Power feed advice and recommendations

Looking for some advice and direction on the power feed side of audio if possible.

With each step in other components upgrades and changes to date I have had noticeable improvements.

Presently I have an amp, DAC, K30 (S20 connected directly to the K30) components connected to a Construction RCD power box with a few different branded and DIY power cables.
Turntable and phono box wall warts on a seperate box connected to the same wall double power point as above.
Not perfect, although the sound is very good.

I have been mainly using the player function of the K30, thinking that an S60 for the S20 could be delayed until I start using the the Server and more power. Not sure if this theory holds

I don’t hear anything out of the ordinary with my mains as far as humming etc, so assume the power is at least reasonable, although this is not to say there is unheard noises making a difference.
I live Rural if this has any bearing.
Knowing all things matter with variable impacts, which should be the starting point and going forward over time into sorting or improving the power feed and ultimately the sound if possible.
Power box (filter- conditioner), power cables, etc?

[Updated]- Spreading the cost over time would the greater noticeable effect be to upgrade the power conditioner first, or the power cables first?

Recent research has many favourable reviews and recommendations for the Puritan PSM 136 and 156 along with the Ultimate power cords.

The other Power conditioner that has been recommended is the Keces (model IQRP-1500)?

Any recommendations greatly appriciated.

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I have dedicated 20amp ac lines for my equipment, as well as power conditioners and upgraded power cords. I found that the K50 sounded best connected directly to its own dedicated ac outlet as opposed to being connected to a power conditioner with my DAC.
The power cables also greatly influence the sound of the K50.

The biggest bang for the buck can come from having a dedicated circuit installed. Even better would be having a pair of them installed using the exact same wiring cut to the exact same length. The better that instantaneous current demands can be met, the more alive out music will sound.

Something to keep in mind is that our components dump noise back onto the AC circuit. So despite you living in a rural area, your components still aren’t getting clean power.

I’m a huge fan of Shunyata’s products. Check out the reviews of their flagship product, the Everest. Their less expensive conditioners deliver many of the same benefits to a lesser degree, so these reviews can give you a good idea of what to expect.

My distributor is the original Shunyata Denali. This astonished me by removing a haze that was between me and the music. I wasn’t even aware of this haze until I heard it stripped away.

Thank you mark ramier for your suggestions.
The dedicated power lines with the same heavier gauge cabling (4mm or 6mm) use to run freestanding cookers or heat pumps is a good starting point. It might be possible from the audio location to the switchboard with out cutting into the ceiling or walls. Will look at the possibilities.
Will also try the seperate power connection for the K30 for eg. the opposite socket in a double socket setup, this way they will be sharing the same grounding.

I use an Australian made Thor PS10 power conditioner and stabiliser with the included filtering powerboard.

I purchased this, second hand, after lightning hit the street transformer about 40 metres away from my house. Strangely, it only fried my DAC.

Every component is now connected to the PS10.

Lightning surge protection and filtering was my initial aim but also, no matter what the incoming power voltage is, the PS10 delivers a constant 240v. I’ve seen the incoming get as low as 224v and the output is still 240v. IMHO, that has to be of benefit for a start.

Without it being the main reason for the purchase, from the moment I plugged everything in and powered up, I noticed an improvement in the sound. More separation of instruments and clarity of voice. Absolutely no background noise.

You don’t necessarly know you have this background noise issue until you don’t.

The good ones aren’t cheap but really no more than some other components and when you consider the actual benefits of power treatment and the protection available for every component, the cost starts to look way more reasonable.

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Thank you Kenny123 for your suggestions.

The suggestion of a dedicated power line from the switchboard looks like a practical first step and with additional upgrades later like a power conditioner etc. will benefit.
Will look into the feasibility as per the reply to markramier.

If I am able to run a line it’s not much to run two lines side by side. This could have a benefit in running digital on one line and analog on the opposite line. Is this your thinking or more to do with power hungry components like mono blocks etc?

Do you have any suggestions as to the type of cabling (gauge), amperage of wall sockets or RCD?
I am on 240 volt.

The components dumping noise back into the AC circuit are you referring to street mains line, the audio components or other electrical house components?
If the house components, would a dedicated line mostly address this?

The Shunyata Everest looks great, but this is sadly out of audio funds depth presently, but will look into their lesser line of conditioners.

