If you already have dedicated circuits, you are 80 -90% 'there'. Next, check your AC power at the wall with a cheap volt/ohm meter. If it stays between 120 VAC and 123 VAC throughout the day/evening, you really don't need a regenerator, and you definitely don't want a dynamics-killing filter (power 'conditioner') in front of your amplifier.
If you MUST spend some money, get a balanced power unit for your front end stuff ;-)
And don't fall for the 'surge-protection' scare. All the stuff in your system (I checked ;-) have built-in surge protection for ordinary conditions. If you see thunderstorms headed your way, or you're going on vacation, UNPLUG EVERYTHING FROM THE WALL! That's the only protection you can trust ;-)
Nsgarch, theoretically you may be correct. However, one doesn't always expect a power surge or a pole transformer to blow. I'm more than willing to give up the tiniest bit of quality to make sure my system doesn't fry.
-Just imagine a great listening session one night: Nice volume, great dynamics, all gear is powered up. Then BLAM, some drunk hits a pole up the street. Internal fuses are going to protect everything. Especially from that initial "POP" when the fuses blow, your tubes blow and maybe more-
Also, if I had to unplug everything from my wall every time there was a storm: my system would rarely get plugged in and listened to. Also, many of us like to leave certain pieces on to stay warmed up? Any thoughts on that or do you like cold gear for listening?
Wow. A post disappeared. Was it removed by the author or by the mod? I didn't see anything wrong with it. Anyway, thanks for the replies so far
I deleted it because I thought it was too critical.
Thanks for the clarification Tvad. I didn't take it as too critical. It mirrors my experience. I've exchanged emails with Alan and have come away more confused than helped. That's not meant as a slam on Alan. On the contrary, I could not understand the technicalities of which he was speaking. Thus my post here. I've heard good things about both products And as has been pointed out, I may not need regeneration if the power is steady. anyway, Thanks for the heads up on the AC thread
If anyone wants to privately throw rocks at me, just send me an email, I don't mind ;-)
Elvick, if a pole transformer blows, it's more like a power outage (than a surge) and the main effect (if your system is actually playing something) is some loud pops out of your speakers as source(s) and preamp shut down (if they're solid state) before the amp does (definitely if it's tube; and sometimes ss also.) About the only thing you can do is put a fuse link on your tweeter/midrange if they're ribbons or delicate domes. The problem is, power outages (in most areas anyway) are usually a surprise, and a surge protector won't help with a sudden voltage DROP. Nor will it likely help when the power returns (big surge time!), so it's best to unplug, and turn stuff off before the power comes back on.
As for the T-storms (we're having one hell of one right now here in Tucson) I just shut down and unplug -- however, in my case it's easy because I have my balanced power unit and my regenerator both plugged into a 4-outlet box on a 10 AWG umbilical from a 20A dedicated circuit, so we're talking just one plug to unplug! My TV and computers can take their chances with surge protectors, but not my "gear", no, no!
BTW, as I posted elsewhere, on Aug. 13th, I'm meeting with Bob Schluter, Pres/CEO of Middle Atlantic Products (who bought Exactpower last year) about re-introducing the line which uses the brilliant (patented) feed-forward regeneration circuit. Hope my charm is working that day!
I'm a big fan of the PS Audio P300, their first regenerator, and have two of them PLUS a Tice Power Block III. Yeah, I have a lot of sources, etc. The P300s are power hogs but after listening extensively on a before/after basis, I wouldn't be without them. And the Tice does wonders for my SET monoblocks, designed and built by a friend, who was pretty much anti-conditioner until he heard them (1) into the wall, even via my dedicated lines and (2) into the Tice.
BTW, don't overlook the effects of power cords. I think they make more difference than ICs and speaker cables, and I used to think this was nonsense. Dave
Dopogue, I have not discounted PC's but I think I should probably start at the source. I have auditioned one big name PC and I couldn't hear any difference at all. That said, I'm still not a naysayer. I used to be until i was forced to put in a dedicated circuit. Then jus for the fun of it, i replaced the std recep with an Arrow Hart (they used to be popular) and whoa. I could hear a difference with each step. I quit making fun of PC's and am at the point where I try not to discount much in the audio realm.
