Have your say & ask the experts!

how important is clean power...really ?!?

41 replies [Last post]
bass-boy68's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Jun 2012
Posts: 42

hi guys , im interested to hear any thoughts on the usage of power conditioners and power cables  for home theatre and hi-fi setups...I use a few decent power cables but am mindful of for me at least , large outlays of cash for small percentage gains in performance . i try to keep it proportional in respect to cost of equipment to cable ratio. I have read and heard that one should accomadate 10% to 20% of total costs towards cabling...I have equipment that im thinking of adding a better power cable to inhance PQ performance.

 

cheers guys beauty, eh

__________________

bass-boy68

Samsung PS50C7000-8000 , Yamaha rx-v1900 , Panasonic DMP BDT-300 , Velodyne SPL-1200r , PS3-80GB , Ipod Touch 32GB and Ipod Classic 80GB via Apple Dock , Sennheiser 518 Headphones , New Zealand made Image Loudspeakers ( 412 fronts , AVC 200 center and Studio Reference Monitors on B&W Stands ) , Eichmann AC Power Cables , 4 Monster M2000 2m HDMI Cables , QED Bi-Wire Silver Anniversary Speaker Cables for all Fronts and Center , Monster XPNW Speaker Cable for Rear's , QED 6m Subwoofer Reference Cable with QED Y-SW Connector , Chord Ichord 3.5 to 2 RCA , harmony one remote

RickyDeg's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Posts: 647
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

Good topic!   Smile

I'd say it greatly depends on ones equipment and/or how "dirty" the powersupply is. It can differ a great deal from system to system, from home to home. But in essence I'll just say this for my system; I could not do without the excellent ISOTEK EVO3 SIRIUS and ISOTEK OPTIMUM power cable. The combo have lowered the noisefloor and brought new levels of clarity. Plus the 6 sockets benifit all my a/v components. When switching back to a "normal" powerstrip with standard cables thats when I truly notice the difference - it sounds more "grainy" and less "vivid". Yes, it might be subtle, but at this level even small nuances of improvements can be worth the money.

A good friend of mine who have similar electronics borrowed my ISOTEK gear over a weekend to laborate, and I was there when he connected it up. We didn't notice the kind of improvements that were evident at my place. He lives in a house with his own powersupply, I live in an apartment building sharing powersupply with 11 other residents. In this case that might have been part of the reason? You just don't know for sure.

People who automatically write off cables and power conditioning equipment as 'snake oil' have simply not experienced differences first hand. I'd still say its important to have a level head about this sort of accessory, and definitely try at home before buying!

__________________

Current A/V equipment:

NUFORCE AVP-18 (processor/DAC) | NUFORCE MCH-300SEC7 (multichannel amplifier) | MONITOR AUDIO APEX (5.2 speaker system) | SAMSUNG LE-52B755 (tv) | DENON DBT-3313UD (disc transport) | NAIM UNITISERVE (music server) | SUPRA (cabling) | LOGITECH HARMONY 900 (universal remote) | NORDOST PULSAR POINTS (isolation feet)

relocated's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 965
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

I have had excellent results in the past with specific power cables and blocks.  My mains is now excellent, as the up a big pole step down transformer is a little behind my house and I'm first in line for the power but I still use the gear just in case it helps a tiny amount.

First step for many people is to have an electrician put in a dedicated spur/loop for the audio/video and is probably the most cost effective.  Don't use conditioners on power amps is the general consensus.

Money invested in good quality actives would probably cure you of cable worries.

__________________

Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40  also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]

and Grado SR80i

ellisdj's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1087
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

Tacima CS929 worth every penny of £25 you can get them for - don't see need to spend any more very good product

__________________

Meridian G61R, HD621, Bryston 9BSST

Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply

Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference

Monitor Audio GX100, GXC150, GXFX, SVS SB13 ULTRA (set with hard knee house curve)

JCAT USB and Sata, Graham Slee Spatia (SC) Graham Slee Lautus Digital / Analogue IC x 9

chudleighpaul's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2010
Posts: 1375
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

ellisdj wrote:

Tacima CS929 worth every penny of £25 you can get them for - don't see need to spend any more very good product

+1

Spend any more and it is a waste of money.

 

relocated's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 965
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

So Bass etc.,

Have you read any of the replies to your post because you haven't had the good grace to acknowledge any of them?  It would be nice to know whether you and WE have wasted our time.  shame on you

__________________

Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40  also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]

and Grado SR80i

cheeseboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 864
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

if your mains power is that bad, then surely getting a ups which smooths out the mains and properly conditions it is going to do a lot more wonders, and protect your kit, over expensive mains cables.

cheeseboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 864
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

if your mains power is that bad, then surely getting a ups which smooths out the mains and properly conditions it is going to do a lot more wonders, and protect your kit, over expensive mains cables.

Chewy's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

cheeseboy wrote:

if your mains power is that bad, then surely getting a ups which smooths out the mains and properly conditions it is going to do a lot more wonders, and protect your kit, over expensive mains cables.

 

Agreed! If you are going to go down the route of investing quite a bit of cash in mains cleaning products from the likes of Isotek, then a mains regenerator is the better option. A mains filter is a half-fix of the problem, whereas a regenerator will at least give you a pure and perfect AC sinewave free from all distortion or interference.

