Power Regeneration, Surge Protectors, UPS yadayadayada

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Judeus, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Likes Received:
    589
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I don't know if this is at all useful in recommending a solution for me, but if I'm touching metal from my amp or DAC and also touch the metal connectors on the RCA cables the hum goes away completely.

    Edit: Found a temporary solution. Still looking for a more permanent one. Using a 2 prong power cable with the Kenzie Encore eliminates the hum. Initially I tried the 2 prong power cable with the Metrum Onyx, and it did not fix the issue.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    453
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    A Cell
    @shabta
    If I am not mistaken powerline adapters induce problems in the 2 to 70 MHz region. Maybe a Furman AC-210 might help. If you order it from Thomann for instance you have 30 days free trial. The Furman offers two sockets C13, your icon audio probably has a C14 inlet, so you will need a cable made up like this one:

    https://m.thomann.de/de/the_sssnake_kgs_kabel.htm?o=5&search=1520979227

    Which if you do not have one you need to order with the Furman. This will set you back roughly 200 Euros. If it works fine, if it does not you can send it back to Thomann.
    Concerning the risk of a loss in dynamics because of the filter you are judge and jury.
     
    shabta likes this.
  3. trl

    trl Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    40
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Iasi, Romania
    This looks being either your mains ground is not actually connected to EL-CO's real-ground at all (or it's resistance it's very high: > 4 ohms), either there's a ground-loop, either you got a very polluted mains ground. As CANCELLING THE MAINS GROUND IS STRONGLY NOT RECOMMENDED, please purchase a Hum-X or a similar device or at least build one by yourself with 2 x 5A clamping diodes + optionally resistor and cap (schematic is pretty straightforward). The powerful 5A diodes will have a forward-voltage of about 0.7 volts, that means that if there's an electrical issue inside your amplifier, then diodes will start flowing the current to mains-ground so you will not get any electro-shocks when touching the amplifier's case; your RCBO should trip if an issue will happen inside your amplifier...also hope you do have RCBO installed in your electricity panel.

    Please, be aware that a power surge might short circuit caps or MOVs from inside your amplifier and create short spikes getting to your amp's chassis, so lifting the ground by using a 2-prone power cable is not recommended! Not sure how this amp is built inside, but if the manufacturer is providing 3-prone cable, then it's safer to go this way or lift the ground safely. You might also need to lift the ground safely for the input source...depending on your configuration.

    Also, an isolation transformer could help here, especially if a 2-stage noise-reduction filter can be added to dimmish the mains ground noise. I'm speaking about 30 USD mains filters here that should suffice for your needs, but of course...thousand of USD could be thrown into this. BTW, here's how my mains ground looks like before vs. after connecting all equipment + a vacuum cleaner in operation to my power outlet. Yes, we're comparing a RMS of 153 mV vs. 1337 mV of noise that gets injected into my audio equipment. :)

    Some good readings below:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_lift
    http://circuitcellar.com/cc-blog/find-and-eliminate-ground-loops/
    http://www.audiomasterclass.com/new...-with-it-what-do-you-do-if-you-haven-t-got-it
    https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-what-ground-earth-loop
    https://hackaday.com/2017/03/09/wtf-are-ground-loops/
    http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,158888.msg1459055.html#msg1459055
    http://sound.whsites.net/articles/mains-quality.htm
     
  4. Garns

    Garns Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,969
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Sydney, AUS
    Agreed, don't do that long term.

    Ground loops are sensitive to geometry. Try moving anything that might be an EMI generator out of the vicinity (eg power transformers in other components). Sometimes helps. Or you can try moving the RCA cables (maybe using different RCA terminals if available) closer to the power cables to reduce the area of the loop. It's more art than science.

    If that's no use I would just get some input transformers from ampsandsound and be done with it.
     
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  5. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Likes Received:
    589
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for all the reading material. I will try to do some reading later today. A bit too tired currently. Initially I was going to try a Hum-X but ended up trying some other things first. I went ahead and ordered a Hum-X now to see if it'll do the trick.