I find with each sound quality improvement, an analogy could be, it’s like unkinking the water flow in a garden hose. Some improvements are small kinks and others large kinks in the hose but improving the flow (Sound).

Thank you Roadrex for your suggestion.

I haven’t heard of Thor products, will look into these.

A while back I briefly had a look at power backup as used in computers systems etc, for the reason of constant stable power. Some of these are very reasonable cost wise but how they effect audio sound I’m not sure.

Agree, it’s the hearing or unhearing that makes the differences you didn’t know off.

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I don’t but I know that others have found some good information online. You may even want to consider dropping Shunyata a note. I know they’ve advised others in the past.

My amp is on its own dedicated circuit. Shunyata told me that keeps the noise my amp dumps on the line from being pulled into my other components. It also keeps noise from stuff around the house (like my refrigerator) from interfering with my amp.

My Denali v1 on its own dedicated circuit as well. All my components except my amp are plugged into this. This keeps noise from refrigerator and from my amp from interfering with my gear. The Denail helps to reduce the incoming noise from the street while also at the same time offering component-to-component noise reduction. Each of the Shunyata power cords in the NR series also have CCI filters built into them that help to reduce the noise coming out of each component.

Out of my depth too, but the reviews do provide a lot of insight into what to expect even from their more affordable devices.

I actually subscribe more to the weak link in a chain metaphor. I think our audio systems can only be as resolving and transparent as our least resolving and transparent cable or component in the chain. That’s why I usually recommend ensuring that each link is at a commensurate level of quality. It took me many years to get to that point but it was most certainly a fun journey along the way.

The one area that many audiophiles seem to ignore is what I refer to as establishing a good foundation. Power distribution, resonance control, and proper cabling are foundational in that you really can’t hear how good the components you own sound until the foundation is solid. Addressing power distribution in your system is going to have a very profound impact because every one of your components will benefit from it.

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MSB Technology has a good write up on improving wiring in your home on their support page.

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The Electrical regulations here are strict and with limited materials and products to work with.
I will contact the Electrician next week when construction is back to work and discuss the best possible options for a dedicated line.

The weak link in the chain metaphor is very apt, although could be expensive if you have reached equilibrium and you take another step forward.

Thank you markramier for sending through a very interesting article.
Lots to digest.

I’ll discuss with the Electrician next week in what we are able to achieve from the article.

I was lucky in that I had an audiophile friend who is also an electrician. I believe he just used 12 gauge romex wire. Nothing special., in other words. I learned later that he should have probably used 10 gauge but 12 gauge brought such a massive improvement, I didn’t want to mess with it again.

It actually took about a week or longer for the new dedicated circuits to burn in. Yes even that wire needs to do that. But man oh man what an upgrade.

I have to admit that I got there mostly by hunting down great deals or by selecting products that offer a significant bang for the buck. Luck played a big part in it too.

I should mention one caveat around the weak chain metaphor. “Source first” is the one deviation from that. Starting with the best source one can afford pays huge downstream dividends.

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Great subject that needs more attention!
Like the MSB Technology write up quoted by @markramler below also an interesting read. Maybe a bit overwhelming, but you can only select a few items (to read).

Bottom line; it makes you aware that even with dedicated ac lines, anything you add to these lines, even plugged in but unused power cords or devices, will have an influence, whether you can hear it or not.

This is more in the line of thought of the weakest link and makes you aware of what to keep or not in an electrical system for sound.

The choice for a mains cable type has unearthed more choices than I expected.

Shielded, non-shielded and cable sheath for in wall cabling?

Here the standard mains cable is 7 strand but can be sourced in 3 or up to around 50+ strands.
Does the amount of strands on a 6mm (9 AWG) cable for audio matter?
Does more or less strands have any advantages or disadvantages?

I could be over thinking this and the various types of in wall mains cable construction choices may or may not make much difference, hence why I can’t find much information.

I think strands matter more when music is traveling down the wire. I believe that solid core is what’s most often used for AC, but I could be wrong. Consider reaching out to Kingrex on whatsbestforum as he is extremely knowledgeable on this stuff.

On the AC front, as an aside, I just scored an original Shunyata Typhon. My amp has had a dedicated circuit to itself so I had been keeping an eye out for a good deal on one of these to share the circuit with it. Good gosh what a significant upgrade. It has breathed new life into my amp. The music is delivered with greater physicality and greater weight. It’s more dynamic too. Remarkable to have a power conditioner that provides gains in these areas.

