2012 Recommended Components Powerline Accessories

Powerline Accessories

APC AV S15: $1499 w/ battery backup ✩
The S15 is a comprehensive power source, conditioner, and controller that features extensible external power and isolated EMI/RFI filtration for each of its outlet banks. Voltage regulation is accomplished electronically and without the hysteresis or rebound problems of slower, motor-driven compensation. Protected even the heaviest of KR’s loads while also eliminating gray colorations and intermittent chassis vibration. “The S15 made the bridged eVo6 into an even better power amplifier—a super amp.” (Vol.28 No.9 Read Review Online)

Audience Adept Response aR12-TS AC power conditioner: $8995 ✩
The Adept Response provides power-factor correction, RF noise filtering, transient suppression, and 12 Hubbell high-conductivity power outlets. Each outlet is isolated from its input by one filter, and further isolated from the other outlets by a combination of two additional filters, allowing an entire audio system to be plugged into a single AR. BD noted a profound overall improvement in his system’s performance, characterized by enhanced clarity, precision, low-level detail, image definition, soundstage size and depth, and tonal density. “A thoroughly thought out, well-designed, nicely executed manifestation of all that’s currently known about power conditioning,” said BD. “TS” changes from the earlier aR12 include: a new, larger ground with connections welded rather than bolted; Teflon capacitors throughout; and the use of monocrystal copper wire on the Teflon caps. With the aR12-TS in BD’s system, dynamic transients expanded, resolution of low-level detail significantly improved, soundstages opened up, images became more dimensional, and voices took on additional harmonic richness. “The Audience aR12-TS is the best power conditioner I’ve heard,” said BD. (Vol.30 No.4; Vol.34 No.10; Vol.35 No.1 Read Review Online)

Audience powerChord: $539/6ft ✩
“The wonderfully flexible powerChord, too, was a winner, significantly cleaning up the sound by lowering the noise floor, opening up the space between instruments, and significantly improving the system’s resolution of low-level and inner detail.” Though BD’s reference, Synergistic Research’s AC Master Coupler, offered better senses of space and ambience, the Audience was very nearly as good and much easier to use. (Vol.25 No.8 Read Review Online)

AudioQuest NRG-X3 AC cord: $99/6’
The NRG-X3 three-pole AC cord uses strands of long-grain copper for its semisolid, concentric-packed conductors. SM connected the NRG-X3 to the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player and heard a cleaner, brighter top end; faster, more assertive attacks; and longer, lovelier decays. “The AudioQuest NRG-X3 delivered more music, made more sense of the music, managed to more fully convey the artists’ intentions, and made me a happy guy,” he said. (Vol.35 No.1 Read Review Online)

Ayre Acoustics L-5xe power line filter: $1500
In an attempt to dissipate unwanted high-frequency energy riding on the AC line as heat, the L-5xe uses a coil of wire wrapped around a nonferrous core for each of its four AC jacks. “Its slight softening effect seemed to improve image palpability, three-dimensionality, and midband texture,” said MF. However, the Ayre’s “pleasing romanticism” lacked the believability of the faster and more detailed Shunyata Hydra 2, he felt. (Vol.30 No.7)

Brick Wall PW8R15AUD surge protector: $259 ✩
This small, solid, black block is a series-mode surge protector rated for 15A loads and comes equipped with eight outlets in four filtered banks and a captive 14-gauge AC cord. Gave KR the sense that his equipment was safe from catastrophic insult without changing his system’s performance whatsoever. (Vol.28 No.5 Read Review Online)

CablePro Noisetrapper NANA power strip: $350 ✩
Manufactured by Wavelength Audio Video and available at most Naim Audio dealers, the Noisetrapper NANA is an eight-outlet power strip featuring 12-gauge silver-plated OFC internal wiring, silver-soldered connections, and a hardwired, shielded power cord, all built into a nonmagnetic enclosure, and devoid of LEDs, MOVs, and filters which might corrupt performance. Plugging his entire system into this one strip, Art found “unambiguously good” performance: “My system was simply easier to listen to, and required less nervous energy on my part in order to convince myself I was hearing music.” (Vol.29 No.3 Read Review Online)

Environmental Potentials EP-2450 Home Theater Power Supply: $1025.21
Environmental Potentials EP-2050 Waveform Correction Absorber: $728.99 ✩
The EP-2450, a lightweight, full-size chassis, has eight unisolated AC outlets that can pass 20 amperes of HF-filtered, ground-filtered, surge-protected AC, and comes equipped with a filtered and surge-protected coaxial line. KR used the EP-2450 to rid his system of noise generated from digital amps. “Reduced amp noise to effective inaudibility!” The E-2050 provides protection from AC-borne noise by means of a tracking filter, and uses a metal-oxide varistor to clamp and absorb surges. KR: “Examination of my house’s line voltage on an oscilloscope revealed a smoother, cleaner 60Hz signal than before.” (Vol.28 No.9 Read Review Online)

Furman IT-Reference 20i power conditioner: $3699 ✩
Furman Sound’s top-of-the-line power conditioner provides four duplex outlets offering balanced and power-factor–corrected AC, as well as two duplex outlets offering unbalanced power for high-current-draw power amplifiers. JM: “The IT-Reference 20i is built like a tank, and worked flawlessly. It brought a slight lowering of the noise floor without any reduction in dynamics.” (Vol.30 No.10 Read Review Online)

