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View Full Version : Power Line Conditioners! Yay, or nay?



scott fitlin
07-14-2004, 04:25 PM
I have been experimenting with certain front end components plugged into a power line conditioner, with varying results! On one hand it seems like with the pre amp and xovers plugged into it, the system is somewhat cleaner, with a slightly cleaner delineation between musical notes. On the other hand, when these components are plugged directly into the wall, the dynamic force seems stronger!

Whats your opinions on these type of devices, who uses which ones, and what, if at all, do you like or dislike about them?

Im on the fence, cant make up my mind, so how bout a little of others experiences!

PSS AUDIO
07-14-2004, 04:51 PM
This is very difficult to answer and explain.

I honestly always doubt that an AC cord can change something.

Same for audio wires and speaker wires too.

I tested several wires and I came at the following conclusion: One must use good quality wires, not so called high end and very expensive ones.

All those wires and solution are in fact something trying to correct an error while conceiving an item.

All wires are not neutral and they modify the tonality of an audio system, if you have a lack of high you can find wires taking off low and mids.

If you have a real good amplifier, pre amplifier, xover you will look for a neutral wire (its more difficult to find than a wire enhancing the high).

About the AC cord, one again they try to correct an error in the power supply!

I’ve tried some and the only one improving something is the one for the CD drive as the power supply is quite simple and not at the level of the drive itself (TEAC P2)!

Otherwise, a good AC cord will just do the job!

scott fitlin
07-14-2004, 05:09 PM
Im talking about a Power Line conditioner, its a device about the size of a preamp, and Im playing around with one!

And I have mixed feelings about its effects on the sound!

As I said before, a few things seem to be somewhat cleaner, and a few things also seem to be lacking by having my preamp, and crossover plugged into it!

Oldmics
07-14-2004, 09:48 PM
Hi Scott

Although I use these devices mostly for the lamp illumination and edison service distribution features,I could understand why it might be sonically usefull in your particular situation.

These conditioners are mostly hi voltage surge protectors.They also have some radio frequency interference filtering capacitys within.Those cars of yours can be pretty good source of wild voltage swings along with the R.F generated from the brush contacts,motors,etc.I am sure that most of the extranious noise generated from these sources have been tamed by your diligent methods.

By adding some additional isolation (power conditioning) to the low voltage signal processing equipment,it would be plausable that a sonic difference could be detected throughout all of the frequency ranges.

Since these gizmos are fairly inexpensive I would say leave it in.

Now as for your perceptions of the changes to the dynamics of the system-I say drag out the measurement tools and find out what the differences are.

Best regards

Oldmics

scott fitlin
07-15-2004, 12:53 AM
I have had no more problems with the AC since Con Ed replaced three massive transformers on my block two years ago!

I also had a company that specializes in power quality evaluation down here, and the electric is clean, and stable! Even with the Bumper cars running! We ran all 36 cars while the power guy was here, and he couldnt see anything on his power analyzer with the cars going! This really surprised me as I would definitely have agreed that all the DC motors going would cause noise and harmonics generated onto the AC lines. My rectifier packs have their own seperate DC ground located far away from everything else, and electrically the packs are well isolated from all other AC power! When my Dad built this place they did it right! BTW, my voltage stays at a pretty consistent 120-123! Very rarely does it drop below 120v, and that is only on an extremely hot day, when Con Ed cuts back!

I have been playing with two devices, one, the Furman which i have for the lights, and the voltage meter, and another more expensive unit, Richard Grey,s Power Company, and I just am trying it to see if there are any sonic benefits to useing them!

I do hear subtle differences, but Im out to lunch as to whether or not I like what they do!

jtgyn
07-15-2004, 01:52 AM
G'Day Scott,
There are several types of power conditioners. Some are basically constant voltage transformers, these units I would doubt be of any use unless your line voltage suffers massive fluctuations. Another type are classed as ultra isolation transformers. (Usually two transformers in each unit) these units would be of use if you have a lot of noise on the mains supply. (or line fluctuations)

Other than that I doubt they would change much in the audio path. The conditioners may effect the grounding between units connected to the conditioner and those not connected. (The safety ground should be the same but a lot of Hi-Fi gear is double insulated.)

Just my 2.2c worth

Regards Scott

Ian Mackenzie
07-15-2004, 04:55 AM
I have heard some so called Hi end power cords and conditioners.

Unfortunately, this is an area where the slick lurking salesman will play on customer with "the illusion of better sound" just because he say it works usually with nothing more than hype and false claims of how much better it will sound when you buy this item.

Some appear to alter the sound on "some" audio equipment with varying results. At the Melbourne Audio club we tested dozens of such devices.The best had properly engineered filters or traps designed to filter known mains noise and distortions that do effect the operation of audio equipment. The plug and cord brigade changed the sound in some cases but never made it better!

There is usually a well founded reasons for this, not magic.

Often less than optimum design in mass market electronics, particularly CD players and preamps that use linear i.cs benefit from line conditioners due to attenuation of RFI and other mains noise that cause problems at HF frequencies that effets the operation of the opamps in some cases.

The more expensive audio equipment has better power supplies that do filter out such problems. In fact its the mains born noise that often upsets the fancy regulators in audio equipment that are not guarded against mains RFI emmissions. (1)

Most power plug conditioners only attenuate in the Mega hertz region and those design specifically for audio attenuate over a much broader band starting in the sub 100 Khertz region.

This can improve the overload margin of some audio electronics and help suppress cross contamination from cd players and Pc's which can create hash on the mains.