    I've been working with Justin to solve it and will have an isomax diagnostic kit and XLR to RCA transformer box within the next few weeks. While there's a chance the XLR to RCA box will help solve the issue I'm mainly getting it to run balanced out from my Onyx. Justin's customer service is borderline too good. I actually feel bad about all the time we've spent on the phone and exchanging emails. My Kenzie Encore is fully loaded so it already has the internal input transformers.

    Should also note that when going line out from my cell phone into the amp while running on battery power there is zero hum with the 3 prong power cable. When I use my phone's dock so it can charge while using the line out the hum is similar to the Onyx.

    I've learned a few things so far while trying to solve this issue so it's not all bad. It's been a good learning experience.
     
  6. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,155
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    Right, new town, new power lines situation.

    I've only been here 8 months but I've noticed the power does go down predictably when the big sea storms come around, so I'm getting a UPS for the Yggdrasil, or I'll be spending a couple months a year waiting for it to warm up.

    Any suggestions? On-line stuff has noisy fans, line-interactive could add noise to the power, and the one "audiofool" UPS is dang expensive.
     
  7. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,953
    Dislikes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Lives in Fortaleza, Heart in Girona
    Hello Taverius, how you doing mate? I see that you live in Italy. When I was working with eletronic microscopic the only few ups that we’re able to support the resolution without adding noise to the image was from those German factories
    http://www.mak-powersis.de/2-kva-single-phase-ups.html
    http://www.effekta.com.de/epages/63928138.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/63928138/Products/ACX11MKT
    Excelent equipment with pure sine wave, and I remember being way cheaper then ps audio power plant (that was also used in other laboratory) the problem with audio could the fan Audible noise when the ups it’s hot... but we putted the ups in the other side of the room, and was ok. I just cannot remember any serious ups with online conversion that had no fan. Also remember that ups could be controlled by distance if it was connect to a computer with a usb cable. Very nice features. But thisWas years ago, something could have improved. I remember Furman also make some fine products, but here in Spain we could not find one without being imported. Hope this helps. Lucena
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  8. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,155
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    Yeah there's no other room to put the ups in here, so I'm thinking not an on-line unit, run it in bypass/off-line mode, and put my AcuPwr regulator in front of it.

    Not ideal maybe, but I don't think I'm ready to drop 4.5k€ on a 1500VA PurePower+.

    Riello makes cheap line-interactive with "Eco" offline mode that would give me like 5hrs runtime with Yggdrasil, but I'll check with those two and see if they can tell me how much noise they'd put out with a 100w load.
     
  9. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Likes Received:
    355
    Dislikes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    63
    1200- 3,000€ for the bigger models. Might as well go for for that "audiofool" UPS they sell. Priced similarly. In fact the UPS sold in China are in the same price point. Seems there is no way getting around the high price point unless you go small.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    drgumbybrain likes this.
  10. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,953
    Dislikes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Lives in Fortaleza, Heart in Girona
    YEap, this kind of product with very low noise and harmonic distortion are usually expensive. you're welcome. cheers
     
  11. trl

    trl Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    40
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Iasi, Romania
    That would be Legrand Niky S, perhaps 2000VA, but you could find smaller versions too. It's has no noise, unless the battery is charging and some transformer/coils noise can be heard if night and perfectly silent room.

    E.ON mains below:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    LEGRAND Niky S running on batteries:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Scales are different because different step-down isolation transformers were used.

    However, Iggy has E+I transformers inside, so you should have no issues with voltages up/down with about 10% or even more. Also, E+I transformers are able to handle some DC voltage on input, so maybe you don't even need that UPS after all.
     
  12. Golmang

    Golmang Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    443
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    After enquiring both BenjaminBore and Garns (thank you) about the Furman AC-210 I put it to the test myself.
    There is a sligthly overwhelming consensus that the shared filter design of both output sockets leads to devices polluting each other, reflecting the garbage back to the corresponding devices. Since I'm no electrician and can't judge it from such a standpoint I can at least share if there is truth to it from a hearing perspective.

