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Upgradits: On My Dynamic Setup or Try Stats?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

I don't have a lot of equipment--just enough to make a primary setup (in my signature). I have decent power cables and was going to buy a power conditioner (Acoustic Revive) but from reading around I became concerned with potential negative affects on the sound so I never pulled the trigger. Although my gear is plugged straight into the wall right now I really enjoy my setup--so much that I haven't been on Head-fi for a while.  But in a few months I will have a bit of cash and I want to spend it on one of two things but I can't decide on which:

 
1.Complete my current setup and hear the (hopefully amazing) difference that off-the-grid power can do for my current setup via RWA's Black Lightning power supply or,

2.Move along and be introduced to the magic of electrostatic phones via something in the mid to low end for starters (SRS-3170 or SRS-005S) since I am pretty happy with my setup as it is now

 

Which should I go for / which would you choose? I am not looking for a dynamic vs. stats comparison or alternative power solutions--just which of the above ventures could be more rewarding or interesting? Thanks.

post #2 of 15

#1 arguably makes no discernible difference to the sound

#2 definitely does

 

Easy choice for me.

post #3 of 15
2.
post #4 of 15

2-4-U

post #5 of 15
I'd pick whatever is behind door #2.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

#1 arguably makes no discernible difference to the sound

#2 definitely does

 

Easy choice for me.

 

Gotta love Milos' down to earth approach and utter straightforwardness hahahaha!

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Okay it looks like we have a clear winner in #2. Thanks guys.

post #8 of 15

champ,

 

My experience with power conditioners is that if done properly they can be a benefit to ones audio setup.

The key being that they have to be well designed and really geared towards audio.

Sadly many aren't... While using one you may hear some improvement in your system, but there can also be the trade-offs that you've read about.  

 

Each situation will be unique and you'd have to judge the usefulness of a given power conditioner in that situation.

 

 

BUT....

 

 

I recently introduced a PS Audio P5 Power Plant into my system and have been pleasantly surprised at the improvements it's brought to bear.

It has truly given my audio setup a new lease on life and has instantly become a device that I'd have a hard time living without.

- I live in a big city and worse live in a condo building...  I had no idea the power I have been feeding my gear was as bad as it is.  

The P5 has been a real eye opener (...or is that ear opener?).

 

Beyond that I have also been dabbling with HiFi Tuning audio fuses for my various amps, powered speakers, and the P5.  Again the results are fantastic!

I don't know why these fuses actually improve things... but they sure as heck do!   (improved transparency and greater dynamics).

Oddly enough I've found they are quite directional (never thought fuses were directional?) but placing them in the fuse holder one direction vs. the other yieds an obvious audible change.

 

 

Anyway, my point to all of this being that I've come to the conclusion that quality of the power you put in front of your equipment is very important to what you ultimately get out of your system.

I can honestly say that I'm now truly "hearing" my system for what it is really capable of.

 

You can spend money on an entirely new setup, if that's what you really want to do... OR... spend some money on improving the gear you already like.

Just some food for thought.... ;)

post #9 of 15

The people who don't rate the Power Conditioner option have simply not heard a really good one.

I would say that a carefully chosen PC can rival, or even exceed, the SQ gains of upgrading a main component. 

 

But it is essential to get one on a trial basis because there are so many variables involved, including whether the rest of your equipment is transparent enough, and whether you're the type of listener who can pick up on the subtle-but-important changes that a good PC can provide.

 

Having said all that, my vote would still be for option 2, because that will give a more obvious difference in the character of the sound. And it's best to first settle down with the basic sound signature that suits you. Only then think about trying to improve it.

post #10 of 15
#1 is getting a new dress for your Barbie #2 is getting Ken to go along with Barbie
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

#1 is getting a new dress for your Barbie #2 is getting Ken to go along with Barbie

 

Lol, love the analogy, n3rdling!

 

Jamiee, thanks for piping up and for your detailed response. I am glad to get a point of view for option #1.

 

Correct me if I am wrong but there is a distinct difference between a power conditioner and a power regenerator correct? While power conditioners take the power from the wall and "cleans it' leading to potential restriction of dynamics, regenerators like the PS Audio P5 take dirty AC power coverts to DC and back to AC power with perfect sine waves? The Black Lightning never uses the words "conditioning" or "regeneration" and seems to just be a "high current battery". I am not sure if it is the same or different from a power regenerator but the unit has always intrigued me.

post #12 of 15

Champ, you're correct about the differences between a Power Conditioner and a Regenerator.

 

The Black Lightning is a true battery based alternative to either, as you have guessed. The only point of the mains input into the BL is to charge up the battery, although there is an option to run whilst the battery is charging, at a lower quality.

 

But batteries have their own issues, mostly to do with the inconvenience of faffing around with charge and non-charge modes, especially if you like to leave some of your equipment on 24/7. The BL does appear to have the best of current battery technology, to give long life, low internal impedance, etc, but I never pursued it because of the faff factor - and because any battery based system is more suited to components with low power consumptions.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by champ View Post

Lol, love the analogy, n3rdling!

Jamiee, thanks for piping up and for your detailed response. I am glad to get a point of view for option #1.

Correct me if I am wrong but there is a distinct difference between a power conditioner and a power regenerator correct? While power conditioners take the power from the wall and "cleans it' leading to potential restriction of dynamics, regenerators like the PS Audio P5 take dirty AC power coverts to DC and back to AC power with perfect sine waves? The Black Lightning never uses the words "conditioning" or "regeneration" and seems to just be a "high current battery". I am not sure if it is the same or different from a power regenerator but the unit has always intrigued me.

A power conditioner for the most part will give you a 50/50 split. Some attributes it will improve and some it will degrade. Typically a regenerator will not do that.

The P5 is a good piece of equipment and depending on if you live in a house, apartment building, area with lots of dirty power the differences can either be dramatic or not so much. Where I live there is certainly an improvement. Their previous model though, the PPP wound up frying many parts in my Transporter that I had to have replaced, and fried several other computer accessories as well. Even when the PPP worked it never performed as well as the P5.
Edited by IPodPJ - 11/30/12 at 9:49pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
A power conditioner for the most part will give you a 50/50 split. Some attributes it will improve and some it will degrade. Typically a regenerator will not do that.
 

In general, I'm against sweeping generalisations. Although it seems plausible that a regenerator should always be better, in practice, it doesn't always work out like that, because nothing is perfect and the PPP is a good example of that (from a purely SQ perspective). By all means theorise all you like in order to get a short list, but keep an open mind when auditioning.

 

I have to say, it was very forgiving of you to buy another model from the same company that fried your hifi and computers. I was all set to audition the PPP once, but it's frying capability was one of the reasons why I backed off (and ended up with an Audience PC, which has no down sides that I've noticed). It could well be that the P5 is much better than the PPP, but I'm happy to stick with my Audience.

 

I agree about the fuses - one of the most extreme examples of why you should keep an open mind on such things.


Edited by TheAttorney - 11/30/12 at 11:56pm
post #15 of 15

Remember that your equipment needs different kinds of power (AC, DC, lower or higher voltages), internally. What's the use of converting AC to DC, and back to AC again in an external power regenerator, when your amp converts to DC internally anyway?

Buy equipment with good power supplies in the first place, if you're concerned about this. A good power supply does the same thing as a good power conditioner/regenerator and more, except maybe surge protection.

 

Edit: electrostats ftw.

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