After I installed 3 dedicated, 10 ga lines to my equipment with Teslaplex outlets, the Shunyata Hydra power conditioner was no longer needed. Sounded better without it. I was gona put it up for sale on this site but decided to try it on my big screen and surround and the wow factor was there so I kept it.
I have never had good luck with power conditioners...they all have made the system sound worse in some way.... They all make the system sound different, but not really better. The worst of them on my system was Richard Gray. I am using a whole house conditioner though that has no ill effect that I could hear, and makes the system ever so slightly better. It is installed in the power panel.
I gotta believe they all impart something to the sound. The more polluted your environment, the more you might like one (lesser of two evils). I just had my AC line analized. In my worst room with a computer and dimmer on, I had between 1.5 and 2.3% harmonic distortion. Not too bad, I've heard of 8-10%.
Anybody try out the Furutech Power Distributors (not conditioner)? I need more outlets and I've had one for about a week. Initially, slight downgrade but today pretty good. I wouldn't believe they would need to break in other than a day or two but the dealer is suggesting a couple weeks. So far, he seems right.
Just sold my Furman IT-Reference 20i. Like many of you, I had relegated it to HT-only duty after I installed dedicated lines and Teslaplex receptacles (and a Shakti Stone or two along the path between the panel and the receptacles).
I finally decided to sell it to partially fund recent purchases of SR Tesla cables.
I would like to try the SR Powercell SE sometime in the future. Several of my friends have one in their mega-buck systems and they seem to feel it is the best upgrade they have made in years.
I have good luck with my Furutech TP-80. I noticed a slight lessening of HF transients which may have been noise riding on the signal. Bass seems a bit stronger vrs the wall. Tonal color remains nice, which is counter my experience with other conditioners and outlets.
I have a Audio Magic Stealth Mini in transit that I ordered to prevent catastrophic failure of my amp & speakers in case of a lightening strike or extreme power surge. Sound quality is very important, but I also need the comfort of knowing my system is safe when I'm away at work and a big thunderstorm rolls thru.
I personally don't believe in power conditioners that I tried quite a few in the past. They just make your system sound different, better in some areas, but bad in others. Dynamics always suffer when connected them to the power amps. I have dedicated lines and the PS Audio powerports and I am happy with the sound. However, premium power cords do mostly contribute to good sound.
This is a really interesting thread! I have a Monster on my system because the town I live in had some serious issues with power outages due to the age of substation equipment and capacity. They have opened a new substation on my end of town and things have gotten much better. So, I'm thinking about doing some experimentation in this area.
One of the things that's critical with power is the constant current capacity that you're able to pass to your amplifiers (or any other component for that matter, just seems to be most notable with amps). In almost all cases, power conditioners cause some level of current limiting. Just a fact of physics; there ain't no free lunch. The PS Audio stuff has been pretty good at eliminating current limiting issues and I know that Transparent Audio has some interesting solutions. Bottom line is, how to get the cleanest possible AC signal, at the most constant voltage, from the wall to the amp WITHOUT any type of current limiting on the voltage that's present? Personally, I think good cables do help, but like most cabling products the laws of diminshing returns kick in more severely than with anything else. I like the PS Audio cables, PNF Audio, and my own (yes, I have some that are built by yours truly using some hand braided mil-spec silver wire... work great!).
Another thing to keep in mind... Power conditioning seems to "change the sound", right? Well, I'd be willing to bet that MOST manufacturers are designing stuff for optimum results from the wall socket, so that they get the greatest consistency of results for the greatest majority of customers. If they are using some kind of conditioning in their design phases, then putting things on a different brand of conditioner may garner very different power/current chacteristics, and hence different sonic results.
Maybe the real trick is to have your own generator! :)
I do have most of my low power requirement components plugged into a Brick Wall, which I do not consider to be a power conditioner but a power strip with protection. Can't tell the difference plugged into it or the wall outlet which is what I want.
I have noticed the benefit of a using a very long extension cord, as the same benefit as dedicated lines. Get a 50' extension cord 12 or 14 gauge. It will equal the benefits of dedicated lines.. (just do not coil it up!) Elizabeth (Threads | Answers)
From a technical standpoint it strikes me as reasonably plausible. The inductance and/or resistance of the long extension cord(s) would help to isolate the system from sources of electrical noise which may be present elsewhere in the house. Running multiple long extension cords to different parts of the system, such as one to digital components and another to analog components, would reduce cross-talk of digital noise into analog signals that may occur via the ac power distribution arrangement, similar to what multiple dedicated ac lines might do.
This assumes, of course, that the gauges are adequate to support the current draws and run lengths, which offhand I would think may very well be the case for 12 or 14 gauge, serving typical components.
I'm not saying that it will necessarily be as beneficial in all systems as running dedicated lines from the service panel, just that Elizabeth's observations sound plausible.
05-21-09: Dogmcd For Relentless and Leatherneck1812; do you have fully "dedicated" lines entering your home via a separate service, or do you have dedicated circuits with an isolated ground? Just wondering?
The line I run my amps off of is its own service that was at one time used to run window air conditioners. A steady 125 volts 2.5-3%THD :)
I started using and Audience Adept Response-6 a few months ago. I like the sound so much I haven't taken it out of the system. Perhaps I will do so just to verify that my initial impressions were valid.