Then there are power factor correction problems and Dc on the mains created by air conditions, dimmer racks and other industrial equipment that upset the operation of toroidal transformers.

This requires specialised mains conditioners such as balanced isolation transformers and Dc blocking circuits that use large series mains rated non polarised capacitors and other specialised devices to stabalise and condition the mains supply.

Randy Sloan, Ben Duncan and others have written and documented much about audio power conditoning.

(1) Walt Jung AAE 1995 Vol 1-4 High Performance Regulators.


Ian Mackenzie

PSS AUDIO
07-15-2004, 05:45 AM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
I have heard some so called Hi end power cords and conditioners. ...
Ian Mackenzie

This is dam true!

I've tested several plugs and other items too, what I can say:

I've got "better" results with AC socket with surge protection, something quite basic for computer protection, costing about 20$.

I never thought that just changing something in the AC wiring would change the face of the moon, unless you re-wire all the house, street, city and country... For world re-wiring, this is under construction, come back later on!

Good qualities AC cord and plugs will improve something, but spending billions on esoteric plugs wire and other stuff is useless.

They will only modify the sound results for apparatus with a bad power supply design.

Do trust my experience, what ever audio stuff you are working on, spend good money in their transformers, bridge capacitors, this will change a lot and this is almost half of the quality (branded component will not always offer you what they claim, try small unknown manufacturer and you will be surprised: I trusted BC COMPONENTS offered high quality capacitors, believe me, they are quite junk - for my use).

Alex Lancaster
07-15-2004, 07:48 AM
Luckily for You guys in the USA and Western Europe, the elec service is a lot better than here; I have been involved for many years on this problem and here is what I find:

Check the mains with an oscilloscope, You will find funny stuff like:

Your neighbor turns on the blender, a brush type motor, and You will see all kinds of waveforms, as Yuri stated, if the power supply of Your components is very good, no problem, if it isn´t, even fluorescent lights will affect it.

Surge protectors usually are MOVs, Metal Oxide Varistors, about $.02 USD wholesale, and will protect from a spike caused by lightning, but if they are "clamping" often, will mke a lot of electrical noise, I do use a lot of them.

Voltage regenerators, where You turn AC to DC and back to AC, are the best, but good ones are very expensive.

Switching regulators, which give a "modified sqare wave" are horrible.

Ferroresonant regulators usually provide a complex composite sine wave, so, not that good either.

Since the nominal mains voltage here is 127V AC, but I get about 132V, I use autotransformers to get it to about 117V.

I just made a choke of about 150 turns of 12 ga. wire on a 1" transformer core, with a 80 microF 600V cap in paralell, which looks good on the ´scope, reducing signals above 120Hz, after all, it is just like a speaker low pass xover, but I cannot hear any difference.

"Snake Oil" cables are for dummies that like to get robbed.

Alex.

Chas
07-15-2004, 10:07 AM
Hi Scott, many years ago, just for kicks (and way before the PS Audio device was introduced) I built my own AC regenerator, with basically an old BGW amp, driven by a low distortion oscillator (Heath). The amp drove a large Hammond transformer using the low voltage secondary (25V, if I remember) as the primary.

It had limited VA capability, so I never tried it out with my power amps (this doesn't seem to be a good idea to me), so I used used it to feed power to my preamp and CD player.

It really did improve the sound - but it certainly wasn't earth shattering. When you see the prices for the PS Audio regenerators, it's hard to justify the improvements.

johnaec
07-15-2004, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by PSS AUDIO
This is dam true!

I've tested several plugs and other items too, what I can say:

I've got "better" results with AC socket with surge protection, something quite basic for computer protection, costing about 20$.

Damn! And here I was ready to sell off a set of my L65s to pick up these: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=181-030

Don't you think they're worth it?? :shock:

John

PSS AUDIO
07-15-2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by johnaec
Damn! And here I was ready to sell off a set of my L65s to pick up these: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=181-030

Don't you think they're worth it?? :shock:

John

John,

It reminds me a problem I faced with an audiophile shop testing my amps.

The amplifier never sounded great and we double-checked every thing! We used a pure silver cord set to joint a CD player to the amplifier.

Tired of searching, I came one day with a cord set I had for 10$, nice looking, but 10$. A ready-made cable, plug and play.

It worked well and better than this pure silver wire!

scott fitlin
07-15-2004, 03:35 PM
I gotta agree! I, too, have had expensive wires, and they changed things, BUT, not for the better! never found a cable or power cord made of Hyper copper, or Silver, or whatever that I find improves, rather they degrade!

I think theres alot of sales Mucky muck going on.

Oh and Johnaec, those wattgate plugs, I wouldnt spend that much on them! But I DID look at them! :D

johnaec
07-15-2004, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by scott fitlin
Oh and Johnaec, those wattgate plugs, I wouldnt spend that much on them! But I DID look at them! :D Don't worry! I just ran over to the local drugstore and picked up GE versions for $2.95. My ears are probably too used to hear any difference anyway... :rockon1:

John

speakerdave
07-15-2004, 05:09 PM
Well, I dunno. I never would have purchased expensive cables, but I got a pair of Cardas interconnects with my power amp and they are definitely better than the generics that came with my CD player (a very good one). So, where is the line between return on money and ridiculous hopefulness? And what are the physical parameters each side of that line?

Zilch
07-15-2004, 05:47 PM
Digital optical links.

Or, is it optical digital links?

