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January 2013
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 159
PranaWire Linebacker Power Filter

Article By Bill Gaw


  I'm writing this in December, but plan to travel to the Caribbean in February for three months of rest and relaxation. Of course my entire 7.1 horn loudspeaker tube amplifier system will be coming with me, figuratively of course. The system will consist of an OPPO BDP-95 disc player, my home theater computer, the Smyth Realiser A-8, and my Stax headphones with amplifier. The reproduction of my home system will be about as close as possible using headphones. The headphones also take out the room anomalies and the speaker vibration effects on the components that damage the reproduction. That leaves only the electricity gremlins to damage my bliss.

Unhappily, I won't be able to take along one of my Pure Power PP 2000 units. As the electricity on the island is less than ideal, with at least one shutdown per week with its turn-on surge, a 60 Hz. wave that looks more like a rollercoaster than a sine, and noise on the line that would remind one of the roiling Atlantic.  Even though there's little in the way of noise producing machinery or computers, the electricity is produced by up to six separate generators which are only partially synced giving the erratic sine wave, and a couple of them are old and produce noise. And we think it's bad in the United States of America! So what's an audiophile to do?

Solar Panels on the roof would be a possibility as they produce clean relatively trouble free current, but they are still expensive in the Caribbean where the local governments don't give tax credits, and they produce current only during the day unless one has a huge battery bank. That's a possibility for the future. Another would be to bring the Pure Power unit down here, but it's a little too heavy to carry back and forth in my carry-on. A generator would be a third option, but they tend to be noisy and at $6 per gallon for gasoline, a little pricy to run. The surges and some of the sine wave anomalies can be controlled with the Environmental Potentials EP 2000, a small but effective line isolator-surge suppressor, which was reviewed way back at AA  75. As it is light and compact, that will be brought along. But what to do about the noise? I've become so accustomed to the lack of electrical noise by the PP2000, that trying to listen without it is difficult.

As luck would have it, Steve Kline of Sounds of Silence came over a couple of months ago to demo a new power filter, the Linebacker from PranaWire. The one brought here was their $1950 15 Ampere unit, which consists of a 6" long black hexagonal box  with a female IEC plug on one end to attach to your favorite power cord and a male IEC plug on a 10" power cord. One can either attach to an individual component or to a power distributor or line conditioner. As my pure power conditioners have 20 Ampere IEC input plugs, it couldn't be used to help the whole system, so we tried it on my Classé CT-SSP preamp-processor and my home theater computer source.

Remember as I discuss the findings that my system already has three, Pure Power isolation units running off of two Audience aR2P isolation units, with myriad high end power cords, and all contacts throughout the house treated with Tim Mroz's silver paste. There was still an improvement in electrical background noise with the Linebacker in place. As with most improvements in removal of AC noise, the noise floor decreased, there was an increase in ambience information and a decrease in high frequency noise. It was not large but still significant considering all of the other AC noise suppression components in my system.

It worked somewhat better to clean up the electric gremlins when used on my home theater computer compared to my pre-pro. So it appears that not only does it clean up the electric line it also seems to isolate electric back noise from digital equipment. Considering it reasonable cost of $1950 and the possibility of having a 20 Ampere IEC unit produced for $300 more that could improve the isolation of all of my source equipment by being plugged into the input of my source PP2000, an order was placed for one. Of course that would negate its ability to isolate components from each other, but with funds short, I couldn't afford to by several units.

It took about three weeks for the company to send my...


PranaWire Linebacker
PranaWire LinebackerThe Pranawire Linebacker power filter due to its 20 Ampere configuration and thus the need to be specially constructed. It was plugged in between the PP2000 and its power cord. Immediately, without any break-in or warm-up the linebacker cleaned up the electricity again to a somewhat more significant degree than being used on one piece of equipment. When listening through headphones where all equipment runs through the Linebacker and one PP2000 compared to running all 3 PP2000 units for the amplifiers, the noise floor decreased even further. Considering the PP2000 works by completely breaking down the ac sine wave to a flat DC line and then rebuilding it, showing a pure sine wave on an oscilloscope, and with the linebacker in place there was no visible improvement in that sine wave, it must be affecting the neutral or ground in some way. No matter how it does its job, it does give fair effect for the money.

Now if I can find some way of affording another 15 Ampere Linebacker for my Caribbean system,  my AC isolation problems may be ameliorated enough to be able to enjoy my system on my deck overlooking the Caribbean with that Pina Colada in hand. Ah, the problems of an audiophile reviewer! An even better idea may be to just make an AC distribution box with six outlets and plug the Linebacker into that. Now that's got my Scot blood boiling. To my soldering station!

And now a few words from Joe Cohen of PranaWire:

Thank you, Bill, for your thoughtful comments on the PranaWire Linebacker in-line passive power filter. The Linebacker begins life as a 1/2 meter length of our premium Satori power Cable that is then terminated into a heavily damped, high quality male chassis mount IEC at the far end of the extruded aluminum chassis, which itself has been damped as far as is humanly possible, and then filled with a massive amount of noise absorbing materials. The Satori is a 7 gauge copper/silver hybrid power cable with a custom treated premium Oyadie F1 female cable mount IEC plug. The Linebacker is designed to remove noise and quell cable borne vibrations in a purely passive way and has no internal circuitry. Our aim was to create a device whose effect was purely subtractive with no colorations of its own. You rightly surmise that it can be used to great effect with a passive power distribution box. A number of our customers are using it in that fashion. Of course, having more than one Linebacker in a system is very powerful. We hope you will get to experience that in the coming months. Enjoy the Caribbean - have a Pina Colada for me.

All best regards,















































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