Power conditioner help


Hi All,

 Posting this here since there is no section devoted to power products. I also posted it in the miscellaneous section. 

If you had a choice between PS Audio P10 power plant and a Transparent Powerisolator Reference, which would you choose and why? Both available at reasonable prices, though P10 is still quite a bit more. I have a pretty high end system with a Musical Fidelity NuVista 800 integrated amp, NuVista CD (the new one), Scoutmaster turntable, SDS/ADS, Herron VTPH2, Wilson Sashas, and all Transparent Ref MM2 cables. System sounds great, but my present Powerbank 8 is quite old now, so I want to upgrade it.

Thanks for your opinions.
arsh
Try your rig without a PC.
I run my amp into the wall--20A dedicated circuit with Hubbell outlets. I like it better that way. But the other gear sounds better to me into the Powerbank.
Why not try both ? It's impossible to be sure in advance. Besides, it may be just different, not better or worse.  Another approach is not to upgrade or upgrade something else.
I have PS Audio Power Plant Premier, and it works great in my system. Voltage in my apartment can fluctuate from 113 to 125 within an hour, so I needed a voltage stalilizer in addition to conditioner. 
Thanks Inna. I can't really try both--I have to pick one without in-home trial. I've upgraded just about everything else significant to my satisfaction. Once I get this done, there's not much I want to do at the moment. 
Well, then I would seek Herron's advice.
I did. Aside from saying that power conditioners can make a big difference, he had no experience with these particular units, nor did he recommend any in particular.
This may sound odd but in this case I would replace Herron with another brand and leave everything else as it is. He is not a man I would want to deal with - he was most unhelpful. Thank you for telling us.

The PS Audio P10 is not a standard power conditioner since it takes the A/C voltage coming in and uses DSP to generate it's own "perfect" A/C sine wave for output using a normal power amplifier.  Many people have had excellent results with the PS Audio regenerators and have reported significant improvement over conventional power conditioners.  Normally, I would just recommend that you go with the P10 for all source/preamp equipment and then run the amplifiers directly to the wall (since the P10 has generally made more of a difference with source/preamp pieces and less of a difference with power amplifiers).  The P10 does have 1500 watts of A/C output and I would say it's good for smaller type amplifiers.

However, you have an extremely hefty integrated there (330 watts/channel and about 103 lbs).  Also, your Wilson Sasha's have a demanding impedance curve and drops down to 2-3 ohms in the 70-300 hz area.  This will put more demand on the amplifier and you need a lot of current on demand from both the amp and the A/C input.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/wilson-audio-sasha-wp-loudspeaker-measurements#I1KGxHkW4v8MMPtS.97

I hate to say this, but I might suspect that the Transparent may do better here because it will not be as current limiting.  The PS Audio P10 may have a little delay when the amp demands more current from the A/C and you may lose bass/midbass punch and body.

Thanks auxinput. That is really helpful.
Inna, I must respectfully disagree. Keith Herron is extremely helpful and always willing to answer questions and give advice when he can. His customer service has been exemplary. 
Still, thank you. I will never consider his products. Surely he knows what works well with his electronics. And if he doesn't this is very strange.
Inna- The bottom line is many companies do not want to recommend other products because there not paid salesman.  A few years back I was interested in a Coda CSI- B and Doug was not able or willing to discuss any synergy with a KEF- 205/2
Being an iconic speaker you would assume he had an opinion

I would not be interested in motivations or particulat ideas that lead to actions like that. Yes, they are paid salesmen, just of a different kind. In your example he actually might've had no idea and didn't want to say it.
I stick all of my tube amplification in the wall, but I do have stable power, that I determined from the display of my PS Audio regenerator which I removed. For my digital gear and TT motor controller, I use a Brick Wall protector, but someday that may change. Plus, I have a whole-house surge protector and dedicated audio circuits.

