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Power Bars--are they a gimmick or worth it?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 DaleI

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Posted June 03 2004 - 04:36 AM

The salesman at BestBuy tried to get me interested in a "Monster Power Bar 1100" telling me that it will improve the picture on a hdtv set--even slightly. He took me over to an electronic readout and showed me how it "cleaned-up" the signal. Admittedly, the picture did look better, but I don't know if he was pulling a trick or what.

Would you suggest such a power bar?

--Dale

#2 of 24 Matt_Smi

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Posted June 03 2004 - 05:02 AM

First off best buy employees are trained to sell Monster stuff so I would to listen to anything they had to say. Second I believe that the general consensus here is that if the power in your house is not bad/”dirty” that you will notice no difference, if it is then you will. Many have bought them and seen an improvement and many have not, the only way to find out is to buy one and try it. If you do not see an improvement then just return it.

#3 of 24 Chu Gai

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Posted June 03 2004 - 07:06 AM

I am just going to have to make it a point to get over to a Best Buy one day and see this demo. Can you describe how the unit interfaced to the TV and what the source of power was? By that I mean was the TV plug just hooked up to the Powerbar and then the Powerbar plugged into some outlet or was the cable also run through the unit?

#4 of 24 DaleI

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Posted June 03 2004 - 07:17 AM

The cable was run thru the unit too.
Could have been a parlor trick or the real deal, I don't know. But I do know it cost $120.00.

#5 of 24 Ted Lee

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Posted June 03 2004 - 10:58 AM

i work at bb, but they don't have that monster display setup anymore. essentially i think they're running everything through the monster-box. then they turn the voltage down and you can see what happens to the picture quality.

of course, if you turn the thing down low enough, you're not going to supply any juice to the display device ... so you're obviously going to see signal degredation.

again, i've never seen it either, so i can't give a definitive explanation.

in any case, you don't need to buy the expensive monster-bar. just get a decent surge strip and you'll be fine. i do believe you should have at least that.
 

#6 of 24 Wayde_R

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Posted June 04 2004 - 09:08 AM

I don't know what you guys are talking about but... I find that Promax bars are better tasting than Power Bars, they also have more protein and less carbs.

Posted Image

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#7 of 24 Chu Gai

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Posted June 04 2004 - 09:44 AM

Well hell, if your voltage goes that low you're going to have problems with every damned thing in your house. Why don't you go back to BB and try an inexpensive unit from another company and see what happens?

#8 of 24 Colin Goddard

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Posted June 05 2004 - 12:48 AM

I went to b.b. and bought the best monster "power bar" that they had to offer. I can't remember the mod. # but it was $199. Took it home,hooked it up to my 65" Mits HDTV, Rotel pre-pro, B&k amp, Denon dvd player and cable. I was somewhat excited to see what improvement I was going to have with audio and video. Turned everything back on and what did I see and hear?......quiet drum roll please...

Nothing....zilch...zero!! Everything looked and sounded the same. I was even so naive thinking I might of just bought a bad unit, that I took that one back, [please keep your receipt], got another one and repeated the same process. And once again got the same results.I guess the power going into my house is just fine!I ended up buying a good surge protector.

Colin

#9 of 24 Ted Lee

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Posted June 05 2004 - 09:14 AM

you bought the same bar i did. i only bought it cuz i got it at a good price, but i'm sure if i did the same test as you i'd probably get the same results. Posted Image
Quote:
Nothing....zilch...zero!!
heh...unfortunately i think you just proved what most of us (including me) suspect.... Posted Image
 

#10 of 24 Andrew Beckmen

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Posted June 05 2004 - 01:35 PM

Yeah, I think these high-end power bars are a gimmick. I have never seen the differance, but it smacks of gimmick. Best Buy had these BS display that showed the distortion with a stupid dial that when up and down when you turned the power bar off and on.

OK, the science behind it might be sound, but that doesn't mean it's practical. In some cases I am sure electrical interferance is an issue. We have all seen static from running vaccums and blenders. I think as long as you have your cords in order (unlike myself, I have been told my apartment looks like Spider-Man's apartment because of all the cables all over) you shouldn't experiance any long-term problems with the appliances that are running more often than vaccums and the such.

Of course, I DO think it's important to have a good skip bar so a bolt of lightning doesn't fry your expensive HT stuff. Not sure how much a good one costs, but 200...I think when you are paying that much you are paying for A: The Monster name and B: A gimmick to gouge the rich impulse-buyers.

But what do I know? I am new to all this stuff.
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#11 of 24 Bob McElfresh

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Posted June 06 2004 - 10:18 AM

I have to agree with Matt - it all depends on how dirty your power is.

At a retail store, the AC power has LOTS of different demands on it. So it's a great place to show how noise/distortion can be cleaned up with some filters. But the AC power at your home usually has less demands => is cleaner.

One magazine had a ~$600 power conditioner that gave very different results among 2 reviewers. The guy that heard little improvement lived out in the quiet suburbs. The guy that bought one after the review lived in a inner-city apartment.

So these conditioners are not really a 'gimmick' - but it's like under-coating on a car: fail to do this on the East coast and your car rusts away in 2-3 years. Fail to do this on the West coast - no problem.

