Amps Power Conditioners and Lightning, what to do?

I run a fully active Linn AV51 system (7 dual mono amps, pre/pro, universal player, TV, cable box.... you know the deal...)

I also live in the lightning capital of the world..... The St Pete/Tampa area.

For this reason, I would like to keep surge protection on my equipment, which I currently do with several Chang Lightspeed units (9900 amp, 9600 iso and an HT 1000), they do well, but lately I’ve begun to experiment with power cords… and I am wondering what is the best way to SAFELY do this system so as to not decrease dynamics and sound quality, yet not expose me to the potential of total loss in a storm.

I anticipate adding several dedicated lines soon…. This however doesn’t cover the lightning issue, and with 7 amps, it’s a real concern. I’ve heard of people adding surge protectors outside the home, but have no real feedback on such units, or where to start to look for them.

So…. Should I:

1. Continue with power conditioners and add better power cords between the components and power conditioner (seems low yield to me) or is this worth while?
2. Go with dedicated lines, this doesn’t address the issue of lightning though, and I would have little protection against it….
3. ????????????????

You input is appreciated, and likely will direct my next avenue of upgrades……


How about whole house surge/lightning protection installed at service panel by the utility company?
I've considered that Slipnot1, but wonder if it doesn't negate the benefits of the dedicated lines.
We, here's a cheap solution with no down side that I'm aware of, other than its not idiot proof. When you put in your dedicated lines mark the circuit breaker in the main panel. When you have a lightning storm, or are leaving home when one might occur, simply trip the circuit breaker. Works for me.

By definition, if they are dedicated lines, aren't they in their own panel??

Most dedicated lines of which I am aware originate in the service panel for the whole house. You could have your electric company drop another service line from the transformer and have a second panel but that would cost a bit and I'm dubious that the power would be any cleaner than you would get from the main panel. My lines originate in the main service panel and are dead quiet. I suppose it could be a problem if your other power usage taxed the capacity of the main panel, not a common problem I suspect.
Ken I can share my personal experiences with much of what you described; my results have been very successful, cost effective & highly sonically satisfying. I won't explain the full story here (although you may email me for further details).

Install one or more dedicated 30 amp circuits of #10awg THHN solid copper. A special twist-shielding technique is advised for best results (request further details if desired). Terminate with a high grade AC outlet; the "Porter Ports" you've seen advertised here are but one example of a quality outlet (I use the pricey-but-worth-it Wattgate 381).

Keep your Changs. I have the 2500 for source components & the 9900 for high current components. Run your high-quality upgrade AC cords from the Chang outputs, thus retaining the Changs filtration & transient-protection. This works just fine with upgrade cords. My cords vary from $200 to $2000 & all work well via the Changs' outputs.
[Lately I've been experimanting with an Audio Magic Matrix line conditioner / transient protector. Different sonic signature but has similar benefits as the Changs.]

Because we live in high-lightning areas (I'm in central Illinois farmland) we need an additional layer of protection; a whole-house lightning arrestor installed at the service panel in parallel with the incoming line. Just like inside of the (Chang's / MOV's) a whole-house unit is wired in parallel so there's no effect on your sound & no current-flow constriction whatsoever. During a line-transient event, the whole house arrestor shunts the majority of the voltage surge while the secondary unit(Chang) attenuates the remainder of the spike.

I use a whole house gas-tube discharge arrestor made by Joslyn Electronic Systems. Joslyn's are a superior product indeed, but if I'm at home when the storms come rolling in I still power down the rig & UNPLUG everything!!!
Newbee and others, be careful. Even if you trip the breaker at the panel, you are not protected from lightning. Spikes and strikes often travel through the ground wire. If you want to be sure, unplug all of those components. When I see a mean storm heading my way, thats what I do. I also have a whole house surge device, which is installed at the panel that actualy draws the spike away from the panel in the event of a lightning strike or power company surge (which does happen). The devivce is sacrificial, a big spike will kill the unit. an example...

I have a whole-house surge protector installed. It made no noticeable sonic difference, and my system is VERY revealing of subtle changes.

I highly recommend the whole-house surge protector as your first line of defense if you live in a surge-prone area. Contact your electrical utility.
What happened to lightening rods? My son had them in Michigan, but I have never seen them on a modern house. Unlike surge protection, I suspect they would not screw up your sound.

As I have said before my house was hit by lightening with my entire stereo system on. The lightening hit 5 feet away from my system. Everything was plugged into a Sound Application filter. My garage door opener, my intercom system, and my answer phone were all ruined by the strike. Nothing was harmed at all in my stereo.
Lightning rods protect against direct hits. They won't help at all if lightning strikes the power lines leading to your home/neighborhood.
Unlike surge protection, I suspect they would not screw up your sound

Correctly engineered & installed transient protection will have absolutely NO effect on sonics whatsoever...
Bob-bundus, all I can really say in response it that the 15 of 15 surge protector I have tried were all poorly engineered. I will never try another.
Guys, anyone with any advice on brands for whole house protection?

Several have been mentioned to me, but al only have anecdotal references. I could use Florida Power, for an added fee. What is best? Is one more cost effective than the other options? I personally am not worried about small differences in price, I want the best protection I can get, to prevent me buying another 7 amps!

What do you guys think??? Gals too.....