Power Conditioners

Gee, I'm starting to feel like a poster of posts lately, but I am finding a lot interesting, sometimes controversial, comments from the "YouTubers" these days, much more so than in the past.

There are a multitude of threads on this subject here on AG of the what's, why's, how's and when's of PC's but not many on the thoughts of having none.

I wondered what your hands-on experiences were with power conditioners and if they added something to your musical enjoyment or as in this fellows case, taken away from it?

I've tried a bunch of brands over the years.  A few had deleterious effects, a good number "did no harm", but recently, as I posted elsewhere, the one that had a noticeable and entirely positive impact on the whole system (everything plugged into it) was the Puritan PSM 156.  The other good news is that it doesn't weigh, or cost, as much as a ship anchor.
I don’t have much first hand experience myself, but have researched this a lot. The answers you can expect will hit these points, plus others:
  • run a direct line (or two) from your breaker box if you can. 20A each
  • noise on people’s systems varies a lot depending on where they live, how many others are on the circuit, etc.
  • a whole house surge suppressor is a good way to go but it’s not necessarily a solution to noise
  • P.S. Audio sells regenerators; some like them, some don’t, but they’re 30 day free shipping trial if you are curious
  • debates about the wire in the wall are endless and people take different sides
  • conditioners can suck the life out of the sound; some advise plugging amps in directly; others think that’s too risky, surge wise. There’s debate.
And so much more. Many knowledgeable people here.
I prefer my passive Furutech power strip...for years used BPT, Audience, PS Audio...
This is from our recently passed member Almarg (among other things: BS in Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, MS in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer):

FWIW, in my particular case I believe that the quality of my incoming AC is relatively good, as there is no commerce or industry within more than two miles of my house and nearly all of the town is zoned two-acre residential. So I’ve chosen to adopt a "less is more" approach to power conditioning (no regenerators for me!), but without compromising the protection of my system.

What I’ve done is as follows:

-- Installed an Audience aR2p Surge Suppressor/Conditioner ($695).
-- Installed a Wiremold UL210BC Power Strip ($71) to expand the two outlets of the Audience to 10.
-- Plugged a Shunyata Venom Defender ($225) into one of the outlets of the power strip, to attenuate noise that may be generated by digital components and the power amp and fed back into their power cords, from whence it could potentially couple into other components.
-- Installed a single 20 amp dedicated line, which powers the entire system via the Audience.
-- FWIW a "SyCon" whole house surge protector was installed by an electrician at the service panel, when I had him replace the entire panel a few years ago.

As I said I’m in an area that presumably has relatively clean power, so this approach may or may not be a good one in other circumstances. But it works well for me.

Best regards,
-- Al

Post removed 

"My goodness, there are dozens of threads on this topic. Do a thread search and dig in"

Yes, but they all get different response, there are no two alike. I was looking more for comments on the video, nothing really specific.

If all we did was dig in, there would be no more forums, because just about everything audio has been discussed here?

I'm in between remodel projects and have way to much time on my hands! New project starting next week so I won't have much time for the computer any more...Yeah! 

First project? Dedicated 20 amp line for that (one day) audio system.

Happy Holidays to all of you Audigoners' and your families & all the best in 2021 (gotta be better than 2020 was) 
high-amp, I do not use any power conditioners and do not feel the need to spend money on a questionable improvement. My system is dead quiet even when turned up to ridiculous volumes. I do have an unusual situation as my house has it's very own power transformer and I do have a whole house surge protector. 
Although there may be conditioners that are effective my sense is there is a lot of scamming going on in this area as there is in cables. It is just the way humans are.
Expectation bias leads a lot of people to think they hear an improvement when in reality there is no difference. The question is, is a perceived improvement as valuable as a real one. My own attitude is absolutely not. 
I tend to ignore subjective evaluations and look for objective evidence such a lower signal to noise ratio. Obviously object evidence does not tell the whole story especially with amps and speakers. These evaluations you have to make on your own.
Okay high-amp you asked so I will tell you how it is. There is no such thing as "power conditioners". At least not in the way you mean it. A power conditioner is not some generic fungible commodity like corn or crude oil. Although come to think of it even crude oil is not all the same, with "sweet crude" commanding the higher prices.   

Got it? You can't make sweeping broad statements without being clear to set some ground rules or conditions. Questions about "power conditioners" without that are meaningless to the point no one even knows what it means. Some are mere transformers. Some include caps, and the varieties and combinations go on and on and on.

Some are a complete waste of time and money. Some are transformative to the point you will be shaking your head and start blathering about how you have discovered the most important component of all: the power conditioner!

