Power Conditioner for your amplifier?

Lately, I've been toying with the idea of trying a power conditioner on my amplifier (ARC VT-100 MkII). I know there has been much written about going straight into the wall with your amp (which is what I am doing currently), but has anyone had any luck with plugging your amplifier into a conditioner? Specifically, I've been thinking of a non-limiting device, such as a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet or a UPC-200.
Has anyone had success using a power conditioner on your amplifier - yes / no? Any thoughts and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. In advance, thanks, and happy listening!
I have had excellent results with the Running Springs power conditioner on a 600 watt per channel stereo amplifier. Rather than limiting dynamics, dynamics actually improved, along with all the other improvements you would expect from a power conditioner.
I run my Classe Omega through 2 Chang Lightspeed 9600's and am very happy with them. They also do not limit current.I.M.H.O. I would never run any amp straight into the wall ( even though I use 2 dedicated 20 amp lines). Im in the country and the electric here is all over the place which of course is an equipment killer. Good Luck!
I also use a Running Springs (Haley) with great results on my 225 watt amp. I found that when I plugged my amp straight into the wall (front-end in the RSA) I would get some faint buzz in the speakers. With everything plugged into the Haley it is quiet and I don't notice a restriction in dynamics.

I also used a PS Audio HC/UO at one point and had good results with that as well.
My experience was with an Audio Magic Eclipse power conditioner and it sucked the life out of my amp. Sent it back to Audio Magic and had to fight to get my money back. Straight into a dedicated circuit has been the best investment for me.
Louisl, Kmccarty's remarks are dead on right concerning the benefits of Running Springs power conditioners, I use the Jaco in my system, without any downside at all. I posted a review here on the GON on the the Jaco, that I believe you would find helpful regarding alot more details on the sonics of the Running Springs gear.
I am using a UPC-200 (in HC mode), and have found it all around better then "straight in".
I have a Theta Dreadnaught I that i've tried plugging in to various outlets on a BPT 2.5 Ultra and a Sound Application Linestage and prefer it direct into a dedicated outlet with a dedicated breaker...sounds best that way
I use the Hydra-2.
I've preferred my amps running through various power conditioners (every model of Shunyata, PS Audio UO's, BPT 3.5 sig.) vs. running direct (this with segregated dedicated lines and grounds, 20amp, 10 guage). I have filthy AC, running direct destroys image dimensionality, transparency and harmonic richness, no brainer in my case. You will only know by trying.
another Running Springs Audio Haley fan here. it just cleans very effectively without getting in the way of music. works wonders on everything from tube amps to plasma tv.
I just bought a Monster AVS2000 last night.
The thing definitly give a better authority to the sound.
The bass is far more tangible, has weight it did not possess before.
I have a Monster 5000, a Monster 7000SS, a Monster AVS2000, three Adcom ACE515, A Furman powerbar 10d and a furman PF15.
The Furman does something magical for my Denon receiver, (Which pisses me off as I refuse to pay $550. for $25. worth of parts in a chassis... it is going back to the dealer... but if I can get it for $200. ... maybe??)
The PS Audio Ultimate Outlet will do nothing for you, but I get an idea of your price range. I would look for older models of the Sound Application. It is the best ac filter of the 45 that I have tried for big power amps. I don't have such amps any longer but suspect that your ARC would have such needs.
Thanks for all the responses. I am definetly going to check out the Running Springs Audio. However, I do have one more question. I'm currently using a Bybee 'Pro' on my CDP, which is giving me great results. Since the RSA is not current limiting, what about trying a RSA Duke, and plugging both my amplifier (ARC VT100) and my Bybee into the Duke? Has anyone tried plugging another conditioner into a RSA?
I have a situation in which my Amp is plugged into a power strip which is plugged into the wall and when I turn on my TV the amp comes on. I used to have a processor which had plugs in the back and I plugged my amp when in it with no power surge type problems. Now I am wondering what I could use to offset this problem.
