One Piglet's Experience With the Hammond 193L

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The Killer Piglet

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One Piglet's Experience With the Hammond 193L
« on: 15 May 2006, 11:41 pm »
This is a story about a Hammond 193L choke; I first saw this mentioned here:
I had put this out of mind when I first read it, but it was brought to the fore again when it popped up on AA.

These are my impressions, take them for what they are worth (try printing them, take the printout to a 7-11, and see if you can a stick of gum).

The setup was a bit of a jury rig, just plugged regular PC's into the outlet, then dropped the terminals of the choke into. Not very permanent, or elegant, but I wanted to see if it worked before I went through any more trouble, and my DIY skill rivalling those of the marmoset. Parenthetically I would welcome any suggestion on making this into a more permanent and far safer device.

Short answer: yes. It works.

When I first installed the Hammond, there was no change in the sound. After letting it play for 10-15 minutes and then removing it, the change was obvious, as soon as the unit was unplugged. The Hammond was right next to the speaker, so the drop off in bass was easy to detect from that position - on tracks that had very deep bass.

I found the best way to test it was to let it stay plugged in for a few minutes, then listen. Unplug, listen again.

As my patience is limited for this sort of stuff, I did it maybe 6 times on each outlet over the course of the day.

My set up is (see system link for more details, heres the elctrical side):

20 amp circuit for the Rogue M150's (I do have another 20 amp line there, but it's not been terminated, so they both share a line at the moment - note to self: brow-beat brother in law into completing lines).

20 amp for BPT 2, with some add-ons like Bybees. No idea if the Bybees help it, that's how I got the unit, but since they are considered filter I figured they should be mentioned. PS Audio 300 Power Plant plugged into that.

Modded Sony transport plugged into PS300; PS Audio high current UO fed by PS 300; Audio Note 3.1x Balanced DAC and Rogue 99 Magnum pre with beefed up caps into UO.

Room treated with Argent Room Lens and GIK 244 & Super Bass traps.

I tired the Hammond in the outlet for the amps, an outlet on the BTP, and an outlet on the PS300.
I have not changed any gear 2 years, generally being happy with the sound while continuing to improve on with tube rolling and room treatments.

Mostly, I was playing Chachao, Master Sessions I, Master Sessions II, and Cuba Linda.

The results were similar in all cases.

- the first an most obvious change is in the bass; clearer and most of all noticeably deeper and with greater texture. If you have the Cachao Cuba Linda CD, the first 45 seconds of track 6 highlight the changes in the bass.
- highs are smoother, and more extended. there's a greater sense of I would imagine is generally referred to as "air."
- overall presentation is slightly clearer, and the soundstage is slightly more defined, with fairly more depth and height, while the images are a tad more forward. It's very difficult to quantify these judgments, what does "slight but noticeable" work out to? Let's say 3-5%?
- if you are considering buying a power cord or even a line conditioner, try this first.


I wrote the above yesterday, and re-read it today. I am wary of slipping into the sate the hyperventilation that seems to go hand in hand with so much of audio commentary, where small changes are often inflated to events of Biblical proportions. I was glad to see I didn't, becuase, well, it's not exactly like a plague of locust. I also wanted to try it again.

Oh, back to trying it again. Yes, I did hear pretty much what I heard the first time, except this time what I appreciate the most is the added weight and space to the sound, without any downside witch sometimes accompanies changes that improve said attributes (such as rolled off highs, loss of dynamics and detail, too much warmth).

So, this tweak or project does provide a small improvement. Not as substantial as good tube change, but on the other hand it will just sit there and sound better when you do make that tube change, etc. Maybe best of all, this is the first power add-on that has not taken away anything from the amps.

It's not shiny, nor made from exotic panda bear kidney stones. You can all to clearly see what it is: it's not wrapped in a sealed box and embedded in tar.
Zero, possibly negative, cachet. But a lot of function.
Somehow, this escalated into a very wordy post on a very cheap item. Maybe you can hold out for two sticks of gum? Throw in some cash, and I think you can.