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The issue you often get in Apartment buildings in particular, and houses with a lot of white goods and electronics is they mostly share the same line back to the distributor box. So when you’re running all your white goods, have the oven on or maybe dishwasher, computer etc that generates a lot of distortion/hash on the line which can muddy the sound of your system. It’s also possible that high draw components like your a/c and drier are pulling down the line voltage. However you can easily check that if you have a multimeter & know what your’e doing.
In my case, I bought an apartment off the plan, so I didn’t have the chance to install dedicated 20a lines to the wpo’s behind where my audio racks sit. And retro-fitting them would have been a messy & expensive job due to the layout of my apartment, so my solution was to buy a Gigawatt PC-3 SE Evo conditioner which provides 3 independent branches, incl: a non-current limiting high current branch for power amps, over-voltage protection, leveling of input and output voltage, robust surge protection, storage banks to improve impulse response & an accurate volt meter which measures input voltage in ’true RMS’. That solution works well for me & shows me the input voltage in real time. But not cheap at circa $6k! Sure you can buy cheaper conditioners, or pre-loved. Personally I would only consider either Gigawatt or Synergistic Research, though Running Springs Audio make some good products also.
The cheapest and most well worn path is installing dedicated 20a lines to your system’s wpo’s using some higher quality 10 guage insulated wire back to ideally a dedicated subpanel with it’s own ground. So basically an isolated circuit from the rest of the house, only using better quality wire and uprating the amperage to 20 amps which is optimal for audio. However you would need to ensure your 10 guage wire, wpo’s and connectors on your pc’s are rated at 20a (most audiophile wpo’s & connectors are). You can also incorporate surge and over-voltage protection with a device such as this - https://www.clipsal.com/surge-protection#.W0YKtrgRVPY This PS Audio article might assist you - https://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-install-a-dedicated-ac-line/
The cheapest and most well worn path is installing dedicated 20a lines to your system’s wpo’s using some higher quality 10 guage insulated wire back to ideally a dedicated subpanel with it’s own ground. So basically an isolated circuit from the rest of the house ...If you're in the US, this is a violation of the NEC and it would be potentially dangerous anywhere. NEC requires all house grounds to be bonded together at the main service panel.
cleeds1,455 posts07-12-2018 12:05am If you’re in the US, this is a violation of the NEC and it would be potentially dangerous anywhere. NEC requires all house grounds to be bonded together at the main service panel.I guess the first point to make is I live in Australia, and our electical code is different to the US. Secondly, I was not inferring to run a seperate ground or ignore the US electrical code. I meant that the installed sub-panel would have it’s own ground, being the legally compliant and available ground in the house. Thirdly, I was only providing general advice from an audiophile’s perspective. I did not claim i’m an expert or licensed electrician, hence why I posted a link to a PS Audio article on the topic in my post. I trust that addresses all your concerns.
I agree that where possible, a dedicated line is the starting point. Because we must share ground with the main household system, noise can still infiltrate, but it can go a long way toward isolating the system AC from the anomalies of the rest of the house.
I installed a massive iso transformer system (10kVa) which has an additional ground that ties back to the main ground. Despite that shared ground, the system is dead quiet (i’m using extremely efficient horns, so you can hear any electrical gremlins).
Apartments are a whole other challenge as @melbguyone mentioned.
From your previous post,
"am looking into my electrical system (think I have a dedicated line)"
Did you have a dedicated line installed? Highly unlikely that you would just have one. A dedicated line with upgraded outlet does more than just help with noise issues. Seems like common sense to me that a dedicated line should be first before getting a power conditioner. Have encouraged many to have dedicated lines installed, and everyone was very pleased with the results saying it was well worth the cost.
You might not need to spend a lot to solve this issue. I was having some noise issues as well. And sometimes crackles coming thru the speakers during summer storms that happened often where I live. On a recommendation from another forum I bought a Furman PST-8D for $150 US. Problem solved and the sound of my system improved, which was unexpected. This box is impressively built. I'm sure the more expensive Furman units are better and perhaps there are amazing improvements beyond that available from other solutions. But I'm not spending my money on those things- just yet. Now that my power problem is solved I'm upgrading some components with money I was going to spend on a different power solution.
i am using a furman PL-8C using the 2 prong adaptor into the wall. generally, we have good hyrdo-e power and it does not seem noisy, but the PL-8C gives me some modicum of protection and i have a black noise level......
no air con ... but lotsa fans! the actual wiring in my hovel is a bit scary....
i got a lo-fi system but it is the best i ever had...
I agree that one of the better Furman's will help the situation by cleaning up the electrical signal and providing steady voltage. I have a Furman Elite and it works well. Next to it sits an Audioquest 7000 which works very well but very expensive. In your case the Furman is probably the better choice. Talk to Crutchfield. They sell Furmans and know what they are talking about.
