Who Tried Power Conditioners Over The Years and No Longer Use Them Today, Any Why?


Been thinking back to when I started in Audio and how good the system sounded with no power conditioners or fancy power cords. Then in the '90s slowly they both became a huge profit market for stores and manufacturers of them. If you used one on front end gear only or whole systems I will be interested in your real-world experience you could share with us all. I have a few so I am not against them, but I do at times have questions. 
phillyb
Then in the ’90s slowly they both became a huge profit market for stores and manufacturers of them.

Pure narrative. The problem with narrative, it relies on innuendo and implication rather than facts and logic. The implication is there is nothing of value here, it is all down to some sinister force called "profit".

But profits come from satisfying consumer demand. Power conditioners, power cords, speaker cables, interconnects- these are all so much better than your old AC outlet, freebie rubber power cords, lamp cord and patch cords they are on another planet.

It is however supposed to be an open market. Just because better stuff is out there, doesn’t mean you necessarily buy it. You are free to buy whatever you want. Even stuff so bad it makes you wish for the really bad stuff of back in the day. This would seem to be the case. Either that, or this is another case of good old selective memory nostalgia.
Depends on your system and its resolution I love mine VIBEX Platinum 2 units.
I’ve used a variety over the years, both conditioners and regenerators. Let’s see: TAD/Bybee; Bybee/Curl Pro; PurePower 2000; Running Springs Dmitri; Audience’s top duplex wall mount, whatever it was labeled, just for my phono stage. Once I installed 4 20-amp dedicated lines with top Furutech duplexes and a separate subpanel running directly back to my new 200-amp service, though, I pretty much gave up on conditioning, etc. I liked direct to the wall better. Then I tried AudioQuest Niagara 5000 around 18 months ago, just to see, and it has stayed in my system ever since. With everything in the signal chain plugged into it (very important to cut ground noise), including high power class A amps (when I use them), the noise floor drops dramatically and everything is at once more detailed and more natural. AQ Hurricane cords all around really help, too. Now 3 dedicated lines sit unused.
When my PS Audio  AC Junction box overheated and bit the dust, I replaced it with a generic TripLite box that happened to be in the house. Son of a gun, the stereo sounded better with the TripLite. I still though, connect the TripLite to my groovy PS audio wall outlets with the hefty PS Audio AC cord that came with the PS Audio box. Agreed, I was never able to do  back-and-forth comparisons, but I just don't care enough to fret over it. I'm getting good sound, and that's enough.
As @ebm said it will depend how resolving your system is.

I have dedicated 200 amp service and I am isolated from the rest of the house. Only my system is on this circuit. I also have Signal Cable power cords and interconnects on my system.
In the past I had several different power conditioners on my system and now I have my AH X200 direct to Hubbell IG5362 Duplex Receptacle and my other components pulling power from a Furman SS-6B-PRO with the NFC Line Conditioner. Thinking of upgrading the Furman looking at the iFi or AQ1200 Will buy where I will have return privileges..
Will buy where I will have return privileges.
@jerryg123 , that's what I did with the AQ5000 and it stayed.
One thing that has changed since the 90's is the explosion of devices that make up the average home. I'm sure there are papers out there that document how much the noise environment has changed.
@wrm57 Yes not sure I would need the AQ5000 only have 5 components and AH X200 is not that huge of a power hogg.
I got a Furman Elite many years ago, and I always miss it when it's out of the system. 
Trip lite 2400s I have a few. Slight mechanical noise problems.. All fixed.
I installed 20 amp detachable PCs and removed all the wire nuts and added crush connectors with serious pressure (cold weld) copper butt connectors. Copper Hubble outlets with contact enhancer..

Took off one super high frequency ferrite ring...  I added a copper grounding lug with 12 1/4" holes drilled. You just tighten the bonding screw to bond to the chassis or use is as a common bond for noise reduction.. Works pretty good 1/4 x 1/4" male mic cable works perfect.
I'll give mine up when power company provides one for my house. I doubt they much care about quality of power delivered to my house. I suffered with 123-126 constant voltage delivery for years, finally had to build bucking transformer so my audio equipment's transformers wouldn't hum me out of listening room. And possible damage to insulation on those transformer windings, you think they care. 

And then we have all these modern electronic gadgets in our homes and neighbor's homes with noisy switching power supplies. I have all the dedicated lines, high end ac outlets and power cords. These don't clean even your own home generated ac. Try using a hair dryer or dimmer switch on incandescent lights in your home while system is idling, even with the dedicated lines I can hear this crap.
Keeping up on the audio literature I realize that some people have power that does not need conditioning. I have never been one of those. I now have two direct lines for my system, one for my amp and one for my power conditioner which powers the rest of my equipment. Each of these has made a significant improvement in sound. So I occasionally try my system without a power conditioner (when I make a change). Last time was a few months ago… I put in a Cardas power strip and took out my Cinepro Power conditioner (75 lbs… although 20 years old,was very highly rated). That test lasted less than a minute. The sound became flatter with a much higher noise floor. Over the years the SQ for me has always been wat better with power conditioning.

