Blue Circle Audio BC-86 Noise Hound Others

BC-86 Noise Hound

Line Conditioner - Plugs Into Any Outlet In The Room And Kills Extraneous Noise

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
bazza13   AudioPhile [Aug 24, 2003]
Strength:

Low cost vs performance

This is a follow-up to my previous review. Since my original purchase I ordered 3 more Noise Hounds and was fortunate enough to have tapped into the Mk III version which is claimed to have doubled the filtering of the Mk II at the same price! I now have two Mk IIIs in my audio system and one Mk III and two Mk IIs in my home theatre system which is also conditioned by a Power Wedge 114. My 50 inch wide screen Toshiba has never looked better. Black is really black now. Skin tones and sharpness have improved. In fact, adjustments were necessary to rebalance things. As importantly, the audio portion of movies and TV has improved dramatically. Whenever I rent a DVD movie I hope that it includes a DTS soundtrack. I find it far superior to Dolby Digital which is painfully "bright" by comparison. I can now attest that the Noise Hounds have "tamed" Dolby Digital's high frequencies and put DTS in a class with good 2 channel audio. The biggest improvement, however, was in the bass where my inexpensive PSB powered subwoofer was transformed from a boom box to actually producing notes. As Blue Circle say themselves, if we audiophiles could do only one thing to improve our systems it would be to address the power source before anything else. After years of component upgrades that have cost many thousands of dollars I must agree with their philosophy and encourage everyone to audition these cost-effective necessities.

Similar Products Used: PS Audio Ultimate Outlet
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bazza13   AudioPhile [Jun 28, 2003]
Strength:

Cost effectiveness, ease of use and portability

Weakness:

None

Many years ago I was exposed to the benefits of power conditioning. In fact, I purchased one of the first Power Wedge products introduced to Canada - a model III. Prior to the arrival of the 86 MkIIs my power was provided by a dedicated line that I installed directly from the main breaker and conditioned by a PS Audio High Current Ultimate Outlet ($399 US) which feeds a PS Audio P300 Power Plant ($1250 US). I thought that I had the best power source that man could own, although my years of experimenting told me that there might always be room for improvement. This thinking led me to try your product with the notion that if there was no improvement in my PS Audio conditioned audio system, I would plug them into my Power Wedge 114 that feeds my home theatre system. Last night I added the 86 MkII pair to my system without removing any of the PS Audio products. It looks as though I will need to purchase another pair for the theatre room! Even though PS Audio claims to reduce up to 40 db of line noise with the Ultimate Outlet and the pair of 86 MkIIs supposedly remove only 6 db, I could hear a noticeable improvement in the level of musical detail, articulation and soundstage with the 86s in my system. One of digital's many challenges is to get the delineation of different drums correct. My BAT VK D5 cd player, with 24 bit dac, is quite good but is eclipsed by my VPI Jr analog rig for drum reproduction. I was now able to clearly hear the differences between the snare and tom-tom. The music also integrated better - the soundstage seemed more real, natural and relaxed. Cymbals and piano didn't jump forward in the stage. They remained where they were supposed to be. I suppose that this is due to the elimination of high frequency grunge. Most importantly for me is that the music is now inviting, coherent and engaging. Considering that the pair of 86s is one half the price of the Ultimate Outlet alone, I can't help but highly recommend them to anyone who loves music.

Similar Products Used: PS Audio Ultimate Outlet
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stan S   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 02, 2003]
Strength:

Biggest bang for the audio buck!!!!!!!!!!

Weakness:

None

These things are pretty amazing! I purchased a pair from TLP Audio on Audiogon last week, liked them so much I purchased another pair today. My first impressions on plugging them in were "subtle", but changes none the less. After 20 or so hours of listening over the past week, I removed them......AAAHHHHHH!!! I couldn't put them back in fast enough! In my system they improved everything!!!! Soundstaging, tonal balance, pace, rhythm, higher highs, and lower lows. I live in an apartment, and realize how grungy the power supply is, so the improvements I witnessed in my system may not take place in electrically cleaner neighborhoods. It's hard to believe these won't make changes in every system they are used in. Mine are applied after a PS Audio ultimate outlet, which reduces grunge, but the BC-86mkII is in another league. It improves the sound as much as a component upgrade!! I can't say enough good things about Walt at TLP Audio. Ordered and recieved in about three days! My system is B&K AVR202, Arcam 7se as transport, MSB Gold Link DAC III, Magnepan 1.6QR, B.E.L. interconnects, and B.E.L. S24 speaker cable.

