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Power: A Survey of Gear


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Given some of the current threads, I thought I'd round up a set of recommendations and thoughts about power, power distribution, and power regeneration.

 

Why? Well, Clay posted that link about Hansen's comments; Barrows totally dumped on my PurePower solution which then caused it to suffer heart failure and die; and Bryan is sporting a giant Torus which just makes me envious because I'm all about giant magnets.

 

More seriously, I'm not convinced that power distribution (boxes and wires) are important except in their absence -- no power is bad! But I'm willing to be educated, so here goes.

 

My neighborhood is blessed with underground wiring -- but even so, the transformer that feeds my house and 2 of my neighbors has a history of blipping 2-3 per week. Power company has yet to address it, and last night, I got a surge big enough to short out my PurePower. Sweet! Happily, this is covered by warranty, but the warranty is almost up ... so, do I keep it, or do I get a replacement? And if so, what kind and why?

 

I've been a fan of active power regeneration, especially, battery-backup due to my power issues. Where to go from here ....

 

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...there is a lot less about power conditioning and exotic power cables, etc. here (though some people are still a**l about it) which (maybe) reflect the fact our power supplies are better than in US.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Man, that's too bad about the surge. And shipping it back to Pure Power for service, in Canada I assume, is a hassle. Did the surge take anything out in the house? Do you know how big the surge was? And it is surprising that the PP's internal protection circuit didn't handle it. Well, I guess it handled it by not passing it thru and frying your components. But still, it seems weird it took out the PP.

 

I personally don't like regenerators because of all the electronics inside them, just waiting for something to go wrong. I have no facts to back anything up, this is just a personal thing for me. Also, I think most regenerators have switching power supplies, which again is a personal nit of mine based on no facts. Upsides are compelling though. Near perfect voltage and frequency.

 

It sounds like you need some serious surge protection. I'm not sure what audiophile grade products are best for surge protection. If the PP couldn't handle that spike, then maybe nothing on the audiophile market will.

 

My suggestion is install dedicated lines if you haven't already. Next make sure you have good surge protection. Maybe something that protects at the panel so you don't fry any downstream expensive audiophile power conditioners again. I have been looking at this but kind of put it on the back burner after getting the balanced line installed along with the Torus.

 

http://www.ep2000.com/Templates/ep2050.html

 

If you can do dedicated circuits or already have, and hopefully you can put in some surge protection in the panel, then maybe that's all you need. Or maybe its time to try some other audiophile or maybe industrial (e.g. Medical) conditioning too. Or maybe you just keep the PP once it's fixed . Before I settled on the big Torus, I auditioned a couple of isolation transformer based units. Glad I did too, because they did impart different sounds. The problem is, shipping costs. Maybe you have local dealers who will support home auditions. But it is good to try different products to see what works, floats your boat.

 

One thing that people don't know about Torus is it's a sub company of Plitron who supply transformers to many audio vendors. And Plitron makes fugly looking hospital grade isolation transformer conditioners at half the price of Torus. Including balanced power 240V models.

 

http://www.plitron.com/mpiu.asp

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Hi Scot:

I will attempt to break down common AC power problems and solutions. When addressing the problems of AC power the process can be reduced to the simple principles of cause and effect. There are three main factors to consider: 1.) Protecting your expensive components from damaging power surges. 2.) Correcting voltage fluctuations and waveform distortions. 3.) Removing the noise from the AC power line feeding your components.

 

Actually, to start, I should make one point clear: after a good deal of research I can say with confidence, there is no universal single box that will deal with all known AC problems. It will generally be a series of simple solutions from the circuit breaker panel or wall outlet to your components.

 

Every neighborhood on the planet relying on AC current will have a different situation. The first step is determining what events are the most common in your area and residence.

 

Power Surge Protection:

If you reside in a location that experiences seasonal thunderstorms where lightning strikes can cause problems, you will definitely need to address power surges. It does not matter if your infrastructure is underground or not. A strike over a half mile away can effect up to a 3 mile radius. The voltage will typically drop to something like 80 Volts then recover with a surge to > 150 Volts, causing a 70 to 150 or more volt surge. This type of event can wreck havoc on sensitive circuits. Therefore, if you have a substantial investment in stereo or AV components, your first line of defense is addressing power surges to protect your investment which in many cases can be far less than years of increased insurance premiums.

