After the negative results for the measurements of the Synergistic power cables earlier this month, I thought I'd just end the month with more power 'tweaks' and do some measurements of my Belkin PureAV PF60 "Home Theater Power Console".
|Currently 119.6V, 2.7A being drawn.|
|Stock photo showing the rear. (BTW, you can't tell from this photo, but the power cable is thick as my garden hose!)|
I think I paid about $250CAD for this back in 2007 or thereabouts so it's not new at this point. It certainly has served me well as a 13-outlet fancy powerbar with surge protection. You can check out Belkin's webpage on this item and get the mumbo-jumbo sales talk. I have no idea what a "Level 4" power protection is or what a "Phase 6 PureFilter" does or in what way the "HiCurrent" outlets differ from the others. I do as it says and plug my TEAC UD-501 and Transporter into the "Digital Filter" bank, the 2 monoblock amps into the "HiCurrent" ones, etc. The extra outlet on the front has been convenient as well to plug in the occasional charger or for the laptop. The main display up front tells me the voltage and current being drawn. From my listening position I can't really read the display well so I usually keep the blue LED dim so as not to distract.
The test is simple - how does the TEAC UD-501 measure either plugged into the PureAV PF60 vs. plugged into a reasonable surge protected powerbar (APC P7V ~$25 in this case)?
Standard setup:HTPC --> shielded USB --> TEAC UD-501 (plugged either into PF60 or APC powerbar) --> shielded RCA --> E-MU 0404USB --> shielded USB --> Win7 laptop
To create a bit of noise in the power system, I turned on the 2 Emotiva XPA-1L monoblocks, Emotiva XSP-1 preamp, LG 55" 3D HDTV, Onkyo TX-NR1009 receiver, Transporter, Behringer DEQ2496, gigabit router, all the pot lights in my sound room on. The amps, preamp, AV receiver, Transporter were plugged into the Belkin PF60. The TV, gigabit router, Behringer DEQ2496 were plugged into the APC P7V powerbar.
The audio system was playing some Simon & Garfunkel at moderate volume through the Transporter during the testing.
Results (24/96 only):
Summary:Well, nothing much to see here folks... Really minimal differences between whether I plugged the TEAC DAC into the "fancy" Belkin PureAV or the inexpensive surge-protected powerbar.
I did the test around 10:00PM so maybe the power line at this time of the night wasn't all that noisy here in Vancouver. The Belkin PF60's squiggles actually show a little more noise than the inexpensive APC powerbar... Likely just small inter-test variability and I didn't bother measuring a few times since the difference was so minor. It's also possible that the 2 monoblock amps and the Onkyo receiver plugged into the PF60 were noisier. However, I would have thought the 55" TV plugged into the APC powerbar is just as noisy.
Bottom line... The Belkin PureAV PF60 has a nice voltage/current display up front, is well built, it's convenient to have 13 outlets at one's disposal, and it has surge protection (unlike the Synergistic set I measured). I'm not looking to replace this unit any time soon. Remember that hi-fi gear needs good, well regulated power supplies that reject noise and it's not surprising that a good DAC like the TEAC doesn't benefit from any further power conditioning. I assume good DACs should perform similarly. Maybe there would be a more significant effect with cheap wallwarts, who knows...
Subjectively, likewise, I didn't hear any difference whether the TEAC was plugged into the PF60 or the inexpensive APC powerbar listening to Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water through the TEAC DAC.
As usual, I would love to see some measurements: real-world demonstration of power conditioning making a significant difference to a good DAC's noise floor for example.
Been listening to more multichannel music lately. The audio high point of the week was being surprised the other night by how good the multichannel mix for The Carpenters' Singles 1969-1981 SACD (2004 release) sounded! Proper placement of Karen Carpenter's voice up front in the center, good balance of front-to-back volume. For an example of a poor surround mix - Neil Young's Harvest (2002 DVD-A); what's with the surround channels sounding unnaturally loud?
Time for some weekend R&R :-). Off to see Wynton Marsalis tomorrow night... Enjoy the music everyone.