For reference- my amp is a Gryphon Diablo 300.
Niagara 5000 Vs Torus RM20 or PS Audio Power Plant 12
After upgrading my power cords, speaker wire, and adding a USB Reclocker, my system has become more highly resolving and I’ve become extremely sensitive to fluctuations in the quality of power. After midnight, my system becomes insanely revealing, holographic, and unconstrained. During the day, not so much. I am wanting my system to sound like it does after midnight, all the time!
My dealer loaned me their Niagara 5000, along with an older NRG-1000 20A cord to power it. Remember I’m using a Dragon high current to my amp.
Results - love what it does to bass and overall drive, but compared to that “after midnight” totally unconstrained free-flowing sound with my amp plugged into the wall, with the Niagara 5000 powered by the old NRG-1000 cord, I found the mids and upper frequencies to be constrained. Not terrible, but not like that glorious sound I get late at night.
I’m thinking / hoping that if I were to power the Niagara 5000 with a Dragon High Current, then maybe the mids and uppers won’t be so constrained? Any thoughts on this? The NRG-1000 is a far lower end cord vs the Dragon.
Also wondering how a Torus RM 20 or a PS Audio Power Plant 20 would compare. Not sure if I would be able to demo either of these however…
I think you've answered your own question. The NRG-1000 is strangling your Niagara 5000. The NRG is way down at the bottom of the pile of AQ power cords. If you go with a Dragon or even less but still in the Storm range, I would bet it will restore your sound and/or more. You could "borrow" one from the Cable Co. and find out.
@jpan, yes I think that’s accurate. While Audioquest themselves are very generous with demos in my experience, today I simply ordered the Dragon HC 20A version that would work with the Niagara 5000’s 20A input.
I based this decision on getting much, much more interested in either the Torus RM 20, or the Torus AVR Elite 20, based on everything I’ve read (everyone with experience with these specifically notes the added detail and openness which is exactly what I’m after). That said, with the new Dragon cord, after it arrives and is broken in, I can try both the Niagara and hopefully I can demo the Torus as well. If I’m blown away with the Niagara I’ll go with that, but if not, I have the Torus option as a backup.
By the way, Torus told me there is no need for the higher level AVR Elite model if I don’t need voltage correction. They said if my line voltage stays within 116-124V at various points of the day over several days, I can stick with their lower end RM 20, which is significantly cheaper than the Niagara 5000. To test my voltage, they directed me to a $50 easy-to-use device on Amazon, a Kill-A-Watt meter which can read out the line voltage with the amp plugged into it (and the meter plugged into the wall). I placed an order for one.
I have a hunch that the Niagara 5000 or the Torus will work for me. If neither work I can always look for any other conditioner options with 20A input power sockets, or look at splurging on the highest end PS-Audio regenerator. But that behemoth just looks like overkill for my shelf and my wallet!
I think it’s unlikely one of these options won’t work for me which is why I just went ahead with the purchase of the Dragon 20A. Worst case scenario I lose some cash and I sell the cord.
One last thing about Torus that I think speaks volumes - when I asked Nordost about conditioners, it turned out Nordost has VERY strong views on this subject. In that, they recommend against them. They seem to have a view that something gets lost when you use conditioners. However, they specifically made an exception for Torus products!
@gdnrbob , thanks for this!
Hoping to at least be able to do a bake-off between Torus and Niagara. I obviously can easily get the Audioquest demo from my local dealer, but I’ll need to check with a different dealer to see if a Torus demo is an option. If not, I’m almost willing to do a blind purchase IF the Niagara 5000 doesn’t do everything I want. These products are in high demand; worst case scenario I’ve paid a premium to rule out conditioners in my system (still leaves an option for PS regenerators though).
@gwng8 , maybe you have good clean power, making conditioning unnecessary, and making the Torus do nothing?
