Power Conditioners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve_Moo, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Steve_Moo

    Steve_Moo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do they make a big difference or not? I'm looking to purchase the Monster Cable Reference Power HTS2500 for use with my Equipment and was wondering if it is worth the $165 that I can get it for.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mat_M

    Mat_M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a LOT of opinions on this topic, and you can find most of them in a search. Using a conditioner or not all boils down to several factors including the wiring in your house/neighborhood, how much 'protection' you want for your equipment, etc. I've found posts saying they're worth it, while I've also found posts saying the conditioners limit power. Personally I got a used HTS1000 because the power fluctuations in my area are pretty extreme.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    talk about a tough question to answer...kinda like asking is Prevacid any good? If you don't have acid reflux the answer is no. Parts wise, the components used to attenuate RFI and noise amount to a few dollars. In order to create an increase in perceived value, additional capabilities are generally provided such as surge protection, switched and unswitched outlets, maybe a meter, the list goes on.
    so what is it that you're looking to do or what power problems do you have? live in your own home or rent?
     
  4. Steve_Moo

    Steve_Moo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    My speakers pop every once in a great while and My Surge Protector is a cheapo. And having $8000 worth of equipment hooked up I thought it might be safer and help produce a better picture and sound! I'm not familar with any products but the Monster Cable Reference Power HTS2500 for $165 seems like a decent price and product. Monster is usually way overpriced but these are New and about 1/2 of what retail is! Any other rec'd in this price range would be appreciated or any advice on if I need One also.

    Thanks
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    able to trace the popping to anything in particular...turning off or on a light, or something else? btw, u do have homeowners insurance that'll cover you for full replacement, yes?
     
  6. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well as far as sound quality improvements go they might improve the sound marginally (you have to have a good imaginative mind in order to percieve it[​IMG]) I just use it for peace of mind so I dont worry about my ~8-9K equipment every time I leave the house. That's how I see it, plus the red, green and blue LEDs look cool in the rack when watching those movies with the lights out.
     
  7. Steve_Moo

    Steve_Moo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do have Home Owners Insurance whice I'm sure covers everything in my house. Is ther some sort of extra Insurance for Electronic Equipment that I do not know about. The Popping in my speakers is hard to trace as it might happen Once a Month.

    I have Investigated these Power Conditioners for about 3 hours now and I must say wow. There are alot of Opinions out there that now I'm not sure what to do. Some sai its a Rip Off, others say that it is well worth it.

    What To Do!
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    well the popping 'might' be due to a defective switch, either in your system or perhaps on the wall...maybe a semi flakey outlet somewhere. regarding the insurance, you need to speak to your company and ask them if you're covered for loss due to lighting, surges, theft, whatever. find out just how you're covered...yes they can usually be amended or riders purchased...since you've your own home, i'd consider first the installation, perhaps by your utility company, of a whole house unit surge protector, then maybe look towards some localalized protection with units that incorporate either sine wave tracking and/or Silicon Avalanche Diodes. They typically also include some EMI/RFI protection.
    Getting back to your system...intially I'd be taking a look at all my outlets that are on the same line as my HT...testing them with one of those $10 testers from the Shack and then one by one, pulling them out (trip the breaker please!) and cleaning the wires and rather than choosing the insert method of sticking em back on the outlets, choose the screw it down approach. I'd also look at my switches...just a thought...cheap and easy to implement.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are some really good product reviews at www.hometheaterhifi.com (Secrets) for AC power quality.

    Also, here's an interesting take:

    http://www.psaudio.com/articles/power_conditioners.asp

    I do believe that simple "filters" are not the panacea that everyone believes they are. You do not get something for nothing. But they do help some systems.

    Also, surge protection is different from filtering which is different from voltage stabilization, etc.

    (I.e., most Monster products will have no effect on power fluctuations themselves.)

    If you check out the reviews at Secrets, balanced power is one of the best ways to "filter" power, but it uses "common mode noise rejection", not filters, which is the same method that high end components with balanced interconnects use. But in this case, it's the noise in the AC line that is addressed. There's info out there that balanced power also reduces peak-to-peak jitter by 2/3's, and average jitter by 1/2. Some of the Secret's reviews talk about this too.

    The Monster 7000 is a popular unit with balanced power, among Balanced Power Technologies, Furman, Equitech, Smart Home Theater Systems, API, etc.
     
  10. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2000
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys, let's talk a little more about the "popping" sound. I get that when I turn on my ceiling fan and the hood fan in the kitchen. This is bad I assume yes??? What can I do to solve this problem? I don't know much about home wiring and the sort. I do have a top of the line surge protector but no "power conditioner" or anything. I just kind of assumed they were a way for Monster to milk our enthusiasm a little ( or in some cases a lot) more. I think they realize that we are always looking for new gadgets improve our setups (I know that's not just me). They just look like glorified surge protectors to me. What about the guarantee with the surge protector? Mine was like 100 grand or something like that. Does that cover in house surges? I registered mine a while ago and don't really remember what it said! Thanks, MM
     
  11. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    All your AC-powered HT gear has its own power conditioner -- the integral power supply.

