices and comparing. In theory once you eliminate the noise problem (does not change with conditioner) and your equipment is functioning properly once again then it probably does not matter what "brand" conditioner you use - after all the noise doesn't know or care. FWIW I found only one component to be suffering from a problem (the other devices didn't care about conditioning or not) but I may be just lucky and already have cleanish power.
I think digital, especially, can benefit from cascading styles of power conditioning and filtering. Chokes, caps, balanced power transformers, etc. all deal with AC line noise in different ways. They also serve to isolate digital nasties from other equipment.
I'm guessing the better made players (aka Linn) already have something similar built into their players and DAC's, which is why you may not hear much if any difference.
Makes no difference to the sound as long as the dynamics are not compressed. Doesn't fix any hum or buzzing ground loop type issues either.
That said I use a Transparent Audio PowerLink Ultra which also serves as the surge protector without impeding performance of the connected components including the amp. Of course I only paid a fraction of the $800 list price or I wouldn't have bothered with it.
In general, when trying to solve noise problems with digital equipment of any type you are working in the opposite direction than when trying to solve noise problems with analog equipment. (I am not talking about jitter problems, ) With an analog component you are trying to deal with noise already present on the power line. With a digital coponent the more likely problem is noise generated by the component, i.e. the noise is being placed on the power line by the component and that is what you are trying to defeat. The proper way to do this is via the design of the equipment itself.
In other words, if you truly have a noise problem that you can clearly hear, and you have switching components in your system, those very components are a likely candidate for the cause of the noise.
Any power conditioner that filters EMI will likely solve your problem. As many have said, this is a band aid approach. A better solution is to buy properly designed equipment or repair equipment that was properly designed but has since developed a problem.
I use a Arcam prepro(for now)+7B-ssts
and a BCD-1(cdp),all plugged into a Torus.
The Torus is SUPER quiet,Huge sound stage and bottom end.
I also have cdr,turntable,dvdp hooked up.
No noise whatsoever.I am running a sub panel(10guage awg).
I use to use the Hydras and the 2s for my gear.But since the
install of the Torus,she's definately a major upgrade.
If you can try one out,I'm sure you'll never look back.
I've been thru a few conditioners,The Torus is staying just
like my mono blocks.
My experience is that power conditioning for digital sources is extremely effective- i.e. it is not simply a matter of "isolating" the digital from other components.
I find what PtmConsulting says has proven accurate, a variety of complementary conditioning and isolating devices more effective than any 1 unit alone.. I am using a very highly resolving Spectral/MIT system;perhaps that results in the notability of the improvement AC conditioning has made for digital.
I have to agree with Zieman. If you've ever tried a power conditioner on a Krell product, or most other over-engineered solid state products,most of the time they are of little use. Every rule has its exception, but when you're finding a dramatic difference with a power conditioner, you may simply have a device in your circuit that interacts with your audio system in a harmfull way. One of the most cost effective ways to eliminate noise in your system could be to run a dedicated power circuit to your audio system. There are other things to consider as well. I have noticed a dramatic difference in clarity when I turn my sat receiver and my wireless router off. These devices are not on the same circuit, but produce copius amounts of RF. Having said that, I do use a conditioner on my front end. I chose a Tice power conditioner to protect my gear from electrical anomolies and it does improve the sound to some degree but it isn't a mindblowing difference. From my expereince, whether or not you believe in tices TPT technology, they are still fine products. The other nice thing about tice is that no one really remembers the company since it went bankrupt 10 years ago and you can pick up a really nice isolated multi circuit power conditioner fairly inexpensively.
I hope I could help
I too have always found purchasing higher quality components with properly designed power supplies avoids the detrimental effects of conditioning altogether.
Absolutely agree. I would add that switched mode power supplies - which have become popular over the past fifteen years are a big part of the problem. These are inherently noisy and add noise back into AC wiring. TV's, Cable Boxes and PC's all often use switched mode power supplies - they are cheap...
I have a Chang Lightspeed CLS6400ISO conditioner and a Furman IT-Reference 20i. With my Ayre CX-7e CDP, the Chang makes a very slight improvement (maybe) and the sound takes a step backwards with the Furman (although this is an excellent conditioner with isolated balanced power receptacles and does very well with some other components).
I would agree with some of the other posters that selecting a good CDP with proper power supply design is the best solution if you believe you have a problem that you think would be solved with a power conditioner. If you just want to (greatly) improve the sound of your current player, I recommend a good power cord (Tel Wire or Synergistic T2). You will be absolutely amazed at the improvement.