$100 power conditioner - big difference - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I always heard that power conditioners make a more noticeable improvement with audio than video. But I needed a quality surge suppressor for my new Vivitek H9080FD projector and Amazon had the Furman PST 8D for around $100 with also their top line conditioning built in - so figured it was a no brainier. Could always switch it out with the audio gear if there was no big video difference.

But the difference was stunning. It seemed to gain 20% more lumens with a big kick in brightness, colors were more saturated as if they weren't enough already and detail and black levels also much improved. None of these differences were subtle except for maybe black levels. I wasn't expecting anything like that kind of improvement for the price.

It could be that we have bad power to start with - though we're in a new housing development. Or maybe since it's an LED source that draws much less power overall it's more sensitive to smaller power fluctuations than incandescent bulbs? No idea.

Anyway thought I'd mention it in case anyone's considering line conditioning for their new projector.
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 06:38 AM
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Do you work for Best Buy wink.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 06:42 AM
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Please share whatever it is you have consumed. More than likely you lost settings you had before you switched the power cord and the unit defaulted to a brighter mode if there was really some change.. There is no way any power conditioner is going to change anything in any well built electrical device that is being powered by the appropriate line voltage and frequency. If a power conditioner changes anything with a device plugged into it, you had better call the electrician and power company before you house burns down! Say hi to Elvis when he stops by!
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 07:56 AM
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Reminds me of a Stereophile review of the Harley Fat Boy 6' power cable. "Who knew that 6' of copper could make such huge difference in transparency? I never would have dreamed it if I hadn't heard it myself!!!! said Corey Greenberg.
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 09:10 AM
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This guy has almost 5000 posts! maybe he's onto something....researching power conditioners as I type this...
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 09:19 AM
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I've seen the same results. And no, no affiliation with the original poster, and nothing to do with the power conditioner industry (or the A/V industry in general). Clean, and stable, power does seem to have a quite noticeable impact on the picture quality. Same goes for sound quality.

"Suddenly the thought struck me, my floor is someone elses ceiling" - Nils Ferlin
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 10:00 AM
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Just as you, I'm in a state of disbelief biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-26-2014, 10:46 AM
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Placing a magnet around your fuel line will put the molecules in line and provide a power boost and higher gas mileage!!
Oh, Elvis! where you been man good to see you? Oh, you have been designing power conditioners?
Anyone who believes one of these is going to improve their video or audio should also get some Monster cables to go with it!
Not saying it is a bad idea to have a UPS but if you have stable power and good wiring the difference is going to be in your imagination only. Educate yourself on how electronic equipment works.. AC rectified to DC, large filter capacitors in the power supply, inside the unit runs on low voltage DC.. Projector lamps are High pressure arc lamps, using a ballast to raise voltage to very high levels that fire the lamp. No small fluctuation in line voltage or frequency is going to increase or decrease the light output or any other aspect of the image..
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting feedback! It's funny that you can attribute any audio or video attribute to a piece of equipment with no argument. As soon as you say the same for ancillary products related to power or signal delivery, your motivations, belief systems, and even sanity are questioned rather than the .

Why is this? Because there's been some kind of scientific proof that these things have no effect? No. Because all the companies selling this kind of stuff have gone out of business since nobody's seen enough value to justify their prices? No, not that either.

As someone who's had an audiophile habit for years, I can tell you that anyone that CAN'T hear night and day differences in sound quality with various interconnects (using quality highly transparent electronics) should ABSOLUTELY save their money. They'll never be able to hear enough difference between Krell and Yamaha anyway to justify the price difference anyway. Unless they're tone def but want the status symbol of owning Krell gear anyway. Then save some money with interconnects you buy at Target. Why not?

I always heard this was much less of a difference with video than audio, which is why I was shocked that there was such a huge quality impact from a $100 power conditioner/ surge suppressor. And no I'm not in the industry much less have any connection with Furman. If I did it probably wouldn't be a $100 product I'd be raving about.

Maybe my power isn't the best (though it's better than my last house) or lower voltage LED sources are more affected by minor power fluctuations or noise. No idea - but the difference it made was not subtle. That's for sure.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 11:24 AM
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i, too, bought the furman pst 8d for about $100. glad it seems to make a difference for the OP, but i see/hear absolutely no difference what so ever. none. not even the slightest. i did not buy it expecting better video or audio. i only got it for hopes of surge protection and all in one connection convenience.

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post #11 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmart View Post

i, too, bought the furman pst 8d for about $100. glad it seems to make a difference for the OP, but i see/hear absolutely no difference what so ever. none. not even the slightest. i did not buy it expecting better video or audio. i only got it for hopes of surge protection and all in one connection convenience.

A $30 kilowatt power meter will tell you what you power is like..
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTCrazy View Post

As someone who's had an audiophile habit for years, I can tell you that anyone that CAN'T hear night and day differences in sound quality with various interconnects (using quality highly transparent electronics) should ABSOLUTELY save their money. They'll never be able to hear enough difference between Krell and Yamaha anyway to justify the price difference anyway. Unless they're tone def but want the status symbol of owning Krell gear anyway. Then save some money with interconnects you buy at Target. Why not?

