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shraza66
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Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zero Surge)

I am looking for a good budget ($400 max) power conditioner/surge protector for my HT system (basic 5.1 with 50" screen and 100 wpc av receiver, 3 outlets required), which provides protection but does the least damage from the tonal balance and restricted dynamics point of view. Any suggestions?

Any opinions on the Zero Surge products? (see www.zerosurge.com)

Thanks!

RGibran
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

The PS AUDIO QUINTET has worked well for me providing the versatility I needed with delayed and/or triggered outlets. I can't speak to any noticeable improvements but haven't noticed any degrading effects.

RG

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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

SHR-

I don't have any hands on experience with the zerousrge products but with some quick research I did find out that they DO NOT use MOV's for their surge protection, which is a good thing. I'm going to paste some thoughts that I've previously written about power conditioners because I'm lazy:

Monster power conditioners use MOVs, which have a relatively limited lifespan. After the MOVs are gone MANY times the units continue to pass current to the equipment meaning that the next surge could destroy the connected gear. The Monster units do have a light to indicate that they are no longer protecting the equipment but who wants to depend on a light that they can forget to check or could burn out?

Panamax uses an avalanche diode that acts almost like a flood gate. It opens when voltage is above or below a safe area, then starts testing the voltage. After the voltage is back within the normal range for 7 seconds Panamax units allow the equipment to receive electricity again. When an avalanche diodes fails they are stuck in the "open" position 99.9% of the time. Meaning that the equipment receives NO electricity so the user knows that the power conditioner needs to be replaced.

Panamax specifies that MOVs are 1000 times slower then their avalanche diodes. At trainings Panamax regularly does a demonstration where they hook up a Panamax and a Monster into a device that can create spikes, then into each unit they plug an illuminated lamp. Both units are then hit with a 150 volt spike. In the 10 or so demos that I

BillB
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

No disagreement with the advice but 1 question:
Has anyone suffered damage due to NOT having surge protection?
I plugged my stuff into the wall for 25 YEARS before I ever heard of surge protection. Everything always worked.
I have conditioner/surge protection now but don't know if it's really necessary...

enframed
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

i plug a 6 outlet bar into a panamax something or other. i figure better safe than sorry and i don't think i paid more than $50 for the panamax. the plug bar was lying around the house for years.

rvance
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

My equipment has suffered mucho ill effects from bad power, but not surges, I think. Brownout, low voltage events have wreaked havoc with power supplies and circuitry in several of my electronics. I've lost amp sections in a subwoofer (Wharfedale sent me everything but the box and speaker gratis ), fried a couple of expensive Universal disc players, a receiver and several computer ps's. In the great coastal Northwest we get lots of windy storms that knock down power lines and blow transformers regularly. It's a built-in upgrade system for better stuff, but spendy.

mrlowry
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

Bill-

I've seen LOTS of equipment damaged by surges. In fact when I sold audio equipment/home theaters thunderstorms (and the accompanying surges/brownouts) were very, very good for business. EVERY system that I designed included a power conditioner of some type. Occasionally when customers asked, "what's this $500 thing." I would explain that it was the thing that was going to stop them from having to pay me a visit after the next surge. Damage caused by an electrical issue is also NOT covered by A/V equipment manufacturers' warranty. Surges more often than not don't just blow fuses in equipment either. The damage is usually so extensive within the equipment that repair is either impossible or at the very least not recommended.

JIMV
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

About damage from not having protection...In Califoria, Monterey specifically, a good 20 years ago, I had my TV, VCR, and stereo receiver destroyed when the fine power company cut off the power for unannounced routine maintenance, when they turned the power back on 3 hours later it fried that gear and an electric clock. The power company, of course, claimed no responsibility.

rvance
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

In the far north we are served by Pacific Power (the only area in Cal to do so) and they will honor damage claims for major surge events when enough people are affected. Problem is all the little brownouts that cause cumulative damage over time usually don't spur a lot of customer complaints.

Am I wrong in thinking most surge protectors don't mitigate the effects of brownouts? I know UPS's will, but I've been told battery recharging noise is a problem for audio circuits (by a leading internet retailer).

BillB
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

Altho I now keep everything protected by surge protectors now, I think back to my older system which had an "always-on" preamp, and in many years of 24-7 plugged-in-edness, no damage.
I have a recent model TV that has been twice damaged by power surges; once when plugged into el cheapo surge protector; the second time when plugged into el mediumo surge protector. Both times, there was NO damage to the cd, amp, vcr, cable box, etc plugged into the same protectors.

