Question about Power Conditioners? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-25-2006, 12:03 PM
I've been given different advise about power conditioners, in that, some swear by it terms of overall improvement gains. Yet, some high end users I've talked to, would not use it because of it's current limiting effect on an amplifier which would in turn limit dynamics. I don't own one to compare the differences. I am interested in getting one say a Monster or Richard Gray. I currently just use a simple surge protector for my video source components and TV, but my receiver and external amps I plug directly into the wall for fear of this issue.

Any thoughts or experiences?

03-25-2006, 11:51 PM
I got Monster Reference PowerCenter HTS 3500 MKII new from, at a great price- it lists for $400 & I got it for around $125 with the rebate. This definately improved my audio sound & picture but some of the things you said were true, pertaining to this model specifically. I wish I could explain technically why it does this but I can't, just consider this a blessing. In response to HD picture, on my 2003 48" Widescreen Mitsubishi HD TV, it made the HD TV picture crisper & richer, and turned an already "A" HD picture into an A+. In regards to audio, if you plug your receiver into the "CD" slot on it in the digital filter section instead of the slot marked A/V receiver in the analogue section & your subwoofer in a seperate standard (cheap) surge protector not the 3500 (don't plug your sub into the back of your receiver either when the receiver is plugged into the 3500), the sound is also more richer, stronger/pokier & had more of a soundstage. If however you plug your receiver into the receiver spot & the sub in to the 3500, the sound is actually weakened.
Anyway, this is definately worth getting. Looks good too.

03-26-2006, 12:40 AM
Read this article ( from PS Audio for an explaination. Naturally, it will be biased somewhat towards Paul's products, but it's in layman's terms and should answer you questions regarding restrictive power. Considering PSA practically created the power reconditioner, I'd put them on your short list.

Hope this helps.

03-26-2006, 08:23 AM
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but this topic cuts to the heart of of a concern that I have with installing a surge protector in my H.T. system. The protector, a Belkin SurgeMaster (40 bucks at Home Depot) features "differential toroidal coils and high-frequency capacitors" that "work together to provide maximum reduction of AC line noise contamination over the widest frequency range". While this seems, on the surface, to be a good thing, it also seems possible that this "reduction of contamination" could have an adverse effect on the sound quality. I mean, how good could the differential toroidal coils and high- frequency capacitors be in a $40.00 surge protector? I'm concerned that I may be doing more harm than good with this thing.

Any and all thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

03-26-2006, 08:31 AM
I use the "Isotek Titan and Nova", and would not be without it.



Mains Cables | IsoPlug | NeoPlug | Multi-Ways | Gemini | Solus | Orion | Mini Sub | Vision | Titan | Nova | System Enhancer

Product Introduction
The Titan is a high quality filter designed specifically for power amplifiers. The filter has virtually unlimited power and because of this we are able to achieve a transient of 23,000 watts !

A little over two years ago we advocated that power amplifiers benefited from a clean supply This was based upon our research that every component within a system benefited from specific tailored filtering solutions. We felt it was not enough to isolate components from noise on the mains alone. Our research showed that as a component draws power the mains supply is corrupted, basically anything with a power supply would cause this result. Our original SubStation allowed users to specify specific filters for each application. We later advocated larger over engineered isolation transformers for power amplifiers, we called these the 'Qube' and released three versions 1000, 2000 and 4000VA.

A maximum power multiplier was used; if a component drew 500 watts at peak then this figure should be doubled and then doubled again to protect against transient information loss. At the time we felt that they offered the best possible solution. New research breakthroughs show we can do better.

Although there are many things a good isolation transformer can deliver there are, however, several downsides which no matter how hard one tries cannot be overcome. Even though we specified extremely large isolation transformers a reduction in transient response was almost inevitable. This was simply down to various forms of insertion loss within the transformer itself. This is caused by the transformer having a higher impedance than the mains supply typically would.

In order to overcome the limiting factors of isolation transformers we recognised a fundamental shift in thinking was required. Calculations suggest that the typical transient energy available from a typical 13amp mains socket is equivalent to 23,000 watts. In an ideal world, to obtain the best results, the absolute minimum size of isolation transformer if used for filtering would be 23,000 watts. This is obviously a ludicrous suggestion. Although it's anybody's guess what a true mains transient is, we feel this figure stands reasonable scrutiny and maybe a minimum.

It became apparent, almost immediately, that we could not possibly offer this specification; it also became apparent that in order to achieve what we felt was required, we had to.

The new Titan dispenses with isolation transformer technology in favour of a direct-coupled design with a nine-stage series and parallel filter configuration. This is optimised for a high degree of common mode rejection, with the highest possible differential mode rejection compatible with low insertion losses. Great care has been taken to minimise insertion loss at mains frequency. Another asset of an isolation transformer would be a balanced supply, however the new circuit also offers these desirable characteristics, especially at high frequencies where it could be debated it possesses superior performance. To further ensure the greatest possible transient response, enough to realise 23,000 watts potential, two things out of the ordinary have been achieved. Firstly, the minimum constant running ability of the device is rated at over 4,600 watts. Secondly, the unit is fitted with an RCBO, this high tech electronic fusing offers huge transient overloads whilst remaining safe. It also has the added bonus of protecting power cords against long term overload conditions.

