Power Conditioners

What are the disadvantages of a power conditioner that has current limitations as opposed from one that is not current limiting?
And if the current limiting power conditioner is balanced, would this istill make a difference?
Depends on what is meant by current limiting. In fuse/circuit breaker lingo that means the protection device will trip out before current can reach it's maximum when you have a low resistance short circuit, this is a good thing & has no inherent drawback, it cuts down on the potential equipment damage and arc flash hazard if something goes very wrong.
If you mean current limiting in the sense that a power conditioner can not feed your equipment with all the power it wants on a loud passage, then you will lose some dynamic range especially on the low frequencies.
Every line conditioner or AC filter has reasonable or unreasonable current limitations.

To the best of my knowledge, there are two types of potentially unreasonable current limitations induced by some to many line conditioners. They are:

1. The amount of current your component(s) such as an amplifier is able to draw from the circuit via the line conditioner. A high powered amp can easily max out the current drawing capability of some to many line conditioners.

2. An 'active' line conditioner (draws current for itself) also will limit current in that it will rob power meant for a component (ie a high-powered amp).

In either case, an unreasonable 'current limiting' line conditioner will essentially rob a high-powered amplifier of the juice required to properly reproduce dynamic and/or complex passages and thus render the presentation as somewhat lifeless.

There is also another current limitation that should not be overlooked. That is not having dedicated circuits/lines for high-current drawing components. The results here are similar to no. 1 above.

To ensure you do not induce current limitations, you should consider a passive line conditioner (draws little or no current for itself) rated for high current limitations and you should always use dedicated circuits/lines whenever possible.

There are a number of moderately priced power strips which do not seem to limit power, and, at the same time, provide clearly audible improvement in the sound of plugged in components.
I guess this is in Stehno's passive line conditioner category, or perhaps the stealth (with apologies to the superb Audio Magic Stealth Purifiers with a capital "S") conditioner category.
I still extol the virtues of Mapleshade Records top of the line power strip, despite the fussy way that its four parallel wires have to be separated on their route to the wall AC.
It is surprisingly counterintuitive to hear better sound when more wires are added to lengthen the path along which AC travels, even when you don't upgrade the wall outlet, or have a dedicated line.
I have owned as many or more conditioners than most. I have a full HT and decent 2ch -all in one room. I have CJ 8 monoblocks.They are power suckers. The limiting of current shows itself in the form of 1/2 of the bias lights coming on,when plugged into a conditioner that limits current. I bought my first Power Wedge, 15 years ago and have owned many since. To me there is only one that can power my whole system and do it justice at the same time. It sure wasn't any of the 3 Audio Magics that I owned. It is the Adept Response;a different league,indeed. Sure,more money,but the results make it worth all of the pennies.
Stenho - Some of the line conditioners and probably a higher percentage of the devices sold as ac filters work by shunting noise line to line. I.E., no current limitations, you can actually end up with a more robust current supply with caps hooked up close to the load or good ac filters close to the noise sources.
Audio Magic! I've had them all. Sold my Eclipse to help purchase a new rig. Now, I only have one AM Digital into a dedicated line. Beautiful. If you're going to condition anything: do your front end first into a dedicated line. That may be the end of your electric journey. peace, warren :)
Now, now, Warren. All means all and that's all it means, right?

For if you truly 'had them all', would that not also include the Foundation Research line conditioners? And if you owned the Foundation Research line conditioners, what would you possibly be doing with the Audio Magic, as good as they may be? :)

I hope you are doing well.

John, life is good and my new rig, swings. Haven't had this much fun since my Magnaplanar Tympani 1D days. Oops, sorry if I'm beginning a thread digression...power conditioners? oodles of the same old same old in the archives.. warren
Hello John and Warren..Conditioners, all that I have tried have all made it worse.My home is 35 feet from the main transformer in the neighborhood and my breakout box in in the same room as my system. Maybe that is the reason that conditioners have only changed the texture of my hair and not my hearing.Tom
Hi, Tom. I'd like to qualify my post here that I recently became a dealer for Nuforce, Foundation Research, Star Sound, as well as my own custom racking systems employing the same 'resonance energy transfer' methodology as Star Sound for their Sistrum racks. But I've been using the Foundation Research line conditioners for the last 5 years and Star Sound Audio Points for the last 3 years.