Similar Products Used: PS Audio Ultimate Outlet
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dave101010   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 06, 2003]
Strength:

inexpensive-I think it would be awesome if you had a receiver-

Weakness:

too short a cord

This is a hard product to review! Not because it does not make a favorable upgrade to your system. Not because it is hard to unplug, or plug into you wall! It has to do with the subtle differences it makes to your system. It does lower the noise in the system, but it has taken me weeks to like it! At first I hated the sound of two, and I just went with one. But, after trying every possible combination, I put two in my laundry room which shares a wall with my audio gear. I put it up against heavy bass notes like Primus, thinking I would lose something, but it sounded great! I tried classical and found I truly loved what it does for complex musical passages, and the quiet ones as well........ Jazz, well Wes Montgomery and Miles Davis never sounded so good in my family room. I think one review in this forum had it right, when he said it sounded smoother and lower and in the case of high frequencies, smoother and higher! In fact, I had to move my speakers around a bit, because music it jumping out of the speakers a bit more, realism is improved also.=========================My system is Paradigm Reference 100v2-Dhlabs interconnect-bi-wire q-10 speaker wire-tfm55 Carver amp380 watts 8 ohms-ct-23 carver pre-amp-Cal Audio Labs IconMK11 with Powerboss upgrade

Similar Products Used: none-my first tweak!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mac   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 17, 2002]
Strength:

everything... for any budget

Weakness:

nothing

Skeptical that a little box worth $150 is actually gonna DO something? Well....you got talked into those 400 buck interconnects...then the flatwire...then the cones,a new rack that the wife hates...stands that cost as much as your first car...The list goes on and on.Ya..all that stuff helped,but U feel U can get more out of yer system.And you are probably thinking that the only way to Heaven is to sell the kids/car/wife/boat,and go fer the toober with drool running down the face of it cuz U been looking at that one for ages. Well.....try this little gizmo first. Read the reviews here...everything they say is true (tho I have yet to experience this transient bass thing).It will tighten up yer bottom,clear out a whole lotta high shhhhh crap(brushes on a snare actually sound like brushes on a snare...a cymbal actually has a tick to it,instead of just sloppy fuzzies)fixes up most of midrange grain.A little more stage,wider more than deeper(but i had decent depth to start with). And a bonus.....yer basic 27" JVC will come out a whole lot clearer too....that was a nice surprise.Instant gratification too,no burn in needed,so you hear results out of the box,no fiddling around. A MUST purchace,way before u try anything else. These things should be standard equipment. Your stereo shop is probably less willing to stock stuff like this cuz he'd be happier pushing you up the line,so you may have to hunt around for them.They are available online direct from bluecircle.com.....yes..shameless plug! My stuff,humble such as it is: Cambridge A500 integrated Rotel RCD 971 Axiom M22Ti's Angstrom4's Audioquest inter/speaker cables Aluminum cones everywhere Blue Circle 86 A simple system that cost in the $2500 range...and now will stand up to anything 5 times the cost.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
KW Choi   AudioPhile [Aug 16, 2002]
Strength:

Sound : Improve control of bass. Better sound extension. Price : Very good price for same product. Safe money to buy expensive power pad. Change immediately : Significate change when you plug on your power pad or wall outlet(more good result). Space : less space needed. Simple : Just plug and use less power.

Weakness:

No LED indicator when under working(but u can feel little heat after several mins).

You have no need to wait after u plug on your power pad. I suggest u plug on wall outlet which need your equipment use. It improve power on control of bass and give better sound extension. If your system sound fat, BC86 Mk II improve your sound and will not make your system become too thin. Improve and no lost. I have ask many question to Kevin and he reply very very fast and helpful(http://www.harmonia-audio.com/). He always reply many good suggestion and very expect on product. Mine BC86 is special request for use on 220V and free for modification. Very good customer service I can see.

Similar Products Used: Quantum Symphony pro power line conditioner
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jjk2   Audio Enthusiast [May 21, 2002]
Strength:

Reasonable price, very effective in dropping the floor nise. Tighter and deeper bass. Separtaion and imagining instruments in sound stage.

Weakness:

None at this price point and for this performance.

I'd seen these on audiogon selling for over 300 each, and read some?xD;?xA; reviews. I chanced upon a web site offering these at a very?xD;?xA; reasonable 200 for two.?xD;?xA;So I purchased them from Blackchowaudio.com. I plugged them into?xD;?xA; my outlets and turned the stereo on to let it warm up. Threw on?xD;?xA; a fav cd and wow, what a nice difference. Much lower floor noise?xD;?xA; quieter background very tight and deep base, just an all around?xD;?xA; nice difference to what used to come out of my system. ?xD;?xA; I have read where each unit makes a 3 db drop in the background?xD;?xA; noise, so I think I am going to buy two more.?xD;?xA; All around nice little portable product that does a tremendous job?xD;?xA; and didn't annoy my spouse, in fact she came in an noted a difference?xD;?xA; in the sound we were now getting

Similar Products Used: chang lightspeed?xD;?xA;ps 300?xD;?xA;foundation research
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 20, 2000]
Strength:

New level of smoothness. Better voices. Less sibilance.

