Power conditioners vs Power distributors vs Power regenerators

  1. smodtactical
    I searched online for a good discussion about these different power devices above and how they may impact the sound of an amplifier and a dac. There is not much discussion on this topic (maybe 1 or 2 old threads on another website). Do you guys care to share your experience about the differences and potential benefits of each of these?

    My understanding is distributors are basically like strips. Should they impact sound at all?
    Conditioners are current filters and sometimes can harm dynamics?
    Re-generators rebuild the current wave form and probably help the most depending on the component?

  2. Zenvota
    Distributors only negatively effect sound if they're using something like 20awg wiring(resistance), most hifi distributors will use 12-14awg wiring, sometimes silver plated or even twisted pairs to keep inductance lower. I've read that conditioners often raise the impedance between components which can increase noise generated from leakage currents. I dont have any experience with regenerative power units. I do really like the line noise isolators though. You get 140db of common mode noise reduction, 60db traverse, low impedance connections between components, and surge protection without filters. You might find this thread interesting https://www.computeraudiophile.com/...ed-from-quotlps-1-troubleshootingquot-thread/
    smodtactical likes this.
  3. project86 Contributor
    My personal thoughts/experience:

    Distributor would be something like THIS. It's basically a fancy power strip, with the idea that it extends the power you get from your wall to multiple outlets. Sort of a "do no harm" approach, they generally don't have much going on inside, perhaps a bit of filtering and/or basic surge protection but that's about it. I've encountered some audiophiles who swear that more complex power conditioners "ruin" their dynamics so they like this sort of device. Note that some of these cost tons of money and claim huge improvements to the sound, though I'm not sure of the mechanism by which that might happen.

    Conditioner is a broad term that can mean any number of designs. There is industrial stuff like Furman/Panamax (they are the same company nowadays) which offers line filtering and noise rejection, along with excellent surge protection, for decent pricing (couple hundred dollars to start). Audio folks sometimes use these with varying results.

    Then there are the more advanced designs such as balanced power conditioners which use a huge toroid to decouple power from the grid completely. Examples of these would be Equitech, Torus/Bryston, and some of the higher end Furman such as the 2400 IT. I have had excellent results with these types.

    Lastly, I think the term "regenerator" mainly brings to mind the PS Audio solutions, which are basically amplifiers that make new AC rather than amplifying an audio signal (that's overly simplified, but you get the idea). These are expensive and in my opinion have inherent reliability issues, but they can also make a system sound very nice.

    Which one will work best for you? That really depends on the power grid in your area, along with the wiring in your home, plus your particular mix of audio gear. So.... it's extremely variable from one case to the next. Personally I recommend using something just for the surge protection benefits alone, but which one will work best is up to you.

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