Is a cheap 350 Power conditioner

better than not having a conditioner at all? Niam and Madrigal both say dedicated lines and don't use a power conditioner. I have a dedicated line. I read the treads and they either "make a world of difference" or "kill the sound." The "world of difference" seem to be attached to $1500 and above units. Whats the story?
Don't think in terms of money--think in terms of noise control strategy. For less than $75 you can get decent used isolation transformers in eBay. I bought a 400W/ 4 amp Power Var for $55 and plugged my DAC to it. Al I did was to open it up and use Pro Gold on all the contact points. What a difference in my system! I am already using a Tice A/V Solo, so my CDP is hooked to the Digital outlet of the Tice. Now I don't have to keep my power amp plugged the Tice! Even analog performance has benefited. I also have all these things plugged to a Panamax Coax Four and in its power cord I installed a Highwire Wirewrap. Simply amazing performance...

My next step is to buy a 3000 W isolation transformer (220V in/ 110V out) and install a line filter at the 220V level, prior to entering the transformer. I am thinking of using a De Zorel module and a Tice TPT power cord. I talked about this with George Tice and he was very helpful. Once the electricity comes out at 110V, I will use the DIY parallel filters in (

I am doing it this way because I am a nomad and rent. You could try something like a DeZorel and filter just before your dedicated line. You'll still need to do some digital noise reduction management.

Jon Risch has a section on DIY balanced power in his website, too.

Hope this helps out.
I will only add that isolation transformers typically work as well or better than many of the highly touted power line filters that are out there. Just make sure that you get one that is rated for more power than you'll ever want to pull out of it. As with most electrical devices, an "old school" iron core transformer will work better than one that uses a "high tech" but lower performing toroidal ( donut with wires wrapped around it ) transformer. Sean
Sean, my Power Var is toroidal--hey, $55--and I am very pleased. I figured when I ordered it that as a worst case scenario it would end up with my PC Tower...

I read in Jon Risch's website not to get toroidals--but for $55 I did not have much to lose. It has been a major improvement in my system.

I'm just starting to get my feet wet in this overly neglected subject. There's so much room for improvement!

Again, it is very important to devise a noise control STRATEGY. Magnan's website is extremely helpful in this respect.
How big of a power var is needed for a typical system? I've seen models from the 400 (above) to 1200 watts around. Their website has a whole range. Are the lower watt models quieter, etc., or does not matter?
I don't know--I'm only using it for my DAC. I figure that if I had another line conditioner like the Jon Risch DIY I would plug that to the Power Var and then the CDP to an outlet and the DAC to another. That would keep both devices isolated. I tried hooking my Cambridge D300SE CDP to the Power Var and the Soundstream DAC-1 to my Tice A/V Solo and the results were not as dramatic. Seems the DAC is the main offender in my system and *really* needs to stay isolated. For $55 get two--one for digital and one for analog. You can still plug the line conditioner to the Power Var--or vice versa.

It was Sedond who originally e-mailed me this link from Harmonic Discord:

The original Poster, Audiojerry, emailed me that he used to have a Tice A/V Solo like I do and he likes the Power Var better for digital. Said he ordered a second unit for his analog components.

Sedond ordered one Power Var for his infamous modded ART DI/O. He should have received it by now and will email me his feedback pretty soon.

For critical line level components I would like to try one of Jon Risch's balanced power transformer designs. Risch knows what he's doing...
Thanks for the input. Audio is like baldness always another product that works miricles. I believe the "sucker born every minute" adage I just want to make sure the next minute is not mine.