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Theories on optimising mains power, conditioners, balanced etc

TBone

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#41
Ethan, lucky for me its not you who determines or justifies my"overspending" habits; some of us simply don't have the luxury of being right all the time.
 

CEDUP

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#43
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.
Running Balanced AC power in a residential environment violates the NEC , it's used in commercial settings, studios etc, where the components are labeled properly, so no one gets surprised, and you must use equipment designed for it. Using Balanced Ac power on home hi fi stuff will kill you, you are energizing the Neutral leg as well as the hot leg, big no no. That's why there is a hot, neutral, neutral is the grounded conductor, it is not meant to be hot, so the chassis is hot, lots of leakage current ZAP! Especially if you have a 2 wire cord, with no ground, ZAP!
 

CEDUP

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#45
Read the specs, there is a big difference between some crap consumer stuff and legit commercial stuff that is built to a standrd, UL ETL, etc...Specs matter...
 

Sal1950

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#46
Local Duke Energy power provider offers some sort of full home surge protection at the meter for a installation + monthly charge on the power bill. A number of folks in the area have jumped on this but as I see it, it's no more than a insurance policy hustle. :mad: I can't find any technical info on the box they attach to the meter outside. Anyone here have any knowledge of these?
https://www.duke-energy.com/home-services/surge/surge-protection
 

Palladium

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#47
Here we are talking about power conditioners of five digit price tags, while I got flamed hard by PC building cheapskates when I suggested paying ~40 bucks more for computer PSUs with better build quality, efficiency and warranty length is a good idea. :rolleyes:
 

RayDunzl

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#48

Sal1950

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#49
Yep, I think that's what it is, or something like it.
When you think big picture, if this a viable protection product, why isn't it just included on the installation of everyone's service and not a extra charge addition. If you know you can make your service safer for the end user why not ----------------
Money Money Money Money Money
 

CEDUP

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#50
Running Balanced AC power in a residential environment violates the NEC , it's used in commercial settings, studios etc, where the components are labeled properly, so no one gets surprised, and you must use equipment designed for it. Using Balanced Ac power on home hi fi stuff will kill you, you are energizing the Neutral leg as well as the hot leg, big no no. That's why there is a hot, neutral, neutral is the grounded conductor, it is not meant to be hot, so the chassis is hot, lots of leakage current ZAP! Especially if you have a 2 wire cord, with no ground, ZAP!
Of course you have no problem with blanced power on consumer products designed not for balanced power, UNTIL u do..when a component shorts to the chassis or such. Consumer products for houshold use are NOT designed for balanced power. In residential environment . you are putting 60VAC on the nuetral side of the transformer, Big violation
 

trl

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#51
Local Duke Energy power provider offers some sort of full home surge protection at the meter for a installation + monthly charge on the power bill. A number of folks in the area have jumped on this but as I see it, it's no more than a insurance policy hustle. :mad: I can't find any technical info on the box they attach to the meter outside. Anyone here have any knowledge of these?
https://www.duke-energy.com/home-services/surge/surge-protection
Here's what's inside a cheap Bachmann surge protector:

FullSizeRender (8).jpg

Two pairs of packed VDR (varistor) + Thermistor, so when the VDRs will overheat the thermistors will disconnect the mains or at least lower the mains voltage with few dozens of volts, to minimise the power drawn by the VDRs. Well, this can support a one time surge perhaps, but will offer a pretty decent protection when lightning strikes.

You can also see in the right-bottom a gas discharge device that will "consume" the extra energy coming from the mains, most likely when a lightning strike occurs.

The two LEDs are for showing if there is voltage on your mains and if the varistors are good or broken (you need to replace the device if varistors are broken).

These devices might probably be serialised or even paralleled, all it counts is to let let draw the extra energy coming from mains. If I remember well from few years back when I dismantled this Bachmann devices, the VDR's will start it's work when the mains voltage will increase over 350V or something, so it won't work when mains voltage will increase from let's say 230V to 265V.

