Surge suppression AC filtration for the entire house

I currently use a Shunyata research Hydra in my system to “clean” my AC. While it works exceedingly well at what it does I am aware that it will not protect against power surges/lightning etc. So… I’ve been considering surge suppression devices, but have been against placing anything directly in-line with my equipment. My understanding is that these devices limit amp performance.

Apparently one attaches this device “in-line” prior to the fuse box/circuit panel (80kA & 120kA models) or inside the circuit breaker panel (40kA model). …This device is supposed to protect an entire building against “external surges”. APC also makes claims that these devices filter EMI/RFI noise.

Is anyone familiar with these devices? If so, are they suitable for audio applications, or would they restrict performance? …Anything similar or better that you’ve run into? …Prices?

Any information or experience would be greatly appreciated


Ooops!!! Part of my post seems to be missing.

The items I am enquiring about are marketed by APC and are called "SurgeArrest Panelmount" SPD's.
Line transient supressors are not wired in series with your load; rather they are wired parallel across your incoming line & therefor will not constrain dynamics. Larger primary wholehouse surge arrestors (such as the Joslyn gas discharge arrestor that I use) are wired directly across the incoming line coming into the fuse panel, & are enclosed within their own box. The smaller panel mount primary arrestors are mainly intended to prevent a house fire & are not that good for supressing incoming voltage spikes; in addition if M.O.V. based, they degrade slightly with each hit as do any metal oxide varistor devices.
Downline from the primary arrestor you should also have secondary protection; this is where MOV based devices are prevelant & again will not constrain dynamics as they are wired parellel to your line. You can install your own MOV's across the outlets needing protection, or you can install line conditioners containing MOV's (such as Chang) or you can add MOV's to your existing Hydra if it does not already have that feature. You can even wire MOV's right inside of your components as I've done occassionally.
NOTHING can stop a lightning provoked surge.
No you cannot stop a lightning transient cold. You can however, diminish the deleterious effects to the point that equipment may not be damaged at all or at least damaged less than with no protection at all. I've had personal experience with both scenarios. Anyone who tries to argue that transient supression is a waste - can you can pay Mike's next repair bill? If not, then any negatory advice in that regard is worth exactly what it cost.
Bob is 100% correct! My day job is in industrial electronics and control. I have designed equipment that monitors a water tower. They are one of the best lightning rods know to man. I have personally hade to repair a site that had a lightning hit so strong that the transformer that was on the electric pole was on the ground. The electric meter was in little pieces. My power supply was destroyed, but the down stream equipment fas fully functional after replacing the power supply board. This power supply has an extensive surge protection system of coils, MOV's and TVS diodes.

In my installations I use surge suppression devices on the incomming line all the time. The MOV bassed devices do indead degrade with exposure and should be replaced every so often. The gas discharge tubes are very rugged but do not clamp the incomming transient at a low enough level to protect audio electronics. The recomendation of multiple locations of MOV based suppression is a very good idea. The MOV work in conjunction with the wiring impedance to limit the surge to an acceptable level. I would think that a Gas Discharge device at the service entrance, a big MOV device at the breaker to the stereo, and a surge protector at the outlet would provide a level of saftey from transients.