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AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits (Read 5508 times)
Syd
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #50 - 11/10/13 at 22:13:21
 
Here`s an interesting piece on mains.
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-MCRU-Shop/The-Mains-Supply.html#

It doesn`t name names but the long game reccomends regeneration.
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maddog07
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #51 - 11/11/13 at 15:58:47
 
As usual... listen with your own ears, and preferably in your own room with your own equipment... after all, hearing is a "perception"... if you think you hear something - then you do.  And on the contrary, if you think you don't hear it - then you don't.  And only each individual can make this determination for themselves...

* But I "like" what I hear, when I plug my equipment into a "regenerator".  
YMMV...

Smiley
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #52 - 11/14/13 at 20:19:37
 

I'm doing some research on improving the power distribution in my home in prep of the MA showing up in the near future, and I came across this:

http://www.ground1.com/whitepaper1.htm


I'm not sure how to measure this stuff inexpensively, but I'm going to see if it's possible.

One easy fix I'm going to look into, it making sure I have a proper 8' copper ground rod, and I'm going to add a second one 16' away, in a lower part of the yard that's always damp. That should lower my ground resistance considerably and improve my home's ground.
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maddog07
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #53 - 11/14/13 at 20:52:06
 
be careful what you do there LR without consulting a competent licensed electrician... when I ran new dedicated circuits for my listening room... I thought I wanted, and that it would be a good idea, to put these receptacles on their own ground rod - no can do... violating code - everything in a given breaker panel has to be grounded to the same earth ground.  Now if you are talking about running a heavy copper wire from your existing ground bar to an additional one... that might be different.  
On further thought on the manner, having two separate earth grounds for circuits originating from the same breaker panel but not all ran to the same ground... might have the potential to create one gigantic ground loop for your entire house!!!!  I don't know... electricity can be a strange animal... be sure to validate your plan of attack with a competent electrician before you leap off this cliff.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #54 - 11/14/13 at 21:11:58
 
Just remember, PS Audio is not the only Horse in this race...even with their periodic discounts. Click on that 1st link and the world is your oyster..... .  Joe & Robert Stein at the CableCo are great dudes to work with..... .

Post #292 in Mystery Amp thread....for LR:
If you can't find one cheap/used (PS Audio P3).....buy from the CableCo at an 11.5% discount....returnable for one of equal or greater value at this discount. Plus, plenty others to choose from!  

Check it out:

http://www.thecableco.com/Catalog/Power-Line-Products
then go to what you will actually pay....... . I have loved their cable demo program!
....and of course with this many power regen's to try....I should be able to find one for my SE84CS & CKC.    

I will continue to use my Adcom AC-Enhancer 515 with Hubbell XLO Pro Power Cord to the Mystery Amp.

....my timeline: Kimber Select 3035, Mystery Amplifier, Kef R900 Speakers auditioned in Listening Room....and Legacy Signature SE's.....and Acoustic Zen Adagio's....late Winter.   -Stone

.....but I am curious to try this....
http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Tesla-Powercell-6-SE
http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Save--300-on-the-Synergistic-Research-Powercel....
Try the Powercell 4 or Powercell 6 with (and without for reference) the Element Tungsten AC cable through our Cable Library to hear what a top flight line filtration system can do for your sound!
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #55 - 11/14/13 at 22:08:26
 

You are absolutely correct about having two ground rods could cause a giant ground loop.

I'm talking about verifying the one I have is good, maybe upgrading the bonded line to it, then adding a second one 16' away bonded to the first. There is apparently also a type of clay that can be added around the ground rod that will help lower the resistance to ground improving the system overall.

I've done my research!  ;)

Ground1 was a great resource...answered a bunch of questions I had, that the three licensed electricians were clueless about. They could quote the NEC, but couldn't relate to how to make the system better for my needs.
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Mark
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #56 - 11/15/13 at 14:54:18
 
I've tried several power treatment schemes, including the TrippLite products, and I can honestly say that the best sound I got was by plugging all my components directly into the outlet...

If you have more than two components, install a four plug box... Separate the bridges between outlets, and star-wire each individually to the mains wires... That is, four whites connected to the white feed wire, four blacks to the feed wire... Of course, there would only be two grounds to connect to the feed ground wire, plus a jumper to any metal box...

There are special bonding connectors if a wire nut won't do it...

Then get some good [but bot too expensive] AC cables for your components, and you're good to go...

I use stock Naim EIC type AC cables... About 40 bucks each...

Now, maybe a high-end AC conditioner might give some improvement in some areas... But it's often a zero-sum game: gains in one respect being offset by losses is another... (m.)
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If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit. -Robert Brault, writer (b. 1938)
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stone_of_tone
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #57 - 11/15/13 at 18:11:15
 
STAR GROUNDING....thanks Mark.

I am going to do this = easy.

I first learned of Star Grounding at the Minnesota Audio Society. We had Keith Herron in of Herron Audio...and he showed us his star grounding he uses in his equipment and he did a little portable CD Player....and it improved the little shit box that it was!    -S
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Sony as Transport
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Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
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hifitubes
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #58 - 11/16/13 at 07:02:34
 
Any good links? I thought it just meant literally grounding everything to one point...

