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Synergistic Research Powercell Power Conditioner


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Hi,

Just seeing if there are any members that have experience with Synergistic Research Powercell conditioner (Powercell 12 UEF SE or Powercell 12 SX). Any impressions / thoughts in comparing to other major brands (PS Audio , Isotek, Shunyata).

I have had prior experiences with the above brands and all of them work wonders with sound.

However, recently I've been going down the SR rabbit hole and finding myself digging deeper and deeper.

The next step for me logically will be power conditioning, but would like some thoughts before making such big commitments.

I know there are raving reviews online, but real user experiences are always appreciated.

Edited by cyberkank
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  • cyberkank changed the title to Synergistic Research Powercell Power Conditioner
  • 2 months later...

I just came across this.

 

Last time I searched there was no SR dealer in AU.

 

I have the Powercell 12 SE with Atmosphere powercell cable.  It recently replaced Shunyata Triton V2 with Sigma Analog power cord.  That Shunyata Combo is really very good, easily better than PS Audio P10 with upgraded fuse.

 

I gave up on Shunyata Denali, because 240v version is very rare on used market, and dealers cant ship new 240v version with US outlets to Australia (eg. from Asia).

 

Whereas all versions of powercell are rated up to 250v, and often sold on used market in the US 

 

So far the Powercell is even better than the Shunyata combo, immediately obvious to me.  It might help that my main power cords are also SR Atmosphere Level 3 Analog and Digital, and speaker cables are Atmosphere Level 3, and Atmosphere X Ref Ethernet.

 

I hope this helps.

 

BTW, I have a SR Galileo SX powercell cable currently enroute to me, it is in Customs in Australia, so hopefully it will arrive soon.

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Thanks  Dale, this is very useful. I've got a P10 (with SR orange fuse) have been considering a new Shunyata Denali v Synergistic Powercell 12 SE power solution.  I currently have a mix of Shunyata ethernet (Omega) and Synergistic power cords (Foundation).  

 

I'm sure the Galileo SX will be another step up for you.

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8 hours ago, dbastin said:

I just came across this.

 

Last time I searched there was no SR dealer in AU.

 

I have the Powercell 12 SE with Atmosphere powercell cable.  It recently replaced Shunyata Triton V2 with Sigma Analog power cord.  That Shunyata Combo is really very good, easily better than PS Audio P10 with upgraded fuse.

 

I gave up on Shunyata Denali, because 240v version is very rare on used market, and dealers cant ship new 240v version with US outlets to Australia (eg. from Asia).

 

Whereas all versions of powercell are rated up to 250v, and often sold on used market in the US 

 

So far the Powercell is even better than the Shunyata combo, immediately obvious to me.  It might help that my main power cords are also SR Atmosphere Level 3 Analog and Digital, and speaker cables are Atmosphere Level 3, and Atmosphere X Ref Ethernet.

 

I hope this helps.

 

BTW, I have a SR Galileo SX powercell cable currently enroute to me, it is in Customs in Australia, so hopefully it will arrive soon.

What kind of improvement do you notice with the SR over the Shunyata and PS10?

I am currently monitoring my voltage over summer and it is terrible, dropping down to 210V on an extremely hot day. The PS10 does help bolster the voltage back up to around 230V ish.

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I used P10 with Audio Magic Beezwax fuse.  Triton v2 has no fuse, so I could do a true like for like comparison.  And honestly, once I put Triton in place, it was a no brainer to leave it there.  It was quite a while ago, but from what I recall the compelling characters of Triton were:

 

It conveyed a sense of ease that was relaxing.  Its not 'relaxed' like laid back, slow though, its still fast and dynamic when call upon.

 

The presentation was more 3D, with greater detail of acoustic space. 

 

Bass detail was better defined.

 

Of course a lot of other things too.

 

Since then I have made significant improvements to my ethernet system, so the data source is now much better.  With your Omega ethernet you'll have an idea what I mean.  And Triton just kept delivering. 