Hello there: I have the McCormack DNA-225 Stereo Power Amplifier upgraded to their top "Platinum Edition", a great one. I have tried it with the Hydra and I went back to the wall. But when I runed a Dedicated 240 Volts Power Line plus the Richard Gray Power Company 240 Volts Sub Station, now that made the difference. I think even a Dedicated Power Line for your Amplifier by itself alone, even without the Sub Station will be a substancial improvement. Much less money than any Power Line Conditioner. I second the theory that states that Power Amplifiers should run directly from the wall avoiding any Power Line Conditioner, I agree with that. Best, Antonio Machado.
We seem to ne paralleing each other lately Antonio. My DNA-225 Platinumsounds best stright into a 20A dedicated via a Shunyata Taipan. Tried a few conditioners, too, to worse effect. They're fine for the front end stuff, but not the amp.
Dedicated line from the wall, regardless what people have experienced improvement wise with these super pricey conditioners its a very slim chance the return is 90% the performance of a guaranteed return with a dedicated heavy gauge power line straight from the box going into a solid hospital grade plug.
Hello 4yanx: A pleausure reading your comments at this Forum. I know you have the McCormack DNA225 Platinum Edition, isn't that a great one ? what a sound amigo ! clarity, soundstage, inner detail, sense of inmediacy, etc. I have some questions to you: what damping/isolation Vibration Systems have you tried ? results and comments please ? I have mine over a Set of Walker Audio Super Tune Kit with good results, and thinking on upgrading to a Set of Mega Feet from www.mapleshaderecords.com (which I have under my Castle Classic Active Subwoofer with outstanding improvement, they are very massive, 7 pounds + each one) and over my McCormack Amplifier I have a set of two Harmonic Resolution Damping Plates from www.avisolation.com with polished Marble Plates over them to maximize their contact with the amp and to add some damping control as well. Another question to you is the following: when I called Steve McCormack asking about this subject he recommended me Apex Feet (from Grand Prix) have you tried the Apex feet ? I would like to order them but they around & 750.00 I think. Final Question 4yanx, I understand you have panel speakers ? which ones ? and what about your Speaker Cables ? I have a pair of Ribbons the Superslim 1800se from www.ambiencespeakers.com.au they are the second of the line and the second of the line of Transparent Bi-wire Speaker Cable, excellent ones. Looking forward news from you amigo, Best, Antonio Machado.
Another Vote here for a Dedicated Power line, I run 8 awg cabling with 2 live 110 volt lines into an Isolation transformer that turns 220 into 110 volts avoiding the street ground...
I tried to go back to the wall outlet and it was completely laughable...
It makes more difference in my system than changing DAC or transport....
Hello amigo Jsadurni, good to know your Positive Experience with a Dedicated Power Line, that has been the best improvement ever to my Two-chanel System, combined with the Richard Gray Power Company 240 Sub Station and 1200s Power Line Conditioner. Expensive and highly effective. What Isolation Transformer do you have (Step Down Transformer from 220 to 110) ? Do you combine it with any Power Line Conditioner ? Best, Antonio Machado.
Amps should absolutely never be plugged into any power conditioner. Hands down best results come from using a dedicated line for each amp with that line having its own ground at the street. I had a long talk with Terry Gordon (National Sales Manager of Audio Research) about this very issue at a time when I was running his Ref 600 MK lll monos. Terry said unequivocally to have each amp in its own dedicated line as a power conditioner would only serve to take away from one's amps ability. I took his advice and have 30 amp dedicated lines each using 6 gauge single stranded Romex wire. Present amps are Lamm ML 2.1 into the same dedicated lines which are now somewhat overkill for an 18 wpc SET. Nonetheleless I would NEVER have any amp plugged into anything except the wall on a dedicated line. My room has 12 other dedicated lines for source equipment

For all other components I do use the Line Source from Jim Weil at Sound Application.

