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Do You Use A Hospital Grade Electrical Outlet?


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No, although I believe it is OK to use them if you wear a mask whilst listening to your music. FYI, in the UK we have decent sockets as standard

That a good observation, Paul, I’m not sure that electricity has an inherent quality that makes its source important.    However, it’s entirely plausible that, given the huge number of devices,

Shunyata make a power conditioner that sells for thousands of dollars. Someone copied it for about $100. This may give a clue as to the mark up. Seeing a photo of the innards, there were about 8 elect

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On 23/02/2021 at 18:28, Johannes said:

1. the Oehlbach is not very accurate, the one from MFE is better.
2. MFE and Oehlbach can't measure anything when the device is switched off because there is no closed circuit.
3. today's devices often have something like a relay to switch them on, so they can't measure anything either. The only thing that helps is the good old measuring device.

How sensitive/expensive multi-meter need to be to measure voltage differences to earth between two different plug orientations?

Any suggestions?

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A multimeter, i.e. a multiple measuring device. It must have a high impedance and be able to measure alternating voltages (AC) around 200 volts. The measured deviations are usually in the mV range. In the past, with transformer power supplies, this could also be higher.

This should be possible with any normal measuring device. I use a Fluke like this one but only because I always try to buy the best. I'm probably prejudiced by Linn:
https://smile.amazon.de/Fluke-FLUKE-87-V-87-V-Digital-Multimeter/dp/B0002YFD1K/ref=sr_1_23?dchild=1&keywords=Fluke&qid=1614416323&sr=8-23

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I have a Monster Power HTS 800 Home Theater multi-plug/power conditioner. I've no idea whether it's considered to be a good power source, although I do recall being impressed with the  oscilloscope marketing demo when I bought it many years ago. Anyway, up until very recently I used it to power my integrated amplifier and CD, and had the LP12 (Lingo 4) powered direct from a wall socket.

 So, yesterday evening I decided to do a little test, and compare the LP 12  powered through the Monster conditioner rather than direct. My first impressions were not much in the way of differences - a little more detail at the expense of musicality maybe? However, the real revelation came with trying the amplifier direct from wall socket rather than through the power conditioner. That was a bit of a Wow! Suffice to say that the Monster Power Conditioner is now sitting in a cupboard, with the LP12, amplifier and CD Player (that I'm not really fussed about; it's mainly for background music) plugged directly into wall sockets.

I will probably re-visit the comparison at some point to verify.

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9 minutes ago, Andyt916 said:

I have a Monster Power HTS 800 Home Theater multi-plug/power conditioner. I've no idea whether it's considered to be a good power source, although I do recall being impressed with the  oscilloscope marketing demo when I bought it many years ago. Anyway, up until very recently I used it to power my integrated amplifier and CD, and had the LP12 (Lingo 4) powered direct from a wall socket.

 So, yesterday evening I decided to do a little test, and compare the LP 12  powered through the Monster conditioner rather than direct. My first impressions were not much in the way of differences - a little more detail at the expense of musicality maybe? However, the real revelation came with trying the amplifier direct from wall socket rather than through the power conditioner. That was a bit of a Wow! Suffice to say that the Monster Power Conditioner is now sitting in a cupboard, with the LP12, amplifier and CD Player (that I'm not really fussed about; it's mainly for background music) plugged directly into wall sockets.

I will probably re-visit the comparison at some point to verify.

I auditioned a Monster Home Theatre power conditioner in my system many years ago, maybe 15 plus years ago.

‘I found that a got a moderate improvement in TV picture quality and perhaps a marginal improvement by plugging my Unidisk SC into it.

‘As you found, plugging a power amp into the Monster power conditioner was a mistake, and robbed the dynamics, detail and musicality.

‘If you want to experiment, try just plugging your DS/DSM into the Monster, with nothing else, and see if there is any improvement? But I definitely would not plug in any amps

‘Nowadays there are some excellent power conditioners available that do enhance sound quality, but they are costly

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10 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

I auditioned a Monster Home Theatre power conditioner in my system many years ago, maybe 15 plus years ago.

