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Power conditioners/regenerators - let's talk about clean power

  1. fliz
    I've got an Exemplar Audio WMTS XPC-2 (msrp $6800) and it's a huge improvement.

    Detail, body, dynamics, space, blackness..

    ..all significantly improved.
  2. fliz
    double post (and I can't figure out how to delete it)
  3. Speedskater
    In most homes, well designed audio equipment doesn't need power conditioners. Almost never is there a need for a regenerator
  4. Jozurr
    My Furman Elite 20 PFi came in. I didn't think I'd notice any improvement but there is some clarity to the overall sound and the background has went pretty black. Empty passages in audio are pretty darn quiet. I also feel that the amps are reacting well to sudden peaks and the audio doesn't sound as "sucked in" in those sections as it used to. The conditioner stays in the chain.
  5. geoffalter11
    nice. i noticed a darker background and improved clarity when I installed my monster mp2000.  I didn't spend a lot, but the dfference was noticeable.
  6. Middy
    Power upgrading can be quite dramatic in some cases and very subtle in others. Where you live, how your house is wired, what's on the line you have..
    I have listened to others advice and dipped my toe in and with this hobby it can add up.
    A balanced isolation transformer from Airlink was the greatest boost powering my amp DAC. Acting like a filter splitting power down the middle an mixing it back removing some noise in opposite phase. The lower the windings capacitance the greater the higher frequency filtering. The Elgar Topaz have the lower capacitance windings but can be a little loud with hum for some.
    The Airlink is quite quiet but a DC FILTER reduced it to almost inaudible and improved the out put of the Transformer.
    I have the Power inspired AG500, this outputs sine wave 230 v. The effect was more subtle but added to the SQ.

    As big an impovement was cleaning up the USB 5v Battery powered did nothing really. The intona helped clean up the incoming signal. But again no free lunch on the cost of the uptone LPS-1.

    I got it in advance of the ISO regen but feeding the intona with a mini 5v hack from IFI woke it up. I have an Sbooster LPS 12V but it took a DC IPURIFIER and the above sine and balanced kit to make it shine over just feeding the internal switching supply of my brooklyn amp dac.
    No giant leaps in fidelity but each step helped. The UK uses a ring main.. a giant looped cable for different parts of the home... some countries don't..
    The time of day effects power snd it does fluctuate in your local area and each upgrade is a factor against what you have.
    I tried custom power cables and can't say I heard anything.
    I have bought one after another experimenting a long chain of improvement. Enough to have splashed out more on a better piece of kit... but I have invested in something that can stay were the urge to buy the latest greatest can remain but this is a backbone to support the next in this musical journey.
    More expensive gear normally has better designed internal power custom made but the cost is high.
    You can only convince people by letting them see for themselves. Cables really put me off wanting to try after feeling ripped off. Pro studios use balanced isolation so that was the push to try it out.. As always if you can borrow one and use it on your setup.
    One thing though, this is great for digital side of your amp or Dac but not driving power amps for speakers so I am told.
    You need just plug direct into the wall.

    I hope this helps a little and at least gets you thinking and researching for yourselves...
    Vinnie Rossi does a super cap supply now
    Not.much help but a start at least.
    Good luck
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  7. davelarz
    I have been curious about power conditioning for years but always shy away from spending the dough because I hear people saying it's very system dependent and also that is has the capacity to degrade the sound. Anyone else experience this?
  8. snellemin
    I'm using a SurgeX and like it. Works great in my old house. Didn't really need one in my previous house. Not bad for a 120 dollar investment.

    WP_20170508_20_00_52_Pro_LI (3).jpg
  9. dcguy73
    For an experiment with power regenerators, I recently bought a giant lithium-ion battery power generator with two IEC outlets that output pure sine waves. I plugged my headphone setup (via Furman power conditioner) into one of the outlets and used the other for a direct connection to my headphone amp. To my surprise, it made a huge difference in the sound.

    I wasn't expecting much, but the audio from my system sounded much cleaner and clearer, even at lower volumes. The amp sounded better when plugged directly into the power generator versus being plugged into the power conditioner. Not sure if the battery portion of the power generator made a difference.

    I live in a condo building that was built in the 1940s. I do not have a dedicated line for my audio equipment. I suspect that while the power in my building is up to code, there is still a lot of noise present, which explains why the regenerator changed the sound of my system for the better.

    As a result of my experiment, I decided to invest in a PS Audio regenerator to provide further upgrades in the sound of my headphone system. Looking forward to testing it out when it arrives.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  10. fliz
    The degradation comes from the current or wattage limits implemented in many of them.

    "System dependent" is a kind way of saying your system may not be resolving enough for it to make enough of a difference to justify the cost.

    If you've got a "cost-no-object" reference system, not getting a power conditioner is a false economy.

    Note: I don't have a dedicated line, but the home was built in 2003 and is a single family home.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  11. jdev
    Upgrading my outlet to the Furutech GTX-D NCF made a huge difference in my system, on par with my DAC upgrade from an STX ii to Gumby. I was running off an outlet that has probably been in this place since it was built in the 70s. I could have maybe gotten away with a cheapo new one from the hardware store for $5, but that's not how this hobby works! Ha.
    I've upgraded to hifi tuning supreme fuses, wireworld power cables, headphone cables to silver and all of those left me wondering how much of a difference is really being made. As soon as I cranked on that Furutech outlet tho, it was epic, like tears rolling down my face beautiful.

    edit: I had Jellyfish power cables when I upgraded to that Furutech outlet and then got the Wireworlds after, so the WireWorlds might have cleaned it up. Never tested it.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  12. fliz
    Did you go straight from a lowe's crap outlet to the furutech or did you try other audiophile outlets on your way to it?