I can tell my power is clean after midnight, my system becomes downright holographic. If adding a Torus did nothing to my sound when the power is clean, I’d be fine with that. I’m trying to get to a point where I get that post-midnight sound any time of day… Seriously, the sound I get at night just makes me want to listen to stuff endlessly - everything I throw at my system sounds so detailed and engaging, and the soundstage just unfurls in every direction. I can even hear the difference at lower volumes, which is needed in those hours. It’s amazing but also I will be disappointed if I can’t find a way to make my system perform like this consistently! As someone else said, this is the price of upgrading my system to be this resolving. I definitely didn’t notice this difference until I got my Valhalla 2 speaker cables. At first, I thought that maybe my first impressions of the Valhalla 2’s were overblown when I listened to them a second time. But quickly realized the pattern of increased performance late at night. By far the worst time is just before and during dinner time.
@gwng8 , just finished watching that video you linked - thanks for that, I enjoyed it. Good perspective. Without being an electrical engineer myself I do wonder if there are other ways of testing/sampling etc that might yield different conclusions.
If this dude is to be believed and all conditioners / regenerators are useless as proven by his measurements, then I am simply doomed to having poorer sound during the day! Or maybe I need to go back to my less resolving speaker cables and live in blissful ignorance….
If I’m ever buying a new home in the future, I can see myself saying to the realtor “Yes but what is the total harmonic distortion coming in on the AC lines”….
Yes, but those are technical measurements with some being out of the range of human hearing. Although measurable distortion readings, these readings may not be audible. I believe that if anyone has noticeable power fluctuations which impact the audio component negatively that power regeneration is a must, no matter the manufacturer. I agree bout the fan noise on the PS12…Get a used P10 or opt for the new P15 or P20 f you want to go the PS audio route with no fan noise.
To reduce AC distortion on the main lines use the Environmental Potential EP2050 surge, spike and line noise eliminator. This is an industrial originated product used in commercial industry, hospitals, server farms, large manufacturing facilities…it elIminates nasty line noise which degrade sensitive electronics over time. It’s about 1k. Your electrician can easily install into the electrical panel if you have two 120 volts slots free next to each other.
I’ll look into that line noise eliminator. Some audio equipment vendors also have devices purported to do this (Shunyata has their inexpensive Venom Defender which simply plugs into a spare socket on the same circuit as your audio gear).
Regarding the Audiosciencereview video, he also tested bands within the audible range and presented it as proof that the PS Audio PP-12 actually makes the sound worse. I read another report he did “proving” that Audioquest’s Niagara 1200 was utterly useless, and even as a surge protector was not well-designed.
Regarding his theory that our brains trick us into hearing the improvements, well my initial finding of the Niagara 5000 with the NRG-1000 cable sounding worse in the mids and uppers hopefully suggests that I lean at least to a more objective assessment of the sound. I honestly don’t have any strong faith that the Niagara or Torus conditioners when paired with a high end Dragon power cord will do anything for me. I’ll admit I WANT them to work though!
Another example - I just recently realized that my Audioquest Diamond USB cable between my Innuos streamer and my InnuOS reclocker sounds inferior to the generic cable that came with the reclocker, with the generic cable sounding a tad more open and detailed! Note that without the reclocker and plugging the USB directly into the DAC, this is not the case and the AQ USB cable wins. But just goes to show that ears can seem to be objective in some cases too.
Agree with you on all points. Adding to the discussion regarding our ears and listening impressions with various devices. I bought a 1/2 dozen of Shunyata Sigma NR 2 power cables for my system. Well, too much is too much. I used Neotech hi-fi pure silver power cables on my amps. They are plugged into a PS20. Well, the Shunyata did not seem to have the life or zest that the Neotechs have when plugged to into my McIntosh MC2301s. I tried direct in wall and into the PS20, the connection to the PS20 always seemed better to me regardless of which cable I m using. The sigmas are on my field coil power supplies now. But, I might experiment with the Omegas with QRB technology which is supposed to eliminate the need for any conditioning.
When I plugged the Neotechs back into the amps, I had that aha, there you are moment, the sound I was missing when I was using the Sigmas on the amps was back. So, I have discovered that as you said, our ears can become objective.
