Advice for a power distributor: passive or active?

Hi all, I want to improve my passive distribution unit (currently this one:

Now the choice is: active or passive? My reseller doesn’t want to sell me anything active because he says it reduces sound dynamics.

I’d like to hear your experiences and technical advice; I’ve seen something interesting on the Shunyata site (the Venom Series V6 EU) and also the Cardas Nautilus Power Strip or the Audioquest Niagara 1200. The AC line is dedicated to the hifi system (Rossini Player + Clock and SPEC FX-33 amplifier).

Thank you


Hello @Zapp,

this is just personal experience and not technical advice as I have no expert knowledge about power beyond the basics. I have been happy with the power distributors of Ansuz Acoustics. The first one I installed maybe seven years ago in my then Naim system. They have been with me in several versions ever since. Never missed anything. At the time the majority opinion was that only passive power products preserve the dynamics of a Naim system. Kind of made sense, since Naim places emphasis on dealing with power.

One of our fellow dCS community members @glevethan has added a Torus isolation power transformer to his Naim system recently and is happy. That tells me the technology choice for power conditioning matters and technical development over the years made power conditioning more viable.

Today I am using the Ansuz Mainz8 D·TC Power Distributor with delight. After reading the positive story about the Torus transformer with a Naim system, that is what I will try next. And then see what’s better for my ears and whether it needs the existing power distributor at all.


In my system I use a AQ Niagara 5000, It works fine. The sound was instantly more dynamic, not agressive, but less soft for sure.
That is all I can say, I didn’t spend time comparing with many other devices of that kind…Hope it helps a little bit.

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Hope this helps.

I’m happy with the Nordost QB8. It feeds:

  • Rossini Player
  • Rossini Clock
  • Pre amp
  • Mono power amps
  • Linear PSU that feeds 12VDC to an Ethernet switch.

The Nordost took the place of a Crystal Cables block.


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My setup is passive, and I’m very pleased with it.

Nordost QB4 plugged into an Audience aR2p Adept Response for some filtering and surge protection. It’s non-current limiting.

While I realise I’m commenting on a topic from a year ago, I thought I’d add my thoughts having owned the PS Audio P5 (active conditioner) and Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR combination (passive) as this may help others faced with the same decision.

Driving my Meridian processor (with no analogue outputs in use), the P5 worked really well and delivered more depth to the soundstage. Removing it reversed this improvement and I’m looking forward to picking up a P12 at some point. Using the P5 with my Meridian active/digital speakers did not work at all well (although their more powerful units may have fared better).

The Shunyata equipment sounds stunning with everything, although doesn’t deliver the depth of soundstage achieved with the P5.

In short, I feel my passive conditioning works well with high (instantaneous) current devices, whereas active can work well for lower current devices. That said, I gather the AQ Niagara 7000 can trade punches with the Shunyata, however I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet, so can’t comment.

I don’t know I you want to spend this much but I can’t say enough positive things about the Shunyata Everest. I use it on everything save for my Momentum’s.

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Thanks, Jim. I’m a huge fan of Shunyata and I certainly want to try the Everest, however my next priorities are upgrading the Shunyata power cords and getting my hands on a T2 amp!

I did speak to Shunyata about moving to the Everest (who were, as ever, incredibly helpful) and I was left with the impression that it was better than the Triton v3/Typhon QR combination, but I may decide it’s not worth the cost of changing (although it would be interesting to see what my existing units might fetch on eBay).

It’s a shame they didn’t continue with the Triton/Typhon as the upgrade paths made it a very worthwhile proposition (although, somewhat less so for their dealers).

I use an Audioquest Niagara 5000 in my system. The difference is audible, no need to pay attention to the sound, it is massive.

Now, you must decide whether you like it or not. The sound is much more dynamic, in the first hours I would have said aggressive. But eventually I enjoyed this additional energy to the sound.

It must be tested before buying, I think…


For basic power distribution, I use a Furutech eTP-609 NCF. It’s a robust star wired solution for getting additional receptacles. For my source I use a PS Audio P10 regenerator. It’s an overkill but it works just fine. It’s my third PS Audio Regenerator and I love the products. Clean, reconstructed power is not over rated. My incoming power is off by 3% for voltage and and has roughly 3% line distortion. It’s an easy load to deal with. Your power needs may be different depending on what comes out of your wall.

I’ve had a good experience with Equitech balanced power transformers (, based in the USA). One of their units, the 2RQ-E, provides power to everything except my subwoofer. I first tried it when I had a dCS Puccini player and was shocked by the improvement in the sound (with the usual caveats: in my system, in my home).

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I wanted (and planned) to try a Niagara, but AudioQuest didn’t help their case when I tried to sell one of their cables I was no longer using (a Diamond AES) on eBay. At this point, they issued a copyright infringement notice for taking pictures of my cable with its packaging.

As a result, it appears I’m no longer able to sell anything from AudioQuest on eBay, so if I ever want to upgrade I’m a bit stuck (except via a trade-in). I happen to think their high-end digital cables are very good, but it feels like my relationship with them is over.

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If what you say is correct, what a bunch of d—ks…


This is the email from eBay (bear in mind the photos used were ones I took myself of the cable and packaging):

"We had to remove your listing because it didn’t follow our VeRO Unauthorised Listing Policy. Copying pictures, text, logos or other copyrighted materials without the rights owner’s permission, is not allowed

- Your listing was reported by AudioQuest for using their copyrighted images without their permission. eBay’s Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) programme offers intellectual property rights owner(s) a way to report listings that they believe infringe on their rights
- Using a copyright owner’s logos without permission is not allowed
- If you believe a mistake has been made, you will need to contact the rights owner directly… If the rights owner approves your appeal, please have them contact us directly to reinstate your listing(s)
You can send an email to:
[email protected]

Well, that’s BS although, if your images clearly displayed their logo, they may have the technical right. Did you send them an email?

I sent a few emails, without getting a reply.

I agree you have a valid point on them owning the copyright to their logo (and even their packaging), however it comes across (whether this was intentional or not) as a way of preventing the sale of their products in the used market (except via authorised dealers, who seem not to have such issues).

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I completely agree. It’s a d*ck move on their part; sorry you went through this.


While I’m somewhat unhappy with the situation, I suspect that AQ decided to outsource copyright infringement (possibly to get rid of counterfeit items) and the result was an over-zealous company saying they’d been able to prevent multiple vendors selling fake cables.

What gets missed is that it can catch genuine customers selling used cables who have no real way to contest the ban.


Another thing that outfits like eBay need to be wary of is counterfeit products. Counterfeit products generally carry genuine(ish) logos.

I sympathise, Jeremy. Sucks. (And I’m not questioning for a minute the authenticity of your gear!)

I’m not sure where you’re based, but for what it’s worth I would seldom look on eBay for nice gear — I’d try one of the AudioMarts or Audiogon. And I doubt Audioquest would wet the bed over pictures there.

I’m not excusing their behaviour in this case but I suspect Audioquest do suffer a lot from counterfeit cables on the market, possibly more than most other manufacturers.

I bought an Audioquest cable (not expensive, can’t remember the model) from a reputable dealer on eBay (who it turned out in had acquired it from the estate one of their good customers who had sadly passed away).

I then upgraded the cable so sold it myself on eBay and the person I sold it to claimed it was fake. I then sent it over to Audioquest in the UK who provide a service where they authenticate cables for a fee. It turns out it was fake so they kept and destroyed it (one of the terms of the service).

Luckily for me, the dealer I bought it from accepted the evidence I provided and gave me a full refund. But I was quite shocked as I’m careful to buy from reputable dealers / enthusiasts.

Cheers, Mike.