What about adding a copper rod that also goes to ground? Like in IT racks in data closets?
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hifitubes
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #59 - 12/10/13 at 04:52:15
 
I've got the P3 here and sure enough I started noticing my Rachel tranny was buzzing much less, if at all.

The P3 would make a LOUD buzzing at times like the torroid was being nailed.

I asked PS Audio again about DC current, and this time Paul said that up to 100mv of DC is blocked be the P3. Earlier, I was emphatically told be another rep. that it did not.

So I still have the Emotiva CMX-2 on the way, but now will think more about how to integrate it. Rather than possibly limit current of the P3, by inserting the CMX2 between the wall and P3, I may add it to the P3 and give something like the DAC + TT some extra protection.

We'll see....so far so good.

I don't have my Tortuga LDR here yet but things are sounding very nice so far with my Vega DAC. More testing to come...
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beowulf
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #60 - 12/10/13 at 08:44:21
 
I'm not sure if I missed this in this thread (as it's been a while since I read the whole thing), but what about having a licensed electrician install a dedicated line to your audio system?

From what I understand, the costs could even be cheaper than a lot of the top power conditioners out there.  A dedicated line should improve both the safety and sonic output of your A/V gear.
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« Last Edit: 12/10/13 at 08:45:58 by beowulf »  
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hifitubes
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #61 - 12/10/13 at 11:45:18
 
I have a faux dedicated line in my house. 20A breaker going right to my room. Even after checking ground and neutral at box, I still get DC, which results in P3 buzzing and filtering. Maybe I need to move all other appliances or the same leg as my 20A circuit.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #62 - 12/10/13 at 20:34:36
 
Quote:
I'm not sure if I missed this in this thread (as it's been a while since I read the whole thing), but what about having a licensed electrician install a dedicated line to your audio system?

From what I understand, the costs could even be cheaper than a lot of the top power conditioners out there.  A dedicated line should improve both the safety and sonic output of your A/V gear.


This depends on what the issues are that your line is having. It will *help* if something noisy is on the same circuit as your audio gear, but that same "dedicated" circuit goes back to the same panel with all the rest of the noisy circuits in the house.

Line conditioners and other gear both filter out some of that noise, and protect your gear from surges, something a dedicated line doesn't do.

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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #63 - 12/31/13 at 01:06:47
 
Just got this from PS Audio - I still have my heart set on a P5 or P10 for my shared Home Theater/Two Channel setup.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

New MultiWave available
Beginning January 1, 2014, all P5 and P10 Power Plants shipped from the factory will have a new version of MultiWave installed called Variable MultiWave.  This new MultiWave feature has six positions of strength and the user can select which one works best for them.

This is a major feature upgrade for the Power Plants and helps connected equipment sound their best by adjusting the strength of the sine wave's timing.  If you'd like to find out more details on how this works and what it does, we've prepared a special page you can go to here.

http://www.psaudio.com/support/multiwave-firmware-update/


And the best news?  We're offering to upgrade any P5 or P10 Power Plant for free.  This can happen by you going to this page and downloading the file, loading it onto an SD card and following the instructions.  Or, you can go here and purchase a preprogrammed SD card if you're in the States.  I wish we could sell these outside the US but we haven't figured out an easy way to do this.  For those outside the US, you can simply download the files or contact your dealer for help.

http://www.psaudio.com/shop/variable-multiwave-firmware-update/

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« Last Edit: 12/31/13 at 01:10:40 by Lonely Raven »  
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beowulf
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #64 - 12/31/13 at 09:34:07
 
Anybody check out the Balanced Power Technologies stuff?  Their Ultra Isolators look pretty interesting.
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« Last Edit: 12/31/13 at 09:36:22 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #65 - 12/31/13 at 15:46:53
 

Wow, the specs read like they really did that no-holds-barred.

For that price, I'm wondering if you shouldn't be looking into regeneration instead. There are open box P5 for about that much, and for $2990 open box P10.

IMHO - the iso-transformer needs to be massive to keep from starving the amp - I don't see the weight listed on that Ultra-Iso, but judging from the shopping list of features and options, I'm betting it's properly weighty.

The advantage of good Regeneration is that they can handle current peaks better, assuming they are designed to have big storage capabilities.

I really wish I could demo more power gear...there are so many concepts that all make sense on paper, but I want to see who really pulls it off...and honestly, if our Decware amps really even need 70 Amp peak current draw for transients!

Sorry, rambling again. Great product specs make me think out loud.
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beowulf
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #66 - 12/31/13 at 21:54:02
 
Even their Pure Power Center power distributor is a GREAT deal if you need to expand - the PPC @ only $299 gives the Shunyata PS8 @ $695 a serious run for the money for less than half the cost.  Although the Shunyata looks cooler, the chasis on the PPC is pure copper so I would say it is technically superior in that regard.
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« Last Edit: 12/31/13 at 21:56:48 by beowulf »  
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beowulf
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #67 - 12/31/13 at 22:01:16
 
Quote:
LR said,
IMHO - the iso-transformer needs to be massive to keep from starving the amp - I don't see the weight listed on that Ultra-Iso, but judging from the shopping list of features and options, I'm betting it's properly weighty.


