Adding a Power Line Conditioner and replacing outlets?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Kao, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    I have a modest system that comprises of a Sony Wega KV-32FS12, Harman Kardon DVD5 DVD player/changer, and an HK AVR 510 receiver. No high-res high-definition big-screen, no progressive DVD player, no monstrous amps... now with this in mind, would replacement my power outlets or getting a cheap line conditioner (sub $300) make a difference on my setup? Would it have a noticeable effect on the picture/sound?
    Right now I'm looking at the Panamax MAX 1000+ ( LINK ) and the Monster Power HTS-2500 ( LINK ) . As far as outlet replacements go, I don't really know what's out there, so perhaps someone can offer recommendations? Keep in mind, I don't have any experience with house wiring (other than fixing phone jacks) so I'm not sure if it's safe for a newbie like me to be messing around with the power outlets.
    Also, I heard that it isn't a good idea to hook up AMPS/receivers to PLC's b/c the PLC limits the amount of current. Will this affect my 350 watt (70*5 @ 8ohms) harman kardon AVR 510 receiver? Power consumption is at 694 watts max, and my TV runs at about 200 max. I will be hooking up more components as well, but not as power-hungry (DVD changer, VCR, 21" computer monitor possibly, old sony prologic receiver that powers my bass shakers, playstation). Now these components aren't all sitting right next to each other, which brings my next question: would it be okay to run a power extension cord off the PLC?
    If anyone can offer any advice/suggestions, that would be great! Thanks!
    - Mike
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    I’ve noticed something that most people who say they hear a difference with line conditioners have in common: They have expensive, high-end systems. If you want a conditioner for the convenience of controlled outlets, then get one. I bought my two Adcom ACE-515s to have a place to plug in all my gear, that would in turn power up everything automatically when I turned on the system. The line filtering it offers is nice, I guess, but I can’t say it made anything sound better.
    Of course, you need to make sure that any conditioner you use is designed to be used with amplifiers. I’m not familiar with PLCs, but if you have heard they are not good with amplifiers, I would get some other kind of conditioner.
    Using an extension cord is fine, as long as it has the same or heavier gauge wire as the conditioner.
    Upgraded outlets are never a bad idea, but certainly not required. Commercial outlets grip the plugs better, and are built much sturdier than standard residential outlets. It never hurts to get them, but don’t expect any miraculous improvements in sound or picture quality. It’s nor hard to install them. You can get self-help books on electricity at the same store you buy the outlets from. Just make sure you have the breaker off before you start.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    ------------------
    My Equipment List
     
  3. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    Thanks for your response Wayne! Just to clear up some confusion, I meant Power Line Conditioner by PLC as an abbreviation.
    In any case, so if I were to buy a Power conditioner, is it necessary or at least recommended to upgrade the outlets as well?
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Mike, I have a PLC (not used for amps) and I have upgraded most of the outlets (since I use multiple ones) and will likely upgrade a few more. They are relatively inexpensive and the standard builders grade stuff (89 cents, 97 cents) is not that great. I have used both hospital grade stuff ($12-13) to cryogentinically treated ones ($25-30) to Leviton commerical grade quality ($2.97 at Home Depot). I happen to like the Pass & Seymour hospital grade ones since they are configured to make a nice secure connection but the $2.97 are good too. I would not expect huge difference but small ones will be noticed in many systems and the connections are better and last longer. A good PLC will make more of a difference depending on your electricity and equipment.
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Mike,
    I just bought the Monster Power HTS-2000 and have been really happy with it. I never knew how "dirty" my electricity was in my home until I got the HTS-2000. For me, adding a line conditioner made a noticable difference. Not reveloutionary, but noticable. Your mileage may vary.
    Peace,
    DM
    ------------------
    "We all end up dead, the question is how and why."
     
