Power Conditioner and Surge Protector

Hi all,

I would like to know if it's worth spending the money for a Power Conditioner or Surge Protector. There are so many different brands and prices. Does anyone have thoughts regarding these items? Does it make any improvement to your audio equiptments? Will it eliminate the hum coming out of your speakers? Does pricing and different brands make a difference?

I was looking at this model from Panamax:

Panamax M5300-PM

Is that a good conditioner? Right now I am using a cheap $ $5.00 power conditioner that I bought at HomeDepot.

Thanks for any advice!!
Surge protection is not a bad idea. However most of the damage I have seen (many years in an engineering capacity and background is BSEE) involves nearby lightning coupled via phone lines. Problem is that this is not all that easy to protect against - need rather fast acting protection. As to a power conditioner, unless you have a particularly hostile electrical environment or own particularly badly designed equipment it isn't going to help (or for that matter hurt) anything because you are protecting against something that isn't there.
Get rid of your power strip!!! Throw it in with your x-mas lights. Plug amps direct in the wall. Pick up a something like a BPT or Shunyata product (used) for all your other gear. There are endless threads on line conditioners. I would stay away from Panamax and Monster.
Dear All,

I believe the question is 'worth spending the money on'. Some of the products mentioned cost a small fortune. I certainly have never tried such high end conditioners before and fore the price they ought to work bloody well. But if we are talking about your add ons to a 4-5k system then the cheaper products for a few hundred dollars are often poor and not worth the effort. If I had to use hundreds of pounds to improve the sound of my system, I'd also be looking to upgrade my system to get better engineered products!Having said that in the value for money stakes i second shunyata as they do seem to be one of the better ones. Furthermore a bit of blu-tac under my speakers can totally transform the sound of my system for pennies, as can a $400 super tweeter, or placing a weight on top of my cd player, or using a cd mat, try coiling a copper wire of various thickness's for about 6-7 turns on your speaker and interconnect and mains cable and you will be astonished at the subtle changes that can occur. All of these can lead to a more refined or tonally fulsome sound and the list of tweaks is ENDLESS in the pennies cost bracket. so lets get things into perspective here regarding value/ system cost .
I use a PS Audio Power Plant Premier for my source and pre/pro, TV and cable box and plug my amp (which can draw a lot of power...Spectron MK2) into the wall. The only thing I might consider plugging the amp into is a Shunyata Hydra-8 but I don't see the benefit as this point since the Spectron uses isolation transformers and power supply regulators in its power source section.

The PPP (AC regenerator) does help with the sound and picture on the TV but it is limited to 1500 watts. It will help with any hum that isn't assoicated with a ground loop situation and/or leakage from the amp itself.

Both are plugged into a dedicated 20 amp line which is a good idea to have to isolate noise from other circuits in the house to some degree.

Some of this depends on if you live in area with 'clean' power, dips and surges in the grid or lighting prone areas. There a passive surge/spike and conditioner like the Shunyata can be worth it.

Furman also makes good products, imo.
I am using the Richard Gray Power House, which is capable of handling 6200w of continuous power (per manufacturers specifications). I can not go in depth technically, but here's some answers to your questions above:

1)"I would like to know if it's worth spending the money for a Power Conditioner or Surge Protector ?" - Yes, but not just any product. Please contact each dealer you are considering and tell them your requirements. Not all will fit your needs.

2)"Does it make any improvement to your audio equiptments?"
- This depends on the product purchased, if it will be able to give you the head room needed without choking out power and sonics.

3)"Will it eliminate the hum coming out of your speakers?"
-First make sure that the "hum" is not from other epuipment. The conditioner should eliminate "noise" from your AC line.

4)"Does pricing and different brands make a difference?"
- I have a hard time with the pricing issue, as audiophile equipment price ranges drastically varies. It boils down to if the conditioner/surge protection will really suit your demands.

Prior to purchasing the PowerHouse I did alot of research on line. I even talked with a local manufacturer to see if a transformer/surge protection unit could be built. I came across the RGPC products and talked with Dick McCarthy on and off for about 3 months. Total research was about 5-6 months of just gaining knowledge. I ended up purchasing the unit because it has everything in one component. The powerhouse is a 5 kilowatt isolation step down transformer. Its a 220v unit stepped down to 120v using a 30 amp breaker. It is totally isolated, completely removing groung loop. The head room is plenty, enough for a complete home entertainment syst. plus more.
The bottom line is when I plugged my equipment directly into the power house I did not go WOW! expecting some magic to happen, but what I did notice is that there was much more head room giving more depth and width to the sound. Bass was more extended and there was more blackness to the background. There wasn't any annoying hum or clicks and pops from switches being turned on and off which I still got even when I had previously installed all dedicated outlets.
The unit does have some draw backs, one being weight which is nearly 400 lbs.