From the picture it looks pretty massive ...
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #68 - 12/31/13 at 23:27:02
 

That made me giggle like a little girl - that's awesome! LOL

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beowulf
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #69 - 01/01/14 at 02:21:49
 
Quote:
LR said,
For that price, I'm wondering if you shouldn't be looking into regeneration instead. There are open box P5 for about that much, and for $2990 open box P10.

The advantage of good Regeneration is that they can handle current peaks better, assuming they are designed to have big storage capabilities.


I'm not entirely convinced of Regeneration over Passive Filtration.  I think Caelin Gabriel makes a strong argument against it compared to McGowan's reasons for it.  Interestingly Gabriel's reasoning against regeneration is McGowan's reasoning for it. Grin

It also seems that there are more passive designs on the market compared to regeneration although that may be because of the associated costs of producing regeneration devices?

I'm thinking that ... how bad the power is in your area could be an important factor of which device to choose.

From what I'm understanding by reading Gabriel's comments is that - When you flat top the sine wave voltage in your home - it has more to do with either the wiring in the wall or the power transformer feeding your house is maxed out in its ability to deliver peak current. The voltage falls because there is not enough current reserve in the power system not because the voltage level needs to be adjusted.  

My thoughts right now is that the ZMA is a super powered muscle car and when you add a rengenerator on your line it's acting in a sense like an amp which is also drawing current so it is actually in competition with your other devices (i.e your ZMA) ~ I wouldn't want to starve it.  I don't know if this would be that big a problem with a little flea watt amp - but from the looks of it the ZMA is a beast.
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« Last Edit: 01/01/14 at 02:23:34 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #70 - 01/01/14 at 03:33:26
 
I think there are always more than one way to skin a power circuit. And I can say that I have not felt in any way that my Torii Mk III is held back by my Power Plant Premier drawing all it wants from the wall. After all, the Premier just hoses that down and squeagies the grunge off it and then dishes it up piping hot to the Torii. It may draw a lot but it's not at all stingy about paying it forward.

There have been times when I think "Why do I have the Torii plugged in here, it has its own cleansing system?" and I plug the Torii into the wall and squirm a few days and plug it back in. Straight into the wall the Torii is brighter, zippier, pushier and not in the best ways. Plug the Torii back into the Premier and it opens up and steps back. Just right, as if a daiphonous gauze has fallen and an ease rolls out. I always prefer that Torii to the one that dances straight off the wall.

But ever since Steve mentioned isolation transformers I've been working on the power coming into the Torii and other components and the journey has been very rewarding. I've had several really satisfying configurations, but this current one just seems like Goldilock's porridge for me.
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Digger
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #71 - 01/01/14 at 06:35:44
 


Lonely Raven,

      I couldn't find in the specs of the ZMA any max current draw for the amp. I wouldn't think with the size of the capacitors you would need to worry to much about that that is what they are designed to do. My McIntosh amps capacitors are about twice the size of those on the mystery amp. Before I sent it back to be refurbished during heavy bass passages the lights on the circuit with it would dim with every beat of the kick drum. They replaced the two large capacitors and some other parts that needed replaced and now it will motor right through those bass passages without even causing the lights to dim or flicker. The amp is near 40 years old so it will be a long time before I will need to worry about new capacitors again hopefully. The old ones were pretty much done. I think with a new properly working amp you wouldn't need any thing close to 70 amps peak with the way Steve has designed it. It would be interesting to know what the gauge of wire is in the power cord to the mystery amp what ever the load is it will not exceed the rating of the wire. As long as your power supply has a steady current output you should be good to go!



Cool



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« Last Edit: 01/01/14 at 06:49:57 by Digger »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #72 - 01/01/14 at 17:35:58
 

Some more interesting info.

http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/bluehorizon/1.html


I have some more learning to do, but I'm developing some of my own thoughts on Isolation vs Regeneration - right now regeneration makes the most sense to me as I believe it does some things that Isolation simply can't. That said, the article I posted above puts a dent in the P10 that I'm aiming for.
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beowulf
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #73 - 01/03/14 at 17:19:49
 
@ LR - that defintely look like a cool device ... a little pricey though.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #74 - 01/03/14 at 17:42:23
 

Yeah, I can't even find one available - but the point of the article was that they tested it on the P10, and the P10, while providing perfect sine-wave, wasn't taking care of the radio stations and noise. You would think a $5000 device would handle that.

I've not yet reached out to Paul of PS Audio and asked him what he thought about the the P10 in the article. For all I know they have addressed this issue since then.

IMHO, a "perfect" device, would:

Have enough capacity to handle a decent sized amp, and modern sources without A/C crosstalk between devices.

Regenerate power providing a perfect sine wave 120v 60hz

Filter any extraneous noise, radio stations, and DC from the line.

Provide some sort of well of instantaneous current for big amps to draw from during dynamic passages.  

The P10 sounds like it might do all this, but I need more info.

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #75 - 01/05/14 at 01:06:02
 
I have a Cullen modded AC outlet feeding an Emotiva CMX-2 DC blocker feeding a PS Audio P3 (which also blocks some DC current) and I can still hear a buzz when my dishwasher is on. I can hear the P3 tranny buzz pretty loud at times especially when dishwasher is on.

