Surge Suppressors, what do you know about them?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Besse, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    I live in a horrible area that I keep getting power surges. I had a nice batter back-up on my system that has surge protection. It was also connected to an actual surge strip as well. About a month ago we took a nice hit because Florida Power can't provide decent service. Anyways, all the batter back-ups in the house were fried and some of the surge strips were killed in the hit. It was just an average day, no storms nor lightning. Just Florida Power at their worst.

    Anyways, I really want to get a good surge suppressor and I dont know a whole too much about what I'm looking for. Nor, do I undstand what exactly I'm getting into with the whole situation. I've tried to do a little bit of research... But to no avail. If anyone knows of a good place to start. Please let me know.

    As of now, the only things I have looked into is the Adcom units. They have two models the ACE-315 and ACE-615. I'm aware that Monster also makes a few models and there are some really high grade units I have seen through mail order catelogs.

    To be completely honest, I dont know what I'm getting into. I would like to find a good suppressor that has some kind of voltage regulation that will be a good protector from Florida Power's frequent mishaps. I would like to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 for a good unit that will protect my Receiver, 2 DVD Players and my LD Player. I already had one Pioneer LD Player die on me from a surge about a year and a half ago. Blew the diode cap and fuses inside the unit. Luckily it was still under warranty at the time, but it has long since ran out now. I would like to never have that happen to any of my Home Theater again ;P

    Well, please give me any advice as to what I should look into and where to get some great info about these surge suppressors.
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I would consider asking my power utility if they have the means to install their own surge suppresor at the fuse box. Some utilities actually offer this service but you'll have to ask and then inquire just what is it that it protects and what happens if it gets fried. A good device will sacrifice itself to protect your equipment. That's its job and judging from your description the devices you had did in fact do that. Some products also offer a free replacement of their own units if they blow as well as offer an 'insurance policy' for any equipment that gets damaged as a result of an electrical mishap when connected to them. However, you need to contact both the company you're buying from as well as your insurance agent (you do have homeowners/renters insurance I trust) to find out just how this policy gets implemented. Panamax is one company that puts out an apparently decent line of surge suppressors. Others will suggest equally good devices. I also subscribe to buying an additional one or two devices to have on hand as spares in case one of your units blows. This way you're covered.

    Many electronic devices are fully capable of coping with minor volatage variations however there are a variety of units that also will provide a 120 volt output. You need to look carefully at these to see if they're putting out a 120 volt sine wave...some don't but then some equipment doesn't need it.
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    John,
    Good news: If you can spend a small amount of money, you can get better sonics and prevent surges. The renowned audio circuit designer and electrical expert Richard Marsh has designed some powerful devices under the Monster brand name from around $200 and up. I have an HTS-5000 that does a great job of filtering out RFI and EMI, preventing powerline surges, and it greatly improves the sonics by lowering background noise so you can hear great dynamics. Monster also makes some less expensive "power strips" that I believe should be good.
    I have previously used the Adcom ACE-515 before, but I found that less effective than the Richard Marsh products.
    If you want very high end, then check out PS Audio products which actually regenerate AC power.
    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
    Lee
    P.S. My friend Chu said...
     
  4. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    There's a guy who hangs out either around here or at AVS who lives down in South America and constantly is hit by surges. Big ones. He's fried a lot of surge protectors. He swears by the Brickwall products (Brickwall). Says they're the only protectors he's found that take strikes and hold up.
    I don't know if they have any voltage regulation products, however.
    M
     
  5. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    John, It appears you had a good one-two punch UPS/surge strip protection chain but part of the units "fried" and you seek larger-capacity units? Fortunately, the surge units did what they're supposed to do and sacrificed. Now you need to contact the maker for free replacement if desired. Chu Gai's advice upthread is good.
     
  6. JimN

    JimN Stunt Coordinator

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    The Brickwall units are non-sacrificial and work really well. They also license their technology to Adcom for their newer models (the ACE-315 and ACE-615, not the older ACE-515). You can check them out at Brickwall.
     
  7. Andson H

    Andson H Auditioning

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    I have used Belden, Tripplite, Adcom, Audio Power Industries, Panamax and Brickwall and have had electronics damaged through all of them except the Brickwall units. I live in north central Arizona and have exceptionally poor power quality as well as high occurance of electrical storms. I use several of the the PW2RAUD units throughout my home to protect valued electronics. The [email protected] is on sale this month for $199. Check out you won't be sorry.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Anderson, since some of your units that the equipment were hooked up to had an equipment protection guarantee, can you share with us what your personal experience was in availing yourself of the warranty?
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Bill, it is possible to purchace the UPS's with sinewave output, and lets not forget how important they are to people who need to tape their soaps...lifesaver!
     
