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  1. #1
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    can't believe i never thought of this tweak...

    after a 1.5 years of my AVR, i was shopping for a 5 channel amp because my AVR just wasn't cutting it.
    So, while shopping for a separate amp, i thought about tweaks to improve my sound.

    I moved my cables around and this and that, but THE biggest improvement came when i decided to move my AVR plug from a cheap-ol surge protector to plugging it directly into a wall outlet.

    Geez, i can't believe i never though of this. What a difference it made. the amps are so much more powerful. I threw in Master and Commander and could not believe the noise level increase from before. I guess the surge protector was sharing my power to all the components and basically hindered the power needed to push the speakers.

  2. #2
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Do you mind identifying the brand/model of surge protector ? While people have claimed to find that some surge protectors and power line conditioners affect the sound to some extent, this is the first time I've heard that removing a surge protector has made such a drastic difference ("SO MUCH more powerful.")

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I found the same thing to be true. My int. amp was noisier with less bass and control when plugged into a rat shack deluxe surge protector. I now always plug it in directly to the wall outlet. Of course I have never used any of the top line power conditioners and they may make a difference but for me direct in is best.
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  4. #4
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B
    Do you mind identifying the brand/model of surge protector ? While people have claimed to find that some surge protectors and power line conditioners affect the sound to some extent, this is the first time I've heard that removing a surge protector has made such a drastic difference ("SO MUCH more powerful.")

    Glen, can't recall the name/brand, but i purchased it from Best Buy in 96 with my pc. It was run-of-the-mill kind...not the expensive line conditioners and stuff found today. I had about 8 HT components also plugged in it, so i assume all 8 devices were/are sharing the power from one outlet.

    Honestly, the difference was quite noticeable. The volume level on my AVR is proof. When the family is away, i listen to DVDs around -15 volume. Well, after directly plugging into the wall outlet, I get the same volume level at around -23. I feel like an idiot, but better late than never.

  5. #5
    MCF
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    So what is protecting....

    your reciever from power surges? Is it worth the risk of frying a reciever (a friends house got hit by lightning and fried all his equipment because he was not using a surge protector).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCF
    your reciever from power surges? Is it worth the risk of frying a reciever (a friends house got hit by lightning and fried all his equipment because he was not using a surge protector).
    That is what insurance is for.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfontenot
    That is what insurance is for.
    Unfortunately, I have vintage equipment. Insurance could never replace it as its no longer made.

    I would be reluctant to plug my equipment directly into unprotected circuits. Fan, shorts, light bulbs, nearby computer equipment, and other electrical influences can really distort clean power sources which can ony degrade performance but can damage sensitive equipment.

    Especially true during the summer months when power demands nationwide are higher.

    Here in California where we rarely ever get lightning strikes, the excessive demand for air conditioning blew a transformer in a SoCal neighborhood. The resulting surge destroyed dishwashers, light bulbs, computers, and AV equipment in a four block area.

    Although the residents thought such an occurrance unlikely, it happened. Power has been restored, but now they are fighting against the local supplier for replacement costs of their appliances.

  8. #8
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    after a 1.5 years of my AVR, i was shopping for a 5 channel amp because my AVR just wasn't cutting it.
    So, while shopping for a separate amp, i thought about tweaks to improve my sound.

    I moved my cables around and this and that, but THE biggest improvement came when i decided to move my AVR plug from a cheap-ol surge protector to plugging it directly into a wall outlet.

    Geez, i can't believe i never though of this. What a difference it made. the amps are so much more powerful. I threw in Master and Commander and could not believe the noise level increase from before. I guess the surge protector was sharing my power to all the components and basically hindered the power needed to push the speakers.
    I think surge protectors are a necessity. The very cheap ones are just that. The Tripplite Isobars do not cost an arm and a leg and don't degrade the sound. A surge protector is a must in this area. We had severe lightning strikes on Wednesday. Some of the strikes were quite close. Surge protection is kind of like a motorcycle helmet. If you don't wear a helmet you have on your head exactly what you think your brain is worth.
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  9. #9
    GTF
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    http://www.elect-spec.com/acprot2.htm#Laboratory

    I have been using this companies products for years.
    SOTA ac power protection.

  10. #10
    asdf bjornb17's Avatar
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    I just use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). I learned this the hard way by frying a set of Klipsch Premedia Ultras that were plugged in (and turned off even) to a wall outlet, and during a close lightning strike, i heard a loud pop and they were dead.

    I my my computer and my receiver (but not the subwoofer) plugged into my UPS and it works great.

  11. #11
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    While I agree that surge supressors are a good thing, I must insist that their implementation needs to be examined and scrutinized. DON'T plug everything into one of em and devine that everthing is hunky-dory! Get several and use more than one circuit and pay attention to how much load you're putting on each circuit and each surge supressor!!!

    My Pioneer Elite VSX-59TXi gets it's own circuit and supressor! It can draw more than 10A just itself in my configuration. If I load down a circuit with other stuff (and a fairly cheap surge supressor) when I turn it up that thing is going to starve for power at the AC connector! If there's any doubt, get or borrow a good AC voltmeter (I use a Fluke 87A) that has min/max recording and monitor the AC feeding the AVR and/or amps, and turn it up to as loud as you ever listen!

    If your AC main at the surge supressor is dropping signifigantly, yas got prolems. Sort it out.

  12. #12
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    Beware of UPS's and Surge Protectors

    UPS's and surge protectors are not a guarantee...

    First of all most UPS have no voltage regulation(line conditionig) they are just battery backups. Try this test it is called the light bulb test, plug a dimmer switch in between the wall outlet and the ups then connect a light fixture into the ups. Adjust the dimmer and you will see the light bulb dim.

    Liebert makes a ups with a line conditioner and the test above is how they prove theirs is so much better than APC or other brands.

    As for a surge protectors and ups, then can not stop large surges, especially when you lose power completly. After a complete power loss the power company has to overload the system so high to get the power out to all circuits and then they slowly bring it down to normal. Under these situations you can lose your equipment behind a surge protector/ups.

    I work in IT and have experienced the problem described above, the explanation on the power loss was how it was exlained to me. Just an FYI.

    It seems that a line conditioner is really what is needed and I am looking into them to prevent any damage to my system.

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  13. #13
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCF
    your reciever from power surges? Is it worth the risk of frying a reciever (a friends house got hit by lightning and fried all his equipment because he was not using a surge protector).
    I thought this thread was dead.....

    Here is the answer to most issues we're discussing....its called a 'whole house surge protector'.

    It sits between your incoming power (power company) and the house fuse panel. It protects everything in your house...applicances, pc, HT, etc... (it does not protect phone lines). It's only about a cigar box size (or less) and mounts just above your fuse box.

    I had it installed when i built my house in 01. From memory it ran around $270 plus installion from a electrician....total was around $400-450.

    Not bad considering what those big boy protectors charge and those only protect one outlet. I'll try to get more info and post it.

    I need to add....i live in rual SE where we recieve a lot of lighting strikes and power surges. I have yet to lose anything electronics. So, yes, i feel safe not using a surge protector with my reciever.

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