iFi, in Southport, UK, has introduced a new power block designed to ensure clean, consistent power for sensitive AV equipment.
The new PowerStation is available in 6- and 8-outlet versions. It uses a new proprietary Active Noise Cancellation technology, to help clean up the ‘unrefined fuel' that comes from mains electrical outlets. This is said to improve "audio clarity and definitiion," and provide "enhanced dynamic and spatial qualities," by reducing "the apparent softening of leading edges, timing and dynamics" of audio waveforms.
According to iFi, most power conditioning products use passive noise reduction, implemented in a series of filters and regulators. iFi suggests that these systems are attuned to certain noise frequencies, need large capacitors which are bulky and expensive, and end up being more effective against high-frequency noise, and less effective against lower frequencies.
By contrast, the new PowerStation uses a similar technique to noise-canceling headphones. It creates an ‘inverse noise current,' to cancel out the noise on the incoming power line. This is said to result in a noise reduction across the entire frequency spectrum, of about -40dB. Additional passive filtering on each outlet is designed to eliminate noise at the very highest frequencies.
A "smart diagnostics" system indicates correct polarity, and whether grounding is in place. A socket is provided for attaching an external ground wire. iFi's Intelligent Ground system is said to prevent ground loops, which might otherwise create an audibly hum.
A protection circuit provides "instantaneous and repeatable" protection against spikes and surges in the incoming power. Once triggered, the protection circuit will reboot the PowerStation only when it is safe to do so.
The PowerStation is housed in dark anodized aluminum. Each of its 6 or 8 outlets is independently isolated in its own chamber, in order to prevent "differential mode contamination." EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) is used to help damp vibrations.
Heavy-gauge internal wiring, busbars and conductive elements of the outlets use PurCopper, described as 99.9999% pure OFHC (oxygen-free high-conductivity) continuous-cast copper.
PowerStation is available this month, with a choice of outlet types for use in the UK, EU, USA/Japan and Australia. Retail price is US$499.