Panamax or Monster Surge Protection???

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mark Nguyen, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. Mark Nguyen

    Mark Nguyen Stunt Coordinator

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    Which one would you guys recommend getting? I am looking at the Panamax MAX5100 and the Monster Power HTS3600. They are both about $390-$400. Or if there others that are better please suggest...around 400-500 dollars is my budget.


    Thanks a lot guys.
     
  2. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Both of the above surge protectors usse sacrificial metal oxide varistors to provide protection against surges. This will work for a few surges....but if and when these MOV's fail, you will not know it and your system will be unprotected.
    Here's my suggestion: Surge-X
    check out the website...some very interesting reading
    http://www.surgex.com/
     
  3. Mark Nguyen

    Mark Nguyen Stunt Coordinator

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    Both of the product I mentioned above also do noise filter for clean power...does it really help with audio quality or is it just a plain surge protector and they are putting all these mumbo-jumbo in for marketing purposes?

    Russkon, thanks for the suggestion but I am also looking for a line conditioner(noise filtering) along with surge protection.


    Mark
     
  4. Doug_NHT

    Doug_NHT Stunt Coordinator

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    I would go with the Monster HTS5100 according to your budget. I recently sold mine to get the HTS7000 as I needed two more high current outlets but I really miss the amperage display on the 5100.

    Doug
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    as to whether either unit is capable of helping with audio quality that really depends if you're getting sufficient line born noise that would overwhelm then inherent ability of your equipment to reject it in the first place.
    seeing that you live in wisconsin, i'm hazarding that you don't have much of an issue with lightning such as those who live in say florida for example. while units based upon the surgex or brickwall technology do provide impressive ability to cope with severe electrical 'anomolies', the statement that Russkon made does need a bit of clarification.
    In an earlier thread in this forum I abstracted the following which came from Chipcenter
     
  6. Mark Nguyen

    Mark Nguyen Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu Gai,
    No, I don't really have any problem right now...at least nothing I am aware of. [​IMG] I am just looking for some kind of surge protection to protect my AV components and the Definitive(bp2000) speakers I love so much...and of course at the same time a little improvement in audio quality would be great or if it's not audibly noticeable at least the I know the line is cleanER.
    Hehe, I paid a little more for the preminum coverage for my home which covers all of the electronics in the home.
    Now, what's your suggestion? [​IMG]
    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Between those two I'd go Panamax. They tend to be more than a bit up front with specs on their units. My generally preferred solutions is that the house itself have a whole house surge protector installed along with ensuring that one's got a good solid ground. I take it you also find the additional features and capabilities of the Panamax desireable [​IMG]
     
  8. Mark Nguyen

    Mark Nguyen Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I guess Panamax it is ... though I kinda like the way the Monster look a little better. [​IMG] But of course, I will go with something that works better vs something that looks better.
    Thanks Chu Gai!
    Mark
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Understand Mark, I'm not making claims that the Panamax 'works' better than the Monster, but it's just so damned difficult to get specs from Monster hence at least on paper it's a head scratcher to match things up. The Panamax, which I expect you'll dig around to get a good price on, is UL 1449 listed, has a 3 yr warranty and if i recall correctly has something like 50 dB of RFI/EMI attenuation. Really not too shabby. It's also got all the other little goodies that I'm sure you've read about and are likely to provide a fair amount of usefulness and convenience to you. Best of luck to you and may a catastrophe never strike your system.
     
  10. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Mark,
    I’m on the same page with Chu Gai, and find Panamax 5100 a sturdy unit for you. And it does offer an LED voltmeter.
    For more reading, take a look at this previous thread HERE which has some discussion of 5100 features, but more to the point looks at the Adcom ACE-615, a top “Series Mode” like Brickwall with 8 outlets (but no voltmeter).
    I just did a Google search and find this $399 list unit for $299 at AudioAdviser HERE.
    The Adcom series mode technology against lightning surges is licensed from ZeroSurge, the same as Brickwall and Surge-X, and gives ultimate peace of mind, and does carry a line noise filter.
    All units have different features, and no use paying for ‘em if never used, such as delayed turn-on for power supplies and 12-volt triggers. But take a look at the archive thread for more background info on various ways to approach this.
    bill
     
  11. Aaron Whitaker

    Aaron Whitaker Stunt Coordinator

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    I was going to go for one of the Panamax units but a couple a weeks ago, I stumbled upon non-mov units like Brickwall and then I found the new Adcom ACE-315 which uses the same technology. I don't know if the MOV mumbo-jumbo is true or not but I like the added security and peace of mind of the Series Mode technology and the fact that the Adcom was a little less out of my pocket than the Panamax I was looking at.

    If you're really interested in clean power and power CONDITIONERS, take a look at the AC Regenerators which go from $600 to around $1200. I believe Panamax makes one but I think there are better ones out there by PS Audio. The other big thing or mumbo jumbo is balanced power. I don't know if I beleive all this or not, but I know I'm not going to throw $1200 down for just power.
     
