Balanced Power/Generated Power/Surge Protection Choices
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dparrish

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I'm enjoying my XA777ES/Max/Cardas cable/HD600 combo.

The Monster HTS2000 which I had used for several years has died due to a power surge (in an electrical storm we had some time ago). I need to replace it with something.

I'm looking for something to provide surge protection. I'm also interested in cleaning up the power for giving the best sound possible, within a reasonable price. I also have 2 Classe amps (drawing about 75 watts each), a Classe preamp (about 50 watts draw) that I would like to protect as well.

I've investigated the Brick Wall surge/filters, as well as the Balanced Power Technologies and PS Audio powerplants.

Based on my budget, I'm leaning toward one of the smaller BPT or PSAudio units. I'm considering either the BPJr. (4 plugs), BPT-3 (like the one Jude so eloquently reviewed), or the PS Audio P300 (I couldn't afford the larger PSAudio units). My top budget is around $900--although this is stretching it.

My thinking has been that with this budget, I would be better off skipping the Brick Wall all together and just get either a BPT or PSAudio unit. Do you agree?

Also, I'd like to hear your thoughts about which technology is better for my components. I've heard some say that the power plants aren't as good with power amps. Is this true?

If I were to get the P300, I would only have four receptacles, but I would be willing to consider this and at some point add a Brick Wall for the other components, if the difference between balanced power and regenerated power would be worth it for my headphone system.

On the other hand, if I were to get a BPT-3, I would have enough receptacles for my entire system.

OR, would I be just as well off to get a Brick Wall?

Thanks in advance,

David
 
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post-195892
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dparrish,

Try this link:

http://www.soundstage.com/articles/pete03.htm

In it, the writer suggests a Brick Wall followed by a balanced power unit would be good.

You might be able to get the Brick Wall and put balanced power after it, within your $900 budget.

The Brick Wall is, by all accounts I've read, as good a surge protector as you can reasonably get. It also has good filtering (which I mentioned in some old posts about it). I'd recommend the Brick Wall without hesitation.

Then call Chris Hoff of BPT (I have no idea if he's still offering 10% off to Head-Fi'ers, as I haven't spoken to him in quite some time, but I suspect he may still honor this). Tell him what your rig is, and of any possible additional components you might be thinking of adding to the system that would need to be plugged in, and he might be able to customize one of his units for you within your budget. By the way, it may come standard nowadays, but ask him about isolated outlets (isolated in duplex pairs).

Good luck, man!

P.S. I had some mild background hum that could be heard from my Max if I turned the volume all the way up with no music playing. It would disappear if I lifted the ground using the switch on the back of the Max that allows that. After going to balanced power, that noise is gone in either ground switch position.
 
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dhwilkin

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Quote:

jude said...

You might be able to get the Brick Wall and put balanced power after it, within your $900 budget.


That's my setup, a Brick Wall followed by a BP-Jr. Works and sounds great! That would probably run you around $600.
 
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aeberbach

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I'm extremely happy with the PS Audio 300. The difference is obvious and dramatic, but then again the power in my apartment building was very dirty to being with. Not only that but it was around 127V AC, enough to make my tube amp transformers heat up to the point where they couldn't be touched and the filament volatage to become too high, potentially shortening expensive tube life.

Four outlets shouldn't be a problem although it could power more than I am using now with four outlets full. The PS Audio site says there is no problem using a power board, whether one of their hospital grade units or an ordinary one as long as it has no surge proitection/filtering inline. The display shows that two 8W power amps, Melos SHA-1 and Arcam CD draw around 170W.

The really nice thing is that you can return it within thrity days for a full refund. I'd buy it again, certainly.
 
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bootman

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How about a unit like this?

I posted this a while back but no one seemed to notice.

<sniff>
 
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[size=xx-small] Quote:

Originally posted by bootman
How about a unit like this?

I posted this a while back but no one seemed to notice.

<sniff>


[/size]

For any balanced power unit, you might want to ask about the tolerances the manufacturer follows in terms of balance between the legs. I believe BPT has them balanced to between 0.1V of each other; Equi=Tech's Q series has even tighter balance between the two legs. I believe the tightness of balance is important in assuring the widest bandwidth of noise rejection. Check out Equi=Tech's site for a lot of cool reading on the subject. I met Martin Glasband at the Stereophile Show (he was working his booth for all to meet), and that cat is pretty sharp. Anyway, the reading material at his site covers a lot about what he was telling us at the show -- interesting stuff.
 
