“When less is less”

Paul McGowan ......

Thanks for all the kind words about my recent post about music and how smart I must be to have written such a piece.  Sorry to disappoint but that article was actually written by our resident musicologist Larry  Schenbeck, who IS really smart.  Thanks Larry, the mailing service grabbed his article instead of mine and we all benefitted.

In Tuesday’s post I described how compressing music into the available space of a vinyl record is the right thing to do to get the best sound and, as well, limiting the bandwidth of the incoming musical signal to your power amp also helps the sound.

One of our readers asked why on earth I would run the PerfectWave Power Amplifier you see in our new music room on a P10 Power Plant – and not go straight into the wall.  After all, every time you place something between the power amp and the wall – the source of the AC power – you must be restricting the power amp’s hunger for power.  Most amplifier manufacturers will tell you this is so and to avoid placing anything in the path of the power – certainly never a conditioner.

I would agree with them in general, but not when it comes to an active power device like the P10.  This is truly a case of more is more – which you don’t find too often in our neck of the woods in high end audio.

If your power hungry amp is connected directly to the wall socket and it makes a peak demand on the power, there is no reserve of power to meet that demand in the wall socket – so what happens is you get a drop in voltage and power at the wall socket – and starve your power amplifier in the process.  That’s not going to be what you want.

Place an active device like the P10 in the path and now the situation reverses.  This is because the device has a large storage bank of capacitors that fill in the missing energy when you demand it.  Moreover, if the device senses the demand is such that the voltage is actually dropping, it is capable of sucking more power out of the wall to make up the deficit.

So, to answer the inquiry, this is a good (albeit rare) case of more is more and connecting directly up to your wall socket with a power amplifier is a pretty clear case of when less is less.