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Power conditioning suggestions

3134 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  tbase1
I'm looking for suggestions on what power conditioners you would suggest.

I'm using 2 Richard Gray Pro400's right now, but would like to add something to the mix.

I've read up on the units from Exact Power and Equi Tech, but would like your feedback on what you've tried.

What's good, what's not, what to watch out for..................

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I own a Belkin PF60 and am happy with it is a nice centralized power strip. I have also had experience with APC units and they are built extremely well too. Both companies have their products certified to meet all UL requirements as well.

If you want pure unadulterated power and have some money to spend I would recommend getting an APC battery backup.

Now that the recommendations are out of the way on to the caveats. Most people will get no audible or visible (in the case of displays) benefits from running a power supply or battery backup. This is because most houses/apartments will probably have a good enough power supply within the system. If you want to have a unit thats great, I prefer the convenience of one, but if you are searching for true sonic improvements I honestly suggest you look elsewhere. If your home is prone to power spikes or dips, brown outs or blackouts then I would recommend at least getting a conditioner, but would push you towards spending a little extra and get the battery back up. If you don't experience these problems then it is unlikely you will have any real benefits.
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Hi Glen... long time no see. :wave:

I'm definitely not one to believe power conditioners will make a big difference in sound quality myself... and a lot of what is claimed is snake oil. Check out our latest thread: The Ten Biggest Lies in Audio

I do however like the flexibility and protection that Panamax offers on several of their units, plus having some delayed on/off, switched and always on outlets... plus the convenience of a 12volt trigger input. Their protection for under-voltage and over-voltage is real... and we have more problems with brown outs here in my neck of the wood.

It would be interesting to see credible tested evidence that these expensive power conditioners actually improve sound quality, but I don't think it will be possible.
Save your money until you find a real reason to control the incoming power.
I have two power conditioners that I have had good luck with, the Furman Elite-15 and AC-215 ( for projector). I have them as my security from a power surge if I am not home to unplug my equipment.

I have always been curious as to how effective conditioners could be to improve the sound quality to any perceived audible differnece.
I"ll throw Tripp Lite out as a brand I use and trust.
Thanks for you input everyone. I welcome any other input anyone has to offer.

Hi Sonnie :wave: Hope your doing well, sorry it's been so long since I stopped by (busy,busy,busy)
On my oppinion, the bigest improvment is to have a dedicated AC circuit for your system.

I have a 20a cricuit (10 AWG cables) from my electrical main box to a Rotel Line conditionner RLC-1040.

That dedicated wire does not pass near any source of electrical noize like electric heater, Termostat, wather tank, water pump, light dimmer... etc.

For me it was a nice improvment, because there is NO electrical noize in my system, nada. You can open the volume, have your ear next to the driver and ear nothing. :)
I think that power conditioners improve things for components with inferior power supplies, like cheap dvd players. High end components usually have top-notch power supplies that should get rid of most noise on the A/C line.

Power conditioners can help stop cross contamination by isolating everything. I have yet to see any real world benchmarks (not by the manufacturer) and graphs that show differences in sound quality. I thought I heard (not measured) better bass frequencies when I hooked everything into my Belkin PF31, but then again it could be psychoacoustics. I'd like to do some actual measurements some day.

Belkin has some nice products in their PureAV line up. The PF60 looks pretty nice. The Hybrid AVU1500 looks even nicer but has a pretty hefty price tag. CDW in Canada has it for $815.99 which is pretty good.
+1 for Panamax.
I'm also not a believer in improved sound quality but a solid believer in protection from brown outs...something that unfortunately is common in my newer neighborhood :rolleyesno:
I think that power conditioners improve things for components with inferior power supplies, like cheap dvd players. High end components usually have top-notch power supplies that should get rid of most noise on the A/C line.

This is an intuitive yet largely faulty assumption. Cheap power supplies in most video products do just about as much as really nice ones to get rid of line noise. This is inherent in the design of switching power supplies that nearly all modern video components use. What a better power supply does is a lot better filtering of the noise that the power supply itself generates.

Audio components with tratidional power supplies may be more likely to allow line noise through to the signal circuits, but most noise that affects the sound is probably ground related.
Excessive noise on the line or frequent sags and spikes can stress the power supplies though. Cheaper power supplies tend to not last as long, especially in a dirty power environment. I wrok in the computer field and have seen quite a few power supplies die after power failures or when on dirty lines.

I have to disagree with you lcaillo that cheaper power supplies do the same as better made one at eliminating line noise. Lesser quality power supplies incorporate lesser quality components like capacitors transistors and Metal-Oxide Varistors. This causes more ripple and decrease hold up time which in most cases falls in the tolerance level of the component's digital circuits but can occasionally manifest as anomalies when the power supply is under stress. Stress could be caused by increased power demand of the component the power supply is in, or from line noise, small spikes and sags.

I'd say objectively that power conditioners are good for extending the life of your components. They might not necessarily enhance the components abilities though.
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I was strictly referring to power supplies in consumer video equipment. I have serviced many. Most are rather robust with respect to noise and voltage fluctiations on the a.c. line. Severe surges are another matter, as defective designs and components would be.

The quote that I referenced above related to line noise. I have tested many consumer video power supplies and can assure you that low level line noise does not pass through most swiching power supplies to the secondary. The power supply itself generates several orders of magnitude more noise that needs to be filtered.

A good quality surge suppresor with protection for all incoming lines is all that is needed to maximize protection from surges. I recommend the Panamax units that have the over/under voltage protection because they shut the system down until the voltage is at an acceptable level and have excellent protection on all signal lines. More expensive power conditioners are rarely justified for video.

You might want to read a more detailed discussion of the matter that I posted a while ago:
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I think that power conditioners improve things for components with inferior power supplies, like cheap dvd players. High end components usually have top-notch power supplies that should get rid of most noise on the A/C line.
Why spend $400+ on a conditioner to improve a $50 dvd player? why not just by a $300 dvd player and be done withit?
+2 for panamax....however, how bad is your power?
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