    To make it short. It is indeed true:

    AC-210, two C13/C14 cables to minimize contact resistance
    setup: Gungnir Multibit -> XLR -> V281 -> HD800 SDR/LCD-2C

    Having BOTH devices connected to the AC-210 subdues, "mutes" the overall sound, dynamics are noticably less. It's like someone enters the room and tells the musicians to play less lively, with less heart, grunt and emotion because the communist leader has diarrhea. That's all about it.

    Now maybe the AC-210 itself is limiting overall and it doesn't matter how I install it?

    Nope. The AC-210 turned out NOT to be a gamble at all.

    First it removed the Gungnir Multibit's (only device connected to the AC-210 now) very slight hum that I could hear when nearing my head. It's dead now. Secondly the Gungnir Multibit is now able to sparkle without those slight edges that could induce fatigue after some time. It's like atomic particles are less restrained to paint and color the space which itself is now laid out and created/drawn sharper by the Gungnir Multibit. How stupid does that sound? Very.
    Basically the treble presentation and the finest details improved, there is less grey behind the details, the creation of space and the boundaries of objects are sharper. I wonder how much better the Yggdrasil A2 does this part.

    I live between very thick walls that give me zero mobile reception (using WLAN Calls though) thus plenty of isolation. I could die and nobody would notice. Not you anyway. It's surprising how you can get late night listening qualities in the middle of the day.


    It's a blessing! Thanks to everyone that shared his experience with this device. It certainly led me to a good purchase decision.
     
    BenjaminBore likes this.
  13. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,245
    Dislikes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    London, UK
    Well done for putting it to the test and sharing your experience.

    Are you also saying that having both things going through the Furman sounds worse than both things going straight to the mains?

    If so perhaps the Furman is hitting it’s limits on how much power it can effectively filter? I was warned originally that these things can constrain the power supply to a device, and also that their effects aren’t always necessarily positive in every respect. The latter of which I did find myself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  14. Golmang

    Golmang Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    443
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Yes 1x Furman, 1xMain > 2xMain (with all the drawbacks) > both on the Furman. I guess 1x Furman per device could be the best solution (note below though) but that's something we have to find out another time.

    Sure the Furman cleaned up the buzz of the Gungnir Multibit in all cases l but it really subdued dynamics, muted (like "rounded" everything) when two devices go through it. It was obvious.

    This is purely speculative but I believe since power dynamics are different on a DAC than an amp the Furman is less prone to "loss" on the former, thus better for DACs than amps. Tales from my ass of course. However it's why I chose to test it on the DAC first and keep it there since I am happy with the changes.
     
  15. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,801
    Dislikes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Home Page:
    Just really finding this thread.

    It seems there is very little discussion between using power conditioning for amplifiers (headphone or otherwise) and source gear. It would seem that some amount of filtering gives a loss of dynamics, but little talk of where/what was plugged in.

    Now I have been using Powervar products on my source (Rasp Pi, DAC). The Powervar has a toridial low impedance isolation transformer and line conditioning. It really cleans up like @bixby mentioned - more in focus for sure and better details. And now I can't live without it. Even had to get a small one for work setup.

    I did try my Powervar unit on a headphone amp and it squashed in dynamics. Probably because all the filtering? Before reading this thread I thought it might be to the VA specs of the isolation transformer, but some of you have experienced dynamic loss with just a filter only.

    Now the filter products only (Triplite Isobar, etc), from what I understand, basically shove the normal mode noise (hot to neutral) to the common mode (neutral to ground) noise. The Povervar reduces both, but has some filters in addition to that isolation transformer.

    With all of this, I had a question...So is the consensus either no conditioning or just an isolation transformer (rated for the output required for the amplifiers)to isolate and not rob dynamics?

