Looking for clean power

My electrical power is noisy. Some of the noise is from other stuff in my home. Some is from the outside line. I am going to have some new dedicated lines installed (one for each power amp, one for digital sources, one for other audio equipment, and one for the plasma TV and its accoutrements), off a new subpanel I think. I'm concerned, however, that the main electrical supply to the house itself is a piece of crap. I'm really just hoping to get some advice and/or input on what to tell my electrician to do. Thanks in advance.
It's not cheap, but Equi-Tech makes the finest wall mount units. Run a dedicated 220 V line to one of their subpanels and then they have separate circuits that can be used for amps, analog source, digital sources, TV and others depending on how large a unit you buy. These are really the brute force isolation solutions. Equi-Tech's home page
As an alternative to what Rives suggested, i would suggest checking into large isolation transformers from Xentek or Topaz. These units typically have FAR superior specs to the Equi-Tech models, even Equi-Tech's more expensive "Super Isolator" and "Q" models. I am talking about -46 to -66 dB's of greater isolation here, depending on the specific make and models being compared. While these do not look like anything "fancy" compared to the Equi-Tech's since they are simply huge transformers, the bottom line in my book in such a situation is performance.

As i and others have commented in these forums before, a toroidal based design will never work as well as an "old school" iron core transformer. That is why there is such a huge divergence between specs on "audiophile grade" units and "industrial grade" units. As is usual, "audiophile grade" units are more concerned with looking pretty and maintaining a high profit margin than they are about actual performance.

For further evidence of this, take a look at this thread about transformer based AC noise reduction and pay special attention to what John Curl ( the "inventor" of the dual mono amp ) has to say. While i also comment in this thread, John Curl knows "just a bit" more than i do and has "slightly" better "audiophile credentials" : ) Sean
Sean: Where are the Xentek or Topaz available, and what kVa are they rated up to? I did my own isolation with a medical x-ray iron core transformer. However, these are custom made for the medical industry and specific companies and not readily available. It would be good to find these large size transformers from a "common" source.
Rives & other interested parties: Drop me an email and i'll point you in the right direction. I know of a source that has limited quantities of various KVA ratings. Just be forewarned that these units are typically in excess of 100+ lbs and that shipping is NOT cheap at these weights / sizes.

In case you are not an electrician and are wondering what a "KVA" is, that is the abbreviation for "Kilowatts". Since Volts (V) x Amps (A) = Watts, you have KW's or KVA's. When dealing with AC or DC power, the term KVA is typically used. When dealing with audio or rf power, the term KW is more commonly used.

If you have a 2.0 KVA transformer, that means that it is rated for 2000 watts of power output. To figure out how much current it can pass at the rated power, you would divide 2000 by your voltage level ( we'll use 120 ) and that would give you your answer. In this case, a 2 KVA transformer at 120 volts would be equivalent to just over 16 amps. A 3 KVA rating at 120 volts would be rated at 25 amps. Like most other things though, you really don't want to run these on the ragged edge or near their rated output for extended periods of time. As such, i would count on most "mass produced" 1.8 - 2.0 KVA isolation transformers as being good for 10 - 12 amps each and a 3.0 KVA isolation transformer for about 20 amps. Obviously, there are exceptions to these generalizations, but being conservative will never hurt you in a case like this. What this will do is keep your power cleaner by minimizing the potential for core saturation, which would result in hysterisis distortion.

Bare in mind that a manufacturer can rate a transformer at whatever it likes, but that doesn't mean that it will be able to sustain that amount of power long term or do it cleanly. The materials used for the core and the size of the core have a lot to do with the quality and quantity of power available. Using a method that lowers internal capacitance of the transformer also results in better performance / increased line isolation / greater noise reduction. Since toroidal designs have a measurably higher capacitance in most cases, they are limited as to just how much isolation / line noise reduction that they can provide.

As a side note, i am currently working on a deal for a half dozen brand new 7.5KVA units. As such, the 3 KVA units that i currently have will probably end up looking for a new home.

As somewhat of a demonstration as to the variances in quality that exist from product to product, the 3 KVA units that i have are "monster sized" for their power rating. The cores are bigger than any other 3 KVA unit i've ever seen i.e. they clock in at something like 102 lbs apiece. In comparison, the "big" transformers ( and these are "good" sized units ) that Tice used in their Power Blocks & Titans ( appr 1.8 - 2.0 KVA ) weigh 42 lbs apiece. If one were to exponentially calculate the weight of the "big" Tice transformer to put out the same 3 KVA's as the models that i have, you would only be looking at appr 63 lbs ( give or take ).

As such, you can see that the core on the "little" 3 KVA units that i have are pretty much saturation proof at 102 lbs apiece. Quite honestly, they are measurably "beefier" transformers than the 7.5 KVA ( 62 amps @ 120 volts ) units that i'm looking at now in terms of core size vs output. Too bad i can't find bigger versions of what i already have, as i'd LOVE to stumble across something like that for a reasonable price. Then again, i'm not dreaming and this is reality : ) Sean

Sean: Thanks I'll e-mail you. I used a 6.5 kVA unit in my home. I know it weighed about 250 lbs. The larger equitechs weigh up to 400 lbs. I do think they are fabulously built. They were made for recording studios and now are being marketed for home enthusiasts. They also have UL rating, which to some (insurance companies) may be important. Just my 2 cents--but I certainly would like to find transformers at a more affordable price.