Power Base vs Balanced Transformer


Hi guys, can someone please compare and contrast the power base and a balanced transformer, in terms of what they do (what kinds of noise they deal with) and what compromises they’re likely to inflict? I use a P3 with additional (non PSA) filters to deal with glare and DC offset, and I think I just have a generic noise issue remaining, usually in the evenings. I say ‘I think’ because I keep dealing with something only to discover a different problem hiding underneath… I use a headphone system and its imperative that the entire system, including headphone amp, is filtered - in case that affects compromises such as dynamics.

I’ve already tried the balanced transformer once, but without all the other filters and regenerators I have now it just got overwhelmed by the other mains-borne issues. That makes trying it again difficult (from the same vendor), and I haven’t seen the power base anywhere in the UK.

As an additional question is it safe to run the P3 from the output of a balanced transformer?



It is safe to run the P3 with a balanced transformer although not advised. Transformers can be beneficial for isolating equipment from the power line although the benefits are questionable in my mind. There’s also a danger in using them because they tend to add distortion when asked to deliver high current - which, if you’re using a headphone system, may not be an issue. I am not sure what benefits you would get out of its use.

A PowerBase is a passive filter that kicks in to reduce higher frequency noise found on the power line - and it starts to work at about 100kHz - so any noises from associated equipment, cell phones, light dimmers and the like will be reduced significantly. Plus, the PowerBase gives good mechanical isolation at the same time.