The free lunch counter
In yesterday's post, we learned that to effectively lower impedance we need to add energy. That's what a power amplifier does and what a passive power conditioner cannot do. In fact, a passive power conditioner (one without an active power amplifier inside) makes things worse. It raises impedance. Wrong direction. To get the most out of our musical systems we need to figure out a way to stop restricting the power they need by actively lowering impedance. Good things come at a price. If we want to lower impedance we either move our home next to the power generating facility or add an amplifier to actively lower impedance. Here's why. The average home wiring chain presents an impedance of between 1Ω and 0.5Ω depending on the wire gauge within the home and the distance from the utility pole. 14 gauge wire, which is the standard our homes are wired with, has a resistance of about 2.5Ω per 1,000 feet. The thicker wire feeding our homes has about 10X less resistance. So, we're going to assume a combination that gets us to an average of about 1Ω. 1Ω is a lot of resistance for our power to have to struggle its way through. As our main power amplifier tries to drive those 4Ω (or lower) speakers, it's struggling to suck needed power through a restrictive 1Ω pipe. What happens if we add an impedance lowering amplifier between the high impedance power line and our musical power amp? Voila! Now, instead of 1Ω of restricted access to power, our musical amp can enjoy 100, or even 1,000 times lower impedance feeding it. Our story continues tomorrow.
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