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Looking at a Panamax m4310 surge protector/filter. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MichaelDDD, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hello all,

    For years, I've used one of the standard $25 B&M surge protectors on all my HT equipment. Run the coax for the cable TV thru it as well...all protected.

    I've had a few close calls with power line probs, etc, but thankfully, have never had one sacrifice itself to save the equipment. Though the peace of mind knowing it was there was priceless. Of course, I submit ALL warranty cards too. [​IMG]

    Now that I'm moving to better equipment, I want to better protect it.

    Panamax is highly regarded in the pro-sound world...used to have one in my guitar rack.

    I've been checking out the Panamax m5100
    and the m4310 and it looks pretty good. Does under/over volt protection and EFI/EMI filtering. Looks like a good deal for the money. $200 HERE $300 for the 5100.

    There's a $100 diff b/t the two. The 5100 adds two outlets on an "unlimited current circuit" specifically for amplifiers and receivers. It also has capacitors on those two outlets to store a bit of extra juice. It's also got dimmable LEDs on the front panel. After reading up on it, the 5100 does seem to be worth the extra $100 over the 4310.

    .pdf instructions for the 5100

    Any opinions on these units? Better ideas for the same money?

    I would imagine these units are worlds better than my $25 surge protector strip.

    Connected to this would be:

    Television
    Receiver
    Subwoofer
    CD Changer
    DVD player
    VCR
    Playstation

    Both units are rated at 1800 watts max, which I technically could exceeed with the receiver and sub at full current draw, but I doubt that would happen.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Checkout these Brickwall units. http://www.brickwall.com
    Read lots of good things about them. They don't contain MOV's that degrade over time. Priece is reasonable and if you can get 5 people to go in it gets cheaper. I've been looking at the PW8R15AUD(audio version) for $249 [​IMG]

    Kevin
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Do you have your own house? If so, you're substantially better off installing a whole house unit with some modest point of use devices.
     
  4. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Kevin W, I'll check that out.

    Chu Gai, I will be buying a house in early 2004...whole house units are VERY expensive, aren't they?
     
  5. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Which would be better the Brickwall or PS-Audio. Anyone?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Kevin
     
  6. Dave Nibeck

    Dave Nibeck Stunt Coordinator

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    MichaelDDD,

    A whole house filter should run ya about $300 installed. I think smarthome is running a sale on Leviton's. You can also check with your utility company, they may offer as well.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The 'strength' of the whole house unit that you'd need is predicated upon factors like where you live. 1000 joule units would do well for the majority of people. For those in problem areas with a lot of cloud to ground lightning strikes would be better off with a 2000 joule unit. FWIW a 2000 joule unit installed near earth ground is more effective than say a 3000 joule point of use unit.
    There was a fellow on another forum who had a whole house unit and a dedicated circuit to boot for under $200. Either way, on a per protected appliance basis, it's dirt cheap.
     
  8. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Wow. The whole-house is a lot cheaper than I thought. I will definitely be getting one of them...once I buy the house, of course. :b Probably another $100 for installation by a licensed electrician...worth every penny, IMO.

    I emailed the Brickwall people last night and asked them to compare their PW8R15AUD unit to the Panamax m5100.

    They replied very quickly and honestly.

    W/O cutting and pasting their email, I'll sum it up.

    They feel that the 5100 offers slightly better line filtering than their PW8R15AUD does. (it is $100 more, to be fair about it)

    They say the PW8R15AUD is not current limiting in any way, even though it's got a choke/inductor that covers all the inputs. I'm not sure about this one.

    (the biggie) Their website shows no "protected equipment" warranty b/c they don't have one by default on any of their surge protectors. They explained (and I understand) that anyone's "$5 million dollar protected equipment warranty" is a bit overstated, etc. But in the same sentence they acknowledged that Panamax is one of the better companies when it comes to paying out claims.

    They then explained how for all the m5100's strengths, it's still an inferior product due to it's use of MOVs.

    Now, while I honestly HAVE seen some cheap surge surpressors pop and fry for seemingly no reason, I've never had a "good unit" like a Belkin, Monster, etc do that. In fact, I've had several "good" surge surpressors for years and they work fine.

    Panamax has been around a long time, their warranty on the product itself and the connected equipment is very good. I'll be going with the Panamax. The PW8R15AUD has it's strengths, to be sure. But I think it's better suited towards computer equipment and possibly things like DVD players, preamps etc. Not big current draw items like amps and receivers.

    Thanks for the help, folks. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Better read that warranty vewy vewy carefully if you think it's going pay to replace or repair your equipment. You're best served by a comprehensive policy on your equipment.
     
  10. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    From what I understand, they prorate the damaged equipment. That's fair. That's my understanding in a nutshell.

    Thier FAQ seems very forthcoming about how to file a claim.
     
  11. JasonAB

    JasonAB Auditioning

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    Posted by mistake.
     

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