How to tame a really noisy AC circuit. Transformer? Line Selective UPS?

Echolane

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Apr 24, 2018
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What type of device were you using? What are these units? Unless you know about the spectra of noise these measurements tell very little and can be misleading to find a solution. Considering the price of many power devices IMHO we should have a proper analysis carried before going in such expenses - or simply listen to find what you prefer, probably much more reliable than many hand held devices.
I bought the device from Amazon. It is called a Trifield EMI line meter. It measures dirty electrical noise or EMI noise in millevolts peak to peak. It even lets you hear the electrical noise and if the noise I heard is added to the audio stream I hear, I have to assume it is contaminating the purity of the sound. .
 

treitz3

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Dec 25, 2011
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Hello, Echolane and good evening to you sir. If I were in your situation, I would K.I.S.S.

In other words, go the simple route first to diagnose the issue. With that said.....if the issue isn't audible within your system? Is there really an issue?

When you have the house to yourself, turn off every breaker in the home but the one(s) powering the audio system. Run the test again. Is the result the same? If so, you have isolated the culprit circuit and we can move forward. If not? Keep flipping one breaker at a time and retest again until you do find the culprit circuit(s) that may be causing the noise.

After this is done and you have isolated the circuit(s), only then can we isolate the issue further IMO/IME.

Please let me know what you find out. Otherwise, this could be a 30-40 page thread without you finding out anything whilst everyone here is just shooting in the dark as to "possible" culprits. Thanks and have a great evening!

Tom
 

treitz3

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Dec 25, 2011
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I bought the device from Amazon. It is called a Trifield EMI line meter. It measures dirty electrical noise or EMI noise in millevolts peak to peak. It even lets you hear the electrical noise and if the noise I heard is added to the audio stream I hear, I have to assume it is contaminating the purity of the sound. .
Do you have a source that does not include a hardwired or computer/cable based source to test?

You need to *really* isolate down to the very basics and keep introducing things.....

Tom
 

bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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Agree with all that's been said already. You're looking for solutions to a problem that may or may not affect your audio. But I do find these gadgets amusing nonetheless.

For low expense, you could try one of the passive devices that are not even inline to your audio system, but bring your unit-less gadget numbers down. Do you hear a difference in your sound or not? For example:


I also found it amusing that the iFi purifier device made the gadget's results far worse:

https://www.amazon.com/vdp/0561837a7b7144c481a9086519f51713
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Kirkland, WA
I bought the device from Amazon. It is called a Trifield EMI line meter. It measures dirty electrical noise or EMI noise in millevolts peak to peak. It even lets you hear the electrical noise and if the noise I heard is added to the audio stream I hear, I have to assume it is contaminating the purity of the sound. .
This meter is the real deal as far as I understand it. By real deal I mean that, yeah a high number could be detrimental to audio. Devices like this have been shown in videos by both MIT and Shunyata to demonstrate the effectiveness of their AC line noise reduction products.

Your audio system could actually be what’s causing the noise to measure higher on that circuit.

A possible solution is shown in the video that follows. I have one of these and it revealed to me that I had been listening through a haze of noise that I didn’t even know was there until I heard it stripped away. Those who questioned whether it was worth worrying about what you are measuring if you didn’t hear a problem might not get how this noise manifests itself and how our brain finds a way to just accepting it as normal. It’s very likely you will be blown away though by what you hear once it’s properly addressed.

 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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I said the same in a technical way. And fortunately there is little rationality in many important things we do and write in this hobby.
That’s really a personal choice confusion isn’t the only state in this hobby.
david
 
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ddk

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May 19, 2013
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This meter is the real deal as far as I understand it. By real deal I mean that, yeah a high number could be detrimental to audio. Devices like this have been shown in videos by both MIT and Shunyata to demonstrate the effectiveness of their AC line noise reduction products.

Your audio system could actually be what’s causing the noise to measure higher on that circuit.

A possible solution is shown in the video that follows. I have one of these and it revealed to me that I had been listening through a haze of noise that I didn’t even know was there until I heard it stripped away. Those who questioned whether it was worth worrying about what you are measuring if you didn’t hear a problem likely don’t get how this noise manifests itself and how our brain adjusts to just accepting it. You will be blown away though by what you hear once it’s properly addressed.

In this video you see the effect of one device on the "Noise" created by the other, that‘s not the actual sound of your power line it’s something made up by that device. It’s also a clever video there‘s some insinuation but nowhere did anyone prove a sonic detriment or benefit one way or another!

