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What voltage to run my audio gear...110V or 120V or ???


tboooe
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So recently my Accustic Arts integrated amp died. According to the tech that fixed it, the regulator and rectifiers failed. This got me thinking that perhaps I have the output voltage from my PS Audio P3 AC Regenerator set too high? I've always had it set to 120V but can reduce it to as low as 104V. I know that most devices we can plug into the wall should be able to handle 110-120V plus or minus 5-10% if not more. However, I wonder if by setting my P3 to 120V it may have lead to me prematurely damaging it? Maybe I should try a lower voltage closer to 110V?

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Yes, I have my dac, hd plex lps, and amp all plugged into the p3.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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So recently my Accustic Arts integrated amp died. According to the tech that fixed it, the regulator and rectifiers failed. This got me thinking that perhaps I have the output voltage from my PS Audio P3 AC Regenerator set too high? I've always had it set to 120V but can reduce it to as low as 104V. I know that most devices we can plug into the wall should be able to handle 110-120V plus or minus 5-10% if not more. However, I wonder if by setting my P3 to 120V it may have lead to me prematurely damaging it? Maybe I should try a lower voltage closer to 110V?

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Power in the US is set at 120V. This is fine. More precisely, a distribution transformer lowers high voltage to +120V, -120V, and your switch panel at home usually gets these two phases - you have 1/2 the load on one phase, 1/2 on the other, and for those items you need 240V (eg electric dryer, oven) you use the full phase.

 

Maybe you should measure the voltage out of your PS. If it's not just a sine wave, then it's possible that any high frequency components could damage a transformer type power supply in your amp.

 

The other simple explanation is sometimes components fail, and sometimes the failure of one component makes others fail as well.

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I don't think that high frequency (at a reasonable voltage) could damage any transformer.

However a low power line frequency (say 50 Hz) can be hard on a transformer designed for a higher frequency (say 60 Hz).

Just has a higher line voltage (than the transformer was designed for) can be hard on the transformer.

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I would leave it alone and use it as you were. The failure is likely something other than high voltage out of your regenerator. The higher voltage is actually easier on the charge circuit unless it forces undue heat to be dissipated.

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I would leave it alone and use it as you were. The failure is likely something other than high voltage out of your regenerator. The higher voltage is actually easier on the charge circuit unless it forces undue heat to be dissipated.

 

Yeah you are probably right. Perhaps another potential cause could be that I turn on and off my amp pretty much daily which I know putsbsoke stress on the components because of the current surge. Thoughts?

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Yeah you are probably right. Perhaps another potential cause could be that I turn on and off my amp pretty much daily which I know putsbsoke stress on the components because of the current surge. Thoughts?

 

Constant heating up and cooling down of the internal components is probably more damaging over time than leaving it on. Also, think about when you blow a light bulb in your home. Invariably, it's when you flip the switch on. So, current surge could also be a damaging factor.

I keep all my computers, stereo components--amps, DAC's, power supplies--on all the time. My NAD components have a nice standby feature that keeps them powered up, but only consumes 1 watt.

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Constant heating up and cooling down of the internal components is probably more damaging over time than leaving it on. Also, think about when you blow a light bulb in your home. Invariably, it's when you flip the switch on. So, current surge could also be a damaging factor.

I keep all my computers, stereo components--amps, DAC's, power supplies--on all the time. My NAD components have a nice standby feature that keeps them powered up, but only consumes 1 watt.

 

Agreed, I am going to have to rethink the possibility of leaving my gear on all the time. I was just trying to reduce my electricity bill. I only listen to my system 1-2 hours a night so leaving everything on 24/7 seems really wasteful but I guess that is better than blowing an amp again. Unfortunately none my gear has a stand by feature. Decisions.....

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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In the US, residential electricity is provided as two-phase, 220-240V, and then most domestic appliances use 110-120V single phase.

In Europe single phase is 230-240 V. Heavy equipment runs on 3-phase power (~400 V between phases). I'm probably close to the substation so I get a bit higher than nominal voltage (240 V in Britain).

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... 400V between "two" phases, and 230V on a single phase.

