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Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

John, do you think powerline fuzz and hash matter more, less or none to modern gear that uses cheaper/lightweight and switching-type power supplies? I'd think the old-school stuff wouldn't care, it was designed to operate on the principle of an over-spec'd power supply providing a large reserve for peak-power demands after the conversion to DC. But some of these modern devices -- including well-rated professional gear -- seem to have such flimsy power supplies, I wonder if all this matters more in that world. Plus, there are arguments to be made about the quality of internal power and the performance of digital devices, but again what is provided on the gear may well be up to the job in the case of professional-grade equipment. Bottom line, I highly doubt what sort of power cord you use as long as you're using properly-spec'd gauge wires, matters in any of this.

Another thing to consider. If you have a dimmer, or something like the X-10 home-control system or powerline networking, you are putting all sorts of higher-frequency hash into your power lines. I have no idea of this hash even gets passed by a typical power transformer (which I would think is optimized to work at 60hz and probably has little or no performance beyond a certain frequency), or if it matters once it gets to the rectifier. But I can see it mattering in the case of a cheap wall-wart sitting right next to the power lines -- I'm wondering if the radiated electronic-interference or even low-power RF possibly generated would make the wallwart ring or otherwise act less stable than under ideal conditions?

I'm not expert in power lines, so all this might be hack theories. Let me say that my own studio runs dead-quiet and the quality of client-paid work is high enough to be appreciated by discerning clients, and I haven't taken any extraordinary measures with the power system. I am blessed with a well-wired house and have my studio on its own circuit and that's been enough. They recently replaced the power transformer up at the street and it's acted no better or worse. And I stand by my previous post about cabling -- first, do it right with standard commercial-grade wires and if it sounds good to you then you can spend your hard-earned money on things more likely to matter like the best analog-playback gear you can buy and top-notch A-D conversion equipment, and of course good/accurate monitor speakers and amplifiers.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "John Ross" <johnross@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

At 10/16/2008 07:46 PM, M Rockwell wrote:
And how about that awful, noisy step-down transformer out on the pole? What are you gonna do about that?

That's what "power conditioners" are for. I have seen the difference on a 'scope before and after something filters out the noise on an AC line, but I would not want to argue that there's an audible difference to the sound of amplifiers using filtered AC based on my own subjective listening.

Placebo effect, anyone? If it cost all that money, it must do *something*, mustn't it?

John Ross

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