I use amazing Sound Application LineStage power conditioners by Jim Weil. See post #64 New Model.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    sound application one.jpg

    Power conditioning. Some believe in it, some don't. I didn't really think it made a difference, I had tried an inexpensive conditioner once and it didn't do a damn thing. But that all changed a long time ago.

    I got to know Jim Weil (above), the inventor of Sound Application power conditioners at a CES show back in the day through my local sound guru now retired, Mike Slaminski. He got Jim to gave me one of his 12 plug units to try and I did, in my studio, mainly so I could plug everything in to one safe spot. I never did an A/B with the unit, I was just happy that it kept my studio tidy.


    It was 14 years ago, after the CES in Vegas. Sean, inventor of ESP Speakers had come directly from the show to my house in LA with the show pair of his great speakers. We hooked them up in my living room, had giant tube amps driving them and I was playing a Peggy Lee remix I had done at Capitol ("MY MAN") over and over so we could get the best setup. I knew the song well, obviously. Whatever Sean tried the result seemed a bit, I don't know, lackluster. I remember being so sick of that song, but we tried over and over, got the best position and then(mainly out of frustration) I said "Wait, let me try a power conditioner down here, see what happens."

    So, I ran upstairs got my Sound Application LineStage power conditioner that Jim Weil had loaned me the year before (unhooked it from my studio and everything), ran down, plugged the amps, preamp and CD player, everything, into it, and the unit right into the wall outlet under my grand piano, ran back over to the same spot on the stairs expecting no change, played Peggy Lee again and HOLY COWSVILLE!!!!

    What the hell? Everything changed, GIANT change, for the better. I am not exaggerating. It's like I was hit in the chest with a Cupid sound arrow or something. The dynamics came to life, the fullness of the original Capitol Studio sound was now a showcase, the bottom octaves arose from the dead, Peggy's voice became human and not a recording and the band sounded like they were right there. Nothing else had changed in the system, same volume, same everything, only the Sound Application LineStage power conditioner was added to the equation.

    I ran down to Sean, looked at him and said (I remember exactly) "Is this POSSIBLE?"

    He nodded and smiled, relaxed and said "We are there" which for Sean was about the nicest thing I'd heard him say about any setup.

    We were there, and in system after system, in every room, over all these years I am still there because, thanks to Jim & Connie Weil, every stereo I have, new and vintage use Jim's Sound Application LineStage power conditioners.

    So, I became a believer in power conditioning. But as Jim explained to me, not all power conditioners are designed alike and some can do more harm to the sound than good.

    I got this pic from the Canuck Audio Mart:


    I use Jim's 12 outlet copper foil units, but Jim tells me something new is coming, very soon. Teflon, replacing copper. Jim is always inventing, also trying for more and I can't wait to hear his new creation.

    He writes me that his new design has increased the resolution across the entire audio bandwidth plus a lot more very sweet sounding razor sharp 'fullness' in the bottom octaves. He states that the harder his new units are run, the better they sound. Simply good physics. His current dependent power factor correction is always the key to his designs.

    Jim says: "There are a total of four circuits all doing different things, in my Final Design. After 29 years of R&D, I am finished designing. That is how good these latest units sound."

    I believe him. I have NEVER forgotten that day all those years ago when my zillion dollar loaner system absolutely came to life when I simply added the Sound Application Conditioner to the system.

    I should point out that the 'Line Stage', the Copper Foil and the T-7 Teflon are each of completely different designs. There was an almost 8 year interlude between the LineStage series and Jim's Copper Foil model. The T-7 model is the newest model closely following the C-7.

    With all recent SA designs, the higher the current load - either instantaneous or continuous - the higher the performance of the AC power. Amps absolutely thrive with this design. The total Resistance from IEC input to the last outlet is between 3/1000's and 6/1000's of an Ohm!

    When I mention 7N, I mean the 99.99997% purity of the copper. The lower noise floor of the 7N wire is translated to the entire audio chain and is obvious. SA uses Acrolink 100 strand 7N, 10 Gauge power wire: this consists of single wire crystals, each 350 feet long. This wire sounds amazingly smooth.

    Looking forward to hearing Jim's new work!



    So, what do YOU use? Trust me, power conditioning can really transform a system. BUT, you need a good one. I've heard some that have killed the sound dead.

    So please share your experiences. The best way to do this is to borrow one, try with and without it in the system. Report back to us!
  2. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    At the risk of repeating my same old story too many times...... :)

    Years ago I was listening to an album when my wife unceremoniously walked through my listening room (tiny basement) to the furnace room and dumped a load of clothes in the laundry machine. No respect, huh? :winkgrin: But when she hit the power button on the machine, grunge. The sound quality took a serious dive, I couldn't enjoy the music anymore. It was on the same circuit as the washer. Turned off the stereo and resolved to get a power conditioner in the hopes it would solve the problem.

