PS Audio or Richard Grey?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neal_C, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    I'm going to have an electrician out to install a dedicated 20 amp circuit for my HT equipment.
    Currently, I plug all my equipment into a Monster HTS3600 line conditioner. However, I was thinking of adding something better to the equation, but don't know which way to go.

    My budget allows for about $750. I could get a Richard Grey 400S or 2 PS Audio Ultimate Outlets. I would have 4 connected outlets either way.
    I was going to keep my Monster HTS3600 and plug it into one outlet, plug my Rotel 1075 amp into one outlet and plug my 2 Def. Tech BP2002tls into the final 2 outlets.

    Who makes the better product? Or should I just get a dedicated 20 amp circuit and whole house surge protection at my circuit box and then just plug my amps straight into the wall?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Neal
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You live in Tx and depending upon what part of the state you live in the probability of lighting strikes to the ground can vary. Consider the following map which NASA developed.
    [​IMG]
    The map indicates the InterCloud(IC) to CloudToGround(CG) ratio for a particular area. A value of say 1 indicates that for every lighting burst you see in the sky, there will be one that hits the ground. A value of 10 implies there'll have to be 10 flashes in the sky before one hits the ground. Therefore if you have an idea of what the weather is like in your area you can gauge the liklihood of lighting hitting the ground. Makes sense kind of, right?
    A whole house unit, and yes we're talking about the ubiquitous and the unfairly maligned MOV based ones, can protect all your electrical appliances safely from a bona-fide surge when properly installed and sized for the task at hand. A proper whole house unit will protect all incoming lines: electrical, phone, cable, etc. that enter your home. The whole house unit can be installed at the breakers or at the meter. The key to its effectiveness lies in its proximity (less than 10 feet) to earth ground.
    The question comes then, "What size should I get?" Rather than trust me, I'd suggest you give somebody like Intermatic a call (look up the phone # on the web) and ask to speak to an applications person. They'll ask you questions and provide a couple of options for you to consider. My guess is you'll be looking for a minimum of 1000 joules to possibly 2000 joules. FWIW, a 1000 joule Intermatic device is available from Home Depot for under $100.
    They should be able to provide local sources for you to purchase this. Final cost...depends on your electrician.
    After that, you can add some local redundancy to deal with noise/power glitches/things that don't rise to the level of being properly called surges. A large part of deciding what to choose here depends on your application. Certainly some of the Panamax units merit some consideration. Personally, I would tend to favor units incorporate Silicon Avalanche Diodes (the PS Audio units use those but they call them tranzorbs i think...frightfully overpriced IMHO) and/or a feature called Sine Wave Tracking. The thinking here is that little glitches ride on the AC line so what we want to do is clamp those little glitches tightly to that sine wave.
    If you've got a projector we could consider a plug in unit.
    By all means add the 20 amp line. When putting in the outlets in your HT room consider something a bit beefier. HTF member BrianOK has posted in the recent past about suggestions. As you'll see by searching in the tweaks forum, his suggestions can certainly be cost-effective. The outlets typically have two ways of having the wires attached: stabbed or screwed in. I favor the latter. Electricians like the former...gives them more time to eat donuts.
    I'd stay clear of Richard Grey products. For starters, his Grey Papers are deceptive and have factual errors. He's aware of them but won't change anything. That hardly inspires confidence in his overpriced line, testimonials notwithstanding. In fact even StereoPhile rather recently dissed his stuff. I'm not a big fan of that rag (like the pictures though!) but when one of the leading proponents of 'dubious claims (yeah, IMHO)' disses you, that's got to hurt.
    Lastly, take $50 of your HT budget...that's to be spent on pizza (onions/mushrooms for me) and microbrew.
     
  3. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    Thank you for the reply and knowledge.
    I'm in the Dallas area, so looks like somewhere between 3 and 4 cloud to cloud for every ground strike.

    Should I buy everything and just have the electrician install it? This way I could get whatever outlets I want [​IMG]

    And on the outlets...is hospital grade important, or will commercial duplex from Home Depot do the job just fine? Are the $50 power port outlets from PS Audio worth that much money? Or will a $15 or $20 duplex from Home Depot get the job done just as well?

    What is better...a surge protector at the meter, or one in the circuit box? I have seen on the web that some electric companies will rent a meter mounted surge protector...whether mine does I will find it when they open in about 30 minutes. If they offer that, should I go with it (depending on cost). Or should I buy one for the circuit box and have an electrician install it along with the dedicated circuit?

    Thank you for the heads up on the Richard Grey products. I definately don't want something from any body that has false claims, knows about them, and won't fix it. Especially for that much cash.

    I think I will go with whole house protection, dedicated 20 amp circuit, plug my amps straight into the wall (for now) and everything else into my Monster HTS3600 that my wife bought for Christmas (which she will be happy that I am now keeping...lol).

    Thanks again,

    Neal
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    if they rent one get some details and see if all the incoming lines are covered. I'd certainly be looking to having one person install it if possible. Discuss what you're doing to insure there's no problems. Don't trust an electrician to know much about lightning protection. They're trained in meeting code which primarily deals with human safety. Speak to an applications specialist. If you've got issues with Intermatic (no reason to btw) then Siemens and others sell units.
    There are even whole house units that tally the amount of 'strikes' they've dealt with. The important thing is sizing it correctly so sure, see what your utility company says and call Intermatic...toll free you know [​IMG] Meter/box...six of one...probably meter seeing as it's closer to earth ground. That's the key...earth ground.
    you know as well as I do, that once you stick the word 'audio' on something the price goes up so I think PS is just overpriced, but if you've got money to burn, knock yourself out.
    Do a search in the tweaks for BrianOK and outlet..use the slow option. He's got some cost effective suggestions.
    Don't forget the pizza and beer [​IMG]
     
  5. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    Well, I have an electrician coming out on Wednesday to install everything. He is going to pick up an Intermatic surge protector from his dealer, so that is good. And he will install a 20amp circuit with commercial grade plugs.

    I'm ready to get my amps plugged straight into the wall and hopefully hear an audible difference on top of the fact that I just feel better about the proctection and hook up of my equipment.

    Thanks for the feedback you have provided, and thanks for saving me some money.

    Neal
     
  6. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Real Name:
    Lee
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Hi Lee, ltns. Your weather's better than mine for sure.

    For starters, you realize that any benefits chaining the units actually reduces whatever their effectiveness is supposed to be, no? Gray says the more the merrier. Daisy chain them. You'll be doing your system good supposedly. And might I add, doing his pocketbook a little good too.
    According to Gray, the unit uses 'one of the largest inductors' ot do whatever it is supposed to do (Gray Paper). Gray states that this inductor is wired in parallel across the AC line, right? If you plug one into another, what's actually happening is that the second is also in parallel. If two inductors are in parallel, then the overall inductance is halved. Put a 3rd and 4th and you'll get 1/3 and 1/4 the inductance. Now since Gray says its his big mother inductor that is responsible for all the improvements, doing what he suggests actually makes matters worse. No offence, but from an engineering standpoint Gray's approach to providing power on demand makes no sense at all. And besides, does your amp depend upon inductors to store power? Nope...capacitors.
    The fact that he's selling products, the fact that people use them and verily swear by them does not mean that they're truly effective let alone cost effective. Yes, you can find them on the used market at better price points. Typically a person might say something...great unit but i'm upgrading. Now if I was looking to dump a Gray unit I wouldn't say something like it was a POS not worthy of ocean dumping?
    There's more reasons too Lee. But this'll suffice for now.
    Best to you and your family as always [​IMG]
     

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