What should I plug my system into?

I just got my first high-end system, and without further ado plugged it all into a $5 power strip I got from the supermarket. As I read more, however, I see that one can spend thousands of dollars on line conditioners and other hi-tech gear designed to "clean" the power supply and otherwise work wonders when plugging in. I had no idea this stuff existed. At any rate, I suspect that, whether or not my ears can detect a difference in sound, it might be worthwhile using something a lttle better than a $5 power strip. Your suggestions would be much-appreciated.
You were better off when you had no idea they existed. A good surge protector is good insurance. APC is a quality brand. As for the other stuff, if you want to spend the money and you think you can hear the difference, go for it. If you'd rather not spend the money, just keeping repeating, "Snake oil. Snake oil."
I have a high quality system capable of high resolution and have tried many different power strips including the $5-10. variety-- they generally sound terrible. If you must use a power strip for its many outlets, look for a good one, ie I now use a Monster HTS 1000 ($100.) for accessories, and short term have used it for components. It does not seem to color or degrade music quality/character.

That said, I use Synergistic Research Master Couplers (power cords) plugged into Hubbell Audio grade outlets that are the end of my dedicated AC system. All of this promotes a very low noise floor, quickness, deep tight bass, a pristine mid-range and smooth grain-free treble. You probably need a high quality system to take advantage of cleaned up AC system though. But it ALL contributes to final sound quality. Take it one step at a time, and listen, listen, listen. Good Luck, and Cheers. Craig
Bomarc; Where do you get this "snake oil I keep hearing about? I assume it's a stereo "tweak" of some kind;>). Is it expensive enough to be suitable for audiophiles? Actually, in my youth, some friends and I ate a rattlesnake and found it to be, smooth, and sweet with a delicate flavor-- no oil, or oily taste either. Audiophile food I think;>). Cheers. Craig
NAIM recommends something called the Wiremold power strip. There's an interesting piece about power conditioning etc. on their website. See http://www.naimusa.com/power.html.
Check out Equitech products. They are the best company for balanced power sources. Balanced power is anything but "snake oil." Equitech's web site can explain it to you in detail. However, the first step (and I believe it the most important) is to make sure your audio system is on its own dedicated circuit(s). Adding a circuit or two is fairly cheap (and not very hard to do if your at all handy and have a basic understanding of electrical systems). You can go as far as you like with other things like UPS's (uninterruptable power supplies), surge protectors, voltage regulators, etc. but for most home systems (other than those for the obscenely rich audio perfectionists with a lot of time to listen on their hands) dedicated circuits are probably all you need. The second step would be balanced power (which usually also includes surge protection, and noise filters). The third step would be voltage regulation. THe fourth step... well after that who cares, at that point you've already gone extremely far. Why not spend whatever you have left on upgrading your system. You'll get more "bang for your buck." Good luck... hope it helps.
At the very least get a reasonably decent power strip: Wireworld has one with a detachable AC cord for about $40 available from Cable Company www.fatwyre.com
If you've noticed a sonic improvement, then you can move up from there. A relatively cheap Chang Lightspeed 3200 has 6 filtered outlets for about $250 (but isn't recommended for a large current hungry power amp) just for source components &/or smaller amps. There are already so many threads on the subject; I suggest you look at the archived threads, make a few choices to pick from, then experiment a bit until you find what will work well for you. There is no one absolute answer, & are probably quite a few reasonably affordable approaches.
Next thing to do: you could & likely should look into some upgrade AC cords. Again there are numerous archived threads on the subject to get you better acquainted.
And anyone who tries to tell you that none of this makes any difference has their ears completely stuffed full of silly putty.
Here is a link to a place that has PHENOMENAL prices on the Monster PLC's ( Power Line Conditioners ). I buy wholesale and believe me, these are BLOW OUT prices. Then again, the first series of HTS PLC's are discontinued, so they ARE blowing them out. I don't know if they have any left in stock at these prices, but it's worth a try. You will probably have to cut and paste the entire address into your brouser though as it is pretty long.


If they don't have any available, go to


and search for a specific model that you may be interested in. You can find some others that are almost as low, but not quite. There are several places that are measurably cheaper than GlobalMart, who used to be our "budget source" for the Monsters. Hope this helps... Sean

i use the strip that naim recommends. it's *really* great.

for te most part, i agree with all that naim states on the link you mentioned. i think it's well worth a read.
Power conditioners DO make a difference. This from an old quasi-objectivist who will be glad to give you an A-B evaluation in his living room.

That being said, I don't think the extremely costly ones are worth the price. In my own case, a Monster 5000 ($600 list but now readily available for $450 since a new model came out) offers a good compromise between audible improvement and affordability.
I'm very surprised noone has mentioned the Panamax line
of surge protectors and line conditioners. I just moved up
from Adcom stuff to a McIntosh system and discovered my
old TrippLite line conditioner no longer had enough outlets
to plug everything into.
So after looking around a bit and reading some very
unhappy posts about Monster Power products on several websites - I looked into buying a Panamax line conditoner.
I just set up a Panamax 5300 Line Conditioner in my system,
and could not be more pleased. There is absolutely no
discernable noise in my audio system at all. The picture
quality of my Sony 32" Monitor has improved a bit; and
even when I use my McIntosh MR-75 manual tuner, there is
minimal noise when tuning between stations.
The 5300 has 10 double filtered outlets on the back of
the unit - including two to be used for high current
units such as amps and sub-woofers. And a convenience outlet
on the front. Build quality is great - a well built metal
cabinet with a detachable power cord.