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#121955 - 12/27/05 10:46 AM Panamax Power Conditioner Question
Capn_Pickard Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
The Guy at Tweeter insisted that I buy a $250 Panamax power conditioner, which sits like a component in my audio rack and allows me to plug in all my components, etc.

I just got a new plasma, and he said that the power conditioner was a necessity. While it does get rid of my ground loop all on its own, so did the $4 radio shack part I bought some time ago.

What is the general consensus on these things? Is a regular old power strip all that is needed, or should I keep the Panamax?

All opinions, of course, welcome.

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#121956 - 12/27/05 01:10 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3187
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Cap_n Pickard,

If you live in rural areas subject to frequent power outages and/or voltage spikes, there is some utility to power conditioners, however none of these devices will protect against a direct lightning hit on a transformer or phone line outside your house.

In urban areas, there is no need whatsoever to "condition" the power source. That is what the power supply and filters in each of your components in fact does. Claims made of improved sound quality and the like are fraudulent and are not supported by scientific tests. I lump many of the manufactueres of such devices right next to the exotic cable sellers in terms of ignorance of the laws of physics and electrical theory, as well as the absurd claims made for improved audio performance. Along with expensive cables, power conditioners are, of course, a huge source of profit for retailers.

Ground loops are solvable through the device you mention, and other similar inexpensive ground-lift devices or in-line cable-TV transformers.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#121957 - 12/27/05 02:20 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
Abyss Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 27
Well said Alan. In fact I have read where power conditioners can adversely affect the sound, as in deteriorating the signal strength. I use APC battery backups for my DTV, RPTV and computers. However I do hate the MOVs that come in these fancy (monster & panamax) so called power/surge protectors as well as the 10$ strips. I had an MOV catch fire in an APC and nearly burnt down my home not to mention, in real world use you need to replace these MOVs (Metal Oxide Varistors) every couple of years, meaning purchasing a new unit, MOVs are not user replaceable. I bet ya the salesman didn’t mention that. As a result I learned a lot of things about MOVs and they are useless. Once you learn how MOVs work, you’ll wonder why you ever bought one and whos bright idea it was to use them, they are outdated. I only use series mode surge protection found in the Brick Wall series There are also other Series Mode units such as ZeroSurge and SurgeX

As an example, I live in Miami Florida and when Wilma went through, a cat3, she took down many transformers and when our transformer blew it went out in a flash of glory. As a result my neighbors stove, tv, vcrs, computer, water heater, you name it, she lost it. Even things she had plugged into power strips and her computer which was plugged into an APC, fried! I had every major appliance unplugged or breaker thrown off except the refrigerator and tv. I took one of my Brick Walls and used it for the spare tv and refrigerator. When the power went I thought it was all over, I’ve never seen a transformer blow like this one did, it was quite a show. After the hurricane passed, I fired up our generator and walla, the refrigerator and tv still work I think that’s the best testament to which is better, Series Mode or MOV.

Here’s a quote from the Brickwall site:
MOV’s function by creating a short circuit (usually to the neutral and the ground) when a preset voltage threshold is exceeded. Essentially they divert surge current away from what the surge protector is protecting. Unfortunately MOV’s are sacrificial components. This means that the performance life of any surge protector utilizing this technology is finite. With every surge current diversion above a modest level an MOV comes closer to its inevitable end.

And a nice explanation of how MOVs work from a third party: How Stuff Works

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#121958 - 12/27/05 03:05 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
Me, I don't let sales guys insist I buy anything.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#121959 - 12/27/05 03:18 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
Capn_Pickard Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
In reply to:

Me, I don't let sales guys insist I buy anything.




Well said. I actually tried to fight him a little bit, but my brother in law nudged me and gave me that look like, "just let him sell us what he wants to sell us," which was code for "you're not paying for it, Dad is. I went with the flow, more not to create a stir or to offend my father in law, who, after all was buying the stuff. Given my money, I would have told him that he could go condition the hairs on his ass, but it was not my time or place.

In any event, its nice to hear that I don't specifically need this thing, which will make returning it later much more comforting. Maybe I'll get the old father in law something nice for (after all, its his money, right?)

Thanks, all.



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#121960 - 12/27/05 03:59 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Hi Adrien;

I have PureAV P60 power console (their top of the line). I got it because it was a good deal (half of retail). It gives me piece of mind to have everything connected to it, and also wire management. I doubt it improved anything in my system, probably picture in my DLP only. In fact I thought it refrained my monster RB-1080 Rotel power amp (200wpc), so I just plug it directly to the wall.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#121961 - 12/27/05 06:04 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
Ajax Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6250
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Adrien, I have the same unit that thyname has, and, like him, I got it at a SUBSTANTIAL discount. I would never have paid full price for it (way out of my budget). I don't believe, and would never claim, that it makes one bit of difference in how my system sounds. I didn't buy it for that reason. It does, however, have several features that I really like, and I think it looks sexy. Those are two perfectly valid reasons for my purchase.

So, If you like the Panamax, for whatever reason, by all means hang on to it. Just don't hang on to it because you think it will make a difference in how your system sounds. If it's not important to you, take that puppy back and save your father-in-law some money.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#121962 - 12/27/05 06:30 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
ratpack Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: Alabama
Well Alan, I never thought that I would say that you are wrong, but you are when it comes to lightning/ surge supressors.

The trees in my back yard have been hit twice, my ham radio tower twice, and the power pole once. Some of my Tripp-Lite surge supressors were damaged, but the electronics that they were protecting are still working today.

You have to be careful that you have the all AC power, cable, telephone and any other wiring properly protected, but it can be and is done. The "key" seems to be a common point ground.

In any case, I really agree with you about power conditioning!!!!!

Regards,
_________________________
The Rat. M80s, VP-150, QS8s, SVS PC 20-39+, OPPO, Onkyo 703s, Harmony 880 Sony 60" SXRD HDTV

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#121963 - 12/28/05 05:15 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3187
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Ratpack,

I stand corrected on the lightning strike issue. I've just repeated what several engineers have told me, but I certainly don't claim to know all about protection from lightning strikes, except on sailboats (you gotta ground the mast to the keel).

Thanks for the update on the Tripp-Lite surge supressors.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#121964 - 12/28/05 05:18 PM Re: Panamax Power Conditioner Question
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13333
Loc: Iowa
I sure like my Tripp Lite HTPowerBar10, thanks to Rat.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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