"But it sounds better at night...."

A well-traveled topic that I raise yet again.  On the "are power regenerators snake oil" question, the response that has made most sense to me is: No, if you have some material issue with the power supply coming into your home.  If you live in an area with what I will call normal modern power infrastructure, and have quality components, you will probably not notice a difference.

But I live in a city, do not suspect any power problems, and feel with a pretty high degree of certainty that my system sounds better at night.  This is a common sentiment, attributed to more activity on the electrical grid during the day.  Can these two positions be reconciled?  Why DOES the system sound better at night to me and many others?

Is our perception straight-up wrong, and the result of some bias or non-auditory reason why listening at night is a better experience?

Maybe when listening at night, one average for most people, the system will have been on longer, and therefore be more warmed up?

Is our perception real, and supports the proposition that baseline electrical system usage does materially affect many systems, and you don't need a clear power "problem" to benefit from a regenerator? 

Let's rehash it all again gentlemen!


From my understanding, the reason music sounds better at night is not limited to the improvement in power but also due interaction with the Earth’s Schumann resonances and less EMI and RMI that is typically caused and excited by the power of the sun’s rays well after the sun is set.

Synergistic Research communicates the impact the Sun has on our listening and has a number of products that try to combat/shape this phenomena. I use them personally and have found many them to be useful in many regards. (In full transparency, I’m now an authorized dealer for them as a result of my positive experiences in my own system).

Everything below is copied from their website:

The Sun and RF Propagation on Earth

There are three major disturbances on the Sun that affect radio propagation here on Earth. Solar Flares, Coronal Holes, and Sudden Disappearing Filament (SDF). Each disturbance causes both electromagnetic radiation and ejection of material from the Sun that alters RF on Earth. What we looked at was how each of these disturbances affects our RF environment during the day vs. late at night with the intention to mimic late-night conditions to improve sound mid-day.

Solar Flares

Solar flares release huge amounts of energy, including sustained, high-energy bursts of radiation from VLF to X-ray frequencies and vast amounts of solar material. Most solar flares occur around the peak of the 11-year solar cycle. The first earthly indication of a huge flare is often a visible brightness near a sunspot group, along with increases in UV and X-ray radiation and VHF radio noise.

The sudden increase in X-ray energy from a large flare can immediately increase RF absorption in the Earth’s lowest ionospheric layers, sometimes causing a phenomenon known as a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID). An SID affects all HF communication on the sunlit side of the Earth and signals in the 2 to the 30-MHz range may disappear entirely. Even background noise may cease in extreme cases. When you experience a big SID, your first inclination may be to look outside to see if your antenna fell down! SIDs may last up to an hour before ionospheric conditions temporarily return to normal.

Typically, several hours after a flare erupts at the Sun, particles begin to arrive at the Earth in the form of a plasma, a highly ionized gas made up of electrons, protons and neutral particles, traveling at speeds up to 300 miles per second. Really high-energy protons may even disable satellites orbiting high above the atmosphere and seem to have a negative effect on the way our audio systems sound.

Coronal Hole

A second major solar disturbance is a so-called “coronal hole”. Matter ejected through this “hole” becomes part of the solar wind and can affect the Earth’s magnetic field.

Statistically, coronal holes tend to occur most often during the declining phase of the 11-year solar cycle and they can last for a number of solar rotations. This means that a coronal hole can be a “recurring coronal hole,” disrupting communications and degrading the subjective performance of our audio systems for several days.

Sudden Disappearing Filament

The Sudden Disappearing Filament (SDF) is the third major category of solar disturbance that can affect RF propagation on Earth. SDFs take their names from the manner in which they suddenly arch upward from the Sun’s surface, spewing huge amounts of matter as plasma out into space in the solar wind.

When the conditions are right, a flare, coronal hole or an SDF can launch a plasma cloud into the solar wind, resulting in an Ionospheric Storm here on Earth. Unlike a hurricane or a Nor’easter in New England, an ionospheric storm is not something we can see with our eyes or feel on our skin. However, we can see the indirect effects of an ionospheric storm on magnetic instruments located on the Earth’s surface because disturbances in the ionosphere are intimately related to disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field.

During a geomagnetic storm (“geo” means Earth, in Greek), we may experience extraordinary radio noise and interference, especially at HF. You may hear solar radio emissions as increases of noise at VHF. A geomagnetic storm generally adds noise and weakens or disrupts ionospheric propagation for several days.

Solar Flares, Coronal Holes, The Sudden Disappearing Filament, and Wi-Fi—Oh my.

In a nutshell, we discovered that during the day ambient RF is stronger while the Earth’s Schumann Resonance is weaker in relation to overpowering solar and man-made radio frequencies. Typically speaking the ambient RF environment is at a higher frequency and is more complex during the day, and at a lower frequency and somewhat less complex late at night as our planet turns away from the sun. While charting Solar Flare, Coronal Hole and SDF activity we learned that the prevailing RF environment is affected by solar activity much more during the day, and less at night and this led to the discovery of specific RF environments conducive to what we perceive as good sound.

