Here’s something Statesiders and Europeans can try at home for nought: unplug your amplifier/DAC/whatever from the wall, rotate its plug head 180 degrees, re-insert and listen again. Does it sound better or worse than before? Now rinse and repeat for other devices in the playback chain. I went backwards and forwards on my Technics’ SL-1200G turntable’s mains plug polarity some weeks back, astonished to note that one orientation sounded better than the other.
I might have saved myself some time had I access to iFi Audio’s latest power product, the AC Purifier (US$99/€119/£95). Inserted into a neighbouring socket, the AC Purifier’s Intelligent Polarity circuitry will automatically report on a plug’s polarity status: a green LED indicates correct polarity; a red LED means its wrong-headed.
Secondly, the AC Purifier will auto-detect the absence of a earth and if required activate its own ground/earth, one that iFi assert will sidestep system ground loops. This feature the Brit manufacturer calls Intelligent Ground.
Rounding out this bonus round, the AC Purifier also promises to protect downstream devices from ‘over-voltage spikes’ caused by power surges or lightning strikes.
This trio of sideshows lead us to the AC Purifier’s main/s event: active noise cancellation on an audio’s systems power line.
From the press release: “The AC iPurifier has been designed to be used in any mains-powered audio setup. It is particularly good at dealing with modern audio systems which typically use a plethora of mains plugs – all of which add noise and pollution the local mains supply.”
Inserted into the power board that supplies the audio system, iFi Audio assert that their AC Purifier “can eliminate far more noise across the frequency range than other passive devices. At -40dB the difference is as pronounced as night and day.” Observe:
Two or more AC Purifiers can also be used to isolate specific groups of devices thusly:
That’s the theory.
In the real world, the audible efficacy of iFi Audio’s AC Purifier will likely fall to two system-dependent factors: a) how much noise is carried by your audio system’s power line and b) the sensitivity of each hifi component’s to that noise. And there’s only one way to find out…
Further information: iFi Audio