    Now for DC offset, I know an isolation transformer will take care of that too.
     
    bixby likes this.
  16. trl

    trl Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    40
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Iasi, Romania
    Inside DACs and headphone amplifiers there's little to none the probability to get any mains noise injected into the audio chain, especially is the designer decoupled case's ground from the analogue and/or digital ground, unless we're speaking about ground-loops. This is due to their internal power supplies that are decreasing AC ripple and noise with at least 80dB, usually better. Instead, speakers power amplifier are using bridge rectifiers followed by smoothing caps, without any linear regulator for the output stage, so this might be the best way to check for any noise that might appear from the mains (again, most of the noise is usually caused by the ground loops or noise coming from home's noise polluting earthing).

    I found that an isolation transformer, combined with a ground-lifting device, may decrease mains hum and/or the background noise (usually mains hum is inaudible, even with IEMs, but YMMV). However, my AC looks pretty good, hence I need no additional filtering or power regeneration.

    Audio dynamics can't be improved by adding a power generator, unless your mains is really crappy and mains's lower harmonics and hum get into the audible range of your cans or speakers.

    However, if you can find a technician with dedicated tools and equipment to safely measure your mains quality, then please post here some pics and measurements. Measuring directly AC mains could be harmful and may cause DEATH and/or FIRE, so dedicated technician with differential probes and special equipment will be required!

    Of course, ARTA and RMAA results with vs. without the power filtering/re-generator need to get published too! Otherwise, there's no way to see any really improvements.

    Additionally, at the outputs of a simple AC/DC linear power supply (anything between 5V and 20V should do) you could measure with a scope WITH and WITHOUT the power generator, then later compare the measurements under same conditions. Usually, AC noise & ripple is all it needs to be measured, but sometimes FFT could help as well. Like you said, DC component gets "filtered" by the isolation transformer, so this can't be measured at the outputs of a linear PSU.

    Note 1: A good article about AC measurements here: http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/ups-test-dec2k2/index.html, just use an online translator.
    Note 2: Here's how crappy the output of a stepped-sine UPS looks like: https://www.ixbt.com/power/ups/apc_br1500grs.shtml (see bottom graphs). You could find a cheap UPS to power your gear from, then check (measure) the differences.
     
    luckybaer and Thenewerguy009 like this.
  17. bixby

    bixby Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,967
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I use 3 Powervar or Oneac units on all my computers. Primarily though for surge protection but also to mitigate switching power supply noise from getting back into the ac line. I too tried using these for audio; amps, dacs and found they do indeed sound pretty bad. I run all dacs and amps directly to the wall with good diy power cords. Smooth, clean and dynamic results.

    I also keep no other items on the same circuit as the audio in my speaker setup. for example a simple mailing scale with sw wall wart in another outlet on the same circuit causes highs to be compressed and soundstage to narrow. Unplug it and all is good again.

    Next, try replacing the $1.59 outlet you plug amp and dac in with a good one and see if you hear some minor improvement. This one works well and is cheapish. Pass & Seymour 5262A
     
  18. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,801
    Dislikes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Home Page:
    That is one way to do it - isolate the offenders instead of the audio gear.

    Like I said, I didn't enjoy the Powervar unit for amps, but the DAC's and units is amazing. I compare it to the difference between a Wyrd and not having one. It is like a DAC upgrade.

    I will do another comparison and see if I notice any loss of dynamics. It does clean things up a bit and more in focus. Of course I lucked out and got a deal on a 6A unit awhile back. I need another one for my A/V system for my TV and such.

    And unfortunately in my new house, the wall plug is far away.

    @atomicbob, do you run any conditioners/isolators for testing for the units being tested or the test unit and/or computer?
     
  19. bixby

    bixby Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,967
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Every house is different, I think - in my last place a $1k audiophile conditioner helped with all my audio, this house is different and it was actually slightly worse, hence straight to the wall for audio here. cheers
     
  20. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,701
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    It depends. Sometimes I will use a true sine output UPS if high winds or other potential causes for mains interruption appear possible. Otherwise direct to a single outlet with no other devices on the outlet. Two shielded power distributions are connected to the outlet. One for device(s) under test and the other to power lab equipment used for testing. Any USB connections used in testing are provided through Vaunix Lab Bricks.
     
    rtaylor76 likes this.

Share This Page