I also have a small bit of hum but might be amp design tradeoff because it is a low-level and quiet, especially compared to some other SS amps I have tried here.

Maybe Neutral is contaminated? I don't think a cheater plug on the amp fixes the buzz.

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #76 - 01/18/14 at 12:33:08
 
I have a PS audio PP10 and my Torii 3 sound fantastic plugged into it. Definitely a benefit.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #77 - 02/08/14 at 18:02:39
 

I've received my PS Audio P10 yesterday.

I had an awful sinking feeling when I first plugged it in and powered everything up. It sounded terrible. Everything sounded itchy like listening to medium resolution MP3. But within a couple hours everything started sounded back to normal.

I've got about 125 hours on the Zen Mystery Amp, and about 5 hours on the P10 - the sound is now noticeably different, but I'm not 100% sold on it  being better yet. I played some albums that I know really well, that have simply sounded amazing and engaging since getting the ZMA, and now...they sound very....digital. Yes, Tori Amos' Bosendorfer sounded tighter and the bass sounded better - some of the sound was a bit more 3D maybe - "more live" I guess (like Paul from PS Audio says), but the music is somehow less engaging.

I also *still* have a buzz coming through the speakers. Originally, this buzz seemed to be coming from the unshielded interconnects. I verified this by disconnecting each cable one by one till I narrowed it down the ICs; the noise was coming through the ICs even with then the ICs *weren't* connected to anything but the amp! So they were antenna picking up noise. To resolve this I rearranged all the equipment, and rerouted all the power and ICs and HDMI as far away from each other as possible. This solved the ICs picking up noise like antenna, but I have a different buzz now, which I believe I've narrowed down to noise coming from the Home Theater PC via the HDMI *and* the power cord. Plugging in either one causes the amp to pick up and amplify noticeable noise - even with the PC plugged into the P10 Power Plant.

I'm going to continue burning in the P10, and I'm going to see if there is a way I can move the PC to another part of the house, and maybe transmit the HDMI signal over CAT6 to the system. I think getting the HTPC out of here and giving the P10 more time, I should arrive at the "game changer" level people keep telling me the P10 should be.

A couple comments about the P10 - It's sleek and well built, it seems to do it's job well according to the built in Scope (I have my own lab Oscilloscope, but I'm not sure how to use it yet so I can't veirfy). My power is always high about 125v, and apparently has 7.8-7.9% noise. The P10 is dropping that to a perfect 120v @ 0.5%. I'm using about 4.1A and 41% load with ZMA, Oppo-BDP 105, HTPC, and 1080p Projector plugged in. I still have my subwoofer plugged directly into the wall (and powered off for now), but I may run the sub via the P10 at low levels to tax the P10 and break it in a bit faster.


So overall, still a work in progress. Need to move the PC to deal with buzz, and break in the P10 a bunch more. I'll also do the with/without A/B test after a bit to "see what I'm missing" as that may help reveal with the P10 is really doing. As of now, I'm not sure P10 is earning it's keep, but I will follow up on this later.

Edit to add: I do notice the P10 cleaning up my video slightly - I have a feeling this would be awesome used exclusively in my Home Theater - I'm hoping it warms up a bit for the Two Channel setup.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #78 - 02/08/14 at 18:14:57
 
Interesting. I'm certain you'll like this as it breaks in more. I noticed an IMMEDIATE benefit with my system. I had old wiring and noisey power. And I was using the isoltation transformers that Steve liked and they were adding noise. My PPP cuts the line distortion down to about .3 most of the time. And my video was improved by more than a little, I'd say 10 percent or more.

It's possible with those huge caps the ZMA is going to be influenced by this less than the Mk III. Your other components should be digging it. Plus the ZMA is new. Removing it in a week or so will show you what it's doing I'm sure. Looking forward to your findings.
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« Last Edit: 02/08/14 at 18:16:18 by Lon »  

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #79 - 02/08/14 at 18:45:37
 

Yeah, Steve did say he felt the Power Regenerators weren't necessary with the big caps, so I was thinking that is probably why the P10 isn't wowing me with a change. Again, the ZMA is really just an amazing piece of kit.

Also, I noticed I had to dial the bias back up a bit - which is something Paul mentioned could happen. I'm betting the transformers are running even cooler now as well, I'll measure in a bit. (the ZMA runs way cool in general because it's so efficient)

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #80 - 02/08/14 at 18:56:34
 

Power Transformers are about 4-5 degrees cooler according to my IR thermometer. Output Transformers are the same.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #81 - 02/08/14 at 19:13:55
 
Well, cooler isn't bad. I think you'll like it more when broken in, took a few weeks for my PPP to be all it could be IIRC. Your other components besides the ZMA should be improved. My digital front ends have all really benefited from the PPP.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #82 - 02/09/14 at 17:47:15
 
You mention buzz still occurring...maybe through power cord.

Get a long extension cord and try the P10 on what looks to be a separate power leg/phase.

I happened to have a 3phase WYE here and moving it to B from A solved my buzz. Direct Current blockers didn't fix it. The P3 blocks some DC according to PS Audio support, and I also had an Emotiva CMX-2 in the chain.

I had the electrician move the dedicated circuit to another breaker, like I said, and all set!