This will last until you hear a really awesome speaker cable, at which point move over power conditioner. Spoiler alert: its like that with everything. Sorry. But you can forget about "power conditioners". All you can do is look for one particular component that maybe happens to be a power conditioner, and do it on the basis of how it sounds. Same as everything else. Don't make the rules, just report em. And that's the way it is.
I had a PS Audio line conditioner and, yes, stuff sounded fine when I had my components plugged into it. One day about two or three years in, though, the thing heated up and started to smell bad.  I hurriedly replaced it with a generic power strip. Sound quality might have taken a one percent hit.  Short story shorter -- I happily use the generic strip.  Yes it is plugged into a High End wall socket, and my DAC is plugged into it's own dedicated High End wall socket, but AC quality is something I don't obsess over anymore.  Finally, oh yeah, I do still have the boa constrictor-width AC cord that came with the conditioner.  It goes between the generic power strip and my integrated amp.
Power conditioners are electronics parts, they can protect against surge, and soundwise they are suppose to clean the line but it is half truth, they add a noise of their own, this is a trade off with some lost always in the final result...

I own one to protect my amp against surge but i improve the sound greatly adding my own creation, the"golden plate", on it and isolating it from the floor...

golden plate: shungite +copper tape on the external side.....
I don't use 'em. No surge suppressing strips, or regenerative power. Just pure juice from the one 8 gauge line. 

I use a PS Audio regenerator plugged into a ZeroSurge. Both with upgraded power cords.
Happy camper.
If you want the best get the VIBEX PLATINUM i have had many this is by far the best.
Video OP links to tells story of  $9.5K Niagra 7000 making a big difference in a system.  Assuming it's true, how expensive a system do you have to have to justify spending that much on power conditioner?

Results will likely vary depending on your power and your equipment, but if one has even a $10K or $15K or $20K system??

One of the comments in YouTube video said someone had electrician run:
--a straight run from the breaker box to the hifi gear with 10awg wire
which cost him under $200.

Does anyone here have any experience with, or has heard about, the 10 outlet Torus RM20 toroidal isolation power transformer(and noise filtering, lightning and surge suppressor)?
I was strongly considering it for my home theater system and due to it's high voltage reserve current, plugging in my Model 12 monoblocks as well.

There is an RM20 balanced model which I was leaning towards. I already have 20A dedicated lines but I'd need an electrician to run a 240V dedicated line to my equipment wall to plug the RM20 into(which will step the voltage down to 120V). Balanced seems to make more sense, esp. that the Torus deals with high voltage and reserve current. Balanced will lower the noise floor even further as well.
Vinylshadow, the power supplies of your amplifiers are power conditioners. If you feel the need to add more power conditioning they are terrible amplifiers and you should get ones that have decent power supplies and make sure they have balanced inputs that you actually use while you are at it. Balanced interconnects running higher voltages is the best way to lower noise.
mijostyn3,351 posts01-05-2021 9:47amVinylshadow, the power supplies of your amplifiers are power conditioners. If you feel the need to add more power conditioning they are terrible amplifiers and you should get ones that have decent power supplies and make sure they have balanced inputs that you actually use while you are at it. Balanced interconnects running higher voltages is the best way to lower noise.

Hi @mijostyn Thanks for your reply...I need the outlets for my home theater actually. I’m currently using a 12 outlet Richard Gray 1200 for my home theater set up. I got it for surge suppression from S. Fl spikes and it’s transformer quality... But it chokes current at 12A and kills dynamics. I want/need a 20A device that allows for higher amperage transient peaks.
I have 2 Jeff Rowland Model 12 monoblocks(which have very good power switching supplies), a mono and stereo Rowland amp, a Classe SSP-800 processor, Plasma TV, BluRay and analog rig. 10 components. Really 13...I only have 2 dedicated 20A duplexes. And a 30A dedicated line on the other side of the room.
So, I need the right device to plug my amps etc into for surge suppression. Or a lesser outlet device, whole house surge suppressor and plug the Model 12’s into the dedicated duplexes.
Actually, all interconnects from the Classe to all Rowland amps are balanced and I hear no noise when I turn the volume up high in sources in between digital songs or no media playing.
I’m actually at a loss on which unit to buy- Torus RM20 balanced from 240V line(least expensive even with the 240V line expense), Audioquest 5000, Shunyata Sigma 12. I think the only device I’m comfortable plugging my Model 12’s into is the Torus. Balanced or unbalanced. And I don’t have to freak out about super expensive power cords as I would with AQ and Shunyata- as if the performance of their units almost soley rests on how high you go with the power mains...Also, my dealer originally recommended the Gray with my Model 12’s etc and the RM20 is very similar indeed in what it is to the Gray except much better. I look at it as I am amplifying to a higher level the original Gray recommendation.
This power conditioning/transformering/distributing purchase consideration is quite daunting.

