Monster Power Dist. Center ??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 10-11-2002, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if there is a difference from a $10.00 6 outlet power strip at home depot and the $75.00 Monster Power dist. Center they try to sell you at all the A/V stores ?

I think as long as it has a surge protector that should be enough.

Do you really need the $75.00 Power Strip?
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post #2 of 30 Old 10-12-2002, 06:28 AM
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"Need It" - Probably not. But depending on the equiptment you are using and the amount of noise on your power and cable lines, it can help take care of problems, such as ground loopos. It may also be a more reliable in the surge protection area.

There are lengthy discussions on the topic in the tweaks and DIY areas.

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post #3 of 30 Old 10-12-2002, 06:52 AM
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post #4 of 30 Old 10-12-2002, 11:22 AM
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Since I've purchased a $400 Monster PowerCenter over the past year my answer would be: How much does the equipment cost that you are protecting?

My PowerCenter has eliminated (visually and audibly) a lot of noise that was apparently on the line, and I also don't get any pops when turning on/off my ceiling fan. A totally separate circuit is the best idea in that regard, but that would take more work :). A good transformer/power conditioner will take a lot of workload off of your power supply, which will extend its life, and will give more even power to the components behind it, causing them to burn out more slowly.

At least that's my impression, and everything seems to run a lot smoother, which I take as proof.

The lower cost Monster unit you are talking about has a minimal form of the technology in the larger PowerCenter units, so you won't get all of the benefit. I would also expect the surge protection to be a bit more robust.
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post #5 of 30 Old 10-12-2002, 05:58 PM
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I just ran a totally separate circuit to my equipment. Total cost including cable, breaker, power outlet, and miscellaneous little things - under $25. Time took to run it under the house - about 2 hrs. The cleanest power you would get :)
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post #6 of 30 Old 10-12-2002, 06:46 PM
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I also had the dedicated circiut all the way to the box. As it turned out, this helped, but there is still interference from many sources in and outside of the house.

I got the Monster 2500. It is the single best investment I ever made in AV. Cleaned up my cable signal, the TV (Sony HS10) and my Marantz receiver. I was very cynical about the ability of the 2500 to do any good at all. Now I am convinced.

I got it on ebay for $170. Of course your milage may vary.

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post #7 of 30 Old 10-12-2002, 09:48 PM
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I always tell my customers to buy it, try it and if you don't like it, bring it back. Nothing ventured nothing gained. BTW, the other night my power went out, and when it came back on my DVD didn't work. I feel silly to admit it, but i sell Monster products and know their benefits. However, i had my DVD plugged into on of those $9.95 strips and of course it didn't do its job. Too bad it wasn't Monster or they would be replacing my DVD instead of it coming out of my pocket. Monster Power rocks! Use it or lose it.

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post #8 of 30 Old 10-13-2002, 12:41 AM
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If it helps any, I just paid over 3 large for a nice new widescreen at the Good Guys, and when I got the super-duper extended 5-year warranty, they handed me a $250 Monster Home Theatre PowerBar 2100 for free. (see http://www.monstercable.com/power/pr...=1219&mixtype= )

I guess they want to protect their investment, and not have to replace my set for silly reasons like power issues. Considering the warranty was $400 and the power bar was (or would have been) $250, you do the math and see how much they value it's ability to save their asses in the long run...
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post #9 of 30 Old 10-13-2002, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kir
I just ran a totally separate circuit to my equipment. Total cost including cable, breaker, power outlet, and miscellaneous little things - under $25. Time took to run it under the house - about 2 hrs. The cleanest power you would get :)

This is not necessarily true. Due to magnetic interference, same source power (main feed) and other power quality issues that come from the utility, running a dedicated circuit is good, but not the "cleanest" power you would get. Installing a line conditioner with a dedicated isolated ground will provide better power quality or "cleaner" power on a dedicated circuit. Do a search throughout many of the forums, and you will see extensive discussion on power issues.

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post #10 of 30 Old 10-13-2002, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kippjones
This is not necessarily true. Due to magnetic interference, same source power (main feed) and other power quality issues that come from the utility, running a dedicated circuit is good, but not the "cleanest" power you would get. Installing a line conditioner with a dedicated isolated ground will provide better power quality or "cleaner" power on a dedicated circuit. Do a search throughout many of the forums, and you will see extensive discussion on power issues.
Correct.

It all comes from the same place.

Dedicated lines for large power amps and projectors with seperate line conditioner surge supressors would be best of coarse.

