Mains Conditioner

My system NAC 272 250 DR naca5 speaker wire and focal 1028be. Firstly due to wifely complaints my system is not best position however the amp makes a really loud hmm to the point you actually can not sit next to it I would guess about 45dB. It has to be the power supply as this is the second amp and both are the same. 

However my question is, would a power conditioner help and does the russ andrews justify the cost over a £40 one. I have read a few articles however they all seem quite old the newest being from Hugo (2010) . So I'm wondering if any one has tried any recently. I also note that a direct power supply to the mains is best however the consumer unit is on the other side of the house.

 

Ricto

Ricto

Original Post

Mains conditioner is not going to help at all. Dedicated mains circuit may help a bit.

The lound humming is most likely caused by other domestic interference or from your neighbours. If your socket even shares a phase with other 'noisy' equipment you will be getting some of that through your transformer.

The first thing to do is try to identify the cause of the hum. I'm fairly certain that some Naim amps/PSUs hum more than others, regardless of mains quality, dodgy fridges, etc. I've had three Naim amps in my current house, two were noisy enough to hear quite easily from any point in the room when no music is playing. The other one is almost totally silent.

Try switching off every appliance in your house, and see if the hum reduces. Then turn everything back on, one at a time, to see if you can identify a cause. If not, the issue may be in a neighbours house, or the mains supply. 

Chris su that's seems a good idea, I will try that later. I am going to buy a cheap conditioner just to see if any difference is noted.

The sq has seemed to have dropped of late maybe all the festive lights in santas grotto cul-de-sac but I put it down to speaker position to accommodate the festive tree.

Huge commented some years ago a conditioner helped so a conditioner does seem quite a cheap option if it works

Ricto - you cannot do 'cheap' and 'conditioning' at the same time - it's either that or the other I'm afraid.
Trust me a main conditioner mounted in a distribution block (if this is what you're thing of) will adversely affect the sound quality and will do nothing to stop the transformer hum.

Be careful,  hum is not always bad mains, it can be a naturally noisy transformer.   If it changes tone & volume, its indicative of  (probably/might be)  "DC" on the mains.  If that is the case,  a non-specific conditioner, including an RA £40 thing, will not do anything.  You need a filter thats made specifically for filtering/blocking "DC",  sometimes called DC Offset,  or correctly called asymmetrical AC waveform distortion.

First be sure its not caused by something in your home,  turn everything off,  & I mean everything,  except the units with the noisy transformers,  then systematically turn each item back on & go from there. But if the tone & volume are unchanging,  you might be in for a frustrating time & might need to accept you have noisy transformers.     NB:  I have my own DC filter but the transformers are not exactly silent.

What we need is a calibrated mains synthesiser which can generate arbitrary waveforms and distortions so we can see what happens when the mains is not pure 230V 50Hz

Oh look, mine is being delivered to my lab in a few weeks from Newtons 4th, a fab company in Leicester who make world class mains generators and power meters.

It is certainly going to be fun seeing what causes transformers to rattle.

jon honeyball posted:

Oh look, mine is being delivered to my lab in a few weeks from Newtons 4th, a fab company in Leicester who make world class mains generators and power meters.

Just so long as it's not supplied by Einstein's 4th:  Time machines can be really tricky beasts!  

Unfortunately, where I live is situated very close to a residential care home that has its own power generator. On the odd days this on it leaves a baseline hum that is audible ambient and has a nasty effect on everything on the mains.      

Huge posted:

Just so long as it's not supplied by Einstein's 4th:  Time machines can be really tricky beasts!  

I find Einstein musically irrelevant & Newton too heavy.    When it comes to 4th's,  I much prefer Beethoven's or better still the 4th Old Hooky. 

Mike-B posted:
Huge posted:

Just so long as it's not supplied by Einstein's 4th:  Time machines can be really tricky beasts!  

I find Einstein musically irrelevant & Newton too heavy.    When it comes to 4th's,  I much prefer Beethoven's or better still the 4th Old Hooky. 

On the subject of musical 4ths, how about "The Song of the Little Robots" from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe".   ("Share and Enjoy...".)

