Panzer has been waxing lyrical about the Torus Power RM8 In'tl power line conditioner, he even has a love poem for it :-) . With an endorsement like that, how can I resist listening to the Torus Power RM8 myself? Panzer is a great pal, he delivered the Torus to my place last Saturday, and, as we can see in his last post, suffered silently in withdrawal.


Well, I'll just cut to the chase - after a 3-day listening period, I admit that I am now firmly in Panzer's camp. I usually take longer to come to a final conclusion about a piece of hifi, but since my findings echo Panzer's, who has more extensive experience with the Torus, I believe my feeling is right.

Admirably, the RM8 displayed its excellent performance even with all the cards stacked against it. First is the powercord from the wall, since mine is a Shunyata Python 20A version for my Shunyata Hydra 8, while the Torus Power RM8 takes a 15A cord, I have to substitute with a stock powercord that came with my Pass Labs amp. Second, as the Torus Power RM8 Int'l comes with UK style outlets, I have to use adapters for all the powercords from it to my equipment.

With all these limitations, I would not consider what I am writing as a review of the Torus Power RM8, just take it as a person's listening experience then.

The RM8 needs some warming up period, about 2-3 hours, after that, as I left the unit powered on permanently, its temperature (just warm to the touch) and performance stabilized. Throughout all my listening sessions, my entire system sounded more confident, it was as if my EgglestonWorks The Nine luodspeakers were saying "yes, finally this is a signal that i can really work with". All the twists and turn, dynamic swings, subtle cues and broad strokes in the music came through clearly. It is quite unbelieveable that I was listening to many smeared and veiled moments in music before the Torus Power RM8.


Take Hugh Masekela's 'Hope' cd, the spontaneous shouts and applause among the live audience never sounded so well defined and so well separated. Previously, the vocal and saxophone could sound slightly hard and shrill at certain points in the recording, but with the RM8 in place, these artifacts were totally cleaned up. The entire recording sounded natural and unforced, even at the most explosive moments.

Compared to the Shunyata Hydra 8 that I am using now, I have to say that my system performs better with the Torus Power RM8, as it should be at close to 3 times the price of the Shunyata. Shunyata may portray vocal, especially female, a little more colourfully and sultrily, while the Torus Power sounds really neutral, at the end of the day it would be the listener's preference that it will come down to. However, in other aspects, Torus Power is indeed ahead.

From what Panzer writes, we know he takes the Torus Power RM8 as the leading contender for the king of plc hill. Though there are a number of others that we have not heard, I believe he is not far off the mark. Not at all.

31 comments:

KANG said...

hifikaki;

bottomline;

torus vs the shunyata v-ray, which one do you prefer....

Ken said...

Kang,

I think it depends on the system. If the system is on the lean or analytical side, the Shunyata will prevail. if the system is more of the bloomy side, then the Torus would win hands down.

To me, one of the most important thing in a pwr conditioner is that it must not be current limiting. I think that's where the Torus should win. Hugh Masekela's Stimela track is a good test for the dynamic and power of a system.

zam said...

KEN,

with all due respect,most of the power conditioners manufacturers claim that their pc do not limit current.

have you had the chance to compare the TORUS VS RGPC conditioners?

BOTH of them seems to be designed along the same principle...appreciate your input since I am looking for a referance quality PC

TGoh said...

Ken,

would it safe to conclude that the Shunyata is better suited for all digital whereas the Torus would be benificial for analogue rig?

chn'g said...

Does the Torus come with the option of American plugs?

i think most of Malaysian and Singaporean audiophiles prefer those outlets to the British types

see said...

HIFIKAKI,

the TORUS looks sublime on the FINITE stand. Simply gorgeous

C CKEE said...

HIFIKAKI,

IN YR SYSTEM,WHICH IS BETTER,THE SHUNYATA OR THE TORUS

frey said...

would the transformer -based PC like the torus benefit from burning with the cable cooker?

kiarch said...

Hi Hifikaki,

I have tried many power conditioners and none has been as good as TORUS! If you had all the power cords' IEC connectors changed to suit direct connection without using adaptors, you would be literally as shock as I am.

I was like you, and got taken-in by TORUS with all the setbacks of using adaptors, and I was blown away, much like what it did to Panzer, got smittened. Felix and I took the plunge just like that.

There's consolation/bonus comes thereafter when I changed the connectors of all my power cords, which brought further improvements that I was simply not prepared for!

I would like to see how you and Panzer deal without TORUS in your system from now on. And welcome to the 'world' where me and Felix are.

Felix said...

I agree with Jo. There's really no turning back.

I have tried many things with the TORUS. From TT to CDP to DAC to PHONO to BUFFER stages to PRE amps to POWER amps (both ss and valve) and all reap the same benefits.

In bright systems, the TORUS made things more organic and weighty. On dull, bloomy sounding systems, the TORUS seems to clean up the bass and made it more defined.

