Should Amps be plugged into a power conditioner?


After reading about the amplifier hum, it was mentioned that some knowledgeable people say NOT to plug an amp into a power conditioner. Plug it directly into a wall outlet. Thankfully, I do not have a hum issue, but am curious as to what others say about where to plug your amp into. 

Thank you!


+1 Mesonto,

There will always be advocates for both cases (conditioner vs. directly to wall). In my system I have my amp directly to the receptacle, as I tried it through the Panamax M5300-PM where it collapsed the dynamics a bit....and seemed to compress bass speed. Signal components go through the Panamax.

What truly made a huge difference: 2 dedicated lines for the amp and the conditioner, high quality receptacles (Furutech GTX-D(G), Furutech GTX-D(R), and Oyaide R1), and upgrading my power cords away from my first Pangea power cords.

I suppose it depends about the power conditioner that is used, many do limit dynamics.

However, I have found that plugging my amps into my Niagara 7000 improves the dynamics, and overall sound quality over just plugging the amps into the dedicated wall outlet.


Should they is a judgement call and I encourage you to test with your ears.

I have a Shunyata Delta power conditioner and plug my Moon 860AV2 into it.  I like the sound and I also appreciate the protection.  (I also have a whole house surge protector.)

Current limiting starts at the power cord. Any time you have a glorified power strip, like so many so-called 'power conditioners' seen marketed to the high end audio community, the power cord it uses will have a voltage drop.

We recommend to our customers that unless they have a real power conditioner (like the old Elgars, or possibly one or a pair of the higher powered PS Audio units) that they plug directly into the wall. This is not only because of the sole power cord issue I just mentioned but also because most of the 'power conditioners' we've seen don't do much at all or can have deleterious effect.

The guy doing the teardown at the link doesn't understand how the Elgar works and these date from the 1970s not the 1990s :) so they usually need refurbishment to be reliable (they are designed for 24/7 operation). Elgar got out of the conditioner market in the early 1980s. 

The Elgar is a good example how how power conditioning should be done. It has an enormous power transformer through which the AC line moves. It has taps for various power supplies for the low distortion oscillator, housekeeping circuits and the large feedback amplifier. The output of the transformer is compared to the oscillator which is sync'ed to the AC line frequency. The feedback signal thus generated is amplified and applied to the transformer, bucking its Voltage (IOW 'regulating') and correcting distortion; this is done without current limiting right to the upper limit of the unit's spec- in the case of the one at the link, about 30Amps!

The PS Audio Regenerators also use an oscillator and an amplifier, whose output is converted to the AC line voltage by a transformer. Feedback allows it to also maintain low distortion.

If your conditioner does not do these things its likely so much junk. It might help in low current applications for isolation (such as seen in the Furman units) where power amplifiers should not be involved. If you don't have active circuitry to allow the conditioner to maintain low distortion of the output AC waveform, its not really going to work. You may have had good results with whatever you're using, but if you have a real conditioner the results are far more palpable.


My power spikes minimum 3 x a wk.ihave to use them and have several types most high end.i might lose some sound quality but not 30 k worth a Mac 1.25 and several others even through the surge protectors. The emotiva amps go into safety mode even though high end surge protectors and sound conditioners.they have some type of protection from factory.other amps dont.i have several amps that are 20 amp high watage sometimes 1 amp 1 plug all on 20 amp lines because sound cond only do so many amps. I wish I could plug directly in to the wall but can't risk it.most manufactures state plug directly to wall. Sometimes it's a compromise. Enjoy the music.stay calms the savage beast.