This is going to be a relatively brief review of some things I’ve picked up and installed over the last two weeks. Prior to these purchases my power setup was as follows:
Two dedicated 20amp lines each terminated with P&S hospital grade 20amp outlets. One for digital one for analog. Power treatment stuff consisted of Vans Evers Clean Line digital Jr. and Tripp Lite isobar for digital side. PS Audio UO High Current and Ernies PoBox for the analog side. Odyssey amp directly into the wall.
With this I had a bit of hiss audible from 3-4 feet but barely noticeable from the listening position. I also had an odd buzz (not ground loop hum) when nothing but the amp was on that went away as soon as I turned the preamp on. Very odd. On the recommendation of Pyschicanimal I picked up a couple of OneAC isolation transformers off of eBay. A CP1103 3 amp and CP1102 2 amp. The 3 amp I have into the wall and it powers Transport, DAC, DVD player and Tripplite isobar for the rest of the digital stuff (changer, sat. box) The 1102 plugs into the wall and powers only the preamp. Upon first listen to these I sold the Vans Evers. These things are awesome! Especially considering I got both for less than $60 shipped. Things were a noticeable notch quieter.
Also on Psychic’s suggestion I ordered some Hubbell 5262 and 5362 double cryo’d outlets from Virtual Dynamics. 3 5262 (15 amp) outlets for the OneACs and two 5362 (20 amp) outlets for the wall. I have to admit, I was more than skeptical about gains cryo’d outlets could produce – especially at $30 a pop. Today I had a chance to open up the OneACs and swap outlets, while in there I upgraded the jumpers between the two 1103 outlets to higher gauge wire, cleaned everything, cut off the spade terminations on all of the wire going to the outlets and progolded everything. I then replaced the P&S wall outlets with the 20 amp stuff and again, re-cut and stripped the wires and progolded them. I also used blu-tac equivalent on the face of the outlets that came almost in contact with the cases and also on the “’mickey mouse ears” on the top and bottom of the outlets so they wouldn’t vibrate or come in contact with the case at all.
I was absolutely NOT prepared for what happened when I plugged everything in. Silence. From EVERYWHERE, listening position, 5 feet, 3 feet, 1 inch. Just quiet. With only the Stratos powered on, quiet. With all the 2 channel gear on, quiet. With all the HT stuff on, quiet. Get the idea? So, how was it once music is on? As you would expect, quieter backgrounds and more detail, but also, more emotion, more dynamics, more detail and clarity.
If you are, or even if you aren’t in the market for power conditioning look into this. For less than $200 I improved my system more than I thought it could have been with something so simple. The only thing you have to be careful about is that you don’t “overdrive” the amp rating of the OneACs. For anything but an amp or a receiver you shouldn’t have a problem. I continue to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for amps – they go right into the wall (two via the PS Audio) so this isn’t even an issue. Get one for your digital side and one for analog, sit back and be wowed!