I use the PW DAC/Transport, and have owned a variety of tube preamps and amps. I have had three power conditioners in my system: a Synergistic Research PowerCell, a RSA Haley, and a Balanced Power Tech CPC. The SR PowerCell hyped up the bass and treble, resulting in a somewhat bright presentation. I sold it without any second thoughts. The RSA Haley improved clarity, but worsened dynamics. I use it in my headphone rig, where it works really well. For my system, the best sounding power conditioner has been the Balanced Power CPC. It improves clarity, imaging, and detail, and does not truncate dynamics. At $500, it is the least expensive conditioner I have owned, but the best so far in my system. I do have a nagging desire to try a Pi Audio UberBuss, which also gets high praise, although is fairly pricey when you in factor in the cost of a good power cord, which is not included in the price. But Pi Audio also offers a 30-day return privilege.
The BPT CPC is not a power conditioner. It is just a high quality power strip, even when you add the V-Cap teflon cap and Bybee Quantum Purifier options. The basic CPC without any upgrade options is $499.00. You might as well just plug straight into the wall.
I use Blue Circle BC6000 - don't find that it over-emphasizes anything in particular - have all my equipment hooked to it - on the amp side have used it with Ayon Spirit 2, and now with Modwright LS100 & KWASE100
I have a very similar setup to yours, Ayon Triton and a DAC off the same power conditioner. My BPT BP-3.5 has worked very well. I'd say my soundstage shrinks by 30% in all dimensions when I take it out of the system, and everything just sounds slower and less defined. Chris is great for giving advice based on your particular setup, give him a call.
Thanks for the responses so far...
I should explain more. As of now I am using a PI Audio MajikBuss (RevB) and a Bybee pure power conditioner. The combination is very good but I am wondering if it is chocking anything out.
Wondering if going with a balanced power approach would get me somewhere different... I guess I should of said but I wanted to hear what would be suggested for my type of system.
There is a relative newcomer that Ive tried and had great (miraculous) success with, but hes not yet widely known. Alan at Alan Maher Designs (facebook) has a 2012 line-up he calls Quantum or Q. The whole AMD thing is different all the way around. He touts that the all-in-one box solutions just cant do a good job simply because they are all in one box. And that electrical noise has many points of origin scattered throughout the home and that, contrary to audiophile belief, its not dirty power coming in from the mains (unless you have an unusual situ of a large factory close by or some such), but its actually everything thats plugged into your home. Doesnt matter what it is, if its on or has a sleep mode (which pretty much everything does anymore), then its polluting your homes AC even your gear itself pollutes. Everything plugged into your home sees everything else and the noise from every source is bidirectional, so the noise is sent back to the breaker box which only serves as grand central for distributing it all over the house. Alan makes individual gizmos of differing types that are (easily) wired into the breaker box, or self-contained, wall-wart-sized filters that plug into various unused outlets in the house and various other devices that to an extent rely on the user experimenting with these locations for best audio (and video) results. In that sense, this is almost not an easy recommendation to make in that this whole approach requires familiarizing yourself with all his gear and a seemingly large dose of patience and willingness to experiment (Alan is always there willing and able to help), so its not necessarily for the faint of heart. But, the results are absolutely fantasmagorical, beyond description!! Somebody else once said of Q that it was like upgrading all of his components - and Im here to tell you thats exactly what it is. Also, this is the ONLY method of conditioning to come across my radar that (in fact) stubbornly refuses to take something away from the signal in the audio band while reducing noise not even the slightest of sonic compromises anywhere. EVERYthing is made better and not just a little plus some things you just did not dream were possible with the audio gear have (not including Alans gear, I have a $5k system so its not a just a function of how good ($$$$$) your system is, I can promise you that). $5k and up for an all-in-one box?? NO thanks. Ive invested about $1200 so far and plan on at least half that again before its over, but its the best money I can spend on my system by that I mean any and all of my components its the core of my system in fact, it IS my system, really. Yes, Im saying its that good. I know this is basically just a long commercial for AMD (for which I apologize) and that I cant help but come off sounding like a drooling fanboy, but maybe that has something to do with the fact that AMD (at the moment, anyway) has no meaningful brand recognition yet, so few people at Agon may be familiar with Alan. But, since Q, Ive been officially off the equipment merry-go-round and entirely content.
