Dear friends,
I want to add a power conditioner to my system as everybody says I will improve my system, I never tried nor listened it before. Can you please give your impressions and what would you prefer???
Thanks for your help!!!
The kind of conditioner is very personal. I own several. Each has it drawbacks as well as it's benefits.
First: Ask yourself what do you want better. And what can you trade off.
Som folks can give up one area more than others. Then they say "This model is the best" When it really is only the best one for them. And for other people is it terrible for then and they think "How can they stand this junk?"
My personal desire is to have clarity. I want it more than anything else. So nearly any powerline conditioner can give me that. The downside is many conditioners take away the illusion of 'fullness' in the mid bass. The conditioners tighten up the bass and lower midrange, and make the lower frequencies seem 'thin'.
Thaough when i take off the conditioner, the bass then seems too loose, sloppy and wooly.
I suggest starting off small.. try one of the small devices, buy it used. Then try it on various parts of your system. See what happens. Then you will have some experience. and can make better decisions.
I started with just ferrous 'snaps' (claps in Brit speak) from Radio Shack/AudioQuest. Then a small Adcom AC315. Then a midsized Monster, Then moved that to video, and got a big Monster for the audio. Then i have a Furman REF 20i I found here for $1,400. And now I am getting (on it's way) a used PS Audio P600 to play with.
I am very happy with my path to better sound. Nothing makes it better than knowing for myself what does what. Instead of just asking and not knowing who is selling you stuff, and who is giving good advice.
So; if you want clarity and can live with a seeming (slightly) thinner midrange.bass then any big main company product will fit you. If you want only a little better everything, try some of the smaller/ but more expensive 'audiophile' brands that the crazies rave about. They do less, but are more benign too.
Remember the 'regenerators use TWICE the electricity, as they are basically 60hz amplifiers. They do not mention THAT in thier ads.
I like the big machines that weigh 80 or more pounds. They just seem to be doing what i like.
Also: Some conditioners change the incoming A/C from the standard 120V hot/0v neutral to 'technical power' which is 60V hot/60V neutral so both A/C wires carry 60V each. I prefer this type of power. There are basic toroid transformers that can do this with no other conditioning.
Then some folks swear by dedicated lines being all they needed.
So start with a small device, and experiment and you can find what you wnat out of conditioning. And at least one aftermarket powercord. The $99 Shunyata, or the Pangeas are a good inexpensive cord to use.
you have nice gear...if you can borrow some pieces and hear how it sounds you'll be way ahead of the game. If you do not have a dedicated circuit for your stereo then I would do that first and add a power cord to the DAC....if you have fairly clean electricity you might not need a conditioner. I use an Exact Power EP15A which holds the current at a steady 120 volts and protects against surges and brownouts.
The very wide and disparite opinions expressed about power conditioners of all sorts makes me wonder if you can say that they will upgrade your system in any general way. There are exceptions to this if there is a particular problem. For instance power regenerators for people who have power brown outs and peaks who wish to stabalize their power. Other specific examples are out there I am too lazy to list the ones I can think of. So unless you have a very specific issue invest you upgrade money eleswhere.
You didn't mention power cords. What do you have? I would address this first.
And how much are you prepared to pay for how much improvement? Generally speaking, to get some control over the incoming current is quite expensive. But still you could improve the situation for a few hundred dollars if you wait and buy used.
Thanks a lot to everybody, it has been a great help.
The conclusion is going step by step so I will start with a couple of power cords.
Any recommendation on this??
With any power conditioner that has magnetics in it (the Furman and the PS Audio both do) should not be run past 50% of their capacity, else they will degrade things rather than help. The reason is distortion of the AC power, which usually becomes pronounced once a transformer is past 50% of its capacity. This make diodes more noisy, power transformers more noisy, and likely is the reason you see variable opinions about the usefulness of power conditioning.

For the most part, we recommend that people avoid using AC conditioners with our amps. IMO, the best use of conditioners is with the front end of the system.

Now there is one power conditioner that really works and can handle a lot of power. It was made by Elgar and is not a high end audio product. But right up to full capacity it can make a perfect sine wave at its output and is the only conditioner I know of that can do that. It is mechanically noisy, so to use it, it is installed where your breaker box is and then the line that runs the audio room is connected to it. They are not cheap, and Elgar does not make them any more :(
I'd go with Isotek - I'm biased since I own a Mini-Sub II. PS Audio units are are energy wasters with mediocre performance. Stay far far away from Equi-Tech products,they sound closed-in, and have a horrible build quality. My equi-tech had "reset" issues, and when I took the top cover off, I was amazed at the sloppy workmanship there was - and at the amount of aluminum shavings that where inside the unit. Buy an Iso-Tek or Transparent Audio unit, and don't look back, just enjoy your music knowing you've got a REALLY quiet background, and are using "protection." All the best. - Sorry that I haven't heard Furmans.
The Furman is a good unit as long as it is not overloaded. It is used a lot where AC voltage is variable, as it will try to keep the line voltage stable (it has a circuit for switching taps on its isolation transformer).

It is most often used in studios. As I mentioned before though, you do not want to push it hard. I would not use it with a power amplifier unless its a small transistor unit.
None of the above. Start with noise-filtering power cords by LessLoss (DFPC Original or Signature; $595 and $1149 ea., respectively). There's no risk of inhibiting dynamic performance with these power filtering power devices, and their multitudinous benefits are immediately obvious. Once hooked on those, you might consider the LessLoss Firewall power conditioner. That's some serious performance enhancement. I own all three of these products (3 Signatures, 2 Originals, and 1 Firewall) -- so I'm speaking from my own experience here.