Yes, as I understand it, the SDS should go direct to the wall. You're actually plugging a power conditioner, into a power conditioner, which to me, makes little sense.
Yes, when the SDS is first turned on, with the turntable plugged into it, but with the tunrtable motor off, it will firstly read 115V, and then drop to the pre-selected voltage. Then when the Turtable Motor turned on, again, it will quickly switch to 115V for initial fire-up of the Table Motor, then again revert back to the lower pre=selected setting after 3-5 seconds.
There is I belive a PDF file on VPI's website, that shows how one can go into the SDS calibration mode, the permanently adjust-set the ramp down voltage. I believe thses setting are 115, 108, 102, 96, 90, 84, 78, and 72 VAC.
There are some instances with the SDS, that using the lowest ramp down voltage (72VAC) may not be sufficient-ideal, due to heavy platters, idler wheels-pulleys, etc, and thus a slightly higher voltage than 72VAC may be needed to acquire stable platter speed, and performance.
Hope this helps. Mark Mark