 

There are a number of methods of dealing with surges. What can be irritating to infuriating is that few manufacturers of surge protection devices offer little or no information, or exact specifications about their products. How do they address minor over-voltages and what are the parameters of protection? Are they using sacrificial capacitors, or non-sacrificial MOVs, or another type of switching device?

 

Series Mode Surge Suppression does not shunt the surge/spike to ground like MOV's do, and therefore the ground is more stable. Also, most MOV-based surge suppression units allow as much as 300 volts through to the protected components, which is actually enough to do substantial damage; however, series mode surge suppression has the ability of clamping voltage at the onset of around 20V to 50V above peak nominal voltage and can withstand thousands of substantial voltage hits. On the other hand, MOVs have proven to be very effective but only when installed into a well designed and built surge protection device.

 

A good example of a quality MOV unit would be the Richard Gray’s Power Company House Guard installed at the breaker panel. I know a number of people who swear by a RGPC 600 or 1200 as the ultimate surge protection device. I am not convinced, and over the years I much prefer series mode surge protection. Check out Brick Wall units http://www.brickwall.com/ They explain surge protection devices in easy to understand language, and make great products.

 

Some people tout a battery backup or UPS. This is a good solution for lower power demanding components, but for higher current demands one will need to invest into a professional/commercial unit designed for a group of servers like a data center. This type of unit will supply constant power in the event of a brief brownout and some units will compensate for voltage drops starting < 20 volts. Also, many consumer UPS units have a surge suppressor to protect only the battery and/or the line conditioning circuit, and a major surge can bypass this suppressor through the negative to ground pathway going directly to your component(s). The simple solution is to use a top quality surge suppressor/power strip after the UPS unit. Also, consumer UPS units are basically designed for temporary power enabling the user time to shut down everything before the current returns.

 

You can also have a whole house surge protection device installed at the circuit breaker box, or one installed at the take-off for dedicated lines. These suppressors are generally based on series mode devices which are made quite robustly, but once its parameters are exceeded, like the rare occurrence of a direct lightning strike, no continual protection is provided, requiring the unit to be replaced. The best protection from direct lightning strikes is a lightning rod. How likely will this event occur, well just in the U.S. 1 out of 200 homes will be struck by lightning per year.

 

Voltage Fluctuations and Waveform Distortions:

There are a number of units which address these power problems. Some work marginally and other very well, (like the Accuphase unit, but at $12,000 I consider that excessive). The new wave is power regenerators. Small power regenerators were plagued with problems when they first appeared. There were problems with inverting DC back to AC, a limit on load demands, generating excessive heat, large & heavy & noisy, etc. The trend was well designed and built power regenerators that performed their task well were very expensive. This is not new technology and is generally associated with yachts having large battery banks, or alternative energy sources using large battery banks to store energy. From the information I have read and from professional advice the units designed and built for AV systems have longevity problems and the quality of inter-component RFI/EMI reduction has come into question. Some critics consider converting AC to DC, then inverting the current back to AC, only to plug in your component which will convert the AC to DC is nothing more than insanity.

 

After considering the above, this past September I installed a PS Audio Power Plant Premier in my small office system (the salesman gave me a demo to try for a week and I exchanged for a new one). It replaced an Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner. Actually, I am very pleased with this power regenerator unit and it performs everything PS Audio claims. The unit is small, quiet, generates very little heat, and delivers clean current and sine wave, has isolated outlets, no other line conditioners are needed, is quite reasonably priced, and you will notice an improved sound quality. I have a dedicated 120 volt 20 Amp line with a Brick Wall surge suppressor mounted in the utility room and using an Oyaide Audio R1 20 amp wall outlet. The supplied power cord is woefully inadequate and I suggest a good quality 10 gage cable. PS Audio actually recommends a better supply cable, and damn, I hate to admit it but a better cable will actually improve the sound quality. They make a remarkable power regenerator and then don’t supply an adequate cord; of course they strongly suggest one of their $500 cords. At 1500 watts this is a unit for smaller systems (it draws current from a 120V, 15 Amp source), the peak draw on my new Boulder 865 Integrated Amp is 850 watts, adding the OPPO BDP-83se universal blue-ray player, Weiss Minerva DAC and RudiStor NX-33 headphone amp, and Samsung 46” LCD TV adds ~ 240 watts. With smaller systems I can highly recommend this product for now, however, longevity of performance is yet to be determined. If you are using a >500 watt RMS amp plus other equipment an alternative solution may be required. Then again, at $1700 per unit it may not be all that unreasonable to use two PS Audio Power Plants.

