1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Hardware Review SurgeX SA-1810 Standalone Surge Eliminator Review

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dave Upton, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Message #1 of 9 Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
    Owner

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,123
    Likes Received:
    628
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Dave Upton
    SurgeX-SA-1810-view01.

    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

    1.


    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.

    2.


    The Results

    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.


    Support HTF by purchasing through our links:

     
    ZachsHT likes this.
  2. hotrodguy

    hotrodguy Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    L.A.
    Real Name:
    Cliff
    Thanks for the great review Dave, do you have any price listings for this unit?
     
  3. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
    Owner

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,123
    Likes Received:
    628
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Dave Upton
    Good catch, I probably shouldn't have left that out of my review. The SA-1810 retails for $429 USD, but street pricing these days is quite a bit lower. I've added an Amazon link to the review.
     
    hotrodguy likes this.
  4. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,050
    Likes Received:
    174
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Maryland
    Real Name:
    Brian Dobbs
    I'll definitely be needing one of these when I'm up and running.
     
  5. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
    Owner

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,123
    Likes Received:
    628
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Dave Upton
    With your project, it sure would Brian. It sure is nice having peace of mind that your surge protector won't go bad on you in the middle of the night one day.
     
  6. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    1,195
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Beacon Falls, CT
    Real Name:
    Reed Grele
    I'm sure that this offers very robust protection for electronic equipment. And I am considering buying either this unit, or the company's much more expensive one with UPS capability.

    I just wonder what would happen to any sensitive electronics in the rare event of a direct lightning strike? "1000 surges at 6000 Volts and 3000 Amps" is very impressive. But The average lightning bolt carries about 30,000 amps of charge, has 100 million volts of electric potential, and is about 50,000°F.

    Then again, if a home fell victim to the worst case lightning strike scenario, whatever you had connected to a surge eliminator would be the least of your worries.
     
  7. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
    Owner

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,123
    Likes Received:
    628
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Dave Upton
    Reed,


    Since most lightning strikes that have to be mitigated are indirect, meaning they strike somewhere else in the path, the actual volatage/amperage that reaches your home is usually well under what these units can handle.


    For a direct lightning strike, I don't know if there's anything on the market that truly guarantees to protect you. Though you can layer multiple surge protectors in a row if needed.
     
  8. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    1,195
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Beacon Falls, CT
    Real Name:
    Reed Grele
    The closest that I ever came to a bolt of lightning was some years back when I was a teenager. I couldn't sleep as there was a thunderstorm raging. For some reason, I walked to the kitchen window and looked out at the dark summer sky. At that very instant I saw a blinding flash of light and heard an extremely loud explosion, followed by a crackling sound. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I experienced a very strange tingling sensation all over my body.


    I had just witnessed a bolt of lightning strike one of the tallest pine trees on the side of our hill, not more than 50 feet away. The entire top half of a 60' tall pine tree just seemed to explode!


    After seeing what nature is capable of up close and personal like that, I just take the claims that man makes about surge elimination with a grain of salt.


    No doubt this device will do what it claims to do. But 100% protection against a direct lightning strike the likes of what I experienced would certainly be pushing the limits of the technology.


    That said, I am very impressed at what these units are capable of, and will be considering the acquisition of one of their high end models in the near future.
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    9,657
    Likes Received:
    463
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Most voltage clamps nowadays are a MOV Varistor, which is a bulk process equivalent to back-to-back Zener diodes. The normal failure mode when hit with over voltages in excess of rating is to short circuit. When used in a power strip, this short immediately triggers the circuit breaker. Of course when this happens you have to replace the protection device.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varistor
     

Share This Page