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Power direct from the wall, or Power Conditioner?
#61
(24-Sep-2020, 08:43)David A Wrote:
(23-Sep-2020, 16:03)f1eng Wrote: Given that a piece of hifi is designed to be driven from AC mains any competent designer should make it immune to any typical mains shortcomings.
I would consider any piece of mains powered kit which needed any sort of power conditioning to perform correctly to be defective.
Anybody who worked for me designing mains powered kit which needed any device between it and the mains to work properly would be looking for another job.
I consider Devialet good and competent engineers so it follows that any gain in performance by attaching an expensive accessory to its mains socket is almost certainly the placebo effect, which is real enough if one is susceptible.

OK, I'll bite. Just what do you mean by "any typical mains shortcomings"? The 2 usual mains shortcomings are incorrect voltage and noise on the line. What levels of both would you think it was reasonable for a designer to deal with in their power supply design?

The mains voltage here in Australia is supposed to be 230 V. Where I live it's rarely below 240V and often over 245 V, sometimes over 250V. Most components here are made overseas and I don't know what typical line voltage ranges are elsewhere but I suspect there are places with even greater variation than here.

When it comes to noise, what's the typical range of noise the designer should deal with in their design?

Finally, since you said that "Anybody who worked for me designing mains powered kit which needed any device between it and the mains to work properly would be looking for another job" I could draw the conclusion that you believe that designers should ensure that their components should never require the use of a power conditioner regardless of the state of their incoming power. There's a difference between ensuring a product is immune to "typical mains shortcomings" and ensuring that a product never needs any device between it and the mains to deal with mains shortcomings because, as a simple matter of fact, the set of shortcomings which can be classed as "typical" is always going to be smaller than the set of shortcomings encountered in actual situations because you can't have "typical shortcomings" without also accepting that there are "atypical shortcomings". If you want to demand that components never need the benefit of a mains conditioning device, then you are expecting the designer to deal with more than just the typical mains shortcomings, you're expecting them to deal with absolutely every mains shortcoming.

Designers can deal with every mains shortcoming but that comes at a price and that price is much more expensive components. In addition, every component you buy has to have the same ability to deal with every mains shortcoming possible. In my view it makes a lot more sense given the variability for mains variation from location to location, for components to be built to deal with some reasonable level of mains problem and for people to use mains conditioners of some kind where further correction of the mains supply is required because it's probably going to end up being less and more convenient for the customer to buy one conditioner capable of dealing with unreasonable/atypical levels of mains problems which can supply several components. That means that people who live in locations where mains problems fall within a reasonable or typical range don't have to pay fo their components to be capable of dealing with a level of problem they're never going to experience and that those people wo do have more extreme problems only have to pay for a device to deal with those problems for the components they wish to protect from those problems.

It's a great idea in principle to expect the designer to make their products immune from all problems but the customer has to pay for that and a lot of customers end up paying more for a level of immunity they don't need, and everyone ends up paying for that level of protection in the cost of every component they buy, regardless of whether or not they even want it for that device.

I'd rather see designers come up with power supplies that deliver reasonable results and let anyone who wants a better result have the option of buying an add on device which delivers whatever level of improvement they either want or can afford.

Don't buy it.
Are you thinking a huge number of hifi equipment fanatics are all unlucky enough to live in places with appalling mains supplies?
Or do you think most expensive hifi all has inadequate power supplies?
Makes zero technical sense to me.
Devialet Original d'Atelier 44 Core, Job Pre/225, Goldmund PH2, Goldmund Reference/T3f /Ortofon A90, Goldmund Mimesis 36+ & Chord Blu, iMac/Air, Lynx Theta, Tune Audio Anima, Goldmund Epilog 1&2, REL Studio. Dialog, Silver Phantoms, Branch stands, copper cables (mainly).
Oxfordshire

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#62
@thumb5 & @Pim

You're missing my point so I'll try to make it another way.

Here are the first 3 sentences of @f1eng 's post reproduced exactly except that I've changed the references to amplifiers to references to motor vehicles, and the references to mains power to references to roads conditions:

Given that a motor vehicle is designed to be driven on roads any competent designer should make it immune to any typical road shortcomings.
I would consider any motor vehicle which needed any sort of modification to perform correctly to be defective.
Anybody who worked for me designing motor vehicles which needed any modification for road conditions to work properly would be looking for another job.

