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Monster Power

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MichaelDa, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. MichaelDa

    MichaelDa Auditioning

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    Hello,

    I have another question for the HT experts out there...

    I've never put a thought to power, at least not beyond a surge strip! Until I was doing the final walk-thru on my new home, and noticed that the seller is running a Monster Power (2600?) next to his $400 home theater "package" system. Anyone have any idea why? Could it be that my new home has really noisy lines and he had to buy it for the noise suppression? or maybe there's a lot of spikes and brown-outs in the area? for all I know he picked it up at a garage sale and doesn't need it at all, but it did worry me a bit.

    Is this a valuable component that I should be considering for my new setup?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    No need to get too caught up in this idea of dirty power -- especially from Monster, which specializes in raising fears.

    In earlier days, people realized they needed surge protectors the same as dealing with their home computers. Now, these protectors have evolved into "line conditioners" and are sold as necessary components.

    Your SoCal power isnt noted for being unreliable, and you arent subject to damaging thunder/lightning storms. So in the absense of findng your system with strange power/sound output fluctuations, using an adequate surge protector than has built-in AC line noise filters wud be just fine. Anything under $100 from Panamax MAX8 DBS+5 (for sat connection) to a Belkin SurgeMaster at OfficeMax to Radio Shack's nice $49.99 model will work.

    Over time, depending on how expensive (read "sensitive") your audio-visual system gets, you can reearch on the various power conditioners at your leisure to see if you wish to try one. There is no best here.

    Oh, and welcome to the Forum...so why is SmartHome yer home page?

    bill
     
  3. MichaelDa

    MichaelDa Auditioning

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    Phew! That's a relief, thanks. I thought it might just be a marketing ploy of some type by Monster....

    Thanks, I'm really glad that I found this Forum, I've found it extremly helpful and everyone is very cool.

    I'm an applications developer for Smarthome, been there for just over 3 years. So if you have any Home Automation questions, I could contribute much more in that arena [​IMG] We do carry HT equipment, but I think the selection could use some work. Speakercraft, JBL, Bose, & Monster is about everything we carry, and only select items.
     
  4. Robert_Barlow

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    I was talking to one of the dealers at the local hi-fi shop and he described the monster conditioners as detrimental to most high end systems that include seperates. His reasoning was that your beefier power amps run hungry and that by conditioing the amount of electricity they(and everything else) are recieving you are actually limiting your amps ability to work properly. He even went as far to say that is really limited the soundstage as well.

    Now, I personally don't have the slightest clue, I just thought I would pass along what he shared w/me.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I always told my kids not to trust dealers. That goes for the ones in audio stores too. I'll just bet though that he happens to carry some sort of conditioner that won't be current limiting.
     
  6. Robert_Barlow

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    Hrmm, actually Chu he said that any device designed to condition power would do the same thing. I only mentioned Monster because he was asking about them.

    Heh and if I had totally trusted him I never would have ended the abovwe comments with the admission that I had no idea. I am not naive but I do like to listen to what poeople have to say. So far, this guy seems to be pretty level with me.
     
  7. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Robert you're right. In fact, almost all higher end dealers and technical reps I have spoken to all say that in the case of high power amps, they are best plugged into a wall, even if someone has a power plant, a dedicated 20 amp circuit, or whatever. I have the Monster HTPS 7000 but I only plug my tv, preamp, dvd player, vcr etc. into it. These components hardly draw any power, and I have noticed that their performance has improved...not so much the tv picture quality, but more so the lower noise floor. As for my amps, the Halo A51 and A21, I leave them in the wall where they can draw as much current as their hearts desire.
     
  8. John Robert

    John Robert Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Cinenova Grande 3 which comes with a notice taped to it that you will void the warranty if you plug it into a power conditioner. I agree that conditioners are good for video and digital sources...
     
  9. JoshuaT

    JoshuaT Stunt Coordinator

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    My HTS 3500 has doen wonders for my video picture... but I also live in a house built in the 40's... (I had to run grounds to the outlet my rec was plugged into!!!)

    The HTS 3500 took out some of the video noise I would pickup due to the A/C, dryer/washer, or lights in other rooms.

    People may not rave about Monster, but mine is awesome for what I need it to do.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I can't understand why the comment about 'conditioners' would only be applicable to high end amps or receivers and not to anything else. As I see it, this position, as espoused by various dealers, users, and manufacturers (who just happen to have the 'solution'!) is that one must not put anything between the amp and the wall outlet that can restrict the current. Now one can take this literally in which case the only thing between the amp and the outlet is a power cord. On the other hand, it can be taken that any device that lies in between the two must not contain circuitry that can limit current. The latter position is interpreted that the any parallel circuitry is OK, but any device that's wired in series, as sometimes inductors and various other components are is VERBOTTEN. Is there merit to the latter position? Well all the experiences that people have cited that involve listening has been entirely anecdotal. While I've never experienced it, I could see certain situations where this 'might' happen. However I would think that this would involve a complex series of events and situations. It would depend upon, the amp, the conditioner, the speakers, the volume you listen to, the particular type of music you listen to (maybe something with long passages of very low frequency sounds), what else is on the line, and so forth.

