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  1. #1

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    Default Power conditioner What you need to know!

    For all of you who bought a power conditioner thinking you were protected you most likely aren't if your conditioner is not UL 1449 rated for endurance testing and if the company doesn't post it's UL 1449 numbers on it's website or product. Also, a "A,1,1" rating is best. Look for UL 1449 adjunct testing ratings also known as endurance testing, if they don't show the numbers then it's not capable of protecting your system. Make sure it's UL certified. Do NOT buy power conditioners/Surge protectors that use ground for surges. The link below explains which types of conditioners and brands to buy and which ones are useless.

    This explains it all:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1046031&page=4

    SurgeX is one of the few that is UL certified and posts all it's UL 1449 numbers/results and has a A 1 1 rating which is the highest rating. They also are the conditioner of choice for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium to protect it's electronics.

    http://listentech.wordpress.com/2009...ex-and-tascam/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SurgeXAV.../1/E3SUYkeP5Qg

  2. #2

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    A proper power conditioner should display it's official test results like this like SurgeX does.

    UL 1449 Adjunct Classification Test Results:
    1000 surges, 6000 volts, 3000 amps, B3 pulse.
    Measured suppressed voltage: 170 volts, no failures

    Federal Guidelines: Grade A, Class 1, Mode 1 (CID A-A-55818)

  3. #3

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    What was the sonic impact of the SurgeX?
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    That wasn't exactly my question... :p

    What was the sonic impact of the SurgeX in your experiences?
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    That wasn't exactly my question... :p

    What was the sonic impact of the SurgeX in your experiences?
    I follow you.

    Anyhow, this has come up before:
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ghlight=surgex

    I've since gotten a 15amp SurgeX and haven't noticed any real impact to the sonics of my system. However, my current listening room is complete garbage, so until I get some treatments up, I doubt I'd hear a difference.

    I do plan on getting a 20a panel mount SurgeX once I get around to pulling a new power line to the man room, but the treatments should come first.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701 View Post
    I follow you.

    Anyhow, this has come up before:
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ghlight=surgex

    I've since gotten a 15amp SurgeX and haven't noticed any real impact to the sonics of my system. However, my current listening room is complete garbage, so until I get some treatments up, I doubt I'd hear a difference.

    I do plan on getting a 20a panel mount SurgeX once I get around to pulling a new power line to the man room, but the treatments should come first.

    Ok, gotcha. :) I feel you on the garbage room... mine is a nightmare. :(
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    My 15x13 walls (both inside and outside are) are made out of 6in concrete. I can't tell you how badly I miss drywall.
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    If it doesn't dump a surge on the ground, where else would it go? Dissipate it into heat?

    Looks like my Tripp-lite unit is UL 1449 rated. To what? I have no idea.

    It's an HT1210ISOCTR.
    Last edited by nguyendot; 03-02-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    If it doesn't dump a surge on the ground, where else would it go? Dissipate it into heat?

    Looks like my Tripp-lite unit is UL 1449 rated. To what? I have no idea.

    It's an HT1210ISOCTR.
    Ummm, good question. My Monster 3500 has a giant ground screw on the back that I always wondered what I was supposed to do with...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhed72 View Post
    Ummm, good question. My Monster 3500 has a giant ground screw on the back that I always wondered what I was supposed to do with...
    So does my H10. My place isn't made of metal, not real sure what to connect it to. The cat?
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    Bottom line is if you take a direct hit by lightening, no consumer grade surge protector/conditioner is going to do one damn bit of good. We are all fooling ourselves if we think otherwise. Minor lightening hits, voltage sags, over current, conditioning, voltage regulation are all reasons to incorporate a conditioner in our systems, NOT to try and protect against a very large lightening hit.

    Sure some are better than others in their abilities, but if there is a huge lightening storm I still unplug my rig even though I have a conditioner.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhed72 View Post
    Ummm, good question. My Monster 3500 has a giant ground screw on the back that I always wondered what I was supposed to do with...
    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    So does my H10. My place isn't made of metal, not real sure what to connect it to. The cat?
    And you'd need about 4ga of wire to dissipate the huge "electrical" dump of current/voltage so I'm not sure how one would utilize such a screw and the screw itself I would think could be vaporized with a hard enough hit.

    I think the screw is more for ground loop type problems, not grounding the entire contents of what's plugged into the conditioner.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    And you'd need about 4ga of wire to dissipate the huge "electrical" dump of current/voltage so I'm not sure how one would utilize such a screw and the screw itself I would think could be vaporized with a hard enough hit.