I agree with the first sentence above which says that a competent designer or engineer should be able to design a vehicle immune to typical road problems.

Now look at the second sentence. It clearly says that "any motor vehicle" which would include a formula 1 racing car which needs any sort of modification, say to suspension, in order to deal with the road conditions, say those encountered on the Paris to Dakar motor rally or any other course conducted over extreme roads not encountered under normal conditions, is defective. The third sentence implies that the designer of that formula 1 racing car should be looking for another job because his car can't handle the Paris to Dakar rally course without modification.

It's one thing to say that a competent designer should be able to design a component that meets typical conditions. It's a very different thing to say that any component that can't deal correctly with every condition it may meet is defective, and to go from there to saying that a designer that didn't do that should be sacked. On that basis, f!eng should have been sacked for designing formua 1 racing cars that would need modification to deal with the requirements of the course of the Paris to Dakar rally even though they were superbly capable of doing the job they were designed to do which was to deal with race track conditions, not every road condition.

Products aren't designed to deal with every conceivable condition which may be encountered, they're designed to deal with a specific range of conditions. Some conditions which can be met require modification of the product if you want good performance.

As for power conditioning in audio, well maybe it should be looked at as something akin to the modifications that many audio enthusiasts make to their cars in order to get better performance of some kind from them. The car is their hobby and they make modifications of all kinds for all reasons. Is the car they bought defective because they want to make some sort of modification to meet their own personal performance preferences? Should the designer of the car they bought be looking for a new job because he didn't design a car that could handle every performance demand any purchaser at all might make of it without modification? The original cars weren't defective and their designers shouldn't be sacked. There are very very few products of any kind available that can't be improved in some way by some modification or add on device if someone is chasing some kind of performance gain that wasn't catered for in the original design because no original design caters for every performance demand someone may have, and anyway, audio enthusiasts like to tinker with their audio systems in the same way as auto enthusiasts like to tinker with their cars.

I rest my case. The statements made in f1eng's second 2 sentences in his original post specify a much higher standard than that in his first sentence which is quite a reasonable standard to expect. Unfortunately the standard required by the following sentences is simply unreasonable when no product is ever going to be designed to deal with every situation and satisfy every user's expectations. My response was about the difference in standards being called for in the first sentence and the subsequent sentences.
Roon Nucleus+, Devilalet Expert 140 Pro CI, Focal Sopra 2, PS Audio P12, Keces P8 LPS, Uptone Audio EtherREGEN with optical fibre link to my router, Shunyata Alpha NR and Sigma NR power cables, Shunyata Sigma ethernet cables, Shunyata Alpha V2 speaker cables, Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack, RealTRAPS acoustic treatment.

Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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#63
(24-Sep-2020, 13:27)David A Wrote: @thumb5 & @Pim

You're missing my point so I'll try to make it another way.

Here are the first 3 sentences of @f1eng 's post reproduced exactly except that I've changed the references to amplifiers to references to motor vehicles, and the references to mains power to references to roads conditions:

Given that a motor vehicle is designed to be driven on roads any competent designer should make it immune to any typical road shortcomings.
I would consider any motor vehicle which needed any sort of modification to perform correctly to be defective.
Anybody who worked for me designing motor vehicles which needed any modification for road conditions to work properly would be looking for another job.

I agree with the first sentence above which says that a competent designer or engineer should be able to design a vehicle immune to typical road problems.

Now look at the second sentence. It clearly says that "any motor vehicle" which would include a formula 1 racing car which needs any sort of modification, say to suspension, in order to deal with the road conditions, say those encountered on the Paris to Dakar motor rally or any other course conducted over extreme roads not encountered under normal conditions, is defective. The third sentence implies that the designer of that formula 1 racing car should be looking for another job because his car can't handle the Paris to Dakar rally course without modification.

It's one thing to say that a competent designer should be able to design a component that meets typical conditions. It's a very different thing to say that any component that can't deal correctly with every condition it may meet is defective, and to go from there to saying that a designer that didn't do that should be sacked. On that basis, f!eng should have been sacked for designing formua 1 racing cars that would need modification to deal with the requirements of the course of the Paris to Dakar rally even though they were superbly capable of doing the job they were designed to do which was to deal with race track conditions, not every road condition.

