Electricity Tuning

This weekend I was at my dealer to get the templates for ripping etc installed on my new laptop. Then we had a discussion about suspension for speakers etc and landed in the land of electricity quality and how it influences the quality of the sound. A subject of which i was aware of, but hadn't yet spent some time on. And I trying something outl something small with the knowledge that one can spent much more and get more out of it.

 

So my interest would be. What have other forum members done on this topic, what specific solution have you installed and what have been your experiences so far. Was it a small or a more important upgrade ......

 

Thanks for your responses on this virgin topic for me...

Original Post

One important caveat here:  What is permitted in one country may well not be in another, and may even be dangerous.  Thanks to having 3A, 5A, and 13A plug fuses, the  UK allows relatively high amperage circuits, whereas these would be not only illegal but potentially dangerous elsewhere in Europe.

So, before jumping in with recommendations for Bert, ask yourself whether you are fully conversant with the applicable electrical code for where he lives. If you aren't, then best leave comment to somebody who is.

Richard Dane posted:

One important caveat here:  What is permitted in one country may well not be in another, and may even be dangerous.  Thanks to having 3A, 5A, and 13A plug fuses, the  UK allows relatively high amperage circuits, whereas these would be not only illegal but potentially dangerous elsewhere in Europe.

So, before jumping in with recommendations for Bert, ask yourself whether you are fully conversant with the applicable electrical code for where he lives. If you aren't, then best leave comment to somebody who is.

Thanks Richard for the call out. I am looking at general useable recommendations ....., and I especially interested how people experience the impact of the tuning on what they hear....

Well why not go for something standard that all countries permit; 1:1 ratio isolating transformers?

These are standard in hospitals and even mandatory for use on some circuits that power devices like NMRI and CAT scanners or anything that needs a very high degree of stable decoupled current. Most 1:1 isolating transformers are sold according to amperage so the way to go would be to get one and have your sparky fit it somewhere where the hum will not be noticeable (garage maybe). What may vary from country to country is where you can legally put it in terms of before the consumer unit or after the unit on a specific mains ring. Some even stipulate that such devices must be mounted at the top of a 30 foot utility pole - but that is unusual.

Naim themselves are no stranger to borrowing from the overengineered requirements of the medical industry. It is where the Burndy connection gets the most use and what the Burndy was originally designed for according to the Burndy website.

Cost-wise they range from the equivelent to a PowerLine up to a couple grand. I think that and having your earth potential measured and imporved if necessary would be an extremely low cost upgrade compaired to some of the gear we buy. When building a house, such things are of course an absolute doddle. You might even just float the idea by Naim support (I would not be surprised at all if they use them in Salisbury) and ask where would the best location in the circuit be to place one.

 

joerand posted:

No thanks. Don't care to know what's going on with my AC power.

Plug and play hi-fi boxes that simply perform without eccentricities? Now you've got my attention.

Hi Randy!  I think that here in the States we are blessed with far fewer issues regarding AC power in the home.  For one thing, our wiring standards (we don't do that "ring thing" here) seemingly eliminate much of what the Brits seek to remedy with home wiring customization for hi fi. 

jon honeyball posted:

Whimperingly expensive iso17025 calibrated reference power measurement and analysis system. Can generate mains with arbitrary waveforms

Local farmers do that for free with their welding kit and milking machines.��

Willy.

Bart posted:
joerand posted:

No thanks. Don't care to know what's going on with my AC power.

Plug and play hi-fi boxes that simply perform without eccentricities? Now you've got my attention.

Hi Randy!  I think that here in the States we are blessed with far fewer issues regarding AC power in the home.  For one thing, our wiring standards (we don't do that "ring thing" here) seemingly eliminate much of what the Brits seek to remedy with home wiring customization for hi fi. 

Well then, you might think the Brits would build their hi-fi accordingly 

joerand posted:
Bart posted:
joerand posted:

No thanks. Don't care to know what's going on with my AC power.

Plug and play hi-fi boxes that simply perform without eccentricities? Now you've got my attention.

Hi Randy!  I think that here in the States we are blessed with far fewer issues regarding AC power in the home.  For one thing, our wiring standards (we don't do that "ring thing" here) seemingly eliminate much of what the Brits seek to remedy with home wiring customization for hi fi. 

Well then, you might think the Brits would build their hi-fi accordingly 

Hmph. Our hifi is painstakingly crafted on a steady diet of cheese and Branston Pickle sandwiches with tea by guys tinkering around in their garden sheds.

I am curious if anyone has listened to any Naim gear in England,then moved to the states,or Canada,bought the same equipment with the lower voltage,and noticed a difference?Essentially,will a 250 dr in England sound the same as a 250 dr in Canada with 240 volts versus 120 volts?

I worked for a dealer for years selling Naim gear in the UK. Although I emigrated to Japan (100v) I auditioned gear at my UK dealer and then had 115v units ordered. I have not heard any difference that I could attribute to the underlying mains voltage and amperage.

