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post #2101 of 2370
What is everybody using for a power conditioner? I really want to get something simple and effective so I don't damage my equipment. I was looking at some Furman's, but they make a million different ones and I don't really know what I need for my electronics. The price ranges are insane as well.
post #2102 of 2370
i used to be pretty skeptical about this whole power cord and power conditioning stuff, but...

a few years back when I was still dicking around with this stuff I did some comparative listening with Shunyata products and came away pretty impressed. And the prices weren't exorbitant.
post #2103 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

i used to be pretty skeptical about this whole power cord and power conditioning stuff, but...
a few years back when I was still dicking around with this stuff I did some comparative listening with Shunyata products and came away pretty impressed. And the prices weren't exorbitant.

I've yet to hear a power cord that makes a difference.

Although, having had a variety of Naim pieces over the years with and without flat cap power supplies, I can say they made a significant difference.

Power conditioner, eh, not so sure. A good quality power supply would do the same thing. A surge protector might be useful, but I wouldnt spend money on a conditioner.
post #2104 of 2370
I've heard the Monsters are decent. I use some discontinued PS Audio stuff --- their passive stuff, not the active regeneration ones --- because the design was really good.
post #2105 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

What is everybody using for a power conditioner? I really want to get something simple and effective so I don't damage my equipment. I was looking at some Furman's, but they make a million different ones and I don't really know what I need for my electronics. The price ranges are insane as well.

Are you talking about power cords or actual power conditioner boxes?

If you mean the a power conditioner/surge protection piece I would recommend the panamax m5300 or m5400. Very reasonable prices.
post #2106 of 2370
andre, can you give a very brief low-tech explanation of power conditioners and what they do?

speak as though to a very small child.
post #2107 of 2370
What the hell happened to Artisan Fan?
post #2108 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

andre, can you give a very brief low-tech explanation of power conditioners and what they do?
speak as though to a very small child.

Sure. Power conditioners have two functions:

1. Protection from surges.
2. Blocking noise on the power line.

Surge protection is the same thing as what those cheap surge protection power strips you might use for a computer do. Events like brownouts or power surges can destroy equipment (it happened to a very expensive TV of mine which was plugged straight into the wall).

Noise blocking means that the conditioner keeps noise on the power line from entering an audio component through its power cord. It also blocks any electrical noise the audio component might generate from going out to the power lines of your house (and by extension into other audio or video components). Certain components, particularly digital components, can dump a lot of noise into the power lines. Certain components can be pretty sensitive to noise on the power line.

Things with big motors like fridges can dump a lot of noise into the power lines. Computers can put a lot of noise into the power lines, too. Certain kinds of dimmers can put a lot of noise into the power lines.

The power conditioner's job is to ensure that the component plugged into it sees only 60 Hz 120 Volts AC, and nothing else. There are various ways to do this, and that's another discussion entirely.

Audio power conditioners also have to ensure that they don't restrict current delivery, so that power amps aren't restricted in their power. This means power conditioners designed for audio have to be designed differently than one you might use for a computer. Audio people are also more paranoid about noise, so the noise blocking (AKA isolation) is generally better in audio power conditioners. Cheap surge protectors don't have any noise isolation.

Does any of this stuff make a difference? It can, but it depends on your situation. Some people are lucky to be living out in the country with no neighbors running appliances, computers, etc. so they have relatively clean AC. Some components are designed to resist noise on their power lines (in effect, they have built in power conditioners). Some people live in places with really dirty power, and power conditioners can help.

I got mine mostly because my TV got zapped, and I liked PS Audio's design. I'm not sure there is an appreciable performance difference, but I haven't gone looking for one.
post #2109 of 2370
That is a good description. Noise is one problem, however voltage fluctuations put a lot of strain on equipment. Here in NYC they reduce voltage a lot in the summer time. When this happens your stuff runs on excess current. It will operate, but it operates much hotter than it normally would and if there isn't enough cooling to accomodate the extra heat it burns out. Ask me how I know. frown.gif

I just see all of these different ones with insane variations in price and I don't know what is right for me really. As far as the typical "surge" protector, 99% of them are garbage and are really just power strips.
post #2110 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post

