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  • Controlled Power Transformer has landed.

    The electricians are now wiring it,and my clean ground (thanks for that suggestion
    Greg Beron),
    It will be interesting to hear the difference. I've been running for the last 10 days or so with 'dirty' power- which isn't bad at all, had more electrical gremlins in my NY set up.
    This is a 10kVA unit (probably more than adequate for a pair of Lamm SETs, a few subwoofers and a fairly simple vinyl front end). It has a K rating of 13, which Controlled Power seems to be very big on promoting--the ability to handle non linearity and harmonics on the load without going down in capacity. From what I understand K 20 is medical/surgical and K 13 is ok for audio. More as I hear it. We are using 4 gauge for the grounding, including the 'clean ground' to the copper buss bar in the room. I've also read some interesting comparisons between these EI (old school) transformers and toroidal type. Since this is in a weather proof cabinet outside the house, the usual downsides to an EI are not as worrisome and there are some benefits to be had. We shall see. I've still got my Equi=Tech 10kVa cabinet in storage. I am already over-loaded!

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  • #2
    is it temporarily sitting outside or? it doesn't look weather proof.

    Comment


    • #3
      Supposed to be a Nema 3R. It is on a slab poured a month ago, to size. Obviously, you are seeing it all opened up and exposed with the various panels and shielding removed.They didn't bolt it down. It weighs 380 lbs. Here's a pic of the attached Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        You beat me to it, I've been looking into Controlled Power for three years. Today I spent over an hour speaking with an engineer there about plans for my 20 KVA K series.

        They are consulting with engineering over several questions that I wanted answered. Some of which are (1) is three phase version superior to single phase? (2) Do the MOVs and inductors have a sonic signature or remain out of circuit except when spikes hit the line? (3) Does NEMA 3 case improve signal to noise from (self) generated hum with rating of (approx. 59 DB?

        I'm considering another bolt in breaker Square D with copper buss, added to the three I already have. This third one would be powered only by Control Power. I admit I'm worried that the cure might be worse than the illness. The 20KVA version is expensive enough that if it sounded bad it would be painful to remove and disposed of, especially considering the double fees from install and uninstall by electrician.

        Did you get suggestion from the local Texas rep for installer or just choose an electrician at random?

        Last, PLEASE post impressions of what this did for your sound as soon as you have an opinion. I need to decide how fast to proceed here at my place.

        Comment


        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          I can tell you this thing is dead quiet- when the electrical contractor first powered it up, he said he heard the typical buzz/hum for a little bit, but once it was fully energized, that stopped. When I went outside to check it out-- I wasn't standing there the whole time, but they'd call me, or I'd stick my head out--it was quiet. Putting my ear up next to the cabinet, at least in quiescent mode late last night, you couldn't hear anything. I don't know if a full load is drawing on it, it's gets noisier, but I can try that later today--then again, I bet if I measured the amount of current i really use, it's a fraction of the capacity of this thing.
          Contractor- we had a bunch of different contractors when we first closed on this house. I talked to a dozen electricians. This is a guy from a big service company--Fox Service- who had done a bunch of stuff here already, I liked how he worked and he 'got' what I wanted. He checked some stuff with his own engineering department, they talked to Controlled Power, and handled the whole thing.
          On sound, I'm hoping this thing requires burn-in because last night: better bass, better depth of field, more bombastic (like having more torque) but the highs weren't as delicate and sounded harder. If you believe in cable burn-in, think of the amount of wound copper in this thing. I'm hoping the highs get more delicate once I've burned this thing in a bit. This is based on 3 hours or so of listening straight out of the box from new.
          (No box, more pallet and forklift).
          Hope that helps.

      • #5
        Last question :-). About how tall is the transformer shown in your first photo?

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Albert Porter View Post
          Last question :-). About how tall is the transformer shown in your first photo?
          Albert, i'll go out and measure but i think it's only around 30 inches tall- it was smaller than I thought, and when they opened the case, I saw that a much larger transformer could fit in-- maybe they have an upgrade program .

          I wonder if having a switch to turn on or off the MOV would be self defeating in that the switch would add to the noise- like one of those giant double blade jobs from the Frankenstein lab.

          More in a bit.

          Just measured: 28 high, 23 wide, 20 deep, inches. Small.

