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  1. #1

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    Default Conditioner or Surge Protector?

    I'm looking to buy either a conditioner or a surge protector, mostly for the purpose of protecting my equipment including--or perhaps especially--my Yaqin MC100B integrated tube amplifier (draws 300W max I believe?)

    I was thinking of an entry-level conditioner and read good things about Belkin's PureAV Home Theater Consoles so far as cleaning things up a bit. I found the PF 30 for 99 bucks on tigerdirect. However, I read some forum posts about how a line conditioner can limit the dynamics of amplifiers. I don't want to compromise on my amplifier's sound!

    So, would it be a better idea for me to go with a simple surge protector instead? If so, do you guys have any suggestions for a reliable, quality surge protector that won't break the bank? I'm not looking to throw much money at this thing, just enough to get something that will protect my equipment and have a solid build.

  2. #2

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    You will get several suggestions, and no doubt the "whole house" fan-boys will come out of the woodwork. I have the PF60 and am very happy with it. I see (hear?) no evidence of current limiting. I can't say the sound is actually better but the picture on my 60" cleaned up some. There have been discussions about the voltage regulation feature of the ADC models versus the non-regulation type like the PF60/PF30 so you might want to do a forum search on those threads. I don't need the VR feature wanting primarily protection and some filtering. The PF60 is a lot less expensive if you are trying to save some bucks. I paid $128 shipped for the PF60 from buydotcom a couple months ago so you may want to compare the PF60 to the PF30 (only a few bucks more).
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  3. #3

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    I have the pf60, but I believe they both have high current jacks specifically for amps/subs etc. FYI - Buy.com has the pf30 for 97 shipped, and it would appear NewEgg is even cheaper (although their site appears to be down at the moment)

    I'd say get the pf30 over a straight surge protector. Although there are generally 2 sides to this. Those that claim this is a miracle product that cleaned everything up, or those that say it sounds funny after being connected. I'd say generally though, the majority of "us" believe this either helped, or we can't tell.
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  4. #4

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    I have had the PF60 for about a year now. I really like it, best $140 i ever spent on my system. So, I got a pf30 for my 3ch system in my bedroom on black friday for $60, but it's still in the box. You could wait a little until the deals come up again. I like the 6 separate filters in the pf60 vs only 3 in the pf30 so depending on how much equipment you are hooking up, you can decide if pf60 or 30 is right for you.
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  5. #5

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    This component would be part of a very simple 2ch rig and would only be responsible for the amplifier mentioned, a CD player, and possibly an equalizer plugged into it. Would the PF60 be overkill?

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    Most usually don't plug an amp into anything that limits current, and most basic conditioners/ surge products do. Something like a TV,cdp,bdp, cable box, pre amp, receiver, should be fine on it.

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    I am planning on getting either one of the P30/P60 or a APC H10 for my 2 channel rig eventually. In your case I would go with either the P30 or H10. The only real thing the H10 offers over the P30 is voltage regulation should your power tend to fluctuate where you live. Thats honestly about it.

    I have a H15 for my downstairs setup, but it would be overkill for my future 2 channel setup (which will be similar to yours).

    I have read that just about all the power conditioners/surge protectors limit current, but personally havent run into it or heard it yet. It might have to do with the gear I run which isnt super powerful.

  8. #8

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    So sounds like 3 votes for, one vote against so far.

    @Tony: I was apprehensive as well based on some forum posts I read. However, the more I think about it, my 300w rated 2ch amp shouldn't be pushing the limits of a conditioner designed for multichannel, beefier home theater amps, right? Furthermore I won't be pushing my amp all that loud. If I had an amp that was drawing a lot more current, I'd definitely be reluctant to put boundaries on its operation, but with my specific circumstances I'm really on the fence. The thing is, I don't have a tv, cdp, bdp, cable box, pre amp, or receiver to worry about, so if I can't use this thing to protect (and possibly clean up) my integrated amplifier, there really isn't much point.
    Furthermore, are you also saying that a simple surge protector (without any conditioning features) would adversely affect the performance of my amplifier? If so I guess I'd just keep my amp unplugged when not in use and avoid listening during bad weather haha

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    I've been reading other forum threads on the subject and I can only say that the more I read the more confused I get haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave2 View Post
    I've been reading other forum threads on the subject and I can only say that the more I read the more confused I get haha
    Get the P30 (as its the lowest cost one). Connect your amp to it and everything else and listen to some music. Crank it up. Then do the same but with the amp connected direct to the wall. If you cant tell a difference, connect everything to the P30. If you can, connect it however sounds best.

    Those are my thoughts.

    P.S. I run my Carver AV-705x 5 channel amp as well as my PSW125 off my H15.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Get the P30 (as its the lowest cost one). Connect your amp to it and everything else and listen to some music. Crank it up. Then do the same but with the amp connected direct to the wall. If you cant tell a difference, connect everything to the P30. If you can, connect it however sounds best.

    Those are my thoughts.

    P.S. I run my Carver AV-705x 5 channel amp as well as my PSW125 off my H15.
    The thing is that my rig is so simple that I don't want the conditioner if I'm not going to use my amp with it. Might as well protect everything with a power strip vs. use a conditioner just for my CD player and equalizer and leave the amp unprotected.

    Thanks for the info concerning your setup. The H15 seems pretty comparable to the PF60, and if it can take 125wx5, I'm sure the 300 watts my amp is rated to draw won't be an issue. Do you notice a difference in the sound with the conditioner vs. with the amp plugged into the wall?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave2 View Post
    Do you notice a difference in the sound with the conditioner vs. with the amp plugged into the wall?
    I personally do not notice a difference, however I do not listen at very loud volumes (60-80 db max at listening position) as I live in an apartment right now. I have cranked it a bit both ways and could never tell the difference.

