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Power concerns and advice


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 Jake.P

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Posted June 25 2002 - 11:36 AM

Hey all, first off I want to say thanks to everyone for being chock full of info. You've been a lot of help in the past while I was lurking.

I'd like to put a decent form of power protection/clean-up in there but I'm really not sure what to get. The PS Audio Ultimate Outlet is looking nice, but I'd have to get a Juice Bar to go with it so we're talking ~$500-$700. For that much I could go with the upper lever Monster Power series. Yes, yes I know the PS Audio will most likely be better, but I'm running non-audiophile grade equipment. I just want some clean (not talking voltage re-generation or balancing here) power. Or Panamax, that's possible too. Or Brickwall (ugly IMO). And if it looks good to boot, even better. Posted Image

I'll list the equipment so you can get an idea of what level I'm talking about.

Sony STR-DE985 (receiver)
Sony DVP-NS715P (DVD)
Sony CDP-CA70ES (CD)
Sony Trinitron 27" (non-Wega)
I'll most likely be adding a turntable to this sometime in the next couple months.

Thanks for the help.

#2 of 14 Saurav

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Posted June 25 2002 - 12:14 PM

If you can get something that you can audition and return, that would be best. Failing that, if I were in your place, I wouldn't spend $500 on power products. Their benefits can be real under some circumstances, but they're usually subtle, especially compared to say putting the same $500 towards better speakers or something like that.

My advice - get the Monster unit that has the number of inputs you need. It'll give you peace of mind with the connected equipment guarantee, it generally gets good reviews for what it does, and it isn't ugly. You can pick these up from Yahoo Shopping or eBay for pretty cheap.

#3 of 14 Bill Kane

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Posted June 25 2002 - 01:03 PM

Saurav's advice is sensible. Basically, you're starting out looking for a surge suppressor. Most all carry AC line noise filters for EMI/RF.

Sticking with Monster and Panamax, differences include "high current" outlets, which you dont need w/ that Sony; delayed turn-on for outboard power amplifiers; two instead one one set of F-terminals for coax cable; etc.

Don't get sucked into the "dirty power" vortex. You've got Southern Cal Edison or LA Municipal Power? Chances are overwhelming you're getting perfectly adequate voltage. Living in So.Cal., you aren't subject to barrages of electrical thunderstorms like other parts of the U.S., so the Brickwall company's unit may be overkill.

FWIW, I post on this forum about surge protectors all the time, not because I use every one, but because I got sucked into reading up after contributing THIS to the HTF Primer.

So the latest toy I like beyond recommendiong the basic TrippLite Isobar6 DBS (~$60) is the Adcom ACE-315 or 615, both 8-outlet rackmount style units. Check www.onecall.com for prices, and note that onecall will match prices via a fone call if you find a cheaper vendor price online.

What's nice about this Adcom is they've taken the same licensed technology from ZeroSurge as used by Brickwall -- no sacrificial MOVs -- and put it into a nice looking package.

g'luck

bill

#4 of 14 Jake.P

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Posted June 25 2002 - 02:02 PM

Wow. Thanks Saurav and Bill. First of all let me say it's nice to have thought-out and pleasant responses to a post. So a tip o' the hat to you guys.

Yes, I am on L.A. D.W.P. (no rolling blackouts here) and I figured the power coming into the house was good. Hopefully before my gear arrives we'll have electrical work done that'll make sure it stays that way.

Thanks for turning me on to the Adcom stuff Bill. Now I'm kind of stuck between the Panamax 5300, the Monster 2600/3500 and the Adcom ACE series.

I'm assuming that both the Panamax and the Monster use MOVs? And Joule rating goes out the window on the Adcoms it looks like.

But they have analog meters and blue LEDs! How cool is that? Heh heh, there's my gadget goblin again. Therein lies the rub.

