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Power Conditioners and Sound Quality


Daphne

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I first started using power conditioners a good 15 years ago, a Monster surge protector/power conditioner. I noticed an improvement in sound quality immediately. Over the years I have used other Monster units and once had a Richard Gray's conditioner. Now I am using two Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioners. I purchased them slightly used for just $1200, and that included exotic Audience PowerChords. I must admit, my system has never sounded better. Has anyone else had success with audio power conditioners?

 

Recently I have noticed several A/V systems where isolation transformers are being used. Traditionally, isolation transformers are used in labs for sensitive electronic equipment like mass-spectrometers, or in hospitals for electronic diagnostic equipment, or in computer rooms for servers and main frame computers. I was just wondering what the advantages are for using isolation transformers in regards to audio/visual equipment? Also, what are the advantages to using 220 volt step down isolation transformers to 120 volt output? (the voltages will be different for outside the US)

 

I also fail to understand the process of "burning in" cables. A number of cable manufacturers have been claiming their cables will not perform to their optimal level unless they are "burned in" for anywhere from 50 to 100 hours. Other cable makers say their products require no "burning in" and their competitors are just dishing out marketing nonsense. I just saw a keyboard size unit specifically designed to "burn in" interconnect cables, speaker cables, and AC power cables.

 

This brings up a ton of questions. Is an audio signal effected that much by virgin copper? Is this burning in process required for analog signals only or digital signals also. What are the conductivity properties in copper that require a current pass through it for a predetermined time prior to the copper passing the current to its optimal level? Depending on the purity of the copper, does less pure copper require more or less burning in time? Is the gauge of the wire a factor? Is there a difference between AC and DC current involved with burning in? What about copper used in coaxial antenna cable? One last question, if burning in is so necessary, why is the manufacturer not doing so in advance, especially for the outrageous prices they are demanding?

 

If this process of burning in is true, it can mean that our telephones will need to be used for hours before sounding well, in a new house that 60 watt light bulb will not deliver 60 watts for the first few days or so, your new television will need to have the color readjusted after the first week, clocks will run slow, and Ethernet will deliver data at a slower rate at first. I have never heard of anything like this being mentioned, so why are audio signals so effected?

 

Can someone explain the scientific principles of this so called "burning in" process that, from what I can see, only exists for the audio world?

 

Just a few items I have been thinking about lately. I hope my questions are not too technical, or too far off the subject of computer audio.

 

I know a few guys who build their own computers. There is a whole thriving industry out there which supplies the parts. There are hundreds of really cool cases available, a large selection of mother boards, exotic hard drive cables, fans, liquid cooling systems, and of course superior power supplies. I'm told these replacement power supplies run cooler, deliver cleaner power, and have better isolation than the standard units found in the average computer. I'm just curious, has anyone had any experience with these power supplies?

 

My uncle James had a gaming/entertainment computer built for his son. Wow, it has a blazing fast AMD chip, CD/DVD drive, Blu-ray drive, two 500GB hard drives - RAID 0/1, super fast 3D gaming graphics board, surround sound audio board, all in a desktop aluminum case. A 30" high res monitor, with a keyboard that has illuminated keys. Windows XP operating system. They play lots of games and download music, mostly windows media files, and downloads from Real Player. They also edit and record home videos on DVDs. I was quite impressed with their desktop 2.1 speakers. I cannot recall the name right now, but they had a small footprint, looked like candle sticks with a wood veneered sub woofer.

 

The idea of having a music server custom made has actually crossed my mind. Has anyone on this forum gone to the extreme of building their own entertainment computer, or music server?

 

Daphne

 

 

 

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Hey Daphne - I've built custom music servers before. Fanless are probably the best for audiophiles, but there are tons of options. Every component inside a computer can be upgraded, just like a car or house. You can even have it plated in nickel, gold, copper, etc ... I also like some with the touch screen built into the front panel. Makes it easier to go without a monitor.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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"I first started using power conditioners a good 15 years ago, a Monster surge protector/power conditioner. I noticed an improvement in sound quality immediately. Over the years I have used other Monster units and once had a Richard Gray's conditioner. Now I am using two Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioners. I purchased them slightly used for just $1200, and that included exotic Audience PowerChords. I must admit, my system has never sounded better. Has anyone else had success with audio power conditioners?"

 

I've had a couple of moderately expensive power conditioners in my headphone system before. I found that by running two fairly inexpensive power strips - one powering all computer/digital gear and the other powering all analog/audio gear - to separate house circuits, I got the same results. Perhaps I just have good clean power in my house. These results only relate to noise. Regarding quality fluctuations in my system based on the power quality/time of day, etc, I really don't know. I hear differently based on mood, fatigue, etc, and that can be a lot less subtle than power fluctuations...

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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  • 11 months later...

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