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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Power conditioners and voltage regulators - worth the addition to your system ?

    Hello I would imagine if Power conditioners and/or voltage regulators are worth being part of your
    hifi system, then you would need to set aside a bit of a budget as an additional component.

    I was shown such a unit - brand is "Exact Power". 8 outlets for 5k. That's pretty much
    the cost of my better components. I was assured considering the 'dirty power' I have in
    my area I should experience a 50% improvement. That is a big statement !!!.

    After taking a look at the very few reviews available, this brand was reviewed in the past
    (an older model), but the reviewer claimed it removed the buzzing/interference noise
    coming out his tweeters. I must say I do occasionally hear interference and twilight
    zone sounds through my tweeters, which I find annoying.

    5k tho, geez, in times like these of economic strain, it's a good thing our hifi components
    are not edible, or I'd have my plate out now.

    I'm convinced the equipment I have is worth at least power surge protection, however we
    dont' really get that many spikes/surges (touch wood), in winter it happens a bit, as it
    would, but not a very troubled area.

    So Power conditioners and voltage regulators, are they rubbish ? or worth the investment ?
    Even if it is, what proportion of your total budget should the conditioner/regulators
    be ? 20%, 25% ? 33%, 50% ?

    Grrrr the pursuit of the perfect listening environment, why does it have to cost so much
    money ?
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  2. #2
    Forum Regular elapsed's Avatar
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    Power conditioners actually impede high-current systems like Naim or Krell. My entire hi-fi system runs through a hospital-grade $34 power strip, and sounds absolutely terrific.

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Fidelity Acoustics RFM-2 speakers
    Naim CD5x cd player
    Naim NAC 122x pre-amp
    Naim NAP 150x poweramp
    Naim FlatCap-2x power supply
    Naim Stageline N phono stage
    Naim NACA5 speaker cabling
    Naim Hi-Line interconnect
    Chord Crimson interconnects
    Rega Planar 3 turntable
    Goldring 1042 cartridge
    Squeezebox 3
    Oppo DV-983H dvd player
    Harmony 890 remote
    Quadraspire Q4 shelving
    Wiremold L10320 power strip

    System Picture #1 | System Picture #2 | System Design

  3. #3
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Yes, but your mileage may vary

    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    Hello I would imagine if Power conditioners and/or voltage regulators are worth being part of your hifi system, then you would need to set aside a bit of a budget as an additional component.
    True, but it doesn't necessarily have to run into kilobucks unless you are looking at power regenerators. While such may be necessary in some areas, I get solid voltage with sags rarely below the nominal 120 V standard here in the states.

    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    but the reviewer claimed it removed the buzzing/interference noise coming out his tweeters. I must say I do occasionally hear interference and twilight
    zone sounds through my tweeters, which I find annoying.
    Some of that may simply be ground loops.

    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    Grrrr the pursuit of the perfect listening environment, why does it have to cost so much money ?
    I use a couple of Monster conditioners that only ran in the hundreds of dollars. They are surge protectors, but primarily they serve as EMI / RFI filters in my environment. The reduction in noise is subtle, but worth the improvement to me. As elapsed indicated, most (but not all) units should not be used with amplifiers as they tend to limit dynamics. I use mine only with sources and lines stages which consume less than one amp. For the amps, however, I use aftermarket power cords which contain their own shielding strategies to and from the AC line. Actually, they are more costly in my system than the conditioners. Budget? I'm not a big fan of targeted budgets for various components. As a point of reference, however, all of my devices represent about 7%.

    rw

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Kevio's Avatar
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    Surge protectors will offer some protection against equipment damage from lightning and other transients.

    Good power does allow for good sound. Good power is the job of the internal power supply in each component in the system. If the power supply is poorly designed, noise on your AC lines can bleed into your audio signals. You can improve that with power conditioning but I think it best not to buy equipment that is sensitive to garbage on AC.

    Grounding is another signal integrity issue not necessarily related to power conditioning. Improper grounding can cause all manner of funny sounds.

  5. #5
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    Unhappy Great points folks

    Thanks for the feedback peoples. E-Stat I recall you were making a reference to the
    "Power conditioners" that is a technology that is not of an ideal build for a Power Amp -
    done by McIntosh. Well come to think of it, I would imagine most Amplifiers would have
    a better method of handling/filtering bad current.

    I'd say if the Amp was decent enough it would be able to convert the power coming
    in most efficiently and have it's own regulators built in. This would support the salesman
    who said to me, Power Amps don't normally need to be hooked up to external power
    conditioners/regulators because they have their own built in. Plus the power amps would
    eat up most of the current these conditioners/regulators support.

    I guess my concern would be more on my source components. Well if bad current
    degrades signal, then it's effectively garbage in-garbage out.

    No way I'm anywhere near convinced it's worth the money unless I have this tested with
    all of my equipment. There's no way I'm forking out 500, 1000 or whatever on such an
    investment unless it justifies enough of that expense.