Products aren't designed to deal with every conceivable condition which may be encountered, they're designed to deal with a specific range of conditions. Some conditions which can be met require modification of the product if you want good performance.

As for power conditioning in audio, well maybe it should be looked at as something akin to the modifications that many audio enthusiasts make to their cars in order to get better performance of some kind from them. The car is their hobby and they make modifications of all kinds for all reasons. Is the car they bought defective because they want to make some sort of modification to meet their own personal performance preferences? Should the designer of the car they bought be looking for a new job because he didn't design a car that could handle every performance demand any purchaser at all might make of it without modification? The original cars weren't defective and their designers shouldn't be sacked. There are very very few products of any kind available that can't be improved in some way by some modification or add on device if someone is chasing some kind of performance gain that wasn't catered for in the original design because no original design caters for every performance demand someone may have, and anyway, audio enthusiasts like to tinker with their audio systems in the same way as auto enthusiasts like to tinker with their cars.

I rest my case. The statements made in f1eng's second 2 sentences in his original post specify a much higher standard than that in his first sentence which is quite a reasonable standard to expect. Unfortunately the standard required by the following sentences is simply unreasonable when no product is ever going to be designed to deal with every situation and satisfy every user's expectations. My response was about the difference in standards being called for in the first sentence and the subsequent sentences.

Your car analogy is inappropriate to the case in hand. The only part of the car equivalent to the power supply is the fuel filler hatch.
We aren't going to agree, fitting a fancy gold plated cap on your fuel filler is equivalent to putting a fancy mains anything for your stereo to plug into.
Devialet Original d'Atelier 44 Core, Job Pre/225, Goldmund PH2, Goldmund Reference/T3f /Ortofon A90, Goldmund Mimesis 36+ & Chord Blu, iMac/Air, Lynx Theta, Tune Audio Anima, Goldmund Epilog 1&2, REL Studio. Dialog, Silver Phantoms, Branch stands, copper cables (mainly).
Oxfordshire

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#64
(24-Sep-2020, 16:35)f1eng Wrote:
(24-Sep-2020, 13:27)David A Wrote: @thumb5 & @Pim

You're missing my point so I'll try to make it another way.

Here are the first 3 sentences of @f1eng 's post reproduced exactly except that I've changed the references to amplifiers to references to motor vehicles, and the references to mains power to references to roads conditions:

Given that a motor vehicle is designed to be driven on roads any competent designer should make it immune to any typical road shortcomings.
I would consider any motor vehicle which needed any sort of modification to perform correctly to be defective.
Anybody who worked for me designing motor vehicles which needed any modification for road conditions to work properly would be looking for another job.

I agree with the first sentence above which says that a competent designer or engineer should be able to design a vehicle immune to typical road problems.

Now look at the second sentence. It clearly says that "any motor vehicle" which would include a formula 1 racing car which needs any sort of modification, say to suspension, in order to deal with the road conditions, say those encountered on the Paris to Dakar motor rally or any other course conducted over extreme roads not encountered under normal conditions, is defective. The third sentence implies that the designer of that formula 1 racing car should be looking for another job because his car can't handle the Paris to Dakar rally course without modification.

It's one thing to say that a competent designer should be able to design a component that meets typical conditions. It's a very different thing to say that any component that can't deal correctly with every condition it may meet is defective, and to go from there to saying that a designer that didn't do that should be sacked. On that basis, f!eng should have been sacked for designing formua 1 racing cars that would need modification to deal with the requirements of the course of the Paris to Dakar rally even though they were superbly capable of doing the job they were designed to do which was to deal with race track conditions, not every road condition.

Products aren't designed to deal with every conceivable condition which may be encountered, they're designed to deal with a specific range of conditions. Some conditions which can be met require modification of the product if you want good performance.