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edwinaviles

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Hello. I would strongly recommend getting the Brickwall followed by a BPT unit. I have your exact setup and would not listen to it without the Brickwall and the BPT; the brickwall for peace of mind and the BPT for clean sound.
As Jude said, the hum no longer exists , thus eliminating the need to use the ground lift switch. A brickwall unit and BPT-JR should meet your budget, around $800. However, I got a BPT-3 unit because I took into consideration all the other components I plan on auditioning like another amp or the MFA3.24 DAC I am trying out now.
The brickwall plus the BPT-3 would cost you about $1200.00, though so maybe it's not a real option for you. Then again, you may be able to power your speaker amps with the BPT-3 unit if they are efficient but not the BPT-JR, I would think. You should ask Chris Hoof at BPT about that one.
Anyway good luck with your decision.

Edwin Aviles
 
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dparrish

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Thanks for the responses, everyone.

One question: does the Brick Wall seem to limit the dynamics of power amps (speaker amps, not headphone amp)?

Some seem to say yes, others no. Do any of you have your speaker amp hooked up to one?

I know the general recommendation seems to be to plug a speaker amp directly into the wall (that's what Classe, my amp maker, suggests), but I don't have enough plugs nearby.

What do you think?
 
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kelly

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dparrish
If you like I can bring the Brick Wall I have over again sometime so we could compare the Max with vs without it. Your house may not be as needy as my apartment is of surge protection but I'd think with the amount of killer equipment you have and the amount of money invested, it might be worth it to you to protect it anyway. In my view, this priority overwhelms any sonic benefits from balanced power or noise filtering. As I can tell you first hand, when the amp isn't working at all, it doesn't sound nearly as good as it does in front of a Brick Wall.

One other thing you may want to consider is cables. Many people theorize that the bulk of noise introduced into the source and amplifiers actually originates on the outside of power supplies and is fed back into the power supply via the power cables. If this were true, better cables may yield a better benefit than power filters. From what I've read from other people, the XA777ES benefits a lot from power cables--which suggests that its power supply might be guilty of emitting some noise into the cable. Regardless of the reasoning, I did notice an improvement with the JPS Labs cable connected to the Sony and that difference surpassed the improvement the power cables made to either my RKV or Corda.

Of course, I forgot what kind of cables you already have and they may already be pretty good.
 
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dparrish

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Kelly,

Thanks for the suggestions. Let's do get together and listen to how the Brick Wall effects the sound.

Regarding power cables, all I have is the stock ones

This of course means just ANOTHER opportunity to spend some money


But, considering what you're saying, I might hear immediate benefits just from a Brick Wall and power cord for the XA777ES.

Speaking of the XA777, any news on the mods with yours?
 
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kelly

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dparrish

I think you would definitely hear immediate benefits with Brick Wall + power cable, though I haven't spent the time to find out if any of those benefits belong to the Brick Wall or not (besides the obvious one of surge protection).

Dan is still very behind. When I talked to him last week he informed me that he'd lost a hired hand and that he has two SCD-777ES units ahead of my XA. No ETA.
 
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DarkAngel

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I tried the Brick Wall but for sound quality I prefer the Monster HTS2000, although surge protection is better with Brick Wall. You can noticeably improve sound further by adding a set of Audio Prism Quietlines III (8 units) throughout listening room.

Note: The HTS2000 sounds better (probably by accident) than other more expensive or newer Monster products.

The BP Jr is now much more attractive/useful product since it has 4 outlets, and price is reasonable. I would definitely get the "ultra" version if you go this route. This would be good for front end gear, similar to PS Audio P300.

The PS Audio P300 Multiwave would be even better sound wise vs
BP Jr and can be easily bought used for @$700 at Audiogon. There are some "problems"
-uses 2 watts of electric for 1 watt of clean power
-generates heat
-audible fan noise
-only 4 outlets
-max 200 watt capacity, not usable for amps

The best choice currently seems to Audio Magic Stealth power purifier, even better sound vs P300 and none of the drawbacks. Price is high, retail $1600 but wait a year and get used is my plan.

Rumor also has it that Shunyata will release cheaper version of Hydra with surge protection called "Guardian" this may be great product.....we will see.
 
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aeberbach

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The PS Audio has an audible fan? I haven't heard mine yet although I saw the fan when unpacking it. Perhaps it only operates if you run the unit close to capacity or in high ambient heat.
 
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dparrish

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What does anyone know about the Music Ring by Blue Circle Audio?

It looks like their prices are a little bit more reasonable than even BPT.

Jude, did you investigate/consider this company for balanced power?

Here's the link: http://www.bluecircle.com

Unfortunately, they are down at the moment. Here's another link:

http://blackchowaudio.com/musicring.htm
 
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kelly

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Kind-of a bad sign when someone who makes a surge protector's web server is down.
 
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