Taking a stand

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One of the hallmark indicators of low impedance is a firm stand. External forces have little sway over a device with low output impedance. This can be seen in a high damping factor amp and speaker combination where the amp exerts control over the speaker, yet the speaker cannot do the same to the amp.

It can also be seen in a power regenerator, something I’ll explain. But, let’s start with one of the basic problems power regenerators are trying to fix. The wire feeding power in your home’s wall. The receptacle feeding your stereo equipment is connected through a series of long wires to a distant power transformer on a utility pole or box. Often, there are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of feet of wire between you and the source of AC power. That’s a problem because wire has resistance.

Resistance and impedance are close cousins. Resistance means a consistent restriction of power flow while impedance is a frequency dependent restriction. The restriction of power in your home’s wires means that every time you draw current to play music, watch television, heat the oven, or vacuum the rug, the available voltage from your receptacle drops. It drops for the same reason your water pressure goes down when more than one faucet is turned on or the toilet flushes.

This is a problem for us audiophiles hoping to perfect the sound of our system. If the power feeding our equipment is fluctuating—and it most certainly is—then we aren’t getting all that we could were that problem fixed.

What’s needed is either a shorter wire or some other means to lower resistance in that wire.

That’s what we’ll discuss tomorrow.