A better protection would be surge arresters combined with correct fuses and with an iMSU in front of them (will trip when voltage will increase over 275V, e.g.: iMSU A9A26500) from Schneider or other brands, installed directly in your mains electricity panel by an authorised electrician (few hundred bucks and will protect your entire home for many years).

I personally have iMSU, but not surge arresters (not enough space left on the rail of my electrical panel). So, I'm using like 10 x Bachman surge arresters placed in different power outlets from home.

Hope this helps,
Raul.
 

trl

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#52
Running Balanced AC power in a residential environment violates the NEC , it's used in commercial settings, studios etc, where the components are labeled properly, so no one gets surprised, and you must use equipment designed for it. Using Balanced Ac power on home hi fi stuff will kill you, you are energising the Neutral leg as well as the hot leg, big no no. That's why there is a hot, neutral, neutral is the grounded conductor, it is not meant to be hot, so the chassis is hot, lots of leakage current ZAP! Especially if you have a 2 wire cord, with no ground, ZAP!
I see your point, but technically if you touch Live you can die (at least in 230V areas), but if you touch any of the two wires after a balanced power you only get half of the mains voltage (115V only), so you might not die after all. :) However, the risk hazard doubles, so indeed lot of care is needed. Also, not sure the RCCB devices from the mains electrical panel will trip when touching a wire after a balanced power unit, because the power drawn by your hand and Earth will cut in half, so you need to support a 60mA of current to trip a 30mA RCD/RCCB device, which is kind not safe anymore (especially if kids involved)!

However, when choosing a simple isolation transformer instead of balanced power, then if you touch any of the two wires after an isolation transformer you will not die because the energy is not related to the Earth, it's just between the two wires (like a battery). Instead, you need to touch both wires to get electrocuted. I guess it might be safer to use an isolation transformer under some scenarios, and the outer case could be grounded to Earth if you feel like. I think RCCB will not trip if you get electrocuted when touching the two wires after the isolation transformer. :(

Isolation transformers and balanced power are usually purchased by audiophiles that want to get rid of ground loops, but is much cheaper and safer to buy a Hum-X in combination with a RCD/RCCB. There are also power stripes having RCCB device built-in.

My personal thoughts in regard with the safety aspect: RCD/RCCB (10...30mA) can save lives for sure, that's a proven fact and everyone of us should have such a device installed in their homes! Such devices will work even if your home has no grounding at all, yes...on a two-wires power coming from your electricity distribution lines will still save your life!
 

amirm

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#53
You can also see in the right-bottom a gas discharge device that will "consume" the extra energy coming from the mains, most likely when a lightning strike occurs.
Lightning has so much energy, it will vaporize that device in an instant. There is no hope of containing lightning.
 

trl

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#54
I want to understand the various merits of mains power conditioning. I use a balanced tx but this caused problems introducing high gain! Why did that happen?

What's the best approach for your advantage audiophile? What's going on between the power socket and your system.

Try not argue, this is a resource thread not a pissing contest:)

Thanks:)
A schematic was presented here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...onditioner-paul-chappell-uk.6501/#post-165605.

A two-stages EMI/RFI filter based on chokes and capacitors that should get rid of any possible noises starting 100-150KHz and up to few MHz combined with a noise measuring device and a power strip built-in. The main advantage of such a device is that the inside coils are very powerful and able to sustain 10...16A or sometimes more. A similar EMI/RFI filter purchased from Mouser/Digikey usually has few Amps only and it's difficult to integrate it with a power stripe (also safety concerns as well), but if it has a double-stage filter inside then it should do about the same job. Just need to read the datasheet of that specific device and see the graphs with noise suppression.