    I asked my stereo builder about them and he said when he compared the Furutech to a porter port, he preferred the porter port (of course ymmv)
  13. jdev
    It was worse than a lowe's crap outlet. It was a whatever crap outlets they had 30 years ago after 30 years of use. I went straight to the Furutech. I didn't even know about the porterhouse, or I'd have tried them because the Furutech NCF was like 6x what the porter costs. Oh yeah and it comes with a special mounting bracket and NCF cover plate for a mere double the price. I skipped those.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  14. fliz
    Heh.. I seriously want those just because they're sexy looking. I was disappointed when my stereo builder said the porter ports sounded better.

    Shame on me. lol.
  15. DelsFan
    I haven't yet had time to compare my new IsoTech IVO 3 Sirius Power Conditioning Strip with its successor (in my house, of course they are made by two different manufacturers), the PS Audio Duet ($125 used). I am behind on some home projects and the edict has come down: no $2150 Dragon Inspire headphone amp or $2999 HE-1000 headphones until "certain criteria are met!" Not that the wife knows it will take $5K plus another $3K for ancillary products such as headphone cable and dedicated circuits, etc. to get the job done. So instead of comparing the two, when the IsoTech unit arrived I just took the Duet out and inserted the IsoTek unit and went on about my other business. But I digress.

    I will say this, and it is only my experience or opinion:
    I've never failed to notice an improvement in sound when adding in a $40 Iron Lung Jellyfish power cord, or a $200 pair of RCA interconnects, or $100 to $300 set of speaker wires - as an upgrade from "nothing".
    - Either the bass tightens up, or the vocals are clearer, or the imaging improves, or there is more space between instruments, or I hear harmonies I almost couldn't hear before. Sometimes what was a guitar, before the upgrade, has become a guitar that is "right there" in the room with me. I know one can be influenced by the money they've just spent on cables, but when I hear something I didn't hear before, after an upgrade, I'm suggesting that isn't due to my biased expectation that more $$ should equal better sound. My advice for anyone who really enjoys recorded music and has anything resembling half-decent equipment is this: unless something strange is going on you should always hear an improvement when upgrading the stock cords or interconnects with a well-received product from a reputable manufacturer.

    If you don't spend at least a little money on these upgrades you are missing out on the next least-expensive best upgrade to your system. There are always used entry-level cords and interconnects and cables for sale from people upgrading to the next level of "accessories." (Or, the level after that, or the level after that, all the way to the level of ridiculous.) You don't have to spend much to improve your good basic system's sound.

    - Years ago I started with a reasonable (depending on your perspective) two channel system starting with a Linn Sondek turntable. My experience started there, and progressed.
    However, at the low end of the scale:
    - In my family room I have (the simple setup of) a 55" Panasonic Plasma placed on top of the second from best ZVOX sound base. I started out with 10 year-old $200/set Wireworld interconnects just because I had them laying around. They offered an improvement one could hear (playing CDs through $169 Panasonic Blu-Ray player).
    - Several months later I saw the PS Audio Duet (four outlets) on Craigslist for $125, so I bought it. You have to listen with and without, to the same music, but the difference in sound quality is not hard to discern at all when you do that.
    - Recently I purchased a new (to me) power cord for the ZVOX sound base, since none of the six I had laying around had the requisite IEC C7 end. I think it was from the Venom series, maybe $125 new. Another small improvement in sound quality. When I get caught up I'm going to purchase some wire and a male end and a female C7 end and try my hand at building a power cord for comparison.
    - Back when I had a two-channel setup (well, I still have it - it just isn't set up!), every ten years or so I'd upgrade speaker wire (once necessitated by replacing my four Advent speakers with something by Mirage, then ultimately Thiel CS2s). Each time there was an improvement from what I had previously been using.
    - OH, yes; I purchased some vibrapods. Under my CD player and tube amp, they provided another tightening up of the bass and sound quality overall.
    - I'm going to say I've never paid more than $200 for any "tweak", and when upgrading from the cheapo cord or cable or interconnect I've never failed to be satisfied with the improvement vs the amount of money invested.

    One last note. A friend came by with his Schitt DAC for me to try, since I'm in the market. Just using my ZVOX sound base and Linn Genki turntable we listened to a few artists, mostly Diana Krall, and made our observations. Of course, with his "good" but not terribly expensive DAC we could hear an improvement.
    Sadly, at the end he asked if I wanted to hear his new Kimber KS series RCA interconnect (between DAC and Sound Base). At $950 for a half meter I was skeptical. It was shocking the difference it made; a decent background (or lack thereof) became completely black, like when you were a kid in the cave and you turned out your flashlight - like in the vacuum of space black.

    It's OK to be skeptical, but don't discount (to yourself, or others) the difference "wire" can make if you've never had the opportunity to compare good... or stupid expensive... cables in a decent system.

    I'm convinced enough that for my new headphone setup I'm going to run two dedicated circuits with audiophile grade 12 gauge wire from my breaker box, terminating with Furutech outlets - and ground wires for each new receptacle not going to my breaker box but out the crawl space vent (the run is short) to their own dedicated copper ground rods ($20 each and a little muscle to drive the rod into the ground - why not?). The current plan is to power my modem from the "regular" outlet, my router or ethernet switch from one dedicated outlet (we can compare with and without the "spare" Duet power conditioner), and my Streamer/DAC and tube-based headphone amplifier from the other dedicated outlet via the new ISOTek Sirius power conditioner.

    Upon completion it will be easy to A/B test the new power delivery system:
    Everything powered from one power strip hooked into the existing outlet
    the new setup described above.

    It will be February before it all gets done, but I'll report back.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    EuropeanEar likes this.

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