To power condition or not to power condition AVR

Given that an AV receiver has a complicated set of combined tasks, seems that external power conditioner might be valuable given all digital processing, but concerned about limiting current.  Your thoughts and experience in this topic appreciated.  Specific power conditioners you have had good luck using with AVRs?

Ag insider logo xs@2xknownothing
I agree with AKG. I’d move up to higher quality separates before spending a lot of money on power conditioning, especially since you already have a dedicated line. But if you have fluctuating power coming into the house I’d consider something with power regulation to help protect electronics, especially since Arcam products already have their fair share of reliability issues. I use an APC H15 and it shows me when it’s boosting and cutting power due to the fluctuations we have here, and it also eases stress on components with a sudden loss of power that also happens here frequently. I will say it gives nice peace of mind knowing it’s working. I have a fairly mid-fi 2.1 HT setup I cobbled together, but my neighbor uses the same conditioner in his Bryston/Martin Logan setup and hasn’t noticed any ill effects from using his APC. Hope this helps and best of luck.


I agree that AVR’s in general are engineered to a lower standard than a typical "separates" configuration, but to make such a blanket statement that "99.9 % of AVR’s are Chi-Fi garbage" is both incredibly arrogant and demonstrably false. Manufacturers like Arcam, NAD, Anthem, etc. are good examples, as they themselves manufacturer separate preamp processors and amplifiers in addition to their AVR lines, and in the case of their flagship model AVR’s, many of the components are often sourced from their higher tiered brethren. I’m happy for you to have the financial means to purchase top-end gear, but comments like that are neither constructive nor conducive to the environment that Audiogon tries to promote, which is a camaraderie among audio enthusiasts, not class segregation between wealthy audio enthusiasts and those with more modest financial means.

That being said, I do agree with your statement that many power conditioners on the market are far too restrictive and essentially trade current delivery for filtration, which is obviously not what you want for an amplifier. However, you are yet again making the mistake of putting out blanket statements, in this case about power conditioners, that are NOT universally true; many options from the likes of APC, Furman, AudioQuest, etc. have high current banks that largely mitigate this issue and feature either battery backups (APC) or current reservoirs (a whopping 90 amps in the case of AudioQuest’s Niagara 7000) that supplement the power coming out of the unit to provide plenty of headroom for demanding source material. If after all that has been taken into consideration you still feel that you are better off plugging straight into the wall, then all I can say is that I hope you have very clean power in your neighborhood and don’t ever suffer a damaging surge to your expensive equipment.

@savdllc, thanks for your constructive input.  I think folks may be missing my point which is this: is there a trade off of power conditioner use for an AVR balancing potential lost current delivery for amp(s) against cleaning up digital noise back out to AC service from processors in the AVR? Even if you have super clean power from the wall, the AVR digital processors my have negative effects that could affect performance of other components driven from the same outlet/circuit.
@knownothing ,

I understand your concerns now. And to answer your question, yes, there is a trade-off. See, if you were using a separates configuration, you would want to run the amplifier into one of the lower filtration high-current banks to prevent castrating the current delivery, while you would run the processor into one of the lower current high-filtration banks that are designed for constant voltage source equipment. Thus, if you are running an AVR, you would want to prioritize the current delivery needs of the amplifier over filtration of the processor circuitry by using one of the high-current banks. That being said, the high current banks still do provide filtration over just plugging into the wall, so you are still getting benefits there, plus the peace of mind in knowing that voltage dips and spikes won’t damage your gear. Hope this helps to answer your question.