Could someone who knows a thing or two about household power (like an electrician) please critique what say here about power conditioners. I want to make double sure I'm not including any blatant technical innacuracies. I wrote this for use on a website I'm writing as sort everyman's Home Theater guide (HT on a budget). I wanted to give specific information on what to expect from a power conditioner. I don't want to seem offencive to audiophiles who love their power conditioners, but I do want people on a budget not to know they can do without one. Household wiring is something I'm only just learning, the grouding thing I might be a little unclear on. Thank you in advance for reading and any comments. Wayde ------------------------------ Hi-Fi writers and audiophiles have given compelling testimonies of improvements in sound when using a Power Conditioner for their Home Theater system. “…a very thin veil that I did not know had been there, was lifted. The clarity was now like a crystal goblet that was squeaky clean.” -An audio review of an expensive Power Conditioner Power Conditioners plug into your wall and provide outlets for Home Theater components. Paranoia over dirty and noisy household electricity are used to sell Power Conditioners as a miracle cure that will unlock your audio system’s potential. Power Conditioners should only be considered to address specific problems and an electrician should generally be consulted first, not an expensive miracle box. Here are some basic functions a Power Conditioner may perform: • Surge protector.Shunts excess voltage to ground but works more effectively in close proximity to natural Earth ground. A more effective solution is to protect all electrical appliances in your house by installing a surge protector at your household fuse box. Unplug your gear for absolute protection from surges. • RF Noise filter. Normal amounts of noise from AC outlets are filtered by your equipment’s power supply. Since there are no quantitative standards for reporting levels of RF filtering how well a filter performs is largely left to your faith in the manufacturer. Devices that perform high frequency switching such as computers, SACD players or even vacuum cleaners and blenders should be plugged into outlets away from your TV or Home Theater receiver to limit backwash noise flowing back into your power lines. • Voltage Stabilizers/Regulators. Stabilize fluctuating voltages that can shutdown or harm expensive equipment. Most household appliances including Home Theater equipment are sturdy enough to handle slight fluctuations from normal household power. Severe power fluctuations that can dim lights and cause brown outs should be addressed by your municipal utilities. Voltage Regulators measure voltages to ensure negligible heat generation, common sense should dictate when your gear might be overheating. Only households with serious and consistent power problems might to need to take these measures. • Ground Stabilizer. Grounding problems can create hum from speakers or damage equipment. A ground leak in one Home Theater component can create a ground loop, this should be repaired immediately. Ground problems in your household wiring should be repaired at the wall outlet or fuse box. An isolation transformer costs a fraction of a high end Power Conditioner and resolves problems with ground loops. There is no magic to the jobs performed by Power Conditioners. If you decide you need AC line protection for your Home Theater consider options that provide hard facts about how it performs and not colorful metaphors.