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Theories on optimising mains power, conditioners, balanced etc

RayDunzl

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#21
Frank Van Alstine adamantly claimed that balanced power was dangerous, as it wouldn’t work with a common safety ground.
I'm still alive here.

I've found no "hot" spots on any of my gear. I don't expect any to develop.

I follow the precaution of not connecting unnecessary items to balanced power.

As I understand it, the outlets are (Dual Pole?) GFCI protected.

I suppose I could run a GFCI triptest on both legs, and see what happens.

"Equi=Tech was started by Martin Glasband to manufacture Symmetrical Power Systems. Interested readers should check out Glasband's November 1994 Mix article "Lifting the Grounding Enigma," also available on Equi=Tech's Web site (www.equitech.com). Glasband is also the author of National Electrical Code Article 530 G, which allows the use of balanced AC for audio and video systems in the U.S."

I can't see all of the labeling on the back of my unit, but it is ETL listed...

Is the ETL Listed Mark legal equivalent to the UL Listed Marks?
Yes. The true legal requirement to test and certify products for sale in the United States is a designation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). An NRTL functions to provide independent evaluation, testing, and certification of any electrically operated or gas- and oil-fired product.

ETL is recognized as an NRTL in the United States and, in a similar capacity, as a Testing Organization and Certifying Body in Canada by the Standards Council of Canada. A product bearing the ETL Listed Mark is determined to have met the minimum requirements of prescribed product safety standards. Moreover, the mark indicates that the production site conforms to a range of compliance measures and is subject to periodic follow-up inspections to verify continued conformance.

What’s the difference between the UL and ETL Listed Marks?
Nothing. Both marks demonstrate that the product that bears it has met the minimum requirements of widely accepted product safety standards as determined through the independent testing of a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). And, as part of that testing regimen, the product manufacturer has agreed to periodic follow-up inspections to verify continued compliance.

---

I'll admit I was a little wary when I first installed it, but no problems or surprises have been noted in the five years I've been using it.
 
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fas42

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#22
I'm not a modder by heart, if something is there, and put there by someone competent in their skillset, I go Hmm... and maybe think about it a while, but seldom change it.

Ask fas42 if you don't like my answer.
Since I work with stuff at the low end of cost, there's plenty of benefit in fiddling with conditioning tricks IME. The power supplies are just enough to get the job done, and allow all the muck through; you don't hear pops and clicks, but a general air of mediocrity about the sound is the subjective impact.

A Philips all-in-one got a lot of treatment by me some years ago, and in the final version of this I was quite pleased with what was achieved ... I used the simple test "probe" of jiggling a mains plug and socket under load, making the connection arc ferociously, on a lead plugged in next to the audio mains plug - injecting vast amounts of noise into the line. A normal audio system would have the speakers spluttering and crackling ferociously from this abuse - the worked over Philips was dead silent ... obviously not valid here, since I didn't do an extensive DBT to make sure my hearing wasn't fooling me ...
 

RayDunzl

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#23
Since I work with stuff at the low end of cost, there's plenty of benefit in fiddling with conditioning tricks IME.
I won't give you a hard time about the hobby aspect if that's what you like to do.

For me, I might run a new DRC measurement and create a new filter at any time, but I haven't touched a cable or opened a box for years.

The TV (if it gets bad enough) will be opened up, and I'll attempt a little hot air solder reflow on some parts in there, but mostly the pixel wide vertical lines it has aren't too obnoxious. I do most of my TV watching with my eyes closed or closing, anyway. But, probably not until I find a likely replacement for it, just in case.
 

Thomas savage

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#24
Your equipment should already have properly designed internal regulation, nothing else required unless as Ethan states ... although you do live in Devon!
Keith
Other than a balanced tx like Ray uses I don't use any ' conditioning '.

There is a few passive filters in my power distribution block my hifi plugs into but it's minimal and came with them!

No crazy shit being used by me Keith!

And Keith! I live in Somerset not Devon, though was born n raised in the south hams.

Some folk might get upset by such confusion :D
 

Sal1950

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#25
All I need some s a simple volt meter? Measure the Rca out puts?

Or am I being spastic?

I use a hard wired balanced tx as well. As I understand it it's impossible for DC to get past it but that don't mean the iso tx could not suffer saturation from the DC. I had hum, but no longer.

If there is DC blockers in your amps could we then take them out? Any advantage to this?
AC volts across the speaker terminals while playing pink noise or a 1k tone will work.
Or a cheap Radio Shack SPL meter would also work, tons for sale dirt cheap on ebay. Everyone should have one of those.
 

Sal1950

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#26
Used to be when you searched on balanced power for audio purposes, there was a thread on a forum somewhere where Frank Van Alstine adamantly claimed that balanced power was dangerous, as it wouldn’t work with a common safety ground.
Now there's a name I haven't heard referenced in a long time, maybe I just been hangin with the wrong home boys. LOL
 

Speedskater

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#27
On GFCI receptacles and breakers. A GFCI works by noting the current on the Send conductor and comparing it to the current on the Return conductor. If those two currents are not equal and opposite (within 5 or 6 mA) then it opens both conductors. The no longer approved GFCI testers worked by leaking current to the Safety Ground. With the S.G. now at 60V rather than 120V the GFCI may not trip when tested with those obsolete testers. The correct test is to use the Test button on the GFCI.
Note that the function of a GFCI has nothing to do with the Safety Ground and are often used on old two wire AC systems.
While that 5mA of leakage may be to a Safety Ground it also might be to a Hot or Neutral in another circuit.
The Safety Ground's primary function is to trip the breaker if there is a fault/short from Hot to chassis. So the Safety Ground protects equipment and the GFCI protects humans. However if you touch both the Hot & Neutral in the same circuit, the GFCI won't see anything wrong.
 

