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Review Sound Saver

Sound Saver

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For a good audio performance it is very important that the equipment is connected to the mains the right way. But which way is right? Manufacturers often indicate phase on their equipment or plug, the only thing to find out yet is where the phase is on the mains socket. 

Also important for your equipment is a correct earth connection. Not having earth is an unsafe condition. A bad earth condition or no earth at all can cause problems in sound reproduction. Hum is a very audible result, but sometimes we just realise what details we miss until we hear this piece of music somewhere else. 

The Sound Saver has a clever circuit which measures both mains contacts and earth. With two LEDs (light emitting diodes) it indicates which mains contact is phase. Only one LED will light. The other mains contact is neutral; it is at about the same level as earth. Watch out, it should be in theory! In practise, due to some effects in leads or equipment, the neutral and earth can differ up to some volts. The result of this difference in voltage can be very serious for your sound. 

If the Sound Saver gives no indication at all, then the mains earth contact is not connected. Watch out! No LEDs does NOT mean no voltage! Don't touch the bare contacts of the mains, this can be very dangerous. When both LEDs light up, you have a balanced mains condition. Here the difference between phase and neutral can not be determined, in fact the contacts are both phase. This condition is problematic, but can give -under strict terms- some advantages for equipment with problematic power supplies. 

The Sound Saver is your easy tool to answer questions about connecting your equipment to the mains the right way. 

Where to use?
The Sound Saver should be used to measure the mains contacts you use for your equipment. Measure every contact, also when more contacts are in the same multiple socket. We have seen strange situations till now, you can better be sure.Mark the phase with a dot or a sticker on each contact. Also mark the plug of your multiple socket, now you know how it was inserted in the wall during your measurements. 

Determining your equipment phase is more difficult. We already have a clever design ready which will be introduced later. Till then you have to rely on the information of your equipment manufacturer. 

Don't leave the Sound Saver in your socket all the time. It is a measurement tool which is not made to work constantly. 

What can you expect?
Don't expect another miracle. There will be a difference, but we can not say how big the difference will be. It depends on your mains, your cables and your equipment.
The differences will be noticeable in spatial performance and details on a low sound level. 

A good solution stands or falls with good quality mains cables and a good distribution box. The Sound saver is just a first step in the right direction.