Line Conditioners, Regenerators, Stabilizers, oh my!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gabriel_Lowe, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. Gabriel_Lowe

    Gabriel_Lowe Auditioning

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    I am beginning to understand the dramatic improvement achieved when using clean, balanced power for your amps and A/V sources (at least from a technical standpoint). What I am having trouble understanding is whether I need all three devices used in concert (a line conditioner such as a Monster Power Center, a power regenerator such as the PS Audio PowerPlant 300, and a voltage regulator such as the Monster Power AVS2000), or if one of those three things is all I need. Please help me to understand what both the ideal situation is, and the most cost effective method is. Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    i would think that in order of importance, you should look at:

    1. power regenerator
    2. voltage regulator
    3. line conditioner

    i seriously doubt there's any real benefit to be gained from using all three unless you just have a $hitload of money to burn and want to impress somebody. just my 2 cents.

    kevin t
     
  3. Gabriel_Lowe

    Gabriel_Lowe Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply! I guess what I am also getting at is whether any of these items perform the functions, or make the functions of any of the other two units unnecessary. For instance, do I need to have a line conditioner or voltage regulator if my power regenerator is creating a perfect, clean 120v current, or am I misunderstanding what something like the PowerPlant or Panamax can do?
     
  4. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    glad you asked. here is something I had written up...hope it doesnt muddy the waters...

    I conclude that these are the most misunderstood "boxes" in audio and HT for what they DO and what people WANT them to do -- make "a big difference" in audio sonics and video picture quality.

    Everybody's basic need IMO is surge protection from daily electrical line voltage burps (helps prolong component life) and the more rare but catastrophic massive lightning field surge/spikes. TrippLite, Belkin, Panamax and MonsterPower are the most widely available and range from $60 to $500.

    All of these surge protectors have AC line noise filters for radio frequency interference (like transmission tower radiation nearby picked up by our house electrical wiring) and electromagnetic interference from whereever. That's all the line conditioning these units do. They aren't designed to make a big difference, just lie there like a dead dog until a power surge or spike hits the house wiring. They also are convenient power centers with multiple outlets and ESSENTIAL terminals to attach cabletv and Sat coax and DSS fone lines.

    Beyond this, people looking for those differences start looking into:

    * Voltage Regulators, useful only if one's public power delivery has MULTIPLE brownouts and "sags" below 80V, and EXTENSIVE overvoltages >140V. Rare in modern utility power today.

    * Voltage Stabilizers that guarantee dead-on 120V day in, day out. Again, one wud have to determine if YOUR power fluctuates enough, but audiophiles swear by it. Modern AV power supplies are designed to handle small voltage ups and downs. See Monster AVS2000

    * Voltage Regenerators that output a Pure Sine Wave that enhances the Ac to DC conversion in our components to "improve" on public power from the wall and enhance equipment performance, not beyond but just to its best design level. PSAudio, ExactPower EP-15.

    * Balanced Power, actually a worthwhile technique that eliminates much electrical line "noise," known as Common Mode Rejection. bpt.com; equi=tech.com are two as well as the new Monster HTPS-7000 that includes surge suppresion.

    These * units however run from $1100 to $1800, so it's not something to just throw at a perceived problem without much research.

    In doing these upgrades, one also is led down the path of first installing a dedicated circuit, 20A usually, but 15A works for most systems, from the Main Service breaker box to a new wall outlet in the house. This assures a home-run line that's most reliable since nothing else but HT/audio-video, is on it. A dedicated circuit still does nothing to clean any "garbage" on the electrical delivery the above mentioned are supposed to massage.
     
  5. Gabriel_Lowe

    Gabriel_Lowe Auditioning

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    Bill-- Then am I correct in assuming that a standard computer grade surge suppresser does the same thing as a Monster Power Center?
     
  6. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    ...never assume...my genl response is NO. Computer units have far less surge stopping power than a fullsized audio/video designed unit and fewer features for hooking up other coax and tel wire.

    If you already have a piece of gear you're trying to figure how to utilize, pls tell us the name and model.

    If you care to get into it, what exactly do you think is wrong with the power at your house (or the weather?) I luv NC ...
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you haven't already done so, peruse the tweaks area a few weeks back. There were posts, comments, information about surge supressors that might be of interest for you to look over.
     
  8. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    Gabriel-
    Another site you should check out is avsforum.com. The folks there are extremely knowledgeable & very helpful. I added a PS Audio Powerplant 600 to my system a few months back and now consider it an essential component to my system. As Bill says the price starts to get high rather quickly, but for my money its worth it.
    Jay
     
  9. Gareth

    Gareth Stunt Coordinator

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    Question for the group: Is there a unit out there (affordable) where you can measure your operating current (for high current devices)? While some of us may have big amps, we most likely are not drawing the max current the amp might require. Does radio shack sell a DMM that can handle that kind of current? It would be nice to have a box with an LED readout.

    It would be nice to know what my 7 channels are drawing, and then perhaps turn them off and see what the subs pull when the bass hits the system.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Gareth: Please look at this link where Bill and others spoke about current draw. While it does not specifically address what to buy, his comments and those of others, specifically BruceK's are very informative. Also keep in mind during portions of whatever it is that you're playing where sharp and elevated transients come into play, the capacitors in your amps provide a reservoir of current from which to tap into.
     

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