  12. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu,

    A couple of points:

    A. MOV's do degrade. It is easy to measure. Take your typical consumer surge protector (Even the Monster Power or Panamx units mentioned above) and hook it up to a current generator tha can generate high voltages at high amperages. In the outlets of your surge protector, insert the leads of your multimeter to read the voltage.

    B. The result is that the MOV's allow a high pass-through voltage before shutting down....most surge protectors allow up to 450 volts before shutting down. AND after 30 or 40 hits of high voltage (anything above 600 volts and 60 to 70 amps)...the MOV stops working....
    allowing the entire amount of voltage to pass through - frying your equipment!!!! (A series mode surge protector will shut off voltage at a set limit...Surge-X does this at 250 volts)

    C. The UL rating that you mentioned - UL1449 spec - only states that the unit will not start a fire in operation. The specification has nothing to do with surge protection!

    D. MOV's hit by high voltages such as lightning strikes - EXPLODE - hit any MOV on the planet with 6000 volts at 3000 amps (the max voltage that can exist in a line before the line will arc through the insulation) and it will explode and also blow up your equipment. I have seen the MOV's explode at this voltage.(and the Surge-X unit with a laptop plugged in didn't even blink)

    E. What is so great about these companies offering insurance protection to replace your equipment up to $50,000 or $1 million if you have an irreplaceable tube setup and/or equipment that is irreplaceable?....In ten years of existence, Surge-X has never had equipment damaged because of their surge protectors failing.

    F. This past summer, a series of thunderstorms passed through Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was a busy day at work the next day. ( I work at an electronics distributor in Minneapolis.) I sold 15 commercial amplifiers to customers who had their "surge protector" die as the result of a close lightning strike.

    G. The Monster Power and Panamax units (as well as others) do a nice job in RF and EMI filtering, displaying voltage, and offering sequential turn-on and turn-off....BUT, if your house or apartment has a lightning strike on your line as far away as 2 miles...your equipment is TOAST!!!
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'd never rely solely upon a surge suppressor/TVSS as my sole means of defense if I've got my own house. That's just plain foolish. Unfortunately, there's no easy answer that suits everyone. Keep in mind though that it all begins with a good solid reliable ground. The SurgeX products are no different in that respect as with a flaky central ground a surge will completely bypass those series mode protectors on the green safety ground wire. Your other comments I'll address a bit later.
     
  14. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu,
    Surge-X has addressed your ground concern. You are right. Many buildings have inadequate ground connections...
    The following is a quote from the Surge-X website:
    "SurgeX Series Mode surge suppressors act first as low pass filters which simply block the high-frequency (HF) components of powerline surges. The remaining low-frequency (LF) surge energy is diverted into a bank of capacitors where it is stored for the duration of the event and then slowly discharged back across the incoming hot and neutral conductors without involving any connection to Equipment Ground. SurgeX Series Mode surge suppressors can thus be placed anywhere along a power circuit without the ground reference elevation disadvantage of Shunt Mode surge protection devices."
    (for the entire article written by an electrical engineer:
    http://www.surgex.com/benefits.html)
    Shunt Mode refers to the MOV style of surge protectors that are most prevalent in the market today.
     
  15. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu,

    you had also mentioned "whole house" surge protection. the one problem with this is transients produced within your house or facility...

    (again from the Surge-X website")

    SurgeX® products are not available as whole-house protectors because it is important to protect equipment from transients produced within a building as well as surges entering from outside. The best protection is provided by installing a surge protector for each piece (or bank) of equipment rather than installing a whole-house protector.
     
  16. Mark Nguyen

    Mark Nguyen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone...I just order the Panamax 5300.
     
  17. Rick_B

    Rick_B Auditioning

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    Greetings,

    Rather than start a new thread, I'm hoping to just sway a bit from this one.

    Next month I am moving into a brand new condo in Brookfield Wisconsin. We're on the third/top floor and the construction quality, from the best that I can tell is first rate. Each unit has an externally accessable service room for HVAC and electical.

    The living room is rather long and narrow so the practical solution is a flat LCD/plasma monitor on the wall above the gas (non woodburning) fireplace. There is already a plug outlet installed on the wall for that purpose.

    Since this will be a wall istallation, the local salesman has suggested the Monster unit mentioned elsewhere because it can be embedded in the wall to hide all wires/cabling.

    With this set-up however, I need a second surge protection unit to protect the rest of my A/V equipment which will be on a different plug nearby. I don't mean to be cheap, but the costs are starting to add up and we're are trying to stay on a budget.

    Considering all of my appliances are going to be brand new as well, it seems that protecting the whole house (condo) is the way to go. Unfortunately I'm not going to have any way to ground to the outside.

    Our biggest expense will be in the TV. My receiver/DVD player etc are great but considering prices on them now, relatively inexpensive.

    My questions:
    Is the in-wall surge protector a worthwhile expense considering it will only be protecting one piece of hardware?

    Would an electrician likely be able to ground/protect our unit from the fuse box?

    Considering the heat and power consumption of a plasma TV, would a LCD make more sense if we embed a surge protector in the wall?

    I'm open to any and all suggestions. If you need additional specifics let me know. Also, if there are specific questions I should be asking the builder, let me know. The unit is not finished but all the drywall and paint is up.

    Rick
     

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