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AC regeneration for Decware amps benefits (Read 11366 times)
hifitubes
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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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lLance
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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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Lon
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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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Lonely Raven
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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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Lonely Raven
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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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hifitubes
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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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Lonely Raven
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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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hifitubes
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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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DBC
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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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will
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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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hifitubes
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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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Lonely Raven
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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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