Power everything


Hi Goners!

Need some help from you guys in getting a definitive answer to this question:
Power conditioner or power regenerator?
Please be specific as to the benefits or drawbacks of each
Then finally what procedures might make for a more successful outcome then either one?

Thanks for your knowledge in advance as this question has always alluded me!
azjake
Very simply put, a pwr conditioner lowers AC line noise and EMF interference. Now that the noise level in your system is lower, you can hear more detail in the music. A conditioner will usually have a surge protector that will trip the circuit in case of a line spike in the way a circuit breaker works.

In areas where the power grid is especially dirty and unstable, a power regenerator is called for. Many of these units are still called Power conditioners depending on the manufacturer. This is an "active" unit where the AC line voltage is converted into a DC signal and processed into a clean sine wave equal to the correct voltage to run your system.
The first type of pwr conditioner I noted is a "passive" device; it is really acting more like a filter.

Downside of an Active Conditioner is the expense. So, you need to determine the conditions of where you live; dirty, noisy power line, power outages, lightning strikes.

Mucho info in the archives, here's one...

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?hbest&1034192322&read&keyw&zzbest+power+conditioner

If you are looking into upgrading your power source, start with a dedicated AC line. It will greatly reduce noise and no more sharing the line with any appliances in the home.
That was a very concisly and well put answer, Lowrider.
02-01-15: Lowrider57
Very simply put, a pwr conditioner lowers AC line noise and EMF interference. Now that the noise level in your system is lower, you can hear more detail in the music.
I would like to disagree & would like to add that most passive power conditioners in the market substantially constrict the flow of current into amplifiers thereby sucking the life out of the music. When I was in the market I could not find a single passive power conditioner that I liked until I came upon the Richard Gray 400 unit. Then, too, I found it best for only my front end components where it has worked very well to this day.
Most passive line conditioners claim to have the filtering in parallel/shunt to the AC line & they very well might do so but somehow they suck out the life of the music. So, even tho the AC line noise might be lower, I personally found the music far from stimulating.

02-01-15: Lowrider57
Very simply put, a pwr conditioner lowers AC line noise and EMF interference. Now that the noise level in your system is lower, you can hear more detail in the music.
while passive line conditioners do have a surge protector, this surge protector does fall into the signal path & you can hear its adverse sonic effects. Further, the surge protector is designed to trip at some much higher voltage such as 300V so that it does not trip accidently during normal usage & during initial power up of the electronics. If the surge protector trips at 300V or something similar, your electronics will be fried long before that! So, that surge protector in the passive power conditioner is pretty useless.

I personally think that you have a few options
* dedicated lines like Lowrider57 already suggested
* isolation transformer which has a common-mode rejection in the 140dB region. These end up being Hospital-grade units. Expensive but worth it.
* AC regeneration for the front-end components & dedicated lines for the power amp(s). I don't think that an amp should be constricted thru a passive or active AC filter/regenerator - for the music to flow, the amp will need transient surges in current that a pssive or active line filter will curtail to the detriment of music enjoyment.
* Battery power for everything or for front-end. This is not practical for obvious reasons. I did hear one such system at the 2007 RMAF & it did sound really very good. The background was a darker shade of black; something i've rarely heard since. Re. practicality, I had only to look behind the equipment to see wood-veneer box after box of batteries powering everything - it was ridiculously impractical but sounded great! ;-)

My 2 cents worth.....
most passive power conditioners in the market substantially constrict the flow of current into amplifiers thereby sucking the life out of the music.

1. Agree. Amps will sound better when plugged into the wall. Some conditioners will lower the noise floor of an amp, but at the expense of imaging and dynamics for starters.

2. I started the Op off with the very basics in the concept of Power. Now we've moved on to the advanced class. That's OK.
2. I started the Op off with the very basics in the concept of Power. Now we've moved on to the advanced class. That's OK.
Lowrider57
thanks Lowrider57 for taking the initiative to get Azjake pointed in the right direction. I'm also hoping some others who have more experience will chime in or at least point Azjake to more threads he can read.
When I looked into power back then I quickly came to the conclusion that with AC power there is either a zero state (don't address AC power) OR the advanced state that you mentioned (where you have to dig deeper into the subject, understand the effect of AC power on the electronics & address it correctly). And the reason, I discovered, was that AC power done incorrectly does more harm to the sonics than simply not addressing the issue at all because one can make a bad AC power situation worse if the issue is addressed in a half-baked manner! Thanks.
I understand your questions is about the values and differences between a power conditioner and regenerator. But, as mentioned previously you have to step back and review a few things.

