Power Conditioner or Power Strip

With a budget of about $400-500, should I go for a power conditioner or power strip (such as the JPS or Cardas Golden). Are there any sonic differences between a power conditioner and a power strip? Thanks.
I am selling an ESP power distributor for around $500. It retails for $1000. A power strip will filter out noise, which is heard as tizz and harshness, and give you a quiet background. A power filter does similar things and may improve your sound more, but it also has the potential to detract from the details and dynamics. It is for this reason that most manufacturers advise against the use of one. The ESP is by far the best power distributor. Go to their websight, http://www.essentialsound.com/products.htm I have been using the ESP for about 6 months. Most of the effects of a unit like this are heard when it is removed. I also notice, that living next door to a school, there were times when there was more noise on the line, the stereo would sound better at night. I know that sometimes these differences are subtle and I would wonder if my mind was playing tricks, but I beleive that the ESP put an end to this problem.
I cannot answer whether a power conditioner is better than a power strip (distributor). However, I did have the opportunity to compare the ESP power strip with the Ensemble (Swiss made) power strip. Both are priced at about $ 1000.00 (retail, new). The ESP's performance is very poor, compared to the Ensemble and is therefore vastly overpriced. It hardly deserves to be marketed as a high-end audioproduct.
Wow Hungryear. What nonsense. Because something does not work for you, in your system, with your specific ac conditions, if indeed you really tried it for an extended time, it's not a high end product. It is one thing to say that you found it to be not effective, but to generally trash it is ridiculous. ESP has a great reputation and does produce high end audioproducts. I have their power chords and the distributer, and they are great products. Reviewers have said it is one of the best products they have ever used for AC line noise. A review in Positive Feedback said it IS the best. While we shouldn't believe everything we read, your statement is just negative and without merit.
unlike some who frequently post on these threads (viz. rev_joe, carl_eber), i don't claim to be an expert on everything audio. i do know, tho, that there's a fundamental difference between a "power strip" & a "power conditioner." a power strip is primarily designed as a protective device to obviate or ameliorate power surges and spikes from, e.g., nearby (not direct) lightening strikes, etc. many of such devices impart an unwanted audio signature that degrades the quality of sound in various ways. one such device that is much more neutral and therefore recommended by a number of reviewers (for what that's worth) and me is the chang lightspeed. (for god's sake, don't use some $9.95 extension cord called a power strip, like the kind you'll find at office depot.) a power conditioner, on the other hand, is designed to impart a fundamental change of some sort to the current coming from your mains outlet before it is fed into the audio piece(s) into which its signal is fed. some, maybe most, of these products, too, degrade the sound quality of top-notch systems. two that i've found work very well and, indeed, improve the sound quality in my system are the accuphase ps 500 and ps 1200. not suprisingly, the accuphase stuff is pricey, but like all their products are, IMHO, worth every penny. you can find the ps 500 used on audiogon.
Blbloom: If I read your post correctly, then, (1) if you own a product,and (2) it is reviewed favorably by someone, anyone, the product = "good." Ergo, if anybody sez anything bad about it, they are crazy, idiotic, not to be beleived. It is you, sir, who is misinformed and self-deluded, not Hungryear. These are opinions about products only .005% of the populous gives a damn about. These chats do not rise to a level of theologig importance, despite what Big Brother AudiogoN would like us all to believe.
A power strip does not protect gear from power surges as Aardvark states in his post. It has no surge protection. If it did, then it might as he states degrade the sound. I do not believe that any of the above mentioned "strips" have surge protection. I know for a fact that the ESP does not. It's purpose is solely to reduce RF interference, which is what the ESP Power Distributer and the Essence Power Chords do. My opinion is that they do it well. I do not believe that anyone who disagrees with me is misinformed. On the contrary, I think that everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have a problem with those who state their opinions as fact. If F_Zappa will reread my post, I said that differences are subtle and sometimes I am not "sure if my mind is playing tricks". You call me "self-deluded". At least I know enough to have doubts, and I stated that. I have never called someone crazy or idiotic based on their post, so don't put words in my mouth. If in fact, I thought they were, I would not respond to them. You mention Big Brother AudiogoN, maybe they are here watching because there are those who speak before they think.
The thing is that while I would like to buy a PS300, I simply do not have the finances at the moment. I can at best spend only about $500. What would you recommend, a Blue Circle BC 84 or 85.1 (if I can stretch to $700) or a JPS or Cardas power strip. I can't have a home audition of any of these products.
Hello J.Tan. I have seen the Blue Cicle line at CES or CEDIA Shows.I have not been able to sit down and listen. So I can't say, Sorry. I can tell I have Audition or own alot of Power cords, Power strips & Power conditioners. With a good quality power conditioner it is the way. I love my new Furman IT Reference Balance Power Conditioner, at almost $4,000.00 retail. I have waited along time for this style of gear.It is F _ _ _ I N G Awesome, Complete dead silence between notes!! I hear stuff on my old Cd's and DVD's that I never heard before, ETC. They make a version of the Reference Conditioner. They come in 15 amp or 20 amp versons. Althought it is not a Reference piece it has Balance power, which is a awesome thing to have for audio systems. You can get the 15 amp from $750.00 to $1000.00 . Or the 20 amp $1300.00 to $1600.00. Depends how the dealer is willing to work with you.The 15 amp Furman Balance Power Conditioner is a real awesome Conditioner for the $$$ You can use 2 Amps,Pre-amp,2 Subwoofers,DVD,VCR,CD Changer and a Tuner on 15 amps 90% of the time. If you get a chance try to hear the Furman line of Conditioners. On the Cardas power Strip,I love the alumiun black case. I have listen to it ,but for the money I think it is a bad buy. For a couple $$$$ more you could have balance power.
Thanks Dayton for your insightful comments. Have you got the website for Furman for me to check it out?
Hey J.Tan., The Furman site is "furmansound.com" I steared you wrong on the IT-1210 Conditioner. I told you it was 15 amps but it is really 10 amps,Sorry. Which by the sounds of your application it will work out awesome for you. Take sometime and read all of the backgrounds on the power conditioner. You will be impressed and at the same time, you will learn about Balance Power.Good luck on your choice!!!!
Hey J Tan. "Hello HiFi" they are a dealer on AudioGon.com, and they have Furman Conditioners.Good luck!!!!