I'm still waiting for someone with a crappy mains in his home to do some measurements of the AC lines in front vs. after the power conditioner. :)

P.S.: Sometimes the expectations coming from a cheap filter are way too high, as per this customer here giving 1-star rating to a one-stage EMI/RFI filter: https://www.amazon.com/product-revi...e=UTF8&filterByStar=one_star&showViewpoints=0
March 21, 2016
Verified Purchase
"Didn't do a thing!".
 

trl

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#55
Lightning has so much energy, it will vaporize that device in an instant. There is no hope of containing lightning.
It will die within few uS for sure, but it might make a difference between a flaming varistor and a non-flaming one, although I can't test this. :)
 
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#56
In amongst my gear I have a Yamaha CR-1020 Receiver that I bought with me when we moved back from the U.S. to Australia, I bought a step down transformer that converts our 240ac to 120vac so I could use the Yammie. Can't say I heard any difference in sound quality at all. So I don't think adding another transformer in between the wall socket and the one inside your amp is the answer.

Look inside your amp you will see a transformer, diodes, voltage regulators, huge filtering capacitors etc, so the circuitry in your amp is receiving power isolated from the mains already, I really can't see how placing another transformer before that one will do anything at all. A surge protector is a different matter if you live in an area with power surges, when in Houston Texas we had them regularly for some reason, here in Australia none so far.
 
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trl

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#57
An isolation transformer might remove some hum noise sometimes, at least when speaking about powered SMPS devices:
- https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...me-technical-thoughts-a-s-o.3958/#post-137888
- https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/isolation-transformers.3672/#post-137346


SMPS brick powered through mains outlet
vs.


SMPS brick powered through isolation transformer

The SMPS brick is a 2-pole device, so no Ground/Earth is connected nowhere.

As you can see, mains hum totally disappears on the RCA/headphones plugs. Laptop was battery powered, ADC was USB powered from the same laptop, so I don't think it could be a ground loop. I think it's more about the design of the SMPS itself.

P.S.: The mains hum represented on above graphs is not audible; I had it tested with normal-to-high volume levels and with sensitive IEMs, and couldn't hear any hum.
 
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svart-hvitt

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#58
THE BREASTFEEDING EFFECT IN REPRODUCTION OF SOUND

If you ask doctors, consult public health officials, government offices, friends, family etc., mothers are advised not to drink while breastfeeding. But is there any evidence supporting no drinking during lactation?

A group of Danish scientists found no evidence to support the advise of no alcohol to breastfeeding mothers:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24118767/

The alcohol content in mother’s blood is the same as in her milk. So a 1.5 thousandth alcohol content in mother’s milk will translate into a 0.05 thousandth alcohol content in her baby’s blood. This is a meaninglessly low content in medical terms. The human body functions as an effective filter. Does this sound like déjà vu all over again? Can producers of power conditioners document the positive effects they are talking about, or are existing filters - diredct and indirect - in the sound reproduction chain so effective a dedicated condition will be rendered meaningless?

So mothers obsess with their alcohol intake when breastfeeding. Men obsess with the polution of their hifi power. And no evidence supports their behaviour. Just let the alcohol and music stream ;)
 

invaderzim

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#59
So mothers obsess with their alcohol intake when breastfeeding. Men obsess with the polution of their hifi power. And no evidence supports their behaviour. Just let the alcohol and music stream ;)
The sacrifice/risk ratio is way out of balance between those two. If in 1 out of 100,000 cases both sets of people are right and yet don't obsess then the man just gets hifi that sounds a tiny fraction less perfect than it could. The woman ends up with a child with issues. But then again as messed up as people are today maybe they need more alcohol as babies.
 

svart-hvitt

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#60
The sacrifice/risk ratio is way out of balance between those two. If in 1 out of 100,000 cases both sets of people are right and yet don't obsess then the man just gets hifi that sounds a tiny fraction less perfect than it could. The woman ends up with a child with issues. But then again as messed up as people are today maybe they need more alcohol as babies.
Nobody would argue that hifi is more important than life (hmmm...considering hifi forums, I’m not so sure after all...).

;)

My point is: We tend to exaggerate the wrong things. Probably many things other than alcohol could jeapardize a baby, as many things other than a power conditioner will breath new life into your sound reproduction.

I’d argue, it isn’t the alcohol in mother’s blood that jeapardizes a baby; it’s her altered behaviour due to alcohol intake that is much more important.

And forget about conditioners and buy a bigger set of speakers instead. Bigger is better most of the time in audio :)
 
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