- May 16, 2012
- Houston, TX
- Real Name
- Dave Upton
Surge protectors fall squarely in the list of most important yet least sexy products we purchase. An investment of hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars in AV equipment should be well protected, yet often isn’t. In most cases we buy a generic surge strip or maybe splurge on a higher end home theater surge protector, but none of these solutions are truly bulletproof. I’ve seen many beautiful pieces of equipment damaged before their time due to inadequate or poorly designed surge protection.
Enter SurgeX, an extremely well-known name in the IT, sound reinforcement and AV integrator markets with a reputation for building bulletproof and effective products that do exactly what they are intended to. I asked SurgeX to send me their SA-1810 unit and it’s been running in my theater for the past several months.
SurgeX is different from many of their competitors because their technology is non-sacrificial. This means that unlike your current power strip, the unit isn’t junk as soon as it protects you from a surge or lightning strike. Most commercially available power strips, power centers and the like are sacrificial by nature. When they do their job, they either need to be replaced entirely, or some component needs to be swapped out. This can get expensive over time, and more importantly can be very dangerous since you aren’t always aware when these damaging events occur.
Specs & Details
With an MSRP of $429, the SA-1810 is rated for a load of 15Amps at 120 Volts, your standard household voltage and current. The unit is independently certified to withstand 1000 surges at 6000 Volts and 3000 Amps by UL and has an unlimited Maximum Applied Surge Pulse Joule Rating, as well as Maximum Applied Surge Energy and Current due to the proprietary technology used. Strictly in terms of voltage, the unit is rated up to 6000 volts for applied surge voltage.
In addition to the surge protection the SurgeX offers, it also performs Common and Normal Mode EMI/RFI filtering. This is the same functionality you pay lots of money for in power conditioners, thrown in for free.
The SA-1810 weighs a solid 8.5 lbs and measures 4.0" High by 10.2" Wide and 4.2" Deep. The SA-1810 offers 10 protected NEMA 5-15R outlets (your standard household plug type) and plugs into the wall using the same plug-type.
How It Works
The “proprietary technology” I referenced above is called ASM or Advanced Series Mode. This basically means that the surge flows through a pair of opposing air core inductors that decrease the energy and current (the most dangerous parts of any surge) before sending the surge to a clamping board that removes additional surge energy up to 6000 Volts without any ground or common mode contamination, a problem many cheaper units will display.
I’ll start this segment with the disclaimer that I am not your typical candidate for a SurgeX unit making a night and day difference in AV quality. Largely because my career in IT has made me fanatical about clean power, so I run a high quality UPS already. I didn’t notice any noticeably improved video or audio performance in my own system over the APC SmartUPS 2200 that normally runs in my theater, though I did notice a noticeable decrease in ground loop hum when I had a subwoofer in the chain that was connected to a different circuit. On the bright side, I also didn’t suffer a single lightning or surge related piece of equipment damage during the months I used the unit, despite having very severe weather on several occasions.
At the end of the day, the SA-1810 is incredibly well built, functional and just works forever. Let me repeat that one more time – it works forever. I can’t think of many other home theater investments that you can keep for years and years without any loss in functionality or value. If you are looking for a surge elimination or power distribution solution for your theater that you can re-use and keep for the long term, the SurgeX SA-1810 is a great bet. Highly Recommended.
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