Power Conditioners...A startling observation...
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gsferrari

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DISCLAIMER


The following observations are purely from my listening perspective. I arrived at these conclusions using my equipment and my ears. I leave you to infer what you want from this thread. Please be civil in whatever discussions/debates you feel inclined to indulge in. Thank you.



Power conditioner used : Monster HTS-3500 Reference
Amplifier : Rudistor RP5 Reference
Headphones : Sennheiser HD-650
Source : Sony DVP-NS500V
Cables : Glassman Cable for HD-650/Bogdan Princess IC's


OBSERVATION


WITH the power conditioner in the power supply picture the sound was cleaner. NOTE that BOTH the amp and source were connected to the power conditioner in this case. The slight grainyness (Sony source related) was alleviated to an extent. The bottom end was a little subdued but tighter. This is something I was not sure I liked or not. The midrange retained its presence. Highs seemed a bit more "Clean" BUT this was my first impression...changed with some extended listening. Soundstage definitely suffered. the free sound/euphoria feeling was gone and replaced with a sort of dry claustrophobia. The power conditioner seemed to sap all dynamism out of the amplifier making it sound very very clean but lifeless.

WITHOUT the power conditioner and the amplifier connected to the wall (source still connected to the power conditioner) the system came to life. Bottom end deepened and retained most of the tightness (with stereophile test CD tracks) while bloating out with the bass guitar and low frequency trumpets - not something I found offensive...seemed more natural. However mids and highs were clearly opened up...more "free" sounding. No more congested and dry sound...just an open, wide and to an extent "unrefined" (with a bit of noticeable graininess in the mids and highs...nothing to worry about and certainly not something you will hate considering the gains made in other sonic areas). Another issue with using a crappy wall outlet (unless you have a dedicated line) in a crowded apartment complex is that you may find the image shifting between L and R slightly...altering perception and balance of the sonic image. This happens more in the early morning and throught the night. It is almost absent during the day...
This is fixed by the Power Conditioner.

In short - I think a high current, class-A amplifier should be given a dedicated line and should not be restricted with a power conditioner unless absolutely necessary. I dont know if this applies to all power conditioners but the Monster HTS series certainly does the job with sources and DACs etc...not necessarily the same effect with amps.

CONCLUSION

Wall Outlet -> Tube/Class-A Amplifier
Power Conditioner -> Source / DAC / Solid State / Non-class-A amplifier


I will still need a conditioner but my amp will not use its "clean" power output
(But if this mild channel/balance shifting continues during the night I may have to revert to the power conditioner at the cost of certain little sonic niggles that I really shouldnt be worrying about
)


Now you guys can have at it
I would like an explanation why balance shifting occurs with bad power. Is it because if inequal + and - swings of the AC waveform?
 
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darkclouds

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It's best to keep your digital separated from your analog. I found that my system really opens up when I run separate power conditioners, one for my amp and one for my cdp. It's about keeping the digital grunge/noise from your cdp from getting into the rest of your equipment.
 
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Welly Wu

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I have found different conclusions. I use the Balanced Power Technologies BP.Jr II Ultra and it uses Common Mode Rejection. When I connected my Ray Samuels Emmeline HR-2 directly to the power conditioner using the PS Audio xStream Plus AC cord, I noticed that the background is much blacker, imaging is much more precise and coherent, and dynamics are well-balanced. When I connect my headphone amplifier directly to the wall, I lose that oily black background and imaging is fuzzier. I also noticed that there seems to be a bit more dynamic swing at both ends of the audio spectrum but it is not nearly as coherent. When I disconnected my power conditioner from my reference system, everything sounds much muddier and it loses "dynamic sparkle." Conclusion: delivering clean and reliable electricity to a reference system is critical (IMHO).
 
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darkclouds

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To answer gsfarrari:

Aren't most power conditioners are just filtering devices that filter out noise created by other components and home appliances?
If you really want clean power, you'll have to resort to a power regenerator.

Welly:

I do believe in clean power. Just take it one step further by separating your digital source from your amp by using two separate power conditioners. Supposedly your digital source are introducing noise to your amp. For what it's worth, I do hear a larger difference when using two separate power conditioners for cdp and amps.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gsferrari
In short - I think a high current, class-A amplifier should be given a dedicated line and should not be restricted with a power conditioner unless absolutely necessary. I dont know if this applies to all power conditioners but the Monster HTS series certainly does the job with sources and DACs etc...not necessarily the same effect with amps.

I will still need a conditioner but my amp will not use its "clean" power output
(But if this mild channel/balance shifting continues during the night I may have to revert to the power conditioner at the cost of certain little sonic niggles that I really shouldnt be worrying about
)



It's incorrect to make assumptions about the Monster HTS Series from one product. Each of them uses slightly different filtering methods. You are talking about the HTS3500, not the rest of the line.

Do you get the same effect using the high current outputs on the Monster with the amp? You should have two outputs that are not current limiting, although a headphone amp really doesn't draw enough current that it should matter.

As has been pointed out, bad things can happen when you run an amp from the same conditioner as digital gear. I have no explanation for this, but I've heard it. If I plug my Creek CD53 into the same Audio Magic Stealth Matrix as my Supra, the sound becomes dark and congested. Moving the Creek to a Monster HTS-1000, the sound opens up and the image increases in size. That worked for me, so I haven't bothered to do a parametric examination of all of the possibilities.
 
