Plug your system into the wall or a Power mgt system?

Hi, like many of us on the the Forums I have have some expensive equipment, in my case the LINA system. Took many years to get to this level. I use a Panamax 5400 power mgt system. Strictly out of fear of not have protection from my wall outlets. I feel however it is sucking some of the life out of the sound? Anyone have any thoughts or info on this? What else is out there that might be better just to protect your investment that won’t affect the sound etc? thanks

I have a whole house surge protector on the main breaker panel

I run all my source from a PS Audio P10 regenerator. I’ve done this for 10 years and I’m pleased with the results. I get a darker background and cleaner sound. I wouldn’t be without a regenerator.

That said, my amps are on 20 Amp dedicated lines.

I use a 20 amp Torus and found an improvement in overall sound. Torus is fed by a dedicated 20 amp outlet.

I use a Furman ELITE15 PFi Linear Filtering AC Power Conditioner. Provides filtering and surge protection for the equipment as well as Power Factor technology specifically for the amplifier to provide short term amperage boost during moments of peak pull. Also has two lights that pull out and shine down the front of your rack which is great when room is dark. I noticed no negative impact on sound quality and I have peace of mind.

I use a BOT feeding a Shunyata V-Ray on the feed for my sources. The power amps, per MBL recommendation, are straight into the wall but plugged into that ring is a Franke shunt-reactor to “stiffen” the supply

Unfortunately, many power conditioners can suck the life out of the sound (especially when connected to high current devices). Like others on here, I use Shunyata power conditioning (a Triton v3 and Typhon QR) which doesn’t seem to suffer from this issue.

We’ve also just had surge protectors added to our house at the consumer unit/breaker panel - and that might be a good place to start.

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I have tried a few conditioners all of which I did not like. A Shunyata Hydra and an Adept Response AR-6. I listened to them for months - still have the Hydra. In the end I did not find in my case, with my system, that it helped the sound, in fact it made it harsher, brighter, grainier. I tried both with my tube integrated plugged into the conditioner and the integrated into the wall with all digital into the power conditioner. Nope.

I ended up with my original DIY power-strip, which I added thick copper connections to.

I plug my dCS Vivaldi stack, turntable and pre-amp into my Shunyata Everest. My Momentum amps each go into their own 20 amp circuit.

I have been able to try a number of different conditioners and regenerators over the last 20 or so years and this has pretty much been my overall conclusion too - doesn’t have to be high current stuff either … even a 252/SuperCap or 552/552PS can be made to sound flat and lifeless and they draw maybe 30w tops.

Of course there are many of them out there and hopefully one day I’ll find one that I do like …


All dCS equipment is fundamentally designed to be plugged directly into a mains outlet. That does not suit all circumstances but is a good starting point for thinking about this.

Incoming mains may exhibit various diversions from being a perfect supply. However there is no consistency to this and need varies in regard to the individual location, utility supplier etc. Mains conditioners are built to deal with generalised problems and. as the factual circumstances of an individual installation vary so much ,one may not be required or be ineffectual or actually meet the required needs. In your case you seem not to give any defined need only having the idea that something might be required.

I am in London UK where the mains supply is maintained within a tight specification ( yes , I have had it measured) and have never suffered any problems at least knowingly and particularly in regard to the topic of power surges. These most commonly occur when there is a power blackout which is then fixed and power is returned. I know some live in parts of the world where this does occur seemingly quite regularly and who may need protection in this respect. Other problems may ( or may not) concern the parasitic pickup of EMI or RFI and which has an audible effect.

As you understand people can find that by solving one problem it may introduce another e.g loss of sound quality in some way.

As actual issues differ so much ultimately it is going to be a suck it and see situation which may even reveal that nothing is really needed.

One thing that can be easily recommend is NOT to buy one variety. Please read the opening part of the user manual of your Lina DAC. This is a similar warning for all dCS products that I have seen. It says " Damage caused to the unit by misuse if a mains regenerator or by a malfunctioning mains regenerator is not covered by the warranty . We do not recommend the use of a mains regenerator".


Thank you Pete for the insights. Would you be able to advise what specific measurements you have had done and what does “good look like” for these measurements e.g. acceptable range. Appreciated.

The measurements I was speaking about was in a paragraph which mainly referred to power surges and therefore about voltage consistency.