High power cords make a huge difference. That is the reason there is such a huge aftermarket. If you want a really great sounding system, well chosen high end power cords are required… just like interconnects and cables.
I believe every home is different power wise and I honestly don't think I would benefit from power conditioning. My house of stereo is on a completely separate power feed from the main house and I experience zero hum, no background noise or interference of any kind. My system in there has always had the blackest background no matter what I ran. And even with stock power cables. I replaced them all with Patrick Cullen Gold series cables just to see if there would be any improvement and there was none. Now cable connects, that's a different story. Upgrading my RCA cables had a profound impact, specially on my digital gear. I do live in a small remote community with all underground utilities and that may be benefitting the quality of my power vs folks who live in big cities, specially in apartments. Plus building the house of stereo from scratch with a very capable electrician obviously paid off. BUT it turned out more expensive than a top of the line power conditioner 
🙂
If you are connected to the grid in anyway you need a pure sine wave AC conditioner.

Even if you you are off grid, it's highly likely you still need one.
I've been using power conditioners since my 1st Adcom ACE515 Enhancer in the early 90's and today using a Furman Elite 15PF with Monster AVS2000 stabilizer. I will never get rid of my conditioners, to important in my system and also in my opinion. 
" But profits come from satisfying consumer demand."

No Miller.  Profits come from stimulating it.

You've said it Miller:   "Selective memory nostalgia", is when you think you hear a difference after adding a passive component that you've paid a lot of money for, and then it gets locked in by the warm feeling generated by the apparently positive response to your wise spending.  We all have the urge to feel happy whether or not there is anything to be happy about.

As far as passive power cords are concerned, all will do the same job as long as they can pass all the current demanded without high resistance.

Power conditioners can be useful if they can actively remove noise and other unwanted artifacts from the line.
Interestingly,

Plugging my amp directly to the outlet (instead of three different high quality multiplugs I’d sampled) made my system more dynamic, rich, and full-sounding. It wasn’t a figment of my aural imagination…it was clear, evident, and palpable. I gave it time between configurations, and ended right back to just plugging straight in. 
Then, I replaced the cheapo outlet with a Hubbell oulet, and there was an additional improvement (although that might have attributed simply to the fixture holding the plug more firmly/increased contact). 
I still use a Furman multi for the rest of my components, for convenience. 
Many residential and commercial spaces apparently do not require power conditioning. My colleagues here in the department of electrical engineering and computer science measured the voltage in our house and within our home network. They even brought some expensive retail conditioners to test and they (and me using my ears!) - we found no measurable or significant differences. I will post their results if there is interest. There are no problems or issues here - thus, I believe that those who suggest that we can all benefit from power conditioning are wrong.
All circuits in my house are 20amp as it was built. I have all units plugged into a Mc MP500 and use my own built power cords of Furutec components. I like having the ability to unplug just the PC when experiencing lightning storms which we have frequently in the spring and fall. 
I bought an Audence AR-6 a couple of houses ago and it got rid of the noise in the power.  The last house, the power was cleaner and I pulled it from the system.  We just moved again and the power here is really flaky so it’s back in the system.

All the best.

JD
+1 Clearthinker

(though some outlets also stimulate insecurity and intolerance.)
" But profits come from satisfying consumer demand."

No Miller. Profits come from stimulating it.

You've said it Miller:  "Selective memory nostalgia", is when you think you hear a difference after adding a passive component that you've paid a lot of money for, and then it gets locked in by the warm feeling generated by the apparently positive response to your wise spending. We all have the urge to feel happy whether or not there is anything to be happy about.

As far as passive power cords are concerned, all will do the same job as long as they can pass all the current demanded without high resistance.

Power conditioners can be useful if they can actively remove noise and other unwanted artifacts from the line.
A selective emotionally driven memory which places the issue of selective emotionally driven memory -- on everyone else.

Thank you for making decisions for me about who and what I am. I'm too dense to make my own decisions. I don't have enough self awareness for that.

Thank the gods some of you (you know who you are) are out there. I need to be saved.
Does any one here have direct knowledge concerning the type/brand of power conditioning that hi-end component manufacturers use?  

Pretty obvious that PS Audio uses their house brand.  I'm asking about brands such as ARC, Pass, Boulder etc.