          Comment


          • #7
            Damn! And to think that some people think that the entire concept of power conditioning is foolishness. Congratulations on some serious stuff!
            Speakers: Horning Eufrodite Ellipse III on Stillpoints Ultra 5S feet
            Speakers: REL Acoustics G1 Mark II Subs (pair)
            Tube Amplifier: New Audio Frontiers Ultimate 211 Special Edition Monoblocks
            SS Amplifier: Plinius SA-Reference
            Preamp: TW Acustic RPA-100 Line Stage
            Phono Stage: TW Acustic RPS-100
            Turntable - TW Acustic Raven AC w/ Black Knight Anniversary Upgrades
            Tonearm: Kuzma 4-Point 14" with Air Tight Opus-1 Cartridge (w/ EM/IA 1:20 Silver Wire SUT)
            Tonearm: TW 10.5" with Miyajima Zero Mono
            Vinyl Care: Furutech DF-2 LP Flattener - Degritter Ultrasonic & VPI Cyclone RCM
            Tape: Tascam 42B-NB (Refurb by Soren Wittrup)
            Tape Stage: Doshi V.3 Tape Stage
            CD/SACD: Playback Designs MP-5
            Streamer/Server: Aurender N30SA, Ediscreation Silent Switch OCXO w/ Ediscreation Silver reference LAN cable
            DAC: Lampizator Golden Gate2

            Power Conditioner: (2) Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK 6
            Wire: Custom Furutech PC's + Audience Front Row IC's & Speaker Cables
            Tweaks: Stillpoints Aperture II Panels & Stillpoints Ultra 5S's & SS's sprinkled about - DS Audio ION-001 Vinyl Ionizer - SRA Scuttle III Rack, Massif Audio Design, SRA Ohio Class and Symposium Super Plus Platforms

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Albert Porter View Post
              You beat me to it, I've been looking into Controlled Power for three years. Today I spent over an hour speaking with an engineer there about plans for my 20 KVA K series.

              They are consulting with engineering over several questions that I wanted answered. Some of which are (1) is three phase version superior to single phase? (2) Do the MOVs and inductors have a sonic signature or remain out of circuit except when spikes hit the line? (3) Does NEMA 3 case improve signal to noise from (self) generated hum with rating of (approx. 59 DB?

              I'm considering another bolt in breaker Square D with copper buss, added to the three I already have. This third one would be powered only by Control Power. I admit I'm worried that the cure might be worse than the illness. The 20KVA version is expensive enough that if it sounded bad it would be painful to remove and disposed of, especially considering the double fees from install and uninstall by electrician.

              Did you get suggestion from the local Texas rep for installer or just choose an electrician at random?

              Last, PLEASE post impressions of what this did for your sound as soon as you have an opinion. I need to decide how fast to proceed here at my place.
              Albert Porter See my comments here and in connection with your other post....

              Comment


              • #9
                Bill,

                Are you saying the cabinet that houses it is 28" ? I ask because the transformer looks puny in there.

                Your comment about hard highs does not surprise me, hopefully that goes away with burn in. Yes, I absolutely believe in burn in with electrical, not only the transformer you added but new Romex and even AC outlets if any of those were swapped. Power cables are huge here, in fact part of my desire for Control Power is hope that I can "downgrade" power cables and not take a performance hit.

                With AC cables I use, selling off a single one would pay for a Control Power, labor to install and everything associated with it. This is not unusual with any of our group here at Audionirvana, good AC cables are pricey regardless of brand.

                As for break in, I suspect it will require 200 hours or more based on wiring changes here over the years.

                My comment about disconnecting the surge protection MOVs was confirmed by Control Power via phone. It can be done without adding a switch. One only need open the cabinet and disconnect.

                I'm thinking I'll go with the triple shield 20KVA model with surge and see how it sounds. After a month or two hire electrician to disconnect the surge and then determine if it's positive or negative effect on sound.

                Please keep updating as to sound. It reads to be a good upgrade, especially if there is no dynamic compression and the highs come back sweet and strong.
                Last edited by Albert Porter; 06-29-2017, 06:19 PM. Reason: Sentence structure

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Albert Porter View Post
                  Bill,

                  Are you saying the cabinet that houses it is 28" ? I ask because the transformer looks puny in there.

                  Your comment about hard highs does not surprise me, hopefully that goes away with burn in. Yes, I absolutely believe in burn in with electrical, not only the transformer you added but new Romex and even AC outlets if any of those were swapped. Power cables are huge here, in fact part of my desire for Control Power is hope that I can "downgrade" power cables and not take a performance hit.

                  With AC cables I use, selling off a single one would pay for a Control Power, labor to install and everything associated with it. This is not unusual with any of our group here at Audionirvana, good AC cables are pricey regardless of brand.

                  As for break in, I suspect it will require 200 hours or more based on wiring changes here over the years.

                  My comment about disconnecting the surge protection MOVs was confirmed by Control Power via phone. It can be done without adding a switch. One only need open the cabinet and disconnect.

                  I'm thinking I'll go with the triple shield 20KVA model with surge and see how it sounds. After a month or two hire electrician to disconnect the surge and then determine if it's positive or negative effect on sound.

