power conditioning vs. power regeneration?

Hi Goners:
Would someone be kind enough to explain the differences between the two and where one would be superior to the other?
Would power regeneration replace the need for dedicated lines?

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dedicated lines are a basic and a must have....after doing this I would try a regenerator and power conditioner and see if you can hear any difference and if you do choose the one you like. don't forget treating room acoustics is also a basic.
A power regenerator is an electronic component which contains internally a 60Hz oscillator driving a high capacity power amplifier. Its 60Hz output is what powers the audio system, and the ac from the wall is only used to power the regenerator itself. So in principle the audio system will see ac power that is very pure, and essentially free of noise, harmonics, etc.

A power conditioner is essentially a filter, which passes the 60Hz ac from the wall to the audio system, while attenuating to some degree the noise and other spectral impurities that may be present. Some of them also provide outlets that are isolated from each other to some degree, so that noise from digital components can be prevented from coupling into analog components via their power connections.

Individual experiences vary with all of these products. As Larry suggested, see if you can evaluate some of them in your particular system on a trial basis, and go with what works best.

-- Al
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Hi Bob,

I think that what might be misleading you is the phrase "modulate the output from the power supply," which I too have seen said in various contexts.

In a typical design, the internal power supply of an audio power amp is essentially not in the signal path. The power supply converts the incoming ac into dc voltages, which in a good design are then heavily filtered, and then those dc voltages in turn power the amplifier circuits.

The same goes for a power regenerator. Its internal power supply converts the ac to various dc voltages, which are filtered and then used to power its 60Hz power amplifier.

The internal power supplies in both cases, therefore, provide isolation between the power amplifier circuits and noise or other garbage which may be present on the incoming ac. If the amplifier's power supply did its job to 100% perfection, totally isolating noise on the ac line from the audio signal path, there would be no benefit to connecting it to either a conditioner or a regenerator. But nothing is perfect, and in some systems with some ac power sources the conditioner or regenerator can supplement the rejection provided by the supply in the audio component.

Hope that is helpful.

-- Al
Thank you gentlemen for such a clear set of answers!
Indeed trial is the ultimate decider but i was curious if one was more suited to doing a better 'all around' job, such as surge protection, fluctuation etc.
To me it seems that the regenerator introduces a 'pure' sinewave which is unfettered from possible filtering excesses which may only help in some areas while causing harm in others!


Yes, in principle a power regenerator should do the best job. However, a good one, with sufficient output capability to power an amplifier and other components that may draw considerable current, will cost considerable $, and also be substantial in size and weight. The leading example that I know of is the PS Audio Power Plant Premier, which costs $2200.

And even for that unit you can find comments here from some people who found it to do more harm than good. I have no idea why that may have been so, assuming the current draw of their system on high volume peaks does not approach the regenerator's maximum capability, but like a lot of things in audio there are effects that are inexplicable.

-- Al
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Hi Bob -- Sort of, but I'd put it a little differently. I would say that the amplifier stages of the power amplifier are isolated from noise and other garbage that may be present on the ac line by:

1) The rectification (ac to dc conversion) process, and subsequent filtering, that occurs in its own power supply.

2) The rectification (ac to dc conversion) process, and subsequent filtering, that occurs in the power supply of the power regenerator.

3) The fact that the audio amplifier's power supply is essentially not in the signal path.

4) The fact that the power regenerator essentially breaks the path between ac from the wall and the ac input to the power amplifier, since the ac provided to the amplifier is derived from the regenerator's internal oscillator, and is amplified by circuits that are isolated from the wall ac by the regenerator's power supply.

Without the regenerator, you just have nos. 1 and 3, but not 2 and 4.

"Filtering" of ac to me means something conceptually similar to putting an inductor in series with the ac line, and a capacitor across the ac line. Both of which tend to block high frequency noise components. And that is conceptually what a line conditioner does, while a regenerator will eliminate anything and everything other than 60Hz (not just high frequency noise components), including for instance 120Hz and 180Hz and other harmonic distortion which may be present on the power line.

BTW, I should add to my previous comment about the cost, size, and weight disadvantages that regenerators may have, the fact that since they are high powered active components they may themselves consume significant power, increase electric bills, add heat into the room, and possibly add some degree of noise as well, if they are fan-cooled. So there are lots of tradeoffs to consider.

-- Al