Never mind....

http://home.att.net/~isokinetics/Zilchswirl

Figge
07-15-2004, 07:56 PM
my experience is: i´ve tried expensive ultra super duper (or what ever) speaker wires. and it works just as fine as "regular" speaker wire! as for signalwire between the gear: my dual 505 vinyl player needed new signal cable due to the old one stoped sounding in left ch. i went to a store and picked up a 0,5m long "fat" with goldplated rca:s for 50 bucks!!! mounted it on the dual! its an understatement to say i was dissapointed! it sounded like crap! me then mounted back the original cable, with a little "adjustments" it sounds in both channels now:)


!!!the cableguy is out to rob you!!!

Figge
07-16-2004, 02:40 AM
however: i did make my own cable for the cd...bought 4 gold rca:s and 2m antennacable "TV" cable! mounted it...and wow! it was a little better than the one that came with the cd! atleast i thought so! if u like fiddling with cables u should try this! alot cheaper!!

boputnam
07-16-2004, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by Zilch
Or, is it optical digital links? Yea - a syntax test!

I believe it would be "optical digital".

Ian Mackenzie
07-16-2004, 04:57 PM
The noise can also come from within your favourite amp.

While I do not want members opening up their amps due to dangerous mains voltages inside, a simple upgrade of the rectifier doides can make a noticable improvement. (you need is schematic to do this properly)

I technican can do this for you by using with fast soft recovery recifier diodes and hi current Hexfred diodes in the power amp (with low EMI switching noise).

The subjective effect is a marked change in the HF registers which become more defined with more quiet between the notes.

Another tweek is to replace the filter capacitors in the preamplifer power supply with high quaility audio types like Nichicon "Muse" Elna Cerefine or Black Gate of the same value. The same can be done for the power amp. (see Michael Percy home page for audio quality parts).

Tonality and transient performance improves across the whole spectrum. The larger series electro capacitors in the signal path can also be replaced with Black Gate N series.

Your equipment will sound more like a +1000 more component!

Other improvements can be made but this would involve adding parts or making changes to the design.

Ian

PSS AUDIO
07-16-2004, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
... Another tweek is to replace the filter capacitors in the preamplifer power supply with high quaility audio types like Nichicon "Muse" Elna Cerefine or Black Gate of the same value. The same can be done for the power amp. (see Michael Percy home page for audio quality parts). ... Other improvements can be made but this would involve adding parts or making changes to the design.

Ian

I even removed all caps in the signal path! Enhances the lows but need a good DC protection on the amplifier!

It is true that the filter capacitors ARE important but good brands can sound great or poor from one amplifier to an other!

I used some BC capacitors from the 114 series, and was more than disappointed!

scott fitlin
07-16-2004, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
The noise can also come from within your favourite amp.

While I do not want members opening up their amps due to dangerous mains voltages inside, a simple upgrade of the rectifier doides can make a noticable improvement. (you need is schematic to do this properly)

I technican can do this for you by using with fast soft recovery recifier diodes and hi current Hexfred diodes in the power amp (with low EMI switching noise).

The subjective effect is a marked change in the HF registers which become more defined with more quiet between the notes.

Another tweek is to replace the filter capacitors in the preamplifer power supply with high quaility audio types like Nichicon "Muse" Elna Cerefine or Black Gate of the same value. The same can be done for the power amp. (see Michael Percy home page for audio quality parts).

Tonality and transient performance improves across the whole spectrum. The larger series electro capacitors in the signal path can also be replaced with Black Gate N series.

Your equipment will sound more like a +1000 more component!

Other improvements can be made but this would involve adding parts or making changes to the design.

Ian I have tried " audiophile " caps, in various components, and most of the time found I liked the components the way the manufacturewr made them! One upgrade I tried was to put two 470uf 50v Elna cerafine caps in the Urei 1620,s power supply! Should have been a worthwhile upgrade as the caps in the PSU are 470uf 50v Rubycon, maybe they cost a nickel a piece! Well, the Urei sounded edgy, and harsh with the $9.00 apiece Elnas, and after three weeks I put the original caps back in and it was such a relief!

I ventured into other pieces, and I have tried the BG caps, and again, not what I thought it would be.

I have come to the conclusion that altering the sound of any component is very tricky affair, and most of the time, IMHO, a circuit should be designed with and for the electronic components being used!

A good manufacturer uses good parts, and has already done what they feel sounds the best with their components! This is my opinion.

Its kinda like taking your BMW 5 series to the Cam 2 gas station! You can put 100 octane unleaded racing fuel in it, and it will go, but it wasnt designed for this fuel!

Ian Mackenzie
07-16-2004, 05:49 PM
Scott,

I appreciate your experience,

The Cerefines and Blackgates can take quite some time to break in however. That may not suit everyone.

It is well documented in TAA that they sound edgy to start with then progressively become more mellow then spectacular.

Of course a more revealling component will be less kind to the lesser signal up stream.

The interal makeup is different for normal elctros, they are dry not wet and use fine particles, they also last practically forever.

Ian

scott fitlin
07-16-2004, 05:58 PM
I know caps take a bit of time to break in, but, three weeks, at ten hours a day should be more than enough!

I just have come to my own conclusion, that IF a component, and its tonality are to be altered, its an affair for a technician, or the factory that made the component in the first place!

I have had factory mods done to amps and stuff, and been happy with that, but I have never been happy with homebrew mods!

Now thats not to say that some of you guys arent capable to do things like this, it just means that I dont have what I feel are the neccesary measurement devices, knowledge, and skills required to successfully alter, and modify a circuit!

