Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system

Posted by: hhp

Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/15/13 04:10 PM

i am looking for a power conditioner for my home theater system.

After telling Panamax about my system that will be connect to the power conditioner (projector, axiom sub, 4311ci receiver, xpa-3 amp, blu-ray player), they recommend me using MR5100 (the new unit that just came out).

The rep actually pulled up the sub, the receiver & the amp spec to check before making the recommendation. However, one of their comments is that try to connect the sub, amp & receiver to the high current bank, if you have interference, then move your receiver connection to the other bank. And the reason that they don't recommend moving the receiver there in the first place b/c that bank has a filter and it might prevent the receiver from getting the required current. (or slightly degrade its performance)

I am a little worry after hearing Panamax feedback.

I want to buy a good power conditioner to protect my system but at the same time, I do not want the power conditioner to impose any restriction on the system capability.

Please comment if you have more understanding on this issue ..

I also appreciate any feedback on best “bang-for-the-buck” power conditioner. Thanks.

Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/15/13 04:29 PM

The only use I see of a power conditioner is for example that it can apply battery backup to a component like a computer that is collecting data in real-time (like in a laboratory) during a short power outage (less than an hour). However, during a long power outage the battery would become rendered useless. So that feature is even limited.

A power conditioner will not protect your HT equipment against a destructive surge either. For that you would need a whole house surge protector that will shunt the surge to earth ground before it enters the home. One that is installed on the outside line by the power company or inside at the panel box.

Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/15/13 04:58 PM

Yeah, your surges need to be suppressed, but I'm not sure your power needs to be conditioned. I think the "best" surge suppression methodology is probably the one mentioned by BlueJays1, but there may be benefits to using the more common devices that look like power strips, etc.

For some reason, I thought that very high current devices (amps, subwoofers) were not supposed to be plugged into surge suppression devices.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/15/13 07:30 PM

For what it's worth, I just use one of the smaller Monster devices that is both a surge protector, and a line filter. Cost $300-400.

Whole house surge protection being a better choice. You can order one online for around $200. Then get an electrician to install it for you, if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself. Much cheaper than one installed by the electrical company and you don't have to pay extra on your utility bill.

I've always heard it's best if there is no line conditioning on the subwoofer so power supply won't be restrained when you need it. I don't think a surge protector would do any current limitation when it's drawn by the device, only when a surge enters the house from outside.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/15/13 10:18 PM

HH, electronic audio equipment includes all the "power conditioning" necessary for meeting their performance specs. Designers are well aware of the nature of typical power supplies which will feed their products and take this into account. Transformers, rectifiers and filter capacitors in their power supply section take the incoming AC and output clean DC for use. So, the best "bang for the buck" power conditioner is the one you've already paid for in your 4311.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/16/13 01:15 PM

As per the the voltage regulation in power conditioners, home theater electronics are not sensitive to damage from under voltage. As was mentioned earlier there is already power conditioning in the electronic equipment. They just may not function optimally or perhaps even just shut down from the under voltage. Surges on the other hand are definitely destructive to home theater equipment and need to be addressed accordingly with a whole house surge protector and proper earth ground.

Anything with motors that are operating in your home you have to be careful from under voltage like fans, fridges, freezers, water pumps, sump pumps etc. These appliances can fail from overheating as the motor increases it current as the voltage sags/drops.

The water pump in our home seems most sensitive to under voltage. This was noticed/caused by a problem from our generator that was operating under voltage. Also I have seen this with overhead fans in our washrooms on utility power.

I still like the idea of uninterrupted power supplies to prevent data corruption/loss.
Posted by: GregLee

Re: Need help w/ power conditioner for HT system - 03/16/13 06:51 PM

I have no expertise at this stuff, but what I have heard over the years is that power conditioners for HT are nothing more than a rip off, whose purpose is to bilk the credulous. I have my equipment protected by UPSs and spike protectors, except for TVs (thinking TVs probably have especially robust protection already).