Taking Power Conditioning to the Max?


Obtaining “clean” power has become an obsession of mine, but I believe I have finally reached a degree of cleanliness that makes further tweaking unnecessary for me.

I start with a dedicated 15A circuit which terminates with a Shunyata SR-Z1 AC wall outlet. From that outlet, via a Shunyata Delta NR power cord, the power goes to an ExactPower EP-15A voltage stabilizer. The ExactPower unit partially regenerates the power to ensure it is consistently 120v/60Hz. From the EP-15A, the power flows to a Richard Gray’s Power Company Substation, which is, essentially, a very large (and heavy!) toroidal isolation transformer. This unit not only does a good job of isolating the power from the outside grid but also performs well in eliminating audible line noise; in addition, it provides a reservoir of power available on an instantaneous basis. This Richard Gray unit uses its own proprietary power cord. Leaving the Substation, the power flows again along Shunyata high current power cords into two Shunyata power conditioners – a Denali 6000/s and an original Hydra.

The result of all this power conditioning is, from my usage perspective, abundant electricity which is simply noiseless.

Now many audiophiles might say that using so much conditioning will suck the life out of the music. I was, of course, concerned about that, too; however, I have found these three units to be complementary to each other, and I believe my power cables between them have prevented noise from re-entering my system. (I should add that I use Shunyata or Wireworld power cords from the Denali and Hydra to the various components in my system, and high quality interconnects thereafter.)

I am curious whether others here also employ elaborate setups to deliver the highest quality power to their systems and, if so, how they have configured them.


27caf0f1 dec0 4b77 bbdf ca80e60a63f7jmeyers
Not having the financial wherewithal that others have, I've settled on going straight into the wall with my integrated and SACD player. I have two Porter Port outlets that share the same and only leg that services my audio and video needs.

My limited experience placing anything between the amp and CDP resulted in diminished dynamics and/or a softening, albeit slightly, of the sound. 

The best one was a simple Blue Circle Thingee FX2 but it still had a slightly negative effect. Out of the blue, I used it as a stand alone device plugged into an open outlet on a Cullen Cable power strip (no filtering or conditioning) and the results were wonderful.

I never thought there'd be that much noise on my lines but there it was, plain enough for anyone to hear. Better decay, detail, air, extension, tighter base, and so on. It's easy to determine by unplugging and plugging it back in as the resultant change in sound is immediate. 

The power strip has a built in 4' power cord and the Blue Circle Thingee"s IEC uses a 6' power cable for a total of 10' to the outlet. Bypassing the power strip and going straight into the open outlet on the wall subtracted 4' of power cord.

The odd thing is, there was more attack and leading edge with a lessening of body in the mids and base. It seems there's too much filtering happening, or something more than filtering happening, when placed closer to an outlet that parallels what happens when the unit is used as an inline device.

That tells me that having dedicated lines is more important than filtering or conditioning close to the sound source. I've read where some manufacturers don't stop at filtering/conditioning but try to give audiophiles a certain type of sound that's appealing when they should just be content with cleaning up AC noise. It's quite the jungle out there when it comes to this.

All the best,
Nonoise
There are many ways to achieve clean power. My approach was to first assess what the symptoms of dirty power are.

When listening to a recording, a good question would be.
Would a professional recording engineer - and/or a professional mastering engineer - and/or the professional vocalist/musician whose recording it is - allow any unintended distortion to make it on to the final master?
Most likely not. Chances are that any distortion is being caused dirty power in the playback system. This is assuming that the system is resolving enough to reveal these anomalies.

In my experience, the symptoms are easiest to detect in:
HF:
- High notes that sound shrill, etched, glary, etc. This is often heard with vocalists who belt out high notes.
- Notes in the upper register of the piano that sound unnaturally ringy.
- Vocalists with unnatural sibilance.

LF:
Notes that sound too boomy with unnaturally, excessive resonance. This is often heard with stringed instruments (acoustic guitars, violins, the lower register of pianos).

Midrange:
Distortion is more difficult to discern. But, it’s there.

The Great Summit with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington was recorded in 1961. It was remastered in 1990. Years ago, I assumed that Satchmo’s extremely gravelly voice was a result of inferior microphone technology. Totally Wrong! When I finally cleaned up the power to my rig, Louis’ voice sounded as real as if he was singing in my room. Lesson learned!
@steakster 
I feel you're spot on with your break down re: HF and LF anomalies that serve as clues that indicate something amiss with your power as it describes my experience almost to a tee.

