Sonic Frontiers Line 3 and Power Condtioners

I am wondering what people are using for power conditioners on their Line 3's?

I have a 5 year old Line 3 SE. I just had the third power supply failure in that time. Each time it appears the right channel power regulator has failed. Has anyone else had similar problems?

One suggestion from SFI is to look into added power line protection. I understand that SFI pre-amps have problems when ran with PS Audio equipment that has multiwave capability. I can see where that makes sense. But is the Power Director and UPC equipment without the multiwave a good choice? What about other brands?

I have been reading reviews on Monster, Richard Gray, Brick Wall, Tice, PS Audio and a dozen others. I think I have learned to look for isolation tranformers, stay away from surge protectors that use MOV's and be aware of current limiting But what products offer these without killing the pocketbook? (I know a $3K - $5k preamp deserves $$$ to be protected, but I can also buy a new amp for a few $K.) I think I am at the point of more confusion than conclusion.

Some folks swear by each of these, and others say they cause significant sound degradation. I am not after sonic improvement, though if I get it, great. I am after power line protection that won't degrade sonic performance.

Any recommendations?


- SFI Line 3 SE
- Pass Labs X150 Amp
- Sony SCD-1 SACD/CD player
- Magnum Dynalabs FT101 tuner
- Martin Login Odyssey speakers
- Parasound phono Pre-amp
- Technics SL-23 turntable
Hi Rick:
I used to have a Line 3 and I used a PS Audio P300 with it. It was not a good idea. Sometimes the P300 would cause a fuse to blow in the unit. It caused no damage to the Line 3 beyond the fuse blowing, bit it was mightly frustrating to keep opening the unit up. The problem occured more frequently if I played with the PS Audio multiwave functionality. Overall, it might be prudent to use a more passive type of line conditioner, if at all. Maybe a Walker Velocitor? Good luck.
I don't have a line 3 but do own a sfl-2 and use a power director and a power plant p-500 with no problems. I don't care for the multi-wave settings and run mine on sine wave. There have been some mention on the PS Audio web site about the fuses blowing with some equipment and they said it was the inrush current of the power plants when first powered up and the fix was going with a one size larger fuse. I beleive someone confirmed with Chris Johnson about this and he said no problem, you may want to check with him to make sure. If you power your power plant up first then power the pre I would think there be no problems.
Would having a bad "soft start" relay be a cause? Replace them and see what happens especially if they are showing signs of excessive resistance at startup. I use a big Powervar and turn one piece of gear on at a time. I have replaced both of the relays in my L3 for this "excessively hot" reason.

Nothing lasts forever except your best friend and your favorite tech.
Tried a SFL2, which the Line 3 was based on, with balanced AC (60-/60+) from an inexpensive industrial transformer I got off EBay and the immediate improvement in sound was astonishing for a tweak. Literally, within five notes, my jaw dropped.
Hi Rick,
I've used a Chang Lightspeed CLS9600ISO for about 4 years with my Line 3 without any problems. I also upgraded to a Line 3 SE about a year ago and had no problems. Also have been using it for about 2 years with my Transport 3 and Processor 3 with good results. I plan on trying a Shunyata Hydra. I use Shunyata power cords and they are excellent
I have dedicated lines with 10 awg to 2 wattgate and 2 ps audio outlets. I'm currently plugging direct to outlets to check for any improvements in dynamics.
hi,in my case(with the line 3)i never use power conditioners of any kind.i tried some models with bad results (thin sound)i believe the 26 stage regulation in the line 3 dont need any kind of current conditioners.i know the current become from your wall can be weird but in my opinion,a good power cable and solid power regulation like the line 3 is the key to have the best.some times i use a sim audio lf2 but its not good with every kind of music.(sim audio lf2 only contain ferrites for rf rejections.
Shunyata Hydra.
Balanced Power BPT 2.5 Ultra- no issues
T3,P3 and L3 plugged into isolation outlets on Tice Powerblock for many years-flawless. Isolation transformer circuit 120/120 does remove noise in the line especially DC and the Tice runs cool.
I have a Line 3 SE and have plugged it and most of the rest of my system (but not amps) into an MIT "Z-Center" from day 1 (over 5 years) with very good results. Then I also acquired an MIT "Z-Isolator HC" which I now use exclusively for the Line 3 (while all else is still fed from the Z-Center) and it continues to be flawless and even better than before. There are many of these still floating around on the 'gon and are now good value/effective/well built products. I used to use the old API Power Wedge model 116 mk2, and its predecessor (mk1?) when I ran my Counterpoint SA 5000 and SA3000 before that... I was surprised how much I liked it (quieter, richer...) but again, never tried those with my Line 3. I also was intrigued by the Chang Lightspeed but never tried it either. Good luck and happy lissnin.
Can anyone tell me why you shouldn't use a surge protector that uses MOV's? Can they harm my electronics? I use a cheap ($30.00) Power Sentry surge protector and have had problems using my NAD gear with it. Don't know if it has anything to do with the surge protector though. It does have some sort of noise filtration as well. Do these degrade the sound any? Thank you,
as far as I know, MOVs act like fuses when the surge protection kicks in. They get damaged and if they are damaged, they are done. They need to be replaced. Also, I read somewhere that they slightly degrade over time(don't remember where I read it, if I find it, I'll post the link). In any case, a good powerline conditioner such as Shunyata Hydra or PS Audio Ultimate Outlet should improve sound of your system. The $30 power strip degrades the sound.