  10. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Chu Gai, you are correct -- I found this $600 unit at Belkin. but personally I am disinclined to use such a unit on my AV system

     
  11. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    Ok, I've got some great responses so far. I do want to mention that I have the whole house surge protector, and I've come to realize it has to be a gimmic to rape you of more money by the power company. My Pioneer LD Player that died was on the whole house surge, a battery back-up and a power strip and yet the diode caps were crispy as well as the fuses. That was last year some time. This year was when the battery back-up and surge strip took the hit and died. Better those than my Denon receiver.

    I've never heard of Brickwall before and there seems to be a ton of opinions to go that route. Why? Are they really that good, or are these few two line answers a marketing scheme? It seems everyone has given some great responses, but what are a few models I should look into as far as what is really recommended. So, should I spend something in the $200-$300 range and call it a day; or would it be an improvement to toss in a few more hundred and spend about $500?
     
  12. JimN

    JimN Stunt Coordinator

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    Just go the brickwall website (the audio site) and check out the units. No I do not work for brickwall!
     
  13. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    john, it's sorta insulting to think we are company shills here.

    Have you clicked the discountpanamax link above? Look at Panamax Max5100 now for $225.

    bill
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    since you have the whole house surge protector apparently provided by your utility company, what was their response to what happened to you? there must've been some sort of guarantee no?
     
  15. Chris_Freeman

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    Not to say that brickwall isn't a quality product but I have used Tripplite for years and never had a problem. And for less than $100 you can get 6 outlets, 2 coax, and phone line protection, plus $50,000 in equipment damage coverage.
    http://tripplite.com/products/suppre...del=ISOBAR6DBS
     
  16. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    That particular TrippLite actually is mentioned as one many use, in my post above. I wud use it if I had to replace.
    The problem as I see it is that just because YOU never had a problem may only means, luckily, your place never got a massive surge hit. It only take ONE to fry the TrippLite AS IT IS DESIGNED TO DO.
    But another feature of these MOV based surge protectors is that they will absorb/shunt to common, hundreds of little surges day in, day out and over time will start to degrade. There's really no way to tell just looking at it.
    For some, the BRICKWALL may offer more peace-of-mind since it is not based on MOV-failing technology.
    The other aspect, and the point of this (John's) thread, is that many people have multiple back-ups and STILL suffer surge failures.
    So people need to make a global evaluation of where they live that's more electrical storm/lightning prone; whether residential power lines are underground (better)or overhead out in the street (exposed); the steadiness of their local power utility and the desirability of aftermarket power voltage regenerators/stabilizers/regulators; how much gear they need to protect, etc.
    Besides John (from Florida) Mike B of Mobile, Ala, recently lost his stuff too with multiple surge units; however, he acknowledges that he didnt have all his coax cables and telwire going thru a surge unit[​IMG]
     
  17. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    Bill, I understand how you could take it as an insult. However, I have heard multiple rumors that companies send people on the forum to boast about their products. I couldn't even count the number of rumors I have heard that Paradigm has people constantly praising their speakers and why you should buy them over another brand. I guess the number of Brickwall responses kinda flagged me on that idea.

    Chu, Florida Power wouldn't do a thing. They gave us the run around and ignored the fact that any equiptment was damaged. They would not replace any of the battery back-ups that were blown, they advised to call the manufacturer.

    Chris, Tripplite is what I was using as the batter back-up. It is one of the computer models, and I have one on my computer and one on the HT. However, I still dont understand how the Laserdisc Player fried on it a year ago.
     
  18. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    john, thanx for responding. The only product-inflating I've seen has been in some AudioReview opinions.
    So where are you in selecting your options for future defense? In re-reading your initial, post, I dont see any complaints that youy lost HT equipment. In other, it sounds like the surge protectors did their thing and died, yes?
    So it sounds like you might want the non-sacrificial units.
    May I inquire:
    *Do you believe your "whole house" or circuit panel protection actually performed, e.g. saving mainstream appliances, digital clocks etc?
    *I think you're tlking about battery back-ups; can you tell us how they were placed in the chain, at least for HT; e.g., was a UPS battery unit plugged in the wall and a surge strip plugged into this as well? If so, in which were the HT components plugged?
    I'm trying to get a real-world feel for all this protection. (I do sense that 90-95 % of system owners never experience anything catastrophic; like most news, we hear about the most unusual or worst-cases).
     
  19. Chris_Freeman

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    I'm not trying to insult anybody, only trying to give another perspective to the question asked. After all, isnt that what having a FORUM is about? And nobody here has ever inflated a product because of their own opinion have they!
     
  20. Michael Yung

    Michael Yung Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out Panamax web store and look for the refurb 1000+ for $99. I just got it and it works very well.
     

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