Do I need a voltage stabilizer for my stereo ?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by mubashir, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. mubashir

    mubashir Agent

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    Hello guys....

    I just bought my stereo system and it consists of Diamond 9.1 bookshelf speaker and an cambridge audio integrated amp. I'm using a pioneer dvd player for the source (will upgrade to marantz cd player when financing permits)

    Spent around a week setting them up where most of the time was on speaker placement and was usually carried out at night around 12am till 4 am. Finally got the sound that made my budget setup sound like a million buck. But when I woke up the next day (noon), the system sounded like crap. So I spent the whole day repositioning the two speakers again. Got it back to the million buck sound around 2am. Listened to all my cd collections till 6am and when I felt convinced that every single cd was played beautifully, I went to sleep and woke up the next day (2.00 pm Sunday) and it went back to sounding like crap.

    Then it struck me that I only got the million buck sound during early morinings when most of the sity was asleep. My conculsion is that it has something to do with the power supply during the peak hours. Called 2 audio shops to comfirm whether this scenario was due to the power supply and they comfirmed it. Asked him to quote me a power conditioner but said I needed a voltage stabilizer instead. The cheapest one from Soundstage costs USD 330.


    So here are my questions to all forums here:

    1) Have you guys faced this dilemma before and how did you solve it?
    2) Are there cheaper solutions out there?
    3) Is what the 2 shpos telling me the truth or their just trying to sell me stuff that I'll regret later of buying?
    4) Can I use a voltmeter on the power outlet and check the values during peak and non-peak hours to comfirm the voltage irragularities?

    Sorry for this long posting but I really need to be sure before I spend a bom (relative to the cost of my system) on this voltage stabilizer.

    Hope to hear from you guys.

    regards....
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Assuming that it’s just not a situation of severe fatigue with the wee-hour tweaking [​IMG], it’d be hard for most of us in the USA to comment on the power quality of a foreign country.

    You can measure wall voltage with a common voltmeter. However, unless the drop between the wee hours and the afternoon is severe, that in itself should not make an audible difference. Remember, any component’s power supply converts the wall voltage to DC. I think I’d be suspicious of one of the components in your situation.

    Unfortunately, voltage stabilizers are a world apart from line conditioners. Typically they are not cheap, and even then most of them are not 100% stable – a +/- 5% fluctuation is common.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. mubashir

    mubashir Agent

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    Thanks for the speed reply Wayne

    Yesterday I listened to my stereo system till 11pm but still didn't sound good. Today I got up around 5am in the morning to listen to it again just for comparision. Sounded wonderful....

    Seems I'll have to turn into Batman to enjoy my music from now on [​IMG]
     
  4. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    "BROWN OUTS" (AS OPPOSED TO BLACKOUTS) REFERS TO A LAG IN THE VOLTAGE THAT RUNS TO YOUR HOUSE. PEAK DEMANDS COMMONLY LEAD TO BROWNOUTS (EG DURING A HEAT WAVE WHEN 20 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE THEIR AIR CONDITIONER ON FULL BLAST).

    THE ONLY WAY TO TEST YOUR THEORY, THAT A BROWNOUT (AKA "POWER SAG") CAN AFFEECT THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR HI FI GEAR IS TO BUY A UPS BOX. YOU NEED A GOOD ONE THAT CAN HANDLE THE LARGE IN -RUSH CURRENT OF AUDIO-VISUAL GEAR. I'D GO WITH ONE'S MADE BY APC.

    I'VE READ SOMEWHERE THAT POWER SAGS ARE DETRIMENTAL TO EITHER TRANSISTORS / CAPACITORS / RESISTORS IN TERMS OF LIMITING PEAK PERFORMANCE. DON'T ASK ME WHERE MY MEMORY IS FAILING.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Don't you think this is an irresponsible diagnosis considering that they didn't perform any measurements and have a vested interest in selling you something? Along with what Wayne said, I'd look into obtaining a voltmeter to take measurements at various times of the day. They do have VOM's that have recording capability and can plug into your PC to allow for unattended monitoring. If you are getting large voltage swings sufficient to cause audible effects, then you should also be noting significant light dimming, possible problems with your refrigerator, and so forth.
     

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