My house has terrible power surges. One surge fried my former system with all Cary Audio electronics and speakers. Everything was fried from the amp, preamp, speakers to the speaker wires and interconnects.
Now I've replaced much of it with a Wadia Intuition amp/preamp/DAC unit. But for obvious reasons can't consider plugging it directly into the wall.
I started off with a Furman power strip/surge suppressor which really throttled the output. Made my $15K system sound like $3K.
Next I tried a Brickwall surge suppressor which really opened up the sound (getting more current through) but drained warmth and musicality from the sound.
I broke down and bought a Furman 16A power conditioner that is warmer sounding but still doesn't compare to plugging the amp directly in the wall.
What do I do? Keep moving up the Furman line?
Power conditioning isn't absolutely necessary, but strong surge protection is. And I'm no fan of MOV's. Any ideas?
Purchase 150...200kW diesel-generator and power up your house. With savings vs. electric company you'll justify your expense. This could run into $20k from the beginning, but savings on electricity usage will be approx half-way down if not more. If you have diesel automobile, you can also benefit from tax-free heating oil in your fuel tank that would add another savings.
Otherwise it's your choice, Furman vs. wall. My choice would be Furman and Furman again.
Linear power supplies take current in narrow spikes of high amplitude. Any impedance in the path causes proportionally high voltage drop and the loss of dynamics. I use Furman Elite 20PFi and cannot tell the difference. Perhaps power factor correction that allows 55A peak current (huge inductor and capacitor) helps. It has 4 high power outlets, 4 audio-video and 4 video optimized outlets.
Hi Kijanki, does the furman 20 pfi change the sound in any way?, you know furman is owned by Panamax, which is higher end than the Furman products, I need one for my digital, do you own this Siemens whole house surge protector?, if so, does it go on one breaker slot, or plug into two breaker slots?, how can this protect the entire house if it is on only one to two breaker slots in the breaker box?, and, what is the white wire for hanging from the bottom?, I do use siemens, an alternative to bryant breakers that use to be here in my house, I have a few Bryant breakers left, not on my system though, just on normal house uses.
Hire an electrician for a DEDICATED LINE. Get good HOSPITAL GRADE outlets. Use a common POWER STRIP with no VOO DOO included. Unplug when you leave. I have been thru all the POWER CONDITIONING MAGIC and the only thing they help is the manufacturer selling them.
Audiolabyrinth, Furman doesn't change the sound or at least I cannot detect it (i don't listen very loud)/ If anything, bass got more even/musical. Strange thing is that TV plugged into video outlet got better colors, cleaner and more saturated. It is strange since display is digital but perhaps noise induced jitter on video signal adds noise.
Siemens surge arrester plugs instead of double circuit breaker. White hanging wire connects to ground bar. I cut it shorter. It protects by shorting voltage spikes to ground. Protection (most likely MOVs) are installed on secondary side of the breaker. In case of MOVs failure (usually short) breaker will trip - otherwise it provides protection for all circuits. You have to get style that fits your panel. Each whole house protector has specified max size of the breaker (always on secondary side). There are stronger protectors but require some extra space and sometimes extra panel and most likely require an electrician. Lightning is not a big problem in my area but in Sarasota where my mother lived I would install strongest panel style protection and perhaps would even double it.
No, I could not detect any difference with arrester. Furman with its tight, strong, non-sacrificial under/overvoltage protection and build in circuit breaker is probably enough but double protection sounds better. In addition I've already lost garage door opener (Chamberlain) due to the voltage spike. Chamberlain service lady explained to me, that during winter spikes are very common, recommended local Chamberlain protector and sent me brand new circuit board under warranty. This event proved that voltage spikes are common and dangerous even without thunderstorm.
You may want to do some research on Environmental Potentials products. I ended up purchasing a EP-2500 Waveform Corrector and a EP-2775 Ground Filter. These items are not cheap and require an electrician to install. However, when comparing the risk of loosing nearly $200,000 of equipment, what's another couple thousand?
Check the Audiogon archives and you will find quite a bit of discussion on their products. After I had the EP-2500 & EP-2775 installed, I could not detect any difference in the sound of my audio system, or in the picture quality of the projection system (thank God!).
Here's an interesting youtube link you may want to watch:
KiJanki, Do you mind me asking where you live?, I do not get power spikes like that here in Mobile,Al U.S.A., once in awhile, we may loose power on a sunny day, nothing has ever been damaged though, likly because I keep my equipment un-pluged when not in use, once the dropped power happened when my system was on, when the power come right back on, my amp simply was on stand-by instead of full power on, digital was simply off, all turned out good.
I was going to plug my amps (tube main, SS for rarely used outdoor extension speakers) directly into my groovy hospital grade wall plugs (P.S. Audio) and remembered my simple power conditioner has some spike protection (thunderstorms happen) I don't want to give up...dedicated lines are a good idea, a diesel generator is insane unless you live in the middle of nowhere, and I unplug when out of town (in more ways than one). However, I still think scoring a surplus nuclear power plant from a mothballed sub is the way to go...if you have a water source running through the yard for cooling and some black market fuel you're all set...bribe the neighbors with free juice!
Hi Kijanki, I rarely have any power disruption's too, I asked about where you live, this does explain the power spikes you get, Chicago has way more people than where I live, very fortunate, I have never got a power spike that I am aware of here, less people on the grid the better?
My recent experience with a Furman Elite 15 conditioner just reminded me that I dislike conditioners immensely. As others had in the past it "greyed" the sound for less sparkle and tonal color. It also muted detail. Removed it and put back in my Furutech ETP-80 and all was right again. Furman went back to Amazon. Got a cheap Monster power strip (which I've had good luck with in the past) and all was still good. Just relaying my experiences, though I would like to try the Audience product one day.