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Thread: Cables, filters, interconnects ....

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Suffolk, UK
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    291

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Years ago, I lived in a UK location that had lousy mains and the addition of 6A rated filters on the critical sources (my CD player especially) and cable-ferrites on the long pre-power cables seemed to make an improvement. My preamp back then was impervious to mains difficulties.

    The coastal location we now enjoy has very good mains and I now use vintage gear that seems to have good rejection of mains "nasties." I retain a filter on the CD supply feed as this generation of players gave out as good as it received I understand, but I'm not sure it's necessary - I can't now hear differences having it there or not...

    One thing I have found though is that equipment that puts the music first (rather than "HiFi" over-detailing) doesn't seem as bothered by such things.

  2. #22
    Vlado Guest

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Quote Originally Posted by DSRANCE View Post
    The coastal location we now enjoy has very good mains and I now use vintage gear that seems to have good rejection of mains "nasties."
    Obviously the effect of such devices depend strongly on locations ( mains contamination).
    I have in the surrounding 300 meter 2 mobile phone boosters.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Malaysia/Singapore
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    429

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlado View Post
    Obviously the effect of such devices depend strongly on locations ( mains contamination).

    I have in the surrounding 300 meter 2 mobile phone boosters.
    I think you are right..

    I had tried few quietline in my room. This device did darken and made my music background sound quieter but I felt the dynamic and some details were lose..I got a friend who didnt detect any differences with or without in his expensive setup..

    I sold them to a guy and he feedbacked to me said it improved his setup dynamic...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    lancashire
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    25

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Hi Vlado
    I've got a PS audio power plant, and in my location this made a massive difference to the sound.
    Improved bass being the largest change, it also removed any background hum, giving a wider and deeper soundstage. The unit has a filtered output, there is a easily noticable difference even between these, the regenerated source providing a more natural presentation, again with tighter more dynamic bass and fluid presentation.
    I agree with you that this may well vary from site to site, but if you have the inclination to give it a try, I'd recommend a demo of the PS audio power plant.
    Jim

  5. #25
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    Mar 2009
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    UK
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    72

    Default The Cable Test

    I found this on Zerogain, well worth a read if you're thinking of spending serious money on fancy inter-connects.


    http://www.zerogain.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22779

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
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    201

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Quote Originally Posted by DSRANCE View Post
    Years ago, I lived in a UK location that had lousy mains and the addition of 6A rated filters on the critical sources (my CD player especially) and cable-ferrites on the long pre-power cables seemed to make an improvement. My preamp back then was impervious to mains difficulties.

    The coastal location we now enjoy has very good mains and I now use vintage gear that seems to have good rejection of mains "nasties." I retain a filter on the CD supply feed as this generation of players gave out as good as it received I understand, but I'm not sure it's necessary - I can't now hear differences having it there or not...

    One thing I have found though is that equipment that puts the music first (rather than "HiFi" over-detailing) doesn't seem as bothered by such things.
    Hi Everybody,

    You all raised a very hot topic, considering vast amounts spent worlwide in AC mains "purification"...
    Me myself bought (a big expense) an Exactpower AP15A, regenerator/stabiliser, as far as AC current here in Greece presents a lot of problems (voltage variations of more than 10-15% many times a day, blackouts with over-voltage come backs, etc.).
    So, I was feared and persuaded -in a way- to buy it.
    Then some "hi end specialists" started screaming to me that I was harming the sound quality like this, that I should buy instead an extereme quality power strip (like top Furutech) costing also a fortune. I was messed. Couldn't really spot any crucial difference in sound with or without the regenerator/stabiliser...
    A friend -electronic engineer- laughed and said that AC current reaches the transformer and goes out then as 12v DC, so what's the big issue? And then, about AC mains polarity, what am I taliking about? He said "are kidding? Wedon't have a single-phase current here! And the Public Electric Service Co. is delivering "Sh..." up to our houses, so what to use to correct this ridiculous situation?"....

    Many of you -and the Harbeth tech team of course- do have considerable or very serious knowledge on the matter. My set up costs totally above 15.000euros, and my SHL5s are woth to play in a safe chain.
    I would more than appreciate every piece of your advice or thoughts, so not get further confused or wasting money.

    Warm Regards,
    Thanos

  7. #27
    macraddy Guest

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    I use Music Works ?kettle leads? and distribution block for shielding only and it does remove a ?grain? that I didn?t realise was there before. As mentioned above, there?s a darker background too. I understand from someone in the business that even the relatively inexpensive QED mains kit gives noticeable benefit.

