Power Conditioners


I'm looking at the Audioquest Powerquest3 and the Austere 7 Series Power. At this price point are the power conditioner sections a gimmick or can they have a meaningful impact. Is there a certain price, brand or tech which is generally the gold standard? Is power conditioning something you should only need to address if it's an actual problem (you can hear it) across your system or is it a best practice no matter and if so who is the "value" player in the space? I cringe at the thought of spending 4k on a power conditioner. Thanks for your comments. 
spotconlon
I’ve used a power conditioner priced around this level. The sound quality improved

I then replaced it with a simple (but expensive) power bar and the sound quality improved even more.

Turns out my power did not require "conditioning" but the better quality outlets gripped the plugs better.

Take a look at the Furutech line of power bars without power conditioning/filtering or similar products from reputable power related companies
http://www.furutech.com/products/power-distributors-filters/unfiltered-distributor/

Regards - Steve
The need for power conditioning depends on a lot of factors. The only way to determine that for your particular case is to try one (or more).

As for the two units you listed, the AQ Powerquest 3 offers series-mode surge suppression while Austere VII Series offers parallel-mode using "sacrificial" MOV devices. For more info, you might want to check out the "Surge Suppressor Basics" thread in this section.
I use a Torus RM20.
The main problem with power conditioners is filtering.  Any impedance in series affects dynamics of the power amp.  Linear power supply draws current in narrow peaks of big amplitude.  Amplifier demand of 1A at given time will draw about 10A in narrow pulses from mains.  Filters will cause big voltage drops and loss of dynamics.  I use Furman Elite 20PFi conditioner, that in addition to filtering and good non-sacrificial over/under voltage protection has big capacitor that stores energy to provide up to 55A of peak current.   
This Furman Elite looks interesting. The 15pfi is priced more to my liking and looks comparable except for the 45A v 55A of the 20. Any thoughts on likelihood of experiencing that kind of spike in a music-only system?