Widescreen review talked alot about these things and reviewed some of the higher end monster cable products with some interesting results and comments.

I know Monster is a big advertiser with the magazine, but I still felt that the review was somewhat honest.

I have alot of experiences with Monster products, and none of them have ever been bad. I think it's tough to find something negative to say about them other than the prices of some things... great company and great products in my opinion.

They make stuff from the entry level and standard to the exotic and extreme filling every niche along the way and remaining competive price wise too...

I'll go look for the widescreen review link and post it...

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post #11 of 30 Old 10-13-2002, 06:19 PM
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I agree that Monster products are quite good and dependable, except for occasional older HTS2500 complaints, and are continually upgrading (Monster HTS 850 over the old 800). It's a HUGE company, more like the General Motors of cable/ wire and power devices.

It's just that Monster is so "monster" in the marketplace, and gives such mark-ups to the chain stores carrying them, that it can be all anyone sees! There are plenty of other equally dependable devices in a broad price range, but it does take some interest in looking for them.

Quality aside, when a company gives the appearance of being monopolistic in the marketplace, we sometimes balk.
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post #12 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 11:28 AM
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Panamax is also a very reputable maker of similar equipment. Check out their website at www.panamax.com I've found the prices they have listed for their equipment can be had for half a various other e-tailers such as http://www.powersystemsdirect.com whom also carry Monster products by the way.
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post #13 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
A good transformer/power conditioner will take a lot of workload off of your power supply, which will extend its life, and will give more even power to the components behind it, causing them to burn out more slowly.
Power conditioners can reduce line noise and such, but apart from surge suppression, they don't do anything to extend the life of your equipment. A power supply's workload is converting AC line current to DC at desired voltages; it is what it is.
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post #14 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MDRiggs
Power conditioners can reduce line noise and such, but apart from surge suppression, they don't do anything to extend the life of your equipment. A power supply's workload is converting AC line current to DC at desired voltages; it is what it is.
My thoughts..

There are small power surges that occur in a house everyday. With more and more things useing electricty and running, seems like things are only getting worse.

Some small surges occure when things like pool pumps, AC's, and even when your refrigerator might kick on and off. Alot of these small surges might not be neccessarily enough to damage you equiptment like a lightening bolt would, but these small power flucuations could be seen as "wear and tear" on you electronic devices.

For alot of us who spend the kind of money we do on Receivers, subs, RPTV's Front projectors, Amps, DVD players and all this other crazy stuff we love... A good surge supressor and line conditioner capable of stopping even the smallest of surges with a very good JOULE rating is a worthwhile investment.

In some ways such a product could be considered to extend the life expectancy of your equiptment. Technicalities might be debatable, but such products are worthwhile in my opinion.

I am looking into a "balanced power" unit. Anyone have experiences with such?

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post #15 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 01:50 PM
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I purchased a HTS5100 in Feburary. And it ran great for a while then the blue led indicating clean power went out. It would come back on periodically. I contacted Monster via the web and was informed that it was a known problem with a batch of 5100's. That is was just an led problem, but I could return it and get a knew one either through my retailer or through them. I went through them they did all the work for shipping with only a 2 day turn around from when they get it til they ship the new one. I got the new one a week later and it has worked great.
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post #16 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 01:53 PM
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Yes,

My experiences with Monster is that they take great care of thier customers.

Thier products have a lifetime warranty.

LIFETIME! No questions.

I can't count how many cables I have trashed and replaced before I learned. Bent Pins of S-Video cables... It's nice to get a new cable when you trash one thats 3 years old. Alot of companies would laugh at the idea, while monster doesn't even ask questions.

Thanks for the input...

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post #17 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 02:08 PM
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Widescreen review says:

Balanced power is delivered in three wires that carry 60 VAC, 60 AVC, and ground. This is achieved using a transformer to “split†the AC power. The main benefit is cancellation of noise that exists on both lines at the same time. In the normal 120 VAC world, the noise would travel to your equipment rather than being cancelled. Differential noise that exists on only one AC line at a time is not affected by having balanced power. Filters are needed to remove differential noise from the AC power source. That’s the job of all the other filters inside the HTPS 7000. Monster Power calls the filters in the HTPS 7000 Stage 5 Clean Power, which identifies them as the most thorough filter networks in Monster Power PLCs to date. These filters combined with the Dual Balanced Pure Power™ transformers not only remove noise from the AC power source, but filter noise generated within audio and video components so that it doesn’t get to other components in the system.

