Power conditioners/regenerators advice

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by elmoe, May 25, 2019.

  1. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    I've seen these mentioned here and there and am wondering if they would be worthwhile.

    I live in suburban Phoenix and while the electrical in my cookie cutter house is not awful (no noticeable hums or sudden loss of power etc), I have pretty much all my gear plugged into 2 outlets / power strips in same room and am wondering if using a power conditioners for some/all of the gear might yield some positive results.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts about these units, do you notice positive changes in sound? Only use them as surge protection or for particularly crappy electrical? I see some advertised as giving a clearer/better picture quality for TVs, better sound quality for DAC/amps etc.

    What I would potentially plug into such a unit:

    65" LCD TV
    Desktop computer
    DAC / tube headphone amp/preamp / power amp

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    I have been using ps audio power plant premiur in the house for years. I happend to see this on ebay, and nobody seemed to be interested atm so that I almost stole it hahaha.
    This device gave me lots of insights about electric power (of my area -- Fort Worth, Texas -- at the minimum), as it allows me to monitor power status on a real-time basis.

    My (accumulated) general findings include
    1. AC voltages can vary across hours, days, and seasons. Likely associated with overall power consumption in the area. Observed range (max-min) was well above 5V.
    2. Ideally ac electricity should be a clean 60hz sine wave. But in practice, it contains some unexpected harmonics -- roughly 3 to 5%. Newer model can show each harmonic specifically but my old one only reports as a form of THD (computation-wise similar but should be differently interpreted in the context of sonic signal!)

    That said, this gear brought me lots of inner-peace and better sense of authority (at least I can see pre/post quality every moment). Sonic improvement? maybe. But I'd say subtle at best. Priority of this kind of investment should be lower than other parts of rigs.

    Finally, attaching my current power status for fun!:

    Input voltage and distortion

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Output voltage and distortion

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    You may want to take a look here:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ration-surge-protectors-ups-yadayadayada.282/

    Gotta say, for every good review I read, I find another where someone trashes it and says it squashes dynamics. Not sure if there’s a lot of consensus on these other than probably don’t hook your expensive gear up to a $5 Dollar Store power strip.
     
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  4. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    On a personal anecdotal level, getting a decent power bar and plugging my entire chain (Laptop + DAC + Amp) into it removed (or at least rendered inaudible) the ground hum issue I was experiencing with my DAC at the time.

    Also the insurance on it is more than the value of my stuff plugged into it, so that can't hurt to have (even if they wouldn't pay out after a claims process).
     
  5. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    It's one of those hotly debated areas of our hobby, with some swearing it's the key element added to their system that opened the heavens, and others swearing it's snake oil bullshit. In my opinion, you really need a good return policy and a double blind test (with the help of a friend) if you want to be sure. Otherwise the power of suggestion may get the better of you. For surge protection you can get something cheap. For power conditioning products that make a positive (or in some cases negative) audible difference, it's more often than not the same companies that make $$$ speaker cable and interconnects that again rely on the bias of our minds and require blind testing. YMMV.
     
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  6. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Sweet! If anything I understand the urge of a new toy telling you more about the power feeding your chain. I wouldn't consider something in that price range unless like you I find a too-good-to-pass-up deal, but I appreciate the detailed post and fort Worth type of electrical issues probably come fairly close to suburban Phoenix so it's a good opinion to compare possible positives to. Thanks!

    Thanks I did search some but somehow missed that thread. I will read through it.

    Yep a decent power bar/strip is what I currently use and everything is dead quiet so a power conditioners/regenerator may be Overkill.

    Thanks and I figured that may be the case. I was looking at options in the 150-500 bucks range so nothing too crazy. It somehow makes more sense to me that well regulated power would be a good thing, as opposed to super expensive cables vs cheap well made ones. I may pull the trigger after a little more research and see/attempt to hear for myself.
     
  7. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Haven't thought about this in a long time, because I'm not really a believer --- except in decent plugs, sockets, plugs which are not oxidised, blah-blah practical stuff. (which often gets forgotten)

    But I seem to remember that there is industrial/laboratory equipment that will give a person clean, regulated power without the hifi price premium. I hardly remember: maybe its three figures but certainly not four or five.

