Surge protection, have you tried?

For example, the inexpensive plug-ins sold at commercial hardware stores (usually rated at 1800 watt, 1080 Joule). Has anyone tried them and noticed a degradation in sound? I ask because my power conditioners do not provide surge protection.
Yes there is substantial sound degradation. If you need surge protection with the least degradation I suggest Brickwall. The fact that they don't use MOVs also is a plus. There were times I thought my system sounded better through the Brickwall. Often my system would continue playing through various midwest thunderstorms when APC-based protected video systems throughout the house would struggle. Now, I have dedicated circuits and no protection or conditioning. I recommend Brickwall products without hesitation.
I use a FURMAN SS-6B PRO SURGE SUPPRESSOR, the kind of power strip a band will use on stage. Made of steel, won't melt like some of those plastic strips you are referring to. I don't notice any audible difference between using the strip or the amp plugged directly into the wall outlet.

to Mt10425...the Brickwall looks good. Is the difference that Furman sends the AC surge to ground and Brickwall sends it to neutral? I am not an EE, just interested.
57- I don't know that answer.
Psag...What pwr cond, do u have and what components are running thru it?
Lowrider57, I have Shunyata Research Cyclops to my amps, and Isoclean isolation transformers to the front end components.
Very very nice. I have Blue Circle BC86's for filtering and a Furman for power surges.
So, to get back on topic, if u live in an area with lightening strikes or unstable line voltage, I would say u need some protection. Audio Advisor sells the Furman line with a 30 day return policy.
Bill Wlhitlock has a great article/seminar from Jensen Transformers on surge protection and niose reduction. Real eye opener. He recommends SurgeX as it doesn't shunt the surges to ground but dissipates them.