Joefama, I use the Running Springs Audio Jaco line conditioner, which is non current limiting, with my Pass Labs XA-100's and Threshold SA-1's with great success and no sonic downside as far as I can tell.
You will get many different opinions regarding ever to put power amps on line conditioners, so you will have to experiment/audition a few to see what happens in your system.
I've ran my DNA 500 through a Hydra 2 and preferred it that way over running it straight into the wall. I noticed a slight decrease in dynamics and top end extension but the benefits were a quieter background and a lot less hash. The Hyrda's I had never gave me a problem.
Tvad, Seriously the Hydra did crap out on my power amp. I tried it last night with my power amps. Each power amp was plugged in seperate times into the Hydra and took away my dynamics, depth , and soundstage. Sonically the Hydra diminished my sound greatly.
So I did answer my own question using the Hydra with power amplifiers.
Now others have suggested Running Springs Audio line conditioner, which I have not tried yet.
Tvad you seem to be an OK guy, but reading your million forums one would think you work for Shunyata. They make a good product, but value is weak with Shunyata. There are many other companies that make a better product without the hype. What I am saying these Audiogon forums should be unbiased level playing field. Not spamming or infomercial forums. We get enough of that in our life everyday. Joe
Tvad. The Shunyata Hydra crapped out sonically. It works fine other than on my Big Amps.
If you can read my previous reply on this forum I did say that "my question was answered". But I also wanted to know of other's suggestions with use of line conditioners with Big power amps plugged into them. Shunyata has struck out sound wise with my power amp plugged into it.
Tvad you are the one with the Shunyata push to others.
I have another question that is probably a bit off topic. I own Acoustic Reality Figaro ICEpower based amps (with the ASP1000 modules). These amps could deliver 500 Watts into 8 Ohms and 1000 Watts into 4 Ohms. Because they have high efficiency circuit and a switching power supply, they only need 20 Watts when idle. If you want to use isolation transformer in conjunction with these amps, is it still necessary to use a big one, let's say 2000VA so there would be no dynamic limitations? Thank you.
Joe, I'd be curious to find out if Running Springs Audio would work good with Pass. Please post a reply if you get a chance to try it. I'm running the X250.5 direct without Hydra. I think I would like a conditioner/protection for this amp without sacrificing sonics. thanks.
Joe, I'm just curious, which Hydra were you using that 'crapped out' on you? Was it the Hydra 2? If so, what power cord were you using?
I ask, because this is the one that has the least amount of filtration, and is specifically designed for the high current amp applications, similar to the Duke in the RSA line.
In your application, the Hydra 2 is the only one in the Hydra line to try, and the Duke would be the only one I'd recommend in the RSA Line. Shunyata really should change the names of all of their conditioners like the RSA line, to avoid the confusion of just the one name. Different Shunyata power conditioners are for different applications in an audio system, just like the RSA line. RSA helps the consumer by giving their products different names, Haley/Duke/Jaco/etc. Shunyata confuses folks because the Hydra 2/4/6/8 have different applications, but some people just refer to them as Hydra's. So if you didn't specifically listen to a Hydra 2, then you didn't hear Shunyata's best power conditioner for high current amplification. It's also best to use with a high current power cord, obviously. Many make the mistake of using the Hydra 2 with an inexpensive, 14 gauge cord, which obviously will restrict the performance.
I'd prefer not to be labeled Mr. Shunyata, but I do want to make sure we're comparing apples with apples. I would compare the RSA Duke with the Hydra 2, for ultra high current applications. I would compare the RSA Jaco with the Hydra 8 for full system's with standard high current requirements. The RSA Haley competes with the Hydra 6 as a full system with average current requirements.
Maybe a tad offtopic but anyone with experience or an opinion on using a MIT Shotgun AC1 power cord with their big or bigger or biggest amps? I use one with a Citation 7.1 amp. However I really have never compared it to anything else.
