Power needs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Daniel Mai, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    I’m planning on installing two dedicated circuits for my A/V needs with Hospital Grade receptacles. One for amps – 120W x 5, 70W x 2, and 250W. The second for my TV, DBS receiver, pre/pro, CDP, DVD Players, VCR, and LDP.

    Currently, I have my amps plug directly into the wall, and my other equipment plugged into the Panamax 1000+.

    Here are my questions (with the 2 dedicated circuits):

    1. Would it still be OK for me to still plug my amps directly into wall? Or should I use a nice quality conditioner/surge protection like Jon Risch on described on Audioasylum, sold on DIYcables.com? Or should I use a Tripp-Lite Hospital Grade Surge Suppressor (ISOBAR 6 ULTRA HG)? How will any of these effect the dynamics of my amps/sound?

    2. Should I still be using the Panamax 1000+ for my TV, pre/pro, etc. (as listed above)? Or should I use again Jon Risch conditioner/surge protection? Or can I use one of those Tripp-lite Isobar 6 DBS HT surge suppressor sold on globalmart.com? Or use the Hospital Grade Isobar 6 above? Or just keep the Panamax 1000+?

    3. Also, is it better to separate analog and digital sources?

    Seems like the more catalogs I look at the more paranoid I get.
     
  2. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    If I was running two dedicated circuits as you, I would first of all make certain that I separated digital from all amps and pre/pros. Keep amps and pre on same circuit.

    The JRisch filter with surge protection is perfect for digital sources, much better performance than Panamax/Isobar in that price range. The JR unit will limit dynamics when used with amps, and the Panamax/Isobar will compress dynamics even moreso.
    As for your amps. Go directly into the wall duplex, or get a nice strip like the PS Audio Juice Bar if you exceed 2 outlets. As for protection without limiting dynamics for your amp, then consider the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet, 20Amp, or 15Amp High Current model.

    As for duplex outlets, find a nice spec grade/hard use outlet 20Amp (Hubbell 5362) found here... www.electricsurplusstore.com
    The Hubbell 8300, Arrow Hart 8300-I are both very good 20Amp outlets.

    Good Luck,
    BOK
     
  3. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Not OK, Brian. I asked $300 questions and got a $1K answer as I spent all evening reading up on PS Audio. Now I have 2 Ultimate Outlets and 1 powerbar on my mine. Or better yet a Power Director.

    Anyone else would like to take a shot or stab?

    It's tough to ask simple questions around here. [​IMG]
     
  4. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, this stuff can get expensive. Sorry for the sticker shock 8^0... My question is how far, just how much do you
    want to invest in this very rapidly evolving techno-hobby in order to maximize your system. The price always goes up for quality.
    Don't kill off any messengers here that may offer options. This is what this crazy hobby is all about.

    You can go the less expensive-surge protection with decreased dynamics route, or you can think ahead and buy products which will provide no limit in dynamics and pay the going price.

    If you are on a budget, then simply trade down. Simple as that. $300. will get you $300.

    Wishing better luck.......
     
  5. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree. It wasn't really a shock, I was merely reacting with some sarcasm.

    I have read about PS Audio before, but I didn't do much research until tonight. For me, it's very appealing to use One UO for 2 amps, and the other UO with their Juice Bar for everything else or a Power Director. Of course, each UO will get its own dedicated circuits. Power Director seems like a good way to go also for the second circuit although it could be quite costly and why people would use Monster HTS7000(?) instead is beyond me. Power Director just seems a unbeleivable unit.

    I've my share of upgrading in the last 15-20 years and more so in the last couple years (fun/hobby allowance), but I've never thought about power to these a/v equipment until lately that I've found myself at Audioasylum. Now I want clean power and I also want to make or buy some power cords.

    This is a crazy hobby that doesn't seem to stop because we're always tweaking or upgrading (hopefully something better). Having a fast DSL internet does not help the wallet either 'cause you can expose yourself much faster to these things. And I do believe in you get what you pay for but feel somewhat a little conservative as I get a little older.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    your post suggests that you have your own house. in that case surge protection is optimally handled by installing a whole house unit located at the service entrance where the distance to earth ground is short (under 10 feet). that approach is far superior to the other things your interested in. then if you wish to add a bit of local redundancy it can be done fairly inexpensively. if you're doing the work yourself (the wiring) then you may wish to investigate that. fwiw, for those who subscribe to the position of amp dynamics being potentially limited by local surge protection, then, according to Bryston, one simply needs to look into devices that have no or a minimal amount of series mode components.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Daniel,

    Personally I feel that people make so much ado about power conditioning and surge protectors.

