Majik Buss - Power Correction/EMI/RFI Filter

Category: Accessories

I received a Majik Buss to demo from PI Audio Group a while back. You can find them here on Audiogon by searching the Buy area for Majik Buss.

When I asked what to expect from the Majik Buss, I was told very little. I was simply asked to try it. I was impressed that PI didn't want to try to tell me what to hear.

I went into the demo period with few preconceptions. All I knew was that the Majik Buss was a power conditioner of some sort and that I could try it on my amps since it is not power limiting. I already have dedicated power circuits so I was guessing that the Buss wouldn't improve things.

Being an A-type personality, I plugged the Majik Buss into the wall, then plugged one component at a time into the Majik Buss. Later I tried combinations of equipment. Although the Makik Buss will allow you plug 4 items in, I wanted to see how each component reacted to the Buss. On each test, I used the same power cord I usually do. I simply unplugged it from the wall and plugged it into the Buss.

First, I plugged in my CD player into the Buss. The change was immediately apparent. The highs were clearer and more detailed. The Bass was fuller and tighter. Wow, that was a good improvement.

Next I plugged in the DAC and played a CD. Again the highs were clearer and more detailed, The bass was deeper and tighter. The music had more texture (fine detail) and felt more life like (less Digital).

Next I doubled up and plugged both the CD player and DAC into the Buss. Two plus Two became five. With both units plugged into the Buss, the improvement was incredible. The highs were clear and detailed. For example, cymbals had a delicacy that I had only heard on my vinly rig before. The bass was fuller, deeper, and better defined. The improvement was huge.

I tried the Buss with my Sonos Music player and then with the DAC. The results wer similar to the CD/DAC improvement, although to a litte lesser extend. Still a noticable improvement.

I tried the Buss with my HDTV, DVD, Dish Box, and Blueray. The audio had similar results as when I tested the CD player. Movies sounded terrific before, but now everything was a bit better. I was surprised to see the video also improve. The sharpness and fine detail improved in the image and the color saturation was noticably better. The image really pops. I have had the buss in my system for 2 months now and I still am shocked sometimes by the improved video.

If I had any preconceptions going into this demo, it was that my 400/wpc Classe Monoblock amps would sound stifled going through the power device. I was told that the Majik Buss was not current limiting so I decided to abuse it a bit. I plugged all three monoblock amps that I have on the front wall into the Majik Buss. The Buss carried the load. Instead of hearing compressed or restriced sound, the bass got deeper and better defined. The highs wear clearer and more detailed. The seperation between instruments improved a little bit, and so did the soundstage. Again the improvement was noticable.

So now I had a big problem. I have several components in my Audio and Video system. The Buss helped my CD/DVD, DAC, TV, Blueray, Dish box, 3 amps, etc... I needed 3 Majik Busses. PI audio group set me up, so the problem was solved. I don't like giving my impression right away on gear because sometime we hear something different and assume it is better. I wanted to hear the Busses for a while before writing down any comments. My impressions of the Buss are even more favorable now that I owned them for a few months.

I hadn't plugged my Analog equipment into the Busses right away, but when the summer season hit, The air conditioner and refrigerator pump started coming on more often. I noticed that if I was playing an Album, that I would hear a POP when the AC or frig motor kicked on. It was quite annoying. I went ahead and plugged my Turntable and Phono preamp into the open plugs on a Majic Buss and the POPs went away.

I've tried to tried to write this up as objectively as possible but you just gotta love a device that helps your whole system. The Buss helps different equipment to varying degrees, but my Amps, Digital Sources, Video, and Analog Sources have all benefited from the Majik Buss. The overall improvement to my system is incredible.

I had to return the initial demo Buss, and after taking the Buss out, my system sounded flat to me. It was like it was neutered. It sounded relatively lifeless, had a lack of bass, it was Blah. I was on the phone immediately to PI asking when I could get my 3 Busses. Just a warning... Don't put one of these in your system unless you are prepared to keep it in.