Balanced power PLCs have to be very large, very heavy, and very expensive in order to deliver balanced AC power to every component in a big system. The reason for that is the size of the transformer needed to convert 120/neutral to 60/60 balanced. Amplifiers draw very large amounts of current when they are called upon to deliver high sound pressure levels. But, that current cannot flow to the amplifier half the time—an amplifier that specifies 12 amps current draw is giving you a misleading specification. The 12 amp rating is an average power rating. If you look at what the amplifier draws using a current probe on an oscilloscope, you will find that the amplifier draws zero current for 50 to 60 percent of each AC cycle depending on the power supply voltage. The higher the amplifier’s power supply voltage, the less time the AC power is high enough in voltage to recharge the power supply. That means the “12-amp†amplifier is drawing current at the rate of up to 24 to 30 amps half the time and zero amps the rest of the time. If anything limits these current peaks, the amplifier’s dynamic capabilities will be compromised. Sound will compress and subtle detail will be compromised. This will happen only when the amplifier is pushed, of course. Listening to dialogue and soft music won’t require large amounts of current. It’s the dynamic peaks, effects, and bass that will push the amplifiers’ power requirements toward the maximum rating.

Making a transformer large enough to deliver 30 amps or larger peaks without distortion requires a large core and a lot of wire in the windings. That makes the transformer large, heavy, and expensive. You can pay multiple thousands of dollars for multi-hundred pound balanced power transformers… transformers so large and potentially so noisy that you’d want them in the basement or garage so the hum they would inevitably produce would not be objectionable.

Monster Power went for a cost-effective partial system balanced power solution instead of the prohibitively expensive whole-system solution. That means enough power to provide balanced power for the critical components, but normal AC power for the high-current components that would bust the budget due to the large transformer that would be needed. Balanced power for amplifiers is “outâ€â€”amplifiers being the largest single current hog in a home theatre system. The second largest power hog is potentially the video display. Projection or direct-view CRT displays are often rated at 150 to 350 watts or 1.2 to 3 amps. However, most of these displays will appear as a near short-circuit when they are powered up. That means they would need a very large transformer just to deliver the power-up current surge.

Balanced, Part Deux

Monster Power chose to use two smaller transformers rather than a single large transformer to deliver the balanced power to the “Digital†and “Analog†outlets. This provides another degree of isolation of the two banks of outlets compared to having a single transformer. That’s an important concept because power line noise isn’t a uni-directional problem. Yes, there is noise on the power line when it enters your house, but every component in your home theatre system generates electrical noise that is delivered back onto the power line. Once it is on the power line, it can get to any of the other components in your system unless it is filtered. Good power conditioners can filter noise traveling in both directions. Monster Power does that using separate banks of filters connected to each pair of AC outlets on the back of the PLC in question.

The two transformers Monster Power chose to use are toroids capable of delivering up to 2 amps each, or 230 to 240 watts depending on the AC power line voltage you have. A fuse protects each balanced power transformer from overload. If you are tempted to connect your CRT-based video display to one of the balanced power circuits, you’d better have some fuses handy, there’s a good chance you’ll blow the protection fuse—I did. One of the balanced power transformers is dedicated to digital components. There are four AC outlets provided for these connections, but each pair of outlets has a separate filter network to isolate pairs of components from one another.

The other balanced power transformer is identical but has only two AC outlets connected to it. These outlets are labeled “Analog†indicating they would be best suited to a high-end preamp, analog tape deck, or turntable. However, in this digital age there are systems which have no analog components. Do the “Analog†outlets with their valuable balanced power transformer have to sit unused if you have no analog components in your system? Heck no. The filter for this transformer is about the same as the filter for the “Digital†outlets. You could actually use the “Analog†outlets for digital components that need more power than some of the other digital components. Some surround processors, for example, need a fair bit of current to power the processors and DSPs so you could connect the surround processor to one of the “Analog†outlets and have it even more isolated from the other digital components than it would be if you had it connected to a “Digital†outlet. Don’t worry about Monster Power’s naming of these AC outlets “Analog,†as they are eminently usable for digital components if you have no analog components.

Action!

The HTPS 7000 was completely silent in operation even when both balanced power transformers were loaded up to near their maximum output. When the video monitor was moved from the wall outlet to the HTPS 7000, the picture cleaned up noticeably, becoming less grainy with more observable detail from all sources. Objects became considerably more dimensional and the color gamut improved especially in the blues, purples, and magentas with more subtle shadings being visible. Winter Olympics coverage improved in many ways. The rendering of snow falling was much better when connected to the HTPS 7000 video filter. Reflections on ice were much more convincing. The various types of snow and ice on the ground were rendered with more detail through the video filter versus the more washed-out appearance when powered from the wall. Fireworks and lighting effects were considerably more realistic with blacker blacks and more subtle variations within the colors.