  6. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    "Using an extension cord is fine, as long as it has the same or heavier gauge wire as the conditioner."
    Would this apply to a surge suppressor/power strip? So would it be okay to piggy-back a suppressor from the conditioner as long as the wire gauge is equal or heavier?
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  8. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    What is your budget?
    You might check, www.audiolinesource.com
    This product is not current limiting.
    [Edited last by Frank_S on August 07, 2001 at 07:39 PM]
     
  9. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    voltage regulators and line conditioners are insanely valueble for a few very good reasons :
    1.) these units(rceivers,amps,etc.) are designed to run off consistant power and have some (nominal) range for tolerances outside of that. if you ever meassured what happens even in usuall everyday situations with regaurds to what comes out of your outlet ,you'd be appauled!not to mention " brown outs" over-usage, whether problems ,etc. .WE ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT ELECTRONIC WHICH WHEN EVEN SMALL CHANGES ARE MADE IN THE SYSTEM AROUND THEM REACT UNPREDICTABLY.
    2.)There are at least 2 units on the market that garauntee against even a direct lightning strike;PANAMAX and MONSTER POWER ..NOW , I KNOW THE THOUGHTS ON THE CONCEPT OF WHAT A "true" direct strike does to anything,but they due put large monetary compensation numbers behind their claims/warranty!
    3.)now for the big one ! some of these units are power limiting and if you have a "balls out" amp that draws TONS of current PLEASE find some of the few that DO NOT LIMIT AMPERAGE DRAW to the amp jack...you will spend a lot more (hts3500&5000) but the reward is the elimination of RF & EMI !
     
  10. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    Well I just ended up buying the Panamax MAX 1000+... now how will I be able to tell if it feeds enough current to my H/K receiver?
     
  11. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Mike,
    the literature that came with your Panny should state the max draw or watts that can be connected to it.
    My Rotel states it.
    If not, im sure you can contact Panamax about it.
    ------------------
    [​IMG] "Charlie don't surf."
     
  12. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    It states the 'Maximum Current Rating' as 15A (1800W), which is the total load max. Could there be a max load for a single socket? My Harman Kardon receiver consumes 694 watts max. I'm not sure if this is going to be a problem or not...
     
  13. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    what you need to find out is the max. amp draw from your receiver and if the panamax is capable of passing that w/o limiting it... the only 2 units that, I believe, don't current limit are the monster power 3500 & 5000, however monster is due to be revamping their line of voltage regulators and line conditioners/surge suppressors soon!
     
  14. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike...how much did you pay? and where did u buy it from?
    let us all know how u like it when you get it!
     
  15. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Here you go Mike,
    quote: Dear Henry,
    Thank you for your email. The allowed max wattage is 1800 watts. Most amps give peak rating in name ie: 3000 w amp does not put out 3000 watts all the time.
    If equipment is on one 15 amp circuit all equipment will pass through surge
    protector fine. You should not hear audible difference.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Panamax
    150 Mitchell Blvd
    San Rafael, Ca 94903
    Panamax US:
    Toll Free (800) 472-5555
    Phone (415) 499-3900
    Fax (415) 472-5540
    Panamax Canada:
    Toll Free (800) 461-5246
    Fax (613) 377-1034
    Internet:
    Web http://www.panamax.com "Charlie don't surf."
    [Edited last by Henry Carmona on August 09, 2001 at 08:45 AM]
     
  16. Robert McClanahan

    Robert McClanahan Stunt Coordinator

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    If you use a conditioner I recommend plugging the t.v. in the amp outlet and your amp directly in the wall.I plug my high def big screen in the amp outlet on my Rotel conditioner and noticed a difference.I did it because my audio dealer recommended.
     
  17. Jeff Loughridge

    Jeff Loughridge Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne is right about the cheap power strips. I have had to disassemble a few Woods brand strips, in a metal case. The wires are run to each outlet as one buss, with the insulation removed where the outlet connection is. They provide no filtering and no suppression. Avoid these like the plague.
    There is a parallel thread here about Furman line conditioners. At the risk of being repetitive, I submit the following opinion:
    Furman makes great stuff. We use their power conditioners/rack lights in remote racks for power distribution and lighting. They are available with pull out incandescent lamps and a dimmer to adjust brightness.
    I also suggest you check out the Samson line, though. I am working on my theater in the basement, and just completed my in-wall rack for the audio equipment. I used two 21 space rails and framed them in the wall, then put the equipment on rack mount shelves. For power distribution and equipment lighting while loading/changing discs, tapes, etc., I bought a Samson PowerBrite Pro:
    http://www.samsontech.com/audio/powerbritepro.html at some who pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for power conditioners with huge gauge wire that is supposed to be better than "consumer" gear. If your house is wired with 12 or 14 guage wire, which most are, there is no effect on the current supply to your gear by using the same or slightly smaller guage wire to a conditioner and equipment; and no benefit to using larger guage wire. Unless you're talking about putting a capacitor load bank in your basement, the power coming to your home has sufficient regulation for whatever equipment you have. A good conditioner/suppressor with adequate current shunting is all you really need.
    ------------------
    Jeff Loughridge
    Director of Engineering
    WPGC/WHFS
    Infinity Broadcasting Corp
    [email protected]
    [Edited last by Jeff Loughridge on August 10, 2001 at 10:41 AM]
    [Edited last by Jeff Loughridge on August 10, 2001 at 10:49 AM]
     
