Varying power voltage bad?


#1

Hi,

I have been measuring the voltage swings in my power outlets today. I have had a high value of 123.7 and a low value of 120.9. Do these changes have a practical effect on the sound level of my speakers at constant volume settings on my upstream components? Would a power regenerator be of use in this case?

Thanks,

John


#2

I’m sure somebody where more tech expertise can give you a more technical explanation, but I do know, it won’t effect your volume levels. Most components have transformers that output a lower voltage, then with quality components there are multiple voltage regulators.

It is a little odd that your incoming voltage is changing, that much. Does the drop appear when your furnace or other electrical appliances come on?

A Power Plant would help you maintain a set voltage. For example I usually have 126v throughout the house, my P300 defaults to 117v, but I have it set on 120v, for my front end components.

In Summer is when we generally see voltage drops, when it is very hot, and people are using their air conditioning. Although mine seldom drops more than a volt or two.

I would call your power company, and ask what they think you should be getting. If you have more customers using that pole transformer, they may need to replace or add another to maintain a desired minimum. When I was younger, wall voltage used to be referred to as 110v. We would have 220v coming in, now it is 240v.

I would only be concerned if goes much below 120v.


#3

In the States, nominal voltage is 120V with an allowed 5% +/- variation; i.e., 114V to 126V. The variation powerfreq is experiencing is perfectly normal.

All equipment we buy is designed to operate with no problems within this range (and greater variation as well).

The lumen output of an incandescent bulb will vary a bit with changing voltage but within this range I doubt anyone notices. In a brown-out, or heavy voltage sag from turning on a big motor for example, you will see the lights briefly dim.

A power plant will keep the voltage constant and this will improve the quality of the sound. The much bigger benefit is it will output much closer to a true sine wave. The cleaner and more perfect the sine wave, the better the sound. This is because what we listen to is incoming power, modulated by a musical signal.


#4

Thanks jeffstarr and elk. A power regenerator is on my wish list and will be purchased one day. Just wanted to be sure my current power fluctuations weren’t adversely effecting my system’s performance.