Symptoms of UN-CLEAN power

When talking about CLEAN POWER, what SYMPTOMS or effects are caused by DIRTY or UN-CLEAN power? 


Power transformer hum, very faint static noise at 0 volume, fuses blow often, and possibly other malfunctions.

A world-class power conditioner can take the strain off internal power transformers in audio equipment. The end result is better power factor, optimal performance, and longer lifespan without intermittent failures.

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My take on symptoms of 'Dirty power'.


RFI - Harsh sound, Grey background, Sounds that blur with each other. 

EMI - Weak & untight Bass, Small stereo image. Missing the Boogie Factor

Leakage currents - short decay of sounds, obstructed sound (can be minimized with correct phasing of equipment)

Too much shielding - splash sounds on cymbals, congested & choked sound

DC - Missing Oomph, Tiny bit of distortion on the transients. General lack of naturalness. Bassdrum that sounds like 'Bonk' instead of 'Bup'

General observation: More capacitance = less high, More induction = less bass.


Love to hear other peoples descriptions.


Dirty power = Electrical noise (hash) = Distortion in the audio signal.

  • Not hiss or hum.

_ _ _ _ _ 


Symptoms of distortion from noisy AC power:



- High notes are ‘etched’ or ‘hard’.

- A vocalist’s voice sounds ‘grainy’ - and/or – has glare when belting out high notes.

- A violin sounds too strident. No tone or timbre. No delicacy.

- The high notes on a piano ‘ring’ unnaturally.

- Cymbals don’t shimmer, they crash.

- Unable to discern individual stringed sections in orchestral music.

- The instruments in a crescendo from an orchestra become confused - indistinct.

- Poor extension. Instead of feathering off into airiness, the notes might truncate.

+ much more



- An acoustic guitar - or piano - seems to have too much harmonics - more than the real thing. It might sound pleasing – but, not true.

- A horn or woodwind sounds too diffuse or bloomy – more than the real thing. In other words, the notes of the instruments have a fuzziness around the edges. There should be a solidity & transparency.

- Unable to determine if an acoustic guitar has nylon or steel strings.

- A vocalists voice sounds electronic – not natural.

+ much more



- Bass is a one-note thump.

- Bass is not tight – too diffuse or boomy.

- Unable to discern tone or timbre in the bass.

- Poor extension. Instead of feathering off, the notes might truncate.

- Difficult to follow the bass line. For both stringed instruments and drums.

- Unable to discern individual bass sections in orchestral music.

- Unable to discern bass riffs in orchestral music – while the full 96 piece ensemble is playing.

+ much more

_ _ _ _ _ _

Black background:

- Lower noise floor.

- Ability to easily discern nuance.

_ _ _ _ _

Some of the above symptoms may also be the result of poor room acoustics – or poor synergy between component/component – component/cabling.


VERY interesting reading sofar. 

Before looking for solutions, is it recommended to first find out what TYPE of 'dirt' my power carries so I can select the right remedy?