Yes there’s noise in the power lines but you can’t determine anything about it’s sonic impact or origin with this EMI meter.

david
 
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Gregm

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Mar 14, 2019
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Were you able to measure the noise before and after you installed your custom made transformer?
it would be helpful to know more about your custom made transformer.
Lastly, we’re you able to measure the the before and after improvement with a meter?
The electrician measured vanishingly low electrical noise.
It was, simply, an isolation transformer. Regards
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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The electrician measured vanishingly low electrical noise.
It was, simply, an isolation transformer. Regards
I have never met an electrician with a scope that measured distortion in the gigahertz region.
I have never seen an isolation transformer show a measurable reduction in 3rd, 5th, 9th harmonics. Triplite generally has a worse waveform on the loadside of the transformer as seen with a Fluke scopemeter. Transformers filter in the gigahertz. It's hard to see high frequency noise with a scope.
 
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Carnelian

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Nov 18, 2020
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You might look at the Audioquest Niagara line of products. I use their 1200 model and it replaced a very good AC regeneration device with equal to or better sound from my rig.
 

Atmasphere

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May 4, 2010
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I bought the device from Amazon. It is called a Trifield EMI line meter. It measures dirty electrical noise or EMI noise in millevolts peak to peak. It even lets you hear the electrical noise and if the noise I heard is added to the audio stream I hear, I have to assume it is contaminating the purity of the sound. .
The best assumption you can make is that the noise might affect the 'purity of the sound'.
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Kirkland, WA
Yes there’s noise in the power lines but you can’t determine anything about it’s sonic impact or origin with this EMI meter.
It is most certainly possible to track down its origin with this meter.

If Caelin of Shunyata thinks that reducing the noise made evident by meters like this can have a beneficial sonic impact, then I will take his word for it as he has a proven track record.

The OP is on the right track here.
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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It is most certainly possible to track down its origin with this meter.

If Caelin of Shunyata thinks that reducing the noise made evident by meters like this can have a beneficial sonic impact, then I will take his word for it as he has a proven track record.

The OP is on the right track here.
Caelin of Shunyata never made any such claim in his video you posted! :)

OP is certainly free to decide for himself, it makes no difference to me either way.

david
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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Caelin of Shunyata never made any such claim in his video you posted!

He didn’t have to - anyone of average intelligence or higher would naturally infer this. Caelin is selling a product that aims to improve sound quality. He wouldn’t have decided to take the time to record a video if it didn’t further that aim. He put his credibility on the line as he made it possible for anyone to repeat that same test at home so one could easily tie the benefits they hear to what that measuring device reported.
 

wil

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Jul 22, 2015
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He didn’t have to - anyone of average intelligence or higher would naturally infer this. Caelin is selling a product that aims to improve sound quality. He wouldn’t have decided to take the time to record a video if it didn’t further that aim. He put his credibility on the line as he made it possible for anyone to repeat that same test at home so one could easily tie the benefits they hear to what that measuring device reported.
I recall Caelin posting on this site a couple of years ago that the Alpha Labs meter covers way too large a band to be of much use with regards to Audio. He thought the Entech was a bit better as it was more focused on Audio pertinent noise. But I think he would be the first to say these are very crude tools. He did say they were working on a better meter for this kind of use, but I guess they never got around to it.
 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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He didn’t have to - anyone of average intelligence or higher would naturally infer this. Caelin is selling a product that aims to improve sound quality. He wouldn’t have decided to take the time to record a video if it didn’t further that aim. He put his credibility on the line as he made it possible for anyone to repeat that same test at home so one could easily tie the benefits they hear to what that measuring device reported.
I guess you are one of those of average intelligence, good to know!:)
david
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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But I think he would be the first to say these are very crude tools. He did say they were working on a better meter for this kind of use, but I guess they never got around to it.
I think that “crude” has to be considered within the scope of what one is out to determine. The OP was wise to use this crude tool to determine that something is amiss. If she’s able to track down the cause, it’s quite possible that she’ll hear a benefit. If she can’t track down the cause but simply aims to add a proper conditioner the tool would have lead her to better sound quality.
 

kennyb123

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Nov 30, 2012
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pmiller

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Oct 8, 2020
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A possible solution to your noisy circuit would be to explore establishing a separate circuit for your listening room and then installing a separate external ground rod. You circuit sounds like it is very noise and it may be because of what you have on it. You may want to explore that. It also sounds like you need to isolate your circuit/system from other sources of noise and having a separate circuit and ground for your system could, as it did for me, make a VERY noticeable improvement to the whole system at a somewhat modest cost -i.e. a copper 8' ground rod is approximately $20.00 with the hook up hardware and wiring adding perhaps another $20.00 and a separate circuit breaker adding another $25.00 to the overall material cost. If you do what I did you can have the ground rod installed through your basement wall which has the advantage that there is nothing above ground outside to corrode and otherwise deteriorate. If you do this the patch material for the hole in your basement wall is perhaps another $6.00 - the hole should not be more that 3/4" round. You will need/should have an electrician do all of this which is likely to cost you perhaps an additional $225.00 labor. Bottom line cost is likely not to exceed $325.00 and it is by far one of the single best improvements I have ever done for my system. Good luck.
 
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