    This takes the AC, rectifies it to turn it into "bumpy" DC, and then runs that through a filter composed of capacitors and inductors to get what's basically DC. If it wasn't DC, or virtually DC (meaning as close as makes no difference), you would hear a hum in your audio.

    If you are worried about power surges, get a $10 surge protector. That will probably be more than you need.
     
  12. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Iver- You should read some of those reviews. [​IMG]

    Here is what balanced power does for me:

    1) There is absolutely no interaction between any other device in my house, and my HT. Refridgerator compressor comes on? Nothing. Run a vacuum cleaner out of the same outlet? No effect. (I had to try it. [​IMG] )

    2) I get blacker blacks, and enriched colors. No snow, no 60 Hz hum bars, nothing. It's actually easier to "see" the effect with video, than to hear it with audio sources.

    3) I get absolutely no hiss, no noise, no hum whatsoever, that is not caused by the individual components themselves. I was really surprised by what it did for the noise floor. It actually makes the soundstage sound louder, because there is nothing "below" it.

    Balanced power isn't for everyone, but it's easy enough to hear and see the efffects in my system.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    you better read that guarantee vewy vewy carefully Mike. Likely it says somewhere that the surge protector had to fail doing its job and that an inspection of the affected equipment will be required and that they'll either pay to repair or give you fair market value. Update your homeowner's policy if you want protection.
    The popping can be due to a # of reasons. For starters see if they're on the same circuit as your HT. Your breaker box will likely have two vertical rows of breakers. If it's not on the same circuit, see if it's on the same 'side'. See if this problem happens with something else that's got a switch plugged into the same outlets as what's in the kitchen. Maybe an electric can opener...maybe a coffee maker. If no, consider replacing the switches of the offending appliances.
     
  14. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a monster HTS 800 which is kind of a "poor mans" pwer conditioner. It's probaly just a glorified surge protector. But it does let me plugh all my components in including my digital cable so I just feeel better haveing as many things surge protected as possible. The wiring in my current flat is wery OLD so who knows what the qulity or saftey is. I have had power surges on 2 poccasions shut down my computer and other stuff. Just like anthing it depends on your system. If you have a $5000 system what is another $165 to protect it especially if it makes YOU feel better. If you have a 500 setup well it doesn't make much sendse.
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129


    I've noticed the same thing. Just goes to show that a solid, stable power supply makes A/V equipment happy (particularly the "V" end of the equation).
     
  16. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use a Monster HTS-3500 and it took care of a nasty cable hum going thru my Samson amp and Adcom amp. It also took care of some type of interference, a scrolling effect I had on my HDTV going from bottom to top. Another thing that is cool about it is that it will turn on all my amps and sub EQ when the receiver comes on. I love my power center.
     
  17. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more thing, most surge protectors, especially the $10 kind [​IMG], use MOVs. MOVs are sacrificial in nature. If one of those surge protectors takes too many "hits", you have no more surge protection, and you don't even know it. You have a quality sound/video system? Use at least quality surge protection.

    Here's the best I've found:

    http://www.brickwall.com/
     
  18. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    Steve,
    Try one out for yourself in your own home and decide for yourself. We can beat a dead horse here about the sonic effects of a power conditioner til we are blue in the face. As long as what you are buying has a return policy, give it a try.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    However, that's not the way an MOV based device works. Rather it works by shunting or diverting the excess into the ground. So long as they're properly sized, and their lifetime goes up exponentially with their ratings, something like a 2000 joule unit will last a very long time. However their effectives, or the effectiveness of any suppression device, is greatly enhanced by placement at the point where power enters your home. That way, you could protect everything in your home.
     
  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    MOV’s: SACRIFICIAL BY DESIGN
    MOV’s are the mainstay component of the surge suppression industry. For certain electronic applications they are an excellent choice. AC power line surge suppression is not one of them. MOV’s function by creating a short circuit (usually to the neutral and the ground) when a preset voltage threshold is exceeded. Essentially they divert surge current away from what is being protected. Unfortunately MOV’s are sacrificial components. This means that the performance life of any surge protection device utilizing this technology is finite. With every surge current diversion above a modest level an MOV comes closer to its inevitable end.

    JOULE RATING/SURGE CURRENT LIMITATIONS

    The joule rating of any MOV is a measure of the amount of energy it can absorb at one time without failing. With an MOV this level declines with use.
    When exceeded it can cause an explosion or a fire. In a harsh, lightning prone environment this limit can easily be reached.

    THERMAL RUNAWAY (FIRE)

    Clamping threshold is the voltage level where the MOV activates. Typically it is set around 220V at 1 milliamp current. With the peak of the sine wave normally at 172V, a surge of only an additional 50V will activate that MOV. Just as repeated usage causes the joule limit of an MOV to drop it can also cause the clamping level to do the same. Eventually the clamping point can fall below the peak of the normal sine wave. In essence the MOV turns on with every cycle of the powerwave and experiences thermal runaway. Worst case? It catches on fire.
     

Share This Page