of the computer industry has led many companies to manufacture and
produce all kinds of power line conditioning equipment to protect
sensitive computers from contaminated power. It is known that contaminated
power will affect computers by corrupting data and the proper functioning
of its circuits. Likewise the audiophile must choose to protect
his power line from possible contamination which will evidently
affect his equipment, hence the performance of the equipment.
In a high resolution audio system, a contaminated power line can
add graininess to the quality of music. It can shorten the soundstage
depth and affect intra-silence between sounds. The low frequencies
will also lack tightness and power, and highs will bear that edginess
with loss of air.
The Tice Power Block and its counterpart, the Titan are power conditioners
designed to help protect and alleviate AC line problems that plague
most audio systems.
The Power Block
It is said to be actually designed for audio use only.
It is a hefty 60 pounds custom-built power line conditioner/isolation
transformer with a rated capacity of 15 amps. It incorporates a
unique feed forward and feedback within the transformer design.
A design which is phased corrected, I.e. the user may correct for
high and low voltage conditions that will enable the use of high
voltage power amplifiers. The unit has no power on switch suggesting
it be operated continually. All audio components may be plugged
via the six 15 amp rated AC outlets provided on the rear of the
Power Block. The outlets are fused with a 15 amp replaceable dual-element
On the front panel is an illuminated AC voltmeter and two numbered
two-way rocker switches. These will select the different combinations
of primary and secondary transformer windings to suit your system
Unlike most isolation transformers and conditioners the Power Block's
housing is made of ABS-plastic which is further reinforced with
aluminium braces at its joints. The actual transformer is situated
in the middle and seated on special rubber feet to minimize vibrations.
Twelve gauge wiring is employed throughout the innards with two
3/3 uf polypropylene capacitors to correct for out-of-phase current
An integral part of the Power Block, the Titan is also a 60 pound
companion unit for use within the system. It is meant to be plugged
into the rear of the Power Block and functions together to form
a transient AC energy storage and conditioning system. It is similar
in design save for all the switches but different in function. In
conjunction with the Power Block it will aid with more momentary
current delivery power capable up to 20 amperes.
did expect some changes when both units were installed into my system.
However, I never expected severe changes the way it did.
stage on the STEPS (Pat Coil - Sheffield Lab CD-31) began to swell
up. On track two, I found the dynamics more apparent as each instrument
consistently exhibited more transient energy and less overhand.
Musical notes began and ended more decisively and low level information
Burana (Telarc CD80056), the conditioners showed greater dynamics
in resolving the power of the orchestra. Instruments began to float
and filled the listening room considerably with more openness and
dimensionality. There was a definite sense of improvement in the
bass region where it was cleaner, tighter and well defined. The
top-end also had spark with reduced upper-mid brightness, less noise
between instruments and a faster transient response.
I put on the Judds, Heartland (RCA 5916-2a) to relax. I have to
report further that the imaging and soundstaging was another area
of improvement brought about by the Power Block/Titan combination.
Together, they achieved greater separation of the two voices, with
each singer precisely placed together between the speakers.
lest I sound braggy, the Power Block/Titan combi provided for a
greater dynamic reach, significantly improved the bass rendering
it taut and clean, lowering the noise floor of certain recordings
and had substantially increased the transparency of my system.
is said and done, I do not think I could live without them. Granted,
both items would probably burnt a hole in my pocket for a 'working
stiff' like myself. However, that is where my money would go if
I could well afford them. Ironically I know now that I cannot afford
to live without them. What should I do? hmmn....
Leave the component
on all the time for optimum performance everytime. Do not coil their
excess cords or you would create a harmful inductor network. Instead
let them lie in free space. Space the equipment away from all audio
components and cablings for at least 0.5 meters. Do not use amplifiers
that require more than 20 amperes AC input when using the combination
or 15 amperes when the Power Block is used as a stand alone.
to the TITAN