Ive found power conditioners usefull for video, not so much audio. At least not with the top companys Ive owned in the past years.-bryston,ayre,anthem-all of which recommend no power conditioner. It did make a small improvement on my rotel gear years ago when I first got into seperates.(upc-200) The upc-200 P.S audio did a fine job with no real negative effects. I would say unless you have a video problem, your good to go. This topic will be debated, just like issolation, power cords, etc.
If you are using AC to power your equipment: There IS noise/interference from everything online between your house and the generating station coming in with your voltage. That's just a fact of life. Once that goes through your system, it will either show up as noise on-screen, or in the background of your sound. Usually you are unaware of it until it's gone(blacker blacks/more definition/better resolution on-screen and basically the same descriptions with regard to high-end audio listening("blacker" background, better ambience, imaging, etc.). Like everything else in audio: everyone doesn't necessarily appreciate, or know how to recognize certain improvements/differences and will claim they don't exist. The best thing to do is find a local dealer, and see if they will allow an in home audition. See for yourself if a good power purifier(Chang/Audio Magic/Richard Grey/PS Audio/Bybee) improves your personal experience. Something to read on the subject: (http://www.positive-feedback.com/pfbackissues/0706/magnan.tweaks1.7n6.html)
I think you should call and ask Naim why?I think you try a unit from BPT for free.I think the above post from Sthomas is right on.I think I'm thinking talk is cheap.Let us know your thoughts,cheers,Bob
Get yourself a PS audio Duet or Quintet and you will have all the conditioning you need with no restriction on current.
I used to have an Audio Refinement Pre-5 and Multi 2 for which I used a PS Audio UPC 200 and then a Duet. It was great, blacker backgrounds, lowered the noise floor. I then got a Naim Supernait. Same affect on the background, but robbed the music of the dynamics or what Naim is known for: PRaT. I then accepted Naim's advice, sold the Duet and kept the Duet for the HT. I trust that helps!
As long as the Naim gear doesn't already have some sort of line filtration on board, then I would suggest the only power conditioner I know of that works so well, you will become addicted to it! I've tried most of what's available and was dissapointed. The MIT Z stabilizer MKIII HG is not only a bargain at $699 msrp, but it will transform your listening experience. Dynamics, both low level and macro are increased. Dimensionality and instrumental tone is beyond reproach. My solid state gear became so organic and expressive that it sounded like what I would expect from reference tube gear but without the drawbacks!!
I have noticed the same improvement with power conditioning with video. With audio the difference is very small or not noticable at all.
I sold high end audio (including Naim) for many years and know many music lovers with good audio systems. Of all the strategies for dealing with AC problems, the one universally reported to net positive results is to install a dedicated line for your equipment.
Naim's recommendation is most likely based on their listening tests, which they, I assume, found most PC's to be a negative. Since they cannot (or will not) endorse one or two units that they may have found beneficial or neutral, they'll take the easy way out and recommend none.
Another factor to consider is that some power supplies do not have oversized transformers and/or filter capacitors in order to get the sonic benefits of low PS output impedance. But these power supplies are more sensitive to current restrictions than beefier ones. Regardless of what the marketing wizards say, all PC's will impede instantaneous current to some degree, lest they found away around the laws of physics.
I concur with the recommendation of the MIT Z-Stabilizer III HG; a fantastic product that to my ears has no detrimental effect on the music and is a stone cold bargain at the pricetag (I have four).
Thanks for all replies! I have listened to some power conditioners with my system and found out that they took away the PRat. The sound is cleaner but, it took away the Naim'sound which I like. Same as power cord. But beside the Naim, I am not sure...
I don't have any experience with Niam, but I had a BPT 3.5 power conditioner which I felt improved my system overall. I then put in dedicated power lines with cryoed outlets and found I prefered my system with no power conditioner.
Lamcam, I agree with all PC products EXCEPT MIT's stuff. MIT conditioners and power cords use parallel filtration and power correction. Low level dynamics increase, harmonics become more natural and you can achieve higher playback levels without the sound turning ugly or forward. Imaging and dimensionality are also increased.
I do not use one, my system sounds more natural and organic directly in the wall but I do have dedicated 20 amp lines and they did make a big difference.
It also critically depends on how clean your power is.
I use to agree with Pops and all the naysayers...heck, I was one of the biggest (I was even quoted in stereophile a few years back as being in opposition to any and all power line conditioning). What I am talking about is the new MIT Z stabilizer MKIII HG and only this unit!! The MIT is utterly transparent yet bestowes a new sense of dimensionality, purity, grainlessness and power upon your system. Instrumental defintion, palpability and presence are enhanced at least by a magnitude or more! The good news is that one can be had from Joe Abrams at Portal Audio for $350...a complete no brainer.