Amplifiers and receivers connected to the high-current outlets lost a gray opacity to the sound that makes the sound unnecessarily flat and dull. The HTPS 7000 gave those components a more open, clean sound that made listening to them much more enjoyable. Keeping the amplifier load to around 500 watts total output power will insure you don’t ask for more power than even the HTPS 7000’s high-current circuit can deliver. That would mean you can connect just about any A/V receiver I can think of as well as separate amplifiers up to about 5 x 100 watts. When stress tested with 650 watts of amps for the front three loudspeakers and two 300-watt subwoofer amps for the two front subwoofers, the HTPS 7000 limited current enough during dynamic passages that I could hear some closing down of the soundfield. This is typical of most power conditioners though, and is mentioned only to illustrate that you can overload PLCs not intended for use with lots and lots of amplifier power.

DVD players connected to the “Digital†or “Analog†filters produced images with finer detail and less noise in the blacks. This was true for the $1,800 Onkyo DV-S939 as well as the $230 Panasonic DV-RP56. The improvement was noticeable on both film- and video-sourced DVDs. The better the DVD, the more the improvement. Interestingly, some special effects that disappoint by looking too much like matte paintings, look much better and are considerably more convincing when the DVD player is running on balanced power with Monster’s filters. Star Wars—Episode I was the best example of this—most of the less-than-completely-impressive CGI or matte shots were considerably better with the DVD player on balanced power.

Surround processors connected to balanced power require some careful evaluation to notice the improvements. I found stereo music to reveal the improvements the most. Surround music from DVD-Audio was the next most revealing source, then DTS® Digital Surround™ music discs. Hearing the difference with movie soundtracks was possible, but it helped to know how the music reproduction improved first. You hear less background noise which makes silences more velvety “black.†This allows very subtle detail to be heard against this quieter background. Spatial cues were considerably improved and were one of the easiest things to hear in movie soundtracks. Sounds of city streets, echo and decay in large spaces, footfalls in hallways… all were rendered with a more convincing echo and decay when running on the HTPS 7000’s balanced power.

The digital cable TV tuner produced much better video quality when powered from one of the balanced power outlets. The images were less grainy and flat. On-screen graphics were sharper and colors were more vibrant.

Stereo music was played using the DVD player as a transport. The DVD’s digital out was connected to an accessory that removes jitter and converts 16-bit 44.1 kHz CD audio to 24-bit 96 kHz audio. That was connected to a 24/96 DAC and the analog output of the DAC was connected to a tube preamp. With all of these components connected to balanced power on the HTPS 7000, the sound was less grainy and gray sounding. There was better transparency and the space the music emanated from was noticeably larger. This was a rather large improvement that made listening to music much more enjoyable compared to connection to a wall outlet.


Monsterous Performance

I can’t imagine anybody being disappointed with the performance of the HTPS 7000 compared to unassisted AC wall outlets. It stood up remarkably well to the reference hardware costing three times as much. That combined with the obvious superiority of the HTPS 7000 over the unassisted wall outlets gives the HTPS 7000 an excellent price-to-performance ratio. Throw in an almost staggering array of conveniences and features and the HTPS 7000 looks like a bargain. On top of that, you get a lifetime warranty on the HTPS 7000 and protection from surge damage for up to $750,000 worth of connected equipment. That all adds up to an impressive value package that may be impossible to beat for many home theatre enthusiasts. If you think your system is performing well, but you haven’t added power conditioning yet, the HTPS 7000 will boost the performance of your system so much that you’ll think you upgraded every component.


-I think I gotta get one of these...:D :D

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post #18 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 02:56 PM
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its on my list of to haves!! how can you resist a 50 lb. transformer?
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mfusick
My thoughts..

There are small power surges that occur in a house everyday. With more and more things useing electricty and running, seems like things are only getting worse.

Some small surges occure when things like pool pumps, AC's, and even when your refrigerator might kick on and off. Alot of these small surges might not be neccessarily enough to damage you equiptment like a lightening bolt would, but these small power flucuations could be seen as "wear and tear" on you electronic devices.

For alot of us who spend the kind of money we do on Receivers, subs, RPTV's Front projectors, Amps, DVD players and all this other crazy stuff we love... A good surge supressor and line conditioner capable of stopping even the smallest of surges with a very good JOULE rating is a worthwhile investment.