    Somebody here probably knows. Probably uses it.
     
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    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  8. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Thanks Thad. When you say decent plugs/sockets are we talking fancy though not overpriced power cables for example, as opposed to whatever comes stock with the gear purchased? I see a lot of talk about "hospital grade" plugs and the likes, without necessarily going for the big bux Shunyata cables, is that something worth looking into?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  9. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I bought an APC H15 years ago. My condo at the time fluctuated enough that I was concerned. Isolated banks and high current plugs... Doubt I'll ever need to upgrade to a Torus, but that is what I would do if I was feeling rich.
     
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  10. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    It probably also depends on what you're using. Am I wrong to assume that some audio gear has an in-built stage that takes raw outlet power and keeps it steady before reaching the circuit - much like an internal LPS?
     
  11. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Yes something like the APC H15 is what I had in mind. Relatively cheap and reliable. You've had yours for years now? No issues?
     
  12. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I owned an APC H15 for years, and then randomly my gear started having issues. Integrated amp USB input went out, one channel of my Yggdrasil analog output went out, and a board in my Oppo Blu-Ray player went out, all at different times but over a period of a few months. As soon as I took that out of my system, I didn’t have issues anymore. I now use Shunyata stuff.
     
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  13. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Clean power IMO is absolutely essential for any decent audio system. Especially headphones.

    Good ones can make quite a difference (depending on your area). Some can actually make the sound worse. Strip out dynamics etc. So you need to either audition or go off recommendations.

    I've bought a few conditioners over the years with varying results. But the Belkin PF60 whic I snagged for $60 off Craigslist has been the best by far. Surge protection and clean power without sacrificing sound quality. In fact the sound is better through the conditioner. Plenty of outlets for multiple components.

    You will have to find a used one though since I believe it is discontinued. There many be other Belkin models with similar performance but I'm not sure.
     
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  14. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I use a SOLA MCR unit I bought from a medical research facility that was closing down. 200 lbs and was shipped freight on a pallet.
     
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  15. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Found quite a few of those used at very reasonable prices, though shipping is not cheap! They are monsters.
     
  16. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    Even if it didn't improve the sound, lugging that around is a great cardio workout.
     
  17. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    ZD doesn't lug them around often. but his pecs are ripped and he often wins pose-off contests around town.
     
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  18. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I'm talking about whatever cables, as long as they have decent connectors etc, and came from a reliable source. That doesn't mean that I'd willingly buy just anything from a local shop here in India, where any quick wiring job reveals just how lacking our cables can be below the surface. As a one-time IT man in London, I bought heaps of equipment. PC upgrades, for instance, just got attached to existing plugs --- and the boxful of spare cables grew. I do not distinguish between those cables and cables for hifi. I have never bought a branded cable, and certainly not a hifi-branded cable. I've heard of, but don't know about, "hospital" grade cables. Don't know what they are about.

    I am probably not the person to engage in this conversation. As I said, I really, really am not a believer! But...

    I mentioned living in India. I can certainly understand people who are concerned for their very expensive and precious equipment. So far I've been lucky, even though we had one occasion on which the house supply cable melted. As a by-the-way, although we undoubtedly get surges, I theorise that our melted cable was actually due to equipment drawing high current at low voltage. The AC machine groaned for a few seconds before everything went black.

    The only other thing I can say is thank goodness all this stuff tends to come moulded on (legal requirement in some countries?) I'd rather wire up a parallel-port D connector than an iec female plug. Horrible, fiddly things!

    Another thing about India: we have three-phase, 240v to the house. That means faults can lead to very high (in domestic, rather than technical terms) voltage. I've measured 440 at a socket on one occasion. I've also had a shock from touching my head against the meter (reaching in to the space to do some carpentry work, and stupidly, not thinking about electricity safety) and measured that at 440. Only time in my life I have involuntarily screamed.

    Ahh.... current affairs!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  19. G0rt!

    G0rt! Rando

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    Clean power makes black backgrounds, so everything plugged into Furman. Cheap, simple and necessary.
     
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  20. capetownwatches

    capetownwatches Rando

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    I use this and want for nothing more:

    [​IMG]
     
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