Before going straight into the review, Paul Rigby starts by making a very good point about mains noise in general. "Mains noise" he points out, "is an insidious destroyer of hi-fi sound quality, mainly because it's not obvious like a siren, drill or crying baby. You only really know it's there when it's gone. All mains supplies suffer from it, though, and all hi-fi chains benefit by addressing it with specialist kit."
This is a useful thing to point out because we often come across people who are convinced they do not have an issue with mains because they can't hear any interference. It's therefore useful to reiterate that this is missing the point!
Paul wanted to test this on a typical set-up of CD player, DAC and integrated amp, in his case from Leema Acoustics and Parasound. As a 'control' he played the track 'Let's Groove' from Earth, Wind and Fire without any kind of mains conditioning in place. The results were not good: "Frankly" he reports, "in this default mode, I found the racket unlistenable. It was quickly giving me a headache (that's not hyperbole, it really was)".
Introducing the Power Purifier with the addition of one Clarity Mains modules, brought a significant lift in the performance, not least due to the fact that the track was now transformed into something listenable! Improvements included "a blessed opening of the soundstage which infused it with huge amounts of space and air that also enlarged the stage itself, giving the players far more room to move and manoeuvre. This removed a heap of tension from the music too, relaxing the vocals and giving bass a more organic flow".
This is not to say that everything was perfect, but the addition of the three Clarity modules not only brought more clarity but also extracted more emotional insight from the recording: "This new detail in how the song was sung meant that a lot more emotion reached the ears."
The final step was to add the Mains Zapperator to the box, designed to deal with noise produced by high frequency RF created by, for example, Wi-Fi networks. This time playing The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody, the vocal presentation became even smoother and the drums "now had a largely organic presentation: that stick hitting skin thing with an appropriate response. What a drum should be doing, in fact. There was no mechanical falsity about the percussion with all of the modules in place".
In conclusion then, Paul Rigby suggests that, on its own, the Power Purifier will not solve all your mains problems in one shot. Then again, as he points out, "no one-box system can". "You'll have to do more work on a broader level to accomplish that in terms of shelving, isolation, cables and more" he says. On the other hand, he argues that the Power Purifier "is an important first step and, for anyone who has implemented little or no strategies to reduce noise with their hi-fi chain, implementing the PowerPurifier system will be almost revelatory".
GOOD: "modular format, reduces noise, multi-function abilities, transparency, detail, easy to use"
RATING: 8 Groovy
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Click here to read about the Hi-Fi World review
Click here to read about the Hi-Fi Choice review