Review: Allan Maher Power Enhancer AC filter

Category: Accessories

Alan Maher Power Enhancer and the Noise Destroyer

Ok, here is my set up.

I have 3 dedicated circuits all with 10 gauge Romex and all with the Wattgate 381 gold plated outlets.

Electrical Set Up and Equipment
#1 one circuit is used only with my APL 3910 Player. Connected with Purist Anniversary Power Cord
#2 one circuit for only my Pass labs X350.5 Amp Connected with Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2 Power Cord
#3 one circuit for my Hydra 8 (Connected with Virtual Dynamics Master Power Cord) where all my video is plugged in. LCD TV, DVR, DVD, CDR, Cable Box etc.
Originally, I plugged the Alan Maher PE’s into outlets outside of those 3 dedicated circuits (I used other outlets in the same room) to break them in. In those locations, I actually thought they sounded pretty good. But I was told by Jen Maher not to do that. Jen said to plug them into my Audio outlets and don’t move them from place to place, if I did, she said, they would go thru break in all over again.

Well, I moved them as instructed into the #1 dedicated outlet used on the APL Player and on the #2 dedicated outlet used with my Pass Labs Amp.

A few days later, (about 4 days) the bass and treble sounded less impressive, the dynamics was gone. After a week, the system remained “Dark Sounding” and unenjoyable. I finally said to myself, what the hey, and moved the PE’s back to the Original placement I had at the beginning (outside of the 3 dedicated outlets).

Well folks that is it, they sounded great once again in that location. The dynamics and the upper frequencies returned slowly. But the change was noticeable somewhat right away. After about 15-30 minutes the treble started sounding more extended and the dynamics returned. For some reason, when I plugged the PE’s directly into my dedicated Audio outlets the sound gets dark, I believe the Audiophile word for this is, overdamped. Your results may vary.

So, am I better off with the Alan Maher or the Noise Destroyers in my system??? I would say, yes, they make noticeable positive improvements, but extreme placement is necessary.

Results were about the same with the Allan Maher units as compared to the Noise Destroyer units. I would give the nod to the Alan Maher units over the Noise Destroyers due to price and slightly better performance. I have placed the Noise Destroyers into my Video System where they have improved that quite nicely.

APL Denon 3910 CD Player
Pass Labs X350.5
Eggleston Works Andra mkII Speaker
Purist Dominus Ferox Rev C Balanced 2M Interconnect
Shunyata Hydra 8 AC filter
Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2.0 Bi-wire Speaker cable
Purist 20th Anniversary Contego Power cord
Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2 Power cord