I use Exact Power EP15A's conditioner/regenerator with excellent results. My A/V system has a PS Audio Quintessence which helps the picture quality but when I tried it in the audio system the sound was choked.
that's what I like about Torus,they don't choke off the amps. They give the amps what they want, way more amperage than the wall can give especially as music is so dynamic. I have used a few conditioners moster,Shunyata ect.The Torus I find is way ahead of anything I have tried. Definately keepers and you hardly see them for sale on here or any other site,if you do they are the lower amperage type for smaller systems and they are pricey. For what they do for your music,definately worth the price, for me anyway,Huge upgrade.
SME10, I have been a loooong time power conditioner disbeliever. For years I have used dedicated circuits in lue of an AC line conditioner. Recently I did a shootout between several line conditioners at the insistence of my dealer.
Most of the line conditioners I auditioned made the sound smoother or what some would consider more musical. Unfortunately they also made my system sound less dynamic and a few made the sound darker and more closed in.
The two conditioners that really shined were the Audience Adept Response and the Synergistic Research PowerCell. In the end I went with the SR PowerCell because it made my system MORE dynamic then the direct wall connection. Surprisingly this was achieve with greater detail and air and a much larger soundstage. I recommend anyone audition several conditioners before making a final decision. My findings could be tainted due to the presence of all Tesla cables and power cords. In the end, and in my system, it was really no contest- the PowerCell decoupled the sound from my speakers in a fundamental way that I have never heard from any line conditioner and compared to three 20 amp dedicated lines. No kidding.
PS. My entire system including amps are plugged into the PowerCell.
I really don't feel up to a full on comparative review but yes I purchased the PowerCell over my Running Springs Duke and Haley, which are excellent in their own right. As Shellie wrote, it actually seems to improve dynamics by a good bit, even over straight to the wall, and enhances image spacing and soundstage, in a very positive way. I don't know the SR does what it does, but listening to it for a couple months now I'm not sure I much care how it does it, as long as it keeps doing it.
I currently have a Richard Grey 400 Pro. I have no other power conditioners to compare it with. I need more outlets, so I ordered a BPT Pure Power Center, which is just a basic power strip with no filtering, etc. I am curious as to whether or not the BPT will sound better on its own than the Richard Grey.
Forty-seven times I have dumped my power conditioner. I have the SR PowerCell now and very happy, but given my record it will probably go someday. Most of the time on removing the power conditioner, like you, I prefer not having one. Recently, however, it has been that one conditioner just sounds better. I think the technology is improving.
Argyro, did you plug in your power amp to the Hydra? I have a Guardian 6, which is a lower line product from Shunyata. I plug my digital players and preamp to the Guardian but power amp directly to the wall. It seems to work fine.
The Guardian also interfered with the PEs from Alan Maher Designs at one time. So I moved those PEs to non-audio circuits. My system works well since then.
Elizabeth, that is an interesting solution. I too live in an apartment. When you mention isolated single 20 amp in the kitchen, you're talking about an outlet correct? I assume you then plug the extension cord into this outlet. If you could elaborate more I would appreciate it. Thanks
Very interesting...you might be onto something. I remember in the Kaiser speaker room last year at RMAF there was a power conditioner that was basically just that. He said it was the equivalent to something like 10 miles of wire inside.
Here is the product: http://www.lessloss.com/the-firewall-c-67.html
Dave, Try the Synergistic Research Tesla PowerCell. Prior to it I used dedicated circuits and high end power cords. I had tried all the same power conditioners you list, and concluded that power conditioners do more harm then good. Aside from what you might expect a power conditioner to do in the positive column, the PowerCell actually IMPROVES slam, with my whole system including my amps plugged in!
anybody have experience with the tara labs products? i am going through a honeymoon phase with a power screen ad/6c and am hard pressed to find much wrong with it although it changes the sound without a doubt. i am also experimenting with some higher end mit pc's and am beginning to think i could be best served with only those as power solutions, to support daves comments...
I have 2 dedicated 20amp circuits and added an Audio Magic Matrix power conditioner. The Audio Magic Matrix took everything to the next level and I've been incredibly happy with it in my system above and beyond having 2 dedicated 20amp circuits.
Elizabeth, Just a minor point here, but the fact that your various outlets are rated as "x" amps and those "x"s add up to more than 200 does NOT mean you have at least a 200 amp service. You MAY have a 200 amp service (it's not totally unlikely in a modern apartment)but even if you have a 200 amp panel you may not have 200 amp service. The size of the service is limited by the size of the service cable feeding into your meter. The cable coming from the meter to your panel SHOULD be rated to the amperage of the panel. It can be more (and must be by code), but never less. But I have seen plenty of new services installed that were rated higher than the lines feeding them from the power company. The point is that you will never get more juice than what the power lines feeding your panel are capable of delivering, regardless of how all of those individual breaker sizes add up. Lastly, those breakers (that is, individual circuit sizes) are rated at a certain level (15, 20, 30 amp etc) but those (levels--in amperes)are the points at which the circuit breaker will cut out. All the circuits in a panel are not going to be maxing out at once, generally speaking.