how about using isolation transformers?

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summitradio

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how about using isolation transformers?
« on: 23 Apr 2020, 12:48 am »
How about using an isolation transformer in US 120 volt systems?

These systems can be notorious for being unbalanced as the loads can be dynamically unbalanced coming out of the circuit breaker panel
as more loads are applied in other areas of the house, ie dishwasher running or other 120-volt motor loads.
I believe EU 240 volt systems do not have as severe a problem as they don't split the line in the box as we do here in the US.

Any input?

Thanks


FullRangeMan

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #1 on: 23 Apr 2020, 02:31 am »
How about using an isolation transformer in US 120 volt systems?

These systems can be notorious for being unbalanced as the loads can be dynamically unbalanced coming out of the circuit breaker panel
as more loads are applied in other areas of the house, ie dishwasher running or other 120-volt motor loads.
I believe EU 240 volt systems do not have as severe a problem as they don't split the line in the box as we do here in the US.

Any input?

Thanks
Euro zone are 230V 50Hz.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country
split the line in the box as we do here in the US.
What exactly is it?
« Last Edit: 23 Apr 2020, 04:47 am by FullRangeMan »

Speedskater

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #2 on: 23 Apr 2020, 01:32 pm »
There are two very different types of isolation transformers discussed in audio (& home theater) circles.
1] small plug-in transformer for a few components to reduce hum problems.
2] large permanently wired transformers (sometimes with 240V primary & 120V secondary's) for the entire A/V system. These work best when wired as a Separately Derived System. 

richidoo

Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #3 on: 23 Apr 2020, 03:51 pm »
Isolation tranny is useful to reduce high frequency noise on mains, to increase magnetic reservoir, and in balanced isolators to provide floating ground to eliminate ground hum. But like any large transformer, they can make their own mechanical hum so they sometimes require mechanical isolation themselves if used by a golden-ear in a quiet room. Bryston makes single ended isolators and Equitech makes balanced iso-trannies if you want to research.

I had two memorable experiences with Equitech Q1.5 balanced isolation transformer. First, I used it with pair of 100w tube monoblock amps. The tranny's floating ground eliminated any hum and made the background noise inaudible. But more noticeable was the improvement in amp dynamic performance with the enormous magnetic reserve added to the puny power amp's own power tranny. Huge improvement overall as the amps really came alive. The second experience, around that same time and as I was becoming an balanced line conditioner evangelist, a friend tried the Equitech with his DIY SS 100w integrated amp in my system. It had excellent ground design, already dead silent noise floor, and an adequately sized power transformer onboard. We heard no improvement at all with the isolation tranny vs the wall outlet. He said "told ya so" and I learned a lesson. No "magic tweak" works in every situation. But the Equitech was one of only two power conditioning devices I have tried over the years that actually made any kind of positive difference in my system. The other was a regenerator, which did make his integrated amp sound much better (and he agreed) but costs a lot more than any passive conditioner.

ICTadam

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #4 on: 23 Apr 2020, 04:02 pm »
I just did a quick read on Blue Jeans Cable's website about their isolation transformer to eliminate hum in a system while I was researching speaker cables.  I would check it out and they are also a small US based company if you have any questions. 

FullRangeMan

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #5 on: 23 Apr 2020, 06:33 pm »
I had used a 4/5kg Toroidal 220V to 120V to run a CD Player for a couple of years, after I removed the transformer to direct at the outlet the sound quality increased a bit.

Speedskater

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #6 on: 24 Apr 2020, 12:26 am »
I just did a quick read on Blue Jeans Cable's website about their isolation transformer to eliminate hum in a system while I was researching speaker cables.  I would check it out and they are also a small US based company if you have any questions.
What BJC page was that?

summitradio

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #7 on: 24 Apr 2020, 12:48 am »
I have a few 30 amp isolation transformers that can be hard-wired into the system. I also have a hospital-grade Tripp lite isolation transformer with 4 outputs. I use it and have modified it
to be a technician use transformer.

t is so I don't get shocked by a ground connected neutral when fixing electronic gear.

Ill try each of them out and see if it cleans up the sound some.

Thanks for letting me know that it is useful in improving sound quality.

Subdusted

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #8 on: 28 Jun 2020, 11:42 pm »
Bryston makes single ended isolators and Equitech makes balanced iso-trannies if you want to research.


Bryston doesn't make isolation transformers.  They sell re-branded Torus Power and make no secret of it. Also, I believe, they are balanced for EU and Asian markets since they are 230v.

John22

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Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #9 on: 17 Jul 2020, 03:52 am »
I think Topaz transformers are very worthwhile. I had Nordost and Transparent Audio power conditioners and I thought high dollar power cords made more difference (I haven't heard a dif with $200-300 cords). Some Topaz models can be wired for balanced output.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/topaz-low-capacitance-isolation-transformers-for-affordably-clean-power.857448/page-13

Jon L

Re: how about using isolation transformers?
« Reply #10 on: 17 Jul 2020, 03:56 pm »
No "magic tweak" works in every situation.
The other was a regenerator, which did make his integrated amp sound much better (and he agreed) but costs a lot more than any passive conditioner.

Agree with this 100%.  I've tried different kinds of isol transfers, balanced transformers, variations of each using filters, etc, and in each case, where they are used determined whether there was improvement.  In many cases, sound became worse even.
Only place I heard consistently significant improvement was with power regenerators, which are $$$ from audiophile companies as usual.

Even with regenrators in place, one can gain substantial gains with batteries for pure-digital components.  The caveat is the batteries sound much better when used in their native voltage without noisy regulators (as in common USB power banks).  I also find that digital components benefit the most (USB cards, usb/spdif converters), but when there is analogue gain/output stage involved (as in DAC's), results can have pro's and con's. 

19733647013_232899f3e8_o by drjlo2, on Flickr