I keep reading that we should plug our amps directly into the socket and skip conditioners. What about surge protection? Living here in FL has me nervous plugging my Halo amp and new KEF LS50 Wireless speakers directly into the wall. What's everyone doing for protection that doesn't effect sound negatively?
I live in a suburb of Memphis and when storms come through we get a lot of lightning where I am. I had an electrican hookup 2 surge protectors right at the panel , and I may be incorrect but think that my Blue Circle 6000 power conditioner also has protection in it - I have experienced no sound degradation
Does anyone have access to any objective measurements showing surge protectors and/or power conditioners actually degrade the sound quality? There are also different approaches used in designing these components so some may be better than others.
Here is an interesting, affordable product that you plug into one side of your open duplex AC outlet while your amp (or another type of component) is plugged into the other AC opening, for surge protection of that outlet only. Of course, you need to use one on each of the outlets you want to protect. Blue Circle Audio makes it. Called The Yalu Bulala See pictures and an explanation below: http://www.bluecircle.com/page95.html
I have an EP whole house surge protector wired into the main panel of my house (after a surge took out one of my Vandersteen amps).....not only have I not had any problems since, but the addition, actually made the system sound a bit better.
Asahitoro - I like the whole-house solution but having something in between is also an option. Having been a Furman user for years (music studio, live performance) I went looking for something different recently and discovered the ART PS Pro.
It's (fairly) inexpensive, packed with features and if you have an appropriate rack, adds utility and features like digital current draw (in 1/100 amps), front mounted LED pullout lights and a rear gooseneck lamp with dimmer.
I've read recommendations that suggest that with power conditioners that digital sources (CD's, cable boxes, TV's, Routers, etc.) be on one unit with all analog sources on another (amps, turntable).
I use one to run all my digital front end including my pre/pro, DAC, CDP, flatscreen and router and even an Apple TV and it never registers over .08-.09 amps draw.
I've also not seen any degradation in sound quality whatsoever (although no improvement either). Admittedly it looks like something that belongs in a pro-audio rack versus a high-end stereo system (it's subjective), but I've been happy with my purchase.
That said, I still keep my monster amps plugged directly into the wall so perhaps one of these of all your digital components and with your panel-based suppresser for the whole house, you'd have a nice clean setup for little $ that also adds useful features.
By the way - I'm generally a curious person so anytime I purchase a new piece of electronic gear, one of the very first things that I do is void the warranty and open it up to see what's inside; I'm generally impressed at the quality of internal cabling, independent outlet wiring, etc. for anything in this price range.
Just wanted to throw out another option based on personal experience.
I’m using an Environmental Potentials EP-2050. Many positive reviews and industry proven results, plus improves the sound of your whole system and protects the whole house. I also use a Emotiva CMX-2 DC Blocker for the problem DC on my line for my preamp. These two components are a great combo.
Everything else I've tried has killed dynamics in my system...
I think I’m going to look at the whole house option. I just need to figure out which one is best for my needs.
Effective protector does not do protection. Best protectors connect low impedance (ie less than 10 feet) to what actually and harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. Single point earth ground. All four words have electrical significance.
Lightning (just one of many surges) can be 20,000 amps. So a minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Since MOVs do not degrade for decades when properly sized (when more of your money goes into the protector and not into profit margins). Near zero protectors degrade or even fail catastrophically so that naive consumers will recommend it and buy more.
Conditioners such as Furman or series mode filters such as Surgex have numbers that 'protect' from surges too tiny to overwhelm superior protection inside appliances. Worse, some plug-in boxes may even compromise that existing and robust protection. Plug-in protectors also must be protected by a properly earthed 'whole house' solution.
50,000 amps defines protector life expectancy over many surges. Protection during each surge is defined by a low impedance (ie hardwire has no sharp bends) connection to earth. How do make that protection even more effective? Upgrade earth ground and its connection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - that ineffective and lesser protectors (with a large profit margin) will not discuss.
I too use the brick wall ,which works very well And for $270 ask for audio version. In Stereophile rated class -B in recommended component's Against a $1500 unit it was a tie. That is what I call a bargain.
Works well? How many other appliances, not on a Brickwall, are destroyed? Since a potentially destructive surge never happened, then it works well? If it works well, then a furnace, dimmer switches, dishwasher, door bell, LED and CFL bulbs, central air, clocks, all GFCIs, and smoke detectors are damaged. Or a reality exists. What a Brickwall does remains completely unknown. It protected from what?. It does not claim to protect from typically destructive transients; once specification numbers are read.
@westom shows up again and talks bs about numbers and circuits he doesn’t understand. I think this time he’s switching current and volts.
MOV’s / Shunt type surge protectors are most cost effective at the panels. Noise dampening can also do a lot at the panel itself. I would not rely on this alone for precious audio equipment due to ability of a strike to induce voltage in the lines. A series mode whole-house protector at the service would be huge and expensive.
Series mode protection is best near the devices themselves, and it does not degrade and there is no current flow by design.
When I had access to my service panel I used this kind of dual approach myself. Given a choice of only one, I'd go with the series mode approach.
If a surge (ie 20,000 amps) connects harmlessly low impedance to earth, well, an IEEE Standard defines that as 99.5% to 99.9% protection. Only then can a plug-in (ie series mode) protector do something useful - add maybe 0.2% additional protection.
Surges are defined by the independent variable: current; not by a dependent variable: volts. One must know that before making even subjective recommendations.
Series mode protection is for one type of surge. And literally connects a surge directly into attach appliance once it has absorbed it maximum energy - typically 600 joules. Series mode protectors are hyped without numbers (ie a near zero 600 joules). Also ignored: another wire connects a surge directly into electronics - bypassing a series mode protector that cannot do anything about it.
Electronics already have protection superior to tiny protection provided by a series mode protector. Even simple numbers (that are ignored to promote a tens or hundred times more expensive solution) make it obvious. Proven protection is defined by an answer to a simple question: where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate.
How does its 600 joules absorb a surge that is hundreds of thousands of joules? Series mode protector promoted again by one who constantly ignores and never provides relevant numbers. Including current, joules and an IEEE number: 99.5% of the protection.
Series mode filters are for a completely different anomaly - noise.
Even though minimal and effective protect is 50,000 amps and costs about $1 per protected appliance. Even though Shunyata Resarch spec numbers do not even claim to protect from potentially destructive surges.
I use the PS Audio P600 which provides protection and regenerates the power to my components. I have a friend who has the PS Audio P10 which is a later reincarnation and has many more bells and whistles if you want a more sophisticated power regenerator. If you have not tried a power regenerator I highly recommend you compare it to your power conditioner. Yes, the power regenerators are more costly but the sound impact is worthwhile.