 

Back to the question: I do not believe, that 110V or 120V makes a big difference for the rectifiers and the regulator. I think Accustic Arts uses a trafo with two primary windings, each good for around 120V. In the US they use the trafo in parallel, and in Europe they use it in series. So the rectifiers always see around 230-240V. I am sure, the diodes could handle much higher voltage values. Next comes the regulator, which will have some headroom. On a higher voltage, the regulator will get warm a little bit more, that's all.

I have no idea, why the power supply got damaged ...

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Yeah you are probably right. Perhaps another potential cause could be that I turn on and off my amp pretty much daily which I know putsbsoke stress on the components because of the current surge. Thoughts?

 

Rectifier diodes are pretty rugged devices as far as overcurrent goes (to a point). I would have thought Accustic Arts would have chosen a rectifier with at least 2.5 times internal DC bus voltage V ratings, there's peanuts differences between this and 1400V devices for peace of mind. Would be interesting to know the device's type numbers. Always there's a manufacturing defect possible that shows up years later, but the behaviour of the CD player at the same time is also suspicious, that's why I asked the question if everything was plugged in at the same source.

 

I don't think 110V or 120V is neither here nor there as far as the loads are concerned. It is for the P3. The higher the voltage, the lower the overall current draw. I'm wondering if the all the pulsed currents in your system are ganging up to create a notch on the AC waveform, which might lead to an instability from the P3 since sometimes the measuring circuits for voltage feedback are fooled by a decent set of harmonics.

Especially at switch on, a transformer can draw many harmonics, might be enough to tip the measurement circuits over the edge and create a waveform of rubbish.

 

Would be wise to check out the PS3 with a heavy driven amp say 300W, two or 3 computers with SMPS and see what it does.

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Maybe you should measure the voltage out of your PS. If it's not just a sine wave, then it's possible that any high frequency components could damage a transformer type power supply in your amp.

Be VERY careful if checking to see if it's a sinewave or not. For the average non qualified person this is best done using a step down isolation transformer which will still give some indication of the incoming waveform's shape.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

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I don't think that high frequency (at a reasonable voltage) could damage any transformer.

However a low power line frequency (say 50 Hz) can be hard on a transformer designed for a higher frequency (say 60 Hz).

Just has a higher line voltage (than the transformer was designed for) can be hard on the transformer.

Thinking of those 240->120 stepdown devices that use a power transistor to cut off the power when it reaches 120v. The cutoff can be represented a high frequency component. If you plug an inductive load into one of these devices you will destroy it.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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perhaps I have the output voltage from my PS Audio P3 AC Regenerator set too high? I've always had it set to 120V but can reduce it to as low as 104V. I know that most devices we can plug into the wall should be able to handle 110-120V plus or minus 5-10% if not more. However, I wonder if by setting my P3 to 120V it may have lead to me prematurely damaging it? Maybe I should try a lower voltage closer to 110V?

You're not maintaining precisely 120V anyway. I was going to buy a P3 when we moved to an apartment in December, until I read the specs on the PS and other power processors / conditioners. The input voltage is spec'ed at 95 to 145, and the output voltage has a tolerance of -10%/+5% continuous and -15%/+10% for a maximum of 10 seconds. I strongly doubt that most buyers realize the range of voltage they're going to get from it. The PS Audio literature claims that "any problems on your power line such as low voltage, distorted waveforms, sagging power and noise are eliminated [by the device]" - but "low voltage" is hardly eliminated with a continuous output range of 99 to 117V when set for 110V. I couldn't find the time frame for voltage fluctuations with instantaneous load changes, so I don't know how tightly it will maintain set output voltage in the event of a transient sag in line voltage.

 

The voltage at your wall outlets varies with everything from the load on the power grid to the loads on its branch circuit - no one gets perfectly steady voltage at the meter, let alone at the outlet (see the national specs for voltage range at the bottom of this post). Utilities have to regulate distribution voltages in small steps to maintain service delivery voltage within the acceptable range. And NEC allows a 5% voltage drop between your service entrance and the outlets in your house or apartment.

 

Having a low distortion sinusoidal waveform in your mains may well be worth the cost of the device, but it simply will not maintain rock steady voltage.

 

Our national standards for supply voltage are surprisingly wide:

 

ANSIC841.jpg

 

Without a true

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