‘I found that a got a moderate improvement in TV picture quality and perhaps a marginal improvement by plugging my Unidisk SC into it.

‘As you found, plugging a power amp into the Monster power conditioner was a mistake, and robbed the dynamics, detail and musicality.

‘If you want to experiment, try just plugging your DS/DSM into the Monster, with nothing else, and see if there is any improvement? But I definitely would not plug in any amps

‘Nowadays there are some excellent power conditioners available that do enhance sound quality, but they are costly

Thank you @Paulssurround, your advice there very much mirrors what I heard!

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On 28/02/2021 at 23:27, Paulssurround said:

I auditioned a Monster Home Theatre power conditioner in my system many years ago, maybe 15 plus years ago.

‘I found that a got a moderate improvement in TV picture quality and perhaps a marginal improvement by plugging my Unidisk SC into it.

‘As you found, plugging a power amp into the Monster power conditioner was a mistake, and robbed the dynamics, detail and musicality.

‘If you want to experiment, try just plugging your DS/DSM into the Monster, with nothing else, and see if there is any improvement? But I definitely would not plug in any amps

‘Nowadays there are some excellent power conditioners available that do enhance sound quality, but they are costly

So, following on from this I've been doing a bit more testing.

Having established that the amplifier is way better plugged directly into the wall socket, I thought I'd try the LP12 again. Using one of my favourite comparator albums: Knife - Aztec Camera, using the Monster power conditioner wasn't a disaster, but somehow seemed to "suck" the musicality out. So the LP12 / Lingo 4 went back into the wall. The only other component there is a CD player that I rarely use so, since it's only one wall plug either way that's direct to the wall socket too.

I then remembered that we have a second Monster power conditioner powering the TV, Blu-Ray player (very rarely used), Soundbar and associated subwoofer (pretty low level). Since I only really watch rugby and cycling on the TV I doubt that it will make much difference, but on the back of the previous tests they are now plugged directly into the wall socket leaving just the TV and the Blu-Ray through the Monster.

I've run out of plug sockets now!

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On 28/02/2021 at 23:27, Paulssurround said:

I auditioned a Monster Home Theatre power conditioner in my system many years ago, maybe 15 plus years ago.

‘I found that a got a moderate improvement in TV picture quality and perhaps a marginal improvement by plugging my Unidisk SC into it.

‘As you found, plugging a power amp into the Monster power conditioner was a mistake, and robbed the dynamics, detail and musicality.

‘If you want to experiment, try just plugging your DS/DSM into the Monster, with nothing else, and see if there is any improvement? But I definitely would not plug in any amps

‘Nowadays there are some excellent power conditioners available that do enhance sound quality, but they are costly

Following on from the successful removal of my LP12 and amplifier from the Monster power conditioner and direct into wall sockets, I realised that a number of my potential upgrade plans will cause me to run out of wall sockets. So, I did a bit of investigation into options and came across Russ Andrews (who I recalled from long ago hifi magazines discussions on power issues). Regarding their mains hifi blocks, they state that "Connecting all of your components into one high quality extension is known as 'star powering'. This helps your system to perform better than connecting your mains leads to several wall sockets at different points - and it looks neater too!".

Does anyone here have any experience to verify whether this is actually the case or not? And does anyone have any experience with Russ Andrews PowerBar or X-Blocks to advise whether they are a good solution?

Thanks, Andy.

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12 hours ago, Andyt916 said:

Does anyone here have any experience to verify whether this is actually the case or not? And does anyone have any experience with Russ Andrews PowerBar or X-Blocks to advise whether they are a good solution?

Russ will send you a booklet that will go in to his philosophy of mains. I’m far from convinced by the RA products I have heard, but he does let you try his mains blocks for 60 days and if you don’t hear an improvement you can return them and get your cash back. 