Case in point, my new PSS Audio 300 with mods performed by Yuri and tested by him and his company, and still undergoing listening evaluation! I know what I want, he knows how to make it!

:cool:

Audiobeer
07-16-2004, 09:34 PM
I remember reading the discussions on rec.audio.opinion years ago and i use to get a big kick out of the mud slinging and tempers over what people heard or didn't. I'm a firm believer that a dedicated line to the equipment is all that one needs. But who knows? I am a firm believer in those little stone you put under the amps for a better sound! :D

scott fitlin
07-16-2004, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by Audiobeer
I remember reading the discussions on rec.audio.opinion years ago and i use to get a big kick out of the mud slinging and tempers over what people heard or didn't. I'm a firm believer that a dedicated line to the equipment is all that one needs. But who knows? I am a firm believer in those little stone you put under the amps for a better sound! :D Someone FINALLY brought up the Shun Mook stones! I always read about them and I wonder. maybe Im not taking the right drugs or something, but exactly HOW can a little polished piece of stone or exotic wood change something sonically, by sitting on, or under, a speaker or amplifier?

Ill tell ya what, though, a few years back, I bought this device that emits some sort of signal thats supposed to make everything electric work, and sound better! Quantum, thats the name of the company, and I had it atop my rack for a few weeks, and I really couldnt hear any diff with or without!

Thers so much stuff for sale out there, and I get so amused at things sometimes!

P.S. Audiobeer, I say this with absolutely no disrespect for you, whatsoever! Its all good.

:D

PSS AUDIO
07-17-2004, 02:05 AM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
Scott,

I appreciate your experience,

The Cerefines and Blackgates can take quite some time to break in however. That may not suit everyone.

It is well documented in TAA that they sound edgy to start with then progressively become more mellow then spectacular.

Of course a more revealling component will be less kind to the lesser signal up stream.

The interal makeup is different for normal elctros, they are dry not wet and use fine particles, they also last practically forever.

Ian

Ian,

First of all, do you think that big names of PA are listening what they manufacture?

They take more care reading and printing their datasheets with gorgeous numbers than improving the sonic quality of their gear.

As a manufacturer I've listened at huge numbers of components.

Well know and unknown.

It is true that, as I already wrote, that:

The winding of the transformer is important,
As the bridge,
As the caps,
As the schematic.

Everything goes together.

If you have a bad transformer and put either a first class capacitor or amplifier, you will hear what the transformer can provide, same for a schematic.

One must fine the best settings with what he uses and a great capacitor can sound poor in such a case, and an unknown one can be great while it is poor for an other use!

As you will soon receive a PSS amplifier, you can play with it and change some parts.

Let us know then what happened. I do not say that you will not improve something somewhere but what would be the price of your effort?

Black Gates are very well known capacitors, as Elna do. I’m waiting some Elna caps to listen at then and compare them to the Jamicon caps I use buy now (have you ever heard about them, I did not but once I used them, wow what a difference vs BC Components one).

Black Gate may sound better, how much better and what is their pricing compared to the one I use?

Using first class components will never make sound well a bad design!

Think about all that!

Audiobeer
07-17-2004, 05:53 AM
Originally posted by scott fitlin
[Thers so much stuff for sale out there, and I get so amused at things sometimes!

P.S. Audiobeer, I say this with absolutely no disrespect for you, whatsoever! Its all good.

:D [/B] I agree completely! What I meant by a dedicated line is one that goes from the fusebox powering my audio system only......no refriderators, attic fans, ect!

Ian Mackenzie
07-17-2004, 11:39 AM
Yuri,

I am not sure I understand what you mean here.

>>>First of all, do you think that big names of PA are listening what they manufacture?

If you mean PA = public address annd pro audio I think they look at weight, price, reliability, branding and then sonics in that order. What ends up in a studio scene or hi power hifi is a totally different market application and voicing/parts is propably first on the agenda, then price to suit the market, cosmetics and design.

ie the Amron Trash advert is dated but true of Tour Sound...IMHO.

My comments in my earlier post were a generalisation, but fast soft recovery diodes are a "known" EMI noise creator, where as capacitors are like lipstick. It depends on the occassion, the mood and everything else.

As my good friend Hugh Dean of Aspen Amplifers (Aska) says, selecting parts and the pcb payout is only the beginning and where art and science meet.

Yuri, you are right about the transformer, and most diy people do not have the resources to be aware of all these issues. But generally you get what you pay for.

ie PassLabs use Pilitron power tranformers in some of their products made to their specifications, but every unit is carefully tested and screened to meet rigid requirrments.

http://www.plitron.com/pages/Products/Audio/testimon.htm

>>>Black Gates are very well known capacitors, as Elna do. I’m waiting some Elna caps to listen at then and compare them to the Jamicon caps I use buy now (have you ever heard about them, I did not but once I used them, wow what a difference vs BC Components one).

I have seen Jamicon capacitors on the Exicon site but never ordered them. I may do so in future projects, What series do you recommend? I have only used Black Gate C series in one coulping application and I am most impressed.

>>>Using first class components will never make sound well a bad design!

Yuri I agree. Put another way, the Passlabs Aleph is a classic example and I have built several. Its a brilliant design and is relatively immune to capacitor quality in the power supply according to the designer.