However, in my old house with fluctuating power and a couple of noisy circuits, the PS Audio regenerator improved the sound with my previous amplifier. So, my advice is to first analyze your power and setup, before choosing to spend your dollars on this one or that one.
Kenny


I think all the designers and manufacturers know what works best with their system and unless you are a close personal friend, they won't tell you for fear that it will be splashed all over the internet in forums such as these.
I wouldn't disagree with that.
So are you okay with Herron Audio now or still wouldn't buy their product for not offering the OP opinions?
Of course I wouldn't.
Asked because you seemed to be agreeing with michaela's comment by stating " I wouldn't disagree with that" ; or did you mean to state that you disagree ?  
My recommendation is to try to audition both units in your system and hear the effects.  First for sound quality, second to eliminate ground loops and third to significantly lower the noise floor.  This is what I have found to happen.

I have tried PS audio devices, not the P10 but others and also the Transparent Audio device.  I noticed significant improvement by using the Transparent Audio device.

Also, I have found it helpful to plug all the low level signal devices (pre-amp, TT, tuner, CD player, DAC, etc.) into the conditioner and that plugged into its own dedicated line.

The amps are plugged into their own dedicated lines without conditioning.

I have a raised foundation house and therefore, it was relatively easy to run complete dedicated lines to the listening room from the AC panel.

I can't speak for the new PS Audio P10 device, but if you are seriously interested, I would demo them both in your system.

For equipment that costs as much as these do, I would have a real problem with dealers that would not allow me to take them home for a few days for an in-home demonstration/audition.  My favorite store would simply take your credit card information when allowing this, so if you decided you wanted to keep the item, they already have the information.  If not, you simply return it.

enjoy


Thanks everyone for your comments. I appreciate them. A lot to consider.
Any PC that doesn’t regenerate the AC wave form is a waste of time and money IMO. I wouldn’t run my systems without PS Audio AC regenerators and have been using them since 2000 when I first bought the original model to plug my sources and preamp into. They make a huge improvement in soundstage and reduced noise. In fact I will go so far to say that, if you have invested considerable coin in a quality audio system and you're not using one of these, you are in denial as to what your system can really do.
I recently brought in the Audioquest Niagra power conditioner for our dealership demo system here in NYC.  

If you want to contact me I can tell you more about why I chose that power conditioner over others after extensively reviewing the options.

triodepicturesound.   

emailists
If you want to contact me I can tell you more about why I chose that power conditioner over others after extensively reviewing the options.
Why not please share that info with the entire forum? Isn't that what these forums are for?

@arsh - I just read a bit more.  I see now that you like to plug your integrated straight into the wall.  I don't think you need a P10 just for all the source equipment, a P5 would do just fine.

Also, I would get rid of that Hubbell outlet and replace it with something like a Furutech.  The Hubbell's are made from brass elements and this presents a shouty and sterile sonic signature.  I'd go for a Furutech FPX or GTX (either un-plated copper or rhodium plated).

Thanks auxinput. Have you been able to compare the Hubbell and Furutech outlets? One of the guys at Transparent recommended the Hubbell to me.
I did a lot of research into this subject and can't help but feel the the Furman P2400 IT is the way to go. The price point is very competitive.

 http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=P-2400IT 

Yes, I have. I actually used to run all Hubbell outlets and Hubbell 20A male plugs for all my home theater equipment. I was experimenting with power connectors on my separate computer audio system and put in a Wattgate male plug. All of a sudden, I said "hey, this sounds just like sound I’m getting out of my theater". It was not a good sound - it was very fast, but very shouty and sterile. Just a single Wattgate plug in the mix caused this problem (I had 4 devices - DAC, preamp, 2 studio monitors). The Wattgate connectors and the Hubbell connectors/outlets all have one thing in common - brass conductors. I have since swapped out all my Hubbell outlets/plugs with Furutech FPX unplated copper outlets and Furutech FI-11 unplated copper male plugs. I use all Rhodium plated Furutech FI-52 and FI-50 IEC connectors for my equipment. All this was a significant improvement.

I have put more comments in this thread:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/furutech-vs-neotech-gold-plated-schuko-sound-quality

Don’t get me wrong, at $20-24 per plug, the Wattgate are "decent" plugs, but they do not compare at all to the Furutech pure-copper stuff. Since your considering several thousand for a power conditioner, a $70 FPX(Cu) outlet is not any big expense and I would say it will significantly improve things.

