Richard Gray Power Company Surge/Line Conditioners

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by nickMahler, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. nickMahler

    nickMahler Agent

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    has anyone used the richard grays substation[​IMG]
    or any of the other similar items from him??? heres a link to the substation line conditioner/surge protector for the whole room.
    SubStation
    let me know what yall think or what i should go with for my theater. thanks

    nick
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'll answer some of your questions nick that you posted elsewhere, as well as here, and give you my take on Richard Gray.

    If one of your goals is to protect your HT from surges, then there is no better way than to implement a whole house approach. The reasoning for this was outlined in the thread you first posted in. After doing that, you can use modest plug in devices. There is no company in the world that would rely solely upon plug in devices as their only means of protection. Aside from being extraordinarily cost inefficient, their effectiveness is severely compromised by the simple fact that they are so far from earth ground.

    With regards to Richard Gray products, I see nothing in the link that you provided that even begins to suggest that they are either UL listed or give any information whatsoever as to either the nature of protection (MOV's, SACD's, gas discharge tubes, capacitor banks, etc.) or how many joules. If you search under my name and the term "Richard Gray" you'll find a greater explanation as to why I feel his products provide little value for the money and why they (some anyways...I haven't looked at them all) don't even work as claimed. What they are though, is a fairly high profit item for stores selling them. As you noticed, they were placed on $35K Mac amps. You see, anyone who can comfortably pay that kind of money probably has a couple of extra thousand laying around. It's like going through the checkout counter in a supermarket. These 'accessories' are like candy and magazines that allow the business to make a few hundred extra in profits and commissions. It's all relative you see, yes? Further, if you do a google search on Gray and stereophile, you'll find that they actually tore into his products and seriously questioned their effectiveness. FWIW, Stereophile rarely tears a new a$$hole into anything.

    Many people though, desire the convenience of plugging all their equipment into a single device that also provides other useful features such as switched and non switched outlets, triggers, and so forth. There's a few companies that make products like that such as Monster, Panamax, and Belkin. IMO, probably the best value amongst the three goes to Belkin. You'll find one of their units reviewed briefly here: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=220247

    An UPS for a projector might make some sense if your area is affected by frequent power interruptions because it would allow for an orderly shut down of the unit and likely extend the life of the bulbs which can be costly to replace. There are a variety of suitable products from companies like TrippLite, APC, etc. who have units that sit on the ground as well as some that can be ceiling mounted.
     
  3. nickMahler

    nickMahler Agent

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    thanks for all the information i figured all the talk at the home theater store was kinda BS. i will definitely check out the belkin stuff. do you have a suggestion as to which one i should go with that is pretty reasonably priced? and will i need 2, one for the projector and one for the components? any help would be great.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well I don't know what they told you but likely they were trying to get you to buy into the thought that if that's what people are buying for those Mac amps (RG units), then shouldn't you be using the same thing? The thing is, many high priced units, especially those that don't get scrutinized with a good lens, don't perform nearly as well as less expensive ones.
    You should base your decision on which to buy on what features and capabilities you want and/or need Nick. This of course, is tempered by our own budgets. I believe the person who shared his experience spoke highly of their phone support so that's where I'd direct you. Belkin is a large enough company that my gut feeling is that they'll steer you to one or two units that likely meet your present and future needs.
    Your projector is probably a decent distance away so unless you want to run an extension cord, you should think of other means of protecting the unit. If you've got frequent power outages and they occur when you're watching TV, then a UPS makes sense. If not, then there plenty of more modest units that'll do the trick. If your projector is ceiling mounted, you can probably find a Panamax unit that has only one or two outlets that should make for a tidy appearance. People who even find that objectionable can purchase outlets that have surge protection built into them. They're a little pricey, around $50, but you can probably find those at a good electrical supply house.
    Again, if you have your own house, I do urge you to look into the whole house approach.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The other thing to keep in mind is this:

    "The Sensible Sound" did a review of a $600 line conditioner. One reviewer was shocked at the difference and bought a unit for himself. Another reviewer took the same unit home and could detect little-to-no difference.

    A contridiction? Human Expectation? No.

    One reviewer lived in an apartment complex in a big city with light-industrial and offices nearby. The other reviewer lived way out in the rual suburbs.

    The AC power in your home is a "Shared Resource". The more people/things running in your area - the dirtier the AC power.

    If the HT store is pushing you buy one of these do this:

    - Borrow the display unit for a few days.
    - At your normal HT watching time, fire up your system and watch things for a good 30 minutes.
    - Shut things down and plug the video electronics into the power conditioner and fire things back up.

    Decide if you see a difference. You may not even need one of these things - or it may help. Take the loaner unit back if you dont notice any difference.

    (I suggest video for your test because your eyes tend to be more sensitive to things than your ears.)

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Gabriela Mendez

    Gabriela Mendez Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok Chu,

    I looked around and finally decided on the Belkin PF40. I have to say that 80% of the products bought for my HT were recommendations from HTF posts. We at our house couldn't be happier. Can't say the same for the people downstairs. Just comparing both Monster HTS 5000 & Belkin PF40, I assume the HTS 5000 would be the counter product for the Belkin. Both are stage 4. We're looking at a difference of $200. The voltage meter in the Monster is analog vs led display from Belkin (looks nice).
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Personally I don't see much use in a voltmeter but they throw these things in as you move the food chain to add perceived value. I'm glad Belkin has entered the market for these shelf-based units because I think healthy competition is good for us consumers. Rarely if ever will I recommend a particular company. I just happen to think if people are armed with good, sensible information, then they can cut through all the nonsense and make well informed purchases that work for them. My main issues with Monster is that it's so damned hard to find anybody who can talk intelligently about the product and getting meaningful specifications is harder than getting kids to study.
     

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