I always heard this was much less of a difference with video than audio, which is why I was shocked that there was such a huge quality impact from a $100 power conditioner/ surge suppressor. And no I'm not in the industry much less have any connection with Furman. If I did it probably wouldn't be a $100 product I'd be raving about.

Maybe my power isn't the best (though it's better than my last house) or lower voltage LED sources are more affected by minor power fluctuations or noise. No idea - but the difference it made was not subtle. That's for sure.

The reason speaker/monitor interconnects can improve sound quality is because they are carrying an analog signal. That's not likely the case with the majority of the components in a digital projector which is why you're getting these negative responses. Maybe it could affect your bulb output if that power being sent to the bulb is not digitally controlled...I would defer to someone with greater knowledge of how digital bulb based projectors are designed, but I doubt it.

Regardless, claiming more lumens *and* better black levels--that's just not possible. More light output = worse black levels unless you are also experiencing an improvement in whatever dynamic light mitigation mechanism your projector employs which is most definitely digitally controlled.

These kinds of claims are akin to folks swearing a $100 HDMI cable gives a better picture than a $10 cable...that's simply not possible unless your $10 is defective and causing complete signal loss. Digital devices either work or they don't...there are no degrees of improvement. 0...or 1...
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post


A $30 kilowatt power meter will tell you what you power is like..
thanks! might have to get one out of curiosity.

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post #14 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ljmart View Post

thanks! might have to get one out of curiosity.
It is good to have around.. can see what things are costing you.. that old fridge or freezer.. how much does that cost to run for the 6 pack of beer of the box of Popsicle.. I think Ryobie sells one that does the same thing which you can get at HD..
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-31-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhart View Post

The reason speaker/monitor interconnects can improve sound quality is because they are carrying an analog signal. That's not likely the case with the majority of the components in a digital projector which is why you're getting these negative responses. Maybe it could affect your bulb output if that power being sent to the bulb is not digitally controlled...I would defer to someone with greater knowledge of how digital bulb based projectors are designed, but I doubt it.

Regardless, claiming more lumens *and* better black levels--that's just not possible. More light output = worse black levels unless you are also experiencing an improvement in whatever dynamic light mitigation mechanism your projector employs which is most definitely digitally controlled.

These kinds of claims are akin to folks swearing a $100 HDMI cable gives a better picture than a $10 cable...that's simply not possible unless your $10 is defective and causing complete signal loss. Digital devices either work or they don't...there are no degrees of improvement. 0...or 1...

I never mentioned anything about digital cables and projectors - my comments were about audio equipment. Maintaining that digital devices having no incremental improvement from one to the other is another blanket statement with no proof. Same with claiming that digital cables make no difference. Another argument based on what might seem intuitive rather than anything approaching proof.

Trying to claim that cleaner power does not improve the output of audio or video sources is extremely counter intuitive and I'd love to see someone conclusively prove it. Anyone that's seen remarkable audio or video improvements in their system late at night after fewer demands are on the public power grid will definitely be scratching their heads over that statement.

As for the black levels and increased brightness - I'm willing to concede that the greater brightness gave the appearance of wider dynamic range. Nothing was measured with meters - these were just perceptions possibly aided by the excellent ANSI contrast of the Vivitek.

It's also now VERY possible that our power sucks. I just got word today that my Cary Cinema 12 pre pro just had it's circuit board fried by a power surge. AGH!!! Sadly the Cary was on a Monster Audio power conditioner/surge protector. Fortunately at that time the Vivitek was on a Brick Wall surge suppressor that came through like a champ. Though pic quality-wise the Furman though less expensive is a significant improvement over the brick wall.
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-03-2014, 07:19 AM
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It's quite easy (and rather inexpensive) to verify if there was actually an increase in brightness:
http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Meter-Digital-Illuminance-Light-LX1330B/dp/B005A0ETXY/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391440460&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=5330+lux+meter

I'd literally be shocked if a power conditioner had any effect on an LED projector. The LEDs are flashed for milliseconds at a time and could hardly be more decoupled from the mains power. Far more likely I think is that, if there was a difference, it was due to some settings being lost while the power was disconnected the the projector coming up fresh in a brighter "mode".

As for science, there have been tons of tests showing all kinds of "audiophile" tweaks actually do nothing:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-03-2014, 09:17 AM
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I'm just going to throw out my 2cents, but I do see how there could be a difference(as with cables and other accessories as well)

BUT... I believe it's due to fixing a problem that shouldn't be there.

ie, buying monster cables might help... if you're replacing faulty, or insufficient cables

and buying a power conditioner may help, if your electrical system is not functioning properly.

if you are getting a consistent and clean electrical signal from the wall, obviously a line conditioner isn't going to change performance. and I'm sure most of us have functioning electrical systems in our homes.

so, as long as there's no problems, these devices don't do anything for performance. and if there is a problem, you're better off fixing the problem then using this to hide it

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post #18 of 18 Old 02-03-2014, 10:02 AM
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The changes suggested by the OP are very easy to test for and confirm. As S89 noted, light meters are not that expensive. Also, any electrical system that is poor enough to affect the projector in the manner suggested (affecting its light output and other issues) will not likely be solved by a $100 dollar "conditioner".

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