Be aware, the rhodium plated stuff require 250 hours burn-in.  And they don't fully open up until somewhere between 300-400 hours.

Thanks again auxinput. I will read about the Furutech outlets and plugs. I wonder how much the interaction between such things and the components determines the sonic outcome, rather than the outlets/plugs in isolation? I don't find the sound I'm getting now shouts or sterile at all.
Arsh,

I use a Bryston AVR20 isolation transformer and love it.  It's the exact same thing as a Torus AVR20, just branded by Bryston, so any review you read on either can be substituted for the other.  The AVR series has surge protection, power isolation/conditioning, and voltage regulation.  Without voltage regulation it becomes the RM series for Torus or a BIT if carrying the Bryston brand.  I love mine and recommend it without hesitation.  The 20-series are the 20A versions.  Peak current output is 400A for 1/2 second, 200A for 1 second, and 100A for 10 seconds.  The 15-series are the 15A versions and 300/150/75A for the peak current specifications.  Both Torus or Bryston would be very responsive if you were to ask them which series would be most suitable for your amp.

I run my system on a 20A dedicated line with a Wattgate outlet, which was about $135 at the time I got it years ago.  Since we are on the subject of power, I use Kimber PK10 Palladian power cords throughout my system and can recommend them too.

Cheers,

John

Pure Power, designed by the same guy who owns Jensen transformers. First class stuff. :)

Best,


Erik
Thanks guys. Reynolds853, do you plug your amps into the wall or your Bryston?
Torus / Bryston are the real deal . 
P10 great choice!  Got mine for 3.5 k.  No regrets.  
Arsh,

The Bryston plugs into the wall, my amp and media player plug into the Bryston. The Torus/Bryston 20-series is a beast. I use a Kimber PK10 Gold to run from the wall to the Bryston, and the PK10 Palladian power cords from the Bryston to the amp and media player. The Palladian cords are also seriously good, by the way - what they do with the bass is astonishing... and great extension in the high frequencies too. I got them before I got the Bryston so the above configuration is the only way I’ve run the rig. In my opinion the AVR20 lets the system live up to its full potential.

I occasionally demo the system for friends by running straight from the wall for a few tunes and then I’ll connect the AVR20 back in.  It's not uncommon for people to ask if they are listening to the same CD.  The system sounded quite good before the AVR20, but it nonetheless made quite an impact. I went the isolation transformer route because it suited me on several levels: it’s old school, well-understood technology; it’s passive; it’ll put out a prodigious amount of current; and as someone who likes his watts by the pound, it suits me.

I hope this helps, but certainly feel free to ask if you have additional questions.

Cheers,

John
Thanks John. Very helpful indeed.
I have only used PS Audio power products ...due to periodic discounts I took advantage of over the past 10 years (I recently bought a factory-new P10 for $2500). I have several PowerPlants from the "Premier" to the P10. They all deliver the goods on both clean power and reserve/buffered power. I'm sure —based on reading reviews over many years— that the Torus/Brystons are at least similar in quality/results.

I have spoken with PS Audio engineers both OTP and in person. Smart company, good products ...and they are happy to answer technical questions. If you are in the Denver area for RMAF ...take an extra day and head to Boulder to visit the numerous audio companies located there. PSAudio, Avalon, Boulder,... it's a gold mine and they are very friendly and helpful.
Completely agree with noromance.  Listen to your system without one. I've heard ~30 power conditioners.  They all limit current, compress, soften and just generally make your system sound worse.  If you want to protect your system from lightning and surges, use a surge arrestor at your service panel.  They are easy to install, and cost about $60.  Everything in your home that is electronic is protected.
Now, there are some amazing AC power cords, such as the Purist Limited Edition power cord that has RF/EMI filtration.  But it's non current limiting, passive, the conductors pass right through the box, no splices, connections, limitations.  Try listening to your system without a power conditioner.  I'm pretty certain you'll prefer it without.
Thanks Vuc and herndonb. Vuc, sounds like you have somehow been able to get incredible  deals. What equipment are you connecting to your P10? Amps too?

herndonb, I do like my amp plugged into the wall better than into my PB8. That being said, I have never tried another power conditioner. And thanks for the tip about the surge arrestor. I'm going to do that regardless!
I'm just patient ...and flexible. When I see a great deal in the space I am looking, I act. I currently have tube amps from Ayon Audio (Triton III), Raven (Blackhawk LE) and Rogue (Cronus Magnum). The Ayon is incredible with great tubes, likewise the Raven ...but a bit thinner (and 1/4th the price).