Regards,
barts
Thank you all for the responses, so like always attack and become argumentative. I use a Furman Reference 20i and a PS Audio P-12. One for the Video system and the PS for my front end.

Most wrote how they love their conditioners, that is great! My interest was for those to reply who tried them and decided that they were not for them.

As far as the free market goes, well duh! that is a given. And who’s said they were trying to take away your right another duh!

What I was trying to get across was many systems before power conditioners sounded great, not from memory but from experience and what got me into this hobby. Some had that reach out and touching moments, and like you were in the studio, more so than then than today, I might add were many systems sound like hi-fi, thin and bright thus perceived lots of detail. Great for the wow factor at first then it gets old. Back then the goal was to try to get a recording to sound natural and real, young labels like OPUS3 worked hard at their recordings to produce the sound, using Dynaco Stereo 70 amps if I recall in their recording chain. That is a fact.

Good question on what Pass, McIntosh, Mark Levinson. ARC, Solutions, Classe, and on and on use on their gear when they design and voice it, what power cords, what conditioners. Excellent question. The answer for most zero, we change their sound once we get it in our hands with our choice of power cords and conditioners, footers, etc. to tune and color the music to what we like to hear in our room and system and speakers, if not we use the stock power cord, and plug them right into the wall. PS Audio sells conditioners while making audio gear so for sure they use their own conditioners that be dumb if they did not. 

So many conditioners on the market so if one is right then the others must be wrong? They come and go, the next one being the best ever and on and on. Just something to think about. But in the end, this is a hobby, it is fun with opinions and that is OK, but why the attacks and anger over a hobby. Geez.




Does any one here have direct knowledge concerning the type/brand of power conditioning that hi-end component manufacturers use?

Pretty obvious that PS Audio uses their house brand. I’m asking about brands such as ARC, Pass, Boulder etc.


Not sure I would put PS Audio in that crowd, just my opinion.
Pretty obvious that PS Audio uses their house brand. I’m asking about brands such as ARC, Pass, Boulder etc.
@barts I would look at show reports as it may be listed there. Reading between the lines at the CAS in the ARC room they are using all
Nordost supplied the system’s Odin II cables

So I would say it is their power conditioner also (reading between the lines.

Good question on what Pass, McIntosh, Mark Levinson. ARC, Solutions, Classe, and on and on use on their gear when they design and voice it, what power cords, what conditioners. Excellent question. The answer for most zero
@phillyb I would disagree and would say they would make recommendations to their dealers for showroom setup as they would also use them for events like CAS... They may not outright endorse a third party but I guarantee they use them or something in their test beds when collecting data for their published specs.
I plug my amp directly into the wall. It sounded worse into a Furman 15dmi.
In my 50 years, I’ve never had an issue with a lamp plugged into a wall outlet so I’m going to experiment with simpler types of protection.

What I’m discovering in general is that power conditioners can make wire management tougher. I’m betting that deferring to good wire management may have more impact.
Solutions in search of a problem: I have two 20 amp dedicated circuits to my audio system. I was not aware of a power supply problem but thought I would give a PS Audio regenerator a try. I could hear no difference so I returned the unit. Then I bought a couple of Furman Elite 15’s. With this I could indeed hear a difference, but it was clearly negative. My Rowland amps sounded harsh and nasty so they went right back into the wall. It took me a little while to realize what was happening to the rest of the system: flat, lacking dynamics. Even a lowly CD transport was audibly effected. Not sure how that is possible but there it is. So now everything is back direct into the wall and it sounds just fine. Anyone want some Furman units in original packaging?
I could hear no difference so I returned the unit. Then I bought a couple of Furman Elite 15's. With this I could indeed hear a difference, but it was clearly negative. My Rowland amps sounded harsh and nasty so they went right back into the wall. It took me a little while to realize what was happening to the rest of the system: flat, lacking dynamics
@markmuse. I have never liked plugging an Amp into a power conditioner. Interesting though the negative effect on the CD transport. 
I've had sucess with Monster Power conditioners (pro5100 and HTS5100 MKII) on primary and secondary systems.  Also using Sonoquil cables in the primary rig; secondary uses cheap speaker wire from Amazon and OEM cords. No clue on the OEMs as to their preference.
To each his own re power quality. Happy camper here.
I've tried many, most of them were some kind of humbuster approach as I have a lot of DC on the line which makes my preamp hum.  All of them I tried killed system dynamics with or without the amp plugged into it.  The only one that removed most of the DC and did not kill system dynamics was the Emotiva CMX-2.  My amp is plugged directly into the wall (dedicated power line to a Porter Port plug) and so is the Emotiva CMX-2.  Everything else in my system is chained off one of the two CMX-2 plugs using Wiremold powerstrips.  Best setup I've found for my needs.  I also use a  EP-2050 at my mains box.
wrm57,
I have 3 dedicated lines all with Furutech NCF outlets.
The main one has a Niagara 7000 (with a Dragon power cord) which powers my Dac, Steamer and tube amps. The 2nd dedicated line has a Niagara 1200 which powers 2 subs and a few sundry pieces, and the third has a Niagara 1000 that powers my video equipment.
So, don’t give up on the other dedicated lines.

