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I know this is another topic, like cables, that can get very murky, but I've had an interesting experience lately.

I've never had a lot of time for the subject of power supply, all my gear (see profile info) has mains filters built in and I would expect they are fairly effective and sophisticated filters given the price of it. On top of that I've never noticed any particular problems with the quality of the power supply and other devices (although we have overhead lines in the area and possums like to electrocute themselves giving regular brief power cuts). I have had everything just plugged in to a standard (switched) six outlet surge protected power board.

However, I recently came across an Australian product (I am here in Oz!), which claimed to have sophisticated mains filtering (as well as protection) for only a couple of hundred dollars.  I claims to have an active filter that works on the upward and downward curves of the sine wave, not just the peak. Obviously this is not a cheap power board, but cheap enough that I thought I would give it a try. It's a Thor A12BF Smartboard, dunno if others here have come across it?

Blow down with a feather if it hasn't had quite a significant impact on the sound of the system, certainly on a par with an improved stylus for instance. Overall the sound is richer and the stereo placement seems better. I'm not about to spend thousands on power conditioners, but I am at least converted from a cynic to an agnostic.

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You shouldn't be surprised by the results...but,  in the absence of a previous technical assessment of your supply ,  neither  should anybody confidently predict them either.

There are various characteristics  of the mains power supply that can have an affect on the performance and sound of our systems.

Some are related to the stability , stiffness and regulation of the supply and some to mains borne distortions & interference .

Differing "mains conditioning"   products address these issues to varying degrees.

Purchasing these products on recommendation or as an optimistic punt can often yield nice results...but not always .

Mains supplies if you live a little bit  "out in the sticks"  are often a bit iffy... and your device is obviously tidying it up quite nicely.

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Posted (edited)

IME These products "can" have a significant impact on the sound....sometimes good and sometimes bad. The only thing to do is try them. I have generally found a more negative impact than a positive one...but it is location and equipment dependant.

It also makes sense to try them for a while....and then unplug them from the system, just to confirm they are doing good and not harming the sound.

Edited by CnoEvil

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My personal experience is that mains conditioning is an essential part of my HiFi setup to get better sound quality.

Living in a high-rise and sharing power with other suites has created a very noisy mains indeed. I use a mains conditioner and a wave form correction device

As mentioned, each manufacturer approaches their engineering and design to address different problems, and some are outstanding designs that are beneficial, and other are not so good.

I have  found that some manufacturers claim their products are not current limiting, when in fact they are.

You may need to be cautious plugging in a power amp into a mains conditioner, as some designs will deteriorate the sound quality, and other will improve it.

Examples of brands that produce conditioners that are helpful are IsoTek, Shunyata, Torus, PS Audio, and Furutech.

I have found many brands of conditioners are helpful for the other electronics components such as the streamer, preamp and so on.

That said, an audio guy here bought a very inexpensive power conditioner in North America, called Trip-Lite, and it worked very well indeed.

The best advice if you are curious, is to try one in your system and see what you think.

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