Advertising Standards did have a case against Russ’s claims, but on appeal It was found in favour of Russ. There is a WAM thread about the original investigation. There is also WHF article https://www.whathifi.com/news/russ-andrews-wins-asa-case-and-cleared-misleading-consumers

I use an Olsen unit and am happy with it. https://olsondirect.co.uk/browse-by-category/sound-fantastic.html, but make no special claims for it other than it works faultlessly and I'm unlikely to change it. I use the UPS version of the Power Inspired mains regenerator for my music server and other computer stuff; I tried it on the Linn hifi https://www.powerinspired.com/new-ac-power-regenerator-ag1500s/ - thought I heard a slight improvement, but I couldn't be bothered changing all my mains plugs to IECs (I know I could simply change the Olsen plug) - this unit will measurably improve mains, but only by listening can you say if you find it beneficial. You can buy audiophile regenerators at 10x the price (e.g. PS Audio) that do the same things as this 

image.thumb.png.fd4b2807ab8be2e994596b630de0c4d1.png

Please note the mains supply to my cottage would not win any awards so I have tried to improve matters. The biggest improvement was moving to Linn as its kit seems to cope much better than most. I put this down to its power supplies, which seem rather better than those in brands I used to use. 

Edited by Nestor Turton
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20 hours ago, Andyt916 said:

Following on from the successful removal of my LP12 and amplifier from the Monster power conditioner and direct into wall sockets, I realised that a number of my potential upgrade plans will cause me to run out of wall sockets. So, I did a bit of investigation into options and came across Russ Andrews (who I recalled from long ago hifi magazines discussions on power issues). Regarding their mains hifi blocks, they state that "Connecting all of your components into one high quality extension is known as 'star powering'. This helps your system to perform better than connecting your mains leads to several wall sockets at different points - and it looks neater too!".

Does anyone here have any experience to verify whether this is actually the case or not? And does anyone have any experience with Russ Andrews PowerBar or X-Blocks to advise whether they are a good solution?

Thanks, Andy.

I'd never heard the term "star powering," but this was the conventional wisdom about 30 years ago or so. I bought the power strip below for just that purpose. I'm finding that at least with Dynamik, the equipment is so immune to power considerations. I have tested. I really don't think it matters much anymore. I've plugged my DSM and Radikal into the same and into a different circuits from the Akubariks. I could hear no difference.

In order to provide more outlets, I would recommend a robust power strip like mine. Just make sure it has no electrical devices (capacitors as filters) as this could degrade sound quality.

5E194B32-5A55-4F13-83C1-47636AAB1692.jpeg

Edited by akamatsu
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On 18/03/2021 at 19:16, akamatsu said:

I'd never heard the term "star powering," but this was the conventional wisdom about 30 years ago or so. I bought the power strip below for just that purpose. I'm finding that at least with Dynamik, the equipment is so immune to power considerations. I have tested. I really don't think it matters much anymore. I've plugged my DSM and Radikal into the same and into a different circuits from the Akubariks. I could hear no difference.

In order to provide more outlets, I would recommend a robust power strip like mine. Just make sure it has no electrical devices (capacitors as filters) as this could degrade sound quality.

5E194B32-5A55-4F13-83C1-47636AAB1692.jpeg

Why don't you use the two outlets closest to the entry point of the cable on your power strip? They are usually the best sounding ones...

Edited by Tendaberry
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21 hours ago, akamatsu said:

I'd never heard the term "star powering," but this was the conventional wisdom about 30 years ago or so. I bought the power strip below for just that purpose. I'm finding that at least with Dynamik, the equipment is so immune to power considerations. I have tested. I really don't think it matters much anymore. I've plugged my DSM and Radikal into the same and into a different circuits from the Akubariks. I could hear no difference.

In order to provide more outlets, I would recommend a robust power strip like mine. Just make sure it has no electrical devices (capacitors as filters) as this could degrade sound quality.

5E194B32-5A55-4F13-83C1-47636AAB1692.jpeg

You and I are on the same grid and get our electrical supply from the same source, ultimately British Columbia Hydro.  😊

I find that the electrical supply here is very noisy, and benefits tremendously from cleaning up the mains with a good power conditioner. 

