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Old 11th February 2012, 06:46 PM   #2191
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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What is in something like this? Isolation transformer?
OneAC Power Supply - Line Conditioner CL1102 CL 1102 ~ Take A Look!!! | eBay
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:32 PM   #2192
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Hi,



The problem is that you have on side the consuming equipment which may be designed any number of ways and you have little control about the mains itself.

So any of these combinations of these with a simple LC filter may cause untold tank circuits that can make a bad situation worse, rather than better. Furthermore, few of the power line filters sold have any significant impact in the 30KHz - 300KHz range where all the crud injected by switched mode supplies for computers, electronic ballasts for cold cathode lamps and electronic transformers for halogen lights ends up and where HiFi gear is most easily upset.

At AMR we design the appropriate filtering into the device, into the mains transformers and additional components. We usually recommend to at least trying to use direct, unfiltered mains via a good quality distribution system, as most LC filters make things worse, not better.

Of course most customers ignore this advise and then complain to us and are upset when we must tell them that their very expensive mains conditioner (often more expensive than our gear) is degrading the performance of our gear.

To be honest, the only "valid" power conditioners I can accept are full analogue (class AB Amp) mains regenerators (preferably run at 100Hz or a little higher as well but not too high as losses go up too much) and balanced power systems with voltage regulation (e.g. Servo Driven Variacs, we use these in our factory), filters are just too much like shooting craps in the dark...

Ciao T
Thorsten, my onw statistical gathering research over the years indicates that the vast majority of mains noise lies between 10...80 kHz, where about 90% of it resides. These are all household appliances, computers (DAMN big polluters!), tube audio (by far the worst polluter ever, I presume due to thermal noise added to the mix, but I am not at home with tube gear!), etc, sit, and includes up to 4th harmonic.

As a tube affictionado, I suppose you'll take issue with tubes, but it's really a simple test: observe the 1...100 kHz spectrum on your scope with the tube audio off and the with on. Then discuss the problem with the oscilloscope, because the S.O.B. is transistor based.

Above 80 kHz, there's still some muck, as from cell and wireless phones, but bear in view their very low power factor.

My filter is down by 22 dB at 20 kHz, and by 80 kHz, it's down by over 46 dB, reaching a maximum attenuation rate of -72 dB at around 600 kHz. It does have a small comeback hump around 400 kHz, but it's not too bad, around 4 dB.

Oh yes, not to forget, it is an LC filter. While most perhaps do make matters worse, I really can't tell as there are not too many around, I would suggest many do so because they rely on the most unreliable ground for full effect, something I have managed to eliminate as a factor totally.

Nevertheless, as I stated and you reiterated, it is well neigh impossible to KNOW, even if we can guess, but your guess is as good as mine, how a filter will fit in or not fit in a system until we have actually tried it. I do believe it's one of the most heueristic devices ever.

As for the regenerators, they are just as dicey propostion. Theoretically, they should offer the best restults, but practical issues make sure that doesn't happen. In effect, they need to regenerate the sine wave, and it seems many have trouble with that, what they pass for a "sine wave" is notched blur to me; I have no idea why this is to, I never even tried analyzing one, let alone making one.

After that, we need what might be viewed as a power amplifier to boost that regenerated wave. This has its own share of problems, not to mention the required real estate and price issues.

In short, that's a nice theory which is still waiting for its time, in my view. The only such items I have any practical experience with are the PS Audio products, and with all due respect to Paul McGowan, while his is a better fit into many systems than mine, when they both work his regenerators are no match for my passive devices in terms of music quality attainable.

I know of at least 5 cases when his regenerators were replaced by my fiters, and in 3 of those 5 cases, which were local, it takes just minutes to understand why. One is in CERN in Switzerland, and one is in Dubai, property of a Russian gentleman.

