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Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition (Read 656 times)
Casey
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Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
02/20/20 at 03:15:21
 
I have always read plug your amp direct into wall - power conditioner is good for the rest of your stuff.

I have had a UFO for about 6 months now.  Running it with Randy's Lii 15s baffles.  Sound is good but have swapped back and forth with a Schiit Aegir which is also pretty good.

Amps always plugged into the wall.  Today I have been futzing with gear swapping amps, preamps, sources.  Good but not great.  The UFO back in system this afternoon being fed by digital source of lampizator dac and Lumin streamer - good source.  Sounds good but not take your breathe away great like I have heard before...

I have an Audience Adept response power conditioner which was 5K new - longest standing piece equipment at my place.  Decided to pull plug on amp and plug back into the adept response - in 6 months have changed tubes (Sophia 247B) but have never plugged into anything other than the wall.  Well it was like lighting something on fire - holy crap.  Hearing the amp I think for first time.  The bass, where did that come from.  Listening to Hot Tuna, one of their many many recent live releases, sounds like the live band I heard at Drunkin Duck last week.

So power is no doubt a thing.  Live in an old 1920s house but have put in dedicated lines for audio much to electrician shaking his head.  So thinking this Adept Response is for amps too.  Have others found this.

Have music to play, maybe a pre amp to mix back into the chain, this really is a 50% leap three records in.
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Lon
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #1 - 02/20/20 at 08:29:48
 
I have three systems and each has power treatment: one a PS Audio P10, one a PS Audio Power Plant Premier, the other a Decware Zen Line Conditioner.

Though I did run my SE84UFO3-25 Monoblocks for a spell directly plugged into the wall, they sound best plugged into the P10. And my Taboo amps sound best plugged into the Premier, and my CSP2+-25 sounds best plugged into the ZLC in that headphone only system.

So yes, if you have power treatment that is excellent and appropriate for the power output of the amp (more easily achieved with Decware Zen amps) then plug them in and experience better sound! That has always been my experience.
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Archie
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #2 - 02/20/20 at 16:53:43
 
Quote:
I have always read plug your amp direct into wall - power conditioner is good for the rest of your stuff.


Any idea why?  I have everything plugged into my ZLC and I find that my ZMA runs cooler than it did when plugged into the wall.
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JBbuzz
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #3 - 02/20/20 at 17:43:19
 
Archie,

You may find the answer here:

http://www.cocoon-culture.com/lib/noise-report/external-docs/columnprint.shtml.h...

Steves post last night got me thinking and digging again
Huh Now, I just got done reacquainting with the Chariot power conditioning and ripped it apart to fix errors made when moving the equipment Angry

John
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Archie
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #4 - 02/20/20 at 17:47:58
 
Any chance you can point to the right place in that very long piece?
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JBbuzz
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #5 - 02/20/20 at 19:40:55
 
The introduction and #2 Do it yourself AC filtering, #5 EMI filtering.
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will
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #6 - 02/20/20 at 22:38:57
 
JBbuzz, I can open that page you linked, but not its links, taking me to inquiries about magnun.com. Safari and Chrome do the same thing. Any tips?

I find power refinement very important here. Even a volt or two changes my Decware amp sound, higher voltage, bigger, more powerful signal, and lower, leaner and more open. This might be OK if it were steady, but mine is not, so I went with a regenerator after avoiding it for years....being a big electronic device with loads of parts, and having heard changing wires, caps, receptacles and the like make notable differences, I was concerned over the sound the regenerator might impart beyond voltage regulation.

And having had pretty clean sounding power with my modified brick wall and a bunch of little power filters I had come to like the effects of, it was true. The PSAudio P5 did solve voltage fluctuation, but imparted what was to me, too much darkish, dullish "flavor." That took a lot of experimenting to more-or-less solve, with power cords, feet, fuses, passive filters, and relatively obscure settings in the regenerator, especially adjusting phase and voltage helping create a more spacious and real sound. But even so, I still use my other, lower impact filtering on my front end, finding it notably more transparent for that use.

That said, I have found that tuning/cleaning power is primary here. And since different filters have different sound, it is a matter of tuning the power filtering for me to get the most musical beauty from it. It is after all, what makes our signal...so if noisy, or irregular, it adjusts our sound with noise and irregularity...or if the sound choices of the filtering are not up to the system resolution and power needs, it can dull resolution and damp dynamics.

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JBbuzz
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #7 - 02/20/20 at 23:35:49
 
Will,

Those links are bogus. Just scroll down the page that comes up with the link I provided. All the info is on that page.

HTH
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JBbuzz
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #8 - 02/20/20 at 23:57:28
 
All our mains are full of so much noise and it is created by whatever is hooked to the grid. Our own equipment contributes. Think of it as the air we breath, inhale and exhale. All that is in the air is introduced into our bodies and all we exhale is introduced into the atmosphere from our bodies. Just like AC + peak - dip. Noise that is filtered with equipment caps and noise that is dumped to ground returning to the grid.
Furtermore our grid can be so unbalanced that it can and does cause noticeable changes in the way the system sounds because of fluctuating voltage.
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JBbuzz
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #9 - 02/21/20 at 00:19:04
 
Here is another good article on how to create balance power from mains.

http://www.geocities.ws/jonrisch/catch2.htm

I used both of the links provided in this thread on the Charoit extensively. It works. No snake oil there. One caveat, you better know what your doing or great body harm and/or property damage can result.