Caelin Gabriel of Shunyata in a recent interview at the 1:00 mark
said that isolation transformers(like the Torus toroidals) are a huge RF block to the power grid and does not allow noise to travel down the lines and out away from the components. But he uses one at the power into the office near the meter. But he wouldn't want one in his audio room.He has a Denali in his audio room....Between 1:00 and 1:24 is very interesting. I'm rethinking things now.
Vinylshadow, use your Gray on the line level equipment and plug the amps directly into an outlet. Get a whole house surge protector.
Thank you @mijostyn

I was thinking about that today...The question is, is a 12A choke not an issue for my Rowland Model 102 mono and 201 stereo amps used in surround(as far as higher amperage transient peaks), Classe processor and phono stage? Really I'm most concerned about my mono amp for my center speaker as it is a high voltage component and the center speaker is very active.... All else are low voltage. Except my Plasma TV which is the highest current draw of all of my components.

I do have 2 20A dedicated lines to use. One duplex would be for my model 12 and the other would be for the Gray 1200. But, I could plug the mono 102 above the Gray plug.....And the Gray would protect the Mono 102 since it is in the same circuit....

My 30A dedicated line duplex will be where one of my Model 12 monoblocks are plugged into. I believe my dealer in 2009 recommended 30A so I could also plug my powered sub into the same duplex and not adversely affect the current to the model 12. Do you agree with that? Plugging in both components will be ok current-wise to the model 12 and the model 12 will not be limited by the subs "noise"?

Do you happen to have a whole house surge suppressor recommendation?

Someone once recommended the Siemens Pro 140.https://www.amazon.com/Siemens-FS140-Whole-Protection-Device/dp/B013WINMK6
But another suggested a suppressor that I could switch off during critical listening and switch on all other times.
Thanks again. Much appreciated!


Vinylshadow, you could plug an arch welder into a 30 amp line! You have to remember that the impedance of all these devices as as much to do with current draw as anything. They are not low impedance loudspeakers. An amplifier can put 3 amps into the loudspeakers while only drawing 1/2 amp from the wall. It is converting voltage to current. 12 amps is more than enough to run all that you mention. You are probably only putting a watt or two into the surround speakers. People have this crazy tendency to over power their systems. The power supplies represent the choke point and most line level equipment and some power amplifiers are tightly regulated. Putting fatter wire in the wall is not going to make them perform better. Amplifiers that might overwhelm a 15 amp circuit are generally run 220 volt like the big Boulder. Also frequently forgotten is that it all goes back to the same panel so from a noise standpoint it is all being hooked together. Hopefully your Gray will isolate your more sensitive line level equipment. My own system is as quiet as a mouse. It is dead silent even with the volume cranked to the max and I use absolutely nothing. When I turn on my projector when the lamp fires up it will make the system stumble I put a transformer on it and it still stumbled. I put a power regenerator on it and it still stumbled so I sold it all, takes up too much space. If you have a source of noise in the house say like the refrigerator see if the Gray protects your system from it. 
Use Balanced interconnects with your amps if you can. Tie wrap your cables neatly into two bundles one power, one line level. If a power line has to cross a line level interconnect do it at 90 degrees for less induction. Nothing bothers me more than wire thrown around like spaghetti. 
The Siemans is a fine surge protector. I'm not sure which one I have in there. The tech installed it when the generator was installed. Many of them are sacrificial so it is a good idea to keep a spare around. I'm not sure about the Siemans. The manual will let you know. You'll have to turn off the mains when you install it so have plenty of battery lighting ready!
I forgot to mention that you have circuit breakers which are going to limit the amount of current you can draw from any one line and modern breakers are quite sensitive. You will know if you are overloading a line.
The Gray does not isolate their outlets. I've been corresponding with Garth from AudioQuest as I am considering replacing the 12 outlet Gray 1200 with an AQ 12 outlet Niagara 5000(4 high voltage and 8 low voltage outlets). He was very complimentary towards Richard Gray and the 1200. But the Gray is quite inefficient in their internal Henry chokes and their peak current is only 4A. That is good but not enough. I need more amperes for transient peaks. All of my Classe to amp I.C.'s are balanced. My lines are 2 dedicated 20A and 30A(with a 20A duplex).

And by using the 5000 I will not need a whole house surge suppressor. And I can plug all components into the 5000.
My system is also quiet when I turn up the volume in between songs and in the sources. But, noise rears it's ugly head during music and I've read that you don't know how much noise there is until it's removed.

Yes, there will be significant expense getting an AQ 5000 and a Hurricane power cable for it, but, I feel I need to make a change and the Torus RM20 is very good but I would not plug my amps into it so I need something else that I can.