Power Strip Sound Differences.

My system is a Denon modded universal player, a Luminous Axiom passive preamp as my volume control, two B&K Sonata M200 mono amps, and Silverline Sonata 2 speakers.

I installed a new Hubbell cyro wall outlet. The outlet is not connected to a dedicated line; however it is the first outlet in the line, with only two lights being used further down the line.

I plugged a three outlet (six plug) power strip , built with the same Hubbell outlets, into the new wall outlet. I plugged the two B&K amps into the front two outlets on the power strip and plugged my Denon player into the remaining wall outlet.

What I noticed was way more bass than I had ever experienced before in my system; however with a loss of detail and space in the overall music. I then, after a couple of days, moved the Denon plug to the rear of the power strip behind the two amplifiers. This arrangement gave me back my detail and space with a more balanced sounding bass.

I knew Ac outlets and power cords could make a difference, but I had no idea that where the power is located in the path of the individual components could make such a big difference.

I really like the way my system sounds now; however I am always looking to improve. I was wondering if someone out there has had experience with setting up their own equipment with power strips and maybe can tell me if there is a better way with only one wall outlet available for my system.
I use a Q bar which has served me well in another system. It definitely has surge suppression I learned that quickly when a partially inserted plug came out. It shut down every thing completely instantly. It is supposedly well defended against RFI/RMI. It isn't quite the same sound in my opinion as when I was able to directly plug my gear into dedicated circuits that I plug the Q bar into but there is probably some influence from the after market IEC type power cord you need to plug it in. Overall however I am very pleased with its sonic qualities extra cord and all. I can't compare it to any other than home depot extension cords (heavy duty) which seemed to impart nothing sonically.
take a look at the Balanced Power Technologies site.


I just took delivery on one of his plain vanilla PPC - pure power strip

I also have a CPC.

These two are his bottom of the line but they both work very well

I would go so far as to guess that the position on the strip would not make a difference with these products

Isolation Transformer for the Digital
Benie, can you elaborate on the use of an isolation transformer? I'm guessing you are saying to use the full power for the amps and use the transformer to filter noise to the Denon player. Would that be between the wall outlet and the player or between the power strip and the player? Maybe at the same time you can recommend a transformer.
Hi Kevine -

A lot of the better power products (BPT, Equi=Tech IMHO) provide isolation between each duplex. Depends on the mfg - some designate specific duplexes for digital, high current etc - but at least with the isolated duplex engineering approach you create an effective barrier to a good part if not all of the digital grunge.
Digital gear (CDP) can put a lot of digital noise into the AC which then can enter your other gear. When you had it pluged into the wall the gear downstream was really affected by the Digital noise. You have to look at at digital power cord as a two way street, one way the power is coming in but in the other lane you have a lot of garbage (digital noise) coming out back down the cord to the wall infecting the AC. So moving your plug to the other side, last in line helps. An Isolation Transformer will clean the power going in and stop the digital noise dead from going back to the AC line, it keeps your Digital gear totaly isolated from the rest of the gear. I use a Topaz Isolation Transformer which is one of the better brands. Check the archives for Isolation Transformer. It is best to get one say 3-4 times bigger than you need for more headroom. Say you Digital gear is rated at 25-50 watts ac, somewhere around 200 watt Transformer would be great. They can be found on ebay at some good prices and some not I even got one at the sally Anne once. Depending on your budget another way to go if your into a little DIY and understand ele. if you can open up your power strip you can install some parallel filters on your duplex in the power strip. I have used these with great success. I seem to be having some Computer problems right now, I will post later a few links to some very good DIY parallel filters which can be very good for digital + analog.
http://vhaudio.com/acpowerconditioning.html Auricaps are great!! I have these on my amp. and are supposed to be even better on Digital which I will do. They are not AC rated but many use these and have never been a reported failure. Another one is http://www.10audio.com/diy_power_conditioner.htm this will be my next project. Good Luck.