 

Removing the Noise from AC Power Supply:

This brings me to reducing RFI/EMI noise before the current enters your components. Noise before the wall outlet comes from two sources: the incoming current to your residence and the noise generated within your residence. There are quite a number of passive type line conditioners available, some being far better than others. I have used Audience, Shunyata Research, and Richard Gray’s Power Company over the past 6 years, and they all worked adequately (adequately meaning most people will notice an improvement in the sound quality).

 

A quality power isolation unit supplied with dedicated lines and grounding can reduce a good deal of this noise. Power isolation units are based on large heavy toroidal transformers and can offer a number of benefits, however, the more peak power your system demands; the larger a power isolation unit will be needed. In my home reference system I use a massive Torus unit and it delivers very clean, stable, balanced power with the ability to deliver more than adequate AC current for high watt mono blocks and associated components.

 

The last issue to address is the RFI/EMI noise generated from one component passing to the next within your audio system. A simple well made power strip, or noise filter/power conditioner unit which isolates each female receptacle can help resolve this problem.

Any remaining problems can usually be associated with connections. Check all compression connections to ensure they are tight and making good contact. Female connectors are the week link, meaning the female connector at the end of a cord, or the wall outlet. They have poor contact surface area, and brass is a soft pours metal with poor spring loading capacity. Beryllium Copper or deoxidized Phosphor Bronze will offer superior conductivity, tensile strength (spring loaded properties), and plating will yield a smoother surface; all greatly reducing micro arcs (which cause noise). I have read several times over the past 20 years where people have actually soldered all connections from inside the wall then through a distribution strip to inside each component. Yes, this will eliminate a number of connections but also yield a serious safety issue.

 

Back in 2001, I had a very interesting discussion with an electrical engineer who repaired audio components, including surge suppressors and line conditioners, and had praise for very, very few products. He suggested several rather good reference books: “Protection of Electronic Circuits from Overvoltages,” by Ronald B. Standler. Good basic information that is easy to understand. For those who are interested in the technical aspects of how to track down and resolve noise problems “EMI Troubleshooting Techniques” by Michel Mardiquian, will provide a wealth of information.

 

I also highly recommend a new book I happened upon, “Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering” by Henry Ott. This is the bible for electronic noise reduction techniques in electronic systems. A good 800 pages, and can be difficult to read in places, but has excellent items on analog and digital circuits in computer and home entertainment systems. (I have not read this entire book, and most likely never will.) Also, my daughter and god-daughter who attend Stanford University tell me there is a good deal of information regarding this subject on the new search engine www.wolframalpha.com once you become accustomed with their search techniques.

 

The number one best defense against snake oil marketing babble and confusing reviews is a basic understanding of the known facts and proven techniques. Just skimming through the above books will give one enough knowledge on what is really taking place and the real world solutions. You will be amazed how manufacturers employ known techniques, sometimes with a slight variation, and then invent a new vocabulary to describe it.

 

Daphne

 

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Daphne, first, thanks for your work here. This is very impressive!

 

I have about a billion questions to ask, but at the risk of this being an interview, can I ask how you rig your systems? Sounds like Torus for your man rig and a PPP for your second one?

 

Barrows has mentioned in a past post that he was unhappy with the performance of my Audiophile APS 1050 (and the PPP by extension) as being noisy and distorted when under load. Interestingly, both Pure Power and PS Audio hold that neither product does this, but I'm inclined to believe Barrows here. In another interesting aside, Romy the Cat has suggested that the APS 2000 is very fine unit to use, but that the load should be low (~10%) for optimal listening. The Pure Power folks think Romy is a riot, but don't feel like it's wise to challenge an audiophile's ears. :-) FWIW, I love my APS 1050.