Many diy versions have even been built using even recycled parts with subjective performance that rivals hi end commercial designs.

http://www.passdiy.com/gallery.htm

So I suppose the the price benefit advantage is a tough call but I tend to think that you have have to adopt a consistant, balanced approach no matter what you are doing. The benefit of $500 in Hovlands in the crossover will only show full potential if everthing is equally good up stream.

I had a hard time doing diy tweeks years ago with mass market consumer electonics as there was only modification not improvement in most cases. All that stuff is much more clean cut with a top notch design as most of the distortion generators in inferior designs are gone that tend to be susceptible to component quality.

I do not propose to take the lid of the PSS amplifier...that's a bit like putting your finger in the pie when big Momma's not looking and better left to the designer..IMHO.


Ian

boputnam
07-17-2004, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by PSS AUDIO
First of all, do you think that big names of PA are listening what they manufacture?

They take more care reading and printing their datasheets with gorgeous numbers than improving the sonic quality of their gear.
I personally think that quite an arrogant comment, and perhaps dangerously ignorant, as well. There is a great deal of R&D going on, and testing competitor gear is a large part of that. You can believe what you will, but the danger in that type of thinking / ranting, is that you underestimate your peers.

But, this is a dialogue between you and Ian, and I'll butt out.

PSS AUDIO
07-17-2004, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by boputnam
I personally think that quite an arrogant comment, and perhaps dangerously ignorant, as well. There is a great deal of R&D going on, and testing competitor gear is a large part of that. You can believe what you will, but the danger in that type of thinking / ranting, is that you underestimate your peers.

But, this is a dialogue between you and Ian, and I'll butt out.

Bo,

I'm not the only one thinking this way!

Do you think Crown is still a good amplifier (30 years ago it was)?

Same for BGW, Carver, QSC and finally Crest.

Those are the top 5 of professional amplifiers.

Even Bryston is not anymore what it was.

It is not because they sell big numbers of amplifiers that they sell good amplifiers!

I may hurt you a lot with what I will say:

It is not because a lot eats hamburgers that hamburgers are good to eat.

Read the very deep of my thoughts:

Get an old 9440, restore it with new caps, switch it on and compare it with today’s big names: I doubt none of them can compete with this ALTEC amplifier!

Am I still arrogant and dangerously ignorant?

Honestly what would you say?

PSS AUDIO
07-17-2004, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
Yuri,

If you mean PA = public address annd pro audio I think they look at weight, price, reliability, branding and then sonics in that order.

My comments in my earlier post were a generalisation, but fast soft recovery diodes are a "known" EMI noise creator, where as capacitors are like lipstick. It depends on the occassion, the mood and everything else.

As my good friend Hugh Dean of Aspen Amplifers (Aska) says, selecting parts and the pcb payout is only the beginning and where art and science meet.

I have seen Jamicon capacitors on the Exicon site but never ordered them. I may do so in future projects, What series do you recommend? I have only used Black Gate C series in one coulping application and I am most impressed.

Ian

Ouch...

I answered Bo about the brands I was thinking about!

Of course bridges do something (I sincerely think that transformer+bridge+caps=50/70% of the sound quality).

Making an amplifier is not only grabbing the best schematic placing the spares in a box and designing a nice front plate (remember kaneda pre amplifier only working one way and not on a full pcb)!

About Jamicon, I'm just using them successfully since 2 months time, they sound greater than all BC ones for my amplifier (it means that BC can work dam good with an other schematic). Jamicon will manufacture us a special model, we use a "common” one by now reference LSW 10000/100V. I hope this will help!

scott fitlin
07-17-2004, 03:32 PM
Back in 1994 I was still a capacitor virgin, but I had been reading with great interest about capacitor upgrades and the resounding sonic virtues of ridding ones electronics of all the penny-A-piece caps for dedicated, well made, specifically for audio caps!

So I took one of my Richard Long 3 way xovers, which are my favorites, had a freind who was into these upgrades, and away we went to modland! The stinky, Transcap electrolytics that are used as coupling caps in this unit were replaced by Muse Nichicon, and the cheap metallized polyesters were replaced with Infinicap and Relcap, and Wondercap! I get my unit back in about a week, and away I went to listen to it, and it just was NOT what I thought it would be! This unit has a sound that is warm, clear, very responsive, and very ballsy, yet not bright, and a somewhat laidback midrange, and a sound on the top thats right for club music!

In place what I had now was, Thin sounding midabass, very forward midrange, EXTREMELY OVERLY bright highs, better known as more detail, and ruthlessly revealing! The bass sounded deeper, but no longer had that PUNCH and KICK this unit is famous for. But it was a deeper, mellower, less aggressive sounding bass!

I had my freind save me all the original components, I dont know why I had him do this, but I did! And I replaced all the esoteric items with what was originally on the board and presto, the unit sounded nice, again! To be fair though, at my freinds insistence, I listened to the modded unit for a month, giving it ample time to break in and settle! And after 1 month of this sound, I hated the unit! When I restored it to its original condition, I liked it so much better!

As I had said earlier, modifications and tone altering changes can be good, and I have had good results from factory authorized mods, as well as custom built goods, but homebrew? Not from my experinces! I firmly belive that a unit circuits should be developed with and for the components selected, and when you change things, even though they may be better quality things, you throw the intended balance of the piece off! Of course, if one were to have the maker of the electronic component modify something, this can work, as they know how to make what YOU are looking for!