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #83 - 02/10/14 at 02:05:41
 

I've got 3 dedicated ground 20Amp circuits going to my setup, one for 2000 watt subwoofer, one for Home Theater Amp, and one for ZMA and Oppo. I've tried a mix of all three, and I get even worse noise when I try to put some of the gear one a different circuit from the new P10.

I played with moving cables and trying to narrow down the issue more. I get definitely get a buzz coming through the speakers when the HDMI from the HTPC is connected to the Oppo. But, the worse part is, as soon as I plug the Oppo into *any* power, I get that same buzz again. If I try it on one of the other circuits, the buzz is actually increased considerably.

I think there is a weird ground loop somewhere. and switching to a different circuit simply make the ground loop bigger by going back to the circuit breaker panel then looping back to the equipment. So different circuits aren't helping.

I'll have to poke at it some more...but now it's seeming like the Oppo is the central source of the noise, not the HTPC (though the HTPC was a source of *some* noise, it can easily be remedied by streaming over CAT6 rather than over HDMI)
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #84 - 02/10/14 at 04:45:29
 
Interesting. I think when I had my Oppo years ago I had some ground loop issues with it. To clarify, I was thinking you should try to move the power source, keeping things connected to P10, to test other circuits. I have a dedicated run too, but it was on a bad power leg. But it seems like it's the Oppo so try grounding it's chassis to something. If you ask Oppo about its grounding scheme I am sure you will get an answer.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #85 - 02/11/14 at 00:07:02
 
Quote:
I've got 3 dedicated ground 20Amp circuits going to my setup, one for 2000 watt subwoofer, one for Home Theater Amp, and one for ZMA and Oppo. I've tried a mix of all three, and I get even worse noise when I try to put some of the gear one a different circuit from the new P10.

I played with moving cables and trying to narrow down the issue more. I get definitely get a buzz coming through the speakers when the HDMI from the HTPC is connected to the Oppo. But, the worse part is, as soon as I plug the Oppo into *any* power, I get that same buzz again. If I try it on one of the other circuits, the buzz is actually increased considerably.

I think there is a weird ground loop somewhere. and switching to a different circuit simply make the ground loop bigger by going back to the circuit breaker panel then looping back to the equipment. So different circuits aren't helping.

I'll have to poke at it some more...but now it's seeming like the Oppo is the central source of the noise, not the HTPC (though the HTPC was a source of *some* noise, it can easily be remedied by streaming over CAT6 rather than over HDMI)


LR, when you have completely separate power circuits connected to separate audio components in the same system the chances of ground loops (AC hum) are increased. In your case each of your 3 separate circuits will obviously have their own three conductors Hot, Ground & Earth Ground. First thing to check is that all three circuits have the correct polarity Hot & Ground leads on all three circuits need to be wired to the correct prongs at your wall outlets. If you don't have one pick up a polarity tester at Lowes, it simply plugs into the outlet and gives you indications via LED's if the polarity is correct.

I will assume you have good quality wall sockets that have a good grip on all three prongs of any cord plugged into them. I've seen 50 year old homes with sockets that were completely worn out and could barely hold a cord in place.

Once outlet polarity for all three circuits has been confirmed then we move on to the Earth Ground. Current typically enters your component via the Hot prong and leaves via the Ground prong. The third wire Earth Ground acts as a Safety should the Hot lead short to the chassis of any component. Rather than shocking you when you touch the chassis current flows to Earth Ground via the Earth Ground Lead which typically trips the circuit breaker rendering the short harmless.

Most would assume the Earth Grounds (one each on each separate circuit) would all have Zero volts on them and in a perfect world they would. You can check this with an inexpensive Digital Volt Meter from Radio Shack. Set the meter for "AC Volts". Set the range for something like "20 Volt Range". This should allow you to read 20.00 volts down to 00.01 volts. Touch one test lead from the meter to the Earth Ground on one circuit and Touch the other test lead from the meter to Earth Ground on another circuit (try combinations of all three circuits). You are hoping to see 00.00 volts in each case but may actually get something from a few tenths to a couple Volts.

So lets assume you have 3 components (component A, B & C) each connected to a separate power circuit. Lets say the Earth Ground on component A has 1.00 Volt AC on it while the Earth Grounds on components B & C are at 0.00 Volts. Typically the chassis of each audio component would be connected directly to Earth Ground.

So what we end up with is the chassis of component A at 1.00 Volt and the chassis of components B & C at 0.00 volts. Voltage is like water pressure, water flows from High pressure to Low pressure. Current flows from High voltage to Low voltage. So the 1.00 volt in the chassis of component A will try to find a way to the 0.00 Volts in chassis B & C and typically that is via speaker cables, interconnects, HDMI cables etc. that connect the three audio components in this example. The result is AC Hum.

You can also use your Digital Volt Meter to check for Voltage potential between each component Chassis in your system. If you touch one test lead to the chassis of Component A and the other test lead to the chassis of component B and get any Voltage reading then you have a ground loop. Could be that of your Three separate power circuits (power circuits A, B & C) One of the circuits has the cleanest path to Earth Ground (least resistance). If for example Earth Ground on circuit A is at 0.00 Volts, circuit B at 0.12 Volts and Circuit C at 1.02 Volts then voltage from any component plugged into Circuits B & C will want to flow to the component plugged into Circuit A.

