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#47986 - 05/30/03 02:27 PM Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
I didn't see a forum for power conditioners, and since the 950 needs to be plugged in somewhere - I'll start this post here.

In keeping with the Outlaw "tradition" of calling questionable hi-fi practices into question, I have to ask if power conditioners are of any real value. I just saw one which sells for $2,500

- more than my B-stock 755 and 950 combined!! For a glorified (yet really shiny) powerstrip.

This just smells of scam !!

Anybody have any REAL info./experience on these products ?

Bryan

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#47987 - 05/30/03 03:09 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
I think there was a thread running here at one point regarding this subject.

Generally, having a good surge protector outlet strip is good cheap protection from transient spikes from things like lightning strikes nearby (not direct strikes!) and other power over voltages taking out your equipment. You don't need to spend a lot for one of these.

Power line filters soak up some radio frequency and lower frequency interferrence from appliances turning on etc. The scoop on these is that if you don't hear any problems now like buzzes, pops and the like, you don't necessarily need a power line filter.

There are other, way more exotic devices on the market that undoubtedly work to some extent, but again, you have to have a problem for them to address in order for them to do any good.

Talk of these devices doing things like enhancing soundstaging etc are in my opinion total BS.

I use TrippLite surge supressor/filters in my system. They are pretty inexpensive, and get the job done.

[This message has been edited by soundhound (edited May 30, 2003).]

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#47988 - 05/30/03 03:14 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
Soundhound :

Is the Tripplite brand widely available ?

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#47989 - 05/30/03 03:16 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
Gr8ful Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 05/30/03
Posts: 1
I recently added a monster cable HTS1000 line conditioner to my system. When the compressor of the fridge (or any other high draw item) would kick in I would get a hum through the speakers. The HTS1000 has removed all noise through the speaker, dead quite. It has a stage 2 filter, as I understand this effectively isolates the HT system from the rest of the electrical system in the house. More expensive conditioners also provide isolation not only between the HT system and the rest of the house but between the various components in the HT system. At around $150 I have been very pleased with the HTS1000.

my $.02

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#47990 - 05/30/03 03:41 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
TrippLite is pretty easy to find. It also has the inter-component isolation feature mentioned above to absorb any digital clock "backwash" that could leak between components. The particular unit I have is the "Isobar", which comes in various configurations differing in number of outlets and filtering.

www.tripplite.com

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#47991 - 05/30/03 03:52 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
sigmachi25 Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Jax, Fla.
The Tripplite seems like a reasonably priced surge supressor - Best price so far for the 8 outlet iso-bar was around $59 .

They say they will insure up to $50,000 for damage to your equip. - A $59 insurance policy sounds better than a $2,500 one, if they will back their coverage.

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#47992 - 05/30/03 03:59 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
TrippLite caters mainly to professional and industrial users, and they've been around forever, so that bodes well for their reputation.

BTW, the Isobar is also a power line filter in addition to being a surge supressor.

[This message has been edited by soundhound (edited May 30, 2003).]

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#47993 - 05/30/03 04:02 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
audvid Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/17/03
Posts: 78
Loc: Fairview, TX
Soundhound, in your opinion, is a product like the Tripplite ISOBAR12ULTRA Surge Suppressor similar to the Monster HTS1000 in functionality? The ISOBAR12ULTRA appears to be about half the price of the HTS1000.

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#47994 - 05/30/03 04:06 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
soundhound Offline
Desperado

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 1857
Loc: Gusev Crater, Mars
I'm not really familiar with the Monster units, and I'm sure they are pretty good, but I doubt any better than the TrippLite ones.

The main reason the TrippLite outlets are cheaper is that they are not subject to the "hype tax" of consumer gear, and they are manufactured in higher quantities because of their wider market sector.


[This message has been edited by soundhound (edited May 30, 2003).]

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#47995 - 05/30/03 04:14 PM Re: Power Line Conditioners - science or scam ?
Kevin C Brown Offline
Desperado

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 1054
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
IMO, power conditioners are definately *not* scams.

Everyone should have at least a basic surge suppressor. But the $12 kind you get at a hardware store use MOVs, and because MOVs are sacrificial in nature, when the MOV is gone usually you don't even know it. Here's the best I've found: www.brickwall.com .

Next level up is basic filtration. A la Monster, Adcom, Panamax, etc. Sometimes you get an improvement, sometimes not. But sometimes filters create more problems than they solve:

http://www.psaudio.com/articles/power_conditioners.asp

Next up, is balanced power. BP uses common mode noise rejection which is the exact same noise rejection mechanism used for balanced interconnects. The proof of the benefit of balanced interconnects has been known of for years, and now it's being applied to AC as well. Lots's of good reviews on power conditioners and balanced power units here:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/masterindex_power_conditioners.html

At the top of the heep, in my opinion, are the Power Plants by PS Audio. They basically take the AC from your wall, convert it to DC, and regenerate a pure AC sinusoidal signal. But they aren't cheap, and they are only about 50% power efficiant.

Me? I had an Adcom ACE 515 for years, the tried the 615 with and without some Richard Grey 400s's, then decided to read up on all this stuff, and finally went with an Equitech 2Q. One of the best purchases I ever made. Blacker blacks, more vibrant colors, no snow/noise/haze at all now for video, no effect on my system when the refrigerator compressor turns on, and there was a drastic drop in noise level for audio. But everyone has to decide for themselves how much they want to spend for what level of "conditioning". I think of it this way: a power conditioner does nothing less or more but let your system perform to its maximum potential, even in spite of poor quality AC.
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