#5 of 14 Bill Kane

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Posted June 25 2002 - 02:09 PM

jake, sounds like you've been doin' yer homework and get the lingoPosted Image

Both Monster and Panamax redesigned their lines for 2001-2002. I can only assume Monster retains MOV technology.

HOWEVER, Panamax states they use "SurgeGate" or something other than MOV that obviates any Joule rating. I just have a better feel for Panamax as a solid company w/o Monster's intense marketing presense.

For nothing more than reading model comparisons betw both brands, see www.discountpanamax.com

edit: Adcom's website AFAIK doesnt list the 615 specs, but here it what I found. It was intro'd in 2000...


*2 always on outlets
*4 switched outlets
*2 switched oulets with 10-second delay
*One 12V trigger input
*One fone input and output
*2 coax in/out sets

#6 of 14 Mary M S

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Posted June 26 2002 - 05:44 AM

May I butt in?
Started to buy a Panamax on a Trusted posters recommendation, and I know him enough to know it would be a good choice, but then when starting a search for 'where to buy' got hooked trying to understand specs myself.
I have an
Outlaw 950/770
Sony 60" GW
DTC100 and a few other misc.

Immediately I ran into the mentions of Series mode protectors vs MOV mode protectors. The argument for Series based protection did make sense to me.
The Pros I liked were: joules unlimited because its rated to 6000 which will fry any in wall wire. The mention of no slow degeneration of protection level after repeated surges. (I live where there are spectacular storms)

Does the quality of these products build, effect any degradation or interference with your sound more - on a Series mode vs MOV mode protection device?

Found this one:
http://www.systemsst....ry_Code=surgex
or this one:
http://www.systemsst....ry_Code=surgex
For series choices or is this as high quality as Panamax for MOV protection, it has a higher Joule rating for less money.
http://www.marketwar...theatrefp2.html
and then of course the Max 5300 and Max 5500 or the monster.

Its hard to wade through it all, as new as I am in this!

You've been dreaming. Dreaming of Sea Captain who haunted this house.

#7 of 14 Bill Kane

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Posted June 26 2002 - 08:09 AM

Hi Mary, thanks for asking, I learned some things today...

Jumping to the bottom line, I recommend the Panamax MAX 5300, at ~$340 a terrific bargain. But aside from cost these all are top units.

I looked at website specs for the SurgeX, Panamax Max 5300 and comparable Monster HTS5100 (about $540); and Outlaw 770 Owners Manual.

First, the SurgeX units ($599 & $799) do use Series Mode surge suppression, likely the same licensed technology used by Brickwall and the new Adcom. But these units REQUIRE a 20 amp household circuit.

Monster appears to still have MOVs, hence its reliance on Joule ratings. Panamax has a circuit "breaker" that works without shunting excess voltage to ground and appears to be a hybrid.

Panamax and Monster are designed for 15 amp circuits but with your gear, a dedicated 20 amp circuit would be ideal. Here's why.

A 15A circuit can carry 1800 watts but the safety factor of 80 percent results in 1440W. Likewise, a 20A circuit can handle 2400W but 1920 effectively.

Your Outlaw 770 alone is rated at 1800 watts. Altho in real-world listening we don't approach this limit. But it's the specification.

[In any regard, my house comes with 20A circuits and my 1800watt power amp at this time is plugged directly into the wall outlet (upgraded to an Industrial duplex). This post is persuading me to get the Panamax 5300!]

SurgeX doesnt specifically mention "high current" outlets, but in its 20A configuration this may be moot.

Both Panamax and Monster 5100 provide two "high current" outlets among 11 total for Panamax and 10 total for Monster.
Both units are rated 1800 watts.

Here's what Panamax says:

Quote:
The last 2 AC outlets on the back of the Max 5300 are generally used for high current components, such as subwoofers or amplifiers. These outlets have ZERO in line inductance. There is an energy storing capacitor in parallel with this circuit that can augment the power available during high power events. This means that the unit can provide more power than is available at the wall during a burst of high current draw, another Panamax advantage. Many amplifier manufacturers suggest plugging their amps directly into the wall, but these features completely eliminate that need! These outlets are delayed-on.