Associated gear
APL Denon 3910 CD Player
Pass Labs X350.5
Eggleston Works Andra mkII Speaker
Purist Dominus Ferox Rev C Balanced 2M Interconnect
Shunyata Hydra 8 AC filter
Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2.0 Bi-wire Speaker cable
Purist 20th Anniversary Contego Power cord
Virtual Dynamics Revelation 2 Power cord
Nice review, Ozzy. Supposedly,after the PE is placed in an outlet, it takes up to 10 days to fully break in that particular outlet. I'm confused a bit as to how the PE works. I initially thought that the PE had to break in itself, but now I read where Alan's wife says that the PE doesn't break in but the outlet circuit which the PE is plugged into does. Fortunately, according to a follow-up by Alan himself, after 15 min. in whatever outlet you choose, you'll know whether you like it there or not, so you don't have to wait out the 10 day break-in period to decide, unlike cables, etc. I also have found the PE to sound the best in an outlet which is in the same circuit, but further away from the outlets where my system is actually plugged into. I am contemplating getting another PE to hear if there are indeed further benefits. So far, I'm really enjoying the one only PE in the room. if anything, my bedroom system on the other side of the wall could probably use a PE. One thing that I've found is that the Electroclear QRT-1 and the PE don't like each other. The PE is far superior. In fact, I have removed the Electroclear completely. Anyone want an Electroclear QRT-1 dirt cheap?
Jen is correct, the PE does not break in. The leakage from the PE charges the magnetic field along the length of the in wall wiring, and changes the harmonic ringing character of each duplex wired on the circuit, component power supply, etc. At the same time the PE rings to control the harmonics on the line. In some cases it cuts off the heads of peak harmonics, and in other cases it fills in the gaps of dip harmonics. In order to experience the ringing enhancement, the PE must be placed in series with the audio / video system. That means any location wired prior to the a/v system on the circuit or sub panel. Series filtering will provide a very dynamic and extended reproduction. Parallel filtering, anything wired after the system duplex or circuit, only provides CMR and RFI/EMI filtering. You loose the harmonic ringing enhancement. In parallel the PE will sound warm, lifeless in some applications, maybe subtle, or nothing at all. The Parallel application is still useful for noise rejection, but a series filter should be added to balance the harmonic ringing of that particular circuit. You might also discover the distance in a two PE application plays a small role. Think of each duplex outlet in a daisy chain as a power cord ringing node. That is exactly what the in wall wiring is, one giantic power cord. Do you remember those devices you slide on the cable back and forth to alter the ringing character? That is what you are trying to achieve with the PE. Each duplex outlet, including the system, has a different ringing frequency in the grand scheme of the electrical circuit. The PE can be used to spot test and correct the ringing frequencies if the user takes the time to test each location. The PE is no different than any other parallel device. They can all sound good if the user takes the time to test each location. Locate the outlet with the brightest sound quality on the a/v circuit or sub panel if you have a dedicated circuit. This is excellent advice for a 1 to 3 PE application. As the PE's start to increase in the home you will discover spot testing is no longer required. Each PE filter will couple to the other on the same phase and will work in concert with one another to increase S/N ratio and allow the user to dial in the ultimate PLC at the sub panel. I have clients with 25+ in their homes that continue to purchase more. The uses of the PE are unlimited if the user takes the time to tune the PE's location.

With all that said, each time you disconnect the PE from the wall you will disrupt the magnetic build up along the house wiring. Allow the PE 5 minutes to first establish the new location. Next, allow the PE 10 to 15 minutes to set up the ringing node of the circuit location. After you decide which is the brightest location on the circuit, allow the PE 4 to 5 days of a roller coaster ride of harmonic swings as the magnetic field in the wire sets up. The field will expand and collapse over that time until it becomes stable. Once the swing stops and the sound quality snaps back together, the circuit can take up to 2 weeks to refine. Everything from the size of in wall wire, to the length of the circuit, to the amount of staples used per beam to hold the wire in place will determine how long the refining process will take. Keep in mind, each staple that pushes against the wire to hold it in place is another harmonic frequency that needs to be addressed. I have never experienced anything past 2 weeks, but there is always a first time for everything.

If any client requires assistance, I will be home as of the 14th. E-mail me at: and I will try to answer each question as quickly as I can. I have a bunch of orders to fill, so please allow me a day or so when I first get back.

Take care,
Alan, Thanks for the extra instructions, they were surely needed.
At the present time I have removed all the Alan Maher and Noise Destoyer units and everything sounds better. Better dynamics and high frequency.

I will print out your guidlines and see if I can follow them at a later time.

Question. If I only have one item on one dedicated circuit and your unit sounds bad placed on that outlet, do I look in the Circuit breaker box for the circuit above that breaker to try the PE on that circuit ?
Have you tried taking the Hydra 8 out of the circuit and experimenting with the PE by itself? That would be an interesting experiment.
Sherod, None of my Audio Components are plugged into the Hydra 8 just Video.
I have my Pass Labs Amp and APL Player(no Preamp) going into seperate dedicated outlets.
This is because , I thought the Hydra 8 also resticted dynamics.

