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Audioquest Niagara 1200 Review (Power Conditioner/Surge Protector)

MRC01

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... Yes, it sounds worse with the SurgeX. So, it gets plugged in the wall socket, unprotected. ...
A well designed & built device shouldn't need a power regulator. A well regulated power supply is table stakes for a high quality amplifier. When I turn off (or yank the plug) on my power amp while it's playing, the music keeps going for a good 4 seconds or so without any audible change, as its power supply drains. If its supply can handle several seconds of no power at all without any hitch in the music, it can certainly handle the typical voltage & noise variations of standard residential power.
 

mns3dhm

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The best thing about this site is it is willing to both kick ass and name names. My patience with mainstream audio press figures like John Darko, Herb Reichert, Steve Guttenberg, etc., is exhausted. Every one of those fools can't wait to tell you that measurements don't matter (they are personally incompetent to perform them) and that only by listening (specifically THEIR listening) can you tell if an audio product actually is good (again, based on THEIR subjective opinion). Meanwhile, these same 'experts' attach their names and reputations on outrageously priced junk like the power conditioner reviewed here.
 

drplinker

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I know Darko is a shill, but it's surreal to see how he can write all of that with a straight face.

It's not like the power strip is $10, it's fricking $1000....

I am a newbie, and stumbled on to Darko reviews early on and I was impressed after first few reviews. Soon realized that they were all thesaurus sessions on terminology. Door stopper weights on cabinets, PCB layout (usb path too close to ethernet path on circuit board) etc. Only valid statement I have heard is "Studio monitors are audiophile / hi-fi speakers", but otherwise it is all just "new" flavors of snake oil.
 

Somafunk

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All you 'experts', what surge, overvoltage, overcurrent and filtering do you have in front of your precious gear?

Im not an “expert”, just another bum with a mouth and a bog standard BSC degree in electronic/mechanical engineering and only did a few years working for Gates power transmissions on PLC control gear, as for protection/filtering gubbings I use sod all, merely plug equipment into my wall sockets here in the uk and not give a damn about foo science
 

eardiggler

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Are there any situations where these power conditioners are warranted? As Amir mentioned, once the A/C is converted to D/C inside a device there's a lot of filtering that happens anyway. Would this have any noticeable affect on a vintage receiver or tube amplifier or is it same story? I've never owned a power conditioner and I'm glad I never fell for it.
 

Stokdoof

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Power Conditioner/Surge Protector?

In want unconditioned power and all the surges to come out of my hifi system like created by the musicians. No conditioning for me.
 

AudioSceptic

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the audioquest Niagara 1200 Power Conditioner/Filter and Surge Protector together with their NRG-Z3 AC power cords. They are on kind loan from a member. The Niagara 1200 costs US $1,000 and the power cords costs US $200 in 1 meter length and $280 from Amazon including Prime shipping. So the total package tested costs US 1,480.


Company claims in one of its interview videos that AC mains can "distort or mask up to 1/3 of your low level content." And that any differential probe can show it.


Well, I used a differential probe and can't find any such evidence. Even the AC distortion itself is not filtered let alone be 30%. Let's have the company show us this if it is so easy to measure and presumably, they have done so. Why keep such measurement hidden? Wouldn't sell more product?

If you want to spend $1000 on a sturdy box with surge protection, go ahead. But please don't assume it does something for your sound. It does not.

Needless to say, I can't recommend the Niagara 1000 or the RG-Z3 AC power cords.
I'm shocked, I tell ya, truly SHOCKED. ;-)
 

AudioSceptic

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Based on the pictures above, it is beautifully built (apart from the input IEC), contains a ton of surge (MOVs and gas discharge) components, an adjustable (preset) over voltage and plenty of filtering. No DC blocking.

Expensive yes, but I'd be happy to put one in behind my HiFi.
For what purpose?
 

MRC01

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Such people would be arrested in Europe.
Why?
The device does filter power, and that's what it says it does. Its objective specs seem to be substantiated.
Of course, it doesn't change the sound in any measurable way, so its purpose is misleading. But subjective claims cannot be substantiated.
 

respice finem

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Subjectively, anybody can state any kind of "piffle". That's the problem. If they would claim parameters that are "far off" in reality, then maybe - but still, as a German saying goes "wo kein Kläger, da kein Richter" - no plaintiff, no judge...
 

Raindog123

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For what purpose?


Some places - eg, Central Florida - do benefit from overvoltage/surge protection:

zzz.JPG



...still, in this case I would expect a surge protector to be honestly sold as such. Rather than be cloaked into this "the best ever audiophile sound enhancement your money can buy."
 
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Angsty

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A well designed & built device shouldn't need a power regulator. A well regulated power supply is table stakes for a high quality amplifier. When I turn off (or yank the plug) on my power amp while it's playing, the music keeps going for a good 4 seconds or so without any audible change, as its power supply drains. If its supply can handle several seconds of no power at all without any hitch in the music, it can certainly handle the typical voltage & noise variations of standard residential power.
I agree. I have a SurgeX as a high-end surge protector, not a power conditioner. I have not encountered a situation where I thought power conditioning was effective in audio. If I did think I’d need something, I’d probably get a UPS with automatic voltage regulation. I’d be more concerned about voltage sags than “noisy” power.
 

jtwrace

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Some places - eg, Central Florida - do benefit from overvoltage/surge protection:

View attachment 145082


...still, in this case I would expect a surge protector be honestly sold as such. Rather than be cloaked into this "the best ever audiophile sound enhancement your money can buy."
Yeah and that's why I use Zero Surge!

 

jtwrace

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In thunderstorms I go by "pulling your plug at the right time provides protection from power surges, hackers and unwanted pregnancies" :D
That is undoubtedly truly the best practice. A bit unrealistic for some though.
 
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