Power conditioners


Need your advise on the following questions;

What is the difference between a power conditioner, power conditioner with isolated transformer, voltage stabilizer and an AC regenerator?

If I am looking at having something that will give my equipment a consistent 120v with no spikes, have a noise filter and surge protection, what brands should I look for? I saw the Powervar, the BPT and the ONEAC and they all seem different. Does one of them meet my needs?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated! My budget is around the Powervar and BPT (less than $300) and do they really improve on the sound?


APC make a reasonably proced unit specifically for AV applications too.

A power conditioner reduces noise by filtering the power. These also include surge protection.

A stabilizer will step up or down the power to keep the voltage closer to 120 Volts. If you have severe swings in power then a stabilizer is a good idea, it will help protect your equipment - so it will last longer.

Generally you should not use a power conditioner with a power amp, however, some devices are designed and tested to work with power amps.
It really depends on your particular setup. You don't know the benefits that you will reap until you try different units with your gear.

I tried several Power conditioners. I have settled into an APC S20 Power conditioner with battery back up. Detroit Edison provides very dirty power. Brownouts in peak summer hours wreak havoc on my preamp. The APC unit cured the brownout issue. Surprisingly excellent performance for it's price point. I have gotten very good result from replacing the stock cord with a Virtual Dynamics Nite power cord.

I have my whole system plugged into the APC, dynamics and bass response are not limited in any way. Huge jump in dynamics and bass when I swapped out the stock power cord for the Virtual Dynamics cord.
An AC regenerator takes the incoming ac converts it to dc then back to ac. Generally they maintain the ac at a constant 120 sine wave. Examples APS Purepower, and PS Audio Premier Power Plant; Monarchy Audio has a less expensive version.
Thanks for the replies!

Is there a reason why power conditioners should not be used with a power amp?

I have been introduced (by Monarchy Audio themselves) to the Monarchy unit but it is rated to only 100W which means I will need two for my Monarchy SM70. And at $500 each, that's a $1000 total...way beyond my budget....

How does the isolated transformer work? Will this keep the current stable at 120V?

i agree with the above definiteions and suggestions - though some are way out of your price range. I recommend, and use with my 9k system, the tripplite brand. Great reviews and people generally say it's a fraction of the cost of other ones (ie monster powerbars offer the same and same quality for 3X the price)
Take a look at PS Audio's Duet or Quintet products.
Here's a good read from their website: http://www.psaudio.com/products/quintetmoreinfo.asp.
Is there a reason why power conditioners should not be used with a power amp?

Yes...power amps need to store and draw on high instantaneous power (big capicitors and big power supply).....therefore any device that may "choke" power could affect the dynamic headroom. Think of a river flowing to fill up a dam at a power station....normally the dam has enough energy stored behind the dam to handle things. Also a big dam is very very expensive just like a power amp power supply. Therefore manufacturers will skimp on the power supply to reach a price point (this may not influence the amp performance until the amp is driven hard or with a difficult load). So when the system is really pushed it may help if the "river" flows unrestricted into the dam (especially true if the power supply is modest).
Thanks for the explanation and "illustration" Shadorne!
Shadorne, That's a dam good analogy :-)

I have experienced 50 wpc amps sounding more powerful than some 200 wpc ones on my Maggie 3.6's no doubt due to their nice power supply.