 

Apparently Denali v1 is a bit better than Triton v2.

 

The house sound of Synergistic and Shunyata is different, but together can be complimentary.

 

A reason I am keen on SR is it has a wider range of complimentary products, which I use ... beyond cables.  Gives new meaning to full loom.  And so far I have been happy their products do what 'they' say.  SR marketing seems quite factual, and reviews generally confirm this, actually reviews sing praises more than the marketing.

 

Apparently the SX powercell cable is the best bang for buck compared to other power upgrades I could do.  I have read a few say the Powercell 12 SE with SX cord is better than Powercell SX.  Next step for my Powercell would be MIG 2 , then add a Tranquility POD, then swap to MIG SX (or Tranquility base) - based on advice from SR.

 

I am resisting getting more Galileo.

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52 minutes ago, cyberkank said:

What kind of improvement do you notice with the SR over the Shunyata and PS10?

The powercell has been in place just a week, and I've listened to it for maybe 15 hrs.  Burn in is still 185 hrs more.  So its very early days.

 

Currently, its midrange is very revealing, however I imagine that will mature.

 

Bass is also a lot more extended and well defined.  Powerful is an understatement.  Together the bass and midrange provides much more sense of acoustic space.  Again that will probably mature.

 

Generally things sound cleaner and clearer.

 

Frankly, P10 is very good but not in the same class as Powercell.  Triton v2 is somewhere between, much closer to Powercell though.

 

I imagine Powercell 12 SE and Denali v2 would present very similar quality with their respective house sound.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 01/03/2021 at 10:55 AM, dbastin said:

I used P10 with Audio Magic Beezwax fuse.  Triton v2 has no fuse, so I could do a true like for like comparison.  And honestly, once I put Triton in place, it was a no brainer to leave it there.  It was quite a while ago, but from what I recall the compelling characters of Triton were:

 

It conveyed a sense of ease that was relaxing.  Its not 'relaxed' like laid back, slow though, its still fast and dynamic when call upon.

 

The presentation was more 3D, with greater detail of acoustic space. 

 

Bass detail was better defined.

 

Of course a lot of other things too.

 

Since then I have made significant improvements to my ethernet system, so the data source is now much better.  With your Omega ethernet you'll have an idea what I mean.  And Triton just kept delivering. 

 

Apparently Denali v1 is a bit better than Triton v2.

 

The house sound of Synergistic and Shunyata is different, but together can be complimentary.

 

A reason I am keen on SR is it has a wider range of complimentary products, which I use ... beyond cables.  Gives new meaning to full loom.  And so far I have been happy their products do what 'they' say.  SR marketing seems quite factual, and reviews generally confirm this, actually reviews sing praises more than the marketing.

 

Apparently the SX powercell cable is the best bang for buck compared to other power upgrades I could do.  I have read a few say the Powercell 12 SE with SX cord is better than Powercell SX.  Next step for my Powercell would be MIG 2 , then add a Tranquility POD, then swap to MIG SX (or Tranquility base) - based on advice from SR.

 

I am resisting getting more Galileo.

Yes, I am a bit of an SR convert too.

Going down their "tweaks" accessories seem to give really good bang for buck, quite drastic transformation of sound. Most of the time it is improvement, however, I do find that you need to tweak and spend a little bit of time to adjust their product to get optimal results.

The only drawback with the SR powercell is the lack of voltage stability that the PS Audio provide. In my case I have monitored the Summer voltage and during hot days (38 degrees and above) the voltage actually dip to around 210V which is detrimental to audio components.

May have to see if there are any component to stabilise the voltage and use that as an input to the SR Powercell.

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Just ordered the SR Powercell SX and Galileo SX cord with Australian plugs. I'll let you know how I go. 

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Just now, RCZR said:

Just ordered the SR Powercell SX and Galileo SX cord with Australian plugs. I'll let you know how I go. 

 That would be great.