@audioquest4life , I recently demoed the Sigma V2 NR and the Omega QR and commented in another thread. I found the Sigma to be slightly harsh in the upper mids, but only noticeable after extended listening. The sigmas were very “detail forward”. However, the Sigma demo had a 20-to-15A adapter as Shunyata didn’t have any 15A demo’s on hand, so I do wonder if that had a negative impact.
The Omega QR surprised me as it had a totally different presentation - buttery smooth, more refined, slightly warm, but still with all the detail.
Ultimately went with Audioquest Dragon HC not because I thought it sounded better (was more energetic/lively than the Omega - not better or worse, just different). But rather, because the Omega came with a yellow plastic tab to try to make the connection with my amplifier tight. It didn’t make a secure connection, and I thought that was a bit cheesy with the yellow tab.
The Dragon on my system is maybe a bit more rock and roll with more energized rhythm and bass, and with more forward but smooth detail (not as bright as the Sigma was). The Omega QR might be better for jazz, etc. But both would be great sounding with any music.
Regarding the conditioning tech in the Omega QR, it is very basic I think. It was not that noticeable at all, and even Shunyata told me a 3X Sigma V2 NR with a Denali conditioner would beat 2 X Omega QR with no conditioner for my source equipment. If you only need mild conditioning maybe it would be fine.
Thanks for that feedback. Yes, that plastic adapter to make the plugs have a firm fit with the equipment sure looks and feels very, well, low grade and out of character for such an exotic power cable. You have now piqued my interest on your impressions of the Audioquest Dragon HC compared to the both the Omega and Sigma. My sentiments with regards to PCs sounding different, but good at the same time, is like creating an Italian spaghetti sauce at different restaurants. Most of the time the sauce is good, but definitely different tasting. Sometimes you do get some really bad tasting sauce, the same as experiencing bad PC synergy with one’s own system. At the end of the day, we are all trying to make our own special Italian sauce to our liking. Heading over to your other posts. Thanks for the information.
nyev at the time we sold both conditioners
To DATE WE HAVE TESTED SYNERGISTIC PS AUDIO AUDIOQUEST SHUNYATA SILVER CIRCLE GIGAWATT
BEST SOUNDING AUDIO MAGIC
MOST FLEXIBILE FOR THE PRICE ISOTEK
A BIT WARM BUT OVERALL GOOD AUDIENCE
GREAT FOR SYSTEMS WITH BIG AMPS/THEATER CLARUS
Dave and Troy
Audio intellect nj
dealers isotek,Audio magic,audience
Which is the main problem with AC: voltage fluctuation or distortion (e.g. 300Hz harmonic)? One argument against power regenerators is that although it cleans up the AC distortion somewhat, once it goes through an amp or DAC, the distortions/ground loop created by the amp totally negates the cleaner power. His measurements are convincing. What do you think?
Hello, i am also user of Diablo 300, may I what is your recommendation between Niagara 5000 or PS Audio P12?
I may not charge Diablo 300 into this AC device but only to use this AC device for my other equipment like CD player and DAC.
Also consider the Puritan Audio PSM156 with their GroundMaster and RouteMaster. Many positive comments on this forum.
Gryphon is designed to work straight off the wall. This perhaps doesn't mean that one can't improve it but it may mean that you have to try just about everything worth trying, including that German company making battery powered regenerators, or whatever it is they call it.
Another possibility - simply do critical listening past midnight.
Get off the grid and add Puritan line filter after inverter......best sound day and night
I see you ended up with the Torus! Did it help you get that "after midnight" sound quality all day long now?
I'm a fellow Diablo 300 owner running Nola KO's and Rythmik subs and a Holo Audio DAC.
Currently running no power filtering because I thought Gryphon recommended against doing so. I'm running everything from a simple Shunyata PS8 connected to the wall with an NR-V10 power cable, and everything sounds great. But of course, I don't know what I don't know!
I'm very curious which upgrades unlocked the most performance from you Gryphon Diablo!