So what do we do. Probably the easiest test would be to connect each piece of gear one at a time to One Power Circuit. This way no matter which circuit you choose each piece of equipment will see the exact same Earth Ground. Even if you choose Circuit C at 1.02 Volts in the above example the ground loop is eliminated. In this case the chassis of each component would be at exactly 1.02 Volts. So if you touch one lead of your Digital Volt Meter to one component and the other lead to another component the reading will be 0.00 Volts. The voltage differential between the two components is 0.00 Volts which means there will be no current flow between the two. It's current flow that causes the Hum and without a voltage differential there is no current flow just as if there is no water pressure there is no water flow. If you have a water hose with 1.02 pounds of pressure at each end there will be no flow of water.

If connecting everything to the same circuit eliminates the AC Hum then I think this would confirm that the Earth Ground on one or more of your 3 separate power circuits has what is called a higher potential to Earth Ground than the others. This is not uncommon and for a number of reasons that we don't have time to discuss here.

You mentioned possibly Lifting the Earth Ground on the Oppo. Lifting the Earth Ground means basically disconnecting the connection from the Oppo chassis to Earth Ground at the wall outlet. This is a bit of a Shot In The Dark and even if it reduces your Hum it may not eliminate it. Not to mention it eliminates the safety feature mentioned earlier.

I had a similar issue once where I was forced to use a separate circuit for a remotely located sub. In that case I had my main audio system connected to a Tripp Lite surge suppressor with metal case and the sub connected to a second Tripp Lite. I ended up connecting a separate ground wire to the metal case of one suppressor and running it under the carpet to the metal case of the other. Since the metal cases of each suppressor were wired to Earth Ground via the wall socket this in effect provided every component access to the Earth Ground with the least resistance to Earth Ground.  In this case I suspected current was feeding back from the sub through the line level connection to my Oppo. Attaching a separate wire between the two surge suppressors created an alternative path to earth ground and solved the problem.

So in the end if you use Multiple Power Circuits to power a single audio system it is not uncommon that one circuit will have a more direct path to Earth Ground than the Others. Current follows the path of least resistance and if that means it has to go through speaker cables or interconnects to get there it will.

Sorry this is such a long post LR but ground loops are not necessarily simple to understand or resolve. Hope this gives you some ideas to try when you get back to it.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #86 - 02/11/14 at 00:59:50
 
DBC,

Thanks for your detailed explanation of ground loops! I appreciate it.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #87 - 02/11/14 at 05:49:08
 
I will say that you still need to investigate the grounding scheme for your particular components.

How do you ground the chassis of a Decware amp when it is a floating transformer and ground/signal - is referenced to ground.

Some amps just hum, no matter what. As Steve will ask, can you hear it from the sweet spot?
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #88 - 02/11/14 at 17:40:00
 
I have a minor hum. It is the Amp. I disconnected all/the 3 front end components and it still comes through via just the Amp on to Speakers.

So, as hifitubes said it best: "Some amps just hum, no matter what. As Steve will ask, can you hear it from the sweet spot"?

Their is nothing wrong with the ZMA. The topology of this Amp is going to lend itself towards a ground loop issue. However, the fidelity supersedes the issue for me. Meaning, the fidelity that comes through displaces the loop issue. I guess if it is like finger nails on a chalk board at your Listening chair position...then try to minimize it. However, you will never completely eliminate it with this Amp/ZMA. I would like to be proved wrong though?! Keep us posted LR.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #89 - 02/11/14 at 17:44:11
 
DBC, thanks for that awesome writeup.

I knew most of that already and have already worked out most of those possible issues (except I've not measured the differences between circuits).

See, when I had different pieces of equipment on different circuits, I *didn't* have any ground loop noise. It wasn't until I added that Mystery amp that I started having issues. I was hoping the PS Audio P10 would help resolve this, but apparently not.

Right now, I've got -

Oppo, plugged into port A on P10
Mystery Amp plugged into port H (high current) on P10
P10 plugged into dedicated ground, 20 amp circuit with lab grade Hubble plug. *nothing* else is on this circuit.

Oppo is connected to Mystery via Silver Reference RCA Interconnects.
Mystery is connected to speakers via my version of Zen Styx.

That's It Nothing else connected, no CAT5, no external drives, no other gear on the P10 - that's it.

If ICs are plugged between ZMA and Oppo, I get buzz, even if the Oppo is *not* plugged into the P10

I've eliminated as much as I can - this narrows it down to the Oppo and ZMA - with and without the P10.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm going to redo the example above when I get home - just to make sure I didn't forget to unplug anything.

I'm really running out of ideas - except to maybe set everything up elsewhere in the house as a test, or eliminate the P10 (which I think I tried but I don't recall), I'll retry different power cords and different interconnects. Maybe something in the chain is slightly damaged and causing a partial short or something, I don't know at this point.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, yes, you can absolutely hear the buzz from the seating position, and no it's not the amp - the ZMA is dead quiet until I put my ear within 6" of the speaker then you hear that natural tube swish that is completely inaudible away from the speakers. In fact, when I get my measurement mic setup, I'll measure the db of the noise - it's got to be 4db difference, which to me is a lot.
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« Last Edit: 02/11/14 at 17:51:02 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #90 - 02/12/14 at 00:41:46
 
Quote:
If ICs are plugged between ZMA and Oppo, I get buzz, even if the Oppo is *not* plugged into the P10

I've eliminated as much as I can - this narrows it down to the Oppo and ZMA - with and without the P10.