Mind too, sounds better at night. The weird thing is, my system is entry level at best. Perhaps it just the lower noise floor of the world because everyone is asleep and there's less commotion and noise pollution in general. When the world quiets down at night I get a blacker / quieter noise floor Without even taking the electricity in the consideration. Perhaps it sounds better at night simply because of less society generated noise pollution. Oh, I live in a city too. [Shrug]

High end audio is so much about power supply. The more expensive the piece of gear the more effort, cost and weight goes into regulating and isolating the power. Note most high end components are two box with one dedicated to power. No major problem in your power is required to have power conditioning or regeneration. Most, by far, but not all systems sound is improved by these devices.

I have observed quieter at night for at least thirty years. It is real. It is most likely to be due to a quieter power grid, at home and locally, the Bliss stuff above and micro vibrations. 

I am going to order a seismometer this year and verify what I have suspected for a long time, that it is seismically far less active at night… particularly late Sunday night… the quietest of times. I suspect the traffic, probably within a mile is a contributing factor. I am looking forward to seeing if this verifies what I hear (as a contributing factor).




I would imagine 

Another consideration I was thinking about is at night, I personally have a chance to listen for longer periods of time so there could be a factor of your ears settling in / adjusting during a longer listening session. 


But I do concur, I do feel there's a difference listening at night even if it's just a perception.


I was just about to type that I’m far more likely to have a beer at night, and looked up and saw your reply! It’s the best $5 improvement you can make. 😁

I also wonder if a darker room can contribute....the system usually sounds better when I close my eyes, as it helps me focus on the sound rather than the birds flying by.


Less ambient noise, thanks to less traffic in the neighborhood and up above.

1. Less going on on the power grid.

2. Less vibration from outside sources.

3. Less cosmic debris.

4. And most importantly. Less going on in my own head. Sitting alone in a darkened room with a nice glass of wine, listening to Linda Ronstadt sing about "Faithless Love". How can it not be better?

A. Lower background noise:

-Turning off the Refrigerator or at least the ice maker.

-Shut off the a/c or heating system

-Close all the drapes or window coverings

One person breathing will raise the noise floor by 20dB.

So be alone. 


As far as day vs night goes-yes better at night. Why?

Being more relaxed is a large part of it for my money.

Intake some of your favorite relaxing agent. Take a warm bath.

Empty the house. Empty your mind of all thought.

Then tell me your system really doesn't sound any better!

Perhaps asking someone who is blind might be the best test of "Is it the darkness or is it the less ambient sound? Might not confirm whether it's less electrical noise, but it would narrow it down a bit. Also, they might not hear any difference at all and it's all in our minds...which when you talk about audiophiles, that's probably true for most things...

The idea it's the alcohol or other substances seems to be on the right track.

Interesting topic. Richard Vandersteen of Vandersteen Audio talked about this at one of his dealers in San Diego. He also came to the conclusion that the overall noise level was much less at night. Traffic, general daytime noise polution is much higher during daytime. 

It’s your mood 98%. 2% of the other stuff. 
At least for me. 59 years of experience starting with a tiny transistor radio and now into mono blocks and Magnepans.

I addressed power at the meter. Made sure everything was optimal without buying into fancy audio conditioners or the like. I do have whole house surge but after making sure the main service panel had no issues, set up a subsystem, tied to the main household ground using a large 10kVa iso transformer from Controlled Power. That feeds a sub panel adjacent to the music room using 4 gauge, and from the local sub panel, pulled 10 gauge dedicated lines.

The system here sounds good. I think I benefit from newer grid infrastructure and even though I'm located very close to downtown Austin, no commercial operations are fed from my transformer. The system sounds the same, day or night. Much better than the power I had in the lower Hudson Valley, north of NY, which was ancient and prone to outages. The Texas grid is suspect though and I'll eventually install a whole house transformer- not for use on the audio system, but just to have power if we black out. 

All power solutions should start at the meter if not before (though unless you have pull with the local power authority, you aren't going to get a dedicated pole transformer). Start at the beginning, rather than adding bandaids. If you are in a condo or apartment you are far more limited. 

Aside from solar radiation, quite real, there is industrial noise on the power lines during working hours. Neighbourhood activity also contributes. Soon after about 10pm when most people have turned off their lights, computers, microwave ovens etc., the lines are more free of noise generated by everyone else's electronic appliances. Even LEDs create line noise, so better to turn off your lights and even leds in your gear.

More usage during the day reduces line voltage too, making sound slightly harsher, less natural.

Having a power regenerator helps heaps, but it is still affected by line noise, surprisingly. This is snake oil for people with cloth ears, but there are genuine benefits from listening at night.

Thanks everyone.  Think I can distill it all down:

1. Try a power regenerator after recovering from today's material financial outlay (new ARC preamp).

2. Listen to music at night, with beer and darkened room, and enjoy.

Part 2 can start immediately!


Because you are using the ULO (ultra low overnight) rates which is music to your ears.

My system sounds substantially better after 21:30


Because the generator or supply path supplying my house changes each night at the same time

With the clock change in winter it is 20:30

Each night I hear the change - check watch - yes 21:30




Now I am worried about these "Coronal holes".  Hope I don't fall into one.  Only Cornholio could survive.

