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How clean are our main's supply - PS Audio Noise filter

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Kannan

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Friends,

I purchased a PS Audio Noise filter by impulse as it was available at a discounted price.
Here is a small video of testing it on the mains.
I don't know how effective it is, but it seems to detect noise in the lines by its flickering bulb which is supposed to dissipate it as heat.
This video is not about the effect of PS but about noisy mains and non linear power supplies like SMPS based power adapters, eg. used here is a mobile charger.


I first begin by plugging the PS to the mains socket directly and it starts to flicker indicating noise in.the supply, probably DC.
Next, I remove it and connect it to the extension box which is connected to my Isolation Transformer, and there is no flicker, showing that the isolation works well.
I also have my DAC and Amp connected and both employ linear power supply.
Next I introduce a SMPS based mobile charger adapter into the circuit and still no issues.
But the moment I connect the charger to my phone, the PS starts to flicker. I then connect a high power SMPS and the flicker intensifies.
The moment both SMPS supplies are removed from the sockets, the PS becomes quiet.

I don't really know, but guess this can give an idea of the importance of mains isolation and linear power supplies.

Please do share your views on the same.
 

rikhav

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I totally agree but the only way is isolation and or cleansing of mains
Can't have linear supply for everything in the house

Even a tube light is supposed to induce lots of noise into power lines and other house hold products like TV, washing machine
 

tuff

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I almost went for it but after doing some research, users could not find any difference in their systems, some even termed it snake oil. There is a similar product from Iso Tek that claims the same.
It would be helpful if you tried it plugging in while using the system and see what gives.
Thanks for the video demo.
 

Kannan

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I almost went for it but after doing some research, users could not find any difference in their systems, some even termed it snake oil. There is a similar product from Iso Tek that claims the same.
It would be helpful if you tried it plugging in while using the system and see what gives.
Thanks for the video demo.

Have not done any critical listening assessment as yet.
 

hifitoaster

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In my experience, it totally depends on

1 .how transparent your system is:
2. how bad your system is affected by noise currently is.
3. How noisy is your power supply already is:
4. How good are your listening skills-(what is your tolerance level ?)

Some amps are extremely transparent but can behave bad with noises. Some has very good isolation built in. Some amps are not transparent in not resolving to that level where you can notice the difference between a filter in the chain. Some homes has already less noisy supplies. Your mileage varies with where your device is and what your device is.

Unless you are sure that there is some problem caused by the supply, why bother fixing something which isn't broken. So, some times for some people it may end up as snake oil

Sometimes these products only makes sense when your system is of that level resolving where you can hear the difference. Thats why some of the hi end products when connected to lower end stuff doesnt make any sense
 

sound_cycle

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en connect a high power SMPS and the flicker intensifies.
The moment both SMPS supplies are removed from the sockets, the PS becomes quiet.

I have believed this is the case - that SMPS get your power supply noisy - for a while now - after I started reading up. I have so far not been able to test it, or verify it, even after I got the, okay á LPS . Soon hopefully

ciao
gr
 

Kannan

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Friends, my idea was not to bring out if the noise infringes in the sound quality, as most may not be able to decipher it either due to limitation of equipment, listening environment or as @hifitoaster puts it ageing ears or deficiency of skilled ears.
Most modern equipment are designed with noise filters,

The purpose was to state that the noise does exit and SMPS supplies add noise to the chain (audible or not is a different issue).

However in my chain, I have an isolation transformer and also the Audioquest jitterbug in the port where the DAC is connected to the mac mini.
Since i use an amplifier that needs a 12 volt input power, I have run it off both a SMPS based (220 to 12 volt converter) and exclusively off a battery.
Both my DAC and mac mini run off a good quality torroid based high current 220/110 volt inverter.
The PS Audio was the latest addition.

Though my listening space is constrained without any acoustic treatment, I can hear clear changes in sound quality with and without powering the amp with battery, with and without the jittterbug and the most glaring is the isolation transformer.

The upper midrange and highs are where the changes are most noticed.

Happy listening.
 

drkrack

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Clean power will tighten up bass substantially
And remove any muddiness from mid bass
Yes , precisely that's be my experience see far, clarity and resolution of bass frequency improves considerably, not much difference for other frequencies. If somebody is suffering from muddy bass, checking power supply lines should be one of the important site In troubleshooting
 

Kannan

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I will be getting the USBridge in a couple of days. Will be interesting to compare it with a PC source.
 

