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Isolation transformers (Read 3173 times)
Fireblade
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Isolation transformers
01/07/12 at 16:13:09
 
I've learned through the Mini Torii Owner's Manual on the site that Steve recommends using a 500 Watt isolation transformer as the main ingredient in shielding your amp's sound from the horrible harmonics imbedded in the dirty mains supply.

It just makes sense and will protect from transient surges too. It's also a less expensive (and more credible) alternative to Power Conditioners.  What do you gauys think and what are popular brands to check for?
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Lon
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #1 - 01/07/12 at 16:53:18
 
I've used Tripplite to good effect. I ended up actually with two, one for my digital and one for my analog components. Better than straight out of the wall in my old house. These are in use in my second system now.

Then I moved to a PS Audio Premier power plant for the main system, and the sound was much better, no contest. And both of these (the isolation transformers, and then the PS Audio) were/are in use with the Torii Mk III with its own tube regulation to clean up power. . . . With these Decware components everything matters. In one sense this Decware experience has been an expensive trip down the rabbit hole. . . .
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« Last Edit: 01/07/12 at 17:09:26 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Fireblade
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #2 - 01/07/12 at 20:16:28
 
I know what you mean, Lon. Been there long time ago! I'll start with the isolation approach for now. Tripplite comes up in every search I do, I guess these are pretty good.  

According to Steve, having the tube regulation/rectification stages obviates the need for the expensive PS Audio power plant/conditioner,  but not (evidently) the isolation transformer.

I'm sure the sound may improve through the PS Audio, but there are weaker links in the pipeline, like (mostly) room conditioning and SUB placement, interconnects, etc, before worrying myself with that level of power conditioning.

Thanks.
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Lon
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #3 - 01/07/12 at 20:33:42
 
Well, maybe. I don't want to disagree with Steve, but in my case bringing in the next level of power conditioning was the answer to me, didn't need a sub, room-conditioning etc. after that. The improvement moving to this from the isolation transformers was not subtle.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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Fireblade
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #4 - 01/07/12 at 21:50:06
 
You may be right. I read some reviews and overviews on the PS Audio P5 & P10, and the regeneration of the AC sinewave is an interesting concept (also new to me).

As far as I knew, the theory behind the traditional isolation transformers is straightforward, well proven.  What else could be done by PS Audio not covered by the physical de-coupling of your audio circuit from the mains (as if a dedicated circuit)?  ... So now the answer is: Synthetically perfect AC supply.  The best raw material for your equipment.

Although the investment order of magnitude is 13 times the cost of traditional isolation transformers, I can see now the justificaction, and its potential effect on sound.  Presumably, though, this is more critical for SS amps than tube amps, other things being equal, seems to me?

I'm learning every day ...
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Lon
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #5 - 01/07/12 at 22:09:48
 
Honestly I know there should be little improvement according to some ways of looking at the science. All I know is that I have had two different Power Plants over the years and they both did something to the system that it needed, and that it needed after isolation transformers were implemented. I have a house built in '32 with not the most modern of wiring throughout, maybe that's the biggest factor. I can't speak to the solid state amplifiers because it's been so long since I've used them. I hear far more clarity and changes in general with Decware amps than I've heard with any other amps, I would expect them to reveal more aspects impacted by the cleanest power to be honest.

This is all very expensive and I shouldn't have spent the money that I did, especially in the long learning curve to get to the sort of system I want and need. If I could have avoided some of the detours I've taken from the road to this system I would have saved money and time and had more joyous sound experience. It is also the journey there too; that enhances the experience in its way.

I babble. My conclusion from my own journey is that isolation transformers don't quite get my system all the way there.
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« Last Edit: 01/07/12 at 22:19:12 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Pale Rider
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #6 - 01/08/12 at 00:18:24
 
Fireblade wrote:

Quote:
According to Steve, having the tube regulation/rectification stages obviates the need for the expensive PS Audio power plant/conditioner,  but not (evidently) the isolation transformer.


I don't think that is actually what Steve has written. What is written on the Torii page is this:

Quote:
This is one of the reasons why we know that unless you own and use a power generator, like the PS AUDIO power plant as an example, there is no way your present amplifier will sound as good as a Zen TORII (...assuming all else was equal and even that's unlikely.)  And if it wasn't enough to do it once, we employed this technology on every stage in the amplifier and independently for each channel.  That's a lot of GLOW from these beautiful tubes that don't even get hot or wear out! 