I have found that Linn electronics respond very well to cleaning up the power supply, allowing the Dynamik power supply to be even more effective in doing its job. This is true for Klimax, Akurate, Selekt and Majik level electronics. The sound quality improvements are significant in my experience, and it has the added benefit of reducing spikes in the electrical supply that can damage your electronics components, therefore reducing the risk of repairs.

‘Both of the Linn dealers here have all of their Linn plugged into power conditioners, without exception, and carry a number of brands to choose from

1 hour ago, Tendaberry said:

Why don't you use the two outlets closest to the enter point of the cable on your power strip? They are usually the best sounding ones...

Good point

I would also consider cable management , separating the speaker cables and interconnects away from the power cords. I would also separate the TV and other video devices from the audio side of the electronics as that can obtain better picture and sound quality if set up correctly.

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33 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

You and I are on the same grid and get our electrical supply from the same source, ultimately British Columbia Hydro.  😊

I find that the electrical supply here is very noisy, and benefits tremendously from cleaning up the mains with a good power conditioner. 

I have found that Linn electronics respond very well to cleaning up the power supply, allowing the Dynamik power supply to be even more effective in doing its job. This is true for Klimax, Akurate, Selekt and Majik level electronics. The sound quality improvements are significant in my experience, and it has the added benefit of reducing spikes in the electrical supply that can damage your electronics components, therefore reducing the risk of repairs.

‘Both of the Linn dealers here have all of their Linn plugged into power conditioners, without exception, and carry a number of brands to choose from

Good point

I would also consider cable management , separating the speaker cables and interconnects away from the power cords. I would also separate the TV and other video devices from the audio side of the electronics as that can obtain better picture and sound quality if set up correctly.

I've tested and found no evidence of mains noise affecting sound quality. Linn recommend against using external power conditioners for Dynamik power supplies.

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2 hours ago, Tendaberry said:

Why don't you use the two outlets closest to the enter point of the cable on your power strip? They are usually the best sounding ones...

I used to be into that sort of thing, not anymore. It sounds great the way it is.

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18 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

You and I are on the same grid and get our electrical supply from the same source, ultimately British Columbia Hydro.  😊

I find that the electrical supply here is very noisy, and benefits tremendously from cleaning up the mains with a good power conditioner. 

That a good observation, Paul, I’m not sure that electricity has an inherent quality that makes its source important. 
 

However, it’s entirely plausible that, given the huge number of devices, cables, connections etc involved in electricity transmission to the home, you could experience supply issues where Akamatsu does not. This could even be the case if you were living in adjacent properties. During our first couple of winters in this property, we experienced mini “brown-outs” where the supply dipped significantly enough for light to dim for a second at the time. The first year, we simply put it down to it being a much older property and the weather. The second year, I happened to mention it to a neighbour who said he had no such issue. I reported the issue to the supplier. At first they reported that they couldn’t find a fault, so I persisted and they installed a recording device on my supply inlet. After several weeks, they took it away. Then one morning, they were digging outside. On asking what they were doing, they advised that a serious fault had been identified that had to rectified immediately. After that, we never experienced another “brown-out”. Of more interest, for this thread, was that I was convinced that my system did sound better. Now, I accept that that could have been expectation bias, but a common issue with “chrome bumper” Naim power amps is that their transformers can buzz quite noticeably in line with what the mains is doing. After the repair, my NAP160 rarely buzzed at all.

So, I find it plausible that you have some noise or issue with your mains supply that you can improve with a mains conditioner, but that Akamatsu does not and that the same mains conditioner would not have the same effect at his property and could even make things worse. 
It does appear that issues with the mains are more common in North America than the UK. If the general quality of wiring is anything like that at a friend’s home in northern Illinois, then I’m not really surprised.

38 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

Both of the Linn dealers here have all of their Linn plugged into power conditioners, without exception, and carry a number of brands to choose from

It’s good that such devices exist and are available where they may be useful. I temper that with dealers ( yes, even Linn dealers) are in business to make money by selling things. Just because a dealer implicitly recommends something, doesn’t make it a “must have” purchase. My dealer seems to know, instinctively, what not to suggest to me.

’troll

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