Sure. Power conditioners have two functions:
1. Protection from surges.
2. Blocking noise on the power line.
Surge protection is the same thing as what those cheap surge protection power strips you might use for a computer do. Events like brownouts or power surges can destroy equipment (it happened to a very expensive TV of mine which was plugged straight into the wall).
Noise blocking means that the conditioner keeps noise on the power line from entering an audio component through its power cord. It also blocks any electrical noise the audio component might generate from going out to the power lines of your house (and by extension into other audio or video components). Certain components, particularly digital components, can dump a lot of noise into the power lines. Certain components can be pretty sensitive to noise on the power line.
Things with big motors like fridges can dump a lot of noise into the power lines. Computers can put a lot of noise into the power lines, too. Certain kinds of dimmers can put a lot of noise into the power lines.
The power conditioner's job is to ensure that the component plugged into it sees only 60 Hz 120 Volts AC, and nothing else. There are various ways to do this, and that's another discussion entirely.
Audio power conditioners also have to ensure that they don't restrict current delivery, so that power amps aren't restricted in their power. This means power conditioners designed for audio have to be designed differently than one you might use for a computer. Audio people are also more paranoid about noise, so the noise blocking (AKA isolation) is generally better in audio power conditioners. Cheap surge protectors don't have any noise isolation.
Does any of this stuff make a difference? It can, but it depends on your situation. Some people are lucky to be living out in the country with no neighbors running appliances, computers, etc. so they have relatively clean AC. Some components are designed to resist noise on their power lines (in effect, they have built in power conditioners). Some people live in places with really dirty power, and power conditioners can help.
I got mine mostly because my TV got zapped, and I liked PS Audio's design. I'm not sure there is an appreciable performance difference, but I haven't gone looking for one.


The reason I dont buy into this is because its the job of the transformer to convert AC into stable DC voltage/current. Why would you need to do it twice?

Now if you want to protect your equipment from a surge or irregular voltage, fine, but its not going to sound better. For this purpose, not much $ need be spent.
post #2111 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

The reason I dont buy into this is because its the job of the transformer to convert AC into stable DC voltage/current. Why would you need to do it twice?
Now if you want to protect your equipment from a surge or irregular voltage, fine, but its not going to sound better. For this purpose, not much $ need be spent.

This is false. A rectifier converts AC to DC. Transformers either raise or lower voltage and are calibrated to accept and deliver certain voltages. If that changes it is bad news bears.
post #2112 of 2370
Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

The reason I dont buy into this is because its the job of the transformer to convert AC into stable DC voltage/current. Why would you need to do it twice?

As PB mentions, the job of the transformer is to step down the voltage level from power-line level (120V in the US) to whatever the power supply needs. This stepped-down voltage is still AC. The bridge rectifiers and large capacitors in a linear power supply (almost universally used in all audiophile designs, for better or for worse) then convert that to sorta-kinda DC. For line-level circuits, linear regulators then clean that up, and output DC. Almost all power amps either directly use that kinda-DC, or do more filtering.

Consider 2 different domains of distortion of the 120 V power input:

1. Low-frequency. When the AC waveform is distorted (deviates from a pure sine wave) or has a DC component in it (as can be put there by dimmers and motors), the transformer can mechanically hum because it physically vibrates. Owners of high-powered amps with big transformers are most likely to experience this. This is different than ground-loop hum or other hum you hear coming from your speakers: the amp itself vibrates and makes noise. Certain power conditioners can fix this, and this was why I got my PS Audio Humbuster in the first place because no one else really offered a good solution. There can be other issues caused by this, but transformer hum is by far the most obvious.

2. High-frequency. This is when you have really high-frequency noise (in the RF range, usually 10s of MHz or more) riding on top of the 120V AC waveform. The 120V waveform may be perfectly sinusoidal, and that is fine, but this kind of noise can cause similar issues to RF noise entering on your interconnects or other places in your audio component. Often this kind of noise is generated by digital equipment like DVD players, computers, or anything with a microprocessor or digital logic inside running at high frequencies. Almost all correctly-designed digital equipment will have built-in filters on their power supply ports, both to block noise coming in, and to prevent self-generated noise from going out (mostly to pass FCC testing), but this often isn't enough. Noise travelling on long power cords can be radiated because the power cord can act as an antenna.

Power amps and analog components often don't have any kind of RF filtering on their power ports, so they may be susceptible to RF issues.

Both of these phenomena can have different and possibly deleterious effect on each part of a power supply as well.

Anyway, from this description you can see that power conditioning is very much situation-dependent. If you're using really nicely designed equipment that's considered RF issues (Bryston claims to do this and says their amps should be plugged straight into the wall) or live in a place with very little RF pollution, then you probably don't need one. If you have dirty power, then you might need one.
post #2113 of 2370
I am most concerned with voltage regulation and surge protection.
post #2114 of 2370
So I guess none of you like the panamax products then...
post #2115 of 2370

I use a Furman Merit M-8LX: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/furman-merit-m-8lx-power-conditioner-with-lights

 

It's housed in a small tabletop rack, if you just want a surge protector footprint, I'd go with: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/furman-ss-6b-surge-block?src=3WWRWXGP

 

I initially had a faulty ground in my home, and it drove me completely nuts. RF interference, appliance interference, audio bleedthrough, and digital devices shutting down randomly from power dips. Had the ground re-installed from a 220V line converted to 110V, got the Furman, and no more problems.

 

I'm running an RME Babyface with a Macbook Air, so not really a stereo, but I use the on-board preamps in the RME to boost my Technics SL1200 turntable. When using the setup as a home stereo, I typically run the RME at 192kHz for fun, through a pair of M-Audio CX8s.
 


Edited by tripleD - 8/12/12 at 9:09pm
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