Voltage in the UK is 50Hz 240V ( not 230V as is usually given. That was an EU compromise specification as 230V plus or minus 5% meets the mains voltage supplied across all the then EU countries).

How measured? I asked the ( then) utility supplier pointing out that I was occasionality suffering brief periods of lights flickering. They installed a measuring device ( if I recall correctly a type of pen recorder). This ran for few days. Result was an exact 50Hz with one voltage fluctuation. 243V was reached for under 3 minutes duration at 3 am during one of the of the nights. Otherwise 240V all of the time. Nothing to worry about. I see you are in HK so will need to adapt this example to your local circumstances.

As for EMI/RFI this can be seen on a display of the incoming voltage sine wave. However as it varies ( can be just for a short time when , for example, a local factory on the same supply as you switches a device on for a few minutes) and as its subjective effect also varies I would suggest just using your ears. It often manifests itself as glare or hardness.


One can follow the EU grid frequency fluctuations live:


What is the difference between UK voltage and European voltage

The voltage used throughout Europe (including the UK) has been harmonised since January 2003 at a nominal 230v 50 Hz (formerly 240V in UK, 220V in the rest of Europe) but this does not mean there has been a real change in the supply.

Instead, the new “harmonised voltage limits” in most of Europe (the former 220V nominal countries) are now:

230V -10% +6% (i.e. 207.0 V-243.8 V)

In the UK (former 240V nominal) they are:

230V -6% +10% (i.e. 216.2 V – 253.0 V)

This effectively means there is no real change of supply voltage, only a change in the “label”, with no incentive for electricity supply companies to actually change the supply voltage.

To cope with both sets of limits all modern equipment will therefore be able to accept 230V +/-10% i.e. 207-253V.


Hi Pete, it’s interesting to see how stable the voltage is in your area. I’m also in the UK, in medium sized town in Worcestershire - so whilst it’s a fairly rural county, I do live within a built up area. My experience is much worse than yours.

I recently had a failure of my Karan pre-amp, a 2 box unit with the power supply in a separate chassis. It turned out that the transformers had overheated and, after a very quick investigation, it turned out that my incoming voltage was swinging massively between as low as 215v and as high 269V, often staying in the high 250Vs for fairly long periods.

As I understand it the limits in the UK are 216V (230v - 6%) to 253V (230v + 10%). In my case, it was clearly out of spec and 4 engineers from the supplier were at my house within 30 mins of reporting it, showing how serious they regarded it. They found and fixed a fault in a link box in the main road within 24 hours.

Luckily for me, my house insurance paid out for a replacement preamp, and I hit the jackpot because my model was discontinued so they paid in full for the latest model! Also luckily (and strangely) for me, nothing else in my system was damaged by the high voltage.

Ever since then, my voltage has been well within spec but still varies considerably between mid 230s and mid 240s. So I have a very different experience of the UK supply to you, which I guess goes to your point that everyone’s experience is different and, therefore, the benefits of some form of power conditioning are likely to vary.

Cheers, Mike.


I’m in London too. Agree with your observation and never suffered any strange issues.

I use a Nordost QB8 to split my wall outlet into the components.

I currently use a 15 amp Torus (isolation transformer) in my system. We use hot water humidifiers in the winter and they spit something back into the mains that causes just about anything with a toroid transformer to emit a mechanical hum. The Torus helps reduce the hum.

Personally I rather use a power-strip

I used a PS Audio P-10 for years and could hear the difference with/without it. About two years ago, I paid an electrician to run two dedicated 20amp lines with 10ga copper Romex, Siemen circuit breakers and Wattgate gold outlets. He thought I was nuts. Well, I could only discern a very small difference and I couldn’t decide which was better, so I sold the P-10 and never looked back.

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Thank you all for the great discussion and responses, a lot to consider. I have an electrician coming by to look at my panel and checkout the cost of a “Home Run” wiring to a dedicated outlet. My Panamax 5400 pm has no reserve for power so Im not thrilled using that. I like the idea of the direct plugging into a dedicated line. My only concern is I live in Florida and lightning is common during the raining months. I had our utility company add a surge protector to the outside meter but I don’t think its enough protection. Trying to keep it simple, pure and safe…thank

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