1. Do you perceive any issues with the sound? dry?, lacks dimension? etc.
2. Is something wrong with your electricity? Lots of noise on the system? voltage fluctuates all over the place?
3. Do you hear noise on your system with no music playing? In other words, is the noise floor fairly high?

Before you start spending a possible ridiculous some of money on power conditioners and power regenerators, take it one step at a time.

Dedicated electrical lines are a must for a high end music system. A dedicated line consist of a hot, neutral and ground wire per dedicate line and does not share hot, ground or neutral with any other circuit all the way back to the electrical circuit breaker panel. A raised foundation house or a house with an attic and it is relatively easy and inexpensive to do.

This dramatically lowers the noise level/floor and helps eliminate the possibility of ground loops and noise interference from other electrical equipment in your house. Like lights, refrigerators, motors, etc.

Depending on how many amps you will be using dictates to me how many dedicated lines you should install. One dedicated line per amp (if you are using one amp now and the possibility exist whereby you may biamp or use two amps in the future, you should install another line in anticipation). Also, one dedicated line for the low level electronics. Pre-amp, turn table, cd player/transport, dac, tuner, etc. You can temporarily connect these elements to a multiple power outlet then to the dedicated line. Note, I said temporarily.

If your house isn't the first house off of the distribution transformer, your voltage will sag certain times during the day.

Once you install the dedicated lines, then listen for a period of time to your system. You should hear a marked improvement in sound and dramatic lowering in the noise floor.

If, after the installation of dedicated lines (my recommendation is three), then a power conditioner may be needed.

I demo'd the PS Audio PS600 power regenerator, transparent audio Power Isolator 8 and my existing Monster Power signature conditioner. Remember, all amps go directly into the wall unless your electricity is really all over the place and really noisy.

The PS Audio was an improvement over the Monster, However, the Transparent Audio unit was a dramatic improvement in the sound coming out of my system.

My point is, first dedicated line, then power conditioner/regenerator if needed.

Regenerator is needed only if your electricity voltage fluctuates all over the place and you really need stable voltage.

Condition is needed if after you install dedicated lines, the voltage is really noisy and requires cleaning up/conditioning.

Your electric company will come out free of charge and test your voltage to see if you have large fluctuations or excessive noise and if so, will change the feed to your house and the power transformer feeding your area. You just have to ask them (in writing) to do so.

take your time, think it through, don't buy until you test in your own home system and enjoy
Be sure to have separate lines for digital.
Experiment with an Equitech 2Q and let us know!
Try a used Sound Application unit for doigital.
PPlease inform us.
I run three dedicated, 20 amp # 10 romex,to my system.

One line into a Hydra 2 for the digital stuff(Esoteric X03,LSA volume)

Line two into a guardian 2 for my Steelhead and SME tt.

The third line is into a Furutech GTX d and into a Furman balanced power conditioner for my tube Acoustat servo amps.

I tried running the servo amps directly from the Gtx, but the tube amps like the extra filtering that the balanced power gives them.

I did not notice any loss of power or slam by doing this.
I find it sounds even more dynamic now that it did before.

So dedicated lines are the way to begin, but not the end when it comes to fixing your power.

There are lots of other areas to investigate relating to powering up the system.

The more I've tried the" stuff that can't make any difference", the more differences(for the better) I have found them to make.
I always felt that something like the Blue Circle Thingee conditioner did no discernible damage to the power after trying it. In fact, it sounded a little bit better with everything plugged in. No shrinking of the soundstage, no limiting of dynamics, and a clean and clear background.

Before that I felt that the best way for the amp was to plug it directly into the wall and forget about it. Could it be that what I heard was due to the limiting effects of a mid price power cord and that a better one for the amp to the wall would be a step up and worth it?

I presently have two Zu Mission PCs for amp and SACD player and a Cullen PC for the wall to the conditioner. I'm considering a Cabledyne PC just for the amp to the wall. It was not my intent to hijack this thread but felt that my situation mirrors lots out there as well as the OP's.

All the best,
Nonoise
I will concur w/ bombbay as above-

I, too, use a Richard Gray Pro400 conditioner. These prodcuts are outstanding and do not "steal" current from your system. Azjake- did you find a conditioner?
If so, which one did you buy? Keep me posted & Happy Listening!