 

But what I need is something for my amp. At 2000 watts (draw), it's a beast to deal with, and many non-current-limiting solutions just aren't at a level that can cope (ie, Audience) without losing the bottom octave (or so my dealer claims, and he has both my amp and the entire Audience line). I have an AR1p on the way to try it out, but my hopes aren't high.

 

I was thinking that a Torus might be a good way to go, but they're really big and really expensive (by comparison to the one-outlet Audience or a two-outlet Shunyata).

 

Given the relative low cost of the BrickWalls, I might get a couple of the 20 amp breaker-box units for my dual 20 amp run audio room, and then focus on filtering and isolation near to the rack. Does that make sense?

 

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If Torus is too expensive, consider Plitron's medical line of power isolation transformers. I provided the link earlier. They are half the price of the Torus and about half as good looking, but still made by the same company. And they are also available balanced in, 240V.

 

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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But hopefully, I can work on ignorance. So, what does "balanced power" mean?

 

As for the Torus, all I want is a 1- or 2-plug dealie that can support my 20amp amplifier. I don't want to run anything else through it, just the amp. As Barrows has mentioned, load does odd things by means of distortion -- and my amp is one heavy load.

 

Which brings me to another point. I think with the PPP and the APS, load will cause distortion -- but then, so does any draw. Especially heavy draw. On anything -- including a straight outlet. Hopefully Barrows will clarify what he observed while he was at PS Audio ....

 

As for Plitron -- any issues there with the medical vs audio grade? I honestly don't know, else I wouldn't have asked ....

 

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Balanced power means there are two phases or legs of 120V, each 180 degrees out of phase from each other. From live to neutral there is a 240V differential. It is actually exactly what comes in to your panel from the power company. Most appliances, lights etc, just take one leg, 120V from live to ground. Some large appliances do require the 240V though, like some stoves. When you put in a 240V circuit off your panel, it will take a double sized breaker but still only requires the same wire as a 120V circuit. Not sure what else there is to add, except the most important part, which is due to the nature of the dual phases, balanced power inherently has common mode rejection (a form of noise reduction) which is much like what balanced signal audio circuits (e.g. those that use TRS or XLR connections) claim to fame is. The way I look at it is if you're going to run a dedicated circuit, a long run of copper wire, which is great in its own right, why not further reduce the noise down that copper run by taking advantage of common mode rejection as well. Double your pleasure.

 

A lot of pro audio studios etc use 240V power and employ isolation transformers. That would be the big honkin panel style Torus and equi=tech models that cost an arm and a leg.

 

I think equi=tech has a patent on balanced isolation transformers. Their consumer audio Q series takes normal unbalanced 120V in to the primary and outputs balanced 60/60V on two phases. This gives you component the 120V they need, but rather than a 120V differential from live to ground, it's a 60V to 60V differential from live to neutral. So the long run of copper thru your house to get to the equi=tech is not using common mode rejection. But CMR is applied or done right inside the equi=tech so the benefit is still being applied to anything plugged in to it. And the equi=tech Q series consumer audio units actually have Plitron transformers in them. Little known fact.

 

The Torus units, the balanced models, take 240V in, not 120V. As do the international medical series from the parent company Plitron. So that run of copper for the circuit is basically the same power that goes in to your panel from the power company, and it has CMR right down the line, right to the primary of the Torus. Then the transformer in the Torus will step that down to 120V so your typical north american components will get the voltage they need. Torus also has unbalanced 120V models as well, and these are the most popular ones because most circuits are 120V. People just don't seem to realize it's dead simple to put a 240V circuit in. And its easy to for an electrician to convert and existing 120V dedicated circuit to 240V. It is a mystery why people don't go the extra mile and go with balanced power circuits.

 

As for the extra outlets. All I can say is they're there if you need them. I only use one myself on my 20 amp Torus, but it has 8 or 10 outlets. It's not about how many are available, or in your and my case, how few are really required. It's all about the KVA and current capacity that you require. You require 20 amp? Get a 20 amp model, a 20 amp circuit (hint: balanced 240V) and who cares how many outlets there are.

