A new solution to a century-old problem
With the Niagara Series, AudioQuest is advancing the art and science of AC power conditioning. In fact, with a laser-like focus on eliminating AC-related noise, as well as reducing the harmful effects of RFI and EMI, they describe the Niagara products not as “power conditioners” but as “Low-Z Power Noise-Dissipation Systems.” For the technically inclined, “Z” refers to electrical impedance. Maintaining a low and even AC source impedance helps your system's amplification perform at its best, while enhancing the Niagara's sophisticated noise-dissipation capabilities.
Why your AC power needs conditioning
"Where Alternating Current (AC) is concerned, we're relying on a century-old technology created for incandescent lights and electric motors — technology that was certainly never meant to power the sophisticated analog and digital circuits used in premium audio/video systems. To properly accommodate the promise of today's ever increasing bandwidth and dynamic range, we must achieve extraordinarily low noise across a wide range of frequencies."
— Garth Powell, designer of AudioQuest's Niagara-series power conditioners
Eliminating noise without limiting current
The key to the Niagara 1000's performance is its wideband linearity, designed to avoid the current compression and distortion that typically characterize less sophisticated AC power conditioners. The Niagara 1000's "secret sauce" is AudioQuest's patented Ground Noise-Dissipation technology.
Why is dissipating ground noise so critical?
A surprising amount of AC noise can be traced to the ground lead. Because the electrical service depends on this lead primarily for safety, there are very few ways to effectively reduce ground noise. Compounding the issue is the fact that many audio circuits depend on the AC ground lead to ensure an electrical ground reference for minimal system hum.
The ground lead: an often-ignored source of RF noise
The typical 3-prong AC connector has three wires: line, neutral, and ground. In contrast to the line and neutral leads, the ground lead bypasses the component power supply and makes a direct connection to many critical analog and digital circuits, introducing a torrent of RF (radio frequency) noise. This noise is spread across a wide range of frequencies and impedances, which is why simple filters are only partially effective.
And even when the noise itself isn't audible it can mask or distort low-level audio signals, resulting in grainy sound and a constricted soundstage.
AudioQuest diverts the noise
AudioQuest's patented circuit combines ultra-low impedance (at 50-60Hz) induction with proper lead orientation for optimal noise dissipation. The noise currents that would otherwise result in audible distortion are instead directed away from the sensitive audio circuits for sound that is cleaner, clearer, and more dynamic and relaxed.
Comprehensive surge protection for your system
The Niagara 1000 has six AC outlets to protect your entire A/V system. There's one high-current outlet that will protect your receiver or power amp without ever limiting the AC current it needs. The other five outlets feature multi-level noise filtering to remove AC line noise and ground noise.
The Niagara 1000's non-sacrificial surge protection can withstand multiple AC surges and spikes up to 6000 volts or 3000 amps — the maximum that can make it through a home or office electrical panel. Lesser units sacrifice themselves in order to suppress significant surges. The Niagara 1000 is unaffected by such surges, surviving to do its job over and over again as necessary.
Undervoltage shutdown is not used, since undervoltage alone rarely damages circuits. It's the massive overvoltage that often follows an undervoltage brown-out that you have to guard against. The Niagara overvoltage circuit responds in a fraction of a second, resetting the output when the AC voltage returns to a safe range.