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Switch-mode power supplies and mains conditioning

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Audionyx, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    Hi there,

    I have recently upgraded my HT to AV8 + P7 and wonder if anyone uses mains conditioning with their rig? The reason I ask is that some switch mode power supplies (as used in AV8) can suffer negative effects with mains purifying devices - in fact Linn's equipment can sound worse as a result.

    Ever since moving to pre-power a year ago I get a hiss audible from listening position (very quiet as my room is silent) though unnoticeable once music/dialogue playing. If I power up the amp without the processor I have to climb inside the speaker in order to hear it. I am using sensitive speakers (KEF Q series 91dB/W).

    I often hear that mains conditioning reveals "inky black silence", "better transients", "faster attack" so any experience would be welcome.

    I am not at all "hissed off" though am always on the search for AV nirvanna - these Arcam units are sensational!

    Regards

    Darren
     
  2. RaceTripper

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    I use Transparent Audio power cables and PowerBanks. They provide filtration and surge protection, but are not current limiting. While Transparent products are on the pricey side, I've been very pleased with their quality and performance. I also use Transparent for all my audio/video interconnects and speaker cables.

    Dean
     
  3. cameronl

    cameronl
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    I use the russ andrews silencer block (with another silencer on top of that), a reference powercord & a couple of classic power cords and to me - it defiently seemed to smooth out the sound nicely. My pre / pro though is the Halo C2/A52.

    From what i know (which isn't much!) - a switch mode power supply shouldn't need any fancy conditioning. My Sim2 has a switch mode power supply and using cables and conditioners on that makes no difference at all.

    I think it also depends on the quality of your mains.

    CaM
     
  4. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    Thanks for the replies gents - I know I have shoddy mains as have always been plagued by some sort of noise in whatever system I have owned. So far, the Arcam combination is the quietest but I do have "bat-like" hearing and am very sensitive to higher frequencies - so much so that I grab my slippers in my mouth when I hear a dog whistle!!

    I have been meaning to try the new Isotek Orion, just need more motivation to combat the Christmas traffic!

    Thanks

    Darren
     
  5. lowrider

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    It sounds like you have RFI problems...

    Try Stillpoints ERS... I also use Van Den Hul Mainsstream PCs and they improve the sound on all my kit...
     
  6. barnythebear

    barnythebear
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    Lowrider; I've heard you talk about these before,and been most impressed by your comments, can you get the sheets in UK? Or failing that in Florida? Or do you have to source from US?
     
  7. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    Lowrider,

    Those ERS's look funky! How are they applied to the cables? If you have a small picture of them in place that would be gratefullly appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  8. lowrider

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    I ordered mine directly from Stillpoints, but I think there is a dealer in the UK...

    The biggest improvement in my system was by linning the inside top of my player with two A4 sheets, I also got a noticeable improvement with a couple of stripes around the wall end of my power bar PC and one A4 sheet under my processor...

    Thats all I use at the moment...

    They also sell stripes to wrap around cables, never tried that...
     
  9. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    As above, tried the Isotek mains conditioner and....

    ...it made not the blind bit of difference hiss-wise!!

    In fact, it seemed to make music less muscular though it did seem to bring a slight improvement to my plasma!

    Strange how the Rotel 1098 and now the AV8 have a seemingly high noise floor. I am wondering if it is faulty or whether it is the product of high sensitivity speakers??
     
  10. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Do you have other stuff on the same mains spur, lamps with those funny switches, whatever, try disconnecting everything...
     
  11. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    Ah well that is indeed a good question! Our house is nearly 200 years old and when I replaced the floor in the sitting room, the wiring was a mess. It has been brought up to modern-ish standards (20 years previously).

    I had tried disconnecting most appliances around the house before when I had the Rotel but to no avail.

    The finger seems to point at the speakers being a mismatch. Seems strange that the hiss is only prominent when the processor is turned on though - it's not so intrusive as to make it too much of an issue but of concern nonetheless

    Darren
     
  12. lowrider

    lowrider
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    I dont think the speakers are the cause of the problem...

    Have you tried disconnecting the cableTV, or aerial too... Does it make the hiss with just the processor and the power on ?
     
  13. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    Lowrider,

    With just the power amp on - no hiss
    With processor and amp - hiss
    With processor and amp but with "MUTE" selected - no hiss

    This is irrespective of which input is selected.

    Unplugged everything else in the room and on the same electrical ring!

    This hiss is not affected by volume control until right at the maximum buffers.
     
  14. lowrider

    lowrider
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    OK, but is the TV connected to aerial or cable ?

    Have you tried disconnecting everything from the processor, or different ICs to the power ?
     
  15. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    TV is satelite only - this is connected via optical to AV8.

    Have also unplugged digibox but no difference!!

    IC's are Chord Chameleon Silver Plus. As previously stated I get no hiss until the processor is ON. Mute button kills the hiss
     
  16. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi Darren,

    It sounds to me like you are listening to the noise floor of the volume control chips in the AV8. They are the best that we could find but they still eventually have to have a noise floor that will be higher than the power amplifer. When the unit is in mute the volume controls are disconnected from the output so you are effectively listening to just the power amplifer noise floor + a tiny bit from the mute electronics.

    If this is the case you may change the apparent noise floor when playing music using a mains conditioner etc. But the fundamental background noise will not actually be changed.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  17. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Optical shouldnt be a problem... :nono:

    Does it matter wich input is selected on the processor? Did you try unplugging all ICs from processor, except to power ? Does it hiss without the connection between processor and power ?
     
  18. Audionyx

    Audionyx
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    Many thanks Lowrider and Andy for your help to troubleshoot and put things into perspective.

    I cannot speak highly enough of the sound quality of the AV8 and P7: music, movies (and mute!) is simply fantastic. Certainly a good step up from the Rotel 1098 which itself was great performance per pound.

    I think my upgraditis has been cured for a good few years after purchasing these Arcams!!

    Best wishes and happy Xmas

    Darren
     
  19. lowrider

    lowrider
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    You are welcome, best wishes to you and all in avforums... :thumbsup:
     
  20. barnythebear

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    Lowrider, thanks for the info re ERS sheets. I now have some and have started to play with it. Interesting stuff, where did you get the best results?
     
  21. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Inside the DV27 and wrapping the wall end of the PC of the power bar...
     
  22. barnythebear

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    Thanks I'll try that with the CD player. Any real problems taking the top off?
     
  23. sticker

    sticker
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    Antonio,
    did you use the adhesive back ERS sheets or the non adhesive sheers?

    Regards
    John
     
  24. lowrider

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    Non adhesive...

    Try first just covering the player, it did almost the same effect, no problems taking the lid of, then used two side stiking tape on all corners of the two ERS sheets it took to cover it completely...
     
  25. sticker

    sticker
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    Cheers Antonio
     
  26. barnythebear

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    Thanks Lowrider I'll give it a try.
     

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