    Music Works were recommended to me by Sugden. The customer service is also excellent.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
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    291

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Among all the smaller online audio interconnect people is a chap named Mark Grant, who makes some sensible and not-expensive interconnects and mains leads with no "foo" that I can tell. He does a "sale or return less return carriage" system if you don't find his products to be suitable for your needs.

    I only mention this because shielding and good quality conductors are important to this maker and their site is well worth a look I think..

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    United States
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    13

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Quote Originally Posted by 1ryal View Post
    Hi Vlado
    I've got a PS audio power plant, and in my location this made a massive difference to the sound.
    Improved bass being the largest change, it also removed any background hum, giving a wider and deeper soundstage. The unit has a filtered output, there is a easily noticable difference even between these, the regenerated source providing a more natural presentation, again with tighter more dynamic bass and fluid presentation.
    I agree with you that this may well vary from site to site, but if you have the inclination to give it a try, I'd recommend a demo of the PS audio power plant.
    Jim
    In the states here. Use the PS Audio Power Plant and a dedicated power line. My sonic improvements are similar to yours. Very nice.

  10. #30
    honmanm Guest

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    For the last few months I've been using a "Copenhagen transformer" mains filter made in the 1990s. In general it has resulted in slightly cleaner sound without any apparent effect on the dynamics.

    There is one exception, a minimalist British amplifier that sounds "unreal" (as in, artificial) when supplied through the mains filter. This amp is also very fussy about cables, source impedance etc.

    BTW when new the CT mains filter cost about half as much as a pair of P3s - and all it has inside is a couple of capacitors and some hand-wound inductors.

    Ideally the designer of an amplifier should provide it with whatever filtering is most appropriate - but I don't think that is common practice. It is interesting that old-fashioned bulky EI-core transformers are much better at screening out mains noise than toroidal type. See Rod Elliott's discussion of transformers.

    I do wonder whether audiophile mains conditioning devices are priced based on perceived value. It would be interesting to try a high-quality computer UPS instead (i.e. one that regenerates the AC and outputs a pure sine wave)

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Malaysia
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    508

    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    A few years ago I got my power conditioner and "believed" my sound really improved with it. Then one day I decided to connect my amp directly to the main and noticed harder bass and more dynamics. it was subtle and only noticeable at higher level of loudness.

    This prompted me to write to my Amp manufacturer ( A canadian Amp) who replied that the Amp came with a power supply that was adequate to meet the challenges of common household supply however whether to use one or not (conditioners) is up to the individual preference. My Amp got a huge 6 or 7 inch toroidal transformer and 4 x 33000mF capacitors that sucks up 1500W. Since I am not sure whether to trust my ears or reviews I experimented with various power conditioners and finally decided that my Amp is better off connecting directly to the main.

    However some of my equipments require 230V (my main is 240v) so I am using 2 huge transformers made for sensitive electronics equipments in the early 1980's. Both connected in series so that I can get a precise 230V for my pre, DAC, and CD player . But I do not think they make any difference to the sound. I am using the transformers just to ensure that the power supply do not exceed the stated specs.

    Other than that, I have discarded reference interconnects and power cables. Ever wondered why the high end manufacturers provide a standard commercial off the shelf interconnects and power cables. i am sure if they made a huge difference then the manufacturer would have included a better cable and they probably can get it at 15% to 25% of the retail price. IMHO.

    ST

  12. #32
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    Apr 2007
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    UK
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    Default European mains voltage

    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    However some of my equipments require 230V (my main is 240v) so I am using 2 huge transformers made for sensitive electronics equipments in the early 1980's. Both connected in series so that I can get a precise 230V for my pre, DAC, and CD player . But I do not think they make any difference to the sound. I am using the transformers just to ensure that the power supply do not exceed the stated specs. ...
    Be careful that you are not chasing your tail.

    The European spec for mains voltage is here, It says that: The nominal European voltage is now 230V 50 Hz (formerly 240V in UK, 220V in the rest of Europe) but this does not mean there has been a real change in the supply. Instead, the new "harmonised voltage limits" in Europe are now: 230V -10% +6% (i.e. 207.0 V - 243.8 V)

    All modern electronics sold in Europe has been designed to run happily and normally from at least a minimum of 207V to a max. of 243.8V. As you cannot be sure what your incoming voltage is, you may find that your double-transformer method is actually giving you well below 207V i.e your incoming is not 240V as you think but could be as low as 207V yet be in-specification.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Mains: filtering, conditioning, regenerating....