    I also have watched the H15's load and its never over 35%, but that doesnt mean its not potentially limiting the current and just doesnt show there.

    I am aware of someone that did encounter a difference in sound between using a power conditioner and jacking straight into the wall, however the amp he was using (Carver TMF-75) is a friggin ridiculous haus and I would expect such from it.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    I personally do not notice a difference, however I do not listen at very loud volumes (60-80 db max at listening position) as I live in an apartment right now. I have cranked it a bit both ways and could never tell the difference.
    I figure any difference, whether positive or negative, will not be earth-shattering. I think I'm probably going to give it a shot.

  14. #14

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    Are these Grant Fidelity conditioners any good ? Was looking at the RPF 120 MkII model. Wonder how they compare to the PF60.

  15. #15

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    On a basic surge/conditioner, you'd be hard pressed to hear a difference. That said, you have to look at the whole picture. In other words, if the line your using for your gear is shared with other high current drawing appliances, such as a fridge, furnace or A/C, electric stoves, etc.

    As suggested above, you can always just plug everything in and see if you feel everything is getting the juice you think they should. Doesn't hurt to try. If you shooting for low cost units though, I don't see any difference among the brands in their basic units.

  16. #16

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    My Carver AV-705x 5-channel amp + my NAD R747 receiver (used as a processor) + a cable box draw around 3 - 3.5 amps according to the readout on my PF60. I doubt you're going to be anywhere near a current-limiting situation. Even if your amp drew all 300 watts that would only amount to 2.5 amps of a 15 amp circuit. As long as you're not sharing the circuit with a refrigerator, washer/dryer, or space heater you should be fine.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Most usually don't plug an amp into anything that limits current...
    Not true. Your home's electrical panel will limit the current based on the breaker that your amp is drawing power from. There is ALWAYS something in the chain that will limit the current. As long as the device doing the limiting has a higher limit than what your amp will draw, there will be no problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty913 View Post
    Even if your amp drew all 300 watts that would only amount to 2.5 amps of a 15 amp circuit. As long as you're not sharing the circuit with a refrigerator, washer/dryer, or space heater you should be fine.
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  18. #18

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    The APC H15 is the sweetspot for bulletproof entry level. If you want to go used, the older H10 is also perfect.

    Moving to the next level is where you need to do your homework.

    Personally, I would say away from basic surge protectors as it is only a matter of time before they fail.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave2 View Post
    I figure any difference, whether positive or negative, will not be earth-shattering. I think I'm probably going to give it a shot.
    excellent, you have to have things to try things, the path in audio concerning power management has many twists and turns, best to start simple as you say and see if you hear a difference but at least you will have some protection for your rig. And those tubes.

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  20. #20

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    I just bought the pf30 last fri. from buy.com for 59.99 shipped! And i cant hear any difference as well!
    "Everything I ever did in my life worthwhile I caught hell for"

  21. #21

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    Here was the link:

    NEW Belkin PureAV? PF30 Home Theater Power Console

    Member id buy ( Feedback Score Of 2123867)

    Item condition:

    New

    Sale date:

    Dec 11, 2011

    Quantity:
    1

    Price:

    US $59.99

    6 months to pay on purchases of $99+See terms

    Learn moreabout eBay Buyer Protection

    Shipping and handling

    Item location: United States, United States

    Shipping to: United States

    Excludes: Alaska/Hawaii, US Protectorates, APO/FPO, PO Box

    Shipping and handling

    To

    Service

    Estimated delivery*

    Free shipping

    United States

    Economy Shipping

    Between Mon. Dec. 19 and Fri. Dec. 30

    That was last fri. now its $109 on buy.com's E-BAY store,or $79 on buy.com's website!
    Last edited by bobsauto49; 12-15-2011 at 11:37 PM.
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  22. #22

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    Just had my mom order a PF30 for about 85 shipped. Gonna be a nice Christmas present! She bought it under the condition I act surprised ;)

  23. #23

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    Have your mother buy me this, and I will be surprised.

    http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15562-s...nditioner.aspx

  24. #24

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    You drive a hard bargain :P

  25. #25

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    Power conditioner? is there such a thing?
    Read this.
    http://www.hometheatershack.com/audiolies.pdf

    Here is a quote taken from Bryston Amp manual "
    All Bryston amplifiers contain
    high-quality, dedicated circuitry in the
    power supplies to reject RF, line spikes
    and other power-line problems. Bryston
    power amplifiers do not require specialized
    power line conditioners. Plug the
    amplifier directly into its own wall
    socket.”

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by nhhiep View Post
    Power conditioner? is there such a thing?
    Sounds like Bryston has a rudimentary power conditioner built-in to it's amp. Are you saying Bryston is lying? Of course, if they are not lying then that means there are power conditioners. If there are power conditioners then there can be various levels of quality. If there can be various levels of quality then that means there can be better external power conditioners than what is built-in to the Bryston.

  27. #27

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    I haven't read Bryston or anybody has a conditioner built in the amp. But many high quality amp manuals telling you to hook up directly to the wall, even my HK amp says so.

  28. #28

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    to the OP: the manuals for both (the pf60 and 30) say that there is a 1800w max capacity. If you overload the thing, it simply will not turn on, so you can't damage anything. Just for your information.
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  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by nhhiep View Post
    I haven't read Bryston or anybody has a conditioner built in the amp. But many high quality amp manuals telling you to hook up directly to the wall, even my HK amp says so.
    Not to bright are you?

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    Not to bright are you?
    At least he knows the difference between to and too.
    cristo

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