I am about to drop $250 on a Brickwall surge protector, am I doing the right thing?!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by james e m, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    I am just kind of worried, $250 is a lot of money for me. On the other hand I don't want to worry about my system being damaged. I'm looking at getting the PW2RAUD or the PW15RAUD. Am I getting the best surge protection for the money?
    Thanks...
    james
    p.s. one concern I have about power in general is that I run my whole system from one outlet in a seperate room to my home theater by the way of an extension cord, it's the thick looking orange type of cord if that helps. Is this damaging to my system?
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Jeff,
    Check out www.zerosurge.com. A fellow HTF member purchased the 2R15 unit after finding out that Zero Surge licenses out their design to BrickWall. He said it was about $150, which is cheaper than the BrickWall unit as well.
     
  3. Brian Treinen

    Brian Treinen Stunt Coordinator

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    James,
    Sticky subject at best. I've been researching this for a couple months now and, like you, am about to make a purchase. I'm leaning towards getting BOTH the PW8R15AUD and the PW2RAUD - you can get them for $235 & $185 respectively from http://www.cycladescard.com/brickwall.html . At any rate what lead me to this decision was much research and reading. Traditional surge protectors are MOV based and thus sacrificial which means that over time they quit working. Since my main goal is to protect my equipment I see this as a problem regardless of how well they work - while they work. The fact that any of these devices "clean up" or filter the power to me is secondary but Brick Wall does in fact filter RF and EMI at the best place possbile which is point of use. The second thing that has lead me to this decision is that yesterday we had our meeting with the Electrition who is wiring our new addition and the remodel that we are doing. I told him I wanted two 20 amp dedicated HT runs for powering my system - one for the receiver and sub amp and the other for the rest of the system. He did note that was overkill but whether I went 15 or 20 amp was no difference to him (which to me means they are both the same $$ out of my pocket [​IMG] ) What he said next was what swung me - he wanted to know what type of surge protection I was going to use! I told him of the brick wall units and agreed that the theory used by them is solid and would work very well for my needs. He also said that he could add surge protection at the box for $75 but that I'd be best served by STILL using point of use units like the BW's.
    So, I'm going with the 8R15AUD for all of the components other than the receiver and sub amp and the 2RAUD for those. I'll still use my Tripp Lite 6 outlet box daisied off the 8R15AUD for Sat. and Cable coax and for other things like my backlighting and lights in the audio rack.
    There you have it. From what I've read and researched you can't beat the brick wall method for protection - that they happen to also filter EMI and RF is a bonus, as is the fact that the neutrals are isolated from each other in the AUD line. Good luck, if you have any questions let me know.
     
  4. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Brian and Brian...
    Thanks for the info! I checked out Zerosurge, I didn't see a a surge protector that was geared to a home theater's needs. So I think I will end up going with one of the products from cycladescard because of the price, so I really appreciate you pointing that out! [​IMG] I have a question can I use the PW2RAUD on any outlet or does it have to be a 20 amp system? What I was thinking about doing was getting the PW2RAUD and hooking it up to a standard outlet and connecting my Belkin Surge Master II to the PW2RAUD. Does this seem like a good idea? Thanks for the info guys, I really appreciate it!
    James
     
  5. Shawn Fogg

    Shawn Fogg Stunt Coordinator

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    James,

    I have 2 Brickwall units the 15amp point of sale Audio models. I've been very happy with them. No problems running my amps through them and their filtering helped a noise problem in my old room having to do with light dimmers.

    Shawn
     
  6. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Alfer
    Hey James,
    Just curious what's wrong with your Belkin surge protector? I was looking at your HT and was just wondering if spending $250 + tax is REALLY worth it vs. the Belkin.
    To me I would save the cash and continue your quest and save the money for putting towards the new receiver, or , maybe eventually replace the 27" Sanyo TV some day down the road etc.
    Is lightning a big issue in your area?? Does your home/apt insurance cover lightning damage etc.
    Just curious...I'd really think twice before emptying your wallet.
    Note: looking at the Belkin site, I see the SurgemasterII already protects up to $50,000 worth of equipment, which it doesn't appear is less than the value ofyour (or most of our)systems...I think that's plenty of coverage IMHO.
    Here's the Belkin link:
    http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...%2Eotection%2F
    Alfer
     
  7. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Shawn...Thanks for the info I'm glad to know that they are working for you.

    Alf...

    There is nothing "wrong" with the Belkin. I tend to think it's built a little on the flimsy side though. The truth is that I'm currently upgrading my home theater and I wanted to start with the surge protection first. It's worth it to me to know that my equipment is relatively "safe". I'm going to be investing a lot of money in the next year, I've just bought 2 Paradigm Monitor 11's, 1 CC-370, and 4 Mini Monitors. I'll be getting an Onkyo 898 soon so needless to say I want my equiment safe now more than ever. I don't think I'll be buying a tv anytime soon. I don't want a CRT based tv, I plan on waiting until the DLP rptv's come down in price, which from what I hear from people who went to CES, will be sometime in 2003. Thank you for the advice though.
     