Another thing to point out is todays sound! Im not totally in love with TODAYS sound! I think many items are too mechanical sounding, or electronic sounding! I went to listen to these Krell FPB-600 amps. Supposed to be the best, bar none! Costs what a car costs! Very edgy mid/high! Good bass if you can afford them as sub amps, but they tell me YOUR HEARING EVERYTHING NOW! Very fatiguing midrange and top end according to my ears! Then at my request, they hooked up the speakers to a McIntosh MC-2300 thay had there, and IT SMOKED the KRELL, better sounding mids, and highs. The one thing the Krell did do better than the Mac was bass. The Krell bass was tight and snappy with great definition. Mac bass was good, but Mac sound! But the Krell made me NOT WANT to listen to the music, and system, whereas the Mac made me want to listen to more music! Female vocal through the Mc was so much more natural and pleasant sounding!

:D

Zilch
07-17-2004, 04:12 PM
"Got to keep the loonies on the path...."

:rockon1:

Ian Mackenzie
07-17-2004, 06:36 PM
Well we strayed off off topic, thats my fault.

Ian

boputnam
07-17-2004, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by PSS AUDIO
Am I still arrogant and dangerously ignorant? Yuri....

I never said anything about you, per se, only about your comment. I worried this might be misconstrued, but took the step anyway, hoping it wouldn't.

Regardless, I find I cannot agree with your opinions, that's all. I do find others in the brands you mentioned quite remarkable.

But I do admire your passion, and am impressed you've granted the Forum access to your amps. That is outstanding. Carry on...

Ian Mackenzie
07-17-2004, 06:52 PM
I personally think that quite an arrogant comment, and perhaps dangerously ignorant, as well. There is a great deal of R&D going on, and testing competitor gear is a large part of that. You can believe what you will, but the danger in that type of thinking / ranting, is that you underestimate your peers.

Maybe Bo , but I think Yuri's comment was fairly shameless however and no less offensive than your view of the JBL L100 dynasty which not everyone accepts.

.............now where's the Chilli...ooch.

Scott, I agree changing out parts can be a wasteful and frustrating exercise but the temptation is always.

To be honest, since venturing into the class A zone which may sound like I am full of myself, (yeah throw your spent banana skins and mouldy apple cores and pizza left overs at me...) I have had less need or desire to put in exotic parts. I use Dale resisters for stepped attenuators and pcbs (they are non magnetic), Panasonic oxide power resistors, Panasonic FC Electro and film capacitors, IRF Hexfets and bias the the living shit out of everthing.

One thing is for sure, less parts is often better and minimalist approach often leads to the most natural sound...IMHO.


Ian

boputnam
07-17-2004, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
...and no less offensive... I found nothing about his comment "offensive", at all.

Guess I've hurt your feelings, tho, you L100 hugger, you... ;)

*****

And, dammit, I may not be as discerning as you two are. I think I've got highly trained ears, and listen pretty critically/objectively, but frankly you two are lightyears ahead of me.

Ian Mackenzie
07-17-2004, 07:47 PM
I personally think that quite an arrogant comment, and perhaps dangerously ignorant, as well.

Bo, stop being so polite and diplomatic.

Given the above isn't it fair to say if some makes an arrogant remark in your mind...you must mean they/he to arrogant!

Guess I've hurt your feelings, tho, you L100 hugger, you...

Your drunk..again...the L100's are banished from the listening room while using the 4345's
*****

And, dammit, I may not be as discerning as you two are.

I doubt it, I clearly recall listening to your system for the first time on April 30 2004 when I arrived in SF.

I would say you are very discerning and more so than most.

I think I've got highly trained ears, and listen pretty critically/objectively, but frankly you two are lightyears ahead of me.

You underestimate your own listening skills Bo.

I remember that day we sat down and listened to your system changing out the active crossover. We both identified the same subjective issues. (You will be the first to try the active crossover project)

Relating sound quality to engineering principles is not an exact science and as musician you know whats right more than I.

Ian

boputnam
07-17-2004, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
Given the above isn't it fair to say if some makes an arrogant remark in your mind...you must mean they/he to arrogant! That doesn't necessarily hold - and certainly doesn't in my usage. A comment doesn't the commentor, make. Ha!

And, the rest of your post makes me want a hug...

Truly, tho, I am not as discerning as you. I am as opinionated, but less experienced than you two.

As well, it needs be remembered that many / most of the applications these amps are employed in do not benefit the discerning listener, right? I mean, there is only so much you can really tell when the crowd is rocking as hard-or-harder then the band, and in those times all you can do is hold on and keep the SPL's at safe/responsible levels. In true audiophile applications, surrounded by, and sitting in, anechoic foam, I'm guessing you guys are correct. Maybe... :slink:

PSS AUDIO
07-18-2004, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by boputnam
As well, it needs be remembered that many / most of the applications these amps are employed in do not benefit the discerning listener, right? I mean, there is only so much you can really tell when the crowd is rocking as hard-or-harder then the band, and in those times all you can do is hold on and keep the SPL's at safe/responsible levels. In true audiophile applications, surrounded by, and sitting in, anechoic foam, I'm guessing you guys are correct. Maybe... :slink:

There we are!

You've put your fingers into it.

Because those sound system are wrongly designed, because they are not “natural”, because their mids are so hard, that your ear is aggressed that to keep the impression of good SPL, one must increase the output power each minute.

People say that recording of the 70’s are awful compared to today’s one.

This is untrue.

Perhaps today’s recordings are richer as they are closer to the band (this is a philosophy) but they are made to fool us:

Mids are modified, and whatever system you have it will sound “polite” with a lot of rumbling bass and some good crystal high thus one can think oh god how nice it sounds.

