My system sounded better when I plugged my amps into outlets on dedicated lines (each amp), rather than plugging the amps into conditioners.
I've tried several and it was the same. for low level components, it is a good idea, not only for conditioning purposes, but to help mitigate ground loop possibilities.
But, I've found that my system sounds better with the amps plugged directly into outlets via dedicated lines.
I find a dedicated 20 amp line sounds better and considering installation cost of such is generally lower than the cost of a good conditioner it's almost a given. As to why - I'm no EE but I would suspect a "conditioner" alters the supply so that a good quality amp just passes what it's getting. After all an amp just modulates the juice from the wall so that it follows the (relatively) tiny input from the preamp...
It's a matter of electrons. Specifically, how many electrons can get to your amp when there is a sudden draw. (The wave description is equally valid.) Engineers call this source impedance - ideally, you want a source with zero impedance, like a dedicated power station.
If a dedicated power station is out of your budget, try a large isolation transformer which will clean up the power but not increase the source impedance. Plitron makes a good one - toroidal - good enough for medical equipment - and they sell to the public. Works for me, for all my equipment. YMMD
I have my entire tubed based system including my amp, into my power plant.
The PP just seems to add a subtle dimension of clarity or clearness to the sound.
The amp straight into the wall still sounds nice, but I prefer the PP S
I have my plasma on a rollaway. On movie nights, I position it between the speakers and plug it into the PP as well. Beautiful picture along with amazing audio.
I wouldn't listen/watch without one.
There are many types of PS Audio Power Plants so I'm not sure which you are speaking of. Personally if I had one of these http://www.psaudio.com/products/p3-power-plant/ I'd certainly plug my amp and everything else into it. I don't by the amp into wall outlet theory. In my case I've taken a far less expensive route: Dedicated (separate breaker) 20 AMP wall outlet >>> Emotiva CMX-2 >>> Panamax MR-4300 >>> all audio video equipment. Works well for me. Doesn't limit current by any practical standards, although technically this is not 100% passive but is extremely close to 100%. Also, I'm using SS equipment and I'm uncertain if this would work as well in a tube situation.
Here in Ontario, Hydro plays games with our electricity. We are often at 125V or higher. The question is: what have they done to manipulate the power. Plugging into the wall is not ideal.
My Torus conditioner is used to drop that down to 120V. The nice thing about the Torus, 30amp peak current (for when I'm in a Rock N Roll mood). However, the circuitry that drops that down, adds something, also not ideal.
From there it feeds a BPT (balanced power technologies) toroidal conditioner. This is the cats ash!. For a lot of us, balanced conditioners are the only way to go. The only thing you lose is distortion. I was so used to this mild distortion, that I thought is was volume (spl). Once I got used to lower distortion, the wall was no longer an option, or any other conditioner. YMMV.
I believe Chris, from BPT, is now with Equi=Tech?
Here in Ontario, Hydro plays games with our electricity. We are often at 125V or higher ...Actually, 125VAC is a very good voltage, just slightly over the nominal 123VAC that's the common standard in North America.
@cleeds I'm in Freeport Long Island, which offers among the best electrical service in the country. Despite that I'm on a dedicated outlet, voltage varies - on an intraday basis - between 116 and 123 volts inclusive. Naturally I cannot detect any audible difference. Not entirely sure, but I thought 120 was the goal/optimum (although that likely varies a few volts from component to component).
... I'm on a dedicated outlet, voltage varies - on an intraday basis - between 116 and 123 volts inclusive. Naturally I cannot detect any audible difference. Not entirely sure, but I thought 120 was the goal/optimum.There is some variation between utilities, and 120VAC is a de facto standard. But there's a tolerance - as there is with all things, which my utility measures from the basis of 123VAC, last time I checked. 116VAC is a little on the low side, but within tolerance; 123VAC is only slightly high. Such voltage variation as you have is not uncommon, especially for residential service.
Voltage is what many audiophiles consider the gold standard for measuring their electric service, but it's only one element of it. Also of considerable importance is power factor, as well as the utility's ability to deliver current on demand. For example, many people with 200A electric service believe that it means their utility can deliver 200A of current, but that is very, very rarely the case. A 200A service panel only means it can safely distribute 200A. It would be very rare for the utility to actually be able to meet that load and - surprise! - it's often able to deliver much less. And that can be an issue for audiophiles ... especially with high power amplifiers and when the a/c is running, the refrigerator is running ...
@ahendler not trying to be argumentative, but I'm of the opinion filters are not meant to improve the sound. Not to say that they can't, but if they do it usually would mean something was very wrong to begin with. I think ideally any improvement should be subtle at best and the maximum benefit is realized in your equipements "health".
I was advised to use a voltmeter and gauge my outlets over time. It was pretty much constant (+/-1) all throughout the day and night for several days (including weekends).
Any filtering I used diminished things so I went straight into the wall with my amp and everything improved. I have to add that this only happened after I upgraded my power cords.
Everything else runs through my Blue Circle Thingee and sounds great.
Plugging my SACD player into the wall didn't improve it's performance so that, too, went into the conditioner.