 

You can google balanced power if you want to learn more. Or check out some of the content on the equi=tech website. equi=tech is a big proponent of balanced power. More so than Torus/Plitron/Bryston.

 

BTW, I did a week long audition of a balanced and unbalanced isolation transformer line conditioner. The balanced was an equi=tech and the unbalanced was a Torus. Different KVA ratings in favour of the equi=tech. But I could very clearly hear what the balanced power CMR noise reduction did. That's what sold me on balanced power. But I did not like the sound of the equi=tech, which is another matter altogether! I went with Torus, which is much more musical sounding than the equi=tech. I don't know how a power isolation transformer can impart musicality to the signal path, but it did to my ears.

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Scot, there is a Malaysian audio blog. It was on one blog before, and they moved to a new blog site. The purepower and Torus were reviewed on the old blog. The net of the findings were the PP was too analytical sounding compared to the Torus. And there were comments posted, back and forth, including Bob Rapport from PP getting a little hissy about it all. But I can't find the old blog URL. But some of the content from the old blog was moved to the new blog including the review entries. Here's a link to some reviewer notes on the Torus and you can see how they find it better than anything else they tried, including the PP. But the juicy comments were not migrated over so unfortunately you can't see it. But maybe it will give you something to think about. Keep in mind this is amateur audio enthusiast blogging.

 

http://hifi-unlimited.blogspot.com/search/label/Torus%20Power

 

 

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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I don't have anything else to plug in. Nice simple system. I won't plug the Mac Mini in to it. And I'm using a USB powered HRT Streamer DAC right now while I'm waiting for my QB9. Yes, I decided to get the QB9 and not do the Legato or hiface adapter and other DAC auditioning. Once I get the QB9, I'll probably plug it in to the Torus.

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Yes, I do not like the Purepower units, as they exhibit high levels of output distortion when under load, and they use a switching (class D) output stage which introduces a lot of RFI into the system as well. But, I do not have any problem with the PS Audio Power Plant Premier, and contrary to some posts I have seen on other threads, The PPP does not use a switching output stage, or a switching power supply-it is a linear, class A/B amplifier output stage with a patented topology unique to PS Audio to provide for the increased efficiency.

For a fairly high output capability, single ended, relatively efficient, AC regenerator, the PPP is a very good unit.

Personally, I prefer the older generations of PS Audio Powerplants, as they offer balanced output, and adjustable output frequencies and even waveforms, which can improve the performance of some systems. The older Powerplants also had a little cleaner output than the PPP. The drawback is that the older units (with the exception of the enormous, and limited production P-1200) are limited to about 600 watts of reliable output (P-600 and P-1000), or about 200 watts (P-300) they are about 50% efficient and put off a good deal of heat. I have no experience of the Accuphase regenerators, but I trust their reputation as good units as well considering the general build and engineering quality of Accuphase components.

Thanks to Daphne! For all the information presented above, I would add a couple of points: output impedance can be an issue, essentially the ability of any power conditioner to adapt instantly to the current demands of the connected components, there are almost never any published specs for this (and it will be dependent on the AC system the conditioner is powered from as well) so it is hard to know which PLCs do well at this, but listening tests in your system will show high output impedance as curtailed dynamics and decreased transient response. The second point that I would make is that surge protection often harms sonic performance-I use some DIY passive line conditioners in my system, and everytime I add some surge protection to them (non volatile MOV stacks) the sound gets worse, so I operate without them and accept the risk (my insurance does cover surge related damages, less the deductable). I do use protection on my TV set up (separate from audio).

Ultimately, one has to try any power conditioner in one's system, as everyones' AC power is so different it is hard to make blanket recommendations as to what will sound best (and which conditioner will sound best may change with different times of the day, etc.) I am willing to make one blanket statement-the worse your AC power is (in terms of distortion, noise, and voltage stability) the more likely it is that an AC regenerator will be the best solution.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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I highly recommend either the ZeroSurge or Brick Wall surge protectors. I also tend to favor components that have power supplies with at least 2 out of 3 of the following attributes: separate, massive and well regulated. Sometimes this means modifying stock components or building custom power supplies. I also believe that power cords can make a significant difference though IME 80% of the cords don't make a difference and few people are willing to try 10 cords to find the 2 that will provide better SQ for your system.