Play a good 70’s recording and you can have blood out of you ears because the mids are hurting you: it is not the recording that is bad, it's today’s sound system!

Once you set up a good sound system the same recording is like marshmallow!

Before I achieved something pretty, I was not listening anymore at a lot of records, thinking they were poor (mids very hard, bras irritating and to “powerful”, voice without any personality, and so on …).

PSS AUDIO
07-18-2004, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by boputnam
Yuri....

Regardless, I find I cannot agree with your opinions, that's all. I do find others in the brands you mentioned quite remarkable.

But I do admire your passion, and am impressed you've granted the Forum access to your amps. That is outstanding. Carry on...

Bo,

Out of those brands, you find some remarkable.

Can you please let us know witch model and what is remarkable for this particular model?

Can one say that Crown amplifiers are remarkable and as good or even better than what they did with the DC300?

Is it remarkable to put 5000W in a 10kg box?

I do not think so.

Having 25 models, one for winter, one for fall, one when kid is clever (and you can imagine a whole fancy list), is this remarkable?

This is odd marketing as:

The amplifier never knows where he is,
A switching amp is just good for stadiums where sound must be intelligible as it will never be good;
That you need an amplifier for all indoors system and this can be the same where ever it is (church, theatre, disco, home use, studio, and so on);
And why not an amplifier for railway stations while it can be the same than the one for stadiums!

If an amplifier is well designed it can be used everywhere, if it sounds goods, it will still sound quite good in poor situation where high quality is not requested (disco, rave).

Because their founders are out of the pitch, investor’s or holding companies owning those big names are just willing to get the maximum they can have out of it.

It is true I have a teeth against Crown, but honestly since it is part of Harman, is Crown the same (they are just labelling Crown C Audio amplifiers)!

Live and let die!

Same for ALTEC.

What is the use having plastic computer speakers for ALTEC?

They collapsed, it is very sad, but the aura is still there, years after. Same for Bugatti.

Will it be the same for those money making company in several decades from now?

scott fitlin
07-18-2004, 01:39 AM
Crown made great amps and crossovers and reel to reel at one time! They have changed, so has the market! C Audio, funny you mention these, as once C Audio got swallowed up by HARMan Intl they no longer make amps! They were good once upon a time!

70,s recordings! These to, were and still are good. yes on the wrong system they sound awful, but on a really good system they sound remarkably great! Todays recordings are pale in comparison! Todays music has no midrange anymore! At least yesterdays music was music, not computer caca.

Altec. Once great, now gone! They lost the market long before they got bought up by Telex ( EV,s parent company ) by not keeping up with the times! You know what? Back in the 80,s when everybody else came up with THX ceritfiable theatre systems, Altec didnt! Big mistake! After all wasnt Altec the THEATRE SOUND SYSTEM LEADER? Then, when Altec did get bought up by Telex, Telex just ran it into the ground, among plenty of other problems the company was having, as well!

Unfortunately, nothing is as it was, but when did anything ever stay the same? Its just that audio and recording have become piss poor. Computer age we live in! Everybody jumped on the Digital and computer bandwagons because it opened up the door to cheap music production, and audio gear with a very, very high profit margin!

Heck, maybe in another ten years it will all swing back around again, who knows? But, for now, this is where we are at. And yes, some big names are nothing more than a Moniker to sell goods, but are no longer the BEST, or even close to what they were at one time! I may get alot of flack for what Im about to say, but I blame HARMan Intl for much of this! I really do. Why does HARMan have to own every brand name? Why couldnt they be happy with what they had, and kept what they had the BEST of anything out there?

scott fitlin
07-18-2004, 01:54 AM
Because this is how Corporate America works!

PSS AUDIO
07-18-2004, 02:55 AM
Originally posted by scott fitlin
C Audio, funny you mention these, as once C Audio got swallowed up by HARMan Intl they no longer make amps! They were good once upon a time!

C audio is THE perfect example:

Bought by HARM an Intl (there is no harm saying that they harm a lot our industry), killed this brand once it was in their pocket and as soon as Crown was in the same pocket they immediately labelled a previous C Audio amplifier ... Crown!

It means that Crown is just a name and C Audio did better amplifiers than Crown …

About ALTEC, I admire … I understand 25 years later why I was dreaming of becoming a second ALTEC as my graphic logo, model numbers are close to what was done …

I must also recall here the following (out of pssaudio website):

The first amplifiers were presented at the ALTEC LANSING stand at a 'Salon de la Musique' exhibtion in Paris (France). With the help and support of George N. KENDIRGI (Chairman of HIGH FIDELITY SERVICE, authorized importer for ALTEC LANSING products in France) to whom we express our heartfelt thanks here, the products manufactured by Yuri D. GUTSATZ Jr.. quickly attracted the attention and the appreciation of their clients.

PSS AUDIO
07-18-2004, 03:02 AM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
I use Dale resisters for stepped attenuators and pcbs (they are non magnetic), Panasonic oxide power resistors.
Ian

Ian,

I have no personal experience about resistors, and I use regular metal oxide ones.

Can you help me with names recognised as good resistor manufacturer in the audio land?

I seek real 1/2-watt resistors for a PCB use...

Ian Mackenzie
07-18-2004, 04:22 AM
Well,

Its a bit mutinationalised in the parts arena now as well.

Try DALE RN60D-F RESISTORS Non-magnetic. Radial, 0.25W (MIL SPEC), 1% also available in 1/2 watt..good quality/price.