    The salesman who sold me the amp I'm getting, is extremely technically minded, and
    he has nothing to gain by talking dribble. Abolutely nothing he has said to date has been
    porky-pies (lies). 5K seems to be quite a lot for me, I just don't have that kind of money.
    Ok I know all of you would say you don't have to spend that kind of money. Then again,
    I have said this in every other post, this is a personal preferene thing. When I buy
    equipment, I make as much informed decision as possible, when I make a purchase I have
    to be 100% happy, is there any chance that I will be wanting an upgrade within the next
    5 years ? if the answer is yes, I simply won't buy it.

    To date my speakers there's no way I will get rid of those, my new amp, no it clearly
    improved my sound by at least 50% and can really power my speakers so there's no
    way I'd get that replaced. The power conditioner etc... I don't feel I need to spend 5K to
    be happy, but I don't want to buy a poor quality one at the same time. Otherwise it is
    a waste of money and I will replace it anyway. It's something I'd like to keep using when
    I eventually upgrade the rest of my system, do I have a list

    So many things to buy, so little money.

    I waited between 7 to 9 years for a new amp, I think I've waited long enough. I get not
    much pleasure from any other form of technology, music is what really chills me out, I'm
    sure hi end-ish hi fi means just as much to you, so you can understand I'm still going
    to ask lots of questions about this and other components.

    I know I think too much, I have to upgrade my sources to justify the power conditioner.
    Just look at my list below, the sources are a complete joke. They are $100-200 jobs.


    I'm speaking 5K to improve $150-$200 equipment ? that makes no sense.

    I won't consider anything along the lines of power regulators/conditioners unless I hear
    a 40% improvement at least. I don't mean to offend anyone on here who's invested in
    such components and received less proportion of improvement and still recommend it.
    I appreciate cost effective cheaper options. I'll need to find out what I can get in WA,
    work out prices ranges, then audition them.

    Let's be honest here folks, most of you would of owned or own some very nice
    components here and there and been happy purchasing some nicely prices cheaper
    other components which do a great job. However some part in the back of your brain
    still wishes you could spend that much more extra money to get that very expensive
    nice component instead. That has to be a yes surely haha.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Makes you wonder

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevio
    ...
    Good power does allow for good sound. Good power is the job of the internal power supply in each component in the system. If the power supply is poorly designed, noise on your AC lines can bleed into your audio signals. You can improve that with power conditioning but I think it best not to buy equipment that is sensitive to garbage on AC.
    ...
    PS Audio derives a major part of its revenue from its power conditions, some of which cost thousands of dollars. But at the same time they sell quite a few DACs, preamps, and amps. Based on your remarks, Kevio, would they not have a conflict of interest? Might they not be tempted to deliberately compromise the design their their other products in order that they will benefit from their power conditioners?

  7. #7
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    Nice work Feanor

    Feanor, like your work with the diagram of your stereo setup. Nice one.

    I'll do the same with my setup once I get a decent source

    Hence we come full circle, to my original point perhaps the better amps have the better
    power supplies, circuitry, but come at a hefty price (unless you buy second hand).

    Just a real pity we can't just bring over all of our components over to one large place,
    hook everything up, compare, test CDs out, I'm sure we could help each other out big
    time.

    I'm glad a lot of you folks have been exposed to many brands, most of them I'll never get
    to experience in my part of Western Australia. I know I keep playing that record (pun not
    intended), but I'm certain there are a lot of heavenly brands I'm sure I'd like.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Kevio's Avatar
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    PS Audio derives a major part of its revenue from its power conditions, some of which cost thousands of dollars. But at the same time they sell quite a few DACs, preamps, and amps. Based on your remarks, Kevio, would they not have a conflict of interest? Might they not be tempted to deliberately compromise the design their their other products in order that they will benefit from their power conditioners?
    Nope, most companies have a department or two (called sales and marketing) dedicated to overcoming problems like that.

  9. #9
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    Yeah some of the sales and marketing staff can sound rather convincing, and make
    a piece of rubbish sound like the best thing since sliced bread (I hate that saying).

    The operating manuals and catalogs are designed to only show the flavours of icecream.
    The list of faults just do not exist, and it takes the consumer to figure that out. There are
    some "honest" shops out there. They are a rare breed, but they do exist. I've been
    blessed by finding the few out there near my area. It's probably one reason why they are
    still in business and the others have simply closed down.

    It takes time, but eventually one learns enough jargon and are experienced in hifi to know
    whether they are being jerked around. I work in IT, and I know pretty much in 30 seconds
    if the salesperson knows what they are talking about or not.

    May not be a bad idea to bring a more experienced friend when looking for a new
    component, just in case by the slim chance they can ask a question that doesn't
    cross your mind.
    Current System :

    Xindak XA8800MNE Mono Block Power Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840E Pre Amplifier
    Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player and DAC
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK-II
    Pioneer DVR-640H (250 GB HDD)
    Foxtel Digital
    Samsung LCD 40in LA40M81BDX
    Sony PS 3 (source - CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-Ray)
    XLO Interconnects & speaker cables
    Sonos Wireless Music System

    Upgrade Path :

    1. Power regulation system

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