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Gee, I never needed one!

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dave M., Oct 9, 2005.

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  1. Dave M.

    Dave M. Guest

    As many of us know in the electrical/electronics world, all home
    electronics equipment has a form of filtering associated with the a.c.
    line and/or the filtered d.c. down the path. Series noise filtering can
    be a line transformer as you would find on better equipment or an rc
    network as found on direct line connected equipment.

    I see these "line conditioners" in the stereo/tv stores selling for as
    much as $500.00 to $1500.00. These units clean-up noise as well as
    stabilize the 120 volt line voltage.

    As I have come to understand, the need for these units is grossly
    exaggerated by salesmen to unsuspecting customers, as the line noise
    levels are already reduced to acceptable levels in the tvs/stereos in
    general. Also, dc voltages are regulated and actively filtered, further
    negating the need for " ac voltage regulation and noise filtering benefits
    of these conditioners. But the point is, it's probably not necessary at
    least for the low/mid end equipment they buy and is a disproportionately
    high investment.
  2. Thanks for the summary. Did you have a question, or are you just
    hoping for an argument? ;-)
  3. Dave M.

    Dave M. Guest

    Dave M.

    Yes, I ASSumed I would get some kind of "feedback".
  4. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    You are quite right.

    There has been a scam for many years offering such 'snake oil' products to the
    hi-fi fraternity in particular. Possibly the ultimate was 'one way' speaker
    cable !

    More recently I've heard of salemen suggesting that gold plated connectors
    will make your video picture quality sharper !

    OTOH one wonders if ppl gullible enought to fall for it deserve any sympathy.

    There is no doubt though that very questionable sales tactics and advertising
    have been used, often employing pseudo-scientific terms in an attempt to make
    the 'magic component' appear in a better light.

    I'd love to see some consumer protection legislation used to stop this shit.

    A decent line conditioner will at least offer some real benefits such as (
    hopefully ) eliminating mains borne 'clicks' if it's any good. The same can't
    be said of gold plated mains leads though.

  5. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    I believe this type of post belongs elsewhere.... Perhaps in the blog at
    your personal website.

    Or better yet, when you feel un-noticed and unappreciated, go visit a
  6. artie

    artie Guest

    Dave, dave, dave...

    Such a closed-minded post! Where is your sense of exploration, your
    open mind, your open pocketbook?

    There are people out there who *need* these products! They *need* to
    be sure that the electrons flowing into their sound systems are pure
    and free of pollution. Those kids down the street playing that excuse
    for "music?" Without adequate filtering, how can you be sure that *rap*
    stuff isn't getting into *your* equipment, hmmm?

    So of course you *need* the $400 mains cable (even though your house
    was probably wired with #14, or #12 if you're lucky), and a $1500
    state-of-someone's-(f)art filter/regulator. Can I sell you a nice
    *Tice* *Clock* to go with that?

    Never, never, underestimate the sales potential of the simple phrase,
    "Did you hear that?"

    ....A few years ago at CES Las Vegas I was sitting around with some
    friends and we were talking about the "high end" wire biz. We started
    brainstorming about doing some hoax products, and sketched out some
    stuff. We thought we had some pretty good stuff going.

    The next day we see a guy selling adapters to let you use standard
    extension cords (3-wire 120 volt extension cords) with your XLR
    system... The possibilities of that are, well, fascinating.

    And we saw some wire vendors that convinced us that no matter how much
    tequila and oil of snake we could put into our schemes, we were pikers.
    These clowns had us out-weirded by a good 40dB. I have no idea why
    anyone would want or need a monocrystalline silver mains cable, but
    they were taking orders for the things...

    Made an offhand reference to another guy that if he wanted extreme
    connectors and cables, he could use one-inch Andrew Heliax
    ( for speaker cable -- hey, it will handle any power
    level you want, and the response is flat from DC to at least a GHz, so
    it should handle the Stones' latest, right? The cable is big and bulky,
    as are the connectors, and you need special tools to (properly) fit the
    connectors, and of course the cable needs to be cut to length. Big,
    ugly, got to be custom fit, expensive -- sounds like a winner! The guy
    scribbles furiously, shakes my hand, and hurries off in glee -- I think
    I've given him a license to print money.

    And of course there's the guy down the hall extolling the sonic virtues
    of capacitors rolled on the thighs of virgins, but that's a tale for
    another day...


