It was quite by accident that I learned that a new product I was evaluating for audio purposes would have significantly beneficial effects for video purposes, as well. Thus, I write this (long) review to bring to the attention of videophiles what I found out about a new product coming from Mad Scientist Audio of New Zealand, and what it could do for home video reproduction.
The product is called, simply, the “Power Purifier”. It comes in a regular and a “Plus” and “Double Plus” versions. My experiences are with the Double Plus version (hereafter, “PP++”.; simply Google “Mad Scientist Audio Home” for lots more info and pricing.)
I must admit to being a closet videophile. Although almost every single of my numerous postings here on the Audio Asylum has been audio related (there are a few postings here in the video section over the past seven or so years), I regularly read the video postings of others hoping to pick up pointers from the regulars who really know their stuff, video-wise. I am quite happy that I can finally share with the AA’s video-oriented crowd some pretty good news to those who wish to enhance their viewing pleasure.
To me, truly great video reproduction is something I aspire to. Over the years, I have added numerous tweaks to my A/V system to improve the picture image and quality for my wife’s and my own viewing pleasure. Many have been really helpful. Here are some of the things I have done that been quite beneficial, so you can get a feel for where I am coming from.
I focus mainly on improving the quality of power to my 60” Pioneer 6010 plasma TV (purchased, IIRC, way back at the end of 2006/beginning 2007) and my ancient Oppo BDP 83 player. Accordingly, I have hand-made my own custom power cords employing 11 gauge Carol Cable copper wire with Bybee Large Quantum Purifiers on the line, neutral and ground, Furutech solid copper female IEC and male AC plugs (the FI-11Cu variety), High Wire Audio “Power Wraps” (grounded), various Z-Sleeves, and finally, tinned copper braid mesh shielding (grounded) along the length of such AC cords as well. I also employ Wonder Wire Silver Starlight HDMI cabling to carry the video signal, which I have tweaked up with a grounded tinned copper mesh braid shield along the length and a centrally positioned High Wire Power Wrap (also grounded.) In addition, I also use a Pure Power 1050 AC regenerator for the Oppo player, and a Pure Power 3000 AC regenerator for the Pioneer plasma, powered from a 4000 watt isolation step-down transformer. The step-down transformer has .47uF and .01uF filter caps installed as well, for the AC going in and coming out. WA Quantum Chips are also widely employed, as well.
The result of all these tweaks? A very nice video reproduction that my wife and I have enjoyed over the years with never a hint of problem. In fact, while on vacation we recently (within the last week) saw some superb OLED and 4K displays in a high end purveyor of audio/video gear here in New Zealand, yet felt our home video reproduction was just as good in many ways, despite being, well, ‘ancient’ by comparison. (But I must admit that I did wonder just how absolutely incredible these new technologies would look with all those great tweaks on them. I suspect they would be absolutely mind-blowing!)
With that background, I want to talk about the Power Purifiers from Mad Scientist Audio, based here in NZ.
When I put the first PP++ on our big Pioneer plasma, we didn’t even need to wait the recommended 30 minutes of break-in to notice better, deeper, purer blacks right off. I am well aware that since 2006/7, huge improvements have been made in black levels for plasmas. Thus my excitement when I saw the blacks on our old Pioneer approaching the exquisite reproduction currently available from the finest plasmas of today’s market. I cannot imagine how much better these newer models would look with a PP++ on them , but if our experience with our older Pioneer is any indication, viewers should be in for a truly wonderful treat.
With blacks improved, many aspects of reproduction immediately benefitted: details were sharper and more defined, giving a more 3d imaging and naturalness to the video reproduction. Things like wisps of fog moving against a sunlit backdrop in a forest became easily revealed and well delineated, far more than was previously attainable on our set-up. Likewise, the depth of field achieved was much better, giving 2D playback a far more 3D appearance. But it was that sense of ease and naturalness that struck my wife and I most. Things just looked more ‘life-like’, with more of that ‘reach out and touch it’ realism.
As for colors and hues, we both felt that saturation and color balance were all enhanced nicely, with a deeper, more satisfying rendition across the board. This was something we had both noticed on the new OLEDs and 4K units we had recently seen, how wonderfully deep and natural they reproduced colors and hues. Thus we were very pleasantly surprised that the colors we were seeing after the MSA’s PP++ was added had become very much like the colors we had seen on the OLED and 4K screens a few days before. A specific example was how much deeper the gorgeous array of colors were in the movie, “Baraka” which we put on to do some of our evaluating. Again, things just looked more vivid, more 3D, more real, more natural, and had an ease that made our viewing even more pleasurable than usual.
We really love our Pioneer plasma TV’s reproduction, and always thoroughly enjoy our time when we can watch well-filmed Blu-Rays like “The Fifth Element”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Barry Lyndon” and countless other movies and nature shows that allow our tweaked-up Pioneer plasma to really shine. The introduction of the MSA Power Purifier Double Plus device took the performance of our plasma TV to a level that leaves us very happy and not feeling like we are missing out with such an older model when compared to the newer, truly superb models that are available today.
The same happened when we tried a second MSA PP++, this time on our old Oppo BDP-83 Blu-Ray player. Every single benefit we got from adding a PP++ to our Pioneer plasma TV was further enhanced by the addition of the second PP++ on the Oppo player. At this point, we were really thrilled with the over-all performance of our A/V system.
Also, it should be pointed out that we saw absolutely no downside to the use of the PP++s in our A/V system, only upside. And as a further benefit, we both noticed that even the audio coming from the Pioneer’s cheesy little speakers was likewise improved (which neither of us was even thinking about, to be honest.)
Well, the two PP++ units will definitely be staying in our A/V system, as my wife was sufficiently impressed with the results they delivered that she whole-heartedly approved the purchase (we are retired, so we watch our pennies, like many folks.)
I will conclude by saying that I have no idea how much improvement these MSA devices will make on the current state of the art video reproduction gear out there today. But if our older Pioneer and Oppo are any indication, those viewers lucky enough to own or can afford these new SOTA models should be in for a really mind-blowing treat. And for those with older gear (like us) who don’t want to (or cannot) blow the big bucks on the newer stuff, these MSA products offer good value for the money, at least in our humble experience.
Of course, YMMV.
Best of luck and happy viewing!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
Topic - New Product Review (Strong/Long) - Winston Smith 21:32:21 02/22/14 (4)