    It’s one thing if you live in a place with questionable power delivery. If you do, you probably already know about it. I have a friend who used to have components die mysterious deaths on a regular basis – one every few years. Since he moved somewhere else about eight years ago, I don’t think he’s had anything else die mysteriously. Obviously there was a problem with the power at his previous location.

    For instance, locations where all the power wires are overhead on poles stand a far greater chance of a lightning hit that locations that have the power delivered underground. I think my friend’s former residence was in the former category. The latter is my situation and I haven’t had any power-related problems in over 20 years. So it makes more sense to me to get surge protection only if you know you need it. Of course, just for your own peace of mind is a legitimate reason, too.

    Conditioning – that’s another thing. Some people say they can hear and see a difference, some say they can’t. If you want conditioning for peace of mind, fine - go for it, as with the surge protection. But if you’re getting conditioning for perceived performance enhancements, make sure the place you buy from has a generous return policy.

     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    obviously Wayne, his former place was possessed, probably by someone who used to listen to vinyl.
     
  9. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you Chu. I do so enjoy a lot of your posts, but hard to understand at times. I'll have to look into protection for the whole house, but wouldn't this be a bit overkill. I wonder if someone makes a surge protector circuit breaker. Wouldn't that be cool.

    Well said, Wayne. My thoughts were about the same as yours. I know, it's sound like I'm just agreeing with everyone's opinion. But of the 18 years I lived in this area (92626), I've never had a piece of equipment damaged from surges and I used to just plug it directly, for 16 years, into the wall or a cheap $10 surge protector which I use because it has more receptacles, not for protection. It was only two years ago that I thought about better protection, so I got into it with the Panamax 1000+. Did I notice the difference, I'm not sure since I bought a bunch of new a/v equipment at that time, and I'm too lazy to do A/B (or Chu's favorite blindfold test), not only that it's quite a task since to gain access behind the equipment.

    Last Thanksgiving, I thanked myself for a good year and for a good bonus, and replaced all my components (ventured into separates for the first time - WOW!!). Lately, I've been reading about tweaking or maximizing the protential of my equipment since it seems like pro a/v stores got all their equipment prefectly setup and I want that.

    I always thought a lot of these protection/conditioners is overhyped or overkill and they're for people who has lots of money to spend. But PS Audio and others are in business and has been in business, so a lot of people must buying it, using it, and are happy(?) with it. The other reason is I could afford it now. So I spent many nights surfing and I got a bunch of different scenarios and I'm not sure which bandwagon to jump on, but the dedicated circuits with hospital grade receptacles seems to make perfect sense. And then, surge protection came up and here we are. Ultimately, do I really need it? Do I really need the PS Audio UO?

    I guess if I had money to spring, I would love to try the PowerPlants, but man are these expensive.

    BTW, Wayne, I'm reading your post and I thought cool this guy probably doesn't use surge protection. Then, I saw your equipment listings and see you're using Adcom 515 conditioners[​IMG] How are these? I saw a post for two used ones very reasonably priced.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    there are surges, which by nature are destructive, and there are glitches, disturbances, noise, whatever you want to call them. you can't protect against the latter without considering the first. surges can result from lightning. they can also result from power grid disturbances or accidents...a substation going out...someone running their car into a transformer...a squirrel going after a nut in a relay station and frying itself and the station out, etc.
    considering that you could buy a bona fide surge protector from companies like Siemens or Intermatic from Home Depot in the vicinity of $100 and they would protect all your equipment, all your electronic devices...home theater, microwave, garage door opener, all your X10's, thermostat, phone, etc. they represent approaches that are cost effective and sensible. the further away a surge protection device is located from the earth ground outside your home, the less effective it becomes. all surges want to do is to find a ground. if your surge protection device is located a distance away, who knows where that ground will be. the surge will seek out the lowest impedence path(s) it can find. now this might fortuitously be right back down the line to earth ground or it might be through something else.
    if you install a local surge protector for all your HT equipment but nothing for your amp, then quite honestly you haven't protected anything at all. let's hypothetically say that a surge works it's way through your unprotected amp. well your amp is connected to your speakers as well as everything else. that surge will run its way through anything that's connected via the backdoor and you'll find yourself with expensive protection that didn't do anything at all. you may even find that you've also fried your surge protectors.
    if, after you've installed surge protection at the mains (where the lines enter your home), you want to further guard against things like glitches, spikes, noise, etc. then that can be done using a variety of approaches.
    these aren't opinions, they're facts. neither a Panamax, or Monster, or a Risch design, or anything else is superior to putting a surge protection device where it belongs. you don't need a shotgun to protect your home against burglers if they can't enter in the first place, right?
     