ozzy

 

edcyn

1,019 posts

When my PS Audio  AC Junction box overheated and bit the dust, I replaced it with a generic TripLite box that happened to be in the house. Son of a gun, the stereo sounded better with the TripLite. I still though, connect the TripLite to my groovy PS audio wall outlets with the hefty PS Audio AC cord that came with the PS Audio box. Agreed, I was never able to do  back-and-forth comparisons, but I just don't care enough to fret over it. I'm getting good sound, and that's enough.

Edcyn say the truth..... tripplite box is the way..!!

I wanna flip your question the other way around. Im running 2xP12 regenerators. One for each monoblock (JC1+) whereas the rest of the system is divided equally between the two regenerators. All I can say is that my system benefit from these regenerators very well. Both dynamics and blackness is added compared to running them directly in to wall outlet. What is a regenerator a P12 then? Its stored energy in its heavy caps and coils also making a more clean sinus wave. Bare in mind I live in country using 230 voltage and Im truly sure this also has advantages du to lower current of the components vs 120V. Only downside I would say is the fans of the P12, they are not noisy at all but their still there and can be audioble when everything else is dead quiet. I would say my P12´s are running totally 35-40% capacity at medium to high volume.

Im not answearing the topic as Im still running regenerated power and having no plans of otherwise, but Im trying to enlighten why Im using these as someone might find it interesting....

After using Lessloss's first filter, 2 different Bybees, I stopped on a Torus AVR16 : Air Tight ATM3, pre ans sources all connected to it. End game.

millercarbon

I disagree.

Better cables are ok, but expensive cables are just snake oils.

Phillyb is right.

The filters in most power conditioners can result in "current-starving" of amps which is why many manufacturers recommend plugging their amps directly into the wall outlet. Source components are less demanding current-wise and may benefit from a conditioner. A Furman AC-215A provides surge suppression and line filtering for my FM tuner and CD player.

I bought a power conditioner decades ago. It made a not insignificant difference. 
 

in my new home, a dedicated line was run directly from the circuit breaker in the mechanical room to my audio room. I've found that the power conditioner still makes a difference but it's quite small. 

Shunyata Denali V2 made a big improvement to my system.  Everyting plugged in including amps.

Shunyata Talos made a good improvement. I want to go for Denali in the future. Recently I bought Audio Envy Mega 10 th gen. Power cable for the Talos. Simply amazing. The previous cable is the Shunyata  Cobra Ztron. No comparison at any aspect of high end audio.

I have tried many of these devices thru the decades and my last ownership was of 3 PS Audio P10's.

They do work to a certain degree like everything else, however, after improving the source in my 2 channel, starting with wall receptacles, I removed my 3 P10's without any regrets. 

 

Power conditioners never worked on my components.  I tried Shunyata . Running springs , Furutech, Tranparent Audio 

I have tried a few and ended up with a PS Audio P20.  It is a great power regenerator and I couldn't recommend it more highly.  It's low induction and large power resever totally eliminates any congested or compressed sound on loud and complexe musical passages.  It also has a very, very black packground that helps create a huge sound stage.  I have done enough a/b that there is no question in my mind on what a great addition to my kit this is.  Also using A/Q Storm Hurricane power cables.  The two together are a great combo.  

I'm unaware of any solid evidence that power conditioners improve sound in a normal home electric setup. Esse est percipi. 

I'm unaware of any solid evidence that power conditioners improve sound in a normal home electric setup. Esse est percipi. 

My Ears are my evidence in my system.   YMMV.

I had one power conditioner and auditioned another.  In my oponion there was little to no improvement from either device.  I deicded to try one more time and purchased the Puritan PSM156 earlier this year.  I was shocked by how much better everything sounded with the Puritan. 

Always been a little skeptical about these types of devices but Purtain, at least in my system, has improved the overall sound quality and I guess either eliminated to dramatically reduced the interference. 

Yup.  My ears provided the solid evidence that the Puritan was getting the job done in my system.

Now that's the piece of gear I've been reading up on. Here and elsewhere 

PowerVAR is what I have. Also my strero system is on a dedicated circuit with 2X 30 amp circuits, so basically I can run all of my equipment