I've yet to try a power regenerator but that is too expensive a proposition for me at this time. You'll only know if you try.
All the best,
Yes, I meant plugging the power amp into the electrical outlet in the wall, not the wall itself! I was initially disappointed with the sound given that I had spent a very large amount of money from my inheritance from my mom to finally buy my "dream system." The dealer then came out and measured the electric current in the house, and decided that I needed a power plant because of the poor and fluctuating current provided by PG & E (Pacific Gas and Electric Co). The addition of the P.S.Audio power plant resulted in an immediate HUGE improvement in sound quality.
I take it it's o.k. to plug the amp into the wall's electrical outlet. I will give it a try. ..
THANKS to everyone for all of the thoughtful responses!!!
Hi Alan. As I mentioned in my previous post, the primary purpose is to provide voltage/current in such a fashion so that it improves system component "health" (operation, efficiency, etc.). I've noted that not all manufacturers of filters make any claim about sound improvement. Also, consider what many on this forum and in this thread in particular have noted, which is in their opinion it can (paraphrasing) be a detriment to the sound. I suppose this is why those individuals plug an amp directly into the wall outlet. The concern shouldn't be less available current as virtually every filter manufacturer claims their product does not limit current. Depends on who you want to believe I suppose. Also, and as I've stated previously, if there is a sound improvement it really should be very subtle. If you're noticing some major improvement - as some tend to describe - I'd venture to say something is fundamentally wrong above and beyond power concerns. just my .02.
Got a pair of these puppies from a friend who manages electrical supplies/equipment for local hospitals and were upgrading their equipment and getting rid of the old. Had to use a dolly to bring them into the house. They put out a constant 125 volts all day long. My wall voltage is around 119 volts. Haven’t done a blind test to compare if the music sounds better or not but I have no reason to believe they hurt the signal. They are basically large transformers - ILC Med Series.
Have a BPT 3.5 Sig+ for my front end. Changed things substantially for the better. My 60 Watt mono blocks are across the room, into the wall. I'm sold on balanced power but what capacity do I need for the amps? My speakers are high efficiency so it's doubtful that I am pulling max amperage at any time.
I've found a 20 amp Equi=tech unit, just curious it it's up to the job. My calculations, using 275 watts max, the specs in the owners manual, the amperage should be about 2.5 amps on the high side. Head room therefore would be about 4 times highest usage. Correct?
The dealer then came out and measured the electric current in the house, and decided that I needed a power plant because of the poor and fluctuating current provided by PG & E ...The current in your house should only fluctuate as the load fluctuates, no? Or, do you mean the ability of your utility to deliver current varies? If it's the former, you should consider having an electrician inspect all the electrical connections starting with the meter pan, back into the service panel, then to the breakers and electric boxes. Loose or corroded connections could cause this problem, which is potentially hazardous. No Power Plant or other product can correct that problem.
If what you mean is that the utility's ability to deliver current varies, that's a different issue. To resolve it, you'll still first have to have all those connections checked. If they're ok, you'll need to work with your utility and determine whether it needs to improve its current delivery. This could involve a "beast of burden" test and/or the temporary installation of a voltage recorder. Depending on the utility, you may need the help of an experienced electrician or EE to assist you.
Don't get me wrong - I'm a believer in a variety of AC isolation devices. But they can't be expected to resolve problems with fluctuating current.
Sure - the need for a wall outlet direct connection for AC input and the need for storage capacitors for DC power in power amps are the same - very large instantaneous current demands for music's transients. AC power outlets can supply 10000A+ for very short periods, I doubt any power conditioner can match that #. Paul may try, but alas it would be grossly expensive to do so...
Preamps and other line-level devices do not have the very large current demands. This is due to the fact that impedance levels are much higher (100x or more) as well as signal size being lower (100x lower as a rule of thiumb).
If you plug the amp into the wall, you might decide to plug in everything there and not buy the device.
Seriously, these devices make up for not having a 30 amp circuit.
I ran 2 of them with 10 Gua wire and separate breakers.
Another trick is to run a construction extension cord from a socket on a separate breaker and split the audio amps. I demonstrate the difference with some bass dropping out when I only use one circuit.
If you have a 15 amp circuit, with other things on it, you absolutely need the device.
AC power outlets can supply 10000A+ for very short periodsNo way ... at least certainly not where I live. And I've measured it. Many people would be shocked to discover that their 200A service can't even deliver 125 amps. In fact, 200A service isn't designed to actually deliver 200A.
It is mostly the fact that power conditioners or whatever you want to call them have a maximum current capacity and amplifiers need a lot of current. Regenerative power supplies have rather severe limitations for maximum wattage and can be damaged.
I use a Monster HTS3500 and find it sounds much better if I plug my amplifiers into it. It is very synergistic like power cords and is up to your own ears. Each device ought to have its own recommendations and parameters. Your results will absolutely vary.
I am one of those audiophiles who have gotten excellent results when using an over-speced PowerPlant to clean and buffer my wall current. I've tried it both ways, and I vote AMP plugged into the regenerator. (By over-speced I mean my equipment draw is a max of 750va while the power plant can deliver 1500va, so I have 50% headroom.)