    I came across a good deal on a power conditioner and tried it out. Success! Even without the washer going, the sound quality improved, the music was just more real. But it somehow seemed limited, the dynamic range wasn't there somehow. But I never heard the washer ruining the music anymore. :D

    At a charity silent auction I put a bid in on a Furutech power distributor (not conditioner, not sure what the difference is) the RTP-6N. Wow, it works better than the conditioner! No dynamic range restrictions! No washing machine or any other electrical grunge! In your face realism! Love it!

    I learned that there's a difference between types and brands of conditioners, how they are built, material quality and who knows what else. I still have my two components, the Furutech is handling the all important two channel system. :)
    head_unit, SandAndGlass and dirtymac like this.
  3. Paul Chang

    Paul Chang Forum Old Boy, Former Senior Member Has-Been

    The listening room's power needs its own separate circuit.
    head_unit and BigGame like this.
  4. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
    I need to check out the Sound Application Line Stage again. I tried one about 13 years ago for a day and it made my system sound somewhat clinical as I recall. I've been using a Shunyata V Ray for the last 10 years or so with everything in that and amp plugged into the wall. It seems to do ok. I'm sure there are better things out there now. Would love to check out a newer Sound Application strip sometime. I think they were near where I live as I recall. East Bay I think - El Cerrito maybe?
  5. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Rockford, MI
    When I did a serious upgrade few years back, I hired an electrician to run dedicated 20a for my sound room.

    Would a power conditioner still be something that would help? I have never played with one or done any A/B.

    High level, what would it do for me if I already have a dedicated circuit?
    Long Live Analog and toddrhodes like this.
  6. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    No electrician here but otherwise, I'm in the same boat. Room is on a dedicated 20A circuit with nothing else. All power to our subdivision is pretty "new" cabling and all underground. But, I've never A/B'd a power conditioner either, so am curious.
    avanti1960 likes this.
  7. Ken E.

    Ken E. Forum Resident

    New Providence NJ
    I'm the first line off the distribution transformer that sits on a pole at the edge of our property. I have two 'home runs' in my system using 10-gauge wire that run about eight feet, as it works out the main breaker box is in my room. I use a Monster product mainly for distribution though IIRC it does utilize some form of conditioning. I think it cost less than $500. I have never noticed anything untoward while music is playing, however when in mute I can hear a slight buzzing coming from my power amp when someone upstairs in our kitchen uses the microwave oven. The kitchen was redone and is part of a dedicated 100-amp line that runs from a box in our attic. A well-regarded PC is one of those things I'm almost afraid to try fearing positive results.
  8. dirtymac

    dirtymac Forum Resident

    Exile, MN
    Several years ago I had some stacked Advents that were working well for me but had a chance to get a pair of Magnepan 1.6's locally. When I swapped speakers I was greeted with a significant uptick in soundstage, resolution and this wonderful lifelike (almost larger than life compared to my beloved Advents) immersive quality.

    When I bought a little, inexpensive PS Audio Ulimate Outlet conditioner I was likewise blessed to have a nearly-similiar gain in those same qualities. It really surprised me because I was sort of conditioning (ha) myself to not expect big changes. Matter of fact, I was actually playing the skeptic as I first fired up the system with everything plugged into the Ultimate Outlet, arms crossing my chest and wondering if I would hear a thing (I do not have Golden Ears....maybe Bronze). But I was wrong and happily surprised.

    I have since bought a PS Audio Power Powerplant Premier, which actually regenerates the current. It is a nice, and noticeable, step up from the Ultimate Outlet but nowhere on the level of going from no conditioning to the Ultimate Outlet.

    It needs to be noted that our abode is a little long in the tooth (1956) and the quality of the current no doubt leaves something to be desired and thus there was "room for improvement" (as my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Laak, was fond of saying about my dubious academic efforts).

    Will never be without a conditioner. Encourage all who don't have one to try one.
    Dave likes this.
  9. jhw59

    jhw59 Forum Resident

    What's the minimum buy in to realize a true improvement?
  10. Lonson

    Lonson An Old Disestablishmentarianismist

    I have used PS Audio power conditioners and regenerators and over about twelve years I have gone up the ladder and now have a P10 power regenerator. It is the foundation for my stereo system. And it makes my guitar and bass amplifiers sound amazing. I'm so glad to have it.
  11. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    The AudioQuest Niagara 1000 just made Stereophile's class A list for powerline accessories. $1000 bucks for the unit, another $1000 for a 10' power cord that they used in the review. Shorter cords are available.
    dirtymac likes this.
  12. pdenny

    pdenny Blow up your TV

    $14K (in 2012 anyway). I guess when I build my "zillion dollar system" it'll be on the short list. Until then, Happy April Fool's Day! :laugh: Wonder what's out there that is within reach of most folks and makes a significant difference (and as you say, doesn't kill the sound).

