Are Line Conditioners Worth It?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dalton, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Hello Everybody,
    I was wondering if it is worth getting power conditioners like the ones by AR and Monster.I know they are good for surge protection. They say on the package that they improve sound and picture. Is this true? I know they are expensive(cheap one was $100, next one up $149). If anyone uses these and thinks they are worth it, please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Dalton
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    ask the manufacturer to provide some test data to substantiate their claims. sounds reasonable i think.
     
  3. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    I have near 2K worth of power conditioning on my system. I guess you might say I think its worth it...data provided by the manufacturer or not.
    Would you seek test data from a restaurant that claimed their tacos were the best in the south or would you try them for yourself?
    Mike
    [Edited last by Mike Knapp on September 25, 2001 at 04:38 PM]
     
  4. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Dalton: Within the last two weeks there was an extensive thread on this subject (I think it was specific to the Monster unit, then branched to line conditioners in general). Did you try a search under "Line Conditioner"? If not, I'd try that first, then post spectific questions that weren't addressed in the threads.
    Good Luck
    Ron
     
  5. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ron. I'll check it out.
     
  6. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Dalton:
    I think this might be the thread Ron was referring to:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/044006.html
    I started it initially as I too, am in the process of looking for another one.
    I presently have the RGPC 1200S and I'm very happy with it. I was (am) still leaning towards another RGPC or perhaps the PS Audio P600.
    I tend to agree with Mike. I don't believe that a manufacturer's comments will have much bearing on it's ability to perform as a "conditioner". Try to get one in your home for a few days and have a listen and a look. Now the spike/surge aspect, that's a different story.
    Perhaps similar to the cable debate; if, at the end of the day, everything is hooked up neatly, safely and you're pleased, who can argue with that?
    Herb.
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  7. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    FWIW, I bought a Monster HTS2500 because I saw a demonstration at CC where one of the more enterprising young sales critters set up a side by side because sales were slow to nonexistant. He had two identical systems set up side by side, one using the Monster and their cables and one without the Monster and using out of the box cables. The systems were some mid line Onkyo receiver and Infinity IL10's with a JVC DVD player. Being the skeptical sort, I was willing to take a listen, but was extremely doubtful of any meaningful results. Well I was dead wrong. The system with the Monster was clearly more open and airy. Much deeper soundstage. You could have knocked me over with a feather. They were also claiming video improvement, and I happen to have very poor cable reception. So I went for it and when I integrated it into my system, it did indeed clean up some video noise. The improvement in audio on my system wasn't as noticable as it was in the store , but that may be because my system is considerably more high end, or CC has more noise on their lines, which is likely when you figure all the stuff they have going on. Any way, I thought it was worth the money. Oops, I bought it online for half what CC wanted. I don't mind buying from them, but they have to at least be close.
    Russ
    [Edited last by Russell _T on September 25, 2001 at 08:37 PM]
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Mike, enchiladas are more up my alley, but we're dealing with a mechanical device made to some degree, i'd hope, of reproducibility. so along those lines, i'd certainly want to know that a car manufacturer wasn't just fabricating gas mileage claims if that's the criteria i'm buying the vehicle.
     
  9. Jim Lenneman

    Jim Lenneman Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a monster 3500, I bought it for surge protection and because of the delayed on/off capability of some of the outlets. I did not expect any improvements to audio or video. I can't say that I experienced any audio improvement, but some of the crappier TV channels looked markedly better. Now at the time my cable provider had really old equipment. The new guy in town has new equipment and much better reception. If you have poor reception on some TV channels, it MIGHT help, but I doubt it'll improve the quality of your progressive scan DVD. Since audio quality is more more subjective, only you can tell.
    Jim L
     
  10. Gerard Martin

    Gerard Martin Second Unit

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    I have a Monster 1000 and Panamax
    1000+ and like Jim hear no improvement in audio however do
    see a better video picture. I
    look at line conditioners as over priced surge protectors that
    may or may not add something to
    your HT system.
    ------------------
    Jerry
     
  11. JasonRH

    JasonRH Second Unit

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    Gerard,
    Would you recommend the monster or the panamax if only choosing one, or are they equally good? Thanks.
     
  12. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I have the Monster HTS2500. I, too, purchased it for the switched/timed outlets and not for the line conditioning. In my opinion, it's a glorified power strip. But it serves its limited purpose. Now, if I was truly interested in cleaning up my power, I'd look into some serious equipment from PSB, not the under-$500 stuff from Panamax or Monster.
     
  13. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the opinions guys. I guess I will audition some in my home and see what, if any, improvement can be garnered.
     
  14. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Try www.vansevers.com They arent cheap but they are exceptional. If you arent looking to spend that much money they really you may be just as well off with the Monster or some other off brand. I wouldnt look for improvements from those units though.
    Nothing good is cheap....wise words.
    Mike
     
  15. Gerard Martin

    Gerard Martin Second Unit

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    Jason
    Performance wise they are
    about the same however I feel
    more comfortable with the
    Panamax warranty.
    ------------------
    Jerry
     
  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    If you look through the www.psaudio.com site, a link under "line conditioners", they actually show oscilloscope measurements of a particular Monster conditioner that actually made the harmonic distortion worse. This might actually be the case for most "filters," and no Monster in particular.
    Check out www.hometheaterhifi.com. They have done very extensive "line conditioner" reviews. A lot of measurements and real world testing.
    Basically, any unit with balanced power really works. (PS Audio, Equi=Tech, Balanced Power Technology.)
    And Smart Home Theater Systems now has the new GC-120, also a balanced power device.
    But the cheapest is the Balanced Power Tech box at $600.
    (Herb- I think I have decided on Equi=Tech, either a TM1500M or an ET1.5Q. I just emailed them a bunch of questions about those 2 vs the PS Audio P600 and the new Smart unit. I would really like a P600, but I have this rule about not buying any component I can't personally lift myself and move around easily... Limits me to a 32" TV though!)
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  17. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  18. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Kevin:
    Let me know which Equi=Tech model you go with and why. I just spent some time going through their web site. Very interesting.... our damn dollar right now though...!! Same with the PS Audio, our dollar makes it all but prohibitive.
    Anyone have any experience with the Cinepro line conditioner...? Their amps seem to garner high praise, just thought it might be worth considering.
    Herb.
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  19. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Do I think line conditioner are worth it? Let's just say my next system upgrade will probably be a $3000 line conditioner.
    There are sonic plusses and minuses to most line conditioners. I've heard terrible things about the Monster ones from audiophiles, saying they made the sound far worse. This isn't at all surprising, given Monster's reputation.
    On a budget, I'd look at the Panamax 1000+. It can be had for under $200 shipped and provides good protection and a very slight sonic improvement in some areas (don't plug your amp into it, however, as it will restrict dynamics).
    For a much better conditioner, try www.b-p-t.com. These are still reasonably priced, but about four times the price of the Panamax. I've had mixed results with the PS Audio Power Plants, and these run in the thousands, but others have had better luck. The current king of line conditioners appears to be the Shunyata Hydra www.powersnakes.com
    Like anything, keep the conditioner in proportion to your system (i.e. unless your system is in the five figure range, the Panamax is probably fine).
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    "Home is where the theater is!"
     

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