CADDOCK MK132 RESISTORS..expensive
Non-magnetic. 0.5W, 1%, RADIAL WITH 0.2” LEAD SPACING

TANTALUM RESISTORS
Non-magnetic. Lowest noise and distortion. Available 0.5W and 1W/1%. Ideal for High-End amps.

Mills make the best power resisters.

The run of the mill metal film with steel end caps are lousy.

Ian

PSS AUDIO
07-18-2004, 04:53 AM
Originally posted by Ian Mackenzie
TANTALUM RESISTORS
Non-magnetic. Lowest noise and distortion. Available 0.5W and 1W/1%. Ideal for High-End amps.

Ian

Ian,

I've posted an inquiery at all those manufacturers unless Tantalum as I did not find their website!

Any help?

I will note ask a dealer like Audio Note selling me 100 000 resistors ...

Robh3606
07-18-2004, 06:43 AM
Hello Yuri

Tantalum is the metal that is used to make the resistor material. Try Tantalum Nitride resistors. Have seen them on an alumina substate with end ternimations. Usually a thin film type resistor laser trimmed to value. The ones I have seen were for surface mount and not leaded or for chip and die in Hybrids. Used on thin film subtrates for MIC and Microwave work.

Rob:)

Ian Mackenzie
07-18-2004, 07:21 AM
Yuri,

I do not know who make the tantaums.

Here are some audiophile parts suppliers

http://www.thlaudio.com/indexE.htm

http://www.octave-electronics.com/Parts/kiwame.shtml

http://www.angela.com/

http://www.partsconnexion.com/catalog/resistors.html

Ian

John Nebel
07-18-2004, 10:33 AM
http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/Lab/6722/pwint1.txt

is worth reading. Peter Walker from Quad

"An amplifier should, within its limits of voltage and rate of change of voltage, (which is slew rate limiting) if you keep within those two it should be very much better than any program material. These are the things that are measured at .01 per cent or .05 per cent. But what is listened to is usually a program with 2 or 3 per cent distortion in the first place. That's the least you can get on records, tapes, and such things. Listening tests are usually not done in this region of .01 percent distortion. I'm quite convinced within that range the amplifier is just as perfect as you like to make it. It's quite possible to put 50 amplifiers in cascade, each one into a load, potted down into the next one, and to listen to the 50th one or to listen to the first one, and the sound will be virtually the same."

The fun of experimentation and building things is something else and quite extraordinary - Peter Walker was talking about commercial products.

John Nebel

Oldmics
07-18-2004, 11:33 AM
Spoken like a true professional! !!!!!!!!


My hats off to you.

Now if those people would just STOP waving those infants up in the air in front of the speakers. AHHGGGGGGG !!!!!!!!

Oldmics

Robh3606
07-18-2004, 01:05 PM
"Now if those people would just STOP waving those infants up in the air in front of the speakers. AHHGGGGGGG !!!!!!!!"

WOW your not kidding?? How dumb is that!!:banghead:

Rob:)

johnaec
07-18-2004, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Oldmics
Now if those people would just STOP waving those infants up in the air in front of the speakers. AHHGGGGGGG !!!!!!!!Why do I get an image of Michael Jackson in my mind when you mention that...? :screwy: (Remember him holding his kid over a balcony?)

John

PSS AUDIO
07-18-2004, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by John Nebel
[B But what is listened to is usually a program with 2 or 3 per cent distortion in the first place. That's the least you can get on records, tapes, and such things. [/B]

Since years I say who wills listen at me that:

The distortion of the ear is about 1%,
The distortion of a speaker is about 1%,
The distortion of the room is about 1%,
The distortion of the tape or CD is about 1%

It makes about 4% of distortion…

And no one hears it!

What is the meaning of 0,1% or 0,0000000000000000000001% of distortion out of a piece of electronics?

That is why I printed this advertisement in Studio Sound in October 76 (if I do remember well, I was just 20):

The quality of PSS amplifiers is not only ascertained by
sophisticated laboratory control methods.

One has to hear their performances, the human ear being
the best of judges.

A sound is not only built up with technical specifications.

scott fitlin
07-18-2004, 03:15 PM
Tantalum film resistors are hard to come by, but you can try the Japanese resistor manufacturers. They are supposed to be all that, I dont know, I tried a few and couldnt really hear much difference. A company called Audio Note swears by these, though!

Metal films! Ian is right, cheap metal films, ala Radio Shack, and catalog cheapies, they stink, very bright, and thin sounding! Dales are good, I have heard these! They dont have what I call the typical metal film sound. And they are clean!

Another good metal film, and my freind Leslie loves these, is a british one called Holco!

I did play with an interesting resistor, though, and its called Riken Ohm! These are high end Japanese made, Carbon Composition resistors, and although I seriously doubt that you would want to completely load a board with these, one or two in the right place makes a sweet difference!

scott fitlin
07-18-2004, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by PSS AUDIO

C audio is THE perfect example:

Bought by HARMan Intl (there is no harm saying that they harm a lot our industry), killed this brand once it was in their pocket and as soon as Crown was in the same pocket they immediately labelled a previous C Audio amplifier ... Crown!

__________________________________________________ __

Before HARMan bought Crown they had been trying to buy QSC, but QSC wouldnt sell! And all the JBL amps of the mid to late 90,s were in fact built by QSC!

Well, QSC is still QSC, and QSC is the No.1 selling amp out there now!

To me this represents that companies that are good, can survive, and BE No.1 WITHOUT a GIANT CORPORATE PARENT behind them!