It seems as if, noise seems to make our system like that and the cleaning up of noise, with whatever means will bring yr system back closer to how it should really perform.

What I really like about it is that, the TORUS never seem to inject any particular "sound" into yr system. It just lets your system play to its full potential.

I liked that.

ktlee said...

kiarch and Felix,

thanks for the input.Nothing like hearing from the owners themselves.

have you had the chance to compare with Shunyata v-ray...?

TORUS seems to be very low key with not much buzz in the usual audio forum

mee said...

kiarch and felix;

is TORUS SENSITIVE TO POWER CHORD AND ARE YOU GUYS USING THE uk or us plugs ?

thanks

Panzer said...

hifikaki,

Just hope you don't get as poisoned by the Torus Power as I did! Ha!Ha!

zam,

I am trying to contact CMY if they are willing to allow us to have a go at the RGPC since it is designed along the similar isolation transformer based theory. I am just as curious.

Felix,

Welcome to tha blog and about time too you join us.

Anonymous said...

kiarch,
in the meantime, without the torus in thier system take heart, hifikaki and panzer can visit the to(y) r us. ke ke ke

dk said...

agree with ktlee,

despite all the rave here,there seems to be little else written abt TORUS elsewhere....any explanation,anyone?

hifikaki said...

KANG, C CKEE,

In my system, the Torus Power sounds better than my Shunyata Hydra 8 overall.

I have not heard the v-ray v2 or Hydra 8 v2, so I cannot tell at this point. I am interested to find out how the newer version Shunyata would stand up. See if I can get a review sample soon.

Hi Ken,

On current limiting, since both Panzer's Aleph and my XA are pure class A, their current draw pattern should remain consistent over time, there will be no transient demand of current. CDP and pre-amp usually are class A too. So probably we are less sensitive to 'current limiting' in a plc, as long as it can handle the constant draw? This is just my conjecture, I stand to be corrected.

Yep, 'Stimela' is my favourite too, the others are 'Mandela', 'Languta' and the rollicking 'Market place'.

chn'g,

It is my understanding that the 240V international version of Torus Power does not come with American style outlets. Quite a bummer, isn't it?

see,

Indeed I am still enjoying the look of my finite elemente rack. :-)

frey,

I don't know if Torus would benefit from the cable cooker, because I have not tried. Since it is not my unit, I prefer not to too. :-)

But I have an interesting thought - I don't know exactly the kind of signal used by the cable cooker for the burn-in, but if it is a wide-spectrum frequency sweep, wouldn't the filter inside the plc filter away the signal? So the signal could not fulfill its burn-in function.

This is just my conjecture again.

kiarch,

Thanks for confirming that the Torus still have more to give once the powercord termination is taken care of.

I may have to go cold turkey when the Torus is gone. :-)

hifikaki said...

dk, ktlee,

I did a google for Torus Power.

Among others, there are:
- a review in Stereophile. You can find it online here:
http://www.stereophile.com/powerlineaccessories/108torus/

- online discussion:
http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/index.php?topic=46895.0
(Panzer's review is quoted here too) :-)

ktlee said...

hifikaki,

thanks for the link.it answers a lot of the questions posed above.

i still think that the fact that the torus doesnt come with the american plugs will make a lot of customers rather hesitant to take the plunge ,hey having your power cord reterminate is a big deal..

joachim said...

wow,

the concept of TORUS seems simple enough;
1.get the input

2.the best transformer and the biggest one too

3.isolate input and output

4.add a few noise suppresors

5.have the outputs..

no fancy receptacles ,no white paper , no fancy wood chasis etc...

Ken said...

Hifikaki,

I agree with you that both yours and Panzer's amp are pure Class A. But the thing is that the wattage of your amps are not that high, i.e. 60w and 75w respectively for you and Panzer. It maybe different from other amps where wattage are much higher. Then the power limiting factor will come in. And you cannot forget the fact that some music has huge dynamic swings, Stimela is a good example.

But as I said earlier, all pwr conditioners should not be current limiting but unfortunately most are. And we also have to bear in mind the electricity supply from TNB.

Anonymous said...

Hi eveybody,

i'm a hi fi amateur, i hope sb with technical knowledge can enlighten me on this. if Torus design is as simple as what Joachim said i wonder why Nelson Pass never thought of that, adding a big transfomer so to get immune from power problem and so does other audio manufacturers. I guess maybe their box got not enough space for that. I think Paul McGowan must be very puzzled how come this problem which he spent so much time to research on can be so easily solved by a massive transformer and a few noise suppressors. What is the function of a transformer ? I know that most audio products have transformer inside, what r they for ? Transformer is not a something new, maybe Torus has its secret way to make its transformer.

fafafion said...

anonymous,

transformer has many different types,the common one used in amplifiers are mostly toroidal,and the field produced by the toroidal tends to be in the middle...so there is not much of EMI noise being produced..

most hi-end amp manufacturers(SOULuTION,FM ACOUSTICS,NEODIO,LAVARDIN]has superb quality built in transformer inside hence discouraged ANY use of power conditioners..

as the saying goes ,the power supply is the one that make or break the amp,and I would also add that it is true for all hi-fi equipments

Anonymous said...