BTW, I have no affiliation with PI Audio Group. I just think that this is a fantastic, affordable product that other Audio lovers should know about.
Dmccombs - nice right up.

Using the Buss for few weeks now.
I originally sign up for free in home demo with skeptical but intrigued feeling.
My impressions are very similar to yours and there is very little to add other then that Majik Buss also greatly lower the noise floor and system seems to be less suppressed/restricted. It also seems to play louder at the previously set levels.

In conclusion:
I had few free demo units in my system lately which where promised to improve overall sound quality. Majik Buss is the only one worth keeping and real add on to any system.
(no affiliation)

Well worth the money and hard to sent back.

It is staying as I can not seem to enjoy my system the same way without it.

Thanks, guys. I appreciate the kind words. I like it, too. I developed it for my recording studio clients. It only seemed logical to offer it to stereophools like myself.


Dave Elledge
PI audio group
Takin’ a ride on the Majic Buss

Dave Elledge’s new power tweak, the Majic Buss, piaudiogroup-dot-com is out, but if you aren’t one of Dave’s eight or ten closest friends, you probably haven’t have heard of the “Majic Buss” yet. Dave delivered mine to me on Saturday about 1:00pm in a parking lot of the church where volunteers his time. I had it plugged in to my system and started listening to music about 10 minutes later.

The next hour was one of delight and wonder as I discovered new textures to bass lines that were very familiar to me, new detail and clarity in music that was reference quality already, and of course the frightening level of dynamics that we all want out of our systems. The first hour was spent throwing one CD after another into the Denon DVD-3910 drawer and playing cut after cut with my ears telling me that this was much better in every way.

My immediate reaction was that my modest digital front end was now elevated to reference level of performance. The Majic Buss was plugged into the B output and only the amplifier (Krell KPB300cx) was plugged into the A output. The pre-amp was still plugged into the Cryo Parts plug strip via a Purist Audio Dominus Rev. B power cord. Each track that I played sounded much better on the system and revealed more depth, detail, dynamics, and soundstage than I could have thought possible. In a word, it was “majic”.

The “Majic Buss” is a rectangular box with a Marinco IEC inlet on one end and a four outlet (double duplex) surface mount NEMA receptacle on the other. When inserted in between the wall outlet and an amplifier (or any component for that matter) it performs power factor correction and EMI/RFI filtering of the power going into your system. It is not current limiting and has no active circuits. It simply cleans the AC power to allow the playback system to reach its potential and let the music be heard minus the RF garbage that is packaged for free with our AC power.
It is very easy to install and un-install for A/B testing.

When an early prototype of the “Buss” made the rounds of Dave’s friends it got to my house it was greeted with skepticism and the attitude that “I don’t really have time for this”, but when Dave asked me to listen to it and let him know what I thought of it, I told him I would. After an evening listening to the prototype, I knew that I had to have one and a day later I did not want to let it out of my possession. The prototype unit of the “buss” has been literally all over Albuquerque with similar raves from everyone that has been lucky enough to hear it. The next 3 weeks were hard to endure waiting for the first production versions to be completed.

Shortly after I got my production unit, I had the opportunity to show the Majic Buss to Steve Poulten, a professional sound services/rental shop owner. I had not told him what I was bringing or anything about it other than it was a “black box” that he needed to hear. When I called Dave to see if he could be at the demo and he said, “I’m there” which meant that he would make time to be at this demo. The next day the Steve was nice enough to indulge me and set up some Mackie powered speakers and a small mixing console. I was not prepared for what he pulled out as a source component… an iPod Touch.

When he dialed up a Coldplay cut, only one channel was working. After several attempts to get power to the left speaker with several different power cords, we managed to get the demo system working and Dave, Steve and I stood there listening to the setup. The sound was flat and congealed and all located between the speakers. I thought that there was no way the Majic Buss is going to improve this.

