I would recommend the Hydra strongly over the power plants, I have heard more then a few power plants and they do create a very black background but they compress the sound and suffer from current limiting if pushed. I can't say for sure but on a few systems it sounded as though when the unit was being used the soundstage was more defined but smaller then with out. The hydra has none of those short comings yet still doesn't integrate well with some systems(then again what component is perfect for everyone?). You may also want to look into the Sound Applications and Jena Labs conditioners, they are a little bit more money but seem to work well with any system they are used on(in the 110v world that is :).The sound applications has all of the benefits of the ps audio paired with the benefits of the hydra. I am told (but have not heard for myself) that the jena labs washing machine takes it to even another level, this comrd from a few sources I consider to be highly reliable.
BTW there is another inexpensive pc conditioner that is getting a lot of rave it is the Balanced power technology aka BPT, I read the white papers from that company and it seems like an interesting idea, more then that I don't know much about it.
If you're going to condsider Hydra, please think strongly about the Audio Magic line. The Stealth and Matrix conditioners are unbelievable. I love mine. peace, warren
Many people have said the Walker Audio Velocitor is the latest and greatest in power conditioning. Six moons has a review of it in the archives. There is a new hydra 8 coming out thats supposed to be an improvement. My experience has been that during quiet electrical times late night and early morning I prefer to be plugged directly into the wall. During noisy times each cleans up the sound in their own way. I'm currently using two blue circle noise hounds when the grid is noisy.
Why such insistence on expensive solutions?
Psychic: Because if it doesn't cost a lot, offer brand name recognition and appear to be based on pseudo-scientific babble with a bit of "unexplainable magic" thrown in, it surely can't be as good as something that costs less and uses a common sense approach. Sean
Power conditioners: how do you justify the price? Obviously, the best way, is to listen with our own tympanics. Now, how do you do that with a power conditioner? I would read the posts on the 'gon, from PS Audio, Audio Magic and the like, down to the less expensive ones. Decide where you want to begin and how much you can justify to this insane world of electrical "magic." Then you wait and watch the 'gon classifieds. When you see the baby you want, negotiate a deal, buy and listen. Listen hard. Be critical. Go crazy. Listen naked. Listen on cloudy days, sunny days. Whatever. Don't like it? Sell it, back on the 'gon. At the best: you might make a couple of bucks if you got a killer deal. The worst? Lose, maybe a few $$. I don't know about the others (power conditioners, that is) but the Audio Magic line will produce. (not a dealer, just a happy customer) Do you want to spend the $ (new or used) for the improvement. Hey, it was worth it, to me. Off to the beach again. peace, warren
Why do people involved in expensive hobbies insist on griping about the prices? If you don't want to pay high prices get a cheaper hobby.
Kinda like walking into a Lexus Dealer, and looking at the salesman and saying DUUUUDE, your prices are...like ..really high.
I can forsee the answer, just like Karnak could, "I want a bargain, paying retail is stupid." Or just because I want a bargain and am too smart to pay retail...Whatever
Everyone in the real world has a job because someone created then passed along some wealth, creating jobs, paying taxes, building roads.... Econ 101
Lexus already knows there prices are too high. Its our job to beat up a car salesman and make him sweat. Then we can go buy some speaker cables for 28,000.
Anybody done a remodel lately?
Lexus isn't expensive... Audio isn't expensive. Kitchen cabinets! THOSE are expensive, overpriced, clumsy constructions of plastic and MDF...
Sticker-shocked in Boulder,
This is only my perspective, it may not be a complete understanding of how they work, relative to each other, but I would like to know from someone with more than 'opinion', but someone with practical experience in comparing the two.
It seems, that the PS Audio, actually takes the 60 cycle, 120V and 'recreates it' perfectly, thereby eliminating all but the exact signal we are trying to get. Other divices seem to be 'fixing' the problem rather than eliminating them. Are there other (there always are) considerations as to starving the amp for current etc with the PS Audio?
Any input is helpful.
Lrsky: The biggest problem with the PS Power Plants would be their lack of efficiency. They consume gobs of power and produce a lot of heat to do what they do. If you don't mind paying 200% to make sure that you get your full 100% and are not worried about having to deal with the excess baggage ( heat ) of such an approach, you're home free. Just bare in mind that this is like any other amplification circuit. Running any device near rated potential will typically cause more stress and lower performance. As such, leave yourself plenty of headroom and you shouldn't have as many problems. Sean
I noticed that while wearing my power pants, the hydra conditioner produces a much blacker background, with tight bass and killer mids and highs to die for.
What about the Audiophile APS (www.audiophileaps.com)? The claim to do the same thing as PS Audio, but with 90% efficiency. Anyone heard it?
I own both and I would not sell either one.
They both have their spot and I wish I could afford to own two of each for a real good A/B comparison.
They are much less expensive when purchased used, so they hold even more value.
Power cords are the next big question.