Power Conditioning - Getting the Best Sound from Your Hi-Fi & Home Theatre - Rapallo | AV Design & Installation
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Power Conditioning – Getting the Best Sound from Your Hi-Fi & Home Theatre

How many times have you sat back in your favorite listening chair around midnight or the early hours and noted just how spectacular your hi-fi system sounds?

Then have you noticed how the sound deteriorates early evening & generally most of the weekend?

What you’re hearing is not just your system, but the mains supply. The bad news is, things are going to get much worse, but there is something you can do to get that ‘Midnight’ sound all of the time. That is is by understanding The Enemy of your system.

A pure AC Mains Sine Wave, clean and distortion free

What you are fighting in your mains system is not just one problem, but a number of problems, all of which affect the sound of your Hi-Fi & AV Components.

The first problem is earthing/Grounding, or rather a lack of it – In older homes, or homes that haven’t been rewired for the last 20 or more years, it is not unusual to find that your earth is very poor. This can manifest itself as background annoyance during those quieter passages of the music, blurriness around your images on the sound stage and sometimes harness to the midrange and high frequencies.

The second issue is the abundance of low voltage switch mode power supplies especially in Computers, Microwaves, Fridges & Mobile phone chargers etc. also do a lot of damage to mains integrity and deteriorate sound quality still further.

Most Households in New Zealand, AC Mains Sine Wave (far from clean).

Further problems in the mains can be found due to the age of the mains grid itself. Quite simply much of the equipment in our National Grid is old, and its operating efficiency is not what it used to be. Furthermore the ability of this equipment to deliver tightly regulated 230V / 50 Hz mains is deteriorating. It should also be noted that when the overhead power lines used today were originally installed, the air did not contain the RFI and EMI as it does now, hence the power, before it reaches the substations, is already polluted. We have mainly mobile phone broadcast towers to thank for that.

Due to current regulations the voltage delivered to your home can be as much as + 10% to -5% and this in itself can severely affect the ability of a power amp or A/V receiver to meet its specifications. The result is voltage that can swing between 223V and 253V. What is worse is your supplier doesn’t have to do anything about it. Today’s homes and offices also have far more low voltage equipment in them than ever before. The power supplies which drive these devices (like those in an audio system) only use the top and bottom of the sine wave to actually power them. Therefore the hypothetical 50Hz Sine Wave that should be coming out of your socket would, on an oscilloscope, actually have its peaks and troughs flattened off as it’s these peaks and troughs that drive devices that use switch mode power supplies found in so many devices today.

The insidious duo of EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). These 2 issues are also on the rise and the levels are getting bigger by the year. Mobile phones, wireless LAN’s, digital radio and digital satellite TV broadcasting all attack your mains. All of these create a massive amount of RFI that your mains electrical circuit inside your home just loves to transmit into your audio equipment.

Finally the issues don’t just end there, many digital components throwing all kinds of dirty electrical noise straight back into the mains supply that then drives your analogue components. This is like having an EMI & RFI source right next to your analogue components.

What you are fighting in your mains system is not just one problem, but a number of problems, all of which affect the sound of your Hi-Fi & AV Components.

Differential Mode Mains Noise is created by all electrical appliances – everything with a power supply, in fact. This includes your microwave oven, your television and your computer, as well as every HiFi component you own.

Common Mode Mains Noise is often referred to as RFI – transmitted frequencies that surround us but we cannot see. For example, imagine how much data is transmitted by smartphones and tablets; cheap power cables act as aerials for these unwanted frequencies

The Solution | Cables and Conditioners

It is only in the last few years that the damage which all this mains pollution can do to the final sound of your audio and home cinema system has been recognized and addressed.

Fortunately there are many solutions to help deal with mains problems and these range from correct dressing of cables, to highly sophisticated mains re-generators, costing several thousand dollars, which literally give you your own power station in your listening & home theatre room. In between these two extremes are a variety of mains filters, isolation transformers and mains cables, all of which when used appropriately can yield huge improvements in the sound and performance of your system without having to take out a second mortgage or sell a kidney.

If location and budget allows you can fit a dedicated mains spur to power your HiFi. We only really recommend this option if you have a home 15 years or older and this is simply a separate run of cable from your home consumer breaker unit to a dedicated wall socket near to your HiFi. Consult your electrician if considering this option as all work of this nature has to be undertaken by a professional. We recommend using a top quality power cable recommend by an electrician with Hi-Fi/AV system knowledge and use this cable to the dedicated mains spur.

 

CABLES

The cables listed below cover most budgets – the more spent the better performance due to quality of materials.

Isotek EVO3 Initium 1.5m Power Cable

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IsoTek EVO3 Premier Power Cable

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IsoTek EVO3 Sequel Power Cable

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IsoTek EVO3 Elite Power Cable

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Isotek EVO3 Optimum 2m Power Cable

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MAINS CONDITIONERS

Adding mains conditioning which will filter out common mode noise which is present in all domestic electrical systems often referred to as RFI.

RFI comes from radio waves which is used to carry Wi-Fi signals. Imagine how much data is being transmitted through the air each day from smart phones, tablets and routers. HiFi cables pick up this RFI because if un-shielded they will act as aerials transmitting this interference into your HiFi system. If a mains conditioner is not possible or practical we recommend at the very least a quality audiophile grade mains extension block wired with shielded and screened cable. Our recommendations for conditioners and Hi-Fi/AV Extension blocks are below.

IsoTek EVO3 Gemini 2-way Conditioning Powerboard

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IsoTek EVO3 Polaris 6-way Conditioning Powerboard
+ SPECIAL OFFER 1 x FREE Initium Cable (save $139 inc)

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IsoTek EVO3 Sirius 6-way Conditioning Powerboard
+ SPECAL OFFER 1 x FREE Premier Cable (save $279 inc)

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Isotek EVO3 Aquarius Power Conditioner
+ SPECIAL OFFER 2 x FREE Premier Cables (save $558 inc)

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IsoTek EVO3 Sigmas Power Conditioner & IsoTek EVO3 Premier Cable
+ SPECIAL OFFER 2 x FREE Sequel Cables (save $1178 inc)

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IsoTek EVO3 Nova Power Conditioner with IsoTek EVO3 Premier Cable

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SPECIAL OFFER!!

BUY AN ISOTEK CONDITIONER FROM RAPALLO & SCORE A CABLE OR TWO!

Purchase one of these great IsoTek products and score an extra cable or two.

  • Polaris or Corvus = 1 x FREE Initium Cable (save $139 inc)
  • Sirius = 1 x FREE Premier Cable (save $279 inc)
  • Aquarius = 2 x FREE Premier Cables (save $558 inc)
  • Sigmas = 2 x FREE Sequel Cables (save $1178 inc)

*Offer is valid until 5th April 2020

Hopefully that sheds some light on the topic and how it can be addressed. As an owner of Isotek power products I can wholeheartedly say with confidence that Isotek products do make a difference. I was skeptical and now I am a huge believer,

If you owned a Ferrari you wouldn’t put dirty petrol in it, so why would you put dirty power into your beloved HiFi/AV system.

If you need any help or advice on this topic, then please feel free to contact me via deano@rapalloav.co.nz or 092744515

Deano

*cable offers are valid until 5th April 2020.

TRUSTED BY NEW ZEALANDER'S SINCE 2005. @ RAPALLO WE SUPPLY & STOCK THE LATEST AUDIO VISUAL TECHNOLOGY AND AV DESIGN CONCEPTS.

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