The whole issue of "current limiting" surge suppressors masking or degrading sonics is arguable, but many say such a phenomenon wud only arise when pushing amps very hard.

These units have different flavors of remote/sequential turn-ons. I wud use all "always on" surge unit modes and connect the proprietary 12V trigger between the Outlaw 950 and 770. Use the 950 remote to power on the amp; turn the tv on independentally. I dont have satellite so I cannot comment on powering it.

Also, Panamax has 4 sets of coax terminals incl two for satellite, in case you have a separate dish for HD, and pays more attention to clamping voltage for types of coax than Monster's generic circuit for three sets of terminals.

I'll stop here; I lost this post's first draft shortly ago when my DSL server dropped me.

bill

#8 of 14 Mary M S

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Posted June 26 2002 - 09:04 AM

Bill, - Wow, you even looked up my amp…Thank you.

Ist off, not too sure about the 15A Vs 20A circuit, I’m thinking your referring to the Circuit breaker size in the box?? (As in 20A is what you want to have your fridge on etc? I can get my husband to splain the ends and outs of that part) We just had the whole 55 yr. old house, main panel etc, upgraded to handle a garage addition.

Just realized (thanks again) the purpose for the high current outlets, SW & Amp. Also knew, I wanted a unit with the terminals for Satellite, since (to me) it seems this would be the Achilles heel of voltage making it through your system with any surge protection device without connectivity for Sat/cable feeds.

Excuse: I’m struggling with just the basic electrical principles here, - but what does Panamax mean on the 5300 Vs 5500 specs, when it states on the 5500 4 AC outlets for digital source components Vs just 4 AC outlets on the 5300?

Regarding “different flavors of remote/sequential turn-on” I thought I remembered seeing posts on trigger problems with certain devices etc, but was not sure what the issues were.

Sorry about the dropped first draft victim, (I hate when that happens) nice of you to retype!!

You've been dreaming. Dreaming of Sea Captain who haunted this house.

#9 of 14 Bill Kane

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Posted June 26 2002 - 09:38 AM

Mary,

You seem to be getting a nice handle on this stuff...

A 20amp circuit means it is wired at the main breaker box with 12gauge wire minimum; some DIYers will use 10AWG. This wire runs to the wall outlet which itself can be rated 20-amp, but often is just a 15amp duplex outlet. It would be unusual for a home theater system to draw as much as 12amps in real-world loads (volume at MAX!). I recently watched a huge high-end demo system at Good Guys with a MonsterAVS5000 (7000?) voltage regulator whose ammeter topped at 10.5 amps during the TPM pod race scenes.

You are correct in that all coax, and tel if used for pay-for-view, needs to be run thru surge suppressors, too. Computer users with "open" telephone line modems have learned the hard way in spike/surge catastrophes.

Digital outlets mean isolated from others to prevent so-call "cross talk." I dont know any more about this. I asked this myself, HERE

For trigger and remote turn-on, I'd rely on the scenarios suggested in the Outlaw 770 manual, i.e., specific to your case. Sequential power turn-on cud apply to users of multiple monoblock amplifiers, such as the popular Marantz units.

bill

#10 of 14 Jake.P

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Posted June 26 2002 - 09:51 AM

Okay Bill, here's another one for ya on this topic:
What about video game consoles? I have at least 3 systems that I want to hook up to my system. Should I just get a decent strip protector for those to plug into, or right into the Panamax? I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the 5300, it looks to be the best for me price/feature wise. Or should I plug that strip into the Panamax and go from there?

Maybe I should've gone for that EE degree.

#11 of 14 Bill Kane

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Posted June 26 2002 - 10:36 AM

hey, I dont have one, and I'm not a gamer. So I have no idea how much current game consoles draw, or whether they can be ganged into one inexpensive strip and then the strip plugged into one Panamax outlet.

