January 11, 2011

Best Power Line Gear 2010.

Power Line Conditioners is an indispensable equipment for today's high end audio system. As a result of the digital life style revolution, which more and more house hold product uses the ubiquitous Switch Mode Power Supplies(SMPS) with wireless features(think LCD TV panels, cordless phones, computers and wifi routers!) we are now living in an environment soaked in EMI/RFI pollutants, transmitted either via power lines or air bourne.

Dedicated power lines for audio system only is the first basic rule to good sound(which for what ever reason, some of us don't even have this option!), but when faced with the RFI/EMI assault from modern house hold electronics, the PLC helps to preserve or purify the in coming power supply. Other power supply accessories that promote good and tight contact points are helpful too. Here's our best for 2010.
Torus Power twins! Top RM8A, and bottom RM8 AVR(with indicator display).

2010 was not an exciting time for the local PLC market. We have tested most in year 2009, and the only new toy available is in the form of the already proven Torus Power RM8 AVR. Compared to the original Torus Power RM8A, the AVR version offers the final, all in one power isolation and voltage regulating solution. I never expected the RM8 AVR to improve sound stage depth, mid range density, imaging stability and more pronounced spatial cues, when compared to the original RM8A. Expensive at RM$26k but one of the best PLC equipment available today.
ORB 6GG High End Tap is only recomended for systems of deserving status and sound capabilities.

The ORB 6 GG High End Tap is the most expensive, but certainly the best power tap on sale today. Build quality is solid, with solid core bus bars made from nearly the purest of gold(that's what the manufacturer claims!). One would not know how extreme, the contribution of good contacts for good audio reproduction. Due to it's price however, I can only recommend it for use in price no object, truly well set up(meaning extremely transparent sounding) high end systems. For the most of us, there's always Furutech, Oyaide and perhaps Sine?
The first volt is the most important? So is the first contact point! Sine SW-1PUK and SW-2US gives your hifi system an excellent starting point.

The Sine SW-1PUK and SW-2US wall power sockets do make a huge difference in sound, just like the above ORB High End Tap, operating on the basis of superior contact alone. If one out let is not enough, one can get an extension tap like I did in the form of the Sine SA-6 power bar, which I reviewed last year and subsequently bought one this year.
I found the Enacom to be highly effective at the extension power bar, plugged in between your source and pre amp or amplifiers. As most CD players and turn table motors do put back an awl lot of grunge in to the power line, the Enacom can at least, act as some form of rudimentary filter, to isolate your pre amp or integrated amp.

The Enacom AC Noise Eliminator deserves a special mention here, due to it's low entry cost and removable nature, should one decide not to like it in the future. The Enacom will certainly help to calm down some over exuberant system and give the mid range presence region just a little lift for more convincing 3D imaging illusion. Only one thing, your mileage may indeed vary with this little plug in filter!

We'll get to the best cables for 2010 next!


The Wise One said...

Rm26k for a power conditioner? How much would you suggest the hifi equipment to cost before it's realistic to spend such money on it? Wouldn't it be wiser to sell or trade in one of your existing hifi component and add in the rm26k to get a better one? I'm just looking at things realistically.

Big E said...


You are correct! That's why the Torus should only go into the most deserving of systems.

Not in my system of course! Not yet anyway. He! He!