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It's all about the music...

Furman Mains Conditioners

Published on: November 27, 2012, 11:39 am

The whole area of Mains Conditioners tends to be a bit of a minefield. It’s fraught with misconceptions. Someone recently said to me, “Why on earth would you need a Mains Conditioner? If you’re getting 230 volts AC at 50 cycles, surely that’s all there is to it?” – Er, quite. It’d be jolly nice if you were just getting 230 volts AC at 50 cycles all the time but that’s just the point you see. You almost invariably aren’t!


In reality, voltage varies, frequency varies and there’s a surprising amount of spurious DC content in your mains supply, some of it self induced. Electric motors, fridges, freezers, central heating pumps and a large proportion of IT equipment can put DC content that really shouldn’t oughta be there back into the mains.


Mains Conditioners were originally conceived to protect computers, which can be adversely affected by surges, the aforementioned spurious DC content and various other nasties in the mains supply. Then someone had the bright idea of powering their Hi Fi system via a Mains Conditioner and it did yield an improvement, kind of……, ish……, some of the time.


Hi Fi systems and especially amplifiers use the mains rather differently from the way a computer does. By and large the current draw of a computer is pretty constant. The current draw of a Hi Fi system is anything but.


One of the most obvious down sides to computer style Mains Conditioners in a Hi Fi context is that they tend to “current limit”, so although they may clean up the mains and yield a cleaner sound some of the time, when there’s a crescendo or when a kick drum is hit, or indeed when anything happens fast and/or loud, a Mains Conditioner can act as a bottleneck and compromise the system’s ability to deliver power when it’s needed, resulting in a rather strangled, unrealistic sound.


Slightly technical bit here… anything that compromises a system’s ability to accurately reproduce the start transient of each and every sound will render the system a helluva lot less convincing and that’s exactly what your average computer style mains conditioner is doing.


However, if you design a Mains Conditioner that not only has the advantages of cleaning up the mains supply (a good thing) but which avoids the current limiting effect (a bad thing) by providing what is essentially a reservoir of power such that when the system is called upon to deliver more power in a hurry it can do, and to a much greater extent than it would be able to do if connected directly to the mains, then you’re on to a winner, (a good thing).


Ideally you should come and listen to the difference one of our Furman Power Conditioners makes to the music on a Hi Fi system and YES, it DOES still make a massive difference with equipment that uses switch mode power supplies, whatever misinformation you may have heard on that score.


If you still need further encouragement to check this out (and in so doing, do yourself a huge favour), have a look at the comments we’ve received from some of our customers who are already using these devices:

Furman Mains Conditioners