190 posts / 0 new
Last post
ifor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 03/12/2002 - 11:54
Posts: 979
Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

I know this might end in a fight (I hope it doesn't) and I know it's been covered before, but because I find it so much less tedious to follow a new thread rather than wade through older ones, I'm opening up the subject again.

it was the reference to poor mains quality in the current Steve Brock thread that interested me. So, all you knowledgable and not so knowledgeable guys out there, please enlighten me.  What do blocks, conditioners and regenerators do?  What experience with them do you have?  Are they likely to improve the performance of a system that doesn't have an obvious problem like Steve's humming amp? Etc, etc?

Sir Lemon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/09/2013 - 17:25
Posts: 41
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

It really depends on the quality of the PSU used for the Amp in question. A simple truth, usually omitted in such discussions, states that a sufficiently effective, well designed and built PSU will isolate your Amp (or any other part) well enough that mains cables/conditioners/regenerators/occultists/etc will make no difference whatsoever, and that's not simply a theoretical truth, such Amps are being built and sold today and span the entire price spectrum (from entry level AM Audio gear, to ultra expensive Robert Koda amps). That's not to say that all this "mains quality" related gear is useless, most conditioners will come with protections that can save your gear from severe spikes and such (rare events though). Of course, that's done with some fairly basic stuff, you don't need to spend an arm and a leg for it, it doesn't have to say "Audiophile" on it.

Back to the original question, most gear sold today isn't built well enough to completely negate Mains effects, that's why on many systems this stuff does make a difference, from conditioners to cables. However, if you want to address that in smart way (and not the audiophool way), you buy an inverter and completely isolate your entire system from the network (and a quality one can be had for a couple of grand... of course, industrial looks and all the rest... just as effective as a thirty grand Hi-Fi wonder mains regenerator, but without the granite/copper housing and insulting literature).

abacus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 23 hours ago
Joined: 24/09/2008 - 23:16
Posts: 484
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

The mains electrical system is not very clean (Spikes voltage changes etc.) and other connected equipment can also cause spikes etc. on the line, therefore a good surge suppresser can reduce these spikes considerably meaning that the equipment power supply has less work to do. (All quality power supplies have suppression built in to it, however the less work it has to do the longer it will last)

A voltage regulator (As fitted in quality backup power supplies) also constantly adjusts the voltage to maintain a constant level (The more expensive tend to run closer tolerances) no matter what the main does. (You would be surprised how much the voltage of the mains varies during the day)

The cleanest supply is one that uses the mains just to charge a battery and the battery provides the output (Which with modern batteries will be pretty much a constant until almost total depletion) after it has been converted to ac.

Normally an anti-surge block is all that is needed for most AV unless you have a really dodgy power system. (You’re out in the sticks for example)

Note the above 2 also have anti surge built in.

Hope this helps

Bill

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12400
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

I am happy to pass on my thoughts and findings, in case they may help.

Your options are:

1. Conditioners / Filters

2. Mains re-generators

3. Balanced mains transformers

4. Put your hifi onto a separate circuit, paying attention to the quality of the earth.

 

In general..

- The effectiveness is situation and equipment dependent.

- There is no guarantee that you will like the effect.

- There needs to be a problem to sort.

- IMO. Conditioning can not be done cheaply and well, especially with power hungry components.

- The first thing to do, if possible, is to install a dedicated circuit.

 

My experience.

- I found the Tacima squashed the dynamics of the amp.

- I didn't like the effect of an Isol8 (re-generator), which gave the sound an unnatural brightness and sheen.

- I did like what the very expensive Isotek Super Titan did, but its price was very prohibitive.

- The best piece of kit that I've come across are the Atlas Balanced Transformers (again, they're not cheap), which seemed to improve the sound without altering its basic character.

- Power hungry kit (like an amp) is often best plugged straight into the wall.

- Find a helpful dealer who will advise and let you try stuff in your system

- Anything between the wall socket and your piece of kit has the potential of making things worse, especially if there isn't a problem to start with.

- Quality of mains is key to getting the best from your system.

- RFI and EMI can have a detrimental effect and so should if possible be minimized.

 

Here is what Atlas Cables have to say, along with an explanation of their Transformer: http://www.atlascables.com/assets/files/pdfs-technical/Atlas_Cables_Vol2__vs4.pdf

 

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

TrevC's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 12/06/2013 - 10:07
Posts: 761
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

The effects on sound / picture quality per se are entirely imaginary. Don't bother. A mains surge protection socket is a good idea though.

a91gti's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/07/2009 - 09:54
Posts: 652
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

I am staying out of the melee on this one but have to disagree with the idea that AM Audio is entry level pricing.

Upwards of £1000 for one black box is not entry level for most people.

drummerman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 18/01/2008 - 21:12
Posts: 5064
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

I use Tacima's on both my systems with no detrimental effects. Quite the opposite subjectively.

Regards

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12400
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

drummerman wrote:

I use Tacima's on both my systems with no detrimental effects. Quite the opposite subjectively.

Regards

Which is why there are no hard and fast rules, and a "suck it and see" approach (on a demo basis if item is expensive), is the best way forward.

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Sospri's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 20 hours ago
Joined: 23/03/2011 - 10:22
Posts: 362
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

I tried a Tacima on my system, and as cno says "squashed the dynamics out of the amp"............

TrevC's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 12/06/2013 - 10:07
Posts: 761
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

Sospri wrote:

I tried a Tacima on my system, and as cno says "squashed the dynamics out of the amp"............

 

Well of course it didn't. What nonsense.

Sospri's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 20 hours ago
Joined: 23/03/2011 - 10:22
Posts: 362
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

TrevC wrote:

Sospri wrote:

I tried a Tacima on my system, and as cno says "squashed the dynamics out of the amp"............

 

Well of course it didn't. What nonsense.

What a stupid post,

unless you have heard it in my system what  on earth qualifies you say such moronic thing..............

matthewpiano's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 23/11/2007 - 22:23
Posts: 8308
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

a91gti wrote:

I am staying out of the melee on this one but have to disagree with the idea that AM Audio is entry level pricing.

Upwards of £1000 for one black box is not entry level for most people.

Totally agree.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rega Apollo R - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

ifor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 03/12/2002 - 11:54
Posts: 979
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

This is interesting and might remain so if Trev and his ilk stay away.

matt49's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 07/04/2013 - 12:07
Posts: 2064
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

ifor wrote:

This is interesting and might remain so if Trev and his ilk stay away.

Unfortunately people feel the need to be rude to one another about mains cables etc on Sundays. It may be something to do with the decline of organized religion.

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

drummerman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 18/01/2008 - 21:12
Posts: 5064
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

CnoEvil wrote:

drummerman wrote:

I use Tacima's on both my systems with no detrimental effects. Quite the opposite subjectively.

Regards

Which is why there are no hard and fast rules, and a "suck it and see" approach (on a demo basis if item is expensive), is the best way forward.

 

Not least because a lot depends on the quality of your mains.

Regards

ifor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 51 min ago
Joined: 03/12/2002 - 11:54
Posts: 979
RE: Mains Blocks / Conditioners / Regenerators

CnoEvil wrote:

I am happy to pass on my thoughts and findings, in case they may help.

My experience.

- I found the Tacima squashed the dynamics of the amp.

Cno, thanks for you comprehensive reply. Have you any idea why the Tacima might have done this?

Pages

Log in or register to post comments