Having read numerous posts on power tinkering (conditioning, PSU’s and cabling) I wondered if there could be a thread for those that have very limited technical knowledge to come away having an idea on where might be a good place to start.
This thread would of course be for all, but especially for those like myself that have followed Roon’s initial excellent optimal setup guidance (dedicated ROCK NUC, Core, Output and Control on separate devices, fully wired setup) and looking to take things further with power in mind.
Some observations I have made over recent months / years:
- When I first got into higher end hifi (Arcam then Meridian) the general consensus (a dangerous word I know) on order of focus was nearly always source first (I guess NAS or Router in the network world, depending on whether you are streaming or using local library), yet in the network world that focus seems to have switched to the end-point being most important.
- Numerous hi-end manufacturers (and most recently now Roon) appear to offer Linear PSU ‘upgrades’ but none that I can see offer power conditioners - maybe a different skill-set, but if it was that important I’m sure they’d buy in the expertise.
- Some manufacturers (Meridian included) even go so far as stating they do not recommend conditioning on their active speakers and only supply stock ‘B&Q’ power cables with a pair of £50K speakers which to me is a signal of how important they view the power cable in the audio chain (but even they have come out with a linear PSU for their Prime headphone DAC/Amp).
Some general questions I would like to ask, slowly getting into more detail but hopefully without being too technical are:
In order of best bang for your buck, what priority would you apply power ‘treatments’ given the following components:
Router / Modem
Does a good (whether it be linear or switching) PSU negate the need / advantages for conditioning; Does a good conditioner negate the need for a good PSU or would a good PSU and good conditioning compliment each other? Assume with no conditioner the 1st 4 components in the list are located together and powered off a standard power block.
Are there any basic principles to simplify decision making that are less contentious!
As well as I have tried to make my system neat and tidy (pics in the appropriate thread), it is not lost on me that I have so many components, all with their stock PSUs and cables running into a £10 surge protector, and in the case of my end-point and DAC (both with upgraded PSUs) they are plugged into daisy chained surge protectors together with computer monitors, docking stations laptop power supplies etc so I’m trying to understand if I can improve things further in staged approach which I’m sure many without the technical knowledge to understand the various arguments for and against could use a little help with…?
A long thread as an opener but hopefully you have stayed with me and lets see what comes up…