Sound quality varies during the day and night

So the sound quality on the system varies quite significantly depending on the time of day. Good during the evening and night to not great and a bit thin all round during the day.
So I’m thinking that it could be the mains distribution block.
I have a 6 plug extension into a wall socket.
Reading some historical posts I’m thinking that perhaps upgrading the distribution block might solve the issue and was thinking and again from old forum post of getting a Wireworld six way hub with the mains connector. I was a bit surprised at the price at circa £300 for the bock and a 1,5m lead.
So would be interested to know if
a) that would solve the issue
b) £300 is the going rate
c) is there a cheaper solution out there.
Would appreciate members views and experience.
Thanks
Chris

I’m not sure how a mains block would affect variability of sound quality through the day? It seems more likely to me that other devices, either in your house or elsewhere, might be drawing more power and possibly polluting your mains supply.
It’s easy enough to pin down the culprit if it’s in your house by selectively turning off other appliances or whole circuits to see if anything changes.
Tracking down issues caused outside your own property is obviously a bit harder.

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It does vary. Massive changes in grid demand between night and day. And if you use solar panels, this is magnified significantly.

A power strip is not going to have the slightest effect on this issue. You’re going to need to actually do some work to root cause this and only then think about what solution to implement. After all, you wouldn’t take medicine without knowing what you are sick with.

From experience, I’d start with just measuring the voltage at daytime versus night. Often there is a difference in some areas.

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Can you explain the impact/difference.

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Certainly, The voltage supplied and regulated by panels can vary significantly depending on the AC inverter and whether a battery is used or not to buffer the feed to the house.

Case in point, a colleague has massive over voltage issues in the day since installing them. 260v when the sun is shining. 230v when the sun goes down or it is cloudy. And then anywhere in between depending on strength of sunlight and shadow. He used the cheap inverter recommended by the installer and no battery.

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Any idea if his system sounds better or worse at 260v?

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Hahaha, worse. He has a Woo headphone amp that doesn’t support a full +/- 10% voltage tolerance and is prone to blowing fuses if powered up when the voltage exceeds 250v.

Over voltage is also another common cause of transformer hum. In fact, for all the banging on about DC offset we audiophiles do, over voltage is probably the most common cause.

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Oh. I’m looking at solar. How do you mitigate this issue?

You’d have to raise your concerns with the installer. I’m not a solar expert. I expect a battery mitigates it but raises the cost.

At the local level, a variac can be used to regulate voltage on a circuit. It’s a type of single winding transformer. Full power regen boxes also exists. Luxman, PS Audio and others make them. Bit of a bandaid though compaired to solving the root of the issue.

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I read a story about a man in Japan that paid the power company to put in a totally dedicated line to his house. It cost him $$$$ You can Google

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Oh it’s not that expensive. About $5k will get you a dedicated utility pole on your property with your own 3 phase substation on top running to a seperate CU just for the hifi. He’s been on TV.

Then they go into his listening room and he’s got about $100k of McIntosh gear, not on racks, driving massive high end JBLs that he sits about 90cm from. Like most audiophiles in Japan, the What means everything. The How and Why mean nothing.

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No it doesn’t, the ambience and mindset are different during the evening, it’s simply that we clear our heads of all the stuff that requires attention during the day…………!

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In most homes there is also a difference in background noise levels between day and night, which likely will have an effect on perceived sound quality.

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Thanks for all the replies.
So would changing my power strip improve the SQ?
It does have a surge protector in it as far as I know.
If so what should I get?

Noticing an uplift in mains quality outside of daytime hours is not unusual if you have any industry or large scale IT around or near to you.

I recall some years ago when I was married and we lived in a village near Salisbury that things sounded much better in the evenings. They sounded at their worst when the smithy was busy using his welder and the farm next door was running the corn dryer. So it doesn’t even have to be heavy industry…

I would remove any surge protection. This tends to nobble sound quality in my experience. I found that just plugging a strip with surge protection into the same mains as the system without even plugging the system in to the strip made the system sound like I’d knackered the cartridge. Horrible!

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I live in an old village with a supply that must go back to when electricity was first introduced into homes :grinning:. The only transformer noise that I hear now is from the 500 P/S and it always occurs at between around 8 - 9 am. The sound definitely drops off a little at peak times.

One of the best systems that I’ve ever heard was a modest one but located in a detached house out in “the sticks” with a TT supply. So clean sounding!!

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I know this has been covered before and I understand that Naim have a DC blocker in the circuit of their various kit. How effective that is over time I don’t know, but I have found various levels of hum in various bits of kit at various times of the day, not just quiet times when you might hear it more. The addition of a simple and cheap DC blocker (ATL) has been the consistent addition that has removed that hum. I now have two, one on each of the main and study systems. The sound quality has improved as a side effect of removing the hum or perhaps the silence between notes is more noticeable. If this hadn’t had the effect it has my next move would have been to ‘medical’ grade transformers but it hasn’t been needed.

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Unless you have very specific issues with your mains, you don’t want surge protection. Something like the Wireworld Matrix 2, for £149, would be fine.

The block itself absolutely cannot affect how the system sounds at different times of the day. It has no idea what the time is. Lots of people notice that things sound better in the evening. Partly it’s your mood and partly it’s because there’s less load on the supply in the evening.

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Thanks for that.
So my take away from this is to replace my surge protected power strip with a non surge protected strip. I now know It won’t improve the time/perceived SQ but should improve the SQ in general.
Thanks everyone for the responses.
Chris

That’s right. I hadn’t noticed that you mentioned the Wireworld in you opening post. They cost £149 plus the cost of a mains lead. Your profile doesn’t say what equipment you use: if it’s all Naim you could do far worse than use a Grahams Hydra.

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