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Thank you PaulW for your words and support.

Thank you kennyb123 for the tip with Kingrex and Shunyata recommendation.
I’ll try to make contact on whatsbestforum and will keep the Shunyata Typhon in mind for another day.

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I thought I’d share a short update of my findings with the in wall mains cables I installed.

Firstly, thank you to who kindly gave their words to date on this thread.

Do I think that a dedicated mains line is worth while, an unequivocally YES.

The effect of these 6mm dedicated in wall cables is not a subtle effect. I would say regardless of the usual disclaimers the effect would be noticeable.

The sound has impact, authority, muscle and power to the overall scale, even from the onset.

At the mains switchboard, each cable is connected to an individual 20 amp circuit breaker, that are connected to an RCD (Residual Current Device).

The cables are terminated individually at the wall via 2 x 2 auto (i.e. no on\off switches) double wall socket points.

There were other methods and materials suggested that could also of enhance the sound, but I choose to conform to within the NZ Electrical Standards.

The initial results below, are reference to the Amp and DAC after approx. 80 hours. The other components not as yet.

Nothing scientifically tested, only swapping different power cords combinations between the different wall sockets and listening.

Installing four different 6mm (9 AWG) circular TPS (Thermo-Plastic Sheathed) cables with each cable measuring 8.0m (approx. 26’) in length.

A- https://www.firstflex.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/HDT.pdf

This 190 stranded cable has very good clarity in the mid to high range, modestly better than cables B & D, not harsh or bright, but at the expense of the lower end.

The sound was better with the DAC connected rather than the Amp.

B- https://www.tycab.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/BMM37104.pdf

This 7 stranded cable (Model #37104) and cable D are very close to each other.

These cables faired a lot better in overall sound than cable A from low to high.

Both of these two cables worked as equally well on both the Amp and DAC.

C- https://express.ecsnz.com/downloads/LAPP/CAT2018_2019/LAPP-Main-Catalogue-2018-19%20_%2041.pdf

This multi stranded screened 4 core cable (model #1135604) is the pick of the four cables, noticeable. It is equal in the low and high end (possibly slightly better?) of Cable B & D but the mid range has so much more.

The mid range had more presence, weight and clarity. This cable worked equally as good on both the Amp and DAC.

With only one of the two components being able to be plugged into this, the combination of the DAC connected to this cable and the AMP plugged into Cable D worked better overall than visa versa.

D- https://express.ecsnz.com/downloads/lapp/ECS%20Product%20Selection%20Guide%202022-Q4%2024.pdf

Model #3803843. As for Cable B

Components connected to date;

Cable A- Antipodes S60

Cable B- Antipodes K30

Cable C- Denafrips Terminator II DAC

Cable D- Kinki Studios Amp


Very impressive Sean and thank you for sharing.
Were your non-switched socket outlets anything special, or just the usual PDL/HPM type of fitting for NZ/AU plugs? Similar ‘anything-special’ query for the RCD’s?
Your favoured type C link led me to Engineering Computer Services Ltd in Hamilton (via their Germany website). Was ECS where you sourced them? (I am also in NZ).
I’ll just have to work out how long I will live in the same house before deciding (and perhaps bribe the other party who might have something to say about costs).

Hello Artoly,
I couldn’t find any special purpose audio type sockets for NZ.
Being a very small market with the total country population half of many city populations overseas limits choice.
So yes, they are PDL, see link below.
I choose switchless sockets to eliminate another contact point.

I emailed PS Audio and a couple of other maunfactureres but again, too small a market here.
Since then, I seen Viborg do a AUS/NZ socket, which I would look into now.

I emailed all the main circuit breaker manufacturers/distributors enquiring about what their circuit breaker contacts are made of, and none of them knew. Some made further queries but still couldn’t give an answer.
I choose ABB as these are reliable.

ECS are the Lapp NZ distributor, so any other suppliers would be sourcing it from them.
The cable is a 4 core but you will only use 3 cores.

NZ Electrical standards although some what flexible, will still limit what you can do in an audiophilic way.

If you have any more queries re; this, please don’t hesitate to ask.
It made a big impact to the sound in my case.