May I ask what is your current power conditioning unit?

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I've got a PS Audio P10 with Isotek EVO3 Syncro DC blocking cable. 

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On 01/03/2021 at 8:45 AM, dbastin said:

The powercell has been in place just a week, and I've listened to it for maybe 15 hrs.  Burn in is still 185 hrs more.  So its very early days.

 

My Powercell 12SE has now had about 80hrs use.  I need to clarify, is was used however now has a new power supply board and new Orange outlets which need to burn in.

 

Then I installed the Galileo SX Powercell cord on 8 March which has now had about 40hrs use. 

 

On the weekend I took apart the whole system and reassembled it to achieve less congested cable routes - now power cord routes are quite separate from speaker and other cables, except where they need to cross paths.    The Galileo SX cord does not touch the floor, and has a clear route to the powercell, while the other power cords are routed so they are more layered than spagetti - I intend to separate them with something like Shunyata Dark Cell. 

 

Incidentally my power circuit is  ... a dedicated 32A RCD > JPS Labs In wall cable (10AWG ~32A) > 32A rotary industrial power switch at boundary of listening room > Furutech Alpha TripleC (FP-TCS31 12AWG ) > Synergistic Blue Outlet.  

 

JPS has Optimised Field Matrix construction to reject noise.  At the time I got it, Audience Hidden Treasure AC IN wall cable had not been released.  Also, I chose Furutech TripleC (12 AWG) because the dealer said it sounds better than the  FP-F55N cable (10AWG).

 

With all this attention to details, it sounds quite stunning.  It really needs to be experienced, any description is only relative to one's experience.   With this said, here is what I can describe that ought to be quite objective - I'll try not to exaggerate.

 

I can obviously hear the background ambient noise of many recordings - not the 'noise' as in sound floor, but as in hiss, rattles and movements of performers and the like.   The sound floor I have is so low all this is revealed.  For instance in quite passages, or at the end of tracks before the engineer turns all the microphones down.  This is more apparent in musics where a number of instruments are recorded simultaneously in one room and their microphones are picking up surrounding noise.  With one instrument, that amount of noise is very quiet, but with say 5 instruments, it can be quite a bit.

 

With vocals recorded with little or no reverb or effects, the singer is literally right there. 

 

The breathing of strings players is noticeable, for instance violin, cello, they take a big breath as they start to play.  I have seen this obviously with clarinet players.  I suppose its a technique to steady the player.

 

With recordings in live venues, or to emulate live venues, such as Riding with the King (BB King, Eric Clapton), it is quite possible to perceive the stage, and I mean the actual stage seems virtually identical to my sound stage - where the drums are, where each musician is standing, and how far back, the size of venue is represented in the scale of bass and other spacial cues.  The layers of an orchestra are perceivable but not so apparent, but I haven't studied this yet.

 

On the big end of the spectrum, soundtracks are enormous, impactful and a physically tactile sensation, for instance Time from Inception.  Absolutely fitting for a cinema size screen (within the scale of my room).

 

Once upon a time music was like watching a movie on a big screen TV (and over time the image got more clear and colourful with each upgrade of cable, PSU etc) - the soundstage was in a defined a space (like a sphere or portal between the speakers, akin to the edges of a the TV screen).  Now sometimes it is like the whole wall behind the hifi is transformed into a variable size screen. 

 

On rare occasions the soundstage reaches well into the room - I'm getting a sense of 3D and holographic sound images.  I have experienced sounds that:

  • are coming from the side, say 1m or so forward of the speakers and also from the wall.
  • move across the room diagonally from one corner to the other
  • perceived to be about 2m behind the seating position. 

These sounds are relatively short (up to 2 seconds in duration), otherwise I suspect if they were any longer the brain would not continue to be fooled by the trickery for the sound engineering with just 2 channels of audio.