After listening for about 2 minutes to the “stock” setup, we pulled the plugs out of the “quad” outlet box and plugged them into the Majic Buss. Immediately upon restarting the Coldplay cut there was more width, depth, life, detail, and smoothness to the sound. We listened for a couple minutes and switched back to the stock setup. The expression on his face said it all… he knew that there was no way he was going to ever be able to do shows without several of these (to power multiple circuits). We then hooked back up to the Majic Buss setup but with a different song. This time it was Andrea Bocelli on the iPod. We heard a vocal that was much more palpable, lifelike, and focused as I asked, “do you want to go back to the stock setup?”

Steve said, “no, but this won’t work for me… can I get it in a three space rack mount?” Dave thought for a second and said, “How many circuits do you need?” Dave promised to get a loaner for him to try and we left. I asked Dave later if Steve had tried out the demo unit, and said, “Yeah, he bought one.”

While there are no magic parts in the Majic Buss, the “buss” works its magic on your AC power. Once the noise and power factor problems are removed, the music playback system can reveal its own sound qualities. It works on amplifiers, pre-amps, phono- stages, CD/DVD players and digital/analog converters. In my system I started with the “buss” only providing magic to the amplifier and it made a noticeable improvement. When I added the DVD player I got better sound once again.

When I tried adding the Pass Labs Aleph Ono phono stage I didn’t like the results. This was with a $5.00 dower cord powering the Majic Buss. As soon as I replaced the power cord with a Purist Audio Dominus (fluid) Rev. B power cord, the change that the Majic Buss made went from too-much detail to just perfect. The Majic Buss allows you to use an expensive power cord and power multiple components. What a concept… if you are spending $1500 on a power cord, then you can reap its benefits over 4 components. Frugal audiophiles should love this!

After several more weeks of listening, it became clear that a second “buss” was going to be needed for running the amplifier with the first one handling the preamp, phono stage, CD player, and a new Sonos ZP-90 Zone Player which found its way into my system. A call to Dave put the second buss on order and another clandestine meeting (this time at his house) a week or so later and I had the second buss in hand.


While my system was sounding really good, I still wanted to upgrade some interconnects (to Purist Audio Venustas) and have Jim Aud upgrade my power cords with Ferox and Oyaide connectors, but that was true before the Majic Buss arrived. So, with two Majic Busses in the system, what could ever cause me to desire more?

While over at Dave’s for a listening session with some friends, Dave decided to put two Majic Busses together end-to-end and played a cut from Jeff Lorber’s Flipside disk that I brought. The results were jaw dropping. Everything was better; the bass was deeper, tighter, and better defined. The dynamics were frightening. Top end was just another level more defined and detailed. And this was playing on Dave’s 18-watt-per-channel Cary single ended triode amps. When Dave said that he could actually put two busses in one box, we knew he was going to do it. The “double buss” was born.

A couple weeks later I got the call… “Did I want to try out the “double buss”? I really didn’t, because I didn’t want to spend any more money. I was happy with the way my system was sounding and this was not something that I couldn’t accomplish by plugging one “Majik Buss” into the other if I wanted to. So I agreed to “listen” to the “double buss”, but I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to buy one.

Dave only let me borrow it for a couple of days, because he had other folks that wanted to try it. On the first evening I listened for about an hour. It was better, but nothing like the change I heard on Dave’s system. The second night I heard more improvement. I was listening to a brand new prototype and hadn’t been broken in. I was the first to use it. The next morning I plugged it in to my second (bedroom) system for a quick listen before I had to return it. In two seconds I could hear more soundstage, better detail, better bass, and that was over the regular buss, which I pulled out of the big system and used in the bedroom for the two nights, that the “double buss” was in my possession.

The “Über Buss” is Christened

I called Dave and told him that I had a name for the “double buss”. He said, “oh yeah, what’s that”. I said “Über buss”, and he laughed and then promptly forgot about it.