                  Please keep updating as to sound. It reads to be a good upgrade, especially if there is no dynamic compression and the highs come back sweet and strong.
                  Albert, happy to go out and remeasure but that's what I got last night. And yes, the 10kVA does look tiny even in that relatively small box.
                  I will let you know how it sounds after it burns in for a while. I'm also interested to see how my electric bill is affected when it is quiescent; my relatively uninformed understanding is that there is an efficiency factor and an environmental tolerance factor for ambient heat but I don't know if they are directly inter-related. Can you get high efficiency and heat tolerance? This one, which can run effectively within spec at 104 F ambient (not sure if that accounts for self-generated heat) is not terribly efficient, at least by comparison on paper to the specs. I don't know if there is a correlation between heat tolerance, a factor for you too (unless you install it in a garage or outbuilding) and efficiency. Mine is close to the rear of the house, which is a little more shaded, and could be moved into an outbuilding, once I get there.
                  Good to know that the surge thing can be disconnected. I also think there is some protection against EMI and RF but that may simply be shielding.
                  I have a few of those Zero Surge units--never really used them much for my main system, but they don't use MOVs. ZeroSurge, in Frenchtown, N.J. is, I believe, the patent holder and licenses the technology to other companies who offer such devices.
                  The one apparent positive out of the box was what I would call greater gravitas, for lack of a better word. It didn't change the voltage/current readings on the Lamms, but those are probably so well regulated that even if the power was different (say, higher voltage), it may not show up on the handheld meter. (a Fluke).
                  I've still got some work to do to get the system 'just so,' but I'm cutting my self some slack since it has been up and running for less than two weeks in an entirely new environment where everything had to be uncrated; and the transformer got installed only yesterday.

                  PS: I just went out and remeasured. It did not grow overnight. Still only 28 inches. In addition to the guts of the box, it may be worth talking to them about the housings themselves. As long as they comply with NEMA/Code, there could be a bunch of variations. I suppose in my case, I might even opt for fan cooling if the outside temps prove to be an issue. Or, I could make it a cocktail table in the living room, and put one of those varnished irregular tree slabs on it, with cup holders.

                  Comment


                  • MylesBAstor
                    MylesBAstor commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I thought everything was bigger in Texas!

                • #11
                  I'm a failure at asking the question clearly :-). I was asking about the size of the transformer, not the cabinet.

                  As for heat and efficiency, there is a model that's referred to as high efficiency. It's the Ultra K he, approved by the "green" side of our government :-). I think that's the one I've been toying with. It's relatively new, not available a few years ago when I first began exploring this.

                  The cabinet for several models appears to be similar (or identical?) with only the transformer and other electronics vary by rating. I was told by a Control Power engineer that the 10 KVA, 15 KVA and 20 KVA are nearly the same price.

                  Of course then I was only interested in the 20 KVA version and now waiting to find out if there is any performance problems with using "too little" of the capacity provided by the larger model.

                  Also speaking with a installer/dealer here in Dallas that does computer rooms. So far they don't seem to have a clue about audio so I'm not holding my breath that they will offer much help.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Albert Porter View Post
                    I'm a failure at asking the question clearly :-). I was asking about the size of the transformer, not the cabinet.

                    As for heat and efficiency, there is a model that's referred to as high efficiency. It's the Ultra K he, approved by the "green" side of our government :-). I think that's the one I've been toying with. It's relatively new, not available a few years ago when I first began exploring this.

                    The cabinet for several models appears to be similar (or identical?) with only the transformer and other electronics vary by rating. I was told by a Control Power engineer that the 10 KVA, 15 KVA and 20 KVA are nearly the same price.

                    Of course then I was only interested in the 20 KVA version and now waiting to find out if there is any performance problems with using "too little" of the capacity provided by the larger model.

                    Also speaking with a installer/dealer here in Dallas that does computer rooms. So far they don't seem to have a clue about audio so I'm not holding my breath that they will offer much help.
                    Well, too late for that, at least for now, since i'm not going to remove the panels to measure the transformer itself.
                    Mine is not a high efficiency model based on the spec plate I photographed and posted. I guess I was wondering whether you could have high efficiency and one designed for high ambient temps. I found dealing directly with Controlled Power to be less than satisfactory. Once my electrical contractor got into the picture--they do commercial as well as residential- they seemed to get what they needed. But, I think asking these questions can only be to your (and perhaps my) benefit. One party commenting on this on another board said if it is not a truly isolated ground--not permitted by code in a residence as far as I know unless you have a separate building with separate service, everything runs back to the main household ground--that the so-called "isolation" properties are lost, i.e. that the hash on a common ground at the output of the transformer puts you back to square one. I've used isolation transformers in the past with great success to isolate the nasties from my tone arm compressor motor. Those, as far as I know, went to ground at the main house ground, and I don't believe that the secondary floated or was not connected to the main ground.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      I would not open the cabinet either, was hoping you knew from doing other measurements since those specifications are not on Control Power website. The place where I'm considering placement of my cabinet is attached to our home. It's cooler that outdoor (ambient) since it shares a wall with our air conditioned home.

