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Non-Audiophile Products for Audiophile Applications

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  • Non-Audiophile Products for Audiophile Applications

    I'm not advocating this across the board for everything, but it seems like I've picked up a few odds and ends recently from the commercial/industrial side of things that seem to work well in audiophile applications. These include:

    a medical grade isolation transformer- the one I purchased recently (in addition to the two audiophile ones I own) is an 1800 watt Tripplite that I'm using for my tone arm air compressor, mainly to eliminate the electrical 'snap' of the compressor motor(s) when they kick in; it is well built, has been in place for almost two months without a hitch. It has a 15 amp circuit breaker, and does a good job for this purpose. It doesn't have any additional AC power conditioning but it does effectively isolate the compressor motors from the rest of the electronics in the room. At around $600 delivered, it isn't particularly cheap, but it is pretty inexpensive- housed in a Faraday caged box with outlets, with a sturdy 20 amp style NEMA male plug (it comes with a "normal" plug if you don't have a hospital grade outlet to plug into). BTW, if you use air compressors for anything in your system, Silentaire's US base in Houston is terrific- they supply product, offer technical support and provide ancillaries, like particle and oil filtration at low cost- their support staff is knowledgeable and jumps on challenges.

    bench DC regulated power supply- I've been playing with a couple of ancillary devices that use wall warts- a little DSP box and an Acoustic Revive Schumann Resonance Generator. Both benefit from a quality regulated linear DC power supply. The audiophile ones seem to be purpose made for a specific voltage and amperage and the better ones aren't cheap. For a fraction of the price of some of those, I bought a bench style DC power supply that has multiple channels, allows you to vary the voltage and the current and gives you a handy digital display of the output and load. It uses a pretty substantial toroidal transformer and I had a cable maker put together a decent, but not crazy cable, using a Switchcraft male barrel connector terminated with banana plugs. Cost was a fraction of a dedicated DC linear supply, and I can use this for a variety of things.

    Clamp Meter
    I have a high quality multimeter- a Fluke- which I bought when I got my Lamm amps- at Vlad's insistence, to adjust bias. I didn't want to spend the money for a Fluke clamp meter, but found a pretty nice inexpensive current reading clamp that does both AC and DC. Some of you with more electrician chops than me may have experience with these- finding one that reads DC isn't usually cheap- this one, by Uni-T, cost all of 40 bucks, shipped, and has gotten good reviews by electricians for accuracy. What do you use it for? Well, I'm going to start measuring current on all kinds of things, rather than making assumptions about how much current a device is drawing. It can measure AC current as well, and that may prove informative. Or not.

    I have not yet fashioned a cutting lathe from a Cadillac wheel drum (Les Paul did, but he was a genius). I figure since this hobby really started with DIY, and some of the stuff we do in audio land involves bridging gaps between what's commercially available and what's sensible, there's some room for using non-audiophile products for audio-related applications. Food for thought?
    Last edited by Bill Hart; 06-04-2016, 11:46 PM.

  • #2
    My chair. Comfort removes at least one distraction from listening.


    • #3


      • Bill Hart
        Bill Hart commented
        Editing a comment
        Glad it wasn't a picture of a bong.

    • #4
      VPI (both Mat and Harry Weisfeld) suggest putting a mousepad underneath their outbound motors for their tables. They say it really helps with isolation. A pretty cheap application as well!