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Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; PS Audio PWD; Dr. Feickert Blackbird/Zu DL-103
Streaming sources: XXHighEnd; iTunes
Preamp/integrated/power: Tri TRV EQ3SE phonostage;  Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); Yarland FV 34 CIIISA; Qables iQube V1; Devialet D-Premier;
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Vaessen Aquarius
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; Nanotec Golden Strada #79 nano 3; Nanotec Golden Strada #79; Nanotec Golden Strada #201
Power line conditioning: Omtec Power Controllers; PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III; Isotek Syncro [in for review]
Equipment racks: ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Sundry accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Nanotec Nespa #1; Exact Audio Copy software; iPod; wood, brass, ceramic and aluminum cones and pyramids; Shakti Stones; Manley Skipjack
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: downstairs ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls and concrete floor,
upstairs ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring.
Price of review item: €650

Perhaps little is as controversial in audio land as power accessories. Multiple visions on proper power delivery each come with their own polemic as though it were a religion. And perhaps they are religious visions. Most of them are based on shielding, filtering, secret nano ingredients or quantum modes of operation. And of course there’s a wide variety of mixes of these ingredients. The results are thick, thicker and completely sick cables with price tags to match. The other end of the spectrum is represented but the thin-thinner-thinnest maxim. Heathens not in this church believe in $1 cables. When was a ticket to hell this cheap?

Aside from cables there are power strips active or passive. They come in either separate boxes or as mains cables with growths. Such devices can filter, regenerate or both. Bad things are filtered out, pure ‘clean’ power remains. Unstable wall voltages can be regenerated by dedicated one-tone (50 or 60Hz) amplifiers known as power regenerators.

In general the music lover is told that whatever is output from the wall is of inferior quality for her precious audio gear. This inferior power needs to be filtered, regenerated and carefully transported to the audio device over the last meter. Indeed the music from the speakers is nothing but a modulated mains signal. That mains signal then should be as good as possible. On its way from the power plant the signal gets polluted by Satan knows what. Late at night music sounds so much better, doesn’t it? That’s because there’s less pollution. Or so we’re told. It seems like an airtight argument.

So we faithfully buy into this rationale. We get ourselves a nice regenerator, then spend a small fortune on nice cables. And voilà, the music really does sound better. Details are less muffled by noise, transients are perkier. Even though the investment pays off aurally, questions remain. What really made that difference? And is more achievable?