2. Power distribution

2. Power distribution


Author: Karsten Hein

Category: High Fidelity

Go to comments

Once we have located the cleanest possible power source for our HiFi system, the next challenge will be the distribution of this power to an array of audio devices. Separate units do not necessarily 'sound better' than their high quality combined equivalents, yet, separates have the advantage of allowing for some 'later stage adjustments' when calibrating a system to the room, the preferred style of music, and individual taste without the use of attenuators.

The units may be: a CD player and turntable, a DAC, an audio streamer, a pre-amp, a power amp, and possibly more. A dedicated audio power strip will be designed to minimise differences in electric potentials between the devices, thus leading to a more even flow of current. Such power strips come in many shapes and price ranges.

For my own low budget setup I bought a used Audioplan PowerStar 'cookie jar' distributor and had 3m of shielded 2.5mm Lapp Ölflex power cord attached to this. This is nicely fitted with a gold plated heavy duty power plug.

From my own experience, all cables, even power cables, will need some time to run in before showing their full sonic potential. I have never connected a new cable that did not drastically change its effect on the music within the first three days of playing.

Next to proper phasing, the precise position of a plug in relation to the other components on the power strip may make a big sonic difference. The traditional order is: amp, pre-amp, turntable, and the rest, with digital as far away as possible. However, since there is no definite rule, we have no other choice but to test different combinations ourselves.