Every system is different. Therefore power conditioning requirements, by defintion, are unique to each system.
No one product can possibly be ideal for everybody despite some amateur thoughts here on the subject.
There's a reason for the dozens of makes and models currently available.
Yes, the reason is mainly capitalism with a flare for the redundant.
Just hooked up my MIT Z Cord III to feed my Z stabilizer MKIII HG which purifies my 400xi via a Transparent MM reference PC...together with some carefully placed Mapleshade vibration control products, I have obtained the largest, most open and dynamic soundstage I have ever heard in my life. The purity and expression is stunning...I am 4th row center at the BSO! I took it upon myself to hot rod my simple stop gap system more as a challenge than anything else...an excersize in how far I could take an integrated/source system. I never thought the synergy would be so addictive that my desire for more equipment would subside. The problem lies in the fact that in order to get these results I am using about $20K worth of cabling:)
Power conditioning, as stated earlier and accurately, is system dependent and there are many products available which serve the many requirements of the audiophile.
To believe that capitalism, rather than necessity, is the genesis for all of the products on the market is simply naive and shows a complete lack of understanding regarding power delivery.
A combination of conditioning and cables that works well in one system could be totally dysfunctional in another. Only an inexperienced amateur would deny it.
In closing one not need to spend $20K to achieve reference level sonics. None of my display systems' cabling total approaches that number but all will smoke the system referenced here.
It's about matching components not pouring money into a cable black hole.
I hope that helps.
Audiofeil, do you read much or interact with people other than your friends from epsilon prime? I am not alone in any of the statements I have made. In fact, if you care to think outside your closed minded box, you would discover many scenarios capable of reproducing music well...some mainstream and others counterintuitive. You never seem to really open up about any real specifics regarding your own inner audio travels. What music do you favor...artists? Your not hold up on a compound somewhere in the midwest are you?
Many will agree with Dave_b and just as many will agree with Audiofeil if they can put their dislike of him behind them,All should agree that every component is system dependent and the listeners bias' almost always overshadow the evaluation as well they should.Therefore whats the beef?
Audiofeil is curmudgeonly but he's been in the business forever and as such has pretty much reached the point that he doesn't suffer fools gladly. He knows what he's talking about.
This is kind of like the whole Obama mistique...people assume he(audiofeil) knows what he's talking about, but when pressed for an example of his divine knowledge, the silence is deafening. Further ruminations by or regarding Audiofeil must include detail and pertinent information..I grow weary of foolishness as well. Publicly, audiogon knows very little about my background. I speak from the heart and in the moment...behind the easy target resides a considerable degree of experience as well. Methinks audiofeil doth profess too much...state your credentials and bias or silence yourself. Only politics has room for such an inflated ego!
Let's have a show of hands folks.
Everybody who believes that only one power conditioner works in all systems and/or that power conditioning is a scam and a money making scheme by the manufacturers raise their hands. Also, and as long as we're at it, how many like Dave, believe there are 2 (he's mentioned both repeatedly) and only 2 cable manufacturers whose products work best in every system? Guaranteed by the way. Raise your hands.
My position is power conditioning requirements are unique to every system. The type and efficacy is determined by the combination of components, of which there are thousands of possibilities, the room itself, and the listening preferences of the user. This is very difficult to argue given the number of satisfied audiophiles. Do you know 2 people who have exactly the same system? Not likely because we all have a different combination of products which pleases us. Show of hands on this position please.
On one hand you have a very emotional and narrow minded view of the subject that an amateur has taken and on the other a rational and sensible view based on 46+ years of experience/business, knowledge, and empirical support.
Read the posts from the members holding techical degrees and/or those who work in businesses where electrical theory is germane in the work. Read the white papers of the power conditioning equipment designed by manufacturers with physics, electrical engineering, and other advanced degrees. It's not snake oil boys and girls.
So put personalities aside and ask yourself which position makes more sense.
Technically power conditioners are to provide 'pure' power.
I cannot understand how "the room itself" can have an impact.
Lamcam, back to the point.
I think you should experiment.
My experience has proven to me that no single company has all the goods on power conditioning-and I doubt Naim does either. I have found some conditioners can be very complementary. Good luck.
Audiofeil is lucid as always, if not a little terse. His points are all well taken and fully understood. My bias and passions have been laid bare before the altar of the almighty. Still, my 46 + years as a musician, music lover and high end enthusiast have drawn me to certain products that I (and many others both professional and amateur)have found to be the "best of the best". My scientific background has compelled me to read many a white paper as well and geuss what?....MIT has been addressing the problems of audio signal transmissions via wire for a long time. They have the science to back it up and the following of many musicians, industry professionals and reviewers worldwide. All this means nothing however if the results were not phenomenal...and they are! As for the power conditioning, I speak from many trials and errors with other brands, albeit not all that exist. Still, nothing has ever made the improvements of my MIT Z HG without getting in the way of the music. The bottom line for me is that I don't feel anyone should go out and buy by recommendation...one should simply give these products a try and decide for oneself in ones own home.
