The Fellowship of the Broken wallets part II

It seems I am eager to tell you more 😀 .

Well… as you read in my last post, I was happy with what I had. I was really anxious to go home and listen to my HD650 + Burson ha-160DS and I was really happy to listen to my Grado RS2i from my surprisingly good sounding phone, Samsung Galaxy S.

I forgot to say in my last post that the Grados did not pair well with the Burson either. It was better than with Meier Cantate 2 + Xonar Essence ST, but still not a good pair, and still much better from my phone.

At home in my listening sessions, I have noticed something strange. I felt that the sound improved a lot at night, somewhere after 11:00 PM or even 12:30 AM. The sound was clearer, the bass was deeper the details were more pronounced, the separation of instruments better. I naturally assumed that it is due to the total silence and the absence of light which let you concentrate better on the sound.

I started moving my “serious” listening sessions at night from that point on.

Well, as I said before, I was pretty happy with all my components.  I was really happy at work, and really happy at home, not needing anything else.

This didn’t last for long. One day,  while speaking with Sandu, he told me about an headphone audiophile meeting organised by SoundNews and Avstore.

I went very happy and relaxed to the meeting and left restful and nervous :)) .

The meeting was very nice. I had the change to listen to HD800 again, Audio Tehnica AD700, AD900, AKG k701, Audio Tehnica ATH-w1000x, etc.

I liked the HD800 but it lacked euphony. I wasn’t so impressed, I thought to myself, that my hd650 is perfect and I wouldn’t trade it for any of those 😀 .

While I was being happy with my thoughts I remarked a huge thing under the table, where the amplifier and source where plugged in . I asked Sandu about it. He than said calmly that it was a power conditioner.

He also stated that, even it was the same Burson Ha-160D he had at home with his own HD800, the sound was better there, because of that power conditioner.

He explained the concept of power conditioning, and the fact that in appartment blocks the electricity is influenced by everything our neighbors plug into their sockets.

I was like “wtf man…this is damn electricity….this cannot be true…”


I was stubborn. I did not want to believe.

He also said that at night, when most of the people sleep, the sound is better. Then…a light bulb blinked in my head. Is that the reason I was perceiving the sound to be better at night?

Well….it was time for serious testing. For a few weeks I have tested this at my home, listening both at night and in the evening. It was not hard to see the sound was better at night. The difference was quite easy to hear.

I than tested the sound in the middle of the day, when most people go to work. Yep..the sound was better…


Well, it was time to look for a power conditioner. When I started seeing the prices my wallet ran away and hid for a few days. What the hell…. I have seen some veeeery expensive stuff… Who needs a power plant for headphones?

If I move outside the city, when a friend comes into my home, I will go with him at the window, and show him :


You see that power-plant over there? That is for my headphone sound system!

I have read reviews saying that if you buy a cheap power conditioner, you may get lower quality sound, with restricted dynamics, less bass, less details, etc.

After a while I have found the PS Audio Duet Power Center, which was a smaller version of the Ps Audio Quintet.

I bought it. I was pretty nervous when I plugged the system into it, but the nervousness disappeared quickly. The sound was better. It was cleaner, the bass had more impact, it was more controlled, the separation of instruments was better, more details, etc. It was like I was listening the sound at night. The funny fact is that at night, the sound was even better, but the difference was not so big this time.

I was sure the sound was better, because a week before buying it, I received a friend (who has nothing to do with this passion ) at my place, who listened to my hd650 on burson and he said ” it is ok. not spectacular. I wouldn’t spend as much money on this stuff.”.

It was in the middle of the day. After buying the ps audio he came again. I did not tell him i did something to the system. He said the sound is better and was quite pleased with it.

Being pleased with my new toy, one day I started looking for into the manual of the PS Audio Duet. I then saw some cables from PS Audio recommended for the Power Conditioner to work at its best. I started googling the cables (ps audio ac5). You needed two cables, one used to power the duet center, and one to plug into it and power your amplifier/dac.

One cable was as much as the whole power conditioner :))

nervous legolas

I ended up buying the cheapest cable from PS Audio : Ps Audio Jewel and one Wireworld Aurora. The aurora was better on its own without the power conditioner, but plugged into the power conditioner it restricted dynamics.

The Ps Audio jewel increased the power of the bass, and the clarity.

Stay tuned for “The Two Titans” !