Oneobgyn, I think there would be a substantial difference among amps and the use of power conditioners. The ARC Ref 600s would likely be too much current draw for any conditioner, but my little 8 watt Reimyo would be no problem, In fact Reimyo makes a conditioner and uses it at shows on the amp.

The SoundApplication you mention is in my experience quite good even with big amps. Perhaps not as big as the ARC 600, but I used a SA with my HK Citation 7.1 amps that drove my subwoofers. It was clearly better into the SA than into the wall.

I now have 2KVA IsoClean transformer which should be able to carry the Citation, but I have sold it and no longer used subs.
My findings agree with Tbg's as far as the Isoclean products being suitable for use with amplifiers as well as front end components. The dual transformers and 80A3 line filter are rated at 3 kVA and can handle just about any but the largest amplifiers. For example, I power the Atma-Sphere MA-1s or Parasound JC-1s through the combination to very good effect. Disclaimer, I am an Isoclean dealer.

I do not typically recommend hospital grade outlets because they are often nickel plated, and there are better outlets to be found anyway.
I see no reason why the Audio Research,with associated power needs would NOT go into the outlet directly.That being said,the PS Audio UPC 200's (though not really line conditioners)seem to be a superb solution for many lower power usage amps(even though the UPC 200 does not have current limiting)which will actually clean the line(without filtering)and be an additional source of component protection.What's not to like?


I respectfully disagree

Simply put, I would never have amps plugged into anything other than dedicated wall outlets
It seems that some people encourage the use of a conditioner on your power amp, while others think it's a bad idea. For those who insist on not using a conditioner and plugging directly into a dedicated outlet, have you tried using a conditioner to see if it improves sonics?
If so, what conditioner did you try and what was the outcome?
I've heard and read great things about the Running Springs Audio lineup. Anyone else out there plugging your amp into a RSA conditioner? What do you hear?
All I can say is after some experimentation my amp is quieter through the RSA Haley than direct to the wall.

BTW - I do not and cannot have a dedicated line.
Hola señor poeta!
I have to admit I have not tried a lot of power conditioners...maybe I should...
I am using a 10Kv I think isolation transformer which is kind of a monster, the small shop that wound it locally said it could stand easily the whole house! Thats what I want I answered! I run my whole system through it, both amps and sources, I do star wire everything from the transformer output.
Soundwise everything is more transparent, details jump at you from everywhere, no loss of dynamics at all and with my passive preamp my audio buddies said it has too much detail and not enough silences...you go figure.
Going back to the wall outlet makes everything harsh and adds two blankets over the speakers.

I have never tried the dedicated power lines directly with no Isolation transformer since I have everything hard wired of course to an independent breaker, I will give a try though...
Let me reiterate. I am not recommending all power conditioners on all power amps. I find most conditioners harm everything more than they help and most conditioners probably cannot handle big power amps. I have owned 45 different transformers, regenerators, line filters, and other devices for improving the quality of the ac coming to my equipment. All but three, I found to harm more than they helped. I mentioned the Sound Application because Oneobgyn mentioned he had one. I suspect that my experiences may not transfer to others, so I will not mention others. I have not tried the Running Springs unit.
into PS Audio P1000 Power Plant ? I have tried my McCormack DNA225 "Platinum Edition" with the Hydra and I went back to the wall, then with the RGPC1200s and again back to the wall. Now I have it plugged directly into one of the four outlets of the Richard Gray Power Company 240 Volts Sub Station (a stepdown transformer, 240 volts in / 120 volts out) with the best results. A dedicated 240 volts Power Line feeds that Sub Station and then directly to the amplifier. I was just wondering if any of you guys have had experiences plugging your amps into the PS Audio P1000 Power Plant ? Best, Antonio Machado.
Antoniomachado, let me ask you to please list the power cord you had from the Hydra to the wall and power cord from you DNA-225 into Hydra. Because I had only positive experience with Hydra and DNA-225.
I'm just curious what you've been using for power cords. I'll try the amp again direct into the wall after I receive it from SMc next week. But I'm pretty sure the results wouldn't vary between the upgraded amp and stock.