  11. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to look into these surge protectors from Siemens or Intermatic or others. Would you happen to have links or cat. # for them?

    Thanks!!
     
  12. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Here is some more food for thought about the merits of single vs multiple circuits
    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...openfrom&1&4#1

    I wish I didn't have to link off to another site, but it is excellent fodder when deciding what to consider when the pros/cons of multiple circuits pops up.

    It really comes down to your particular gear, your setup, and other factors, obviously. And yes, it is a debate that is ongoing. I ended up going two circuits, and fortunately it is absent of loops and "noise". Consumer grade digital source equipment is notorious for injecting digital hash (cheap switching power supplies) back into the AC line-- very nasty, and not a silly concern.
    Having that extra circuit allows you to judge for yourself which is quieter, and more dynamic. Your electrician is in there anyway, so why not run two, or more, dedicated lines.

    BOK
     
  13. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Chu,

    Great job of explaining the benefits or whole house protection. Certainly seems to be a worthwhile and cost effective consideration.

    Daniel,

     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Intermatic EG240RC and Siemens QSA2020 should be available at HD. More joules in a whole house unit mean a longer surge life expectancy. Were you to live in a problem area, like Florida, certain parts of TX or the Midwest, you'd be looking for more joules. Intermatic has a website with a little 'pick a protector' applet. I'd consider calling their toll free # and speaking to someone who may be able to suggest other alternatives.
    Other thoughts are the following:

    http://www.deltala.com/prod02.htm
    http://members.tripod.com/~StorminPr.../index-31.html

    Some solid sate versions for protection are available from the following:
    http://www.mimcv.com/residential.html
    http://www.elect-spec.com/wire_in2.htm

    Those are kind of interesting because since they don't degrade, one could set their let-through voltage under 330V which would knock out some noise also. They'd probably make the most sense when used in parallel with the MOV based units since it is possible for a solid state unit to be overwhelmed.

    Hopefully, this makes more sense.
     
  15. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Great info, Chu. I couldn't thank you enough.

    Wayne, thanks for the insights to the 515 for conditioners.

    I'll probably use this whole house protection and the 515 for conditioners and distrution. Seems like an affordable winning combination for me.
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    there's enough margin on a $20 bill to write 'thank you'. paypal works too [​IMG]
    Brian has some good ideas with the outlets. Certainly cheap to do.
     
  17. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  18. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    i agree that whole house protection is a great idea, but not the whole answer....

    if an air conditioner or a refrigerator in your house has a compressor fail, it can generate a surge within your house...

    i just had a customer yesterday who had his computer fried from a surge when his refrigerator compressor motor died...and he did have a whole house protector installed at his mains....

    you need protection at your outlets for your equipment!

    personally, i like the series mode protection offered by surge-x, brickwall, or zerosurge....but whatever you brand or technology that you prefer, i would recommend some sort of protection at your outlets...

    russ

    www.surgex.com
    www.brickwall.com
    www.zerosurge.com
     
  19. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Great, Chu. Now I'm afraid to thank Russ for his suggestion. Come to think of it, I'm more afraid that bunch of people are gonna get in on the suggestions. Better yet, at least you don't want me to be thankful for each word.[​IMG]
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    something else happened there. a compressor motor on a fridge starting up, shutting down, or shorting out, is not going to create a 330 volt surge. if that were the case then every refrigerator manufacturer would have lawsuits up the wazoo since they'd be designing potential killing devices. in fact, a 'properly' designed computer power supply will not fail when subjected to low voltages or even a 1000 volt spike. That's not to say though that all PC power supplies are built properly. A 'clone' PC is likely to have a substandard power supply. Why some even fail when subjected to their full specified loads as can be seen here:
    http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/2...pplies-15.html
    as to what that person had, i really don't know. as an aside, when one puts in whole house protection, then adding relatively local protection to deal with power glitches for certain transitorized devices becomes relatively inexpensive.
     

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