LR: Do you have an old CD Player or Bluray Player you can hook up in place of the Oppo for test purposes. Seems like if the Oppo and say a CD player were to cause the same Buzz then we are back to the ZMA?

I would expect the chassis of your P10 to be connected to Earth Ground at you power outlet. You might check for any voltage reading between the ZMA chassis and the chassis of your P10. There should not be any if the ZMA chassis is grounded to the P10 via the ZMA power cord as we would expect.

If you do get a voltage reading between the two then try attaching a simple test lead with alligator clips on each end. One clip on a chassis screw at the ZMA and one clip on a chassis screw at the P10 (this simply acts as an alternate path to earth ground). Over the years in sorting out ground loops I have had voltage readings between components of as much as 2.00 volts and as little as 0.02 volts cause AC Hum.

Also check for any voltage differential between ZMA and the Oppo. Also try attaching a test lead between Oppo chassis and ZMA chassis as well as Oppo chassis to P10 chassis. If we have Voltage in a chassis then we want to provide an alternate path to earth ground other that the interconnects.

If you have nothing connected to the Oppo, power plug is unplugged, no input connections from other source devices (cable box etc.) and you attach interconnects between the 2-channel audio output from the Oppo to the 2-channel audio input on your ZMA and you have a Buzz???

Then I would have to think somehow there is a loop Out through one of the ZMA audio inputs through the Oppo and back into the other ZMA audio input?

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #91 - 02/12/14 at 02:40:45
 
Quote:
LR: Do you have an old CD Player or Bluray Player you can hook up in place of the Oppo for test purposes. Seems like if the Oppo and say a CD player were to cause the same Buzz then we are back to the ZMA?


Yeah, that was my next test. I have an old copper chassis Denon I picked up in my early days with the 2 watt Zen Amp, it's been relegated to garage duty - damn thing weighs in at 30# or so so it doesn't get moved often. I'm going to drag that up next and see what happens.

Quote:
If you have nothing connected to the Oppo, power plug is unplugged, no input connections from other source devices (cable box etc.) and you attach interconnects between the 2-channel audio output from the Oppo to the 2-channel audio input on your ZMA and you have a Buzz???

Then I would have to think somehow there is a loop Out through one of the ZMA audio inputs through the Oppo and back into the other ZMA audio input?


My thoughts exactly, that would make me think there is a fault in one of the two devices - or possibly my interconnects.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #92 - 02/12/14 at 04:30:46
 
This is my problem too, AS YOU GUYS (DBC & LR) HAVE STATED**. I put my SE84CS back in.....and wah la!........no ground loop. So, have you tried just putting your C+ back in as the only variable change LR?

Anyway, it's not IC's or Speaker cable picking it up by evidence of the SE84CS being fine.

The good news is...Steve will make it right. Possibly the first or secondary winding of the Tranny's OR AC leakage....DC issue in the ZMA. Will get to see the solution LR, with your ZMA and with your close proximity a couple times a week from work = quick turnaround...and then I'll get mine on the road back to Decware!

Obviously, the ground loop caused by the ZMA is unacceptable and dangerous to our Speaker's and Equipment....plain annoying too!
So, in regards to my reply #88...mine is a little more than just a hum=ground loop...and my evidence (once again), of the SE84CS being clean = ZMA is the culprit.

Furthermore, I see Lonely Raven and I as Beta Tester's....which is just fine. Also, if you go to the Mystery Amp Thread, ...go back a few pages...I am currently running a 7 amp fuse instead of a 5 amp fuse. My ZMA would blow the 5 & 6 amp fuses consistently. However, with the first time initial start up/turn on, it ran for 12.5 hours off the 5 amp fuse that came in it.

Maybe I have an issue from shipping damage, for both the fuse issue and the ground loop issue...I have. The fuse could be due to the cold in shipping and I need to try backing the ZMA down from a 6 amp fuse first, then to 5 amp fuse.

HAVING SAID THIS: I am committed to this AMP/ZMA...now at 105 hours...even with an issue(s) I/we/Decware will find a solution to...the FIDELITY OF THIS AMP IS ENGROSSING TO SAY THE LEAST.  I MIGHT DRIVE IT TO PEORIA MYSELF...SO IT DOES NOT LEAVE MY SIGHT.
Hyperbole, not at all....it is that good. I have auditioned and have had some of the best Tube & Solid State through my Listening Room (and recently-I must add)....I want my ZMA!



YOU GUYS STATED**:
"If you have nothing connected to the Oppo, power plug is unplugged, no input connections from other source devices (cable box etc.) and you attach interconnects between the 2-channel audio output from the Oppo to the 2-channel audio input on your ZMA and you have a Buzz???

Then I would have to think somehow there is a loop Out through one of the ZMA audio inputs through the Oppo and back into the other ZMA audio input?