 

I dabbled briefly with power generation but I believe that it is no substitute for having components with excellent power supplies. In other words don't expect these power generation units to correct the shortcomings of the downstream components. And be careful that whatever power regulation you use does not restrict the dynamics or soundstage of the music.

 

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I just purchased a PS Audio Quintet Power Center that has only been in my system for the last 48 hours. In order to fully evaluate its performance, I have a lot more listening to do. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised (the nano-crystalline port isolation techno-marketing language had me a little skeptical).

 

Has anyone compared the Quintet to Brick Wall units? Is there consensus of opinion concerning what passive power conditioning products offer the best value/performance under $500?

 

And, many thanks to Scot for starting this thread. Everyone’s feedback so far has been very helpful and informative.

 

Best regards,

Chris

 

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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Torus Power ISOLATION Unit

 

The concern Bryston had with a lot of power line conditioners available in the market was that many of them could restrict the current available to the amplifier. An amplifier can draw very high peak current, and wants to 'see' a very low impedance high current source from the power line. In fact, we even stated in our owners manuals not to plug our amplifiers into power conditioners. The Transformer based line conditioners we tested were too small to supply the peak current required and many of them were just Filters and did not provide Isolation -(Isolation means there is no mechanical connection between the outside power grid and your inside system power supply).

 

Also most of the surge protection was done using MOV’s, which are sacrificial and eventually will be destroyed with repeated spikes. Other issues with these MOVs is that they allow much more voltage through before they reacted (typically 300 volts and higher) and they shunt the voltage spikes to ground.

 

So we decided to try and develop a powerline Conditioner, Isolation and Protection unit that would not have the restrictions of the many units currently on the market from an amplifier performance perspective.

 

 

Benefits of Torus Power Isolation Units:

 

Benefit #1: Very low source impedance and high current for the power amplifier

 

Torus power isolation units present low impedance to any electronic device that is connected to them. A Single 20 amp Torus PIU has an output impedance of 0.2 ohms and can deliver 400 amp peaks (instantaneous current). The 100 amp unit only has .04 Ohms of output impedance. A typical 200 watt audio power amplifier demands 10 amps RMS current from a 120 volt line (1200VA) but may demand up to 50 amp instantaneous peaks. The standard residential wall receptacle can't supply the 50 amp peaks because they typically have higher nominal impedance. A Torus 20 amp PIU plugged into the same wall plug can supply these peak current requirements quite easily.

 

Benefit #2: Power surge protection using Series Mode Surge Suppression rather than MOV's

 

The Torus power products use the finest, most elaborate surge suppression technology available. Series Mode Surge Suppression does not shunt the spike to ground like MOV's do, and therefore the ground is infinitely more stable in a Torus power device. Additionally, most MOV-based surge suppression units allow as much as 300 volts through to the protected components, easily enough to do substantial damage, where as Torus surge suppression has clamping voltage onset of around 2V above peak nominal voltage. Torus units are built to meet 6000 volts, 3000 amps at 1000 repeats standard.

Benefit #3: Total isolation from outside power grid:

 

Torus power products provide isolation through its finest designed toroidal transformer between the outside power grid and the devices being protected. Such isolation helps to reject external noise sources such as motors, lights, and dimmers commonly found in the home environment. Torus power products provide noise filtering at a range from approximately 2000Hz to over 1MHz – other regular transformer based products do not start operating until nearly 10,000 Hz.

 

Benefit #4: High Power Capability:

 

There are 15 models of Torus power products available ranging from 2.5 amps to 100 amps and 120/240 Volts. Torus has recently introduced NEMA wall-mount units, which are typically placed at the hydro panel for whole-house or whole-room power line isolation and protection.

 

Benefit# 5: Low Noise:

 

Torus products utilize Plitron ‘LONO’ (Low Noise) transformer design technology that eliminates audible noise in the power transformer regardless of line conditions, DC offset and over-voltage. Torus products perform at the NC10 level measured on the standard NC (Noise Criteria) – which makes them suitable for use in very quiet environments such as professional recording and broadcast studios.