    H9
    Well time out... this thing has a 3 prong plug, so isn't it obviously already grounded?

    I wonder if that ground is supposed to be used for grounding other equipment to it... Guess it would help if i read the entire manual, huh?
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    This is some pretty intresting information. I will have to check to see if mine are up to that spec.
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    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    Well time out... this thing has a 3 prong plug, so isn't it obviously already grounded?

    I wonder if that ground is supposed to be used for grounding other equipment to it... Guess it would help if i read the entire manual, huh?

    My point was the "grounding" screw is not for the entire dump if it takes a big hit, ala lightening, etc.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    My point was the "grounding" screw is not for the entire dump if it takes a big hit, ala lightening, etc.

    H9
    Yep, i understood that... I think i'm going to break out the manual when i get home. I wonder if i should have been looking at utilizing this to get rid of my very slight hum.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Bottom line is if you take a direct hit by lightening, no consumer grade surge protector/conditioner is going to do one damn bit of good. We are all fooling ourselves if we think otherwise. Minor lightening hits, voltage sags, over current, conditioning, voltage regulation are all reasons to incorporate a conditioner in our systems, NOT to try and protect against a very large lightening hit.

    Sure some are better than others in their abilities, but if there is a huge lightening storm I still unplug my rig even though I have a conditioner.

    H9
    Series mode surge protection was actually designed for the maximum expected surge if you had a strike on the pole outside your house. If your meter takes a direct hit, then yeah, you're screwed, but that's highly unlikely. There will be a very brief let-through, but it's smaller in magnitude and time than any MOV based approach.

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    If you take a direct hit, the surge is the least of your worries. Generally there will be a huge em pulse similar to a transformer blowing. Your surge unit won't drape a lead blanket over your stuff :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    And you'd need about 4ga of wire to dissipate the huge "electrical" dump of current/voltage so I'm not sure how one would utilize such a screw and the screw itself I would think could be vaporized with a hard enough hit.
    H9
    Where did you get the 4ga number from? If you ground an antenna, 10 AWG is the minimum requirement. 8 AWG was the requirement for grounding the electrical mast (obviously into 4-foot long copper poles that are in the ground).
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    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    If you take a direct hit, the surge is the least of your worries. Generally there will be a huge em pulse similar to a transformer blowing. Your surge unit won't drape a lead blanket over your stuff :)
    Actually, I am a little curious about that aspect since the series mode works via a huge inductor... which is why I'm gonna get a panel-mount one. Keep that EMP away from my sensitive gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
    Where did you get the 4ga number from? If you ground an antenna, 10 AWG is the minimum requirement. 8 AWG was the requirement for grounding the electrical mast (obviously into 4-foot long copper poles that are in the ground).
    I stated it for effect. Based on my interpretation of some of the responses it seems some are under the impression that just grounding the chassis screw will eliminate the energy on a direct hit or large surge caused by lightening, etc. I was simply pointing out that's not the case and if it were you'd need a sufficiently large cable to "contain" the energy.

    I completely understand about grounding an outdoor antenna, but then outdoors you can have the sparks and lightening show because it's in the "open" air, I don't think I'd want that type of light show in my living room.

    That was my only point and that the screw on the chassis isn't for grounding the entire contents of what's hooked to the conditioner. You can't simply use that ground screw to avert the disaster of very large surge and hope to have all the energy directed thru a tiny screw on the chassis to a ground point.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 03-02-2010 at 11:59 AM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    What exactly is that screw for, then? I may have missed it above... :o
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

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    This is paraphrased from a AVS forum by an electrical engineer in New England who I have talked to a few times over on that forum.

    There is a lot of mis-information on surge protection. I've taken classes on this and here is some info.

    First: Surge protction will not protect against direct or near lightning strikes. Only very expensive systems can protect against this situation. Surge protection protects surges coming in from the electrical line. The best protection for the average home against this type of sitation is GOOD insurance.

    Second: There is an optional rating system for surge protection done by UL. It is called UL 1449 adjunct testing aka endurance testing. It rates 3 main criteria, I'll skip the details but an A,1,1 rating is best. Very few consumer surge protectors have this rating. Zerosurge was a company mentioned but stated it degraded his systems performance. There are other companies with this rating that we have used with no issues on performance. I haven't used zero surge so I can't comment on it. You'll find many of these rated surge protection devices in the hospital market not the consumer market.