                      That's sad about it not being true isolated ground and I'm afraid that guy is correct. I agree probably not code to have twin grounds especially one isolated and one bonded to the house. Maybe there is advantage via stripping noise by way of design?

                      In the end, if the addition of this to your system results in improved sound that's the most important thing. Time will tell as you build hours on it.

                      I'm going to rely heavily on you as you explore this since your values and goals are much the same as mine. The guys selling this and the computer room people don't have a clue about sonic signature or how it effects a high end system.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Albert Porter View Post
                        I would not open the cabinet either, was hoping you knew from doing other measurements since those specifications are not on Control Power website. The place where I'm considering placement of my cabinet is attached to our home. It's cooler that outdoor (ambient) since it shares a wall with our air conditioned home.

                        That's sad about it not being true isolated ground and I'm afraid that guy is correct. I agree probably not code to have twin grounds especially one isolated and one bonded to the house. Maybe there is advantage via stripping noise by way of design?

                        In the end, if the addition of this to your system results in improved sound that's the most important thing. Time will tell as you build hours on it.

                        I'm going to rely heavily on you as you explore this since your values and goals are much the same as mine. The guys selling this and the computer room people don't have a clue about sonic signature or how it effects a high end system.
                        Well, once it burns in, this may be an occasion for you to visit. If you want to take it apart, I'll stand back about 10 feet and you can knock yourself out. (We can kill power to the thing, how long do they hold power? Like a big capacitor? Have no idea).
                        Floating the ground or having a true isolated ground isn't easy to do. I think the floating ones are only approved for labs, surgery suites and perhaps other industrial locations with some additional requirements for safety. Probably not a good idea to have an oxygen tank next to it, for example.
                        Isolated ground for residence I think is pretty much prohibited by code; the only way I know (and I pretend no code expertise) was to set up a separate building and say I wanted to meter it separately and get separate service. Then, I don't think you need to share ground with main household ground. You get two electrical bills. Big deal. The guy that raised the point is an EE. Technically ,he's right- an isolated ground is preferable. But, whether a shared ground renders the whole isolation transformer useless is another question. When I ran isolation transformers back in New York, as mentioned, they were extremely effective in egregious situations- motor zap compressor noise through the system despite separate lines. No zap when plugged through an isolation transformer and I'm virtually certain that these went to house ground, i.e. they didn't float the secondary, a la medical stuff and certainly weren't on a separate ground. So, is it all a waste? I don't think so. I'm happy to be the test bunny. Like I said, right off the pallet, it did give the system more gravitas--why? Maybe less noise? I dunno. If I start playing records now and don't stop for 10 days, eating and evacuating (there is a bath behind the listening room), I could get to 200 hrs. pretty quickly. Or I guess I could go out and buy a CD player and do that thing. But, I don't run the Lamms continuously, like David does. We'll get there. My wife asked me a question tonight- and this is a woman who has lived not only with my audio travails for 30 plus years, but worked for the late, great Chuck Lamonica, a guy Myles could tell you was salt of the earth, and at the same time, always looking for the next improvement, he was a serious guy when it came to audio. So Liz was used to audio nervosa, gear acquisition syndrome, the need for spare parts (thank you Silentaire- I will soon be a certified air compressor tech), and the general obsessiveness our "our thing"--Liz said, "I hate that you are torturing yourself over this. Why can't you just enjoy it, and not do every last thing and detail? First, I was a little surprised since I thought she knew me better- I am, by nature, an obsessive compulsive person, and that isn't confined to audio. Second, she knows that this is part of the fun in a way-- "getting it right." Hell, I just set the thing up less than two weeks ago. I think this is one of those moments when I need to get perspective. What is my purpose in life? Is there a god? Is reality a sim? You know, like questioning everything.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Hey Bill. Nice to hear you got the Controlled Power unit in place. Keep us posted on your perceptions and thoughts. Did you have a bypass installed? Can you switch the transformer out of the system to do an A/B.
                          I bet your power bill goes up by about $39 per month if you pay $.11 per KW.
                          Article 250 (grounding) of the NEC is the most confusing section of the code. My personal experience, mess with the ground and you get all sorts of erratic power fluctuation. I have seen wild spikes and fluctuations in voltage when a transformer is not grounded properly. Keep the inter system bond connected. You don't want to fry the Lamms.
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