I have Furman units (model unknown) but notice that the readout sometimes goes into a low voltage situation, which it is unable to regulate. Have been seriously considering a PS regenerator unit ...If your voltage is that low, I’d suggest determining the root cause of the problem. If you are in the U.S., your utility is regulated by the state, which sets the minimum performance standards under the tariff. That’s typically around 114VAC. A good start would be to measure the AC voltage at your service entrance, or close to it inside the breaker panel. That would rule out any issue between the service panel and your wall outlet.
I’ve actually had this experience, and frankly utilities are not always especially responsive to low voltage issues. But it’s worth being persistent.
Of course, it’s also possible that there’s something wrong with your Furman unit. You might be able to confirm that by checking voltage at the same outlet you’re using for the Furman.
When I say I think I have a dedicated line, I asked an electrician who was working on another project for the house to install a dedicated line. The guy is a little rough around the edges and did it sort of reluctantly, so I’m not that confident in his work. I have another electrician lined up and after the suggestions here and elsewhere, the dedicated lines will be my first approach. Thanks
btw, I prefer the Blue Cheer version as well.
udog -- I have my 3 stand-alone mid-fi systems connected through Furman PL-PLUS DMC Power Conditioners. The unit provides a reasonable degree of power conditioning and circuit protection at a reasonable cost. Living in quickly growing area of South Carolina, I encounter a double-whammy of thunder and lightning storms and significant fluctuations in voltage. Due to the massive residential, industrial, and infrastructural development in the area, I have voltage fluctuations from 113 to 125. The good news is that my average is 121v and I can monitor near brown-out and surge levels. Consumer grade surge "protectors" used in the past resulted in severely damaged audio equipment, attributable to both a direct lightning hit to my home and the concussion of thunderclaps. I now have an all-home power protection system in conjunction with the Furmans. And, for good measure, I shut down and unplug the units when the forecast calls for severe weather. NOTE: I have acquired the units at 15-20% off list price and free shipping at Musicians Friend, which also has an excellent hands-on article on the unit written by Darius Van Rheul.
A friend in an apartment building had a similar problem. I gave him a large Constant Voltage Transformer that I had purchased as surplus for $60. It solved his brownout problems cheaply.
At my own home, I had the electric company increase my home service from 100 amp to 200 amp, then had new dedicated power lines run from the service box just for my system.
My system has all digital sources, and I've found that the better the quality the AC power is, the DACs extract more detail with less distortion.
I used to have a very nice, modestly-priced Furman unit. When I upgraded to a PS Audio P10 Power Plant, my DAC immediately sounded better. I recently took advantage of an upgrade, trading in my P10 for a P15, and immediately, both of my DACs provided better bass, more detail and better soundstage.
For several years I lived in an area that’s electric power was supplied with large diesel generators, bad wires and noisy transformers. Running my equipment through a APC power conditioner, on it’s own circuit, helped clean most of the noise and stabilize the erratic voltage drops and surges.
While I agree that a good power conditioner can help and does add a level of protection, there are many myths and an abundance of false info. regarding your power supply.
As cleeds pointed out - you Can Not put a sub panel on a separate ground; all grounds must be connected to the common ground at the main.
You can eliminate ground noise by connecting to one end or the other of the circuit panel. No - all circuits are connected together on a common ground. The best solution, if you can - eliminate the source of noise - usually an appliance or component with a bad transformer, rectifier or ballast
A dedicated 20A circuit with 10awg wire to supply your audio components. Really? With the exception of a very few high currant power amps - what audio components come with, or are required to have a 20A cord or, in any way, require or would benefit from a 20A circuit with a 10awg supply line? They don’t!
Have the power company provide you with a separate power supply for your stereo system? Power companies supply power to your main; the supply main, the primary panel, and sub panels are the owners responsibility and are required to meet the NEC. To get a separate service is very expensive and is only practical if you are operating a commercial business, that needs to be kept separate from your home, or have a shop operation requiring large amounts of additional power.
Not trying to be snide, just saying - some of the ideas thrown out here are impractical, improper or, in general, make 0 difference in the sound or performance of one’s audio system....Jim
The American standard ANSI tolerance of electrical supply is given at 120v +/- 5% @ 60Hz. That would be 114v - 126v. Most US power supply companies operate well within that range and 120v electrical devices, including audio components, are required to operate properly within those parameters. In the community where I am now, I seldom see the input line voltage reading on my APC power conditioner, very by more than one volt, either side of 120 and typically holds steady at 120v.
Doing a simple 120v circuit test, you should expect to see the same voltage at the last outlet of the circuit as at the breaker - if all outlets and connections are good. Even with devices, sa. TV, DVD player and a 60w lamp, in operation, doubtful you would see even a .5v drop at the end of the circuit.
US compatible electronics, including high dollar audio components, are designed and built to operate on a standard 120v, 60Hz, 15A household circuit - beyond using quality receptacles to insure long lasting good connections and keeping audio devices on circuits somewhat to themselves, there is no audio advantage to dumping $$$ into specialized panels and circuits for your audio gear....IMO...Jim