John
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will
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #10 - 02/21/20 at 06:01:32
 
JB, Thanks for the tip on scrolling down your first link$^&*. The way it opened on my monitor, I couldn't see that it went on beyond the links. Interesting article.

Though it was a little disconcerting, not finding much info on it in my searches, I have done a little AC cap filtering to good effect inside my Torii and CSP3 IECs. For hot to neutral connections, I couldn't find instructional information for audio, but saw that some folks were doing AC filter caps. So I read up on the method for appliance filters where they use special caps that are non-polar, difficult to burn up, and accepting of high surge voltage. Based on this, and wanting to try good audio grade caps I had around, I chose a few caps that were high voltage (1000-1200 VDC/600 ACV) and non-directional, to try from hot to neutral on the IEC interiors. I reasoned that the likelihood of a strong, sustained surge with my power unit surge protection in place, and the IEC fuse, was low, so went on with caution. The caps I had that fit this criteria, and would fit that position in the amps, were a 0.33 Mundorf Silver Oil, Jantzen Z-cap Superior 0.33, and a Jantzen Z-cap Silver 0.1. The little Silver Z-cap was my favorite. Not sure how much of that was the smaller value, but considering value has mattered in all the experiments I have done, suspect it was a factor. Whatever, the Silver Z-cap sounded most clarifying, and giving the best spectral balance....it was most transparent to me.

Over several years of progressive Torii and CSP3 experiments, it still amazes me how much all caps, resistors, and wires, whether for power, or going to ground, reflect their sound pretty much as if they were part of the signal path. From this experience, I agree with the article, a filter sound can be seriously effected by the cap used.

Same from putting a cap between the IEC ground and the Torii ground buss, every cap I tried there created a different sound. Again, these were all small values, from 0.022 to 0.33. I ended up with a .022 Miflex Aluminum oil, doing some pretty nice filtering without notably coloring the sound as I recall.

I have not tried Neutral to Ground.
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will
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #11 - 02/21/20 at 13:08:48
 
Any advice, comments on caveats, or how to improve these AC filter modifications?
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JBbuzz
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #12 - 02/21/20 at 13:45:23
 
I plan to elaborate more on my personal experience with this approach in the thread about my room as time permits. One thing undeniable is the more capacitance stacked on the mains a blacker sound stage is presented. I also don't think that it is necessary to spread capacitor hot to neutral  moduals all over the house as long as there is a mains home run to the system. The neutral to ground capacitance moduals can be mounted in a box next to the mains circuit panel and applied to different circuits at that juncture. Filling up outlets over the living areas might be necessary for a studio/rental. The statement of 'know what your doing' simply means heeding carefully all directions given in the article and follow basic electical practices.
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will
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #13 - 02/23/20 at 05:45:15
 
When I was checking this hot to neutral filtering out, I recall running into a number of folks (I think a few of them were associated with cap evaluations), cautioning against using audio film caps for AC. It has been a long time ago, but I think most just said that, without backup information. Made me wonder how much they might have been repeating one another, or if it was a real issue.

Also that industry seems to use special caps made for the job, I remember wondering.

This site says 400VDC metallized polypropylene caps are good for the use without cautions about the caps holding up to the job.

Sort of splitting the difference between appliance applications and recommendation like this one, I went with non-polarized, higher voltage metalized polypropylene caps that at least had listed AC ratings along with DC.

So I am hoping someone might have insights to offer as to the relative safety of audio film caps for this application?
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TubemanRQ24
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #14 - 03/08/20 at 20:17:54
 
Casey, what are your impressions of the SE84UFO vs the Schiit Aegir? I'm really curious.

Thanks!
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Casey
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Re: Plugging your UFO into the wall or power condition
Reply #15 - 03/09/20 at 03:46:44
 
The Aegir has also sounded better plugged into the power conditioner vs straight into the wall.

The Aegir is amp only with no volume control so have it mostly partnered with at Tortuga passive preamp - although the connection I prefer actually has an active buffer (transistor).

The Aegir is listed at 20 amps of class A - amazing how the volume with both UFO and Aegir is pretty close to same with the preamp.  I like the sound of the Aegir - cleaner and I think more detailed.  Works better with rock music, probably better bass.

Still something seductive about the UFO especially with no preamp and especially with jazz and well recorded vocals.

Playing Bill Fay's new one - it sounds better with the Aegir / Tortuga tag team.

To complicate things more have new amp arriving this week - I am a Canuck and Triode Lab EL84FFX more accessible and affordable here than 25th anniversary so going to try that - will need a preamp as well.  This being a Decware site probably not going to report too much unless the UFO kicks - the Triode Lab is a Push Pull design so 15 watts or so and will sound different.
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