I have positive experience with Isol-8 Axis DC blockers which don't seem to impact SQ - at least to these ears. I live in a rural area with lots of farms around so heaven knows what's being injected into the mains

Prior to this the XPS2 (now replaced by a 555PSDR) used to hum and buzz away joined in from time to time by the 300PS. All is quiet now and things also improved by getting my boxes onto decent stands - although I'm not sure to what degree this was coincidence

I'd love a dedicated mains spur but currently not practical in our old cottage as I'd have to run an external cable around 3/4 of the house.

Ricto posted:

My system NAC 272 250 DR naca5 speaker wire and focal 1028be. Firstly due to wifely complaints my system is not best position however the amp makes a really loud hmm to the point you actually can not sit next to it I would guess about 45dB. It has to be the power supply as this is the second amp and both are the same. 

However my question is, would a power conditioner help and does the russ andrews justify the cost over a £40 one. I have read a few articles however they all seem quite old the newest being from Hugo (2010) . So I'm wondering if any one has tried any recently. I also note that a direct power supply to the mains is best however the consumer unit is on the other side of the house.

 

Ricto

The 250 does by default make a bit of hummm. However, if it is as loud as you are saying, there is a good chance it is being caused by DC offset. I had the same issue with my 200, after I troubleshooted the problem (pretty much by doing what others in this thread have said) I found my issue to be caused by DC offset. I picked up a $99 US device that cured the problem with no ill effects on SQ. In my research, I also learned that almost no power conditioners performed this operation, even ones costing thousands. 

Mike-B posted:
Huge posted:

Just so long as it's not supplied by Einstein's 4th:  Time machines can be really tricky beasts!  

I find Einstein musically irrelevant & Newton too heavy.    When it comes to 4th's,  I much prefer Beethoven's or better still the 4th Old Hooky. 

While some find it retrograde, I was always more a fan of Kepler.

PeterJ posted:
Mike-B posted:
 

I find Einstein musically irrelevant & Newton too heavy.    When it comes to 4th's,  I much prefer Beethoven's or better still the 4th Old Hooky. 

I bet you're uncertain about Heisenberg as well!

Is that better than Carlsberg?

More than likely you just cannot hear them, put your ear right up to it. I am on my 3rd amp in about 2 years, and they have all hummed, 2 naim, and one Advance Acoustic. The humming isn't all that loud, you may not even notice it .. unless you have problems with your AC of course, then it can get loud. 

Huge posted:
Mike-B posted:
Huge posted:

Just so long as it's not supplied by Einstein's 4th:  Time machines can be really tricky beasts!  

I find Einstein musically irrelevant & Newton too heavy.    When it comes to 4th's,  I much prefer Beethoven's or better still the 4th Old Hooky. 

On the subject of musical 4ths, how about "The Song of the Little Robots" from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe".   ("Share and Enjoy...".)

Just as long as we stay away from the augmented 4th....Satan is watching!

On topic, I am amazed when I read the number of people who experience this problem that with the 6 Naim amps and 5 or so power supplies I have had that I (thankfully) never experienced this hum issue. And I have lived in some places where the electricity was not exactly top shelf.

Even here in my present abode, when my washer changes cycles I get a pop on my laptop speakers, and the first time I turn on the ceiling fan in the LR (where the system is) there is an audible pop from my system speakers. But never a hum. I do have 200 amp service in the house, which I am told is above residential spec for around here.

Greekspec,
The reason that you hear no transformer hum is that you are fortunate to live in California, which, is where new things come from.  The electricity is still fresh out of the ground, full of energy, youth, vigour and is well behaved when you receive it.  The UK is at least 5 years behind California in most things, so by the time it reaches us, the electricity is a bit tired, irritable and grouchy.  It is therefore far more likely to cause trouble for any appliance that it runs through.  Its mischief manifests itself as humming in large toroidal transformers.

To counteract this syndrome, I have installed a balanced power supply, which isolates the Naim power supplies from the tired, irritable electricity in the UK mains.  It has worked a treat.   However, this BPS has been working now for almost 2 years.  In another 3 years, I will need to drain the isolated supply circuit and refill it with fresh electricity to keep it in tip top, hum-free condition.

