AudioQuest Niagara 1000
Power line conditioner and surge protector
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Our take on the AudioQuest Niagara 1000 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
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.
- total of 6 protected AC outlets with three isolated filter banks:
- 1 high-current Ground-Noise Dissipated outlet for connecting a power amplifier or receiver
- 5 Ultra-Linear Filtered/Ground Noise Dissipated outlets for connecting source components
- patented Ground Noise-Dissipation System vastly reduces ground-borne noise without compromising safety or creating low-level ground loops
- Ultra-Linear Noise-Dissipation Technology ensures the most consistent and widest bandwidth noise dissipation possible
- Zero Ground-Contamination Technology prevents the noise or surge energy present on AC Line or Neutral from connecting to the AC Ground
- direction-controlled ultra-low-resistance solid-core wiring
- ultra-linear AudioQuest AC RF filtering capacitors
- low impedance NRG Series AC power inlet and outlets
- connections feature the superior grip and lower resistance of beryllium copper, plus a heavy Hanging-Silver plating to ensure the lowest impedance at radio frequencies, enabling superior noise dissipation
- non-sacrificial surge protection can withstand multiple AC surges and spikes up to 6000 volts or 3000 amps
- overvoltage shutdown with automatic reset
- maximum current rating: 15 amps
- Note: Niagara power conditioners do not include an AC power cable
- 5-1/8"W x 4-5/16"H x 20-1/8"D
- weight: 5.6 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years (5 years with registration)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Power conditioner/surge protector
- Cleaning cloth
- Owner's Manual
- Product Registration Card
AudioQuest Niagara 1000 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Total AC Outlets||6|
|Powerline Network Compatible||No|
|Connected Equipment Guarantee||0|
|Parts Warranty||3 Yrs ( 5 Yrs registered|
|Labor Warranty||3 Yrs (5 Yrs registered)|
Niagara 1000: The Niagara 1000 features AudioQuest's non-sacrificial surge protection, Zero Ground-Contamination Technology, and over-voltage shutdown, ensuring that your AV components are thoroughly protected from AC surges and spikes. The Niagara 1000 uses ultra-low resistance solid-core wiring optimized for low-noise directionality, capacitor forming technologies that vastly improve linearity and minimize distortion, and low impedance AC inlet and outlet contacts with heavy silver plating over high-purity Beryllium Copper for superior noise dissipation.
6 Low-Z AC Outlets: There are 6 total AC outlets divided into 3 groups or banks. Group One consists of 3 isolated Ultra-Linear Filtered AC outlets. Group Two consists of 2 more isolated Ultra-Linear Filtered AC outlets. Group Three features one High-Current outlet. These 6 AC outlets and the 1 AC inlet not only feature the superior grip and lower resistance of beryllium copper, but they also include a heavy Hanging-Silver plating to ensure the lowest impedance at radio frequencies, enabling superior noise dissipation.
- High Current Power Bank: The High Current Power outlet is designed to enhance the performance of power amplifiers and powered receivers via the Niagara 1000's low-impedance, differential-filter circuitry. This, coupled with the patented Ground Noise-Dissipation System, ensures maximum performance from any power amplifier without the typical performance-limiting effects of current compression found in many typical power conditioners/surge protectors.
- Ultra-Linear Noise-Dissipation System: There are five outlets within the Niagara 1000 that utilize Ultra-Linear Noise-Dissipation Technology, making them optimized for varying line and load impedance with more than 18 octaves of AC differential filtering. This ensures the most consistent and widest bandwidth noise dissipation possible, without the inconsistent results that typify minimalist, multi-node resonant peaking found in may other AC power conditioners/surge protectors.
Non-Sacrificial Surge Suppression: The Niagara 1000 employs non-sacrificial surge protection. It will accept multiple transient power surges and spikes up to 6000V or 3000A (the maximum that can make it through a home or office electrical panel). If a lightning strike produces enough voltage to damage electronic circuits, the Niagara will still survive and the outlets will shut off until the AC line is normal and safe for operation. A massive voltage sag (under 70 VAC), will shut the unit off. It will automatically reset when the voltage is in a safe range. Damage from electrical storms or power-line interruption is virtually impossible.
Automatic Over-Voltage Protection: One portion of the Niagara 1000's non-sacrificial surge protection is dedicated to a fast-acting extreme voltage shutdown circuit. If more than 140VAC is present on the incoming AC line for more than a quarter of a second, the circuit will instantly open a high-current relay that will disengage the AC power from all of the Niagara 1000's AC outlets. Once the event has passed and the AC voltage is back within a safe range, the Niagara 1000 will reset itself and re-engage.
Ground Noise-Dissipation System: The Niagara 1000 utilizes a patented Ground Noise-Dissipation System that vastly reduces ground-borne noise without compromising safety or creating low-level ground loops.
Zero Ground-Contamination Technology: Zero Ground-Contamination Technology prevents the noise or surge energy present on the AC Line or Neutral from connecting to the AC Ground.
Power Cord Sold Separately: No AC power cord is included with the Niagara 1000. You will need to purchase an AudioQuest NRG-2 series AC power cord (703NRG23F, sold separately).
Do Not Daisy Chain: Do not plug one Niagara Series product into another. As all of the current Niagara Series products utilize a linearized filter. Plugging one into another would place two filters in series which would create non-linear (inconsistent) filtering via resonance ringing modes.
Mounting Options: The Niagara 1000 is designed to be placed on a floor or atop a rack, beside or behind a hi-fi system. It measures 5.125" W x 4.3125" H x 20.125" D, and weighs only 5.6lbs
3 or 5 Year Warranty: The Niagara 1000 features comes with a 3-year warranty out of the box and a 5-year warranty with registration. However, there is no connected equipment warranty.
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
Why did you buy this?
The Niagara products have received excellent reviews. This product represented the best balance of quality, function, and cost to provide power and protection primarily for my Classe 2300 power amplifier. [ James Dec 01, 2017 ]
Audioquest has always made a great product on the low end of things, compared to say - Transparent Cable. Since I have experience with Audioquest I have come to trust their knowledge of how power and electrical signals flow and their dedication to perfecting this level of high end home a/v products. Also I didn't want to sink this kind of money in say- 13 outlets like all the other brands have done, when I only want to plug in my amp, computer, and computer screen. There are 3 divided circuits. [ Deanna Oct 11, 2017 ]
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