    Update: heh. #avanti1960 and I appear to have posted at the same time--the AudioQuest is something I might check out. Thanks! :thumbsup:
    SandAndGlass and bluemooze like this.
  13. Guildx500

    Guildx500 Forum Resident

    The Sound Application is by far the best product of this type I've heard. I'm not up to date on the very latest power conditioners but when I was last in the biz it was the only one I liked.
    Long Live Analog likes this.
  14. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    I'm a total believer in good PCs and good wall receptacles!
    Dave, Long Live Analog and Joe Spivey like this.
  15. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    The Sound Application devices are impressive but the small production runs mean that they are very expensive.
    LeeS and Long Live Analog like this.
  16. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
    What do they cost now?
  17. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    I believe what you previously said is true - that they are made near you.
    chacha likes this.
  18. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic
    As @Lonson notes power conditioners are either filtering or AC line conversion (regenerator) units. The double line converters take the incoming AC power and convert it to DC and store in an internal battery. The battery is then used to create a fresh AC current for components attached to it. The double conversion presumably removes any irregularities from the wall current by making a new AC current rather than trying to filter them out. Most scientific gear is plugged into double conversion units. The problem is that many use noisy fans to cool. So audio system models have to be made quieter. They are bigger and heavier too
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  19. rbholbrook

    rbholbrook Active Member

    Hi Steve - I'm running an Audio Note based system and have always wondered if PC's matter as much in a tube system as in a solid state system. Do you use the Sound Application PC in your AN system?
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Of course. In all my systems.
    Long Live Analog likes this.
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Sorry, I was a little short before, running out to do some stuff.

    Back now, dinner over, time to type.

    A good power conditioner matters MORE I think with a tube system. Especially if tube rectified.

    The (eternal) question on high ticket power conditioners is this: Should the amps be plugged into the wall directly or into the PC unit? I've heard 80% in favor of direct wall but I found that with the PC that I use (Sound Application) the amp comes alive when plugged into the conditioner itself.

    This, of course, goes against the grain (pun intended) and I can't speak for other power conditioners but when I had a fine Silver Circle Audio Tchaik in my downstairs system for a while, the amp also sounded more dynamic plugged into the unit over direct wall outlet.

    Using the Sound Application power conditioners over the years, the grain/hash vanishes, the dynamics improve and it just sounds more musical with the amplification plugged into the PC.

    So there ya go..
  22. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    I've found my best results with large power amps were direct into the wall and on a short dedicated circuit. I'm lucky to have not only a dedicated 20 amp circuit in my man cave, but it's also only 6 feet from the box. I get zero line noise. I've never had a big enough power conditioner to try a big power amp on, the one time I tried on what was obviously a too small of one it made the bass very "mushy" for lack of a better word.
    doak likes this.
  23. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    My Exact Power E15A PC has start triggering the circuit breaker relay when I plug it in, and it makes a weird noise when I turn it on. So I thought I better retire it. So now I'm running direct, and I really don't hear much of a difference. But given that my PC may be bordering on defective, a new PC may still make a positive difference. Before that I have had both positive and negative results with the PC, especially the digital setup seemed to benefit. It's been a while now, so I can't remember the exact circumstances.

    In my previous apartment, I heard a marked improvement when I ran my system from a newer outlet, fed by modern-day installation cable, as opposed to one of the (very) old outlets, fed by old-style cloth-insulated solid-core wire. In my new apartment, I have a dedicated line with an audiophile fuse holder, which in itself didn't make that much of a difference, but having proper, dedicated grounding installed with three metal rods below the basement floor (six storeys below) made a huge difference (with the PC in place). The ground measures extremely well--on the order of 10 Ohm or so.

    So I guess the take-away for me is 1) that power and grounding matters a lot, 2) try to experiment before you invest in a PC. If you live in a place where it is an option to work on the electrical installation, I would begin at that end. The cost of doing that is often less than even a base-level PC.
  24. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    There's something to be said for time of day use too, especially if you live in an area with marginal line voltage quality to start with.

    Usually the power grid is best late at night, from 1AM to 5AM or thereabouts due to some power hungry factories not running a third shift and the bulk of households drawing very little at those times too.

    That's when I usually get my best listening sessions and I do any critical recording and I know there is nothing on in my house but basically my stereo stuff, and if something is going to run like the fridge, furnace or A/C I just bump the thermostat so they do not kick in until I'm done listening or recording and I unplug any florescent lights too. There's a lot to be said for late nigh power grid and superior listening one can enjoy.
    tubesandvinyl likes this.
  25. Lonson

    Lonson An Old Disestablishmentarianismist

    I use a tube amplifier, phone amplifier and phono preamp. All are plugged into my power regenerator and sound much more dynamic and "hash and grain free" than if plugged directly into the wall. So that's how I too have my system set up.

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