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

GroovySauce

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When plugged in to the other outlets in the circuit, do you see a measurable noise reduction out of the Torus?
When the circuit the Torus is plugged into has the Greenwave filters, the outlets of the Torus are a little higher noise mV. There is a thunderstorm rolling through and I shut down the system. Checked before powering off. 38mV at the wall outlet. 228mV Torus outlets.
 

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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Let me lay it out in my typical, less than gently way. Atmasphere, Alrainbow and Folson are all spot on. But let me take it to a level of more clarity.
I almost never find power conditioners as a way to climb out of a noise issue. If you have noise in the equipment or out of the speaker, it is usually the equipment itself. Ralph (Atmasphere) has fixed some of my issues for me. He won't even bother with my 845 amps that have ground issues, but I can't blame him. They are basically a lost cause.

The other way noise is heard in equipment or out the speakers is ground loops and some amount of cable management. But severe noise issues such as intermittent toroid transformer hum are generally a less than stellar PS in the amp itself. I have had success with a Isotek Syncro on a noisy Rega Osiris, but usually a filter for dramatic issues comes with a price.

Filter such as a Torus transformer or Audio Quest type device can be excellent for noise issue that are more unheard. That means, you don't know you have an issue until you put the filter in and suddenly you have better dynamics, better soundstage, more layering and separation of instruments. Filters can excel in these areas if used properly.

Proper electrical infrastructure and grounding is always a benefit, but it is not a way to fix a transformer in an amp that is humming. Good grounding and electrical infrastructure won't eliminate DC or fix a ground loop. It can definitely bring a level of calm and quite with a more natural sense of life in the music. But it won't fix an amp that is reacting to utility noise. It won't fix an amp that is reacting to a low quality dimmer in your house. You have to replace your dimmers with something such as a Lutron Maestro.

You can try a hard DC block such as a Torus Isolation transformer or other filter, but for the money invested, you could also consider a different amp. If you really love the sound your whole system presents, then try filters. If you like your system but feel it could be better, try a different amp.

My "opinion" only. Others may disagree.
 

adyc

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Let me lay it out in my typical, less than gently way. Atmasphere, Alrainbow and Folson are all spot on. But let me take it to a level of more clarity.
I almost never find power conditioners as a way to climb out of a noise issue. If you have noise in the equipment or out of the speaker, it is usually the equipment itself. Ralph (Atmasphere) has fixed some of my issues for me. He won't even bother with my 845 amps that have ground issues, but I can't blame him. They are basically a lost cause.

The other way noise is heard in equipment or out the speakers is ground loops and some amount of cable management. But severe noise issues such as intermittent toroid transformer hum are generally a less than stellar PS in the amp itself. I have had success with a Isotek Syncro on a noisy Rega Osiris, but usually a filter for dramatic issues comes with a price.

Filter such as a Torus transformer or Audio Quest type device can be excellent for noise issue that are more unheard. That means, you don't know you have an issue until you put the filter in and suddenly you have better dynamics, better soundstage, more layering and separation of instruments. Filters can excel in these areas if used properly.

Proper electrical infrastructure and grounding is always a benefit, but it is not a way to fix a transformer in an amp that is humming. Good grounding and electrical infrastructure won't eliminate DC or fix a ground loop. It can definitely bring a level of calm and quite with a more natural sense of life in the music. But it won't fix an amp that is reacting to utility noise. It won't fix an amp that is reacting to a low quality dimmer in your house. You have to replace your dimmers with something such as a Lutron Maestro.

You can try a hard DC block such as a Torus Isolation transformer or other filter, but for the money invested, you could also consider a different amp. If you really love the sound your whole system presents, then try filters. If you like your system but feel it could be better, try a different amp.

My "opinion" only. Others may disagree.
Excellent post.
 

Atmasphere

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Let me lay it out in my typical, less than gently way. Atmasphere, Alrainbow and Folson are all spot on. But let me take it to a level of more clarity.
I almost never find power conditioners as a way to climb out of a noise issue. If you have noise in the equipment or out of the speaker, it is usually the equipment itself. Ralph (Atmasphere) has fixed some of my issues for me. He won't even bother with my 845 amps that have ground issues, but I can't blame him. They are basically a lost cause.

The other way noise is heard in equipment or out the speakers is ground loops and some amount of cable management. But severe noise issues such as intermittent toroid transformer hum are generally a less than stellar PS in the amp itself. I have had success with a Isotek Syncro on a noisy Rega Osiris, but usually a filter for dramatic issues comes with a price.


Proper electrical infrastructure and grounding is always a benefit, but it is not a way to fix a transformer in an amp that is humming. Good grounding and electrical infrastructure won't eliminate DC or fix a ground loop. It can definitely bring a level of calm and quite with a more natural sense of life in the music. But it won't fix an amp that is reacting to utility noise. It won't fix an amp that is reacting to a low quality dimmer in your house. You have to replace your dimmers with something such as a Lutron Maestro.

You can try a hard DC block such as a Torus Isolation transformer or other filter, but for the money invested, you could also consider a different amp.
For noisy toroids a DC Blocker is inexpensive and highly effective. A very slight amount of DC on the line can cause the core of a toroid to saturate and at that point it will rattle and its output will no longer be sinusoidal.

