Not sure if this will help, but I had a Tice Power Block III that made a nice improvement but decided to try a PS Audio P300 (regenerator) for some of my source gear. No real comparison. Now I have the Tice and TWO of the P300s (yeah I have a LOT of source gear) and wouldn't be without any of them. The PS Audio units have an openness, clarity, and dynamics that the Tice can't match, although it does a fine job with my SET monoblock amps which are too much for the P300s to handle.
It really depends on the condition of the power grid in your area. If you have a fairly steady state of power, with ample wiring, transformers that don't get stressed and little weather related electrical incidents, it's sort of importan.
If you live in a very hot, humid area, one with a stressed residential grid, or an area of regular electrical storms (entire US Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida as an example), then it's one of the most important components you have.
I live in Houston, and between the weather (unbelievably Hot and Humid) and wet with tons of rain and thunderstorms, the stressed part of the residential grid I am on, and the swings caused by electric load on the system, I found that I had to have a very, very good conditioner.
I have lost 2 very expensive oven (Thermador) control units due to power surges and strikes we have had. So all of our electronics have some type (house-wide too) surge protection.
I tried Shuyunta, Richard Gray, Monster, Panamax, PS Audio (I still have the Soloist outlets in the walls) and ended up with an APC S15 for all of my gear except the power amps which use a PS Audio Duet. The APC is also a battery back up, surge protector and power conditioner, and it has made the biggest difference in sound (positively) of almost any component I have ever used.
I find it interesting that other power products ask you to turn off your gear during a lighting storm??? Why have it then? I'm a huge believer in the APC stuff. I had a VPI SDS for my turntable and it never made any difference because the APC did such a good job of regulating the power without it.
I too live in Houston, and agree with Macdadtexas (except I do unplug the system during hurricanes), so it may just depend on where you are. I use one large (for amps) and one small (for sources) isolation transformer, but they hum, some times more than others. Will probably never know if the enormous sums charged for some power conditioners is worth it.
Let me first say that I am a retail dealer.
Power conditioners, cables, and tweaks have always been of great interest and curiosity to me and a bit of an obsession. Consequently, I thoroughly A/B test and use a number of well known conditioners.
IMHO, two points should be made.
1) Power conditioners have come a long way! The recent couple of years have truly shown us and utilized new technologies with tremendous performance results.
2) Aside from the subject of performance, "power conditioners" have significant strengths and weaknesses depending upon one's needs.
Size and Type of System
Audio vs Video
Amp Conditioning (vs Running Amps in the Wall)
Line Conditioning vs Voltage Regulation
These are all capabilities that should be weighed by a buyer before narrowing down products and models.
We are asked regularly, "What is the best conditioner?. Honestly, the question cannot be answered without considering the above.
We carry, what I consider to be, some of the finest conditioners available, but always encourage an in depth discussion before recommending a piece.
Our lines include the following but I'd be hard pressed to say that there is a "best one".
We've also tested and looked at quite a few others. I welcome calls/emails and enjoy sharing our experiences. Few subjects in this hobby are more confounding to folks.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.
Auravis Systems LLC
Concerning my above post, I perhaps neglected to list the most important criteria in determining what to buy or whether to spend upgrade $$$s.
It has been my experience that power conditioners do little and may even hurt the performance of power amps which seem to benefit most from a dedicated circuit from the breaker box. That aside, for the rest of the componets the right power conditioner can make a tremendous difference. Of the ones I have tried, I would place Audio Magic at the top and Richard Gray's Power Company products at the bottom.
As an additional thought, PLEASE do not fall for any of the DakiOm products or believe that the guarantee means anything. I was burned big time by this disreputable company.
No. Stick with Furman stuff. Good balance of performance and price. Long track record of use in broadcast, mastering and other venues, like the Library of Congress in their archival recording facilities. Furman has been at this for more years then anyone else.
I have the AR1p and like it very much
I presume you know that HP likes the AR6T and thinks it is the best on the planet, he says it is a big step up from the AR6p like you have...
The BEST OF THE BEST is >>>>......BYBEE AC power conditioner from www.tweekgeek.com
I would second the Bybee conditioner. It blew away everything I've ever heard. I can't believe it's still flying under the radar. A must audition.
Audience AR6 markedly and audibly impoved the sound IMS. Cleaner, more presence, tighter bass, bigger soundstage.
In my system the Synergistic Powercell 10SE dramatically expanded the soundstage as well as dynamics while lowering the noise floor to what seems like ZERO with more air and enhanced detail and musicality.
BTW I went to RMAF and noticed that in the SR room they had two 1000 watt monoblocks (along with the entire system) plugged into a single PowerCell and their room sounded effortless and had room shaking dynamics. I saw no other high powered systems plugged into a single power conditioner, let alone one with such power and finesse. This suggests the PowerCell is in a class all its own. It's certainly worth an in home audition against other conditioners- that's what I did before making my final decision.
The best conditioners I have heard are the Running Springs line.
To answer your querries:
1.Both Shunyata V rays V2 and The Audience T offer significant improvements from their previous models.If you have an extensive listening comparing both the old and the new versions,I am sure you would upgrade to the new ones..
2. Both of the Shunyata and Audience have sonic signitures of their own;your systems might need them and you would love it.Mine don't.
3.Having listened to most power conditioners,I firmly believe and convince that correctly applied,and your system has been optimized,'passive 'conditioners are better than their regenarators counterpart.
4.If you can,check out the VERTEx AQ range;they are just superb,especially if you use it in all Vertex cablings.Perharps the best in the world right now.........
Yep...The Bybee is by far the finest AC conditioner Ive ever used..
In comparison it made the Audience AR12 it replaced sound broken!
Jack Bybee is a genius,imo.
All power conditioners are at least as system dependent as audio cables. That said, the SR Powercell is the only line conditioner that has not limited current in my systems (or to my amps).
The Absolute Sound also highly recommends the SR Powercell.
Worth an audition.
Shellie...Have you tried Running Springs?
I used the Running Springs Audio Danielle and Duke with good results until I bought the Sound Applications. There are no comparsions and I would highly recommend trying the Sound Applications before spending big $$ elsewhere. The combination of dedicated 20 amp circuits with Oyaide R1 receptacles and the Sound Applications mated with a Kimber Palladian PK 10 took my system to a whole new level. Nothing gets in the way of the music just pure power with `life like` you are there presense.
Yes I have tired the Running Springs (Audio Dmitri). Without going down a long laundry list here are a few impressions.
The Running Springs does a very nice job of cleaning up the highs while preserving detail and air. So too does the PowerCell 10 SE.
The Running Springs did not limit bass in my system until I added another stereo amp and auditioned in bridged mono- the PowerCell never limited bass and even added to dynamics compared to the direct wall connection, even when running amps in bridged mono.
Where the two (and every other power conditioner I have tried) differs is in the PowerCell 10 SE's uncanny ability to separate the soundstage from not only the speakers but also from the room itself. The degree of holographic realism is hard to fathom; at least that was the case for me in my system.
Power conditioners are like cables and power cords i.e.: you've got to hear them in your system for a week before you can reach any meaningful conclusions. At least with the PowerCell its not too heavy (in case you have to have one shipped to your home.) Id say the top three to audition would be the Running Springs Dmitri, the Synergistic Research PowerCell 10 SE, and the Audience aR12T, at least these are the three I found to be the best of the best.