    Third: Most surge protectors have a limited life span, usually indicated by their joules rating. Once it takes this amount of energy in surges it is no longer effective. It could take thousands of small surges or one big one but once it reaches this limit it no longer works for protection but still might provide power to your devices. Good surge protection systems monitor the surges and also stop providing power once its life is up. Most consumer surge protectors do not have this feature. This is one possible reason you might have something damaged using surge protection.

    Fourth: Except very expensive systems no surge protector provides protection on the ground wire. So if a surge comes in on ground it could dmage your equipment. Near or direct lightning is one situation this may happen. Another situation in where this is possible is a surge protector which diverts it surge to ground and possible damages other equipment on the circuit connected to ground or on a low voltage line connected to the same ground (ie cable, phone, sat, etc). Most consumer surge protectors work this way, cost is not a good indicator. Ideally all outlets would be a home run to the service panel (not practical). But, knowing a little about the circuits in your home and what is on them can solve a lot of potential problems. Also, enure low voltage lines are grounded at the same place as the electrical ground near the service entrance, this can also help with ground loop problems.

    Fifth: UPS is a good idea for lamp based devices for preserving the bulb life. Many suggest using a UPS which has a true sine wave ouptut. The less expensive ones use a stepped sine wave output. This stepped sine wave units tend to cause more issues with analog connections, equipment and some switching power supplies.

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    I understand what you are saying but I tried to simplify things. There is a lot more to this topic. Anyway, we need to clarify lightning strike for your above statement to have merit.

    If you take a direct lightning strike to your home any normal surge protection will not help. If you take a near hit to the ground or a close by object such as a tree, shed, etc. Normal surge protection will not help. These situations raise the ground plane and allow too much energy through ground which surge protection does not protect. Also, if the energy is in the structure of your home and not just the wiring this will cause items within its path to be destroyed. No surge protection is going to protect from lightning strikes of this nature.

    Surge protection does protect against lightning strikes that happen elsewhere and the surge comes in from electrical line. This can happen from lightning striking utility poles, transfer stations, other homes and basically anywhere else the energy of the lightning will end up coming down electrical line. This is a much more common situation than a direct strike or near direct strike.

    Surge protection is like insurance. You may never have it and not have a problem. Many of us have electronic devices in our home that do not have any type of protection and have never had a problem. Surge protection may also increase the life of equipment. But the question is how important is that item to you and is it worth protecting. YMMV.

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    I agree it is prudent to have protection but many people without protection have never had a problem. There are a lot of TVs and audio equipment I've run into over the years that are still running and plugged into the wall.

    If you have invested any serious money into your system good surge protection just makes sense to me but some will disagree and take their chances. Some might use fried equipment as an upgrade policy

    I agree that a lot of the problems come from within your home and not outside it. Ideally, you should have whole house protection and equipment level protection.

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    Is your connections between pre-amp/ EQ/ amp using balanced connections or RCA?

    I'd try plugging the amp into the APC even though not recommended by Emotiva. You might want to use the sequencing on the APC if the Emotiva doesn't have a soft power on feature. Unless Emotiva recommends a 20 amp circuit the APC will have enough power to not cripple the amp.

    Grounding issues could possibly solve some of these issues. Grounding could be a topic by itself. Don't worry I'm sure your grounding is done properly for safety purposes but might not be correct for other issues.

    Do you have this noise issue without the EQ in the system?

    BTW, the APC H15 would not get the the highest UL 1449 rating for endurance testing. In fact it has not been submitted for this testing. Their website is a little bit misleading in stating it exceeds UL 1449 for let through voltage. This is only one aspect of UL1449 testing and this is based off of APCs own testing since it hasn't been submitted to UL for their optional endurance testing. It does pass UL for safety but so does a Walmart surge protector. I don't doubt that it exceeds the parameter it states, I just think their marketing is a little confusing for the average person.

    Anyway, I am NOT criticizing this unit. It is a very good piece and has a lot of features. But if one was looking for surge protection to meet the highest rating standards I mentioned in the previous post this unit does not and I didn't want anyone to be confused by their website.

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    Try using all balanced or all RCA connections between your equipment. There is a gain difference between connections, I doubt it is your problem but worth a try.