When I returned the “double buss” to him he wanted to know what I though of it. Of course it was better, but he wanted to know what I heard in my system. I said, “I’m going to have to have one”. He told me that it would be a few more weeks until he would have the production version ready.

Two days later Dave was working on his website and emailed me and asked, “What was that name you had for the double buss?” I went online and found a definition for the word “über” at the Urban-Dictionary-dot-com and sent it to him. We traded emails in German (which I don’t speak) and I told him that I wanted 10% royalties for naming the Über Buss. (BTW, I’m still waiting for my first royalty check Dave :-)

A couple of weeks went by and sure enough Dave came through with the first production Über Buss. It was taller and heavier than the Majik buss. When I got it home and hooked it up, it did not immediately sound superior to the Majic Buss it replaced. I couldn’t really hear much difference the first evening.

A couple days later Dave wanted to come over and hear the Über Buss in my system so I invited him over after dinner. I had the Über next to the Majik but both were behind the speaker and you could not see them from the listening position.

We started out the session with Jeff Lorber’s Flipside, which Dave had liked when I took it over to his house. I played the title cut and then he wanted me to change it to the “other one” to see if he could hear a difference. When I hooked up the Majik Buss and re-started the cut, it took two seconds for him to say, “Change it back!” The two days of break-in had been gradual enough for me not hear a huge change until I went back to the Majik Buss. We heard it immediately. The Über Buss is clearly better and worth the difference in price.

In conclusion, knowing Dave has improved my system to a level that I would not have thought possible. You should get to know him and see if one of his little black box can improve your system.

(Full disclosure... I have no affiliation or with Dave or his company PI Audio Group. I bought one other piece of equipment from him 3 years ago, a Cary CAD-2A3-SI integrated amp which I love to listen to but lately has become another "spare amp in the closet". We get together for lunch occasionally when he is not too busy.)
Well, I'm late to the party but I thought I'd add my $.02 worth. I can describe the effect of the Majik Buss in one word... Clean, clean, clean! OK that was three words but that's just what it does to the sound quality of your system. It cleans up the grunge and hash that turns a great sounding system into an average one. You have to listen to it to really appreciate the difference.

Dave is a passionate audiophile and a pleasure to do business with. Try a Majik Buss, you'll be glad you did.

Although I already own a power conditioner, a PS Audio P500, my system was plagued with rather inconsistent playback. I listen mostly on weeknights and weekends and the performance of my system would vary from session to session. Some evenings the sytem would sound so spectacular that I would have to urge my wife to listen, even if only briefly, just to validate that what I was hearing was real and detectable. Other nights, the system would sound flat and somewhat anemic. When the system was sounding its best, the music sounded rich and full. I attributed this to the power grid, as more often than not, the best performance was achieved in the evening or at night, although this was not always the case. I should mention that I have my entire system on dedicated lines, all a “home run” to the circuit box. Moreover, I live in a suburban community where the homes are comfortably spaced apart from one another.

As some of you may know, the P500 is a power regenerator, which produces a pure sine wave. I have all of my equipment plugged into the P500 with the exception of my Rowland Model 10. In my system, the amplifier sounded better plugged directly into the wall. Although subtle, I found that the P500 has a slight tendency to roll off the frequency extremes. Given the theory of regenerated power, I had to assume that the inconsistent performance my system was prone to was due to the fact that the Rowland was plugged directly into the wall rather than deriving the benefits of regenrated power. So there was my dilemma, plug the Rowland into the P500 and lose the frequency extremes or go directly into the wall and be at the whim of the local power company.

I had been searching the web for several months wondering whether there was a power conditioning product which I could plug the Rowland into which might offer a means to improve the consistency of my playback. I considered other power regenerators which are said to be non-current limiting. I considered passive units. Since I was happy with what the P500 did for my other components, I did not necessarily want to dump that piece in favor of a new 10+ outlet conditioner. I already invested an additional $500 in a Rick Cullen Stage III upgrade and as I said, on those nights when the stars were aligned, the system sounded wonderful. It wasn't so much that I wanted to improve the sound, I wanted greater consistency of sound.