Ethan Winer

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#28
for most people in most situations in the real world and power conditioner is nothing more the a money drain.
Indeed. I can't understand why some people are so obsessed with "power" when it's clearly a non-issue. Either you have hum, or clicks and pops, or you don't. If you do, the fixes are usually simple and inexpensive. The amount of money (and time and effort) spent on "power" products by audio people is amazing.
 

NorthSky

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#29
I see many audiophile's systems without such balanced/regulated power purifiers/conditioners, but with dedicated circuit breakers and fuses.
Like you wouldn't plug your mono power amp with a 3 KVA transformer in it on a 15A circuit.

Question: When you buy say a high-end audio mono power amplifier ($20,000+), does it come with its own balanced power conditioner inside?
 

Sal1950

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#32

FrantzM

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#33
Hi

Power Quality can be an issue in some other realms. Whether is is with HiFi is a question I don't have answers for. My own , albeit several years old opinion is that it makes a difference. On top of that I live in a country where 6 hours of AC a day is a luxury and the Power Quality problems are real and their consequences on the lives and performance of equipment not trivial with voltage dropping to 80 volts to zoom up to 130 Volts at the blink of an eye. We have to have UPS. We use something not well known in Europe or the USA but quite popular elsewhere called an inverter, essentially a battery charger with an DC to AC converter and a transfer switch. To simplify, you put it in the circuit in line with commercial AC and if AC fails it comes up. If AC is present AC charges the batteries. Or one could implement double-conversion, etc ... You get the gist. Consider it as an UPS with very long autonomy not the 10 ~30 mins of traditional UPS but in the range of several hours to days in certain cases..
It seemed to me that my systems sounded better when I used double conversion UPS and I have stuck to that method to this day. I would welcome serious testing of the claims but in my case I need my system to be on UPS anyway so I use a double conversion UPS for the audio system.
I never believed in the PC claims but "feel" that PQ has an impact on the performance of an Hi-Fi system. I can't prove it but would welcome rigorous testing and studies.
 
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#34
This is one area where I bought based upon listening, not measuring nor blind testing. I can not and could not figure out how to do quick A/B testing so didn't; try. I purchased my first real power conditioners (PS Audio products) and had my entire front end on them (not amps). Recognizing I am very subject to expectation bias, I still believe the sound improved by having my stuff plugged into these products.

I now use a PurePower product that is similar (battery backed, power regeneration) and I can see the fluctuations of the incoming power so they do exist. I can not prove they are audible. The two things I do like about this particular product are (1) it has the ability to provide instantaneous power that actually exceeds the power delivery of the wall by using the battery power in addition to the wall power and (2) in the case of a momentary or longer term power loss (very frequent in this part of the country in the summer), my equipment can continue to run (on the batteries) that allows me to do a gentle shutdown. Quite frankly, sound improvement notwithstanding, I can recommend this approach.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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#35
I have used PS Audio Powerplant Premier and P5 products for some time. I have not really heard any significan difference with/without them. YMMV. But, I still use my P5 because I already have it and it seems like it should be a good idea even if I hear no improvement. It does give me some programmable power on/off switching for my system, which is a convenience, if an expensive one.
 

Speedskater

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#36
Both UPS and regeneration units have their own set of engineering challenges. First consider a large power amplifier with a traditional linear DC power supply. The UPS & regen are rated for resistive loads which draw current for almost the complete power line cycle, but the amps power supply draws lots of current for only a brief part of the power line cycle. So you need to use a much larger UPS or regen than the amps ratings would suggest.
Next consider modern power amps with SMPS supplies. SMPS's have a negative input impedance. So if the supply line's voltage decreases the SMPS input current will increase. This is the opposite of just about everything else in the would. So the UPS or regen sensing the increased load will up their voltage at which point the SMPS current will drop. This makes a mess of DC voltage regulation.
 

Ethan Winer

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#37
FYI I plan to do a bunch of measurements on power quality and such. When, is anyone's guess. :)
I know I don't have to tell you this, but there's only one thing that matters: How the output of the connected audio device changes when the "power" product is added. Noises on the power line itself are irrelevant because competent audio gear filters out normal amounts of noise. Just as useless is a listening test. It must be a controlled measurement. Again, I know you know this. :D This is a good situation for a null test with one audio source and two identical devices to test with / without the "power" products in place.

--Ethan
 

Ethan Winer

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#38
When you buy say a high-end audio mono power amplifier ($20,000+), does it come with its own balanced power conditioner inside?
How any sane person could spend that much money on a power amplifier is beyond me. But to answer your question, all competent audio devices include sufficient filtering to accommodate normal amounts of power line noise and disturbance. Note this is different than hum and buzz - that could be due to a design defect, or could be a ground loop caused by, for example, plugging your preamp into one AC circuit and the power amp into a different outlet on a different circuit.

--Ethan
 

NorthSky

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#39
How any sane person could spend that much money on a power amplifier is beyond me. But to answer your question, all competent audio devices include sufficient filtering to accommodate normal amounts of power line noise and disturbance. Note this is different than hum and buzz - that could be due to a design defect, or could be a ground loop caused by, for example, plugging your preamp into one AC circuit and the power amp into a different outlet on a different circuit.

--Ethan
You Ethan, me Bob, and many of us we all know that some people even spend more than twenty grands for a mono block amplifier.
So, if they have to buy an audio power conditioner/purifier on top of that, it tells us where the hi-end audio stands for some.
...Which is the supremacy of all ends, the audiophile pursuit of the ultimate consecration. It's like a new Olympus god from the Greek mythology. :)
Hey, some folks take their music very seriously.

Yes, some of us consider that being extremist, but not all of us. I can give you some examples if you want, would you want me to? :)
 
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