Just one more thing - I am very careful when I name names because of Naim. Older generations of their products, from the 80ies and early 90ies, do change for the better with my filter, but newer generations are much more touch and go, some do well, some don't do well at all. Therefore, in all truth, one should not say that Naim products do well with the filter, such a generalization is simply not true, but must be very specific regarding models.
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:52 PM   #2193
bcarso is offline bcarso  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
I know we fight over power supply efficiency in IT, but I have never heard of a US regulation about consumer audio products and power supply efficiency. I thought Energy Star stuff was for appliances, not audio.
Alas the greenies are in ascendance. You can't even easily obtain simple transformer adapters with dual bobbins and low primary-secondary capacitance --- everything for things like chargers etc. is supposed to be switchers now, with far poorer isolation. Balu Balakrishnan, who used to work for me as a tech while finishing up his EE Masters at UCLA, has helped to make products using his PI chips as something mandated. Energy vampires you know

At higher powers the concern is the power factor. If you look at your local mains you will usually see a significantly clipped quasi-sinusoid, due to the numbers of cap-input power supplies (most of them switchers, but the first thing the AC hits is diodes and a HV bulk cap). So we now have requirements on power factor correction and more switching electronics to manage that (to make the current demanded from mains more sinusoidal).


Brad
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:01 PM   #2194
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
Power filters and conditioners tend to hurt amplifier performance IMO, i have found they work only on source equipment . Power amplifiers are at there best when plugged straight into the wall.

If poor ac supply fully regulated psu is best ........
The simple truth is that most power line filters do not offer much power handling, and if they do, more often than not it will be a transformer based device. At high power levels, all transformers will eventually start to saturate, so what you'll get out is anybody's guess.

Of course, my filter is no different, the only snag is that the saturation point is well above its nominal rating. Regular model is declared at 10A at 240VAC, or 2,400 VA; this is mandated by the obligatory European safety regulations 10A fuse, which must be found in all home devices (this excludes some home APPLIANCES, such as refrigerators, stoves which run off three separate phases anyway, hot water boilers, etc, but not say air cons). First signs of saturation start to appear at around 13 A, and by 15A, they are quite obvious. Yet, at 10A, they are simply not visible however you look at them. Much less audible.

Super model doubles the lot - 20A at 240VAC, better filtering curve, halved output impedance, but also twice the price of the regular model.

Wayne, there are VERY few amplifiers on this planet which will ever draw 4,800 VA from the mains, probably less than 10 all told. So, any power amp rated up to say 500/1,000 Watts into 8/4 Ohms will have no problem whatsoever.

And here we come to your second point, that filters work best on source equipment. While this is easily explained - source components rarely manag to gobble up even 100 VA from the mains, so almost any filter will accommodate them in terms of power - I find that when an amp is well matched with a filter, it will be a difference very easily heard, and on occasion, it could go as far as stunning.

A US Naim dealer from St. Paul, Minnesota, commented that until he had used my filter, he didn't know Naim could do such bass, and bear in mind, at that time, Naim amps all had fully electronically regulated power supplies, even the small 30 wpc model. That was in 2004.

My biggest surprise, albeit a very pleasant one, was when Krell power amps reacted as they did, most favorably. Those were the late-90ies models, and I managed to get their service schematics and was even more surprised to discover that they had double regulation per channel! How and why, I really have no idea, but the systems they were sitting in in both cases cost well over $100,000 each. I honestly did not expect there to be much of a difference if at all, and to hear such a tremendous difference was a shock to me, literally. I was amazed.

And that's all I am prepared to say on the subject, because I am beginning to feel uncomfortable talking about my own products, and especially the power line filters. I read ads too, and know only too well the kind of BS written there, it's worse than in case of cables. Myth, magic and voodoo gallore!

My last thought on the subject - remember, there are many variables in the whole thing for anyone to KNOW how any filter model, by anyone, will sit in any system, until you actually try it. Only then will you KNOW.
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:15 PM   #2195
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
OK, strong opinions on power line filtering. We all agree the lines are poor. I suspect we agree the $8 all in one filter, suppression, fuse and power cord socket is not up to the job.

So to educate properly those of us who do not do this for a living, could some concrete examples of issues and even solutions to quality sound with respect to mains filtering of both high power amps and line level loads be offered? Possibly a reference where it is discussed more fully? We can start with a .01 across the mains, and one across the secondary as close as possible. Now what?