You are indeed fortunate to live in California.  FT

greekspec2 posted:

Ear next to it no hum...maybe bc my place is only a year old with amazing California power grid

I hope the enforced rolling blackouts that were enforced in parts of California earlier this year have receded. I hear you guys have some challenging  issues in California with power supply. I guess there is a good market there for UPS and home generation?

Fortunately in the U.K. we have not yet had rolling blackouts (well not since the  70s with the labour crisis), but as FT says most things US make their way over to Blighty so perhaps we will give it a few years...

Aaagh!  Simon, no, stop!

After audiophile Ethernet cables (some with silly electrical constructions), audiophile switches and audiophile SSDs (which appear to just be a few configuration parameter changes applied to a normal SSD!); your're now opening the market to audiophile UPSs and audiophile inverters!  - and heaven know how much they'll be sold at (snake [SNAIC?] oil is very expensive you know, and particularly in the case of the inverter you'll need a awful lot of it!).


P.S.  Just thinking about the latter (i.e. inverting the audiophile), perhaps we should try sorting out room acoustics by listening to the system while strapped to an inversion table - now there's another opportunity: Audiophile inversion tables!

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I hope the enforced rolling blackouts that were enforced in parts of California earlier this year have receded. I hear you guys have some challenging  issues in California with power supply. I guess there is a good market there for UPS and home generation?

Fortunately in the U.K. we have not yet had rolling blackouts (well not since the  70s with the labour crisis), but as FT says most things US make their way over to Blighty so perhaps we will give it a few years...

It might be interesting to watch how Trump will handle Enron & the others (the oil cmpy's - mainly Enron - are accused of creating the CA oil supply / demand gap)     CA has put so much into green energy & especially so with wind generation,  now it seems that has backfired so spectacularly with just a little skullduggery by the oil cmpy's.     

NB:   the UK this morning is generating only 2.29GW with (metered) wind - considering the maximum claimed capacity as of Dec 2016 is around 14.2GW.   I also noted a week or so ago that nuclear, CCGT & coal were close to the max. & wind was showing <2GW,    & UK is supposed to be one of the world's ideal wind generation locations.    

So Ive tried most the suggestions here to no avail. However my solution is when I enter the room I hum whistle while you work by some dwarf people seems to do the job. 

Also I think about the Michell Gyro which keeps my mind off it, that is until I realised I need a phono stage and a power supply! Does the expense never stop?

Ricto

Mike-B posted:

NB:   the UK this morning is generating only 2.29GW - considering the maximum claimed capacity as of Dec 2016 is around 14.2GW.   I also noted a week or so ago that nuclear, CCGT & coal were close to the max. & wind was showing <2GW,    & UK is supposed to be one of the world's ideal wind generation locations.    

Interesting, I also hear there are shortages in France as they have had to power down several of their Nuclear power stations for various reasons, and so the UK is actually exporting at times of the day when typically we would be importing at this time of year which is probably reducing the margins further..

PS is this what you use to look at generation status?   http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk

Demand currently at 38.5GW and wind producing 2.3GW... mind you still as a mill pond here this morning.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Interesting, I also hear there are shortages in France as they have had to power down several of their Nuclear power stations for various reasons, and so the UK is actually exporting at times of the day when typically we would be importing at this time of year which is probably reducing the margins further..

I've been watching that as well,  the ICT has been supplying to France for quite a while,  its -0.08GW at the moment,  its been well over -1GW at times.  But I treat my monitor with a largish pinch of salt as the French report shows -1.99GW which means its supplying UK.   maybe I trust the UK report more as that does seem to match weather & time of day 'expectation norms'.     

Of course all this will change after Brexit:

The tired British electrons will all demand to be put back up to 240V to re-energise than so they can be proud good old British electricity again.  The French electrons will all then refuse to cross the channel, until they at least get parity with the British electrons and they'll all go on strike demanding more EMF to work in foreign wires.  But then this will suit some people who believe that Britain should stand alone and French electrons shouldn't be coming over here stealing jobs from British electrons.

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