A good power conditioner can deal with all sorts of AC line noise problems but with stress on the word 'good'. IMO most so-called 'power conditioners' we see in high end audio are so much junk despite their cost, some no more than a glorified power strip. The PS Audio regenerator is a standout exception but with those you have to be careful about making sure you are no where near the load limit.

Elgar used to make excellent line conditioners decades ago that solve most audiophile problems. They were built for industrial/commercial applications and are some of the very best I've seen, putting 95% of all 'audiophile' AC line conditioning gimmicks to shame. They can guarantee the AC line distortion, the line voltage and lack of noise on the line. But they are old and these days will need refurbishment. Some of them are quite large and can handle some very large amps- so much so that you could condition all the power in your room. They have cooling fans that make them noisy so most installations I know of have them wired to the breaker box, and so conditioning the line feeding the audio room. Of interest to audiophiles are the 3000 and 6000 series; the former having a capacity of about 28 Amps continuous while the latter is rated for about 8 Amps.
 
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Kingrex

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The feedback I am getting is The Sound Application TT7 is one of the few rack mounted conditioners that can handle amps.

2 weeks ago I installed a Torus 4.5kVA isolation transformer with 240 Primary x 120 Secondary with series surge suppression and RF filtration, coupled to my custom 120 Volt only distribution panel in my system. All my equipment is fed off it. Data and audio power. It is one of the single most impactful across the board filters that are all positive gains I have heard. A Torus/Panelboard package by Kingrex Elec is the same cost as a TT7. My Torus/Panelboard uses AFCI breakers and is one of the only packages I know of that is 100% UL legal in the USA and Canada. For use in your house that is.

A good Isolation transformer is a strong block to DC. They make rack mounted units too. But I really only promote wall mount. You will never hear it in the other room. The weight is substantial. Best to be semi permanent mounted. Semi meaning, you take this package with you when you move. You don't leave it.

Yes a good filter works. But they are real money. Think $12K and up.
 

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MarkusBarkus

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@Kingrex your panel/solution looks great. A point on the rack mount aspect: the TT7 sits on the floor. It has four female thread fixtures to accept footers, but I would not describe it as suitable for rack mounting. All duplex fixtures and main feed to the TT7 are on top of the unit.

Thanks for your always-helpful comments above.
 

Atmasphere

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A good Isolation transformer is a strong block to DC. They make rack mounted units too. But I really only promote wall mount. You will never hear it in the other room. The weight is substantial. Best to be semi permanent mounted. Semi meaning, you take this package with you when you move. You don't leave it.

Yes a good filter works. But they are real money. Think $12K and up.
Are you talking about a DC Blocker? We install them in our amps- they don't cost anything like that! You must be talking about something else.
 

adyc

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The feedback I am getting is The Sound Application TT7 is one of the few rack mounted conditioners that can handle amps.

2 weeks ago I installed a Torus 4.5kVA isolation transformer with 240 Primary x 120 Secondary with series surge suppression and RF filtration, coupled to my custom 120 Volt only distribution panel in my system. All my equipment is fed off it. Data and audio power. It is one of the single most impactful across the board filters that are all positive gains I have heard. A Torus/Panelboard package by Kingrex Elec is the same cost as a TT7. My Torus/Panelboard uses AFCI breakers and is one of the only packages I know of that is 100% UL legal in the USA and Canada. For use in your house that is.

A good Isolation transformer is a strong block to DC. They make rack mounted units too. But I really only promote wall mount. You will never hear it in the other room. The weight is substantial. Best to be semi permanent mounted. Semi meaning, you take this package with you when you move. You don't leave it.

Yes a good filter works. But they are real money. Think $12K and up.
Just wondering whether your isolation transformer is balanced or not?
 

Kingrex

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Just wondering whether your isolation transformer is balanced or not?
Yes it is. It is balanced on the primary side, not the secondary. It has 240 volt feeding it and turns it into 120 volt on the secondary. There really is no benefit to having 120v or 240v on the primary and 60/60 volt on the secondary. Both systems still have a ground that is tied to the utility power. Both systems create 120 volts for your equipment to run on.
 

Kingrex

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Are you talking about a DC Blocker? We install them in our amps- they don't cost anything like that! You must be talking about something else.
A good piece of equipment will have it built into the power supply. You could purchase and AQ5000, Isotek Syncro and others. They will block DC for a lot less money. But I am confident you can hear both. I have tried them.
 
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Kingrex

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@Kingrex your panel/solution looks great. A point on the rack mount aspect: the TT7 sits on the floor. It has four female thread fixtures to accept footers, but I would not describe it as suitable for rack mounting. All duplex fixtures and main feed to the TT7 are on top of the unit.

Thanks for your always-helpful comments above.
Maybe rack mount is not the correct term. I should have said a filter that is located at the audio rack. I doubt anyone rack mounts there Everest either. I have seen a few PS audio installations where the power supply sits on an amp stand. If I were to have Torus unit that was in the room, I would sit it on a amp stand myself. Its a lot easier to gain access to a 100 lb plus pound beast when its in the open and accessible. Especially when you may be getting in and out of it.

