OMG the power!?

I have never really believed too much into the whole mains power making a difference. But today I stand gobsmacked at how much difference changing a powerstrip to a very good one makes. I have been struggling of late with my system especially since changing my speakers. Something was off and I was beginning to think the speakers where the issue as everything was too bright and harsh in the top end and I could hear some slight distortion.

So after exhausting most options I kept reading about how poor mains kit could cause excessive brightness. So after a bit more research I decided to change the filtering powerstrip I was using, it was not an expensive one but had helped when I had to use powerline adaptors for networking. So I ordered in a Russ Andrews powerstrip and their basic mains lead, along with an audiophile one from MCRU to compare.

The Russ Andrews arrived today and straight away it started to sound more cohesive. Tighter cleaner bass, less harsh treble I was very impressed but I could still detect a little distortion. So I decided to move the the Roon core and switch to the same strip and it all fell into place. I can’t believe the difference its made. It’s brought back the enjoyment of my system and now the new speakers sing. I think I might get another one for my phono side of things as they are powered from a different strip as they are not with the other kit.

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Good to hear a story like this. I also believe that the quality of the incoming power has a significant influence on the quality of the sound. That said this is going to open a can of worms for all the “power makes no difference” types that will undoubtedly weigh in on this as snake oil.

I was one of those sceptics until today. Firmly in the ethernet is snake oil though having just tried a 10 x more expensive cable from a well known manufacturer to hear no difference. This on the other hand is completely different.

You missed it … 1 April was beginning of the week.


Could that have been the problem, i.e. power cables/strip makes no difference but using a cheap filtered one actually causes harm. Take that out and voila, maybe a woolies powerstrip would have made the same difference?

Whatever. I tired going back to a basic one already before going for the more expensive one, it was worse than the filtered one thats why I bought those in the first place. I know its made a difference that’s all that me placebo, expectation bias or whatever you want to call it. Not that I expected anything to change. Nothing did for buying an LPS or high end ethernet. But you have to try these things before dismissing them or you have no grounds to base anything on. Metrics are not always the answer.

My Naim Nait is the only device in the chain which actually sounds different depending on which way round I put in the plug - meaning when the phase is where Naim recommends it to be it sounds “better”. Maybe it’s the same with the Atom? Have you tried that?

I’ve been down that road with power conditioners, etc, and was never able to make any gains in sound quality but then my scenarios always included modern homes or at least modern electrical systems.

There’s obviously something else going on in your scenario for you to hear such dramatic/obvious differences. Maybe your home has a wiring issue or simply old or poor wiring.

Nevertheless, it’s good to see you were able to make some improvements.

I’m in t the UK we dont have 2 pins. You can only plug in devices one way so it’s always the correct phase.

Well, right. You’re in luck then with getting the phase thing sorted. :slight_smile:

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It’s a fairly old house but has been rewired by previous owners. Naim kit is very fussy with mains power unfortunately. But yeah it’s likely the wiring.combined with not so well.constructed extensions. Also the house is rife with cheap switching PSUs as most modern homes are these days.

You are so right about power and what the deniers Vs the benefits of improving the incoming power will say. For me the it is the same with the post below yours which is negative about the benefit of quality Ethernet cables. Even the speed of the router can have an impact. Everything matters from the start to finish.

If you want it to. As do the weather, your surroundings, your mood etc.

I’m glad you’ve noticed an improvement. I have too!
Late last year, a lightning strike took out my new DAC so prior to replacing the DAC I bought a THOR Power Conditioner and Surge Protector which also comes with their proprietary power board.
The difference is chalk and cheese with deeper, tighter bass and a more relaxed top end. There seems to be a quiter background as well.
I’m more than happy with the difference in SQ as well as the protection offered.
I am in Sydney, Australia and the THOR is an Australian company that I am happy to recommend to any Aussies who might read this.

If you have had a positive result with the Russ Andrews powerstrip you might want to trial one of their balanced power units. I too am in the UK and use Naim equipment. I now have my entire system powered from it, big improvement.

I’m happy with it so I have no desire to change it or spend any more.

That’s because there does not exist something like a universal power conditioner like there does not exist something like a universal loudspeaker crossover. Like loudspeaker crossovers a powerfilter is interacting with the load it sees and has to be designed according to this. Most common mistake is to choose a powerlinefilter based on its current capacity. Many People believe that the higher the current capacity the beter, but that is anything but True. Most negatieve experiences are caused by this.

I use a Dussun X1200 for main components and have been very pleased with it.

If your power is within specification and your components are properly designed and built then it is a non issue.

I have had some expensive components that benefitted from clean power and some cheap components that performed great straight into the wall. So cost doesn’t tell you much.

The latest and greatest audio internal power supplies are now switched. They can eliminate 60 Hz hum perfectly! Alternatively a linear power supply with a separate box for the power section can work. Transformers emit EM radiation which is unavoidable - so distance works for conventional or a switched mode supply will operate at crazy high frequency far outside audible range.

I use this. Not for any perceived improvement in SQ, but because it has spike protection that is non-sacrificial.