    I posed a similar question to Bryston some time back. What follows are the contents of the email discussion I had with them.
     
  11. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    What about putting the amp on its own surge protector or conditioner ? That way it won't compete with any other device trying to draw current.

    Chu is absolutely right with his last statement. I would think you could even damage speakers if the amp sees a surge due to a lightning strike. I had a similar situation with my computer in a lightning storm. I had everything plugged into a surge protector... except my telephone line. Lightning struck very close by and must have gone through the phone lines because it blew my modem to bits. It also killed my monitor.
     
  12. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    It’s really hard to get a handle on surge protection/power/current limitation issues because it’s so anecdotal, and even then we don’t hear all the stories, and further, what applies to one user isn’t replicated by another even in similar circumstances.

    I’ve been wondering about this seeming lack of Damage Reports : Recently we’ve experienced two MAJOR electrical power outages in the U.S. – the Great Northeast Grid failure in August, and the Middle Atlantic Hurricane blowdown last week. So far, I have seen NO reports across the home audio internet world of any damage to electronic systems.

    There can be any number of reasons. Connected equipment was left plugged in but not turned on; gear was plugged into surge protectors; the eventual restoration of power came within tolerances that didn’t surge/rattle equipment power supplies to death.

    Additionally, it could be that the power supplies and internal surge protective systems in our modern gear prove sufficient to handle all but the most severe shock – proximate lightning field/strikes. In other words, maybe we’re being too Chicken Little- The Sky is Falling about everyday surge protection because perhaps it takes a really, really severe hit to fry audio-video gear. For most, this thinking is too theoretical, so I agree it’s sorta dumb to take chances on going without external surge protection.

    But bolstering the “components can handle surges” concept are the power amp makers, Bryston, Anthem et all, who current limiting aside, claim these units are build with enough surge/spike protection to obviate the need for a SP. Chu is correct that such a bareback wall connection opens a backdoor to the rest of the connected equipment – but ONLY in the presense of some direct lightning-level surge IMO! Here, if there is such a geo/meteorological danger, using a service entrance surge unit is critical protection.

    It the end, there’s no one surge/power center that fits all if spending money is a consideration. I say assess the danger risk and build a surge protection system accordingly. There probably are more J6Ps who’ve never used surge protection who are none the worse for it!

    bill
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Who knows...maybe the return of power was managed more carefully? Dumb luck?
    The audio industry, like many others, preys upon paranoia, misinformation, and our perverse relationship with our equipment. Yes, I agree. Assess the situation and act accordingly.
     
  14. JohnMW

    JohnMW Second Unit

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but the Panamax 5300 states:

    http://www.panamax.com/Products/Prod...sp?sName=M5300

    Two delayed-on outlets for high-current components such as amplifiers and powered sub-woofers, provide clean, filtered power without limiting the current available to the connected equipment.

    ----

    Is it possible that this "filtration" is still unacceptable in term of limiting current to an amp?
     
  15. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Is it possible that this "filtration" is still unacceptable in term of limiting current to an amp?


    No. Panamax primarily serves as a surge protector based on degradeable-over-time MOVs. Like all surge protectors today, it come with these "filters" designed to eliminate AC electrical line interference from RF and EMI. This filtering is independent of the actual current carrying wiring capacity.

    Downstream from AC filtering, the electrical power gets transformed and rectified into DC power which actually does the powering in the AV gear.

    In my opinion, so-called current-limiting insofar as a surge suppressor is concerned, is no issue for 98 percent of the consumer amps/AVRs we use. And any current-limiting only occurs when playing sources at high volume levels. In any regard, amps and I think this Panamax 5300 use capacitors to maintain a charge to draw upon during split moments for high sound level passages.

    Panamax publishes an 800 number. Product marketing manager Don King will put any caller in touch with an engineer there if he cannot directly answer a question.

    bill
     
  16. ross ish

    ross ish Stunt Coordinator

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    Ever noticed that those high end amps have humungous power supplies? No doubt these boat anchors could absorb a lot of punishment and plugging them directly into a wall outlet may be fine. But for us commoners that have, lets say, more portable amps/receivers; maybe a power conditioner/surge is not a bad idea. Our wimpy in comparison p/s does not benefit from Bryston's 20 year warranty. Anyway, Monster Power HTS 5100 has dedicated amp outlets that are not suppose to be current limiting.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    yes, but even bryston's warranty won't save you if your amp was fried in a surge. for example, properly designed power supplies for computers can take a pretty big whallop. something like a 2000 volt common mode transient. however, that power supply doesn't absorb or shunt the surge. it's simply able to deal with it. unfortunately anything connected to it isn't quite so lucky. I think the same thinking applies to unprotected amps.
     

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