Panzer,
I believe the Torus is an isolation transformer with a coil inducing another. RGPC is not a isolation transformer but a choke where there is only one coil that induces current with itself.
The Torus 8A is not balanced power although there are some higher Torus models that are.

Do the maths:
Torus 8Ax240V=1920W (RM18K)
RGPC 400P =6000W (RM4K)

kkchan said...

anonymous,

i can see the transformer in the richard gray

Felix said...

Panzer, thx for the handshake! Am always a reader here as there seldom is a reason for me to voice my opinion.

There are so many anonymous here it is hard to reply to each without proper identification but here are some of my thoughts.

Torus Power Isolation trans are made by Plitron Manufacturing Inc. which incidently manufacture industrial standard trans for medical use, i.e. trans for ct-cat scanners, x-ray machines, and other sensitive imaging devices. So, their tolerances are tight and reliability is without compromise.

IMO, It is true to say that the better the internal trans of a product, the less susceptible it is to AC-induced noise. However, the similarity ends there. The trans which come with our equipment are step down trans or voltage converters. Primarily to convert our 240v to something lesser providing all the necessary power rails needed. The Torus is different in the fact that it is an Isolation trans, designed purely to rid of AC-induced noise or hum.

To the question as to why manufacturers don't just plonk in a Torus class trans, I just though of the humongous cost involved. The trans is afterall, one of the most costly item in any equipment. DIYers would concur.

I must admit that I bit the bullet and bought the Torus 8A without hesitation. Having heard various PLCs in the past, I wasn't happy with the typical end result obtained. Yes, they cleaned some but most made the sound "thin" and I like my coffee "kau". I must also qualify that I have not heard the Shunyata V-Ray in action. If it is good, I can always buy another PLC. Hehehe...dream on...

When it comes to power rating, I am not so bothered as I am not running a kilowatt system. The transient capabilities of the Torus 8A is more than enough in most cases I think. At the end, even if an equipment can melt TNB pylons down with its power rating but sound terrible, I wouldn't buy it. I decided on the Torus, coz it "sounded" good. In fact, it's fantastic!

For that matter, I have heard the Torus 16A in action, powering CDP, DAC, Pre and 2 x 1000watts 28B SST driving huge floor standers competing with Beach Club levels without running out of steam.

Mee,
My Torus 8A comes with the C14 or C19 (forgot which one)(computer)IEC outputs. The newer ones comes with UK 13 plugs which are much better I think.

Felix said...

Oh yes, being a typical "built-to-last" product, the Torus comes with a 20 year warranty.

I have both Digital/SS and Analogue/Tube system plugged in and they both enjoy the same benefits.

I plugged the Torus 8A in my Pioneer/Tannoy Arena AV system and I couldn't believe my eyes and ears....really contemplating getting another... :-/

Anonymous said...

Hi Felix,
Thanks your enlightening inputs. Just wondering if you tried the pure power plc ? Would like your inputs if possible on this plc. T U.

Anonymous said...

Hi Felix,

Thanks for your explanation. I'm the one who ask why other audio manufacturers don't also put in a big transformer....

Felix said...

The Torus power does not caome with American Nema 5 output sockets. Basically the nema plugs can't handle 240volts safely and Torus won't put them on International models.

Also, the warranty for Torus Power is 5 and not 20 as I mentioned earlier. My apologies for the error as I confused it wil something else.

Anonymous 3.31pm,

I haven't tried the Pure power yet but if you read Panzer's review, it more or less coincided with my findings too. Having said that, I agree with Panzer in advise for buyers to audition it first. Its a matter of preference, IMHO.

Panzer said...

Anonymous 10.36am,

Incidentally, Pass Labs amplifiers, the older ones at least that I know, have their power trannies supplied by Plitron too, which is the same company winding the giant trannies for Torus Power. Co-incident? I think not, Plitron is one of the very few transformer companies doing thingsin North America. It's very expensive to operate in that enviromental policies practiced there. Much cheaper doing the same thing in China, not bound by much enviromental concerns, but the product quality???

Anonymous 12.17pm,

RGPC 400P is not in the same product price point as Torus or Pure Power, no point to bring it up. But I am looking at the RGPC Substation if you're wondering. Now, that's an isolation tranny.

Felix,

Just glad to see your contributions here. Don't let it stop.

Ken,

Understand your concerns for current limiting issue of PLC on higher power rated amps. In that case, just go for the Torus Power RM16A! That's as big as they come. Or better, get something truly high end with built in regenerators like the Mark Levinson 33H, or Halcro DM88 just to name 2 such designs.He!He!

Panzer said...

Hi, all!

Sorry if I sound like such a wise crack today. Blame the lack of music today!