As far as conditioning goes, Alan does not make audio products, his stuff only reduces electrical noise thats all they do, period. But, it works in whatever application you can come up with. A filter placed at the fridge keeps noise from the fridge from affecting the rest of the house (your system included) just as well as it keeps noise from the rest of your house from affecting the efficiency of the fridge. With power factor correction, your fridge runs physically quieter and noticeably colder for the same amount of electricity. It works. Ive tried it. I even use a $60-version of his solution in my 2004 Kia minivan that works on the cars computer. Im getting right at 50 extra miles to the tankful with better and smoother acceleration and shifting I sh*t you not. His products are as green and forward-looking as they get most of them draw zero electricity from the wall. (Personally, I believe that when this energy-starved world discovers what he knows, for better or worse it is going to come and knock his door down). Collectively his stuff filters ground, neutral and hot.
But, to get around to your OP, some of his devices are best for digital, analog, computer, video though each will also offer much improvement for other equipment as well. Ive only occasionally seen him draw distinctions between SS and tube amps with his gear, but feel free to take that up with him. If you do decide to friend him on facebook and go down the AMD rabbit hole, prepare for an extended stay as theres rather a lot to take in worthwhile, but time-consuming (you can always message Alan for anything). Alan is a roadie by profession, but has experience in reducing noise in professional environments as well and for him the audiophile arena was more or less an outgrowth of that. Alan IS himself an audiophile however. He has a very direct, take-no-bs, make-no-apologies style, but Ive come to rely on his instinct for cutting through all the smoke and getting to the real fire of anything technical (or much of anything else as far as that goes) but youll just have to take the time and check it all out for yourself. The rewards are positively huge - IF you find yourself willing to invest the time and trouble, that is. Best regards.
From the TESLA Plex SE receptacle (via power cables in series at each stage, including Bybee purifiers):
1. Medical grade isolation transformer.
2. Into Synergistic Research PowerCell 10SE.
3. Into Bybee Stealth conditioner (for amp, etc.).
4. Into Monarchy AC regenerator for DAC and transport.
Results: totally amazing. The isolation transformer and Monarchy AC regenerator have taken my system to a much higher level -- a level not attained with the SR and Bybee conditioners alone.
Although the 2 conditioners brought significant improvements to the sound and have excellent synergy it was only the addition of the 2 former components -- at a small fraction of the price of the conditioners -- that brought the sound to its full holographic potential.
My conclusion: some conditioners are way overpriced for the sonic benefits they deliver. Some components are underrated and can therefore be bought at knock-down prices -- a rare event in high end Audioland, in my experience. This has been a real ear and eye opener for me.
I use a Toruspower power line isolation device. It's amazing pure and simple. Isolates all the power line garbage by at least 60dB, and does not current limit, an issue with some regeneration devices. It also isolates between each hospital grade outlet. My Pioneer Kuro Plasma looks amazing and my audio gear sounds a lot better.
Is the 60dB an estimate or have you measured it? I am curious about the dB in my system but I don't know how to quantify this.
What size is the isolation transformer you use, and what size is your power amp? I'm considering an isolation transformer for my tube amp, and have wonder about loss of dynamics.
+1 on Running Springs Audio... i use a Haley with tube amps and digital components - works VERY well.
@Sabai That comes from the graphs from the manufacturer and varies with frequency.
I have a Marantz PM 15 (1993 model) integrated amp rated at 150 watts (8 ohms). Please refer to the link in my post (above) for the original listing and specs for the isolation transformer.
No loss of anything -- including dynamics. On the contrary. The fog is lifted on all sonic parameters. The sound is amazing -- a totally unexpected event for a unit that cost only $350.00. I thought I might hear some subtle improvements. What I am hearing are huge improvements all across the board.
I've owned several manufacturer's solutions over the years for both active and passive power conditioning (Monster, Gray, Shunyata, ExactPower and Furman top of the line models in all cases; each has their virtues for video and/or audio and I've liked them all for various reasons).
A good dedicated circuit has been in place in my prior and current home since 2007; it's a must!
A while back I made the switch to a APS Purepower2000; it regenerates the wave twice then stores it in a large bank of batteries so your system sees battery power all the time. You can yank the power cable and be totally disconnected from the grid playing through batteries. I view this as a destination piece of gear to say the least.
Thanks for all the thoughts guys...
I had decided that I was going to go with a unit from Balanced Power Tecnologies but it appears that Chris is not interested in helping me. I was first thinking of picking up a used unit and having some upgrades performed (initially ok-ed by him), then I began thinking it might be just as easy with the extra shipping and upgrade costs to just go new. But he stopped returning emails and phone calls. Bummer....