Welshsox
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

Battery recharging noise ?

Thats sounds awfully like sales BS.

You can easily get noise on a UPS output but its caused by a poor quailty inverter not by the battery charger

Alan

rvance
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

Hi Welsh- Does anyone make an audio system UPS to prevent low voltage damage? I can't recall seeing a conditioner with this feature, unless those touting "power regeneration" perform this function.

BTW, the salesman was recommending a $75 Furman power strip- hardly making a move on my wallet, I'd say.

absolutepitch
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

For years, I just use a 6-outlet strip with no protection. Never had a problem with power outages.

About a year ago, I had a computer power supply get fried when the power came back on after an outage. After that I hooked up the computers to surge suppressor 6-outlets strips.

As for the audio/video gear, I still only have the regular 6-outlet strip, but it's turned off after use.

I'll have to check into which items contain MOVs or not.

j_j
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer


Quote:
For years, I just use a 6-outlet strip with no protection. Never had a problem with power outages.

About a year ago, I had a computer power supply get fried when the power came back on after an outage. After that I hooked up the computers to surge suppressor 6-outlets strips.

As for the audio/video gear, I still only have the regular 6-outlet strip, but it's turned off after use.

I'll have to check into which items contain MOVs or not.

Well, after living in the midwest and NJ (both home to massive thunderstorms) I learned to have lots of surge supression.

Of course, when it hits the 120' tree next to your house, and it jumps to the cable TV feed, this doesn't do jack for you. But most of the time it does.

(It's a bad sign when you come home, every breaker in the house is tripped, and there's smoke coming out of the back of the TV... Seems it hit both the cable feed and the power feed.)

It cost a TV power supply (it just blew out the rectifier diodes, nothing else, amazingly), a furnace controller, and a DVD that kinda-sorta-maybe worked afterwards. Oh, and a balun for the TV cable that remained around as metal plating on the house siding... Oh, and about 10 MOV's.

Yeah, it was grounded, etc, had an arrestor, all that.

Welshsox
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

Hi

There is a misunderstanding about UPS's. The cheaper type you see in Best Buy etc for for a few hundred bucks have little or no protective circuitury. To get a genuine UPS that works in what is called the online mode instead of the cheaper interactive or offline types you need to spend a minimum of $2,000 for a worthwhile unit. These will not only protect the load but also they have pure sine wave generating invertors which will create pure noise free power. From a strictly electrical viewpoint ignoring all the hifi bullshit this is the best source of power possible and is used for things like medical scanners, server farms and other critical electronic type loads. Of course as its not wired with gryogenic kryptonite frozen oxygen free molecular silver wire the hifi guys will say that there $5000 fuse in a fancy box is better.

Alan

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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

I've had nothing but good experiences with a Rotel RLC-1040 power conditioner. I used it to power a setup very similar to what the original poster was asking about. It replaced a $50 Panamax dealie. The Panamax was actually fine for 2ch music or HT anything, but it turned into a bottleneck when I tried to do 5.1 channel operas at high volume; vocals that should have soared above the orchestra instead sounded like someone had taken sandpaper to the waveform. The same receiver had no trouble when plugged straight into the wall without protection.

My dealer had me try a pricey Transparent power strip which was better than the Panamax, but still became a bottleneck at full tilt. On a whim I tried the cheaper Rotel unit (the receiver was also a Rotel), and the combo sounded identical to the direct wall hookup.

I don't know if the 1040 is available anymore, but at its heart it was a re-badged APC. At the time, I was willing to pay an extra $50 above the APC price to get the snazzy Rotel casework, and to thank the dealer for letting me try out loaner units. You could probably find an equivalent APC unit within your stated price range.

Welshsox
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Re: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for HT (and opinion on Zer

Hi

Ill stick by my technical experience here.

In most areas the hifi version of something is more expensive, ie a fuse is $40 because it magically improves the sound. Well power conditioning is the exact opposite, to provide good clean power is very expensive and for a high grade industrial unit it costs at least $3-4000. As is demonstrated elsewhere teh hifi world works on 80-90% margin to cost, therefore an electrically sound solution would sell in the hifi world for $30-$40,000. As this price level does not work the hifi world takes $5 products and charges $50 for them , it takes $200 surge protector boxes and trys to pass them off as power conditioners when in fact they are nothing of the sort.

Do th research and purchase a real industrial UPS that works online and produces a pure sinewave output, this will fulfill your needs far better

Alan

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