line conditioning

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Butler, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Mike Butler

    Mike Butler Extra

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    Todat I went to Tweeter and bought a Mitsubishi 55 Diamond series TV and Progressive scan DVD. Befroe completeing the sale, the salesman tells me I should have a line conditioner. She shows me a Monster Cable POWERBAR that cost $199. He plugs a gizmo into the wall and turns a knob, then loud static comes out representig line noise. Then he switches to the Monster Cable Powerbar unit and it is barely a whisper. SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? I told him to save his breath and ring the damn thing up.

    This is the most expensive thing beside a car or house I have ever bought. I want it to perform as best as possible and last as long as possible. Do I need something like this? How about a UPS?

    MIKE
     
  2. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Mike,

    If you want it to perform as best as possible for as long as possible, then the first thing to do will be to calibrate the set with Video Essentials or Avia. Typically the sets out of the box are set in "torch" mode--settings are far too high/bright--this will harm the unit long-term.

    Depending upon the area you live in, electrical storm activity, quality of power delivery, etc., a surge protector and/or line filter isn't a bad idea at all. A good filter (a Richard Gray product, maybe a balanced power product) probably would improve the picture. Some people find that the lower-end Monster products do improve their picture. I have a Monster HTS-2000 on my system and haven't noticed any difference (in fact, I had to disconnect the cable input from the HTS because it actually disrupted the cable signals--I've got digital cable).

    A UPS may be useful for some components/situations in an HT system, but I don't know that an RPTV would be the best use of such. You can do a search on HTF for "UPS" and find some prior threads.

    To make your set truly look as good as possible you might consider getting it ISF Tech'ed/calibrated. It's about $500, but most who I've interacted with have been very glad they had it done. You can do a search on HTF for "ISF" and find some threads if interested.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  3. Mike Butler

    Mike Butler Extra

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    Thanks. I have the Video Essentials DVD and will bring that out soon enough.
    I was actually thinking of the UPS for my TiVo unit, though I've never had a problem before. My thinking is while a surge protector stops high voltage and spikes, what about low voltage(brownouts). I've seen that do more harm that you would think to computers. Maybe the Powerbar into a large UPS? Maybe nothing at all? I just spent $5,00 plus today, I'm still reeling[​IMG]
    Thanks
    MIKE
     
  4. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Mike,
    I know that feeling--a while back I said yes to a $4K amp and for several days manically bounced between sheer glee and gutwrenching stomach spasms. . . [​IMG]
    On the UPS issue, I'd really do a search here at HTF and then over at AVS. There were some lengthy threads discussing pros/cons, problems, solutions, etc.
    I coughed up some more big bucks and got a PS Audio PowerPlant 600, myself. So I've got pretty clean power into my components at this point. I'm not sure how deep/long a brownout needs to be to shut that thing down. . . BTW, the PP600 is great--it truly affects the sound (it's great trying out all the multiwave settings and hearing the differences). But it caused another round of spasms. . . [​IMG]
     
  5. Doug_Bbn

    Doug_Bbn Auditioning

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    Personally, I wouldn't worry about a UPS - one reason is the reasonably priced units produce terrible looking sine waves... more triangular, with very high distortion. Fine for computer power supplies, but not for audio and video components.

    I've reviewed a lot of power conditioning products - over 50. There isn't anything inexpensive that makes much of a difference in video or audio quality and the $200 you spent already is not much as power conditioners go. You got a good enough product that will protect your equipment from power line surges and pay you for the equipment (either replacement cost or repair cost) if the equipment is damaged while connected to the Monster power bar. You would have to get up into the $800 range before you could find a balanced power PLC with enough current capability for an RPTV, DVD, surround processor and a couple other small components (amplifiers could not be connected, they require too much power.

    The Richard Gray's Power Company products are not "filters" - they do not remove any noise from the power line but they do make video images look better... they are referred to as "power enhancers" not "power conditioners". The Richard Gray's products do suppress surges also. Most people use power conditioners to filter the AC power and add Richard Gray's products to gain even better sound and video than you can get with power conditioning alone.

    Monster sells a power conditioner for $1300 that has balanced power and works pretty well, but there isn't enough current capability for an RPTV on either of the balanced power circuits - there is a video filter though and it works pretty well. Audio-wise, some of the other PLC products sound better. The Monster PLCs that look like amplifiers (larger than your power bar) have circuit boards to distribute power inside... the better sounding PLCs are wired with large gauge wire... point to point with no circuit board.

    You have decent protection for the equipment now - but no performance enhancement. Performance enhancement can be achieved, but you could end up spending thousands of dollars to get there. And the thousands you do spend will still not make a dramatic difference... yes the images will look better and yes the sound will be better, but you may be the only person who notices. That's plenty for many people who are into their systems heavily - but for most people, the improvement probably isn't worth the cost.

    By the way, the $200 product you bought is worth the additional cost over the smaller Monster power distributors that sell for $40 to $125 just for the more robust internal construction. And you avoided the more expensive models with the internal circuit boards that don't sound so great audio-wise. Not bad for a blind purchase!
     
  6. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    i think Doug gave you a pretty good overview of the different types of products....

    I currently use a Richard Gray unit for improved video (the RPTV is plugged into it) then all other amps and source units including the Richard Gray are plugged into two balanced power units. The balanced power units are plugged into a brick wall surge protector.

    I would buy a good surge protector first, then worry about balanced power and line conditioning second.

    Just My 2 cents

    Ron

    PS: To really understand the different products run a search using:

    surge protection

    line conditioning

    power regeneration

    balanced power

    PS Audio

    Richard Gray

    Brick Wall

    BPT

    This will get you started
     

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