    Quote Originally Posted by harbethpr View Post
    Be careful that you are not chasing your tail.

    ......
    All modern electronics sold in Europe has been designed to run happily and normally from at least a minimum of 207V to a max. of 243.8V. As you cannot be sure what your incoming voltage is, you may find that your double-transformer method is actually giving you well below 207V i.e your incoming is not 240V as you think but could be as low as 207V yet be in-specification.
    Thanks for the warning. My transformer specs says it should able to handle 207 t0 253V i.e 10% variance at which it was set to give a constant 230V. I think most transformer (Voltage stabilizers do just that). Anyway, two qualified electrician certified they are safe to use.

    ST

  14. #34
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    UK
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    Default European mains voltage

    Wait. Let me check this with you.

    The issue is not about whether your transformer can take the high/low voltage. I'm sure that it can! But is it actually regulating the output according to the input? Unlikely unless the transformer has lots of electronics associated with it. Transformers are dumb. They don't know what the voltage coming in is. You'd need electronics to sense the actual voltage. My point is this ..... you think you have 240V mains arriving at your home and you say you are reducing that to 230V. Right? So you are dropping the voltage by 230/240 = about 4% because you think your gear needs exactly 230V.

    In fact, the incoming mains is standardised in Europe at 230V, not 240V, and it can be supplied at +6% to -10% legally by your elect. company. It burns more fuel to generate 240V compared with 230V so it is unlikely that the elec. co. will deliver much more than 230V to you. They will almost certainly deliver less than 230V. And they can deliver as low as 230V -10% which is 207V. If they do send you 207V (which they legally can and will) then you are dropping that by 4% in your twin transformers and then giving your gear is 198.72V! So you have created your own voltage problem!! I'd get rid of both of those transformers and connect directly to the mains unless they are truly voltage regulators with electronics.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Portsmouth, UK
    Posts
    3

    Default Testing mains - dangerous

    Please be very careful about live mains voltages. 200V plus will kill. Users may be tempted to measure their mains voltage but this should only be done by qualified people.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: European mains voltage

    Quote Originally Posted by harbethpr View Post
    Be careful that you are not chasing your tail.

    The European spec for mains voltage is here, It says that: The nominal European voltage is now 230V 50 Hz (formerly 240V in UK, 220V in the rest of Europe) but this does not mean there has been a real change in the supply. Instead, the new "harmonised voltage limits" in Europe are now: 230V -10% +6% (i.e. 207.0 V - 243.8 V)

    All modern electronics sold in Europe has been designed to run happily and normally from at least a minimum of 207V to a max. of 243.8V. As you cannot be sure what your incoming voltage is, you may find that your double-transformer method is actually giving you well below 207V i.e your incoming is not 240V as you think but could be as low as 207V yet be in-specification.
    Well,
    this is exactly what both my technician and the McIntosh Labs N.Y. tech dept. told me about power conditioning.
    Which, finally, made me regret for spending so much for the regenerator/stabiliser I bought (see above).
    Their final comment was just to keep it for some extra safety in marginal conditions, given that, if I sold it, I would hardly get back half its price when bought.
    As for the sound, no matter if you have a conditioned voltage & sinewave, you'd hardly notice any difference, except if you've paid a fortune and your components are more than sensitive to incoming AC current.
    Their advice was found to be quite true after long listening experiments I did.
    Power supplies are very good and widely tolerant nowadays. Today I used my volt-meter at the AC wall socket where from I get the current for my system, finding variations of less 7% (low) and 3% (high), no matter if both fridges, washing machine and the boiler were working or not.
    One last detail is that I have drawn an independent line out and before my electrical panel board, to separately power up my devices, with an independent fuse and emergency relay of course. There, I also used a good quality shielded electric cable to come to the socket.
    Hope these help a little,
    Cheers,
    Thanos

  17. #37
    Join Date
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    Location
    Malaysia
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    508

    Default Re: European mains voltage

    You are right. They got electronics in it. The first transformer a Constant Voltage Transformer with 8 resonance capacitors accepts input 192 to 265V to output 220 or 240V. The second one also a British made voltage stabilizer which accept 195.5 to 241.5V to output a constant 230V but with more electronics and adjustable to required voltage. I have measured on a few occasions when the main is 248V and the lowest at 228V and on both occasions the output remained 230V.

    ST

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