Kannan

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I totally agree but the only way is isolation and or cleansing of mains
Can't have linear supply for everything in the house

Even a tube light is supposed to induce lots of noise into power lines and other house hold products like TV, washing machine

I have the isolation transformer only for my audio side of things and not in the mains. so was taking about linear supply only for post isolation equipment in audio.
 

rikhav

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I have the isolation transformer only for my audio side of things and not in the mains. so was taking about linear supply only for post isolation equipment in audio.

Yes thats true
For audio better to have everything with LPS if budget is not an issue
Unless you have something like an esoteric amp or CDP or the amp FM Prem uses
All which have ultra high end switching supply
 

Rajeshh

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@Kannan this is a great topic.
Do post about the effects it makes on the sound. I will keen to try this out if you report positively about it.

My experience with a Power conditioning has been that it has the ability to significantly change the sound, but that depends on what is plugged in.
For instance, when I was using the Wyred4Sound Mpre & Mamps, adding a Isotek conditioner & cables had a subtle +ve difference - I felt that the highs where more extended & the bass impact at low volumes was better. Subtle because only I or my hifi buddies could notice it.
But when I plugged in a Mytek Brooklyn+ DAC to the Isotek (which I also used a Pre-amp with the Wyred Mmps briefly) the change was dramatic, literally everyone could pick it out. I can't really say whether it was +ve or -Ve change, it make everything ultra bleached clean, perhaps even clinical.
 
M

mpw

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on stereophile - there is an article on this..

it goes like this ;-

a. If you have a source that draws 1 Amp for example - a reservoir of 5A from which this source draws 1 A will be appreciated by the source

b. But ( unlike sources ) many amps do not like a power reservoir before them.
They liked to be plugged into the wall outlet ( ofcourse with sufficient current capability )

why this happens is not explainable but audible...

as per the author..

regards
 

rikhav

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@Kannan this is a great topic.
Do post about the effects it makes on the sound. I will keen to try this out if you report positively about it.

My experience with a Power conditioning has been that it has the ability to significantly change the sound, but that depends on what is plugged in.
For instance, when I was using the Wyred4Sound Mpre & Mamps, adding a Isotek conditioner & cables had a subtle +ve difference - I felt that the highs where more extended & the bass impact at low volumes was better. Subtle because only I or my hifi buddies could notice it.
But when I plugged in a Mytek Brooklyn+ DAC to the Isotek (which I also used a Pre-amp with the Wyred Mmps briefly) the change was dramatic, literally everyone could pick it out. I can't really say whether it was +ve or -Ve change, it make everything ultra bleached clean, perhaps even clinical.

Hello rajeshh
You are absolutely right with your observations , but I feel a very well deisgned conditioner is needed to let dynamics go for a toss and change tonality
Yes also the resolution part is right
My take on the clean sounding part is that our ears and brains are uses to a certain level of resolving sound and it takes a while for it to accept a more clean sound
Of course it will differ from person to person
These are my personal views
 

Kannan

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@rikhav spot on sir, sometimes what appears to be a cleaner sound does not immediately appeal to the ears. I had a similar experience when I first introduced the isolation in the chain.

I don't employ any tone controls in the chain nor any of my gadgets have any. The only tuning part is adjusting the power amplifier gain controls and the xover and spl of the active subwoofer to match the changed gains.

The add-ons starting from the isolation has actually reduced the digital glare, allowing me to reset the gains a bit higher on the power amp at the same desired volume level on the preamp.
This in effect increased the dynamics without making the system harsh.

But sadly, my amp and the speaker tweeters gave in recently and had to get the amp repaired locally, and replace the tweeters which I procured via ebay US.
But since then I am feeling a loss in the upper midrange smoothness (don't know if the culprit are the new tweeters or the amp).
Still working on it to get back my old sound signature.
 

Kannan

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@Rajeshh Sure sir, I will post my observations on the same.
The video is only showing certain physical changes on the PS Audio, but need to hear closely to assess any changes (even infinitesimal) in the hearing.

I sadly employ pretty noisy :) things in my chain like the mac mini and a 12 volt Adcom car amplifier powered from a 30 watt 220/12 volt SMPS.

But except for the recent repair, this amp is one of my favorite in midrange delivery and overall balance.
 

rikhav

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Hello rajeshh
You are absolutely right with your observations , but I feel a very well deisgned conditioner is needed to let dynamics go for a toss and change tonality
Yes also the resolution part is right
My take on the clean sounding part is that our ears and brains are uses to a certain level of resolving sound and it takes a while for it to accept a more clean sound
Of course it will differ from person to person
These are my personal views

I was typing in hurry and missed one we'd and completely changed the meaning of the sentence
What I meant was a very well designed conditioner is needed to NOT let dynamics suffer and change tonality
 
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