From my Video, nothing plugs into my 2 channel Audio.
Very interesting. You must have very clean power coming into those dedicated lines.
We live in an area where their is enough distance between houses that each house has its own transformer. I dont know if that really matters though.
I will still fiddle with these units in different places inside the home. Perhaps on the Frig and Computers circuit.
Ozzy, having your own transformer will make a huge difference vs. several homes or an entire block sharing one. Of course, your fridge,etc. can add some noise to the equation but your dedicated stereo lines is helping you a lot in achieving a cleaner signal. I envy you, man.
I actually have taken Alan's advice and now removed my RSA Haley from the system. I have 5 PEs (with a PE-4 and Studio Reference PC coming) on 3 circuits (3 of them on the A/V circuit alone) and now my gear is plugged into a BPT power strip (non-filtering version) with Oyaide GX outlets and an Oyaide R1 wall plug which the BPT is plugged into. All my gear is plugged into the BPT.

Upon first listen yesterday there was a slight increase in the noise floor, but overall the sound seemed a bit livelier as well, especially with cymbals. I'm going to do some more listening this weekend and see if I can note any other differences.
Clio09, I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions.
Okay Clio09, the weekend has passed and I'm "chomping on the bit" waiting for your impressions. By the way, I recall reading that you had your video gear plugged into an Electroclear QRT. I also had a single QRT-1 in an outlet and I found that my system sounds so much better with the QRT unplugged. It somehow clashed with what the PE was doing to the circuit. The PE is sufficient by itself to my ears. I just ordered another one to experiment with a 2nd unit in the circuit.

Ironically Alan Maher asked me the same question last night. Basically things have settled in and I think the PEs on their own are doing an adequate job of filtering. I really don't miss the Haley although I think the power factor correction it provides is an added benefit. I have a PE-IV and Studio Reference power cord on the way and I'll probably add these to the mix later next week when I return from a business trip. After that I'll decide what to do with the Haley.

As for QRT, I actually use their power strip which is no longer available. I used to use the QRT-1's a while back well before the PEs arrived on the scene but sold them off. I don't hear any negative effects from the QRT and Alan uses their Symphony products with the PEs in his system if I recall. In any event maybe when I throw the PE-IV in the system I'll unplug the QRT power strip and see what happens. I just have a LCD TV panel and cable box plugged into it so it's not a big deal to remove it.
I have recently removed the Quantum products so I could evaluate the PE III designs. I am starting to prefer the non-Quantum set up. YMMV.

I have re-installed the Alan Maher and the Noise Destoyer units only in the bottom outlet and plugged the components only in the top of the outlets.

I have also once again, removed all the Quick Silver Gold off all of my contacts.
The Noise Destoyers work best with Video Signals.

Things seem to be better for now, I will leave it this way for a couple of weeks.
Update: I have had the Allen Maher PE's for about a year. During this time , I have replaced the CD player , cables, and added a Preamp.
Still there was something missing. The sound quality was not what I thought the components were cable of.

I actually thought about selling everything and just using my Home theater set up.

One day , I took out all of the Allen Maher PE's that were in my system.
Once the Allen Maher PE's were all removed , the treble became extended and the bass and soundstage improved. I found that the sound of my system was dulled or was being choked by the Allen Maher PE's.

These Allen Maher PE's definitly do something , but for my system it was not a good thing.
Ozzy, which PE model do you have?

I purchased a couple PE and one PE III about a year ago, and I returned them for a refund, much to the chagrin of Alan. According to him, I'm about the only customer to return one of his products.

Later, I purchased an AM Reference Power Center V2, which replaced a Shunyata Hydra 2 and Purist Dominus Ferrox power cord (the RPC V2 has a captive cord). Alan pretty much didn't want to sell to me because of my earlier return (his return policy notwithstanding). But, we came to an agreement, and I essentially decided I would sell the conditioner rather than return it if it didn't work out.

My system sounds the same with the Alan Maher RPC V2 as it did with the Shunyata/Purist combo, and I was able to save some money while adding many more outlets, so the AM RPC V2 has been a good addition, although I can't say I have had an "Ah-Ha!" moment with the AM conditioner.

