I want same sound in middle of night as during the day

I live in Santa Monica and have pretty lousy power, THD 4.6-5.2% day in, .7-.8% out. At night it’s a bit better, 4.3-.6% in, .6-7% out. But the THD doesn’t capture the whole sound quality picture, because the sound in the middle of the night, like 4 am, is so much better, especially a wonderful smoothness. If I listen to something at night, and then put the same thing on during the day, I don’t even want to listen during the day, remembering how much more wonderful it sounded at night.

I have a Power Port into a Quintet that has 7 Harvesters on it, feeding into a Power Plant Premier with three Harvesters on it. Paul thought this arrangement and all the Harvesters would improve things, and each of those elements definitely did.

An audio advisor of mine told me that to get closer to the far superior night sound during day time hours, I should get an audiophile isolation transformer like the Bryston BIT-15.

What do you guys think?

Would an isolation transformer help me towards getting the ultra-smooth and otherwise superior 4 am sound, during the day?

I could run the Bryston out of the wall Power Port, then into the PPP. (I’m thinking that including the Quintet in this chain would be a bit too much?)

(I’m using an NAD M51 DAC also as a preamp into an NAD M3 amp, powering NHT Classic 3 speakers. Power cables are Pangea AC-9 and AC-9SE’s. And an NHT Classic 12 sub which is EQ’d by a Velodyne SMS)

@basslover99 - are you sure it is the power (stats look pretty good and consistent) and not “you the night and the music” as the song goes? I don’t doubt that you perceive it is better, but I wonder how much of it is lower ambient noise, the effect of the night on perception, changes in humidity, etc…can you get the BIT-15 for trial to see if further changes to your power scene are helpful?

Since you already have the PPP, you might be able to get away with one of those hospital or lab equipment isolation transformers.

I used to imagine that my system sounds better at night than during the day. It led me to take a set of measurements of the noise in my electrical circuits that feed my audio equipment. I used a Graham-Stetzer meter inserted in the circuit wall receptacles. The results are shown below. Notice the noise spikes at certain times of day. Measurements were taken with all motors, appliances lights and audio equipment in the house turned OFF. I tentatively concluded that the spikes are caused by noise in the Los Angeles power grid that feeds my house. The noise could be caused by motors in my neighbors’ houses or by larger motors farther away (factories, stores, MetroRail) or even by telecommunications microwave towers I can see on nearby hills. The noise levels are consistently higher than so-called “environmentally safe” circuit noise levels for U.S. residences.

My main audio system is on the North Living Room (red) circuit and my secondary audio system is on the South Living Room (green) circuit. Because I have nothing besides audio equipment running on these circuits, they act as dedicated audio circuits. I listen mainly between 7pm and 10pm. Even though that includes rising circuit noise levels, I do not hear any sound degradation as the evening progresses. Perhaps my system power conditioners are working!

It is a mystery to me why the noise in my North Living Room circuit and sometimes in my South Living Room circuit increases after 9pm. There is absolutely nothing inside the house that is different load-wise after 9pm. Does anyone have any ideas?


Very cool!

Cool, but the measurements don’t match expectations. I took measurements every hour except periods where you see dashed lines on the graph (gotta sleep sometime). Why would circuit noise go up during late evening?

Just some WAGs: Do people start using florescent lights then? Or lamps on dimmers? Perhaps more use on some computers? Cell phones might be used more in the evening in residential neighborhoods.

I think the lights in the neighborhood come on earlier than 9pm. Maybe more computer use, but that should start declining before midnight. WIFIs are probably on most of the time. I would think cell phone use would start tapering off before midnight. Another mystery is why the noise peaks on the South Living Room circuit do not coincide with the North Living Room peaks. It makes no sense.

Anyway, these noise fluctuations don’t seem to affect the sound quality of the audio systems. The audio system on the North Living Room circuit, for example, sounds just as good at 11pm as it does at 8pm.

Very interesting results if, in fact, there is nothing else on in the house. In my (unprofessional) opinion if the noise is coming from outside the house I would expect the peaks to be aligned and of equal magnitude. Obviously they are not. Assuming you having standard 240 VAC house power there are two 120 VAC legs coming into the house, you could check to see if the measured outlets are on the same side of the breaker panel or different sides. My guess is the Living Room South and Bedroom/Office are on the same side and the Living Room North is on the other side. When you said the motors, lights and audio equipment were off did you just turn the power switch off? Unplug them? Or turn off the breaker? To isolate a potential source within the house turning off the breaker would be the way to assure no power is going to an item. Some things draw power even when switched off. Having said all that, I would suspect you have some noisy neighbors. Something that the power company has limited ability to control.