I first heard of the Torus power conditioners from Steve, my longtime audio bud in Birmingham. He has always liked Bryston products, owning some over the years. What really got my attention though was when he sold his Audience aR1p and purchased a power conditioner that Bryston used from a company called Torus. The Torus Power products are engineered and manufactured by Plitron Manufacturing, in Toronto, one of the very best manufacturers of toroidal transformer. Torus Power products use proprietary and patented technology developed by Plitron utilizing the toroidal isolation transformer as a noise filter. Larger-than-necessary toroidal transformers are used to provide abundant current and power.
Description and Design Goals
Torus doesn’t call their power products power conditioners but rather, Power Isolation Units. They are supposed to isolate the audio/video system from dirty AC. Their designs are to:
• Do away with the typical power deprivation that occurs with most transformer-based units, which can result in weak bass as if the amplifier is running out of power.
• To use the inductance and capacitance that is natural to toroidal transformers to reduce AC line noise, and to act as a low-pass filter using proprietary and patented technology.
• To design a power conditioner that reduces/filters RF fields.
The company goes on to point out that most high-end power products are simple filters and do not provide isolation between the outside power grid and the inside power source. They designed the Torus PIUs to deliver true isolation using toroidal transformers, and to provide low source impedance and large enough instantaneous current for today’s most sophisticated and powerful equipment, including high-power audio amplifiers.
Again unlike most high-end power products, the Torus product is intended to protect your system from the ever-present risk of severe power line spikes caused by something as simple as common household appliances to something as powerful as lightning storms. So Torus products attempt not only to improve thepower quality, but also to provide state-of-art protection. They do this without the use of common Metal Oxide Resistors.
How many times have you looked at a power conditioner, power cord, or some other tweak and wondered what the heck is inside that box? Well, the people at Torus want you to know what’s inside their boxes. The toroidal transformers used in the Torus units feature triple-screens for ultimate noise rejection. They also use a metal mounting band that “suspends” the transformer inside the cabinet, further reducing mechanical noise.
In most audio products, toroidal transformers are about half the size and weight of a comparable-output conventional transformers, but the Torus transformers are twice the mass of standard-issue toroids to provide extremely open, high-reserve power. Torus Power transformers have sufficient reserve power capability to provide all the current needed for even high-power systems.
I could go on and on with the technical information that I read about the Torus power conditioners, but you can get that on the web, and I have to admit I don’t understand most of it anyway. I do however want to give Bryston and Torus credit. As most of the makers of audiophile power conditioners are very secretive about what is inside their conditioners, I found it refreshing that Torus and Bryston are so open about what’s inside theirs, even if I don’t completely understand it.
For this review I was supplied with Torus’ RM-15 AVR, which takes all the features of the RM-15 that I have talked about above, along with hospital-grade outlets and Series-Mode Surge Suppression. The AVR version adds new cosmetics, RS-232 and Ethernet connectivity, 12-volt triggers for automated and remote control, plus a microprocessor-based voltage regulation to ensure a consistent flow of electricity.
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