 

To appreciate all this, I suggest it will be necessary to have very high res and low noise source, excellent ground conditioning,  and large scale floor standing speakers, and/or at least a stereo pair of excellent fast sub woofers.  I currently have a $10k (rrp) pair of subs stacked for each channel.   Getting 1 sub off the floor makes a big difference - but a stack or 2 or 3 is something else.  And that is the next adventure for me - sub woofer line arrays.

 

@RCZRis in for a wild ride, that scale of change is like getting out of a Tiger Moth and getting into a F-18.  Strap yourself in.

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57 minutes ago, dbastin said:

On the weekend I took apart the whole system and reassembled it to achieve less congested cable routes - now power cord routes are quite separate from speaker and other cables, except where they need to cross paths.    The Galileo SX cord does not touch the floor, and has a clear route to the powercell, while the other power cords are routed so they are more layered than spagetti - I intend to separate them with something like Shunyata Dark Cell. 

 

Incidentally my power circuit is  ... a dedicated 32A RCD > JPS Labs In wall cable (10AWG ~32A) > 32A rotary industrial power switch at boundary of listening room > Furutech Alpha TripleC (FP-TCS31 12AWG ) > Synergistic Blue Outlet.  

 

JPS has Optimised Field Matrix construction to reject noise.  At the time I got it, Audience Hidden Treasure AC IN wall cable had not been released.  Also, I chose Furutech TripleC (12 AWG) because the dealer said it sounds better than the  FP-F55N cable (10AWG).

 

 

What about the SR ground blocker? Did you use the active version? I'd be interested to know what this did if you brought it into the system.  

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1 minute ago, RCZR said:

 

 

What about the SR ground blocker? Did you use the active version? I'd be interested to know what this did if you brought it into the system.  

I recently acquired the SR ground black and used it with existing SR speaker cables and pods. Yet again better clarity and lower noise floor. I can imagine the higher up models (active SE and SX) will be even better.

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1 minute ago, RCZR said:

What about the SR ground blocker?

i

I have a hybrid arrangement.

I use the basic SR Ground Block, sitting on a Tranquility POD (with 2 other ethernet things).  I'd say it is star ground and some conditioning.  I have some HD ground cables.  This is what is connected to the ground block

  • Server (HD)
  • Devialet (HD)
  • Galileo SX Powercell cable
  • Atmosphere speaker cables
  • Atmosphere X Ref Ehernet
  • Router

I have the Ground Block connected to a Shunyata Cyclops and plugged into the same dedicated circuit via Blue outlet.  Importantly, I rewired the Cyclops and power cord so all wires go the ground pin.  The Cyclops contains 2 Noise Inductance Chambers filled with special mixture that absorbs noise.

 

In intend to use HD cable for the SX power cord, Atmosphere X Ref ethernet cable, EtherRegen and from Ground Block the Cyclops.

 

2 x Tranquility Pods are connected directly to the Cyclops because I don't yet have enough ground cables to connect to the Ground Block.

 

Each thing connected to ground brings an incremental improvement that generally aligns with the outcome of reduced noise.  When I put my system back together I forgot to connect the ethernet cable to ground block. When I realised this and connected it, there was an obvious but small improvement - less siblance, more air/space, more clarity and definition, more weight, etc, etc.

 

Incidentally, that 1 Tranquility POD treats 4 things in my system:

  • the DAC/Streamer portion of the Devialet
  • 2 x Gigafoil ethernet isolators
  • Ground Block.

 

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2 hours ago, cyberkank said:

Unfortunately this is 120V version

Look under the power inlet ... 

 

Synergistic Research PowerCell 12 UEF,  5 ft. UEF Level 3 Power Cord, Free Shipping - Continental US

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  • 1 month later...

Got delivery last week of the SR PowerCell SX and the Galileo SX power cord (Aust). Right off the bat, the difference was absolutely stunning. @dbastin prediction about the SX was absolutely on the mark! It has moved my experience to 'immersive'  without major component upgrades. About 30 hrs in and have just introduced the gold tuning bullet.  Some pics...

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