My thoughts exactly, that would make me think there is a fault in one of the two devices - or possibly my interconnects".
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« Last Edit: 02/12/14 at 06:02:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #93 - 02/12/14 at 16:55:21
 

If I'm reading you right Stone, you're having the same buzz issue I am?

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #94 - 02/12/14 at 17:26:40
 
Has anyone contacted Steve about this? I'm sure he'll want to know of any user issues before he sends out more ZMAs.  I have some skin in this game being in the ZMA "winding transformer" build stage.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #95 - 02/12/14 at 17:27:32
 
Yes, audible from the Listening Chair/Buzz.    

Did you have the chance to get your Denon CD Player in or your Zen modded Amp (C+...I think you said it is)?

I have narrowed it down to the ZMA, as I stated above. Pretty darn sure anyway.   -S
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #96 - 02/12/14 at 17:43:22
 
Quote:
LR wrote: I knew most of that already and have already worked out most of those possible issues (except I've not measured the differences between circuits).


LR: Check for any Voltage potential between Earth Grounds while the system is powered up and current is flowing.

In my case I use 3 separate wall outlets. My Oppo and Super Zen are connected to a Tripp Lite isolation transformer that is plugged into the first wall outlet. My Left Sub and Mid Bass Module are plugged into a Monster Surge Protector / Isolator that is plugged into the second wall outlet. My Right Sub and Mid Bass Module are plugged into a Monster Surge Protector / Isolator that is plugged into the third wall outlet.

My Monster Surge Protectors and Tripp Lite isolation transformer all have metal chassis that are connected directly to Earth Ground via their respective 3-prong power cords. So in my case with the system powered up I simply check for Voltage potential between any of the 3 power source device chassis.

If you find any voltage potential between power source devices then most times just connecting all three chassis together using alligator clip test leads provides everything access to the Earth Ground with lowest potential to ground.

So instead of current trying to get to the Earth Ground of lowest potential through your audio cables it now has an alternate path via the power cord of each audio component to the power source device it is connected to and to the Earth Ground of lowest potential via the test leads connecting the chassis of all 3 power source devices.

Having said all that you may not have an Earth Ground or Ground Loop Issue. But going through the process will rule that out for sure.
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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #97 - 02/12/14 at 21:24:18
 
Quote:
Yes, audible from the Listening Chair/Buzz.    

Did you have the chance to get your Denon CD Player in or your Zen modded Amp (C+...I think you said it is)?

I have narrowed it down to the ZMA, as I stated above. Pretty darn sure anyway.   -S


No, after my 3 hour drive home from work last night, I listened to some DSD files quietly for an hour, then went to bed.

I hope to make time for some testing tonight. I've already done what Steve suggested in the ZMA thread - I'm going to repeat all my tests as best as I can, starting from the speaker back as Steve suggested (which I've already done) and see what happens.

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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #98 - 02/12/14 at 21:55:28
 
I hate to have to say this, but there are no issues with the ZMA, and no differences between the ZMA or any of our amplifiers with respect to ground loops.  The earth ground at the IEC connector is bonded to the metal chassis and the audio ground of the amplifier is also connected to earth ground.  This can be verified by taking an ohm meter and testing between the ground lug of the IEC connector and the metal chassis and then again from the earth ground at the IEC connector to the outside part of any RCA jack.  And finally, from the outside part of the RCA jack to the metal chassis.  All three points will read as far below 1 ohm as your meter's cables are capable of reading (usually 0.4 ohms +/- 0.3 ohms)

DBC's suggested tests are recommended.

Another comment I'd like to make is that hum or noise from an amplifier has nothing to do with clean or dirty power. The two are completely separated from each other.  

Dirty power causes the sound to become dry, grainy, less dimensional, somewhat flat, but it does not cause noise or hum issues unless there is a problem with house wiring, such as a bad neutral or ground rod.


The first ZMA enjoyed months in my private system with zero noise, followed by a week of continued use during Decfest with a variety of sources and speakers with zero noise and 85 witnesses. The second ZMA also was (and I'm sure is) noise free. The way to find out is very simple... just unplug your source components and remove all interconnects from the ZMA and turn it on. If there isn't any noise, then you know it's not the amp itself causing your grief.

I haven't been following this lengthy thread so I've only read the last few posts, but it seems both ZMA's are being used with OPPO which is connected to a TV via HDMI. If the TV is connected to cable there are certainly some opportunities for ground loops. Make sure if a cable is connected to your TV or TV box, that you are using a 75 ohm isolation transformer on the incoming cable itself to decouple the grounds from your TV and the Cable coming into the house.

And I realize people probably don't want to call me unless they have no other choice, but today is the first I knew of the buzz issues you guys are having.  

I've just spent two wonderful nights with the next ZMA and it too has no noise issues and is in the shipping department with my full faith that it has no design issues or noise problems whatsoever.

Hopefully this is encouraging and not discouraging.

Steve  



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Re: AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits
Reply #99 - 02/12/14 at 22:01:45
 
Steve Deckert wrote on 02/12/14 at 21:55:28:
Dirty power causes the sound to become dry, grainy, less dimensional, somewhat flat, but it does not cause noise or hum issues unless there is a problem with house wiring, such as a bad neutral or ground rod.


That's been my experience as well.

I hope LR and stone get this all resolved!
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