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Positive Feedback ISSUE 2
august/september 2002


balanced power


as reviewed by Francisco Duran


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ProAc Response 2 with Osiris 24" stands.

Monarchy SM-70 (ran as monoblocks), Antique Sound Labs MG-SPM25DT monoblocks, Canary CA-301Mk-II amplifier, and Reference Line Preeminence lA passive and Canary CA-601Mk-II preamplifiers.

NAD T531 and Antique Electronic Supply CD-1 (temporary) CD players, and a Taddeo Digital Antidote Two.

Superconductor+ and FX interconnects, a double run of JPS Ultraconductor speaker cables, and Monarchy and various DIY AC cords.

Balanced Power Technologies BPT 4SE, Brick Wall Series Mode Surge Suppressor, Audio Prisim Quiet Lines and Noise Sniffer, Vibrapods, Black Diamond Racing Boards and cones, Final Labs Daruma-3II Isolation Bearings, various ferrite rings, Target rack, Yamaha KX-380 cassette deck, custom made wooden cable lifters by Mr. Clark senior, and all the NOS tubes I can afford!


The Balanced Power Technologies BP-2 is a heavy (almost 40 lbs.) but compact power line conditioner that features a huge transformer that provides over 17 amps of balanced power. There are eight receptacles on the back of the unit. Any component in your system can be plugged into the BP-2 as long as you don't exceed the 17amp power rating. I first used the BP-2 with my front end components, but I mainly used it with my amps. Before I installed the BP-2, I thought it would be a good idea to read the instructions for once. They say that it is recommended but not essential that the BP-2 be plugged into a 20-amp circuit, preferably a dedicated one. This caution was driven home when I plugged the BP-2 into the wall in the adjacent room, and the circuit tripped. This unit is no toy! It draws a huge amount of current.

I don’t have a 20-amp circuit in my house, so the BP-2 was plugged into a regular old 15-amp circuit. Taking out my Richard Gray conditioners and replacing them with the BP-2 was an eye (ear) opener. Not only did I immediately hear a more open soundstage, with more tightly defined images, but the music was cleaner and more coherent. But the way the BP-2 cleaned up the background was the most impressive. The noise floor was down—way down!—and dynamics also noticeably improved. My system sounded more powerful and had more dynamic authority. It's funny how a cleaner, more open and dynamic sound makes you want to listen to music more!

I just happened to have a PS Audio P-300 in the house at the time the BP-2 was here. Now the PS Audio is a nice unit, but it sure does have a lot of buttons to push. And the fan! I'm trying to lower the noise floor, right? Plus, I made the mistake of telling my wife that it actually costs more to have the P-300 plugged in and running all the time. Other than that, it does work very well, but I found that the BP-2 sounded cleaner. The P-300 made the music sound smoother. Which unit was imparting more of its character on the music? For my money, not the BP-2. The BP-2 also bettered my Richard Gray units. It sounded cleaner and more full and musical from the mids to the high frequencies. Overall I found the BP-2 superior in its performance and convenience. I also liked the fact that you can just plug in the BP-2 and go. No buttons to push, no daisy-chaining units. As far as that 17-amp rating is concerned, the BP-2 definitely had enough juice, and there was never the slightest sense of strain with it powering my amps. I will admit that none of my amps are all that powerful, but the Canary CA-300Mk.II has a pretty stiff power supply for a 22 watter.

I can't forget to mention the Audio Prism Noise Sniffer test. The what, you say? Just plug this baby in to any receptacle and it will detect EMI/RFI and noise on that line. Boy, are my lines noisy! In fact, plugging it into the Richard Gray, the Brick Wall Surge Filter, and PS Audio's Ultimate Outlet (I didn't try it on the P-300), produced the same noise as when I plugged it straight into the wall! When I tried it on the BP-2 unit, I heard nothing. Even when I turned the volume to max, it was dead quiet. You can put your money where you want, but out went my two RGPCs and in went the BP-2. I'm not one to ride the equipment merry-go-round, and the proof of this is the length of time that my speakers and line stage have stayed in my system, but sometimes a product comes along and works so well in your system that it finds a home. I didn't buy the BP-2, actually. I started with the BP-4SE. I would like to buy a BP-2 in the future, but first I would like to have a dedicated 20-amp line installed for it. The BP-2 is one heck of a performer. I suspect that, like power cords, the effectiveness of power line conditioners is dependent on the system. The BP-2 definitely worked well in mine. Highly recommended! Stay tuned for some words from me on the BPT power cords. Francisco Duran


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Retail $999

Balanced Power Technologies
TEL: 314. 603. 1483
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