The better power cord should be between Hydra and the wall. That's not sying that you can live with a stock cord on the 225 though. You still need a good one there as well.
A pleausure receiving your message. From the Hydra to the wall I have the stock Power Cord with NEMA lock required, the one that came with the unit. I think I might upgrade it. Now, from the Richard Gray Power Company to the McCormack DNA225 "Platinum Edition" Power Amplifier I have the King Cobra v.1 (from Power Snakes), that made a substancial difference. Other Power Cords I have in my System are Acoustic Zen Krakatoa, and many other brands and models. For my amp I prefer the King Cobra v.1 so far.
Best, Antonio Machado. P.S.: so based on what you say I asumme your amp is now being upgraded ? if so, you'll listen a major improvement when you receive it. Good luck, let us know your experiences/comments on that great amp. Best, Antonio Machado.
somehow I was thinking of the newer Hydra( probably because it's what I have), which uses a regular 20amp plug. My bad. Sorry.

I can tell you that the latest biggest difference on the amp was when I switched from VH Audio Flavor 4 cord from Hydra2 to the wall to Shunyata Typan Alpha. I just couldn't beleive the improvement. Not saying that the VH4 is a bad cord, not at all. It just didn't integrate with Hydra as well as the Typan does. From the Hydra2 to the amp I am using Audience powerChord. My favorite so far on all of the components in my system, including the cd player. I'll be looking for a Taipan Helix for my other Hydra2 that I use for the cd player. But not just yet. Too many changes at once it would be, the amp upgrade and the new cord.

Right now I'm waiting for my amp.
My DNA-225 had Gold rev + ARC2. Got a call today that the amp is going out tomorrow, so it should be here on Friday, so over the weekend and the next few weeks it's goint to be breaking in. I'll let you know what it sounds like.
So for now, I'm just waiting.
Hello Amigo Audphile1:

Very interesting what you comment on the various Power Cords with the Hydra. So you are expecting your DNA225 "Gold Level + ARC2" this Friday ? you'll love it amigo, you made the right decision going with that upgrade instead of any other alternative just like trading it and get a different one.

A question: what Damping/Isolation System have you been using with your Amplifier ? I have tried several but my best one is to place the Amplifier over a Set of Three Walker Audio Super Tune Kit (points down to drain vibrations from the cabinet to the Resonance Control Discs) and also on top of the Amplifier some Damping Plates from www.avisolation.com with marble slabs over them to maximize the contact and ad some damping weight.

Now amigo: I just received a full set of three Mega Feet (from www.mapleshaderecords.com) and I love the effect of it under the Subwoofer (those cones are really massive, weighting seven pounds plus each one) so I am thinking on another set and try it under my Amplifier, combined with some Heavy Hats over it.

By the way, Audphile1, the Amp requires considerable break-in period after the upgrading to perform at it's best, so I'd suggest you to leave "on" 24/7 during the first few weeks, you'll notice the incremental improvement of it every day.

Best, Antonio Machado.
Thanks for the advise Antonio.
About the isolation. I haven't tried anything under the amp yet. I recently bought a new component stand - Solid Steel 5.4 and had few isolation devices laying around. Tried them. Found them to make some difference under my preamp and absolutely no difference under my cd player. I guess the rack is very good in this regard and a cd player is pretty immune to vibration. Under the preamp I use Herbies Mini Isocups and Herbies Hal-O tube damping instruments on the tubes in the pre. Clears up and expands the soundstage a bit, but on my previous rack it made more difference. Basically, the Solid Steel was a nice improvement sonically to all the components, I think.