As for power conditioning in audio, well maybe it should be looked at as something akin to the modifications that many audio enthusiasts make to their cars in order to get better performance of some kind from them. The car is their hobby and they make modifications of all kinds for all reasons. Is the car they bought defective because they want to make some sort of modification to meet their own personal performance preferences? Should the designer of the car they bought be looking for a new job because he didn't design a car that could handle every performance demand any purchaser at all might make of it without modification? The original cars weren't defective and their designers shouldn't be sacked. There are very very few products of any kind available that can't be improved in some way by some modification or add on device if someone is chasing some kind of performance gain that wasn't catered for in the original design because no original design caters for every performance demand someone may have, and anyway, audio enthusiasts like to tinker with their audio systems in the same way as auto enthusiasts like to tinker with their cars.

I rest my case. The statements made in f1eng's second 2 sentences in his original post specify a much higher standard than that in his first sentence which is quite a reasonable standard to expect. Unfortunately the standard required by the following sentences is simply unreasonable when no product is ever going to be designed to deal with every situation and satisfy every user's expectations. My response was about the difference in standards being called for in the first sentence and the subsequent sentences.

Your car analogy is inappropriate to the case in hand. The only part of the car equivalent to the power supply is the fuel filler hatch.
We aren't going to agree, fitting a fancy gold plated cap on your fuel filler is equivalent to putting a fancy mains anything for your stereo to plug into.
Generally I agree with F1eng. I think many power conditioners are a waste of money. However, I do use an Airlinks balanced power transformer, to which I have fitted a DC blocker because I have measured DC on my mains and blocking it stops the balanced transformer from buzzing (the transformer itself will not pass the DC current on). This supply I use certainly brings more life and vigour to the sound. Any other filtering system I have tried has simple squashed the sound and made it dull. YM(and the content of your wallet)MV.
Roon (lifetime) using qobuz with Devialet Air (I don’t like the sound of RAAT), Intel nuc, Synology NAS. Denon DP-80 turntable in bespoke CLD plinth, Audiomods Micrometer Series 6 10.5” (carbon fibre) arm with continuous silver wiring loom, Hana ML moving coil cartridge, Longdog Audio MCJ3 Phono stage. Both into Devialet 250 Pro C/I. World Audio Design (DIY) KLS3 MkIII speakers with upgraded crossover and SEAS T25CF002 Millennium tweeters. Ethernet streaming. Interconnects are home made with IPL Acoustics IC2 cable. Speaker cable is Blue Jeans (Belden 5000) 10 gauge 5T00UP.
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#65
When I got my D200 I turned the volume all the way up with no input and couldn't hear anything from my tweeters, even with my ears right on it. I since had the idea that because the Expert uses a digital volume system it's possible to not actually have the volume at full tilt if there's no input so I'm not sure how accurate that test is.

A few things I've found over the years though. Remember the good old days when you could hear a fluorescent tube start up over the radio? I still have those old tubes in the old part of our house. I can hear them start up from meters away but I've never heard them over the speakers. I've also never been able to hear any difference between having lights on or off, be it fluorescents or, supposedly bad for high frequency dirt on the lines, LEDs.

I think a great way to try out how good or bad the Expert's power supply is would be to tape a mobile phone onto the power cord. See if that has any influence on the sound (or no sound with the volume all the way up) as it rings (put the phone on silent of course)
                                                    Lifetime Roon, Mac mini, int. SSD, ext. HDD, tv as monitor, key board and track pad on bean bag as remote,Devialet 200, Od'A #097, Blue jeans speaker cable,                                     
                                                                                                                                                                            Dynaudio C1 MkII.
                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Smith's GBS.
                                                                                                                                                                        Northern NSW Australia.
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#66
(24-Sep-2020, 23:24)Pim Wrote: I think a great way to try out how good or bad the Expert's power supply is would be to tape a mobile phone onto the power cord. See if that has any influence on the sound (or no sound with the volume all the way up) as it rings (put the phone on silent of course)

Ha ha! Just wait for someone to claim they can hear the vibration from the silenced phone Big Grin
Roon (lifetime) using qobuz with Devialet Air (I don’t like the sound of RAAT), Intel nuc, Synology NAS. Denon DP-80 turntable in bespoke CLD plinth, Audiomods Micrometer Series 6 10.5” (carbon fibre) arm with continuous silver wiring loom, Hana ML moving coil cartridge, Longdog Audio MCJ3 Phono stage. Both into Devialet 250 Pro C/I. World Audio Design (DIY) KLS3 MkIII speakers with upgraded crossover and SEAS T25CF002 Millennium tweeters. Ethernet streaming. Interconnects are home made with IPL Acoustics IC2 cable. Speaker cable is Blue Jeans (Belden 5000) 10 gauge 5T00UP.
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#67
(26-Sep-2020, 10:16)Greg Wrote:
(24-Sep-2020, 23:24)Pim Wrote: I think a great way to try out how good or bad the Expert's power supply is would be to tape a mobile phone onto the power cord. See if that has any influence on the sound (or no sound with the volume all the way up) as it rings (put the phone on silent of course)