It is a nearly impossible question to answer. There will be environmental factors such as size, shape, and materials in the room which will all have a much larger impact on the sound. I find it impossible to see how a valid test could be set up unless you could guarantee the same room, same materials, same positioning in 2 locations.

OTOH, Naim have dual rail mains rigged to test gear. Maybe they can answer - they are probably the only ones that actually could.

I am no electrician for sure,but you would think that since Naim is a British company,they are designed using their power grid,so maybe I am getting less out of my gear than the equivalent gear in England.I do notice that my system always seems to sound better at 2-4 am than during the daytime.you would think more power coming in to the unit,would produce better results,like a 555dr versus a xpsdr.

I lived in the U.S for 4 years and naim converted my cds/82/hicaps/250s/ over to U.S voltage and back to U.K. When I returned. I noticed no major differences, the rooms were totally different with suspended floors vs concrete etc

The main thing was it sounded great anywhere in the world, and my US friends were amazed at the sound.

The suggestion that USA wiring may be less chalkenging for hifi than UK prompted me to have a quick peek. Very interesting - whilst USA appears to have less emphasis on safety in that plug fuses appear not to be generally used,  safety is better addressed in other ways like a stipulation of no more than 4 outlets per circuit (which then have lower rating breakers than typical UK rings would have), maximum distances allowable between outlets to minimise trailing leads. Interestingly, there is compulsory socket provision outdoors - and in bathrooms. I'm guessing their distribution boards must be much bigger than typical UK, with more cables running to it.

The limit of 4 outlets per circuit would almist inevitably effectively result in dedicated circuits for hifi as a matter of course.

I also gather that split phase supplies are not incommon, with two live wires out of phase with each other, enabling 220v across those, or 110v from either one to neutral. It might be that this could provide options that might result in less mains-borne interference.

 

Innocent Bystander posted:

The suggestion that USA wiring may be less chalkenging for hifi than UK prompted me to have a quick peek. Very interesting - whilst USA appears to have less emphasis on safety in that plug fuses appear not to be generally used,  safety is better addressed in other ways like a stipulation of no more than 4 outlets per circuit (which then have lower rating breakers than typical UK rings would have), maximum distances allowable between outlets to minimise trailing leads. Interestingly, there is compulsory socket provision outdoors - and in bathrooms. I'm guessing their distribution boards must be much bigger than typical UK, with more cables running to it.

The limit of 4 outlets per circuit would almist inevitably effectively result in dedicated circuits for hifi as a matter of course.

I also gather that split phase supplies are not incommon, with two live wires out of phase with each other, enabling 220v across those, or 110v from either one to neutral. It might be that this could provide options that might result in less mains-borne interference.

 

I'll post a photo of my 'circuit breaker box' (how we refer to a home distribution board) later.  It's quite extensive.  25 or so separate circuits, each with its own circuit breaker.  

And yes to the ability to derive 220v easily.  I have a 220v line in my kitchen for the electric oven, and another into my garage to charge my car.

Each bathroom and the kitchen employs a Ground Fault Interruption circuit.  This is required by the local codes for ~40 years now. 

From what I've read there is no limit on the number of outlets per circuit in the code.  I've not seen anything about a 4 per circuit limit.  My circuits are all 15 or 20 amp (this is very common) and a limit of 4 would be pretty impractical as it would be very hard to approach 15 amps.  And it's common to have lighting and outlets on the same circuit; one CAN isolate the hi fi outlet from (LED) lighting, but I've not bothered as I can't hear any issue.

Use a dedicated line for HiFi...

In North America, the 2 phases are generally quite well balanced, but if possible chose the phase with less motors (Fridge, air con or lighting dimmers...).

I have heard good results with isolation transformer (1:1 in Europe or 2 phases to 110v in North America) but it has to be big (10KVA.., it is heavy, cumbersome and expensive).

Anything about Mains should be done by a certified electrician, it is potentially dangerous and has to comply to local code (if not, in cased of issue,  your insurance company will refuse to pay).

Bert,I do not use these in my 2 channel room(Naim gear),but a couple of years ago I re -did the walls,and all the wiring in my home theatre,I had 5 dedicated 20 amp lines installed for all the electronics.For wall outlets,I used Synergistic Research Tesla Plex Receptacles and to cover the outlets,I used Furutech outlet covers 104d...the results were quite good for my home theatre,I have considered installing them for 2 channel also,but have not got around to it yet.

Bert, I use a Russ Andrews Mini Purifier on my mains distribution close to my hifi. It is effectively a inductorless passive differential and common mode filter and seems to work well and reducing high frequency ripples on the mains... for me it makes a small but worthwhile difference... not a lot of money either. Cleaning up the mains doesn't need to be complicated or expensive...