  7. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    But is the copper so pure it's pink?

    Has it been cryogenicaly treated (_not_ just dipped in LN2 like those
    pikers do, but carefully brought down to temperature and back up)?

    Does it have _soft_ and _very flexible_ insulation?

    I mean, if not it's just amateur crap, right?

    Be sure to look at the prices, particularly for the LN2-dipped plugins.
  8. keith

    keith Guest

    I recently went to the local "Best Buys" (an over-priced electronics
    supermarket here in the states) to buy a USB 'A' to mini 5-pin 'B' cable.
    They wanted $33 for the damned cable! Note that the widget that needed
    the cable (an MP3 player) only cost $32 and came with one! Ok, the BB
    cable was "gold" in a pretty package, that would piss me off opening!
    You know better! Litz, anyone?
    How would you measure such adverts? I'd rather see some consumer
    education, but that's just my conservative bent.
    I think you're dreaming now. Maybe, just *maybe*, a UPS will do what you
    proposE[12ut a "line conditioner"? <one eyebrow raised>
  9. Deefoo

    Deefoo Guest

    In the early eighties when I switched on my incredibly powerful Acorn Atom
    computer my radio could no longer receive any station and my TV showed heavy
    snow on all channels due to the interference generated by my Acorn Atom.
    Today you can have a radio or TV card _inside_ your PC without any
    interference at all. Thanks to (electromagnetical) interference control.

    The filters you talk about are for interference control. They will not make
    your stereo sound better, but (in Europe) they are necessary for a product
    to be "CE" compliant. To be CE compliant the equipment should continue
    working properly under certain difficult conditions like strong glitches on
    the power line or EMI (try holding a working electric drill close to the
    equipment under test). Also CE compliant equipment is not allowed to pollute
    the power lines or generate too much interference itself. These filters are
    meant to help achieving this as they are kind of bidirectional, they keep
    helping interference getting in _and_ out.

    My Acorn Atom clearly was not CE compliant (CE didn't exist yet at the

    BTW, I've never heard the argument that a line filter improves the quality
    of your sound system, I guess only americans would fall for that ;o)

  10. Ken Smith

    Ken Smith Guest

    You know better! Litz, anyone?[/QUOTE]

    Litz would cost more to make. Gold plating is usually so thin you could
    spit through it. "monster cable" is just zip cord with clear covering that
    works like a lens to make the copper look bigger.

    The snake oil is extra thick in the audio for cars market. There they
    sell banks of capacitors for hundreds of dollars etc.

    It is really a shame that all that money ends up wasted instead of paying
    for an education for the people which would in turn cause those people not
    to waste the money.
  11. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    That's the "A fool and his money are soon parted" syndrome. ;-)

    A corollary to that is, "It is morally wrong to allow a sucker
    to keep his money." ;-)

  12. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Litz would cost more to make. Gold plating is usually so thin you could
    spit through it. "monster cable" is just zip cord with clear covering that
    works like a lens to make the copper look bigger.

    The snake oil is extra thick in the audio for cars market. There they
    sell banks of capacitors for hundreds of dollars etc.

    It is really a shame that all that money ends up wasted instead of paying
    for an education for the people which would in turn cause those people not
    to waste the money.[/QUOTE]

    That stuff, like cocaine, is just Mother Nature's way of saying you
    have way too much money. ;-)

  13. So, you not only didn't ignore the useless post, you've prolonged
    the thread? ;-)
  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Probably not after it's been dipped in LN2 ;-)

  15. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Anybody remember in the - lessee, '70's, when the Altair 8800 and so on
    were coming out? There was a project in one of the nascent computerist
    mags with a program that would play "music" on an AM radio set next to
    the computer.

    Now, I, of course, did it right - with interleaved timing loops and
    a speaker on one of the output ports. ;-) The first tune I made it play
    was "Daisy, Daisy," for all of the obvious reasons. ;-)

  16. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    Yes. You too, I see. 8^)
  17. Ted Edwards

    Ted Edwards Guest

    Who was it that said, "No one ever went broke by under estimating the
    intelligence of the American public."

    Mark Twain? Mencken? ...

  18. Guest

    Bill Gates? Martha Stewart? George Bush?
  19. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    BT Barnum actually.

  20. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    ->> PT <<- Barnum, as in Phineas Taylor Barnum

    ...Jim Thompson
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