A couple of months ago I stumbled on an ad for a power correction device, the PI Audio “Majik Buss”. The fact that the device was desribed as a power correction device rather than a power conditioner intrigued me, as Rowland has recently made available a power factor correction device known as the PC-1. I have no idea whether the two have anything in common, and I presume they are entirely different animals. Also, I suspect the PC-1 is not compatible with the Model 10, as it seems designed to work with Jeff's more recent digital entries. I figured I would drop the proprietor an e-mail and explain the problem I was encountering and see whether he felt his device might be able to address the problem I had been encountering. The ad suggested a 30 day audition period but I did not want to waste either my time or his if the design of the unit was not likely to offer greater consistency. Dave wrote back immediately (as he would continue to do throughout the audition period and beyond) and suggested we chat. I cannot remember specifically what we discussed, but I know I came away from that conversation very impressed with Dave's knowledge of power related issues. Dave was confident that my problems were not so much with variations in the power company's output (as I naively suspected), but with noise on the line. I had more or less ruled this out because of the dedicated lines and the relatively rural area where I live, but in hindsight, I should have realised that if the P500 made such a distinct difference with my components other than the Model 10, it stands to reason that the power coming into my home is less than pristine. As the ad stated, Dave offered to ship the unit at his expense with a full 30-day money back guarantee if I was not completely satisfied. I figured I had nothing to lose and speaking with Dave put me completely at ease that he would make good on the return policy. Frankly, I was skeptical, but the unit was attractively priced and I had little to lose.

The unit was delivered in two days. The first thing I did was to plug the Model 10 into the unit by itself. I use Cerious Technologies liquid ceramic power cords which makes comparisons a little more difficult because once they are moved around it literally takes 4-5 days for the liqiud to settle and for the cords to reach their full potential. Notwithstanding the complications with the CT cords, my immediate impression was quite positive. As I did not take notes, I cannot offer a very detailed account of what I initially heard, but the Buss definitely made a positive contribution. I remember hearing deeper into the soundstage, with highs and lows being well preserved. I confirmed in my own mind that, if nothing else, the unit was non-current limiting as Dave had professed. Over the next few days, as the CT cords settled, the system really was taken to a new level. Like the rest of us, I from time to time toy with the idea of upgrading this component or that. As I am a big proponent of Jeff's electronics, my fantasies often run towards a 302 or a 312, and how these latest offerings might best the Model 10. I remember thinking as I listened to the improvement that the Buss had wrought, that had I shelled out the $6-7,000 to upgrade to a 302 or 312, I would have thought the expenditure worthwhile. Now I am not saying that this $600 black box magically can turn a $3200 amplifier (used) into a $9500 amplified (used). Truthfully, I have no idea how these more expensive Rowland amps might sound in my system. The point I am trying to bring out is that the improvement was so great that had I spend the money to upgrade, I would not have regreted the expenditure.

Most importantly, each night I would turn on the system, the sound consistently and predictably never failed to impress. No more did I have to be concerned that the system would underperform and I would be relegated to watching television. To borrow from an often used cliché, the system sounded like it was on steroids. Everything was there, but now there was just more of it. I would have been pleased if the box gave me the same level of performance I was accostomed to, but more consistently. This rather non-descript black box not only gave me the consisyency of performance I craved, but lifted the level of performance a magnitude. I have a number of reference CDs I am intimately familiar with. One example is Eric Calpton's “Reptile”. I find this a very well recorded CD, one which stands as an example of what good digital can sound like. Just when I thought I knew all that this disc was capable of delivering, the Buss has revealed so many subtle shadings I did not know were there. Backing vocals just pop out of therir own acoustic space. The guitar cuts through the air with searing presence. The bass is titanic. Full, rich, yet nimble and articulate.

