I share your concern. I plug everything, amp and HDTV included, into my Tara AD/10B. It has a built in GFI and I never noticed a loss of dynamics. The sound and video are cleaned up considerably.
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I live in San Francisco, and we rarely have lightning.
My audio system has a couple of big Krell amps, each on it's own dedicated 30 amp line. There are no surge protectors of audio quality that can handle the wattage they draw.
Since, last summer we were told that there would be rolling blackouts (with related surges), I called Krell and they told me the only way to be totally safe was to turn off the circuit breaker when surges were suspected. Luckily we had no outages.
My suggestion to you, unless you keep it on all the time, is to unplug it when not in use or, if feasible, turn off the circuit breaker.
Argent here are some links from archived threads that would be of interest to you in the above regard. Not only my comments but others in the threads are worth reading & will fully answer your questions.
Living in the lightning capital of the word (Clearwater, FL) I worry about this quite a bit.
Don't. If lightning hits your house,your equipment will fry! A very good friend of mine suffered a 'near strike' and lost many components in his HT, to add insult to injury, after this, he had most of his system (A serious system of Proceed PAV/PDSD/Levinson 23.5's, Proceed HPA3....) disconnected from power lines while he was getting the damaged stuff replaced by his insurance. He then suffered a direct hit, and figured nothing would have been a problem, as it all was unplugged.
The EMP from the strike trashed all the rest of his stuff (except the Levinson amps.....guess they are built well!), through the interconnects!!! WOW, he's still treated like s#$t at the high end place in town here!!!
I personally plug my amps (5x Linn AV5105's)into a power conditioners (Chang Lightspeed 9900 AMP and 9600 ISO) they do fairly well through them, my biggest worry is the high end front end gear that doesn't need/does better without conditioning.....
I use a Monster Power HTS5000 in my system and plug my CJ Premier 11a tube amp into it. There is no noticeable degradation in performance. The amp sounds exactly the same as if it were plugged directly into the AC wall outlet. We get our fair share of lightning strikes and power surges here in Colorado and I feel safer with the equipment plugged into the HTS5000.
Protection from what?
It used to be that the 'amp protection circuit' was to protect the speakers, That went out of vogue in the High-end, mid 80's time frame.
Protection from Lightning: forget about it. there is not enough known about lighning to adequatly protect equipment from it.
Recently there has been a plethora of products that advertise "cleaning" and protection for audio equip. some works, some doesn't, what do you hear?
I doubt that we can protect our equipment from a direct hit and if you were that unfortunate, I bet you'll have bigger problems to deal with than your HiFi. ;-) But there are times when near by lightning strikes can cause spikes and power surges on the AC line. I feel safer having my gear plugged into a high quality surge protector. If I'm home and notice lightning strikes around my immediate neighborhood, I unplug my all gear by unplugging the Monster Power HTS5000.
I talked to customer service at Madrigal, and they said to plug the amp into the wall and then the surge suppressor and use whatever sounded better. They recommended that the best solution would be to plug the amp into the wall and get a dedicated AC line. They said the amp has 6 protection devices, and if a surge blew through that then it would probably make it through the HTS3500 as well. I may just plug the thing into the wall and be done with it.
Lightning storms are very problematic for me as I have to really turn the volume up to drown it out knowing that if I get hit my insurance will pick up the new gear...... Lightning is a strange thing and best way to prepare is to get your insurance agent to go over the options and make sure you have adequate insurance.....Plug the amps in the wall and line level gear into a good AC filter....