GutWire B-16: $99/5.5ft ✩ $$$
Uses Schurter and Leviton connectors on multistranded, oxygen-free copper wire. With the B-16 in place, JM noted improved image focus and clarity. “A great value,” he said. (Vol.31 No.10 Read Review Online)

HiFi-Tuning Silver/Gold fuses: $34.95–$49.95 each ✩
These German fuses, distributed in the US by The Cable Company, have silver filaments, ceramic bodies, and gold-over-silver terminations. Mikey replaced the cheap fuses in his Musical Fidelity kWP preamplifier and was rewarded with a subtle but noticeable improvement in smoothness and coherence. The HiFi-Tuning fuses worked well with both the Onkyo A-9555 and PS Audio GCC-100, imparting a clearer, more dynamic sound, with crisper transients, said RD. Go figure! Available in various sizes. (Vol.30 Nos.2 & 9 Read Review Online)

JPS Labs Aluminata AC Cable: $3999 ✩
The Aluminata AC has three 8-gauge Kapton-insulated conductors and uses a Wattgate plug and IEC connector, both with gold-plated contacts. Along with the matching interconnects and speaker cables, the Aluminatas “brought a new measure of spaciousness, scale, smoothness, heretofore unimagined detail, and overall musical ease and naturalness to my music system,” AD enthused. KR agrees with AD that the expensive Aluminata lowers his system’s noise floor. (Vol.30 No.4 Read Review Online; also see CS’s VTL review in Vol.25 No.11)

JPS Labs The Digital AC-X Cable: $399 ✩
Uses “very-high-purity” stranded copper conductors, insulated to a 300V rating and said to contain a special compound that absorbs and dissipates high-frequency energy. AD: “The Digital AC endowed the music with a better sense of flow and a smoother, more ‘liquid’ presentation....The sound was more open...with an easier, more natural sense of movement from note to note....The performance as a whole also seemed more dramatic and, in some spots, downright louder.” He purchased The Digital AC to use with his Sony SACD player. Current “X” version has updated capacitors. (Vol.26 No.4 Read Review Online)

Kimber PowerKord 10: $25/ft, plus $130 for termination ✩
ST uses Kimber Kords throughout his system, and noted tremendous differences with a Jadis Defy-7. But try before you buy, he warns. (NR)

Kubala-Sosna Emotion AC cable: $1100/m; $300/additional meter.
A KR favorite. See “Loudspeaker Cables.” Add $300 for each additional meter. (Vol.29 No.7 Read Review Online)

Pangea Audio P-100 power supply: $129.99
Designed by Peter Madnick, the P-100 choke-regulated power supply can be used with Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic, Wadia’s 170iTransport, or Musical Fidelity’s V-Series components. When ST used the P-100 with Musical Fidelity’s V-DAC Mk.II, he heard more low-level detail, cleaner attacks and decays, and less electronic edge. “The Pangea P-100 is for those who want to wrest the very best from their budget gear,” concluded Sam. Available from Audio Advisor with a money-back guarantee. Price is MSRP. Street Price is $99.99. (Vol.35 No.2)

Quantum Resonant Technology Qbase QB8: $1399.99
Of this AC strip’s eight outlet sockets, only the one at the center of the strip goes straight to ground. For the remaining seven, resistors are inserted between the sockets and the ground in an attempt to reduce the noisy currents that can come from having multiple ground points of differing potentials within the system. (Vol.32 No.12 Read Review Online)

Shunyata Research Hydra Triton power conditioner: $4995
The Hydra Triton power conditioner is the first Shunyata Research product created using the company’s new Dynamic Transient Current Analyzer, a low-impedance power source that simulates the power grid and measures the effects of powerline accessories on a hi-fi system. The Triton offers four pairs of AC outlets, each using brass with a high copper content for the conductors, and employs Shunyata’s new Multi-Phase Differential Array, a system of 30 microfilters, each aimed at specific noise components. With the Triton in MF’s system, music sounded louder and cleaner and was more transparent, spacious, and detailed. “There’s no trade-off,” said MF. (Vol.35 No.1)

Silver Circle Audio Pure Power One 5.0 isolation transformer: $5500
Though expensive, the Pure Power One 5.0 includes a 65-lb, 5kVA, custom-built isolation transformer, a proprietary EMI/RF filter, four double-ganged, gold-plated Furutech AC jacks, and a Vesuvius power cord. The PP1 5.0 eliminated noise and increased dynamic range, allowing music to emerge from the soundstage with far greater three-dimensionality. “There was no downside to using the PP1 5.0, only a big upside,” said Mikey. (Vol.33 No.8)

Torus Power RM20 AC power isolation unit: $3000 ✩
Torus Power’s Power Isolation Units (PIUs) combine surge suppression with massive toroidal transformers to provide AC power conditioning and protection from voltage surges. The RM20 uses a single 2400VA toroidal transformer to supply 120V and 20 amperes to the 10 AC outlets on its rear panel. It has a 20A circuit breaker for its On/Off switch and uses a 14AWG detachable AC cord rated at 15A/125V. “The PIU greatly enhanced subtle details of tone, timbre, and imaging when dynamics were extreme or volume was loud,” said LG. CS20 version has 17" faceplate (silver or black); also costs $3000. (Vol.31 No.1 Read Review Online)

K

Ocellia Reference AC cable, Shunyata Research Triton AC conditioner, Sain Line Systems Pure Current Reference AC Cord.

Deletions

Nordost Vishnu, PS Audio Power Port Classic AC receptacles and Quintet Power Center, Shunyata Anaconda CX and Mamba CX Power Snake, all discontinued.

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