In some ways such a product could be considered to extend the life expectancy of your equiptment. Technicalities might be debatable, but such products are worthwhile in my opinion.

I am looking into a "balanced power" unit. Anyone have experiences with such?
Yes, surge suppression is good (think I said that!). However, I don't know of anything that would support the idea that small power fluctuations cause wear and tear on electronic devices. It's the big ones you need to be concerned about.

Balanced power can help eliminate hum. If I were in the market for an actual power conditioner (as opposed to something that simply provided surge protection), I wouldn't bother with anything that didn't provide balanced output.
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MDRiggs
Yes, surge suppression is good (think I said that!). However, I don't know of anything that would support the idea that small power fluctuations cause wear and tear on electronic devices. It's the big ones you need to be concerned about.

Balanced power can help eliminate hum. If I were in the market for an actual power conditioner (as opposed to something that simply provided surge protection), I wouldn't bother with anything that didn't provide balanced output.
I guess we disagree then.

For the amount I plan and have spent on my home theater, I would like to know that the little surges are being stopped too.

A balanced power system with regulated to proper 120V is nice...But, no hometheater system should be without a good surge protection system costing more than $30. Anything less... is..... well, LESS.

I think we both agree with each other... Just comming from oposite directions so it doesn't seem like it.

We are both probably right.

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post #21 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 07:35 PM
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I've been looking at the Monster products....

I've seen the AVS2000.... which they claim is a voltage regulator, and the HTPS7000, which I guess is a fancy surge supressor, with power filtering.....

Anyone have any experience with either of these....

I have 2 Krell amps, that Krell says should have their own dedicated 20 amp circuit to plug into....

Do the high current outlets on these Monster power centers let the amp draw as much power as it wants ?

I've tried looking for the owners manuals to these power center products online, but haven't had any luck.....


Thanks
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post #22 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 07:50 PM
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www.widescreenreview.com reviewed both of these models.

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post #23 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 08:10 PM
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Thanks for the link...
I always take those magazine reviews with a grain of salt.........
what with ad revenues and all.....

I'll still read them however ;)

I am interested in hearing opinions on these products from everyday users........

Thanks
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 08:18 PM
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These reviews were pretty good.

Monster cable is a big advertiser of the magzine, but the reviews were quite in depth with good back ground knowledge and specific comments and comparisions to even much more costlier equiptment.

I took most of what they said to be true...

I'll go dig up the links and post them.

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post #25 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 08:23 PM
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Anyone have any thoughts on the units made by Acoustic Research? I'm thinking of either the AR-10S or AR-10V.

See here...

http://www.araccessories.com/surge/ar10s.asp

http://www.araccessories.com/surge/ar10v.asp

"Technologies" being used here...

http://www.araccessories.com/surge/tech.asp

I really like the cables i've gotten from AR. I have pretty much all AR Pro cables in my set. I just got a Toshiba 65hdx82 so i'm looking for something that will do a good job and protect my investment. (My house was hit by lightening a year ago so i'm hoping the old saying of "lightening doesn't strike twice" applies in my case. hehehe)

Since i like their cables so much, i'm seriously considering their surge protectors.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Jason
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post #26 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 08:34 PM
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AR makes some good stuff.

I think Monster is better though.

I think that when it comes power and surge bars, Monster does it better. I think you get more quality and more performance as well as more value with Monster than AR. For the $ spent, I would go with Monster.

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post #27 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 08:41 PM
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http://www.widescreenreview.com/wsrm...=32809&-search

http://www.widescreenreview.com/wsrm...=32879&-search

here are the two links...

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post #28 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 09:31 PM
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It's asking for a login and password when I try to access those links.

David
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-14-2002, 09:34 PM
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Ya... You have to be a subscriber.

Anyone who is into Hometheater should subsribe, it's a good mag.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #30 of 30 Old 10-15-2002, 03:43 PM
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Ok, as alternatives to the Acoustic Research units, what units should i look at in the Monster and Panamax lines that could be had for less than $100?

I can't really spend a ton of money on this right now but i DO realize i can't trust my system to a $10 powerstrip.

Looking for something with good surge protection and hopefully something that might clean up my Comcast cable signal a little.

Let me know what you recommend!

Thanks!

Jason

My Theater:
Toshiba 65HDX82 65" HDTV
Denon AVR-3801 Receiver
Yamaha DV-C6840 DVD Changer
NHT SuperOnes
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