No sooner had I decided that the Majik Buss was a keeper, than Dave told me about a more deluxe model he had been working on, the Uber Buss, which carried a $995 price tag. Now mind you the thought of shelling out another $400 was not something I was particularly fond of, but once again Dave was so accomodating I could not help but say yes. Dave shipped the unit at his cost and allowed me to audition the two units side by side for 30 days. If I decided I liked the Uber in favor of the Majik Buss, all I needed to do was return the latter and pay him the difference. If the Uber did not warrant the additional expendicture, back it went.

Before the Uber arrived, I wanted to try plugging in my 201s which I bi-amp with the Model 10. I do not use the liquid ceramic cords on the 201s (although they are a custom design by Bob Grost), so the comparison was made that much easier. Much to my surprise, the sound stage collapsed a bit with the 201s through the Majik Buss. I shared this with Dave and he conceded that I was the first to use the Buss with a digital amp. His initial take on this was that the Power Factor Correction circuitry may be showing the switching power supply in the 201s an input load that they don't like. Since the input of the power supply is a bit likea typical amp input section, the capacitance could be jacking with the current avalanche through the inductor in the switcher. I have no clue what any of that means, but I was happy enough with what the unit did with the Model 10 that I simply returned the 201s to their place in the regenerated ports of the P500.

I hadn't had the Majik Buss a month when the Uber Buss showed up at my door. To be honest with you, I was sort of rooting against the thing. I so wanted to convince myself that even if it was slightly better, it would not be worth the extra $400. Unfortunately, the Uber proved to be much more of an improvement than I had hoped it might be. I even asked Dave if I could hold on to the Uber beyond the audition period because I was hoping to plug the Majik Buss back into the system after a prolonged foray with the Uber. I cannot tell you that the Uber does this or that better than the Majik Buss. It just raises the bar on the Majik in all parameters. In the end, I never did plug the Rowland back into the Majik Buss. For better or worse, I decided that $400 was a small price to pay to be secure in the knowledge that short of a complete system reconfiguration (which will not be coming anytime soon), the system was sounding the best it ever had and perhaps the best it can sound. If you can swing the extra bucks for the Uber, I would suggest you start and end there.

I could insert all the usual audiophile adjectives here to express how the Majik/Uber Buss elevated the performance of my system, but I am not sure that would help predict what this thing might do in your system. It has increased the emotional impact of my system, which at least in my mind is the reason I invest so much of my time and money into this hobby. The Buss has brought me closer to the way the artist intended his recording to sound. I now turn on the system with greater confidence that my evening will be spent listening to music rather than watching TV.

A review of the Majik/Uber Buss would not be complete without saying a few words about Dave Elledge, the designer and proprietor of PI Audio. From the first contact Dave has been a complete gentleman. He has answered every e-mail I have sent him, not within days, but within hours. He never tried to oversell the product. Not once during the audition period did he try to pressure me into closing the deal. All he asked was that I give him my honest impressions of the product. When I asked to extend the audition period, he told me to take whatever time I needed. At that point, I had his product; he had yet to receive my money.

As a final note, I should mention that the Buss (Majik and Uber) is sensitive to the power cord you feed it. I had Dave custom make my Majik Buss with a 20 amp IEC since the Model 10 is fitted with a 20 amp IEC. I initailly used the stock Rowland cord to come out of the Majik and then switched to another aftermarket cord. Around this time, Bob Grost announced the release of his “Nano” cables, including a new power cable. This was an additional reason I asked to extend the audition period. Bob's cable is just sublime with the Buss. There is virtually no break-in and the cables are not suscetible to movement. The cord is absolutely neutral. It imparts no imprint of its own and lets the Buss do its thing without getting in the way. I fully endorse the PI Audio power correction filter device and encourage anyone who thinks his power situation may be compromising the performance of his/her system to give it a try. I suspect the poularity of these things will one day force Dave to discontinue the audition policy, but I for one am happy I took advantage of it.