The purpose of any high fidelity system is to take you as close as possible to the original performance. We strive to reduce the compromises involved and get closer to the emotion, closer to the music.
Each component in our system is an imperfect link in a chain, transforming the energy it receives from one form to another and eventually on to us.
The most fundamental, most overlooked link in the chain is the power supply, the source of our systems energy. We plug into the wall, the device works and we take it for granted. Mains power is in fact the start of the chain, the very foundation on which the music is built and is worthy of greater scrutiny.
Taking a closer look at the mains reveals it is not a simple issue and it is often not what we may expect. Zoom in on an AC mains cycle and how it is used reveals there is a lot going on: Power is not universally used in a linear, electrically benign way. Pollution and distortion of our energy supply is an inevitable consequence of its use and it is everywhere.
Countless electrical appliances in homes and in industry across our locality are consuming power constantly. Each turns some of the energy it uses into noise: either as radio interference or distortion of the mains itself. All are connected to and share the same physical conduit: the power grid. The grid was conceived and implemented with little regard to noise transmission or immunity. So, as we all share the supply, we all share the pollution.
Most Audio Visual equipment is surprisingly vulnerable to this pollution. Limitations in the component parts commonly used in manufacture means the interference is passed through the component and on to the sensitive circuits beyond, compromising performance.
This degradation can take many forms, interactions between the interference and the equipment are varied and unpredictable. Radio frequency noise from digital devices can transform itself into distortion in the silicon junction of any transistor. High energy spikes from switch contact arcing causes clicks, Broadband noise from rectifier diodes can create a haze veiling detail and industrial inductive loads can cause significant local distortion of the mains waveform. These effects are often the reason why your system sounds better at night, when there is less local electrical activity.
It is not a trivial problem and worse is to come. With the advent of wireless digital network technology such as Bluetooth and WiFi replacing cable transmission, and the growing wide scale use of electrically noisy switched-mode power supplies, the quantity of local mains and radio pollution is set to mushroom.
There is also the enemy within: Each component operating in a system also generates significant quantities of noise itself. Because of its electrical proximity to other components in the system, taking measures against the effects of the outside world is not enough to release all the potential in your system. Preventing noise from one appliance from cross contaminating other components in the system is as important as protecting the system as a whole. This is important fact is often overlooked and is why we recommend each system component is considered separately to eliminate this effect.
Removing mains borne noise can dramatically improve your system. A carefully designed filter or regenerator, isolating each individual component in your system, will provide superior, more predictable performance. The benefits are often not subtle. Other solutions such as specialist mains cables, which often provide improvements due to a limited degree of filtering as a consequence of their physical geometry are usually unpredictable. Tackling the source of the problem is a more powerful tool than just coping with its effects.
Optimising power supply and eliminating supply transmitted noise is probably the most cost effective upgrade you can make, typically bringing improvements in focus, contrast, timing, resolution, consistency and most importantly: involvement.
Contact us, or visit one of our dealers, to learn how much you stand to gain by taking a closer look at your power supply.
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