'Course if you had enough left over outlets on the Panamax, then each console cud find its own little cubbyhole...

There's probably no problem with the gang-strip route if you're only using one console at a time.

#12 of 14 Mary M S

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Posted June 30 2002 - 08:23 AM

Hi Bill, (and everyone)

Learned a few new things and appreciate all the help.
We do have 15A 14g wire, and may add the 20A to the "things to get to" list.

After 7 days with the new TV and 3 (run around and unplug like a fool) days of some wicked lightning. Picked up the PAX5300 last night. The 5500 seemed overkill especially since I beleive I became sold on some of the Info connected with Series mode surge protection. Found out I can daisy chain, these units, so I may pick up a Brick Wall series protector and put it in front of the PAX5300 in the near future. To my way of thinking this will protect the intregitity of the Panamax, helping reduce the 'degradation' effect that repeated hits have on its lifespan. The Panamax, (Brick Wall sells no such unit at this time) gives me the ability to protect my coaxial lines, all in one unit, which was a quick fix for covering all bases.
I'm sure I could have found a separate product for the coaxial surge protection, but after this week of local electrical activity, gave up trying to tie the parts together mail order and picked up the 'quicker fix' panamax in town.

Thanks very much for the help and the EE mini lay course!
MS

You've been dreaming. Dreaming of Sea Captain who haunted this house.

#13 of 14 Bill Kane

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Posted June 30 2002 - 10:45 AM

Nice to see you follow thru on the "quickie" Panamax, good job...

Yes, the additional Brickwall unit is the next step, and after that, perhaps a Whole House Surge Protector at the mains breaker box.

Look at Brickwall 2R15 for $139. solid, right?

This is not the separate line of Audio product: that PW2RAudio is $199. The only 20amp version is in the Audio line -- this high-current unit may be redundant since the MAX5300 has such outlets; conceivably in the 20Audio, one cud plug their amp such as the 770 into one outlet, the MAX unit into the other.)

But I think 15amp version will work adequately for you. But you know all this...enjoy the sounds Posted Image
Here is posting in another forum wherein I agree with the path taken by BT&ANNIE

bill

#14 of 14 Simon Ngan

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Posted March 23 2003 - 08:36 AM

Hi guys,

This thread has been very useful as I have a lot of questions answered already. I just picked up a Panamax 5300 and I have everything hooked up to it except the sub. I don't know if the unit can handle them all?

Here's what I have plugged to the Panamax:

a) Aragon 2005 amp (5x200W)
b) Panasonic RP82
c) Sony DVP-850 DVD Changer
d) Sony CDP-350 CD Changer
e) Sony TAE-9000ES Pre/Pro
f) Sony 34XBR800 34" HDTV
g) JVC SVHS 9500 VCR
h) Bell ExpressVu 5100 PVR
i) Marantz Tuner
j) MartinLogan Aeons (front)
k) MartinLogan Cinema (center)

I have used an APC computer type powerstrip (the one with some big area for transformers) to get all ML speakers together as well as SLinke.

Am I safe to plug in the sub to the mix using the high-power outlet? I'd like the sub to be on only when the pre/pro is on.

Another problem I have is now I get 12V trigger from the Panamax, I'd like it to turn on the Aragon amp automatically. Unfortunately, the amp nor the pre/pro have the 12V trigger. I understand now I can use a wallwart and just plug it to the switched outlet of the pre/pro. However, I'm not sure if any universal wallwart would do the trick? Also, what's the specs of the 12V in from the Panamax as far as polarity goes? The universal transformer I have can select from 3V to 12V with a polarity switch?

Actually, I'm using the same transformer to power a case fan to cool down the pre/pro (already set to 12V), can I just split the connections and hook it to the Panamax too? Am I risking too much to overload the wallwart?

Your opinion would be much appreciated,

Simon