I can say it does no harm.
Tvad, I had the first ones, the $75 dollar each ones.

I heard the same thing from Allen that no one returns them.
I can't believe how they limited the dynamics.
I didnt realize it because they were installed for so long. But once I removed them , WHAM , my stereo was alive again.

Still, there are many others that swear by his PE's, so they must work with some systems and power sources.
I sold them pretty quickly and had many offers.

For now, I prefer the sound of my Audio with the power coming straight from the wall using just good power cords and dedicated circuits.

On video, the Hydra 8 and the Noise destoyer seems to work nice.
I don't experience the limited dynamics that you describe.

I'd like to hear the "jaw dropping" results others have experienced with the AM products, but I'm generally dubious of anything people describe as "jaw dropping".

I'm sure others have experienced good results. Perhaps I'm fortunate to have good quality power from the wall, as it appears you are as well.
The Alan Maher PE (Power Enhancer) needs to be placed very precisely throughout your home. They are particularly sensitive in the series mode( that is, before your system power). If in parallel mode( after your system), they might or might not make a difference). See Alan's post above for more info. Remember to take the adequate time required after insertion of your PE's to get their full measure.

I tried my PE in every possible configuration as recommended by A. Maher. Top outlet. Bottom outlet. Outlet nearest components. Outlet farthest from components.

Sometimes, a product doesn't shine in a given home/system. It's not always the end user's fault, which seems to be the AM party line.

"Sometimes, a product doesn't shine in a given home/system. It's not always the end user's fault, which seems to be the AM party line."

Quite possible. There are so many variables in one's own home AC power network as well as in their system. Thank goodness we have our own ears to help us decide what sounds good and what doesn't.
I once owned a pair of SS monoblock amps that had transformers that would
buzz quite loudly in unison. They would never buzz at the same time of day,
nor would they buzz every day. But, buzz they did.

The manufacturer told me it was not the fault of the amps, and that it was
the fault of my home AC. I had the power company monitor my power for
four weeks, and they said everything was within specifications (I did explain
the problem and that I used high end audio amplifiers). I installed a
commercial grade power filter at my service panel that the filter's
manufacturer said would correct the problem. It didn't.

No other amplifier has had transformers that buzz in my system.

There is probably something with my power that the buzzing amps did not
like, but on the other hand there was something in their build/design that
was uniquely sensitive to the power in my home that caused the transformers
to buzz when transformers in all other amps I have owned or auditioned have
been dead quiet.

So, the moral of the story is that the manufacturer said it was the fault of my
home AC, and I thought it was the fault of the amplifiers. The truth lies
somewhere between...which goes to your point about variables in our
individual home's AC power delivery and why audiophile power filters
sometimes produce quite different results in our systems.

Sherod, I have 3 dedicated circuits for my Audio.I have tried the PE's within these 3 circuits every way they could be plugged in.
Outside of these 3 circuits they didnt seem to do anything.

As I said, some systems benifit from the use of these devices, mine surely did not.
Good riddance...
Maybe the buyer(s) of your PE filters will contribute some comments here. That'd
be interesting.
I don't doubt you that the PE devices didn't work out in your system. I just read your review, though, and initially you appeared to have liked them in your system. As Tvad stated, what works in someone's system might not work in another's. Additionally, for those who still use the AM PE in their system, I have found that two in series is sufficient. I found a bright-sounding outlet in the back bedroom close to the breaker box for one unit and the other is plugged into the same outlet of my monoblocs in the main listening room. This seems to give me the clearest and most dynamic sound. I recently found that although one plugged after the system( parallel) initially adds some warmth, however, the overall sound became closed in and lifeless. Alan warned that this could happen. So as a result, my main system is complete with only the two in series only. YMMV (O:
Milestone for delta systems. With the ground wire in a ranch house screened and 0.5 microfarads of emi/rf suppressed out of the hot/neutral wires by path of least resistance, one Alan Maher Power Enhancer v.2 placed in the master bedroom enables all the neutral wires in the house to pull evenly.