    Since your problems stem from the AC unit a good electrician is your best bet. Because you do not have hum does not mean you do not have a grounding issue. Ground loops are the most common issue that is talked about on these boards but is only a small part of grounding issues. Especially, when you have devices that might have two grounds such as an earth ground and ground connected to the electrical system. Your AC unit may or may not fall into this category, depends on the unit. A lot of electricians do not fully understand grounding problems and ground planes. They understand grounding as it relates to safety but not necessarily other problems.

    I am NOT criticizing your electrician. Actually, I appreciate an electrician that tries to diagnose these little problems and doesn't say the wiring is fine and leaves. These things can be complicated and the solution is not always obvious. I know in our business we use a few different electricians for various jobs. Some don't like small work and some do. But, I know which one I call when some of these gremlins occur. In fact we just recently did a house with noise in the system (Krell preamp, prasound halo amps) that neither I nor my partner nor the home owner's electrician could figure out. We narrowed it down to the electrical line but nothing we did solved the problem. It was a dedicated line to the equipment that the homeowner's electrician put it. On other circuits the noise was not there, but we needed the dedicated 20 amp line for the amps.

    We temporarily lifted the ground to try and rule out a grounding problem. So we called the electrician that we know is good with these types of issues. He diagnosed the problem and found it was the circuit breaker. He changed the breaker and everything was fine. None of us including the home owner's electrician would have guessed that the breaker was causing a noise problem. This is probably not the issue in your situation but just an example that these things might take some time to figure out.

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    Protection would still be needed on phone/ cable/ etc. because many of the problems happen from within the home. The fiber is what comes into the house with FIOS but it is then converted to standard connections within the home. We work on some FIOS systems but not im my immediate area yet. I'm jealous.

    A good question was asked about what is a good brand in surge protection. I suggested earlier that people look for UL 1449 adjunct testing ratings also known as endurance testing. A simple search will find such products. An A,1,1 rating is best. You will find products about $300 MSRP and up that have these ratings. I'm keeping my personal preferences out of it, but will answer questions about a product if directly knowlegeable.

    None of the brands you listed have this certification. I have no experience with Belkin directly but none of their products have this certification. Panamax bought Furman and we are starting to see some of the same products sold under both names. I like the Furman hybrid design better than the Panamax design and you can find their products in the under $200 category that have decent protection.

    UL recommends that interconnected equipment such as AV equipment and computers do not use surge protection that uses (contaminates) ground. MOST surge protectors do use ground and MOV based surge protection is the most common type used. Using this type of surge protection in the real world may or may not cause a problem depending on the wiring in your home.

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    You are protected against surges from the fiber line, since it will have none One of the ways it might enter is through diverted surges that use ground. Your cable/ phone, etc low voltage wires are connected to ground somewhere in your home. Depending on the wiring of your home a surge protector that diverts its energy to ground might damage equipment further down the line using the same ground line. This is a common problem here in new england where cable and phone systems didn't exist in older homes and cable/Sat/phone companies grounded there equipment in other areas beside the service ground for convenience.

    Here is an example: Let's say you have two computers on the same electrical circuit and both have surge protectors on them. A big surge comes down the main line and the surge protector on computer 1 diverts this energy to the ground wire. The energy goes into the ground on computer 2 and fries computer 2 and continues onto other items connected to its ground like the printer, cable modem, and proceeds even further to the cable box in the other room since the cable line had a splitter on it. It then proceeds to damage the cable box, TV and any equipment connected to it.

    this would be a pretty large surge to do this much damage but taking out 1 or 2 pieces is not uncommon. Smaller surges have been known to cause equipment lock ups. Energy that comes in from ground on a low voltage line is more likely to do damage since it is going straight to the circuit board. No home surge protector protects the ground wire whether on the electical or low voltage lines.

    UL recommendations are if you use devices that divert surges to ground they should be done at the service entrance such as a whole house device. This is true of low voltage lines as well for cable, sat, phone diverting surges should be done at the service entrance. All incoming lines should be grounded at the service entrance to avoid these problems. Here in new england with a lot of retrofit installations cable and sat installers commonly ground anywhere that is convenient. The ground is mandatory for safety, they don't care if will cause ground loops or possibly other problems.

    UL does not recommend ground diverting surge protectors for connected equipment. This is one of the reasons why, another reason is inductance amonst lines and I'm not going to try to explain that one. Anyway, it is not that diverting surge protectors are bad but knowing a little about your house is wired might help avoid this situation if you are going to use one.

    With well rated protects that are affordable why not use one

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