These units are excellent value for money, have similar specs to the so called 'audiophile' models from PS Audio etc, and a decent amount of available current output to support power amps also:

http://upsmart.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=98_99&products_id=1742

 

 

__________________

JVC X70 | Beamax 105" M-Tensioned Screen | Aerial Acoustics LR5's, CC5 and 4 x SR3's (7.2) | 2 x Paradigm Signature Sub 1's | Datasat RS20i | 3 x AB Systems 11000SE Monobloc amps + 6500SE 6-Channel amp | Oppo BDP-95 | NAD M50 | 24TB Synology 2413+| Netgear NeoTV 550 | PS3 | Darbee DVP5000 | Sonos Multi-room system

cheeseboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 864
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

yep, even a cheap model like this http://www.ebuyer.com/81906-apc-sc420i-smart-ups-420va-260w-serial-with-... at 115 quid has auto voltage regulation so keeps the voltage steady.

 

Cheaper than a couple of "audiophile" mains cables...

Chewy's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

cheeseboy wrote:

yep, even a cheap model like this http://www.ebuyer.com/81906-apc-sc420i-smart-ups-420va-260w-serial-with-... at 115 quid has auto voltage regulation so keeps the voltage steady.

 

Cheaper than a couple of "audiophile" mains cables...

That model would be fine for protecting your system, but I don't think it would do much for mains noise and interference, its still a direct connection to the mains supply with some voltage filtering - but as you say, it would probably do more than your average power cord upgrade.

The point with a mains regerator is that the incoming mains AC feed is converted to DC, and then back again into AC in a perfect AC wave form. All mains noise, voltage and wave form irregularities are inherently removed by the very nature of the two conversion steps.

Some higher spec UPS units do this as standard, but they tend to be a bit big and noisy.

 

__________________

JVC X70 | Beamax 105" M-Tensioned Screen | Aerial Acoustics LR5's, CC5 and 4 x SR3's (7.2) | 2 x Paradigm Signature Sub 1's | Datasat RS20i | 3 x AB Systems 11000SE Monobloc amps + 6500SE 6-Channel amp | Oppo BDP-95 | NAD M50 | 24TB Synology 2413+| Netgear NeoTV 550 | PS3 | Darbee DVP5000 | Sonos Multi-room system

jaxwired's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Feb 2009
Posts: 1750
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

I agree with "The Audio Critic":

Just about all that needs to be said on

this subject has been said by Bryston in

their owner’s manuals:

“All Bryston amplifiers contain

high-quality, dedicated circuitry in the

power supplies to reject RF, line spikes

and other power-line problems. Bryston

power amplifiers do not require specialized

power line conditioners. Plug the

amplifier directly into its own wall

socket.”

What they don’t say is that the same

is true, more or less, of all well-designed

amplifiers. They may not all be the Brystons’

equal in regulation and PSRR, but

if they are any good they can be plugged

directly into a wall socket. If you can afford

a fancy power conditioner you can

also afford a well-designed amplifier, in

which case you don’t need the fancy

power conditioner. It will do absolutely

nothing for you. (Please note that we

aren’t talking about surge-protected

power strips for computer equipment.

They cost a lot less than a Tice Audio

magic box, and computers with their peripherals

are electrically more vulnerable

than decent audio equipment.)

The biggest and stupidest lie of

them all on the subject of “clean” power

is that you need a specially designed

high-priced line cord to obtain the best

possible sound. Any line cord rated to

handle domestic ac voltages and currents

will perform like any other. Ultrahigh-

end line cords are a fraud. Your

audio circuits don’t know, and don’t

care, what’s on the ac side of the power

transformer. All they’re interested in is

the dc voltages they need. Think about

it. Does your car care about the hose

you filled the tank with?

 

 

__________________

Music Server -> Wyred4Sound DAC2dsdSE -> PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium -> Wyred4Sound St 1000 mkii -> PMC IB2s -> Chord Cables

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 2124
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

+1 to Jax (and Bryston and Audiocritic).

Chewy's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

AlmaataKZ wrote:

+1 to Jax (and Bryston and Audiocritic).

 

I don't disagree with either of you guys - I sit on the fence on this one, but if someone is going to spend money on mains conditioning, they are better off with a regenerator than expensive mains cables and conditioners.

I have to say though using Bryston as an example against mains conditioning may not be the best choice given that the company makes three of their own units?!:

http://bryston.com/products/other/BIT15.html

__________________

JVC X70 | Beamax 105" M-Tensioned Screen | Aerial Acoustics LR5's, CC5 and 4 x SR3's (7.2) | 2 x Paradigm Signature Sub 1's | Datasat RS20i | 3 x AB Systems 11000SE Monobloc amps + 6500SE 6-Channel amp | Oppo BDP-95 | NAD M50 | 24TB Synology 2413+| Netgear NeoTV 550 | PS3 | Darbee DVP5000 | Sonos Multi-room system

wireman's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Aug 2009
Posts: 322
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

Chewy wrote:
I have to say though using Bryston as an example against mains conditioning may not be the best choice given that the company makes three of their own units?!

Yes, it's funny how Bryston have spent their entire lives ridiculing the idea that any form of power conditioner could in any way make any difference whatsoever... until they want to market a range themselves (or rather to buy them in from a third party and put their own faceplate and price-tag on it!)! There'll undoubtedly be Bryston Mains Cables to follow shortly...

__________________

AudioVisual: Denon 4310/2500, Apex 5.1, Panasonic 50GT50, Samsung DT7800, Acer Revo Media PC running XBMC Eden Live TV edition, WD 3TB NAS HiFi: Exposure 13,21,16 monos, Levinson 390s, SME 10/Lyra, Magnum 102, Usher 8871 Headphones: Stax 006/404, Beyer 990 Fluff: Mana, RAKords/gizmos, QRT, PureAV, Harmony 1100

Paul.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 2842
RE: how important is clean power...really ?!?

Not all countries have a nice stable grid like we do in the uk.  It's understandable that ups and what not are popular in certain areas of the US where they suffer huge fluctuations and brown-outs.

__________________

Paul's system thread

(where the photos live) Paul's Flickr page