I had a similar experience with power amps and some of the conditioners mentioned. Two different amps (BAT VK150 tubes and Boulder 2060=qualifies as big (a)SS amp) and 2 different line conditioners (Shunyata hydra 8 and Running Springs Duke). Interestingly during this process I added dedicated lines (20A) for each component. I found that the Shunyata made the BAT amps sound worse. I then added the dedicated lines and the sound was improved. Retried Shunyata and worse again. Now have Boulder, initially without conditioning and now with RSA Duke. I cannot tell the difference with or without the Duke yet. Still sounds great; neutral powerful and articulate. During my frustration with the Hydra, I spoke to the folks at Shunyata several times (very nice and helpful group), they always said (contrary to an earlier post) that the Hydra 8 should perform better than the Hydra 2 on power amps. I got the same response from RSA when deciding whether to put my Jaco on the front end (or on the theater which has more stuff) or to use a Duke because I only need 2 outlets for transport and preamp. They told me that the 2 units were the same, one just had more outlets.
Bflowers, it sounds like you used the Duke on the big monblocks, did you happen to try the Jaco on the monoblocks? Any differences? I've tried the Duke, and it is very good, but I haven't heard the Jaco yet.
Also, thanks for mentioning the Hydra 8, so at least we know what model you used. Yes, this should be comparative with the RSA Jaco. Now, is it safe to assume that you used the RSA Mongoose (modified Cardas GR) power cord for the RSA conditioners? For clarification purposes, what power cord did you use with the Hydra 8?
Yes, I use the Mongoose with all of the RSA's. I haven't heard anyone mention a cord that might work better. I used Shunyata Python Helix alpha's with the Hydra. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a Jaco and 3 Dukes. I asked the folks from RSA which I should put on my 2 channel front end (which is by far the most important to me) and they told me the Duke and Jaco are the same with the exception of the number of outlets. Thus, I use the Duke.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. So you didn't try the Jaco on your amps then, correct? FWIW, I've never heard the Jaco. I've had the RSA Duke w/ Mongoose, as yes the RSA products come with a cord, so this is makes comparisons difficult because Shunyata's do not come with a cord. So to some degree the performance is dependent on the cord. Anyway, IMHO, I felt the Hydra 2 w/ Anaconda Alpha cord and the RSA Duke w/ Mongoose both were the best conditioners that I've heard with high powered amps. Personally, I didn't detect any current limiting with either of these in place. Obviously these will be system synergy dependent choices, just like cables or power cords. There is no absolute best, just what works best for you.
The Duke/Hydra 2 performed much better with power amps in my system than conditioners from Monster, Audio Magic, PS Audio, BPT, and Tara Labs. I would like to try a Walker Audio Velocitor 'S' though.
Jmcgrogan2, what difference you heard with your amps into Hydra2? You are using Anaconda power cord. What is the difference between: 1) your amp with Anaconda power cord plugged directly into the wall and 2) your amp still with Anaconda power cord plugged into Hydra2 w/Anaconda
Audphile1, I do not believe that I ever claimed to have a Shunyata Anaconda on my amplifier. FWIW, at the time that I had the Hydra 2 with Anaconda Alpha power cord, I had a BAT VK-600SE plugged into it. The BAT amp is a single chassis, but is dual mono, even seperate power cords for left and right channels. So this amp required two power cords. I was using (2) Virtual Dynamics Master power cords on from the amp to the Hydra 2.
I would say that in terms of sonic absolute's plugging directly into the wall was the best. There is no need for a power conditioner at all to improve sonics on an amp. The reason I was trying power conditioners is because I was nervous having no spike/surge protection on a $12K amp. I found the Hydra 2 and the RSA Duke to have the least sonic degradation of any power conditioners I've heard. Protection with very little sonic coloration. The Hydra 2 presented slightly less soundstage depth compared to plugging the amps straight into the wall. The RSA Duke presented a slight 'warming' of the upper bass/lower midrange region. Note, that these comparisons were both made only comparing the conditioners themselves against plugging straight into the wall. These 'complaints' are also magnified to show any difference. They were very slight in comparisons with the sound degradation I've heard from other power conditioners.