  8. Dave N.

    Dave N. Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been a longtime Brickwall fan. One note,if your amps draw a lot of current the 15 amp unit will hum. I use the 20 amp unit and it is great.

    I purchased directly from Brickwall. They quote lower prices over the phone,especially with purchase of multiple units. I ahve 4!

    Dave
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Great info! (I'm lurking...)
    I have a balanced power unit with MOVs (which was a compromise I accepted at the time), and I'm looking for something to put in between that and the wall. (It does have an LED that indicates whether the MOV is still good or not at least.)
    As far as zerosurge not having a product for HT, I would like to think that surge protection is surge protection, don't matter whether it's for a PC, HT, or refrigerator. [​IMG]
    Also, I run *everything* in my system from the one outlet that feeds the balanced power unit. No probs so far, but it is a 20A circuit too.
     
  10. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    James excellent topic. This is why I keep coming back to HTF....an adult discussion on a real HT issue. Thanks everyone for the links and the info.
    Ron
    PS: For those also interested in Balanced power try www.b-p-t.com for a review of their products. I plan on auditioning one of their units later this month. But, of course I need a brickwall unit between the BPT and the outlet.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Kevin...From what I've read the difference between the normal Brickwall type surge protectors and the Audio version of the Brickwall is that the normal type of Brickwall can limit the current that to goes to your equipment which in turn can have an affect on your soundstage. However, I don't know if this is true.

    For those of you who own a Brickwall product can you tell me how long the power cord that is connected to the unit is? I can't seem to find that info anywhere. Thanks!

    james

    ps Ron thanks for the compliment!
     
  12. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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  13. Shawn Fogg

    Shawn Fogg Stunt Coordinator

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    "From what I've read the difference between the normal Brickwall type surge protectors and the Audio version of the Brickwall is that the normal type of Brickwall can limit the current that to goes to your equipment which in turn can have an affect on your soundstage."

    I don't think that is correct. They had just come out with the audio version when I bought mine and the differences they mentioned on their website were eliminating any humm/buzz from the unit itself and having all the outputs being noise isolated from each other.

    Shawn
     
  14. DougO

    DougO Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes! Anyone who does what I do, is doing a smart thing. I've been a Zerosurge owner/fan since '97. Rudy rules!
     
  15. mctague

    mctague Stunt Coordinator

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    I got the $249 audio model, and I've been happy...
     
  16. Patrick R. Sklenar

    Patrick R. Sklenar Second Unit

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    I've been considering a PS Audio "Ultimate Outlet" non-MOV based surge protector. This thread is the first I've heard of Brickwall and their products. Can anyone explain whether there's a difference between these sugre protection products?

    Thanks,
     
  17. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Patrick:

    The PS Audio UO does not offer any surge protection in that unit. What is does do is flitering or "cleaning up" the electricity....and it does not limit the current in any way. The BW does limit the current (that is why I am hesitant to place it between wall outlet and let's say a balanced power unit that is handling all my amps and front end components, since it may limit the electricity). Now the BW does state that it does filter the eletricity, (which I'm not excited about when it comes to the audio side...since it may "color" the audio output).

    PS Audio OU: fliters/cleans up

    Brickwall: surge protection/ some flitering

    I hope this helps.

    Note to anyone: If I'm wrong, please don't hesitate in correcting me.

    Thanks

    Ron
     
  18. Brian Treinen

    Brian Treinen Stunt Coordinator

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    There is a difference between the two - from what I understand the UO from PS Audio actually is a power conditioner in that it takes power from the wall and cleans, scrubs and recreates it so that it's EXACTLY 120V or whatever it should be coming out of the wall ALL THE TIME. So any surges or low power conditions are actually smoothed and not just shunted to ground or eaten up by MOVs. Two completely different methods and actually the UO add this power conditioning which the brickwall type products do not have.
    I have since done some more digging and here's what I know...
    Zerosurge has licensed their technology to two companies besides themselves. Brick Wall and Adcom. Zerosurge makes thier own stuff but is almost exclusively for computers and that area. Brick Wall makes computer stuff but has also branched into the audio realm by creating the AUD line which isolates the grounds of each outlet to avoid crosstalk, magnetically shields the metal box of the unit and beefs up the EMI / RF shielding of the units. Adcom has two new units using "patented ILS technology" ILS meaning If Lightning Strikes - from what I can see it's their marketing speak for the technology licensed from Zerosurge. These units add coax and phone line protection and power on delays for some of the outlets - they also have 12V trigger input & output so they can be controlled by a receiver or preamp.
    The Adcom units are both 8 outlet and go for either $200ish or $300ish at http://www.superaudiovideo.com/ace615.html
    Since reviewing the Adcom pieces I'm changing my tune and going with the ACE-615 since it has two high current outlets, 4 switched outlets and 2 unswitched outlets. That way I can buy just one unit for everything rather than needing two.
     
  19. Claude M

    Claude M Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    James, one other alternative worth consideration is the purchase of a whole-house surge protector. Many electricians will sell and install a whole-house protector for less than $200 that will protect everything you own -- not just your HT.
     

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