 

Benefit # 6: Cleaner Power:

 

Torus products utilize Plitron “NBT” (Narrow Bandwidth Technology) to attenuate differential and common-mode noise without external circuits or components, and starting at a lower corner frequency (2Khz) than other systems. The Torus result is startling – see press and user comments!

 

Benefit # 7: AVR (optional automatic voltage regulation):

 

The new feature is Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). The AVR would make sure that the output voltage of the unit stays uniform within an acceptable range when the input voltage is either increased from or dropped below the acceptable range.The purpose is to keep the output voltage uniform when the input voltage varies over a wide range from 130V to 95V for the North American models and 260V to 190V for the International models and to shut the system down if the input voltage goes above 135V or below 90V for North American models and above 270V or below 180 for the International models.

 

James Tanner

Bryston

 

James Tanner[br]Bryston

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James, what you are doing posting marketing material in this thread? Not cool, IMO. This is not the AC Bryston board.

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Just called a local dealer about the Torus line. He said, "Sure, I'll sell you one. But before I do, have an electrician come out and run a clean line. Add a bunch of hospital grade outlets, and you're done. By itself, that'll do more than any conditioner you can buy. And if you still want one then, well, I'll be happy to sell it to you."

 

Sage advice, I'm thinking. Of course, I'm betting that it's easier to convert an existing run to balanced power (should I go the Torus route) than to do a new run. Wouldn't take new wire, would it? Just a new connection?

 

Anyway, two brand-spanking new clean 20 amp (10 gauge!) runs will be added to the queue. One for the amp, one for everything else. Then, we'll see. Be a good thing, too, as I need to move the two outlets I have so I can put bass traps in those corners ....

 

Anyone have a particular outlet that is favored?

 

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Looks like some posts were deleted from the thread. That sucks.

 

If you're going to go with dedicated circuits first, which is a great idea, make sure you deal with a good electrician who understands balanced power circuits and make sure he or she knows you may want to convert one of them to 240V in the future because that could influence where the new breakers will go in the panel and ensure room is left for the extra breaker slot required for when you do convert one of them to 240V. The wire run would be the same. One run of Romex per circuit. 240V does not require a different wire. If you ever do go balanced down the road, you put in a different breaker, leave the wire alone, and put a different wall receptacle in (has horizontal blades instead of vertical). I just thought of suggesting that you might want to see how much extra it will cost to have a 240V circuit installed now too. Then if you do want to try the Torus BAL model down the road, it will be ready. But its not necessary and it is easy to convert one of the 120's over, but it will cost you to do that conversion. A new breaker, new outlet and labor. Easily $100 or more, unless you have an electrician friend.

 

So if you don't get a Torus or another line conditioner, what will you do about surges?

 

You may want to look at Alan Maher's site and consider his circuit breaker filters as well. And he has a word document somewhere on his site on circuit tuning and rec's for outlets (specific Albert Porter sold Hubbel outlets). I think a potentially minimalistic approach of dedicated circuits and some of his products could be highly effective.

 

But, it won't be the same and I hope you do try something like the Torus down the road if the dealer will do a loaner of the 240V balanced model. What you will be missing by not going with the Torus BAL is the CMR of the circuit and the low impedance the transformer will do for your big amp. How much of a difference that makes will be interesting to try one day if you can.

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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An interesting point has been raised.

 

When I asked for power conditioner recommendations, a local NYC dealer suggested that I replace my wall receptacles with hospital grade outlets and plug my amp (Rotel RB-1080) directly into the wall. As per the dealer, most power conditioners are not suitable for amps; he cited cases of amp failure due to the use of some power conditioners and surge protection devices.

 

This got me curious...what exactly constitutes a hospital grade receptacle?

 

I found the following article published by IAEI Magazine Online; it’s the “official organ of International Association of Electrical Inspectors.”

 

http://www.iaei.org/magazine/?p=2225

 

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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I use a standard Hubbell hospital-grade receptacle and 240V balanced power. Man, it did a hell of a difference in my system, specially the 240V. I highly recommend you guys to try it.

 

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