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£1,500 Russ Andrews Ultra Purifier Block Ag teardown

JayGilb

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Looks like a fancy power strip with a small pcb of unknown function and nothing else.
The daisy chained wiring is nothing I would use.

Maybe it the whole thing was dipped and bathed into a cryogenic bath where it was given magical properties.
It's -22F (-30C) outside my house this morning, I should take my equipment out for a stroll this morning and see if it sounds better
when it thaws out in a week.
 

JayGilb

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Here is another "review": https://www.techradar.com/reviews/a...uss-andrews-ultra-purifier-block-93971/review

From the article: "What really justifies the price, however, is the inclusion inside the housing of a Russ Andrews 'Ultra Purifier' filter circuit.
This unit, available separately for £255, is a 'shunt' filter that has no components between the supply and your kit, and it features not only the usual capacitors (lots of them!) but an unusual spike-clamping component that costs a lot and claims to be particularly effective in preventing over-voltage spikes from getting through.

We failed to find any spikes for it to clamp, but we did prove that the Ultra Purifier cuts noise on the mains above about 5kHz.

Sonically it had a useful effect on various source and amplifier components we tried, improving image focus by a significant degree and seeming to reduce the level of 'hash' around the sound. There's no effect on tonality, but the precision of instruments, particularly those with transient-rich sound, is audibly improved. Overall, a recommended upgrade.
"
 

sarumbear

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I froze the frame where the questionable PCB is displayed. Image below. It shows mains power being fed to a circuit where a low voltage IC is present. There is no transformer in place. I have never heard of an IC that can work with 320VDC (rectified 230VAC). I can only guess that IC is not connected to anywhere and that PCB is just for show. It looks like a fraudulent exercise.

Screenshot 2022-01-07 124849.png
 

tonycollinet

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I froze the frame where the questionable PCB is displayed. Image below. It shows mains power being fed to a circuit where a low voltage IC is present. There is no transformer in place. I have never heard of an IC that can work with 320VDC (rectified 230VAC). I can only guess that IC is not connected to anywhere and that PCB is just for show. It looks like a fraudulent exercise.

View attachment 177392
If it is a very low power IC, it might be powered via just a resistor dropper/zener.

EDIT: in fact looking at the tracks, something like that is happening. It even looks like it might have originally been a resistor divider then one of the resistors (R2) replaced by a zener without the component reference on the board being updated. You can almost see the complete PSU: mains rectified onto capacitor. +HV DC from cap through resistor to zener, then back to -DC.
 
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DSJR

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Back in th elate 90's just before Russ decided to sell directly and sack all his dealers, we used to sell his six way power strip. In th eLondon West End store i was at for a short while at this time, it really did make a sonic difference. The sound appeared to be much less murky on the Krells and so on we had there and in the company of such amps costing many thousands of pounds even then, a couple of hundred for said power strip wasn't considered unreasonable (that's the thing about the high end of audio, everything has to be similarly expensive to make a system - no cheap Topping dacs, Schiit preamps and so on as they'd be considered a bottleneck even if they definitely aren't!).

This is something I'd love to see technically reviewed, but no idea what that circuit board is doing.
 

sarumbear

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If it is a very low power IC, it might be powered via just a resistor dropper/zener.

EDIT: in fact looking at the tracks, something like that is happening. It even looks like it might have originally been a resistor divider then one of the resistors (R2) replaced by a zener without the component reference on the board being updated. You can almost see the complete PSU: mains rectified onto capacitor. +HV DC from cap through resistor to zener, then back to -DC.
What is the effect if that is the case? The current drained by the PCB will be miniscule to the currents involved in the mains section to have any shunting effect.
 

sergeauckland

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We failed to find any spikes for it to clamp, but we did prove that the Ultra Purifier cuts noise on the mains above about 5kHz.
So does the mains transformer and reservoir capacitors in every bit of equipment attached, and without any additional cost.

Honestly, when will this sort of crap stop?

S.
 

simbloke

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I wonder what that IC is supposed to be doing. Bet the label has been rubbed off! In fact you could put any old thing there, not going to matter is it?
 

JayGilb

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So does the mains transformer and reservoir capacitors in every bit of equipment attached, and without any additional cost.

Honestly, when will this sort of crap stop?

S.
Exactly. I know that Amir has tested the AC output of a few of these power conditioners and reported that the difference is negligible or even worse then the incoming AC, but it would be fun to see him scope the internal DC coming from an amp's PSU.
 

rdenney

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I froze the frame where the questionable PCB is displayed. Image below. It shows mains power being fed to a circuit where a low voltage IC is present. There is no transformer in place. I have never heard of an IC that can work with 320VDC (rectified 230VAC). I can only guess that IC is not connected to anywhere and that PCB is just for show. It looks like a fraudulent exercise.

View attachment 177392
Proximity Effect.

Rick “have used that term to laugh at audio BS since the 70’s” Denney
 

voodooless

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I froze the frame where the questionable PCB is displayed. Image below. It shows mains power being fed to a circuit where a low voltage IC is present. There is no transformer in place. I have never heard of an IC that can work with 320VDC (rectified 230VAC). I can only guess that IC is not connected to anywhere and that PCB is just for show. It looks like a fraudulent exercise.

View attachment 177392
You actually can hook up stuff without a transformer. Look at how one can connect a LED to 230 VAC.
1641586559744.gif

Obviously a very sh*tty way, but is does work for things needing a few mA and not too picky on exact voltage.
 

voodooless

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Have you never seen inside a LED bulb or phone charger...
Phone chargers still have a transformer, as do many LED bulbs. The more modern once's consisting of strands of micro-LED might even have no additional electronics if there are enough LED’s in series. At least these look like old fashioned filament lamps.
 
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