Review: Running Springs Audio Dmitri AC filter


Category: Accessories

Just about three and a half years ago, I went through a comprehensive home auditioning process of AC power conditioners. After reading reviews and talking to different audiophile friends I selected four very highly regarded pieces and the clear "winner" was the Running Springs Audio Jaco AC power conditioner. The Jaco in my system did everything better(transparency/micro-details/liquidity/soundstage layering/timbres) then the other AC conditioners and very importantly did not damage the macro-dynamics/prat/slam as the other conditioners had when I had them in my system. If your interested in more details take a look at my review of the Jaco here on the GON.

I believe that Running Springs Audio is a company with integrity that would not come out with a new reference just to get a new piece to the market, unless they believed that they had come up with a better "sonic mouse trap", in my opinion, with their new Dmitri AC power conditioner and HZ power cord they have come up with a "sonic mouse trap" that could easily capture a Blue whale.

As in all my reviews if your interested in technical details I advise you to go to the RSA website. The weight of the Dmitri is 67 lbs. and is a rather handsame piece with a carbon fiber face plate, along with carbon fiber being used internally for acoustic damping and carbon fiber feet. It has ten outlets with a power rating of 2400W. The Dmitri comes with a stock power cord or can be ordered either with an upgraded cord the Mongoose or the top of the line HZ reference cord.

On to the most important part of any review, the sonic performance of the piece:

1) A very significant increase in clarity/transparency/liquidity through out my total system.

2) With this increase of transparency and the lowering of the overall noise floor micro-details, decay trails, and the acoustic space of recordings became much sharper and easier to hear.

3) A precision in the location of individual players and more air around them with more natural layering in the soundstage. The music just makes more sense.

4) Timbres sound more real/natural across the entire sound spectrum.

5) Finally, what I still find to be somewhat of a paradox, the overall macro-dynamics, prat, and speed of my system jumped to a much higher level, yet what I subjectively call the "liquidity/easyness/relaxation" level increased at the same time. My system was already pretty damn good at letting the listener just relax into the music, with the Dmitri it's even better!

I also ran the experiement regarding the upgraded power cords effect on the overall performance of the Dmitri, to cut through the chase, the reference HZ power cord allows the Dmitri to perform to its ultimate level across the entire sonic range with even a more fleshed out midrange and deeper bass and speed and is with out a doubt worth the extra expense.

Is the Dmitri the "BEST" AC power conditioner in the world, I don't know because I did not audition all the highly regarded AC power conditioners that have gotten great feedback and buzz among audiophiles. I don't believe a "BEST" anyways, there's a lot of great pieces of gear, along with personal taste and system synergy to take into account. However, if your looking for one of the best out there, I would recommend you put the Dmitri on your audition list. It surely is not inexpensive, it retails with the HZ power cord for $6000.00, but I know individuals who have spent more on linestages and amps who got less bang for there buck, then I got out of upgrading to this AC power conditioner in my system.

Associated gear
Click to view my Virtual System
teajay
I agree I have had a Jaco and Haley in my system now for a few years and have been very happy. I too had tried a few others but the RSA stood out as an improvement. Can't afford the Dimitri so don't want to know. Lots less stress that way.
I thought it is very interesting that over on Audio Asylum they are really ripping on good old Robert Harley regarding his Absolute Sound review of the Dmitri. He made the Dmitri his new reference replacing all of his Shunyata power conditioners in his system.

So why all the heat! Well, how could a power conditioner bring the total performance of a three hundred thousand dollar system to even a higher level. And secondly, how dare he not give a specific comparision of the Shunyata pieces to the Dmitri, instead of just giving the details of why the Dmitri is the best AC conditioner he has ever had in his system. My system is no were close to three hundred grand, but the Dmitri brought my system to a much higher level of overall performance. Regarding no head to head battle between the two companies references I leave that to the pundits to fight over. Take a look at the thread to see all the fun they are having fighting over this.
Hi Teajay, nice review. Can you send the AA thread to me? I can't seem to find it...I haven't used a power conditioner in quite awhile and I may get curious again soon. Thanks
Thanks Jfrech for your kind words regarding my review. To get to the thread on Robert Harley just go to Audio Asylum click to the Critics Section and you will see it. There's about 75 responses already regarding his review of the Dmitri.
Teajay,
We all know that your system is more like 400K.
Has anyone compared powercell 10SE to Dimitri?

I had the Dimitri in since Feb 22, still sounds lean but great in every other aspect. But I am not sure I can live with lean. I 'heard' the powercell 10se may be lush which is what I am looking for I think. Maybe Dimitri shows how my stereo really sounds. Teajay are you there? I am wondering if you tried that comparisoon (Powercell v Dimitri), you had good things to say about Dimitri.

System spendor sp1 spkrs, transparent super cables all around, levinson 27.5 amp, Audio research sp9 preamp mark 3, sim andromoeda cd player, linn lp12 ittok shure v15 type 5 mr cartridge. Records sound more lush than my cd player, but maybe due to ittok arm (midbass bump?).