A reference to commercial products for good and bad would be welcome. I would love to see the difference in the residual noise across the spectrum of my little test amp, which has nothing but a big inefficient e-core transformer and two wire cord.
A good approach I strongly support.

However, without myself in the discussion, as it is becoming an obvious conflict of interest. All I can offer are some effects I have looked into myself, but which are true and good only for myself.

My current PC is an HP unit, using an Intel i-5 core chip, running at 3.3 GHz, and backed up by 6 GB of RAM. It's now 7 months old. My monitor is a 20 inch unit from ViewSonic, designated VA2216w, now about 2 years old. Don't know which HDD is inside, but it's a 500 GB unit running at 7,200 rpm. The mammaboard has integrated everything but the kitchen sink, and there are no additional cards inside.

My room is kept at a constant 24 degree centigrade (75 Fahrenheit) by the air con throughout the year.

Without the filter, the temperature probe says the inside air temperature of my PC is 31 (88 deg. F) degrees centigrade afte 2 hours of working with it. When it's run off the filter, inside temp drops to 29 centigrade (80.6 deg. F). HDD operating temp is 45 C (113 F) without and 41 C (106 F) with the filter.

The picture on the LCD screen is a little sahrper, a bit better defined and with visible deeper color.

Take it from here.
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:19 PM   #2196
benb is offline benb  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
I know we fight over power supply efficiency in IT, but I have never heard of a US regulation about consumer audio products and power supply efficiency. I thought Energy Star stuff was for appliances, not audio.
Energy Star appears similar to UL certification (except of course UL is a private entity whereas Energy Star is a US Government certification) in that any product that is submitted and meets certain standards gets to use the label:
How a Product Earns the ENERGY STAR Label : ENERGY STAR
Class D Home Theater receivers would surely pass, but Class A tube amplifiers need not apply.
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:24 PM   #2197
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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DVV,

What impedance were the Krell's being operate at, on High sensitivity 8 ohm load speakers it will not matter much, drive big ESl's or magnostats and you will hear a difference by going to the wall. Again i have not heard your setup , so I'm not doubting you, maybe one day i will give one a twrill again ....


Sometimes things are different in revision ....
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:25 PM   #2198
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
Yes TL do tell , your suggestions from experience is worth as much if not more than theory IMO the practical will show its worth to those who care.
Basically, my advise, understand the problems.

Most engineers do not.

When I see a transformer symbol, I see a raft of "parasitic" components superimposed over the simple symbol and I prefer to control these as much as possible (means custom designs). If I cannot control their values, I like to at least know them.

The same goes for passives, I see a capacitor symbol, I see a complex RLC network. Where I can, I even prefer custom stuff here, because I can shift values in ways that suit me, but for electrolytics I'd rather good off the shelf made in japan (like really made there) than most MIC stuff, even if they will give me any custom design I like. And again, know the parasitics actual value.

One of my regular suppliers for small stuff has an originally very expensive 2nd hand RLC meter (and an automated Elcap Reformer), usually every time I buyt 50 Euro's worth of stuff from him I turn up with a bag full of stuff I want to measure on this meter or want to reform. He seems happy enough to indulge me...

If you cannot follow my example, there are somewhat indirect ways to get a pretty good (like within 10% which is good enough for most work) idea of parasitic values, though it means making measurement jigs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
What about Levinsons jump to Smps in there reference amplifier...?

Thoughts anyone .....
SMPS moves the problems from one domain into another. The high frequency means that the components needed to deal with the noise can be cheap and small, but the application is considerably difficult. Given the truly dramatic saving from a SMPS over a conventional supply it makes good sense to spend much engineering time to get it right.

Ciao T
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:30 PM   #2199
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
I am assuming units such as Carcom EMI filter 30ESK6C is the type that is being criticized as "issues" for audio?

The other route I see are complete multi-stage isolation transformers.
Well, looking at these filters I see two issues.

1) Being designed for EMI Testing compliance their filtering ability where it matters is, as me mate chalky used to say, "Feck All" (this is apparently a technical term in Ireland).

2) Noise leakage into the chassis is increased.

Ciao T
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:38 PM   #2200
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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What if they look like this .... ?

General Purpose Transformers - Products - Quality Transformer and Electronics

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