Weakness:

None come to mind.

I agree with the previous review. This thing is relatively cheap and it works. The change is immediate.

Similar Products Used: Inexpensive AC and RF filters.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary L   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 27, 2000]
Strength:

Does just what is says in the discription, at a price that probably makes it one of the best values in line conditioning.

Weakness:

Nothing I can think of, except that once you hear what it does, I gaurentee that you'll start wondering what having a few more on hand might do.

I'm becomming a big fan of Blue Circle Audio. I recently purchaced thier BC21/22 preamp and power amp, and am really enjoying them; wonderful sounding components.

I had noticed these up for auction at Audiogon, and had also read some very enthusiastic posts about them at Audio Asylum. My curiousity got the better of me, and at the price they were going for, decided I could afford to give one a try.

My only previous experience with anything related to these, was the MP HTS-2000. I bought the Monster after reading Robert Harley's review in TAS, which earned it a "Golden Ear" award. My gear at the time was very similar to what Harley used for his review, and my experience pretty much mirrored what Harley had to say about it. I later ended up getting a second one after purchacing a new TV and DVD player, that I'll eventually build a HT system around.

Anyway, on to the review. Because I have several components that require power, and one available outlet with only two receptacles, the Monster is a required accessory. I tried the BC84 plugged into an available outlet on the Monster strip, and also tried it plugged directly into the wall. In both cases, the difference in the sound was profound enough that there was no need for me to switch back and forth listening for subtle differences. I think it had more of an effect when going directly into the wall. While it's clear to me (in my own system anyway,) that using the Monster is much better than simply plugging everything into the wall, I was surprised at how much the system benifited from the extra conditioning the BC84 provided.

The BC84 kills the kind of low level noise that's sometimes buried so deep you don't realize it's there, until you discover how much better the music sounds after you plug it in. The lower noise floor results in better definition all through the spectrum. The bass is more real, the treble more crystaline, the sound more transparent.

It's my guess that the BC84 works it's magic the best when it's used on the same outlet as the system, but I havn't actually tried it on any other outlets in the house. I suppose you could possibly earn even further improvements by daisy chaining them along the circuit you have your system on, but this would be expensive, and the returns on your investment might diminish with each one you add. Still, it would be interesting to try, if I could afford it. Maybe someone else who's done this can comment.

Right now, I'm not aware of anything at this price that would offer a greater improvement in overall sound quality. I certainly don't think you could get this kind of improvement with an interconnect or speaker wire upgrade. For what it does, and at the price it can be had, I give it five stars.

Similar Products Used: Monster Power HTS-2000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ralph Gordon   Audiophile [Mar 05, 2001]
Strength:

Lowers noise on powerline

Weakness:

May reveal existing system warts

Here is a case where being patient and keeping an open mind definitely helps. At first I wasn't sure I liked the BC86's effect, as it seemed to remove a bit of "air" overall. Well, after listening over several weeks, I think my ears have accepted the new sound and with that acceptance I began to hear so many of the positive effects the unit brings. If these effects are truly the result of noise reduction, one can imagine the usual positives, such as: increased detail and transparency, sharper imaging and body, greater depth and soundstaging. But there is also a perplexing (to me) extension of bass that adds greater realism to the music. I don't understand how reducing noise can effect bass response. Highs, sure, but why bass?

The loss of air that I noticed at first was probably due to the increased body of instruments combined with the reduced high-frequency hash. So hearing the music without this hash was quite a revelation. At first I thought, hmmm seems kind of dull sounding, but as my ears adjusted to the lack of artificial sparkle if you will, I noticed the wealth of natural detail. For instance on vocals, without the BC86 there is always a kind of "halo" of sound around the performer; but with the BC86, the halo is gone and the performer sounds more present, real, and full bodied.

My only caveat is with an over-deepening of bass that seems to come and go. This is not the same as the bass extension I just mentioned--which I accept as a good thing--this "over-deepening" is intermittent. But who knows, with power line quality varying by the time of day, it may have nothing to do with the BC86. Overall, I am delighted to have found an inexpensive and effective way to reduce powerline noise in my system!

Similar Products Used: Quantum Symphony, Richard Gray, P300, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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