This doesn't mean you don't get benefit from something like an isolation transformer, or a balanced power supply, or a PS Audio Power Plant. Or even a Monster AVS-2000. I have ALL of these items in one iteration or another. Having tried them all, the only one not in one of my systems is the TrippLite Isolation Transformer. I have one of the "hospital grade" ones, this one I believe. And to my ears, it introduced more problems than it solved. I would rank the PSA PPP [I have two of these and love them, but really want the newer Power Plant P10] first, the Transcendent Balanced Power Supply second (on my headphone rig at the office, where its modest output is perfect), the Monster AVS-2000 third (it's on the secondary HT rig in the den), and the TrippLite dead last. Actually, I don't use it on anything aurally critical. It's sort of a secondary line of protection to the UPS for my NAS, cable modem, wireless router, and land line phone. The idea is to prevent any serious electrical damage and give us about one hour of internet and phone service before power is all gone, at least for the stuff that relies on AC.

Anyway, I don't think Steve is saying power regenerators are obviated by Decware voltage regulation, only that for any other amp, without some form of voltage regulation, you're at a disadvantage. To me, the quality of AC power in my audio system is rather ruthlessly revealed by the Ultra/Torii combo. And, like Lon, while I may have spent more than I should have on the two (plus a Power Port Soloist Premier to replace the wall outlet), when I listen to the pure black space between notes, when I hear the effortless macro dynamics, the suble layers of micro dynamics, it's worth it.
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« Last Edit: 01/08/12 at 00:29:22 by Pale Rider »  

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Fireblade
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #7 - 01/08/12 at 01:22:58
 
Pale Rider:

There's evident misinterpretation and I will clarify them with facts:

1. Steve Deckert told me, more or less literally, that he today would not recommend the SE34i.2 (if available) without a PS Audio of some kind due to the mains dirt.

2. He continued to state that he does not think this limitation applies to the Mini Torii because the several rectifying and regulation tube stages incorporated into this design.

3. Nobody (neither Steve nor me) ever stated that the PS Audio would not be useful in improving the sound of any setup.  It's just that it (PS Audio) would not be a requisite for the Mini Torii.

4. The Mini Torii manual clearly states that it is essential to use a 500 Watts isolation transformer to de-couple from the nasty elements imbedded in the mains supply.

That's it.  Nobody is saying you did not spend your money wisely, or implied that the PS Audio would not be of benefit.




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Pale Rider
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #8 - 01/08/12 at 04:38:24
 
Fireblade, thanks for the clarification, though please, no worries, I took no personal concern from the comments, or even thought anyone had suggested I or Lon had wasted our money.

These are good clarifications, and they do help highlight a significant advantage of the Decware designs that incorporate voltage regulation and power filtering.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Fireblade
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #9 - 01/08/12 at 15:24:31
 
Agreed, Pale Rider.

On the general topic of power, can someone tell me if the Mini Torii comes with a power cord or should I get one on my own? I mean, I could not find this info on any of the sources in the site.  I know eventually many folks would get an upgraded version, but I would hate to get my amp and find out it does not have a IEC power cord.  I will order one right away if I know it's not included.

Thanks!
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Lon
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #10 - 01/08/12 at 15:39:32
 
I've never received a component from Decware without a power cord. They'll supply a basic one. Won't be the one that they sell separately however, which is a better than basic power cord (by quite a margin).
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« Last Edit: 01/08/12 at 15:52:30 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Fireblade
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #11 - 01/08/12 at 15:51:56
 
Great, Lon, thanks.
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Laptop-Foobar2K-ASIO Direct//WD 2.0Tb HDD//Audio Gd USB cable//Audio Gd NFB 3 (2014) DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish Pwr Cord
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #12 - 01/08/12 at 16:32:46
 
The Volex power cords are cheap and are an excellent value for the money.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #13 - 01/08/12 at 17:02:19
 
Fireblade asked:

Quote:
On the general topic of power, can someone tell me if the Mini Torii comes with a power cord or should I get one on my own? I mean, I could not find this info on any of the sources in the site.  I know eventually many folks would get an upgraded version, but I would hate to get my amp and find out it does not have a IEC power cord.  I will order one right away if I know it's not included.


Every powered piece of Decware equipment I have ever bought has been shipped with an IEC cord. Standard. In addition to the Volex, I would also recommend the Jellyfish Hospital Grade AC cord. Very reasonably priced at $31, though I picked up 5 @ $18 when I first discovered them. Great "starter cord," and as you upgrade and add equipment, it's good to have spare quality cords. Eventually, though, you're gonna want the DEC power cords. For the money, I think few others come close.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Isolation transformers
Reply #14 - 01/08/12 at 17:45:31
 
If you go for the jellyfish be careful not to get stung. Volex is good enough for me right now.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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