I'm of the camp that thinks every structure wired for electricity has dirty/noisy AC coming in from the street. Some to a worse degree than others but all would benefit from 'proper' line conditioning.

There are several reasons I can think that your experiences with line conditioning were negative (and you are not alone with your experience):

1. Just like any other component, there are some to many line conditioners that simply are not worth owning. They induce serious current limitations and/or induce their own sonic harm. I'm thinking of a very popular mfg'er in particular but there are others. Case in point, I sold a pair of Nuforce amps to a customer and shortly thereafter, I brought over my Foundation Research dedicated line conditioners for him to try after we installed the amps. His system was quite fatiguing and after about 20 minutues of listening, I asked to install the new line conditioners. His was a popular name brand. Swapping out the old and installing the Foundation Research was a very apparent improvement. Before we installed another for his APL modified Denon 3910, I asked him to remove the popular line conditioner and simply plug the APL straight into the wall. We both agreed his system sounded better without the old line conditioner as it was easily a more pristine and musical improvement just by removing his old (new) line conditioner. Then we installed an LC-1 to the APL for far greater improvements. He immediately went out to Audiogon and found 4 used Foundation Research line conditioners and bought them.

2. There is a small percentage of component mfg'ers who incorporate their own flavor of AC filtering. For example AYRE employs what they call AYRE conditioners where they insert numerous filters (at strategic points in the frequency spectrum) to address certain offending frequencies. But again there are other manufacturers and other methodologies. If one owns components of this nature, it is always detremental to double up on line conditioning, especially when employing different methodologies.

3. Every so often, very rare in fact, a component's power supply (usually an amplifier), has so much unusual current draw (even though it's power rating may not be very high) that the associated line conditioner simply cannot meet the demand. The Pass Labs X-250 comes to mind. Not the 350, only the 250.

Tom, I know how committed you are to proper vibration control for your components and racks and speakers and I think you know how committed I am also.

I can say with confidence that the sonic improvements of employing 'proper' line conditioning of all components is easily equal to or even better than employing 'proper' vibration control throughout one's entire system.

For example, negative sibilance is most often introduced as a result of dirty AC (when it's not a part of the recording itself via microphones, etc.), a lowered noise floor to the point where one can hear little nuances never before heard, are just a few of the things that proper vibration control typically do not/cannot address or improve.

Of course there are other improvements that proper line conditioning shares with proper vibration control such as deeper, tighter, more well-defined bass, extended highs, greater dynamic contrasts, enhanced 3-D soundstage, pin-point imaging, et al.

And if you have any doubts contact me and I'd be happy to send something your way to audition to remove any doubts.

Hello John.. I to am a dealer of Starsound products and have been using many of their devices for over 10 years.Yes I am committed to the implementation of resonance transfer thru out my system, externally as well as to the internals of each and every piece of equipment as well as my room treatments and their boundary. As to the power conditioner issues, I have not encountered any that I liked. I stopped looking/listening sometime ago, good or great ones may indeed exist. The word filtered really bothers me. I see filtered in my mind as if it were like the word damped as in sorbathane or sand or lead or rubber bushings, materials when used in my audio experience are non musical. To me pure power would consist of a device or materials or physics that would give greater direction and focus to the transmission of electrons..one that is more orderly and less random or confused. You as well as I, know that resonant energy(vibration) can be more correctly focused, and the resulting benefits. I could see the same concept applied to the transfer of electricity..with the resulting increases in efficiency,focused yet unfiltered. I don't know how to do it but I wish I could.Tom
Tom - You do realize that there already are filters inside of almost every audio device? Other thing, what you want in electron flow is being delved into under the heading of superconductivity, maybe one day.
Jeff I realilze a cap is a filter an inductor is a filter. I also know that by removing some ferrite filters in a big name brand "power conditioner" you can restore much of the soundstage size and dimension that such parts reduce. There are many techniques that I would apply right now to the power grid in my front yard if I were the only household hooked to this particular transformer. Tom