So I move on. Maybe a unit from Running Springs Audio is in order. Lots of people use then in the Virtual Systems section and recomended here too. But Now I hear word that they have been sold and things might not be the same there? Any word on that?
Maybe you should give Jerry a call at Audio Magic. I use a AM mini Ref with a blue dot and really like the combination for my digital gear. And I think you can expect that he will return your calls and emails.
Jriggy - Chris isn't interested in helping you? Did he say that, or just that you haven't been able to get in touch with him? I know he used to be full time with building BPT stuff, but when things slowed down a couple years ago, he took a full time job somewhere else. I think the BPT stuff is the best price/performance conditioning out there, so would say keep trying him. He's usually very good at getting back with customers quickly. Maybe he's been on a vacation?
But you are probably right about buying new. The big balanced units are VERY heavy, so a couple extra trips in shipping would probably eat up any savings over buying used.
Have you considered a medical grade isolation transformer?
Have you done any improvements on your dwellings VAC such as a higher amperage dedicated breaker/s with corresponding wire gauge, possibly uninterrupted BX metal clad from breaker to receptacle?
I would consider the Purepower units as well.
Sorry about your experience with chris(BPT).I`ve used the BP-3.5 Signature Plus(balanced AC transformer) for the past 4 years and it is simply an excellent product.Everything improves with it in my system including dynamics and scale.Despite the large transformer(65 pounds) it is dead quiet(no hum at all).Chris was very helpful and responsive in my experience with him.The benefits of balanced AC power is undeniable in my opinion.
Just a heads up. If you are going to buy Purepower power conditioners/regenerators make sure it is from Purepower AVPS and a reputable dealer. I remember some weeks back some heated exchanges in some threads here as well threads about bad service regarding Purepower in Canada. Purepower AVPS is USA based.
The power conditioning I'm going to use for my digital gear and tube gear are as follows.
PS Audio Power Port Receptacle -> Emotiva CMX-6 AC Filter -> Tice Power Block -> 2 Topaz Isolation transformers (1.8 kVa and a 1.0 kVa). The tube amp will be plugged into the 1.8 kVa Topaz and the digital gear (Oppo BDP-83SE and SS preamp) will be plugged into the l.0 kVa Topaz. This is still all up in the air but I'm strongly leaning toward this combination. One potential issue I have is that with all these Isolation transformers the humming that emanates from all of them might drive me bonkers during quiet passages in music.
Good suggestion...I always check this first for any gear I have.
I have not heard it, but the Audience Adept Response AR 6 TS has a great review by Doug Blackburn. Only 5 grand though. :-).
The story on PurePower, from what I've read, is that there are now two companies claiming the right to the name. I think some disagreement happened in house, and the marketing guy left the company. He started his own operation selling units made in Taiwan. Now there's a fight between the two companies. The company in Canada indicated that they had a ruling from a judge in Florida in their favor. And they've come out with the next generation products to differentiate.
Someone had indicated that a long time dealer of PurePower, who is fairly reputable in the industry has chosen to deal with the new company based in Southern California. So this might follow the path of Audio Note....
Hey all, just getting back here and thanks again for all the suggestions...
@Doc77, No he did not say that to me but after speaking with him for the brief moment he had, then going dark to all my communication efforts after that, I must take the hint. No worries and no hard feelings, I am just not going to use his products now.
I believe I am going to upgrade my PI Audio RevB BUSS to an UberBUSS, THEN look into something --if anything-- to pair it with after that move...
@Sabai, I will look into a medical grade isolation transformer in the meantime as well.
I am interested in RSA but also leery about anything new from them until we see what if anything changes due to their buyout and move.
If I am current limited right now, I really do not need more dynamics But I absolutely do not want to lose the depth and 3D qualities that the Bybee brings to the table!!!
I have over 12 Bybee products in my system. The 3D qualities that Bybee products bring are greatly enhanced by the addition of the isolation transformer.
Interesting... And I know we have a few other components in common as well.
Does anyone know where things stand with actual Purepower 2000+ and 3000+ unit availability (Canadian company)? None of the authorized sources I checked with who actually responded seem to have them, nor have they been given any reliable answer as to when things will ship. Apparently quite a few promised ship dates have been made and have been missed over the past few months based upon the information given.
The plus-generation of these units have several features that I really want in my system as an upgrade to my existing unit. It would be good if they are making the units and are shipping them out to be purchased.
Have any of you been able to purchase one of these new units from the Canada-based Purepower and do you have it in your system? If so, how do you like it?