Colin did a great thing: took a unit home to see if it helped on his system. I suggest everyone try this if a salesman pushes you on one of these products. Just make sure the store has a good return policy with no restocking fee.

#12 of 24 Mike Boniferro

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Posted June 06 2004 - 01:15 PM

Well I am a 'clean power' believer... most of the time anyway.

As stated above, it all depends on the quality of the power coming into your home. I use a power conditioner on my bass guitar rig, and there is a definate difference in the tone coming out of my amps when I am in bars, but again, bars are horrible conditions so anything will help.

In my home, I bought the 8 plug gold one (the 1100 I believe) and it was definately worth it to me. My HT is in a basement where I've got LOTS of other stuff plugged in (fridge, microwave, flourescent lights, etc) and every time the fridge kicked on, there was a second of distortion on the TV. I also had hum through my speakers when my Fidek sonosub amp was running. The 1100 cured all of these problems.

Upstairs on my dad's 32" sony he had a very strange hum coming from the back of the TV. We tried the least expensive clean power bar on his, and the hum disappeared. I even tried going back into the wall and it was back immediately... very strange. His black levels on that TV were also much better (my mother even commented on how the TV looked better and she had no idea anything was different).

I have a friend who also tried one in his home, and noticed absolutely no difference whatsoever. That is why it is a great idea to give one a try and if it works for you and you don't mind forking out the $$$, then all the power to you! (if it doesn't work, just bring it back)

#13 of 24 Jeremy Little

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Posted June 07 2004 - 05:07 AM

Quote:
Yeah, I think these high-end power bars are a gimmick. I have never seen the differance, but it smacks of gimmick. Best Buy had these BS display that showed the distortion with a stupid dial that when up and down when you turned the power bar off and on


If you think it won't help audio, that's one thing. But calling this setup a gimmick without any knowledge of how it works is pretty lame. We got one of the first displays of this type in the company and we'd love to be able to leave it all out in the open. The first one that we got "WAS" in the open and got broke by someone's bratty little kid 2 days after it was installed. It took them another month to get us a new one, only the new one was enclosed in a wood and plexiglass case to keep peoples hands off of it.

I've had the top off of it and it consists of an electrical outlet, a powerbar, and the power "sniffer". I don't know the actual name for the "sniffer" but I guess an EMI/RFI detector will have to do. It has 2 cords that plug into it. One comes straight from the outlet, the other goes from the same outlet, through the power bar, and then into the "sniffer". Switching which outlet it is plugged into does not change the performance of the powerbar, switching which side of the "sniffer" it is plugged in does not change the performance of the powerbar.

Before Andrew or anyone else calls shenanigans, please look into it a little more first. I'm not saying that a power center will help everybody, but in my neighborhood it did.
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#14 of 24 Alan Wise

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Posted June 07 2004 - 07:53 AM

Personally I prefer Cliff Bars to Powerbars. I even did a double blind test to make sure of this.

Seriously though, I agree with Bob. Buy one from a store with a good return policy. If it works, it's a keeper, if it doesn't it goes back.

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#15 of 24 Pus Suchre

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Posted June 07 2004 - 01:04 PM

In my next house, or next life, which ever comes first- I'm going with whole house surge protection.
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#16 of 24 Christ Reynolds

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Posted June 10 2004 - 12:25 PM

Quote:
First off best buy employees are trained to sell Monster stuff
not necessarily. they are trained to sell accessories to increase their accessory percentage. they have monster stuff, and they sell that as the 'high end' accessory.

CJ
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#17 of 24 TomBartley

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Posted June 15 2004 - 05:25 AM

Quote:
not necessarily. they are trained to sell accessories to increase their accessory percentage. they have monster stuff, and they sell that as the 'high end' accessory.


You said it exactly. I work for a Best Buy, but not on the sales floor. I think most of the sales guys are idiots anyways. But they're really not trained to sell Monster accessories, just to sell accessories in general to boost margin. There just happens to be a lot of markup on Monster products, but that's true anywhere you go.

Getting back on topic...

Everyone should have some form of surge protection, I think the amount depends on the conditions. If you live in an older house, it may prove to be worthwhile to have a power conditioner product, especially during ths summer months, when there will most likely be a lot of items using electricty, and older electrical systems may not be able to handle it all too well. Newer homes should be fine, especially really new homes, as I have seen whole house power filters that clean & stabilize the power before it goes through the fuse panel. No idea who makes them or how much though.
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#18 of 24 Ted Lee

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Posted June 15 2004 - 08:35 AM

Quote:
I work for a Best Buy, but not on the sales floor. I think most of the sales guys are idiots anyways.
Posted Image i work for a best buy, and am on the sales floor. we should meet! Posted Image Posted Image
 

#19 of 24 Ivan P

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Posted June 15 2004 - 05:00 PM

Can you trll me what is the deference btw Monster PowerBars and Monster PowerCenter

for example PowerBars 1100 and Reference PowerCenter 2500

Thanks

#20 of 24 Chu Gai

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Posted June 16 2004 - 12:38 AM

Tom, if you live in an older house and you find that due to the stuff you now have in it (AC's, HT's, washers, dryers, freezers, microwaves, electric stoves, etc.) is taxing the capabilities then the prudent thing to do is address the problem of insufficient electrical capacity and not try and put a band aid on a fundamental problem.


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