I've always been able to ameliorate the effects but not entirely, until I fiddled with the Blue Circle Thingee, using it not as it was intended.

All the best,
Nonoise
Some people doubt this even matters. One guy at work thought I was nuts. So I had him and his wife over, and put on her favorite CD. After playing one track I said excuse me, went out to the garage and flipped off the breakers leaving only the listening room on. He had some clue but his wife had no idea. Came back said sorry bout that and now what's your favorite track? Played that and the second its done she whips around gives me this look says what did you do it sounded SO MUCH BETTER!?!?!

This is the simplest test that really works and anyone questioning the value of conditioning should try it, assuming of course they really do want to know even if it might contradict everything they think they know. Which, if they can hear, it will. Also anyone shopping for power cords or power conditioning can use this as a kind of baseline, as what you get better work at least this good else why pay money for it?

Now to the OP the more direct answer to your question is after a whole bunch of trials like this I have upgraded from what was originally an ordinary circuit to a dedicated line. The dedicated line is 4ga, and at 240v. Just below the listening room is a silver wired audiophile step down transformer that brings the 240v to 120v. That goes directly into a Bybee based DIY distribution box with an assortment of audiophile outlets. All the wire from the panel to the box is cryo'd.

Not sure if that is elaborate by OP standards or not but it seems to work pretty good for me.
nonoise
". . . until I fiddled with the Blue Circle Thingee, using it not as it was intended."

That’s the fun part of tweaking. You don’t know until you try.


Try a Rosewater energy dc storage and generation system.  The BEST 70K you will ever spend.
You want clean power, consider going off the grid. 

https://stromtank.com/s5000/


Hi @jmeyers I have done something similar to you. But I did it in a different way. I too believe that having clean noiseless power helps. It certainly can’t hurt, at worst. I got a dedicated 20 amp circuit installed going directly from my breaker box directly to the Shunyata outlets in my listening room. From there currently I have 20 amp AQ Tornado HC Power Cable going to a PS Audio Power Plant P20. From there core components are fed from the P20 to them by AQ Tornado HC 15 amp Power cables. I do have some Shunyata Venom HC and non HC Power cables running to some things from the P20 as well. But I am in the process of upgrading and trading in all my Shunyata Venoms to Deltas. I may even switch out the AQ Tornados for Deltas. The other thing I did was a bought a boatload of Greenwave dirty electricity filters and plugged them in all over our house with many in my listening room and on the dedicated circuit. They come with a electrical noise digital and audible measuring device so you can actually measure the amount of noice on your line in mV. You might want to pick up one of these devices to measure the noise on your line. Mine now measures depending on the outlet less than 15mV or even in the single digits. I think there Greenwave filters are great. Another good indication of how well they work is by plugging one of them into a Shunyata PS8 along with a PS Audio Noise Harvester. The Noise Harvester converts line noise to light. So the blue lightbulb on its top is constantly flashing on the typical line. On my line, it doesn’t flash at all. This likely means that these is no or very little noise for the PSA Noise Harvester to “harvest”. I think you have done a great job. My recommendation is to change your 15 amp line to 20 amp giving you more capacity. Also I wonder if the Denali and Hydra are overkill. I would think that your power should already have been cleaned by the time it is received by those units. 
I use isolation transformers, regeneration, and batteries as required. Big isolation transformers run three 12-2 AWG lines for sources and amplifiers. The amplifier transformer powers a central power supply using 100 kg of chokes. Ripple is about 1/10 of a microvolt.

Another circuit powers a motor controller / regenerator for the turntable. Batteries power the phono/pre.

As a result, my system is BLACK.

I'm with @lalitk , Stromtank seems like a great solution. I've heard it at an audio show and everything sounded great. They also have a smaller version, the S2500.
The problem with AC line conditioners is, dirty power doesn’t just come from the grid. It comes from everywhere, including the grid, the environment, your own domestic electric wiring, appliances and power outlets, and from your own audio equipment and its cables. For clean power, you have to deal with all those sources. At least.

My advice is, don’t spend more than $4,999 on an actual AC line conditioning unit.
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@steakster Just wanted to say thanks for that perfect description of what happens when power quality goes to pot.  You saved me some time today describing exactly that to a person via email.
@Elizabeth 

Thanks for reporting that plasma TV's are noise generators - I had been wondering if that were true. Useful information based on actual measurements. Thanks again.


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