You can definitely get an in the room Torus isolation transformer for more the price of a AQ or Shunyata piece of equipment. My only concern is noise. I would be interested to hear from owners of the RM20, RM40 or AVR Torus products. Do you hear the core hum in the room?

I focus on wall mount as I can get a larger more robust isolation transformer with a lot higher current capacity and keep the noise as well as physical mass out of the room. Its the same duplex in the wall feeding your rack. It is now filtered and all the outlets are at the exact same voltage potential. Less ground loop potential.

FWIW, an Isotek Syncro is a very good DC block. I had one on a SS amp and I liked it. They are $2700. If you don't have a power strip, it is only 1 IEC on the end. AQ or Shunyata give multiple outlets. All of these devices sound different. I did not like the Isotek on any of my tube amps.

I do know there are hundreds of recording studios that have Torus transformers in them. I know the guy who installed them. There is a reason recording studios use a large frame transformer.

I guess it is wrong to say you can not climb out of a noise hole with a filter. It is possible but it may cost as much as your amp. There are times where you can not. As Alrainbow asked, does it hum with only the speaker connected to the amp. Nothing else connected to the amp. The input signal cable is shorted. If it still hums out the speaker, it is not a ground loop. If it hums out the speaker its an amp problem. If you short the input and only have the speaker connected and the transformers in the amp physically hum, you may have DC in the AC that is saturating the core and a filter would mitigate most all of that problem. The question is, what is the correct filter for your equipment. And can it be used globally. Why not get the most use out of a filter if you are going to invest in one.

And might I also note, Atmasphere is dead on correct when he says his equipment has built in filters that work. Many good manufacturer have filtration built into their equipment that can easily handle the common noise from the utility. I believe that is a reason direct into the wall has worked so well with amps. Then there is equipment that seems to have a hard time with noise. Or it just has issues all on its own without being exacerbated by poor power quality. My Dartzeel NHB108 is by far the most quiet amp I have ever had in my system. There is no sound from the amp or the speaker. But even it leaped forward in performance when I added global filtration with the Torus. So I would say there is some amount of noise even good equipments internal filtration is not mitigating or handling at the highest level. And that is where I believe good filters excel.
Rex
 

Willgolf

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This is a big shoutout to KingRex. After reading this thread I reached out to him personally to get his advice on a hum that I have had for over 18 months that was bugging the heck out of me. He walked me through various steps that I could take. Because I am functionally blind it is very hard for me to fool around with my equipment. So, I hired an audio studio electrical engineer to come to my house and go through many of the steps that King Rex suggested. We also checked the main circuit breaker where my dedicated 20 amp line runs and the secondary fuse panel to ensure the grid is perfect. It was. Then we went through a laborious process to check multiple power cords, interconnects, DACs, and Power conditioners including the InaKustic 3500P and Equitech Model Q. No matter what we did we still had a slight hum.

I reported the results to KingRex. Given that we thought this was a ground loop issue, he suggested I try the Ebtech Hum X. I only purchased one and plugged it into my noisy line. I turned on the amps and put my ears to the speaker and I said WTF....where is the hum? Wow, just like that I cured 99.5% of the hum coming from 98db horn speakers. So, I ordered another Hum X for my other amp. Now there is dead silence in that speaker. I have no idea what is in these little plugs but for ME they worked. These two devices cost me all of $160.

Thank you KingRex!!! My music is even better now.

Will. aka Willgolf
 
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Kingrex

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Glad it helped Will. Its back to back diodes on the ground in the Hum X. It wont pass voltage unless the current rises. Ground loop issues are generally very little current so the diode don't pass the voltage and you don't have a loop. If something were to fault in the equipment to ground, the current would rise high enough the diode would pass the current and the circuit breaker would open.

I have wanted to make my own device that would go inside the outlet box to do the same thing, but I don't think there is room. It could be done in a a panelboard if the branch were dedicated to the audio system.
 
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jerrybj

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Someone mentioned that noise could come from a light dimmer.
I'm getting mine replaced, as what I have is probably the cheapest.
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Someone mentioned that noise could come from a light dimmer.
I'm getting mine replaced, as what I have is probably the cheapest.
Light dimmers and low-quality SMPS are one of the worst offenders. They create lots of high-frequency noise that will propagate into your devices. If you can change it, great. The better quality device should conform to a tighter quality spec. Also, distance is your friend. The farther away from your gear it is, the better.
 

Tuckers

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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
I totally agree with this.
 

Tuckers

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For excellent power conditioning at a stunningly low price, I recommend the Black Lion Audio Power Conditioners. I have power conditioning equipment totally probably more than $15,000 (I'm not using all of it at once though!) And a dedicated line, and custom ground etc. The PG-1 and PG-2 start at $299 and bested many conditioners. If you can replace the captive power cord with a quality 10 guage cable, it's even better. Since they have an extensive online dealer network, they are easily trialed and returned if they don't do the job. They do need a good break in time.

https://www.blacklionaudio.com/product-category/power-conditioners/
 

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