Author Topic: Dirty power: it's a thing  (Read 240 times)

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Dirty power: it's a thing
« on: July 30, 2017, 09:21:48 PM »
So, Norton put a link to an article in the shout box.   http://www.esquire.co.uk/culture/news/a8618/are-the-audiophiles-hearing-something-were-not/   In the article, the author said that one of the audiophiles went on about "something he called dirty power", as if to suggest it doesn't actually exist.   So, I wanted to give a real world, non-audiophile example.   Some of you may know that I work as a portable x-ray tech.   One of the ancillary services that we offer is EKGs.   So, I've done 2-5 EKGs a week for about 20 years now.   In that time, I have encountered several instances where I was unable to get a good trace due to electrical interference (i.e.: dirty power).   Usually moving to another room will take care of the issue.   When it doesn't, I have to give the test over to one of the techs who has a battery powered machine.   We have one account (a very rural facility up in Clarion county) which does a lot of EKGs (they deal with a lot of psych meds, which require regular cardiac monitoring) and always has dirty power.   So much so that my supervisors decided the best solution was to leave a dedicated battery machine on site so that they get a reliable trace regardless of which tech goes there.

Do I think that the idea of dirty power is exploited by high end companies and is often a solution in search of a problem?   Sure, I'm virtually certain.   Do I think it is something made up by the audiophile world, as the article seems to suggest?   Absolutely not.

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Dirty power: it's a thing
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 09:32:08 PM »
Oh, and if the author thinks that audiophiles are fastidious, he should spend some time with cardiologists!

Offline AdamG

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Re: Dirty power: it's a thing
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 12:31:39 AM »
The company Furman, who makes some audiophile quality power conditioners, has made their name (and probably primary income) in power conditioners in the medical field. If I were to bother with a line conditioner, that is who I'd go with.

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Dirty power: it's a thing
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 07:37:11 AM »
One of my two is a Furman.

Offline RocknRoll

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Re: Dirty power: it's a thing
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 10:28:05 AM »
Oh ya it's definitely real, also definitely exaggerated/exploited to sell units.  We have had days in the rec studio where the the signal is clearly different, sometimes audibly "dirty", other times  the signal wasn't as full/strong.   I'm talking a one day difference where we shut the amps down, didn't move a single knob/connection, locked the door, and came back the next day to a different guitar tone, vocal signal, ext ext.  In a studio situation where you have the ability to play tracks from day 1 and day 2 back to back it is easy to hear a difference.  Granted a lot of factors in play here, but the engineer will literally call and say no-go today due to dirty power.

Also in my own home (located next to a large transformer) I have integrated a tripp-lite medical grade power conditioner/noise suppressor and it cut down on hum in amps with a lot of pre-amp gain.

My house was also built in 1910, i'm sure more modern electrical systems are better and solve some of these issues with better shielding and such.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Dirty power: it's a thing
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 07:54:59 PM »
So, Norton put a link to an article in the shout box.   http://www.esquire.co.uk/culture/news/a8618/are-the-audiophiles-hearing-something-were-not/   In the article, the author said that one of the audiophiles went on about "something he called dirty power", as if to suggest it doesn't actually exist.   So, I wanted to give a real world, non-audiophile example.   Some of you may know that I work as a portable x-ray tech.   One of the ancillary services that we offer is EKGs.   So, I've done 2-5 EKGs a week for about 20 years now.   In that time, I have encountered several instances where I was unable to get a good trace due to electrical interference (i.e.: dirty power).   Usually moving to another room will take care of the issue.   When it doesn't, I have to give the test over to one of the techs who has a battery powered machine.   We have one account (a very rural facility up in Clarion county) which does a lot of EKGs (they deal with a lot of psych meds, which require regular cardiac monitoring) and always has dirty power.   So much so that my supervisors decided the best solution was to leave a dedicated battery machine on site so that they get a reliable trace regardless of which tech goes there.

Do I think that the idea of dirty power is exploited by high end companies and is often a solution in search of a problem?   Sure, I'm virtually certain.   Do I think it is something made up by the audiophile world, as the article seems to suggest?   Absolutely not.


Cool story!

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