Once the amp fully breaks in, I'm planning on trying some Herbies ebony domes under it. We'll see how much difference these things will make, but I'm not expecting a big change, again, due to the Solid Steel's ability to control vibration. Besides, the stand itself is on spikes sitting on top of Target spike shoes, which are metal with rubber base.
Also, when I needed power conditioner for the amp, I spoke with Steve and got the Hydra2 recommendation from him. He said that usually, the Hydra2 is a good solution as far as power conditioners go for the amplifiers because it is not limiting current. He also recommended Running Springs Audio, but it is more expensive, so I tried the Hydra2, liked and kept it.
It is a tradeoff. The powerline conditioners I have tried have increased clarity, while thinning the bottom end.
Curiously, the AVS2000 Monstercable powerline stability device actually boosts the low frequencies a bit!
Like many things, powerline conditioners are a "try it and see if YOU like it device".
I have a Monster 5000, a Monster 7000SS, a Monster AVS2000, three Adcom ACE515, a Furman 10D, and a variety of $100. powercords that I play with.
The increase in the bottom end was a surprise (read happy) result when I added the AVS2000 I just got demo $700. locally.
These MonsterCable HTPS7000 and AVS2000 seem to be in some sort of 'closeout' sale all over the place.
Monster must be gonna redo them or something.
Next one I wanna buy is the 80+ lb Furman... At $3000. I need it on sale! before I plunk down the green.
The Burmester 948 power conditioner is one of those hyperexpensive components that will substantially improve the resolution, noise floor and dynamics of most line level inputs but what makes it worth the investment is how it transforms the response of moderate power amps(~100W/Ch)regardless of topology into another realm. Purity of signal rules. Producing a mediocre signal loudly sells.
So what else is new?
My only experience is the present one : with the high quality swiss power conditioner probably nobody knows here in the USA, named "Boîte Noire Reference" (6'000$) I enjoy more the music with my Accuphase amplifier P-7000 plugged into it than into the wall.
There is possibly a slight loss of power (but with a powerful amplifier, it doesn't matter) but a richer, more articulated and less harsh sound. Better, no doubt about that.
Those PS Audio items are very power limiting. Try an older MIT Z Stabilizer using an MIT Z Cord. No limiting whatsoever.
What is your budget?
Alternative: have a good electrician come in and run a dedicated 200 amp service to your listening room with proper copper wiring.
How much does a dedicated line usually run?
I had two 100' run dedicated lines put in for $100 about 15 years ago.
Hi Bigpond,

Been a while since we've all posted here i see...in any event, my system gets one small step closer to your magnificent one with the purchase of a Burmester 948 to replace my older Nordost Thor/Transparent Audio Power Conditioner. Zanden digital/CJ GAT/Gryphon/Wilson X1s and now Burmester 948. Thanks for the inspiration!!
sorry folks...this was meant to be for a related but different thread...no idea how i was looking at one thread and this post ended up here...at least its related. It was meant for bigpond's own page...strange...anyway...thank you to everyone for your informative posts here!
Have Audience 6TSSD both Rowland 8T then PASS 350.8 sound best through Audience 6TSSD. Quieter and more definition using conditioner better stage depth etc.
Equitech 2Q has not limited.
General rule is to never plug an amp into a power conditioner.

There are a few exceptions, but a well designed amp doesn't need power conditioning (at least nothing that most current third party providers offer).

The more poorly designed power supply in any component. ..the more you need (or will notice) improvements by conditioning.
^^ this is incorrect, here is why:

Power conditioning if done right will have the following aspects:

1) regulates line voltage
2) prevents high frequency noise (most electronics should be immune to this BTW)
3) prevents low frequency harmonics (the most deliterious is the 5th harmonic which can cause buzzing and mechanical noise- Fluke Instruments published a paper on this), IOW puts out an undistorted sine wave.
4) blocks DC on the line.

I've yet to encounter a 'high end audio' power conditioner that can do all these things but there are conditioners that can do this made for commercial/industrial applications. As a result we do not recommend high end audio power conditioners for our amps as I have yet to run into one that works. Usually they cause more trouble. But a power conditioner that works is another matter entirely. Elgar is an example of a company that made such conditioners although they appear to have gotten out of the market some years ago. Here is an example of one of their conditioners that really works:

What about new Shunyata?