Ha ha! Just wait for someone to claim they can hear the vibration from the silenced phone Big Grin

Anyone with ears can hear that. Maybe not through the power line though. seriously though, I haven't heard any proof that the Expert range can actually be badly influenced by bad power, whatever that is. Is there anyone out there who has actually been able to identify something in their home that makes the amps sound worse than they should? In a way that you turn whatever it is on and the sound goes South and when you turn it off, the sound improves / gets back to normal? Don't forget, dirt on the power line is most likely from appliances in your own home because they're the closest. Unless you live in a high-rise building where you share your power lines with everyone else.

Let's have a go everyone. Start looking for a way to 'break' the Expert's power supply. If power conditioners make a huge difference it should be a piece of cake to identify a culprit that causes interference. We should start a thread on this...
                                                    Lifetime Roon, Mac mini, int. SSD, ext. HDD, tv as monitor, key board and track pad on bean bag as remote,Devialet 200, Od'A #097, Blue jeans speaker cable,                                     
                                                                                                                                                                            Dynaudio C1 MkII.
                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Smith's GBS.
                                                                                                                                                                        Northern NSW Australia.
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#68
I just remembered something. I was at a dealer a few years back. He had one of those 'dirt sniffers' that shows you how much dirt there is on the power lines (it makes a noise) and how a power conditioner can improve that (the 'sniffer' makes less noise)

Can anyone please explain to me why a dealer would invest in a 'sniffer' to prove to clients that dirt on the power lines is a bad thing? If dirty power is such an issue, why not just use one of your music systems to prove it? There's plenty to chose from and they're already in the shop.

To use a car analogy (Don't we all love car analogies?) The guy at the bowser pores fuel through a micro filter to show you how much dirt stays on the filter, then tries to sell you a 'super duper fuel filtering machine' to put your fuel through before you put it in your car. Yet, my car already has a fuel filter. Why not show me how good his 'super duper filtering machine' is by filtering some fuel for free and let me feel how much smoother my car drives in the coming week?

There's some fuel for thought.
                                                    Lifetime Roon, Mac mini, int. SSD, ext. HDD, tv as monitor, key board and track pad on bean bag as remote,Devialet 200, Od'A #097, Blue jeans speaker cable,                                     
                                                                                                                                                                            Dynaudio C1 MkII.
                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Smith's GBS.
                                                                                                                                                                        Northern NSW Australia.
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#69
A few years ago I got the chance to try out power conditioning in the form of a big balanced isolation transformer. The improvements were remarkable. 3 other friends who tried the same balanced AC transformers in their home systems, all ended up buying one.

With the simpler power strip filters, they didn't always work well with power amps. But this balanced isolation transformer didn't have the same drawbacks but brought up nice improvements in sound. A more detailed, natural, relaxed sound.

But looking beyond the 'cleanliness' of the AC power itself (the live-neutral lines), I think the 'ground' connection plays a HUGE part in the sound quality overall. Taking care to avoid ground loops, even swapping AC sockets in relation to other components, makes a difference to the sound. I notice this difference a lot more with the Devialet Experts than with my previous amplifiers.
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#70
there are 2 types of power conditioners. One is only trying to clean the AC, the other tries to improve the current delivery capabilities.
e.g. the Audioquest Niagaras can deliver up to 80A for a few ms, the big Accuphase can do the same. PS-Audio can also deliver much more current that the wall plug (only 10/20A).
Also these devices can provide the power much faster. Epecially a switching PS can benefit from this additional power. Transients are reproduced much better .
And yes, theoretically a very good linear PS should not benefit from a power conditioner, but still a lot of them actually do.
Also a power conditioner without very good power cords can we a waste of money.
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