I am confused! Per Naim's recommendations, no power conditioner needed. I have a Naim system, what do you think?
Bryston manuals say the same. That is the way it should be in a good product. However, with switched mode power supplies common these days and therefore dirty power not uncommon - not all components live up to this promise...perhaps power from the utility is sometimes completely out of tolerance too. Whatever the cause, power conditioning sometimes helps - in a perfect well world it probably shouldn't be necessary at all...try it and see if you can hear a difference - however make sure it can handle the instantaneous current requirements for your power amp (as generally it is not recommended to restrict the supply to your high powered gear - some stuff is designed to work with power amps).
Dave_b> You write with great passion about what you feel is best.I'm glad you found nirvana in your cables (at least someone has)However to say you have the best because of comparisons you have made and that you have a scientific background is like saying I can race car's at Indy because I have been driving fast on highways for many years.
What I have learned is that "there is no best of anything"
What works for one may not work for another.For those who choose to spend five figures on cables,fine.For those who feel they can do it for less (given a comparable system) also fine.
If you look at other members posted higher end systems I'm sure the majority would disagree with you.If they did agree they would be using the same cabling that you have.
Be thankful that you have put together a system that you feel is the best for in the end isnt that the only thing that counts.
Sorry, I thought it was implied that I meant "One of the best of the best", regarding MIT products. I am sure there are a number of cables and conditioners that might be considered in this same league by other audiophiles. The most obvious differences in user satisfaction is of course system synergy and individual differences both biological and psychological...not to mention financial! One example comes to mind of a well respected engineer who works for one of the premier loudspeaker companies in the USA. This guru goes around setting up speakers for the company in a most unusual manner. The resultant sound is anything but high end! The ear of the beholder is everything sometimes. The summit of the state of the art is a moving target with hunters using everything from bows and arrows to advanced laser guided rifles.
Why thank you Goldeneraguy! Somehow, my many other posts over the years regarding extremely inexpensive gear that I thought was also the best of their respective categories, has gone unnoticed by some. Happiness comes in many forms:) I can only give my opinion based on my experience, which is all that can be said for anyone. At least I don't own an audiophile dealership full of gear I need to sell...that could definately cloud my judgment.
Power conditioning is what you have a power supply for in you amp, receivere, preamp, etc. Unless you have poorly designed equipment (and that is highly unlikely if it retails for more than $100) or live above a machine shop with large lathes operating on your same power feed, you do not need a power conditioner. A surge protector is a wise idea. If you are worried about power dropping out completely buy UPS and a generator. I spent 20 years working as an engineer with medical equipment in critical care areas and research labs - from microvolt level signal acuisition to kv x-ray equipment to life support equiptment - no one used power conditioners.
Making such general claims shows a general ignorance of audio (what the heck do x-ray machines have to do with audio?). My system has quality components with quality power supplies with filtration (MX-R, KX-R and Wadia GNSC) and all the components benefit noticeably from power conditioning and power isolation. I guess if each component was over 100K, the size of a small room and took x-rays, my system might not benefit from power conditioning...
Physics and science are not changed by the application. Audio is not rocket science.
Musicnoise, Without being offensive; you are showing your lack of experience in the realm of high-end.
As to the individual who initially asked the question. You may want to consider contacting a design engineer at the manufacturer(s) of your equipment or the equipment that you are thinking about purchasing and posing your question to that individual. (Assuming of course that the manufacturer does not also sell power conditioners and thus is free of a bias based on pecuniary interests) Absent that, stop in at your local university and chat with a professor of electrical engineering. If you contact more than one of those sources, you will likely find uniform answers.
The scary fact is that some audio equipment does indeed benefit. I blame it on "switched mode power supplies" in many common household items from battery chargers to computers - these can be noisy. In the past everything used to be powered with large isolation transformers but not today. I have one component that benefits and it is digital - I don't know if it was jitter or what was wrong but a power conditioner helped. I tested two conditioners and both had the same effect on only one component. Naturally I will change this component next as I suspect less than adequate power supply isolation to the electronics somewhere.
I think you are right in principle as the best designs with overbuilt good power supplies should not need power conditioning in most normal situations.
After further listening and critical examination with very familiar material, the conditioner DID rob the audio band of low level information and detail...extended listening is always key!! OOOPs, my bad!
Musicnoise, You "need" to learn that virtually all manufacturers -at all levels-are inclined to say "you need nothing further with our products". Most humans are not their own best critics.