  18. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I'm in the minority here, but I 'auditioned' the Panamax and the Monster stuff before, and ended up going with Tripp-Lite.
    I didn't see a point in spending hundreds of dollars when there wasn't a 'noticeable' improvement in audio/visual, and I sometimes question if there is a placebo effect.
    Regardless, I bought my line conditioner for two things: to adjust any over/under voltages and for suppression of surges. My theater is wired directly into the circuit box, so I want to be sure if something happens my equipment isn't fried.
    I got the rack mount Tripp-Lite 2400R which covers up to 2400 watts of power. I had a stand-alone unit at my old house in the Bay Area, and was surprised to see how often under-voltage (brown outs) were occuring.
    Anyway, my .02 is I wouldn't recommend getting a line conditioner in order to just see an 'improvement' in audio/video, but to flat out protect your equipment. Having additional insurance never helps.
    -Brian
     
  19. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  20. Jeff Loughridge

    Jeff Loughridge Stunt Coordinator

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    "Take a look at http://www.psaudio.com I visited their site, the laws of physics simply do not support their propaganda. [​IMG]
    They claim, "Strip wiring means that a single piece of wire connects all the outlets together. This is problematic because the last outlet in the chian is in series with the first outlet. Any interference generated by your equipment is passed on to whatever else you have plugged in to the extension strip."
    Only partially true. The outlets are wired in parallel. To be wired in series, the current must flow through the outlets, from one contact to the other. In other words, hot on one to neutral on the next. In series, the first outlet would have to be used for any voltage to apppear at the second outlet, and so on. Also, the current would be limited by the resistance/reactance of the equipment plugged into each successive outlet.
    The outlets could be considered in series just as the links of a chain are in series, but simply moving the point of connection from the outlet to a common point a few inches away will not change the electrical noise content at a given socket. Besides, you are not plugging in any industrial motors or anything are you? Has anyone measured the noise content of their AC power?
    Electrically, a star configuration is NO DIFFERENT than a buss or "strip" configuration. Any "noise" induced in the circuit will make it to the last socket whether it is on a buss or commoned at the star.
    The only place where a star configuration makes sense is in a grounding scheme where each ground buss is homerunned back to one common connection. That prevents ground loops, which cause hum and distortion, but we are talking about a whole facility, with multiple rooms or floors. The ground in each room goes back to one common point. An outlet strip is a joke.
    Spare me the "cool blue LED on/indicator," and "power ports."
    The more I read this site, the more I am convinced it is an April Fools joke or something. I would love to put a Time Domain Reflectometer on a circuit wired with conventional outlets and one with their "Power Ports." I'll wager there is no difference. A TDR is a precision device that measures imperfections in a cable or wire, showing the exact location of connections, impedance changes, opens, shorts, etc. On a length of transmission line, I can see every connection on a TDR. I have a TDR if anyone near DC has one of these "Juice Bars" or "Power Ports," and would like to test it.
    ------------------
    Jeff Loughridge
    Director of Engineering
    WPGC/WHFS
    Infinity Broadcasting Corp
    [email protected]
    [Edited last by Jeff Loughridge on August 11, 2001 at 10:02 AM]
    [Edited last by Jeff Loughridge on August 11, 2001 at 10:03 AM]
    [Edited last by Jeff Loughridge on August 11, 2001 at 10:13 AM]
     

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