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Welly Wu

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Quote:

Originally Posted by darkclouds
To answer gsfarrari:

Aren't most power conditioners are just filtering devices that filter out noise created by other components and home appliances?
If you really want clean power, you'll have to resort to a power regenerator.

Welly:

I do believe in clean power. Just take it one step further by separating your digital source from your amp by using two separate power conditioners. Supposedly your digital source are introducing noise to your amp. For what it's worth, I do hear a larger difference when using two separate power conditioners for cdp and amps.



Darkclouds:

I do not doubt you but I cannot afford it in terms of money or physical space.
 
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darkclouds

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Welly Wu
Darkclouds:

I do not doubt you but I cannot afford it in terms of money or physical space.



Welly, you don't have to spend an outrages amount of money. Something like a PS audio ulitmate outlet for your cdp or amp would do the trick. It's about the price of a nice a power ccable
 
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eyeteeth

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My 'Blue Circle' balanced power conditioner has (supposedly) isolated digital sockets from analog. I phoned the owner Gilbert Yeung before purchase if they were physically separated, he said no, they were electrically separated.

But I confess to not having given it a real hearing test for a long time to verify the claim.
 
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Regretably, power conditioning does more for A/V products than it does for pure audiophile products. The extent of the improvement is also highly dependant about the purity of the power in your dwelling.

During the day when people are using all kinda of appliances I can hear a difference. However, at night when everything is off, the wall socket sounds exactly the same. While I did hear some of the improvement you speak of, I'm quite amazed that you heard them so clearly. At any rate, I'm glad the power conditioner is working for you because that's the main thing.
 
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Welly Wu

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Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmiya
Regretably, power conditioning does more for A/V products than it does for pure audiophile products. The extent of the improvement is also highly dependant about the purity of the power in your dwelling.

During the day when people are using all kinda of appliances I can hear a difference. However, at night when everything is off, the wall socket sounds exactly the same. While I did hear some of the improvement you speak of, I'm quite amazed that you heard them so clearly. At any rate, I'm glad the power conditioner is working for you because that's the main thing.



Davidmiya:

It's funny you wrote that because that is not my experience with my BPT BP.Jr II Ultra. It stays constant no matter how much the electrical load in my home during the morning, afternoon, or night. Of course, a bad thunderstorm that wipes out electricity in my neighborhood is another thing.
However, it never fails to amaze me how pure the sound is and consistent the power is.
 
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tomek

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my power conditioner has 8 outlets. you guys keep talking about keeping your gear seperate from other gear in a power conditioner in order to 'keep the grunge out'.

what is the point of all these outlets then? right now i've got my CDP, amp and my small television hooked up to my power conditioner.

and as for the effectiveness of these things, let me just say that a fellow headfi member sold me his ONEAC because he found it did nothing. I tried it and was astounded that it actually made a difference. remember, i don't believe in a difference until I've done it blind and my girlfriend and I had very little trouble noticing the improvement the conditioner provided.

i got a new pair of speakers that are even better than the older ones and i haven't been able to tell the difference with these. is it the speakers or is it just happen to depend on what the power is like at the time?

i know the imaging really tightened up on the old ones, but i'm using bigger speakers now which many say cannot image as well.
 
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darkclouds

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tomek
my power conditioner has 8 outlets. you guys keep talking about keeping your gear seperate from other gear in a power conditioner in order to 'keep the grunge out'.

what is the point of all these outlets then? right now i've got my CDP, amp and my small television hooked up to my power conditioner.

and as for the effectiveness of these things, let me just say that a fellow headfi member sold me his ONEAC because he found it did nothing. I tried it and was astounded that it actually made a difference. remember, i don't believe in a difference until I've done it blind and my girlfriend and I had very little trouble noticing the improvement the conditioner provided.

i got a new pair of speakers that are even better than the older ones and i haven't been able to tell the difference with these. is it the speakers or is it just happen to depend on what the power is like at the time?

i know the imaging really tightened up on the old ones, but i'm using bigger speakers now which many say cannot image as well.



That's a very valid point. The effectiveness of power conditioning will vary greatly depending on both where you live/your house electric circuit and what components you are using. It seems to me that some components are more susceptible to current variations/fluctuation and interference than others (especially tube equipments).
 
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I wouldn't make sweeping judgments based on your experience with the Monster HTS-3500 Reference. Many so-called "conditioners" (what really defines that term anyways?) are simple and isolation circuits and filters that have been also known to limit dynamics.

How much is the Monster HTS-3500 Reference? Surely there are better products out there in the same price range.

Living in California, I certainly wouldn't trust my gear plugged straight into the mains, especially in multi unit buildings.

-Ed
 
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Zanth

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Tomek, the difference for you is that you have one of the most robust conditioner brands on the planet. The OneAC's are industrial lab grade. NASA uses them on their critical gear. Many hospitals use them where it is absolutely necessary to have clean power. Vector Laboratories uses them.

I have the 1120 model. It needs a 20 amp outlet, draws up to 16 amps and can handle a staggering 3000W, which I believe is impossible to get from a regular home 120V/15 A outlet.

I have my cd player and my amp plugged into this beast. I have switched up where the amp or cd player are plugged into the wall while the other was in the OneAC and each time, it was when BOTH were plugged in that I gained the most in sound quality. Works for me!
 
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tomek

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good answer, now i won't stress.

edit:

Zanth, do you have a speaker amp hooked up to your ONEAC or just a headamp?
 
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