Nsgarch, we regularly have power outages where the power will flash off and back on in a second. It is infuriating but i guess it is the price for living in the mountains. I don't remember this amount of power outage in the flat lands
Artemus_5, it sounds to me like the first thing you should install for your system's protection is an uninterruptable power supply http://www.apc.com/products/
before you worry about anything else.
Fast cycling of (on/off) power can be very destructive to many components. That's because many employ thermistors that prevent current inrush (at first, when cold) and as they warm up, they allow full current to the component. If you cut power (or turn the component off) and then right back on again, the thermistor is still warm and won't prevent possible damage to the component from overcurrent.
Nsgarch Thanks for your info. I do have a few questions however. How will the apc power supply effect the sound? Would I be better to not leave my amp and sub woofer on? I can't turn off the preamp because it has no on/off switch so that presents a problem,
Nonetheless, I know these interruptions can't be good for equipment. I do have a surge protector (Monster) so maybe it is keeping the equipment safe.
Artemus, it's not a great situation you're in, but what can you do? ;-) You have an all solid state system, so in theory, it shouldn't hurt anything to leave it "always on"; all of it, unless it's drawing too much current at idle, but I bet it's roughly two 100W lightbulb's worth for the whole system.
I never got that much into the details of UPS's, not even with my computers, because frankly I haven't had to. So your best source for information is the manufacturer. The trick is knowing what questions to ask;-)
I would first explain that you have an expensive audio system which you'd prefer to leave "always on." That you'd like protection from ordinary surges, but that your real problem is from momentary power outages; specifically the damage that quick power turn on can cause to equipment which hasn't had a chance to fully shut down before restart. And do they have units which address that issue; meaning units which inject full power INSTANTLY so your equipment remains on, whether idling or in use, as if nothing happened? And of course, would there be any affect on sonics, especially when the unit was just in 'standby'?
I wish I could say more, but life is all about asking the right questions, so maybe that will get you started . . .
Nsgarch. thanks for your reply. I am 100% with you in the importance of asking the right questions.
I may speak to the power company as well since I think this situation is somewhat ridiculous. Yes, I live in the mountains, but I live in a town of about 50k and my house is only 13 yrs old. Fortunately i know and am about to do a job for the person who schedules new service installation for the power co. Maybe I'll ask him about it. Unfortunately the pole which feeds my home is covered with vines which can't be good and may be a large part of the problem. Anyway, thanks for the heads.
I spoke to couple of techs about using a UPS. Multiple problems here: First of all they were designed for computers, not sensitive audio equipment. Secondly, most UPS's can't handle the draw of some big amps. I know that even the UPS for my server was not big enough to handle a pair of servers and this was a fairly hefty UPS.
The batteries in them are expensive. Third and final note, when I was really drawing on my UPS, the current wasn't quite up to "par". It is designed to allow for proper power down of a system, not to continue running it. I'd bet that running a turntable or cd off of a UPS in protection mode will go at lower rpms?
Elvick, I don'tknow what UPS equipment you were using, though I certainly am aware they had (past tense;-) certain shortcomings with respect to AV systems. But times have changed. APC (and probably others) have entered the AV market with products like these http://www.apc.com/products/apcav/index.cfm
Sorry but dedicated circuits aren't the be all end all 80-90% of the way there. This is a big misconception that if you use dedicated circuits your power / noise problems are fixed. It does NOTHING to reduce inline noise whatsoever it simply reduces a bit of ringing on that circuit, that's IT. Alot of confusion about dedicated circuits. I use a combination of both Alan Maher's designs, an isolation transformer and a Power plant on my source equipment. Alan has different designs for different issues. The PE reduces noise at a certain bandwidth but also provides power factor correction for individual pieces of equipment on the circuit. Also if you were using a Double-Conversion UPS these act similarly to the Power Plant Premier although not as robust. I have tried both. Power regenerators do wonders for digital equipment which is extremely sensitive to noise and absolutely critical to have a solid power system. A dedicated circuit and Monster power strip won't cut it guys.