@herndonb I have not experienced any current limitation with my P10. In fact, just the opposite: It buffers power in the large transformer. By doing this it makes that power available when it is needed. Your wall socket simply does not. If your audio gear has over-sized transformers, it also does some of this but it will starve itself faster without a device such as a PS Audio power plant or a Torus/Bryson... Now, if you have TOO much high-current gear plugged into it, you can expect to get different results, eh? Hence, I use the biggest such device and undersubscribe it by not plugging everything into a single one. In my case I am running at less than 750va, and the P10 is capable of 1500va (if I recall correctly). That is plenty of in-the-trandformer buffer for my 100w Ayon and my CD, network player and TT.
Thanks Vic.
very informative.

For what it's worth, Parts Connexion has had a discount on this Pure Power item:

http://www.partsconnexion.com/POWER-77612.html

Thanks auxinput.
arsh, I'd be interested to know more about your MF Nuvista, but that's another topic for another day. I have a Musical Fidelity M6si which I'm real happy with. I can only imagine what the Nuvista tubes sound like :)

For power conditioning I have my amp and other equipment plugged into a Panamax MR4300 and that is plugged into an Emotiva CMX-2 and that is plugged into a dedicated outlet. Both the Panamax and Emotiva are essentially passive (not 100% but lets say 99) and in no way limit current. The Panamax is made by the same company that makes Furman. 
Thanks gdhal. So you have one PC plugged into another one? I have not heard of that before.

The NuVista800 is awesome! Happy to discuss it with you.
Arsh,

My experience with the AVR20 mirrors Vic’s experience with his system as I have not experienced any limitation in current, compression of soundstage, etc. In fact, quite the opposite has been the case. Also, Vic and I use the same amp (Ayon Triton III; I also have an Ayon S5 media player that runs off the AVR20) and if his experience is like mine, the current reserves and eliminated noise floor have let his Triton sing with more authority and clarity than ever.

The AVR20 replaced a Panamax 5500 in my system. The Panamax sounded only slightly better than the direct-to-wall connection. The Panamax is a $550 unit and the AVR20 a $4500 unit, so the latter should have demonstrated its superiority - which it did, and for me its contribution to my system was unquestionably worth its price.

I know the folks at Bryston and Torus are very helpful and could help with a recommendation for your system - and it sounds too from Vic’s experience the same is true of PS Audio. When I was going through my decision making process it ultimately came down to which technology I wanted to pursue, and as I stated in my previous post, I gravitated toward the isolation transformer - passive technology, and that 400/200/100Amp current waterfall was really attractive to me. I have never regretted its addition into my system and it certainly has a permanent home.

Cheers,

John
arsh, yes I have one PC plugged into another. The Emotiva is one of the only devices that offers a "DC filter". The Panamax has surge protection and under/over voltage protection. Both have noise/rfi/emi filtering. IMO unless your looking to spend many thousands on something like a Torus or AudioQuest Niagara, the two devices I'm using with a combined cost of $349 is hard to beat. 
I would recommend listening to as many options as possible, whether at a local dealer, or making use of an online retailer with a great return policy.

As you can see, there are many fans of the cleaning power of regenerating and balanced options. I've personally always found them to slow PRAT.

I would add conditioners like the Shunyata Denali, Synergistic Research PowerCell 12 UEF, and High Fidelity Cable to the list to audition.
Thanks guys. You have been a wealth of information!
Running Springs, Haley model. Black background, plenty of current.

arsh,

did you consider a Transparent conditioner? it would mate well w/ your Transparent Cabling.  Happy Listening!