FWIW, no power conditioner in the world will improve the sound of an amp plugged directly into a dedicated line. I only mention these two power conditioners for those, who like myself were concerned with having no surge/spike protection. I felt these two units presented limitations that were very acceptable to my ears, in my system. If you have no concern about spikes/surge control, I would definitely recommend that you plug your amp(s) directly into a dedicated line. How's that?
Oh, and BTW, I did also get a chance to hear the Hydra 2 with a Copperhead and a Python Alpha p/c's. Versus the Anaconda Alpha, I would say the Python was a little more restrictive, showing and even smaller stage. The Copperhead showed the warming characteristics in the upper bass/lower mid's that I also noticed in the RSA Duke, only to a greater degree.
John, thanks. I was just curious if you ever compared with or w/out Hydra with the same cord.
I did a test with the same 2 cords, Taipan Helix Alpha(except for 15a on amp and 20a on Hydra) and direct into the wall the amplifier sounds better. Not even a dedicated circuit, and still better.
As I mentioned before in another post, the McCormack amp I had sounded better with Hydra2 or Hydra4. With Hydra4 I'd say it sounded a bit darker than it did with the Hydra2, but still was better than plugging it directly into the wall, where there was an apparent AC noise even heard through the speakers if I had my ear close to the tweeter.
One of the differences between Hydra2 and all other Hydras is that it doesn't have the magnetic breaker. This may or may not make it more pure, but I do know that there was a difference between Hydra2 and 4 sonically. I do like what the Hydras do for the source components. Lowering the noise floor there seems to be nice.
Some people use Exactpower regenerators even on relatively big solid state amps. I haven't tried that yet, but I may.
I just invested in an Exact Power EP-15A,and it's "balanced" partner,the Ultra Pure symmetrical wide-band filter.All to run my entire system,even though I have dedicated lines.I have heard some regenerated products on my front end stuff,and was amazed,so I feel quite good about this new combo,which has been shipped,but has not yet arrived(the Ultra Pure has,actually).My amp is a two chassis Rowland 8t,recently modded by Jeff.I'm gambling serious dollars that this will be a good investment,as almost all power lines have absolute dreck coming in which is definitely picked up by sensitive circuits. Best!
I never had a good experience plugging an amp into a conditioner. However, I now have a Chang Reference conditioner, and it makes a huge improvement to plug my big Pass 250.5 into the Chang, along with all other equipment. It helped my grounding issues immensely as well.
Previously,I had no problems with a PS Audio Ultimate outlet,and the UPC-200.Other types of these products did not fare well in my set-up.If there is no current limiting,and you have good wall cabling(able to support a good load)I see little risk.Unless the conditioner is not so good,and I have been through quite a few of those types. I do know that my coming Exact Power combo will support up to 1675 watts(for a line voltage of 120 volts)and I did have an electrician recently state my lines were very stable.Yet the Exact unit will still provide up to 1300 watts if the line is only at 95 volts.I see no problems,or I would have stayed with my three separate dedicated lines.Yet,with the combination of the EP-15A(regenerating A/C)and connecting this to the partnering "Ultra Pure" I will have the entire system run "balanced symmetrical/ultra filtered,and completely regenerated a/c"!I have looked into this subject,in great detail,and have put my money on it.I LOVE the Balanced Power units too,even though they don't regenerate.The PS Audio regenerating stuff has proven unreliable to me,and ran HOT! The way I see it,if a really high resolution system is SO sensitive to virtually all cabling/power cords/tubes/arm damping fluid/pucks/cones/shelving supports/line conditions(my system has demonstrated all of this)etc,how could providing the purest level of a/c possible to every circuit,resistor transistor etc,NOT be a really good thing? I got a taste of this on my front end stuff,and figure my amps will love me for it,too! I hope,so I'm keeping the knife sharpened!! Best!