Power conditioner and Dac sound


I think about buying a power conditioner, like the Audioquest Niagara 5000. Does anyone experienced sound improvement for a Dac, or for the entire audio system ?



I have my DAC, Clock and Upsampler all connected to a Shunyata Denali 6000T. Very happy with the results.


Chris, have a look at the posts under “Anyone running balanced power?”. There is some useful discussion there. My experience using balanced power - admittedly not the same as a filter/conditioner - has been extremely positive.

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As a general point it may be worth reminding people that damage to dCS components caused by regenerator type conditioners is not covered under warranty and that, accordingly, caution needs to be exercised if using one. I don’t think that either the AQ or Shunyata items are of this type however.

My own experience with power conditioners has not been encouraging. An initial impression of an improvement to bass and detail was to be dashed with more familiarity as I noticed that all recordings started to sound very similar in this respect and this homogeneity led me to speculate that the conditioner was ringing.

As the power supply from the utility company seems so variable , and according to many postings I have read on other boards more so in the USA than I have experienced in the UK, then it is difficult to generalise upon suitability. My default position is plug the component directly into the wall socket but I do appreciate that that may not be the right advice for everyone.

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What is the problem with regenerated power?

Pete’s point is well-taken. But the AQ Niagara 7000, which was on my short list, is well-reviewed. I also applaud AQ for saying on their website that there are many ways to tackle the challenge of getting clean power. Right now, I have four PS Audio regenerator units in my house: two P5s in the headphone rack and two P10s in the speaker system/AV living room. I have been very happy with these. They protect the equipment, and the power they provide is steadier and cleaner than the incoming power. But they are regenerators, albeit good ones, built by an audio company that recommends them for their own fairly sensitive equipment. In my experience, they are safe and reliable, and they improve the quality of the power. This seems to contribute to that sense of “blacker black” we all blather on about.

Personally, I would not expect dCS to warrant their equipment against any power-induced damage, whether from a PS Audio or any other device, or from the power supplied by the criminals at PG&E. So I take Pete’s warning as a broader “do your diligence” advisory. Spot on.

Next week, my Torus AVR2-20 arrives to replace the P10 dedicated to audio. Why change? Well, I am a fan of isolation transformers. I am also a fan of balanced power as noted elsewhere, but the Torus ticked off all the other boxes, including control over Ethernet, noise reduction, and peak current. My electrician is also evaluating the possible installation of a Torus or Equi=Tech wall panel to further isolate and clean the audio power. I think these moves will be more impactful than all the money I could spend, or have spent, on cables and physical isolation. My dealer is still trying to arrange in-home demos of the Niagara 7000 and the Transparent Reference XL Isolator. Not sure how many times I want to move heavy beasts in and out of the system. I am already testing SWMBO’s indulgence.

Finally, I also have a small Eaton 9PX unit inbound which will supply ininterrrupted double conversion battery power to the components that I want to make sure never lose power, e.g., the clocks. I did a fair bit of research here. And the fact that Eaton was recommended to me by more than one unaffiliated company, and the fact that they are used in studios around the world (because they’re quiet), was what pushed me in that direction from straight batteries, or any of the Yeti, CyberPower, APC, or TrippLite models.

P.S. For anyone looking for an excellent LPS, I just received the Keces P8 dual rail. I’ve got Teddy Pardo, UpTone and others (never in the right voltage, sigh), and I’ve yet to get ahold of a Paul Hynes, but the Keces is a sweet box. It looks and feels like an audio component.

Very interesting post. But I don’t understand what is balanced power actually ?

But there is one thing I understand very well, you have enough gear at home to clean the power of the whole San Francisco Bay :rofl:

Thanks again for your detailed piece of information.

Hey Chris, I’m no engineer, but balanced power in the US involves supplying +60V on one line of the mains, and -60V on the other, out of phase, rather than 120 on one and 0 on the other. Both sum to 120, but have quite different properties. Equi=Tech has a decent paper on the topic.

Hey Greg,
Ok, it is specific to the USA. When you try the Niagara 7000 and compare it to the Torus you shall have at least one interested reader :wink:

Oh no, it’s not specific to the US. Sorry I misled you with my example. Balanced power can be anywhere.

I started reading the white paper…I must say I haven’t got the necessary knowledges to understand that paper, but when reading I understood it is not specific to a country but rather a new technology…may be implemented in advanced products…I think I shall wait for your point of view on the products you are about to use at home, it seems you have some expertise in Power devices. :slight_smile:

Glad you put that smiley face there. This is the one I would have used: :rofl:

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