Good things about Dimitri, tonal purity, dynamics, detail, clarity. Some recording are just not well balanced I am finding out.

Now here is the issue. If my stereo really sounds this way, so be it. Its the old truth versus beauty argument. Thanks for reading.
Hi Billeames, I have heard what the Powercell 10se did in a very good friend's system. What you describe regarding what the Dmitri did in your system is what happened with the Powercell 10se in his, but without causing any "leaness" at all.

In my opinion neither power conditioner is "euphonic" in its effect at all. So, I don't think what you are calling "lean" is being caused by the Dmitri in your system, it surely did not cause my system to loss any timbres warmth/image density or liquidity at all.

Your CD player, which is quite good, is known to have a rather "cool" perspective, more leading edge/less body of the harmonic, so maybe it's just a little to lean for you compared to your analog rig which is exposed more when using the Dmitri.
Teajay, Robert Harley's failure to list a comparison is likely due to the fact that he was informed prior to receiving the Dmitry that the Hydra models 8 and V-Ray were undergoing a major revisions. The only rev in more than 8 years of production. My guess is he omitted comparative comments in fairness to the new models he had not listened with yet. He did not receive them until well after the RS review was complete.

Running Springs makes excellent passive conditioners that are well designed and deserve their good reputation. It's no surprise that Robert and many others would appreciate that. The v2 updates to the original Hydras were not minor and as a result they are demonstrably improved. However, I would not begrudge anyone for preferring another well made brand like RS based on system or listening preferences.

When power-distribution products are judged as a system rather than as disparate parts I continue to like our chances to perform well in any eval or comparison based on experience.

Best regards,

Grant
Shunyata Research
Hi Grant, since you used my review thread as an opportunity to advertise your companie's new generation power conditioners, which is fine with me, would you be open to a fun challange?

As you can see I enjoy writing reviews for the GON. So, why don't we setup an audition/review of your Shunyata piece against the RSA Dmitri in the context of my system. I will be more then happy to write a review on this comparsion and post it here on the GON. Also, I'll even meet you have way regarding the cost of shipping, I will be more then happy to pay the shipping back to you, unless your conditioner out performs the Dmitri and I would purchase it. Sounds like fun to me, Grant, whatta say?
Our "new" series of conditioners are not new at all, they are more than a year old and anyone who might care is already aware of them. I was responding to comments here and elsewhere wondering why there was not a direct comparison made. I'll say it again, RS makes great products worthy of the attention and praise given them. That seems simply stated enough.

As often happens, people that frequent audiogon give what gets written here too much credit for having an effect on the commercial salon and B&M market. Since that is the principal market for our products, being "reviewed" here for the better or worse is of almost no value and carries negatives that far outweigh any positive.

We receive many calls every year from people offering to write a (great) "review" on an internet forum in exchange for product access or discounts. We decline these offers-- for a number of good reasons. That decision is not without penalty since some who resent being denied direct access have gone out of their way to write negative comments. So be it.

Our products are readily available for eval from a host of reputable local dealers. Regardless of the result, we have no interest in participating in internet shootouts or setting up loosely designed forum marketing scenarios.

Never have done that, never will. If we had any interest, you'd be seeing consumer "reviews" popping up everywhere, but you don't.

I have participated in these forums for ten years and have never considered anything I've written to be promotional or marketing driven. Since you apparently perceived my comments that way I'll re-evaluate how, when and where I contribute.

Regards, Grant
These two statements don't seem to jibe...

03-22-10: Samuel
Our "new" series of conditioners are not new at all, they are more than a year old...

03-20-10: Samuel
Teajay, Robert Harley's failure to list a comparison is likely due to the fact that he was informed prior to receiving the Dmitry that the Hydra models 8 and V-Ray were undergoing a major revisions. The only rev in more than 8 years of production.

Are the new conditioners, which are over a year old, receiving major revisions, or were the major revisions responsible for the new models?
TVAD, I was referring to teajay's use of the term "new" in reference to the v2 Hydra 8 and v2 Hydra V-Ray-- introduced late in 2008. Those were our only revisions and there are no others planned. I simply wanted to clarify that they are not "new" to the market, as was implied.

In retrospect, posting a comment under teajay's review of the RS was not my keenest moment. I was simply weary of seeing questions about RH's failure to directly compare the two products. The likely reason is pretty straightforward
and without controversy-- I'm sure to the dismay of those that use hobby forums as their version of the "enquirer".

Regards, Grant
Hello,

I reported that the Dimitri sounded lean. Well Teajay, you may be right, it could be the CD player, or possibly Dimitri not broken in. Well now it sounds not so bright, more balanced. While the Simaudio Eclipse may have a cool perspective, I think Andromeda is more balanced. The Ecipse sounds more natural also with Dimitri. Dimitri brings out more detail that was lost before which leads me to think the Dimitri is adding value to my system, which is why I buy of course.

Heres the thing, I am used to my system sounding a certain way. Dimitri turned all that upside down. I guess I got used to mysterious hidden notes not appearing before, now show up. Even with turntable there is still some perceived similar sound, perhaps not as lean (close though), but actually may be reality.