Adding a power regenerator made the background go totally silent for me.  I am a big believer in them now.  The overall quiet of night plus beer also don't hurt.

Have you ever watched an episode of Saturday Night Live in the day time? (The old stuff with Belushi and Aykroyd)  It's not funny. Why? Because it was meant to be seen at 11:30 P.M. when people are relaxed and more open to frivolity.

Ever had a really nice bottle of wine with lunch? Good but not great. Same bottle at 9 P.M. dinner is spectacular.

I think our brain is either hard wired by nature or through conditioning to be more relaxed and open to external stimulus at night. We are in the hunter gatherer mode during the day.

There are probably some gear salesmen in here who could attest to this. They play music during the day to sell equipment and it sounds great but at night when they close the doors and put something on the TT for themself s, Bam!

The only exception to this rule is a gorgeous woman. (Or man depending on your gender and personal preference) Our brain will react to that stimulus the same, day or night, and you can still argue that nature hard wired us for that too.


I believe it is partly because there is less interference on the mains at night. Fewer industrial motors drawing power and causing mains feedback. But mostly it's a psychoacoustic effect caused by the lighting in your room. You eye is drawn to the brighter area and it takes your mind off the music and can even make you think the balance is off. A dark room eliminates the optical distractions and allows your brain to focus on the music. I have the ability to block out all the light in the front of my audio room with a small amount of light allowed at the rear of the room behind the main listening position I believe this light control creates the illusion that the room sounds better this way Just my opinion.

Definitely sounds better at night because most of us don't "drink" during the day!

I have definitely heard my system sound worse without a Furman than with it.  Adding a voltage regulator and I really don't have those issues anymore, in the city around "noisy neighbors" or in the burbs with the two different zones of heating and air competing for current.

I never listen during the day because my brain is too active. I can’t back this up with a scientifically based argument but I put it down to brain chemistry and circadian rhythm. There are less distractions at night.. also daylight is stimulating, along with the squirrels running across my roof, the dogs entering my room every 15 minutes, text messages, UPS FedEx Amazon noisy neighbors….. come to think of it, a serious/enjoyable listening session during the day is really rare. Lastly, I always audition a new piece of equipment at night.

I notice that sometimes things just seem to click into place more than other times and I guess it happens to be in the evening more often than not. 
I feel like I have a pretty nice system but have avoided spending huge amounts on cabling and power conditioning. 
If a noisy power supply is causing inconsistencies in system performance how would I best go about remedying/testing that?. Like how much do you need to spend to get clean power going to your system?. 

A friend built a dedicated room separated from his house, dedicated lines panel grounding rods, Cardas room ratios etc.

His  JC1+  monoblocks  amplified system had variations in sound at different day times.  Night performance was not what we expected either.

After breaking our heads for months he got an APC power system Isolation transformer + UPS and the results are astonishing !!!! In spite of the praised Bybee technology they have, we were really questioning the amplifiers performance.  After the power system installation, tremendous improvement on the music presentation, clarity, definition etc. No placebo effect at all. Checked with several audio friends that were trying to solve system issues.

@siesp so the isolation transformer gives you a clean power source separate from any external noise and what does UPS do ?

There are a lot of factors involved. Right now at 10:30 in the morning, I'm getting truly excellent sound via a CD quality feed of some Aaron Copeland via Idagio. Dallas Symphony. Beautiful tone and dynamics. More than good-enough imaging. Can't complain...

@kdogsy The continuous UPS deals with voltage surges , spikes, sags, frequency variations and provides a steady Voltage to the system. 220 is fed to the UPS then we have the isolation transformer to feed the system.

*L*  I AM the Noisy Neighbor.

Am effn proud of it.  I'm in a Noisy Area, cars, rail, air, people, I could rant on.

Anon on anon....

I/we build things: Saws, compressors, 2 diesel devices, chainsaws....

But at night...

Low 20's db here, where I'm sitting, loudest thing is this keyboard, followed by a room filter fan.... 

Delicious, and be as soft or LOUD as I care to be.

Voltage here is me between the local source and the major med center .4 mi. 'downstream', I'd call it plentiful and reasonable 'clean' in some way...🤷‍♂️

I can affirm that it is not necessarily time of day but the weather and general neighborhood power use conditions that determine if the power will be less or more clean. Today’s power versus pre-internet and especially pre-HVAC was substantially cleaner.

Although my audio systems sound excellent most of the time, an example where spurious buzzing and diminished sound quality occurs every summer in Los Angeles when the temperature is above 110 degrees and A/C is being blasted/universally being operated. Luckily, this lasted about 8 days throughout the summer months and primarily after 4pm until 12am. The entire winter, I enjoyed fabulous sound.

Please note from my profile that I have excellent insulated cabling, a very dense and secure room against RFI/EM, dedicated audio equipment only power subpanel and wiring and a Bryston BIT-20 isolation transformer.  

I was reading up on electronics and was reminded that capacitance and resistance values can change quite a bit depending on the ambient air temperature. Sometimes, it can be enough to knock them out of their rated values/ what the circuit was designed for. Many places are cooler in the evening- from the place that generates the juice all the way to our speakers. Hmm