The Titan can be placed either on a dedicated shelf of an equipment support rack or in a position next to or near the power amplifier it supplies. Adequate ventilation should be given to the unit, therefore we would not recommend that it is covered or enclosed in a very tight space. It is also recommended that the unit is not used outside or in areas susceptible to damp conditions.

Equipment coupling
The Titan has been designed specifically for high current applications, especially power amplifiers. Titan is so powerful in terms of transient ability that it is only limited by the network it is plugged into, therefore if possible we would recommend a dedicated supply be installed. You will need to seek the advice of a qualified electrician for this (at time of writing, they would require Part P and Edition 16 of IEEE regulations). At the rear of the Titan chassis are two high quality unswitched outlets these can be used for power amplifiers or other high current devices. The Titan has also been equipped with a Neutrik out to support other specific IsoTek items.

System integration
The Titan should be used with its supplied power cord. Should users wish to change this for their own preferred brand the cable MUST be rated with a minimum of 16Amps. We strongly recommend that a good quality mains cable be used throughout your system. Look for a cable with good conductors, for example oxygen free copper, this cable should also possess a high degree of shielding from RFI

The following information relates only to the IsoTek GII Titan. These are original products and should not be confused with past models or ‘copy cat’ products.

Number of outlets: 2 standard, 1 extendable (Neutrik)
Type of outlets available: 13A UK unswitched / European / U.S.
Mains inlet: 16 Amp Neutrik
Mains voltage: 110 - 264 VAC
Maximum currenti: 16 Amps continuous
Total Power: (Nominal 230V) 3680 Watts
(Continuous rating of Titan circuit) 4600 Watts
(Transient capability 10 milliseconds) 23,000 Watts
Fusing: Electronic Overcurrent device (16Amps, with addition suppression filtering). 30 milliamp earth linkage protection, this allows use on radial circuits not protected by RCDs, allowed under British regulations as a cooker circuit
Dimensions: 275mm x 182.5mm x 275mm (WxHxD)
Weight (boxed): 12.75 Kg

Please note, the information given here is kept as up to date as possible, however small production changes in the course of improvement through our ongoing research and development policy may arise. If clarification of any point is required please refer to your local authorised IsoTek or email

Key Features

9 stage direct coupled filter system for maximum filtering with minimum insertion loss
GII design featuring 'Polaris-X' technology
Full component from component isolation
Virtually unlimited power for high current devices
Plug in & play installation
Over current protection
Sophisticated electronic fuse to IsoTek specification
Earth leakage protection
Neutrik loop out connection for expansion devices
2 high quality unswitched outlets

Magazine Reviews

"During the time spend with the Titan it never failed to improve a component's sound. It is, quite simply, the most impressive mains filter we've ever heard."
Hi-Fi News. April 2005

"This is the most expensive mains filter we've tested - and it's also the best."

"...once you live with the Titan as part of your system it becomes very difficult to live without it. And that's the reason we recommend it extremely highly. "
What Hi-Fi? June 2005

Industry Awards

2005 Hi-Fi News
Category Winner
Audio Accessory,

2005 What Hi-Fi?
5-Stars winner,


GII Titan
Instruction Manual

GII Titan
Fact File

GII Titan
White Paper


Unfortunatly it is not possible to upgrade from the old Mk1 Qubes to the new Titan.

Copyright 2004 K Martin and P Dolding
All rights reserved

03-26-2006, 10:56 AM
Thanks guys for all the input. I guess the lesson I've learned here is to still use a fairly decent power conditioner for video and source components. I'll still continue to plug my amps directly into the wall until I can save up for power conditioners truly designed for high current use.

Cal Blacksmith
03-27-2006, 01:02 PM
Uh excuse me, but if the power conditioner is rated to give at least the power requirement of your equipment plus a little bit, just because, it will do the job. I do not believe in pebbles in a jar, thousand dollar power cables, $500 interconnects etc. If the amp needs 150 watts, 120 V 60 cycle power and your conditioner will do that with ease, it will be enough!

Don't forget that many UPS devices generate the power that is fed out, not merely filtering it. This is the ULTIMATE in filtered power, never mind the high pressure sales pitch of MEGGA BUCK conditioners. Hey, it is just my $0.02 :D

03-27-2006, 03:37 PM
I have a related question:

Do power conditioners like the Monster HTS series expire? And if so, how long do I have until I have to replace mine?

03-31-2006, 01:45 AM
PowerWedge works really...... improve over all sounding...

03-31-2006, 05:52 PM
Uh excuse me, but if the power conditioner is rated to give at least the power requirement of your equipment plus a little bit, just because, it will do the job. I do not believe in pebbles in a jar, thousand dollar power cables, $500 interconnects etc. If the amp needs 150 watts, 120 V 60 cycle power and your conditioner will do that with ease, it will be enough!

Don't forget that many UPS devices generate the power that is fed out, not merely filtering it. This is the ULTIMATE in filtered power, never mind the high pressure sales pitch of MEGGA BUCK conditioners. Hey, it is just my $0.02 :D


You've got a good point there.....and I've always thought about the same thing. "Topspeed" gave an interesting link to an article that's pretty convincing. Apparently some power conditioners, have a "series" type filter design as opposed to "parallel" which is better, according to the article. I don't know too much about electrical theory, but I do know this....if a circuit is wired in series, you get more resistance. Although, I still don't have one to compare the difference, power conditioned or not. The proof is still in the listening.