I had a dedicated line installed into my room with 20 amp cable and socket. It was installed into the fuse box with an RCD switch which has since had another RCD installed for a new washer/dryer combo on a double RCD socket (sorry I don't know the correct language) Apparently they don't share the incoming line, HOWEVER I have no doubt anymore that when the washing machine is on the sound quite obviously loses PRaT. I have learned much about hifi, power and acoustics in the last couple of years and ALL of it the hard way! My opinion if it helps, over engineer. Do everything as though you are installing amps with 2000 watts, large diameter cable, high quality sockets, Very good grounds earth! and only dedicated lines from the pole to the wall as best as is possible. Don't be pushed into second best by your electrician! I have learned that run of the mill house sparkies don't grasp the uniqueness and sensitivity of audio, ask around first and check if he is familiar with that, highlight the need for high amperage circuits WITH very good grounding.  I have gained valuable knowledge from members here on this stuff, just ensure you always take the advice of the electrician in the end for safety and insurance.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Bert, I use a Russ Andrews Mini Purifier on my mains distribution close to my hifi. It is effectively a inductorless passive differential and common mode filter and seems to work well and reducing high frequency ripples on the mains... for me it makes a small but worthwhile difference... not a lot of money either. Cleaning up the mains doesn't need to be complicated or expensive...

I don't understand so much the technology aspect. But the plug I am testing right now seems to correct phase mistakes by adding the opposite phase mistakes......, whatever it does, it works in my ears. They come in plug format or in complete electricity system in which you can plug your Naim electricity plugs, seriously considering the royal solution....

Not quite sure I see how it can 'correct phase mistakes'.. if you have single phase mains like most of us, the phase is the phase....doesn't matter how many degrees offset it it to other phases elsewhere in your neighbourhood... I suspect however it's a passive noise filter of some sort... and if it is helping your Naim then great...

S

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Not quite sure I see how it can 'correct phase mistakes'.. if you have single phase mains like most of us, the phase is the phase....doesn't matter how many degrees offset it it to other phases elsewhere in your neighbourhood... I suspect however it's a passive noise filter of some sort... and if it is helping your Naim then great...

S

Hi Simon,

 

I guess you are right and i have misunderstood how it works. While I am an IT Guy I am no electrical engineer. But what my ear recognizes is that it works. In case I will allow myself the Royal solution I will make some pictures and try to get a more precise description for the benefit of other forum members.

 

Bert,  perhaps you need to explain what you have by a link or copy/paste the makers description to help us understand what you have.  Your domestic supply is single (or one) phase,  230v Live (or Line) & 0v Neutral    

Moderated Post:  Mike, Bert, no commercial links in the Hifi Corner please, thanks.

Mike-B posted:

Bert,  perhaps you need to explain what you have by a link or copy/paste the makers description to help us understand what you have.  Your domestic supply is single (or one) phase,  230v Live (or Line) & 0v Neutral    

Moderated Post:  Mike, Bert, no commercial links in the Hifi Corner please, thanks.

Mike like mentioned before I will publish my solution if I decide to go for the royal solution. Right now it would be quite an effort to get the plug out, it's completely behind the audio system, and I would hate to negatively affect cable dressing...

Bert Schurink posted:

Mike like mentioned before I will publish my solution if I decide to go for the royal solution. Right now it would be quite an effort to get the plug out, it's completely behind the audio system, and I would hate to negatively affect cable dressing...

Bert OK, geen problemen en kunt u geen behoefte aan als het een hoop problemen.   Re Richard's moderation request for no links,  I had in mind a circuit or picture,  not so much a product brochure link.    Please understand I fully understand this kind of description problem, it's an extra interest for me as I used to be responsible for technician training in various languages at our schools in Brussels, Prague, Barcelona & Moscow.  We frequently found words in common use within a 'trade' to be incorrect in translation.  We recognised the common meaning of the word rather than the translation.  It was a particular challenge for our 3rd party translation cmpy's & we had to compile an index to manage this.

A few new products have been stirring a fuss lately,   Devices that supply a clean ground for the mains AC supply. These connect to a component such as a dac or connect to a mains distribution block or wall sockets that have an earth point.       Most are pricey and all inclusive within a brand.  I haven't seen a low cost plug in of this type yet to try.

Hi Bert,

assuming the usual situation, your power supply should be like this:

Three Phases, each one carrying 230 V, with a 120° lag between them (L1-3) and a single Earth/Neutral (PEN) wire entering the house. The PEN is split into (Safety-)Earth=PE and Neutral=N immediately after entering the building. This is called TN-C-S, if you live in on of the few regions featuring a so called TT-System (not the one from Audi ), things will be a little different. Best to ask your local provider about this.

Mike:

is this something you can use?

Mulberry, perhaps  Dutch houses typically have three phases delivered to them - I know most in the UK don't. But if one was using multiple phases  to say provide a single split phase supply - the voltage would be 415 volts and not 240 volts --- not really that much use for Naim equipment or most domestic equipment - but useful perhaps for the workshop...

I think Mike was referring to the filter being used as opposed to the electrical supply and its earthing configuration..

 

 

Hi Simon,

the three phase supply is what we have here in Germany, where Bert (according to his profile) and I live. The spurs are supposed to be equally divided among the three phases (for a house with a total of thirty, ten on each phase). Only the biggest units, like ovens , power tools and some disc washers use all three in a so called "Drehstrom" configuration with 360 V.

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