Power Conditioner: Panamax M5300 vs. Transparent PowerBank 6 - AVS Forum
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

I couldn't find the perfect place to post this, but this seemed the most relevant. Mods, please move if this is in the wrong spot.

I went down to the local high end audio shop and was looking at a power conditioner from Panamax for about $500 and talking to the sales guy about the features

Then he goes to ask a question, comes back with a colleague (his boss I think), who then tells me that this product is superior, by Transparent:



it was essentially the same price. I did a listen test with this set up between a sound system and bare wall. They did not have the Panamax power conditioner in stock, so I couldn't do a listen to that piece of equipment. The Transparent conditioner definitely sounded significantly better & cleaner.

I went ahead and bought it ... But I have to say I feel a little weird about it. How can Transparent make such a significantly superior product with 1/10th the hardware in 1/10th the size?

For comparison, here's the Panamax:


it's actually $100 cheaper...

Any thoughts? so far I'm quite happy with the Transparent, but not sure what I'm missing out on. I don't get nearly as much interference/"pop" out of my components from other electrical systems in the house, and sound depth and clarity have improved along with TV picture. But still get some. The guys at the store told me no matter what piece of equipment I bought, unless it had voltage regulating devices it wouldn't fix that EMI pop. To get into equipment with that, I'd be in the $1000+ range.

Just don't know how much is to be expected. Anyone know any differences between the two? Did I get sold an overpriced gadget that doesn't have anything close to the functionality?

:???:
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TaDoW View Post

I went ahead and bought it ... But I have to say I feel a little weird about it. How can Transparent make such a significantly superior product with 1/10th the hardware in 1/10th the size?

They don't, transparent products like their cables are based on advertising and not measurements, test you AC power first and then see what you need based on that.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:31 AM
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I tend to be leery of demos conducted under the unknown conditions of a dealer. So should you. Just what is it you're looking to condition? What aspect of your home AC is deficient?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

I tend to be leery of demos conducted under the unknown conditions of a dealer. So should you. Just what is it you're looking to condition? What aspect of your home AC is deficient?

They didn't have the product pre-set-up to be tested.

I had them open the box, take it to receiver/system, plug directly into wall, play, then plug in with power conditioner in-line, test, etc. we went back/forth for about 30 minutes.

I was/am very satisfied with the results ... just curious if I'm missing out on something, because I went into the store looking to buy the panamax, and walked out with a different product that was much much smaller ... appears to work great - but again don't know what the alternative would sound like.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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They didn't have the product pre-set-up to be tested.

I had them open the box, take it to receiver/system, plug directly into wall, play, then plug in with power conditioner in-line, test, etc. we went back/forth for about 30 minutes.

I was/am very satisfied with the results ... just curious if I'm missing out on something, because I went into the store looking to buy the panamax, and walked out with a different product that was much much smaller ... appears to work great - but again don't know what the alternative would sound like.

Its called the placebo effect, you think there was a difference because you wanted to see/hear a difference.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nascar_984 View Post

Its called the placebo effect, you think there was a difference because you wanted to see/hear a difference.

so... other than hating transparent, do you have anything constructive to add?

for example - what hardware components would the Panamax contain that the Transparent lacks?

What features (other than pretty lights) does the Panamax offer that the transparent doesn't?
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:08 PM
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What does the Transparent do and fwiw, what did you hear?

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDoW View Post

so... other than hating transparent, do you have anything constructive to add?

for example - what hardware components would the Panamax contain that the Transparent lacks?

What features (other than pretty lights) does the Panamax offer that the transparent doesn't?

Nascar added something very constructive. You just did not want to hear it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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Why do you think that passing AC through a device will affect the resulting sound/video?
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDoW View Post

so... other than hating transparent, do you have anything constructive to add?

for example - what hardware components would the Panamax contain that the Transparent lacks?

What features (other than pretty lights) does the Panamax offer that the transparent doesn't?

May I add something constructive ? Take back the power conditioner, and get a relatively inexpensive computer power conditioner with battery back up.
Use it , I think you will thank us for the advice.

Cheers.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

What does the Transparent do and fwiw, what did you hear?

The Transparent, like with any power conditioner, to my knowledge is supposed to filter out "noise" generated by other products in the home electrical circuit. It should help to smooth out voltage spikes.

Obviously what I heard is subjective, but it was a quite noticeable difference in vocal clarity and delivery of high frequency notes. Less noticeable (and perhaps placebo, to Nascar's point) was what appeared to be a greater depth in the sound field.

Duvetyne & Bruins ... sounds like you guys don't think there's any benefit to a power conditioner at all?

It's not that I didn't like what Nascar had to say, it's that all he said amounted to bashing of Transparent as a product. But he did not specifically point to a difference of the two products, which to me sounds like someone who doesn't actually know anything about either product, but has specific feelings about one product or another. Either that - or he may have a depth of knowledge on it, but just was too lazy to articulate it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:


get a relatively inexpensive computer power conditioner with battery back up

What "conditioning" would it provide?

Quote:


The Transparent, like with any power conditioner, to my knowledge is supposed to filter out "noise" generated by other products in the home electrical circuit. It should help to smooth out voltage spikes.

So does the DC power supply...and it even outputs DC, unlike a "power conditioner".

Quote:


to me sounds like someone who doesn't actually know anything about either product

Do you know what this product actually does? and how?
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDoW View Post

so... other than hating transparent, do you have anything constructive to add?

for example - what hardware components would the Panamax contain that the Transparent lacks?

What features (other than pretty lights) does the Panamax offer that the transparent doesn't?

I don't hate transparent, I think they and other cable companies are brilliant since they sell the same product like cables at a 1000% mark up. You have to realise that everything in audio/video is measureable and things happen for a reason, so when transparent does not give any measure specs on their products that should set off alarm bells.

http://www.transparentcable.com/prod...tID=6&modCAT=1

SPECIFICATIONS
6 high-current, grounded USA outlets.
Compact chassis.
Use free-standing or mount in rack with brackets (included).
2-meter grounded power cord.

http://www.tripplite.com/en/products...xtModelID=3151

OUTPUT
Output Volt Amp Capacity (VA) 1500
Output kVA capacity (kVA) 1.5
Output Watt Capacity (watts) 900
Nominal Output Voltage(s) Supported 115v; 120v
Frequency compatibility 60 Hz
Output voltage regulation (line mode) -18%, +8%
Output voltage regulation (Battery mode) 115V (+/- 5%)
Built-in UPS output receptacles 8 5-15R outlet(s)
Basic PDU options PDU1215 (1U / 13 5-15R outlets); PDUNV (1U / 2 C19, 12 C13 outlets); PDU1415 (0U / 14 5-15R outlets); PDUV15 (0U / 12 5-15R outlets)
Metered PDU options PDUMH15 (1U / 13 5-15R outlets); PDUMH15AT (1U / 8 5-15R outlets)*; PDUMV15 (0U / 16 5-15R outlets)
Switched PDU options PDUMH15ATNET (1U / 8 5-15R outlets)*; PDUMV15NET (0U / 16 5-15R outlets)
External PDU redundancy options *Auto Transfer Switch features utilizing the secondary PDU input cord are compatible with Smart Online UPS models only
Output AC waveform (AC mode) Sine wave
Output AC waveform (battery mode) PWM sine wave
INPUT
Rated input current (at maximum load) 8.5A
Nominal Input Voltage(s) Supported 120V AC
UPS input connection type 5-15P; Space saving right angled input plug
Input circuit breaker 10A
UPS Input cord length (ft.) 6
UPS Input cord length (m) 1.8
Recommended Electrical Service 15A 120V
BATTERY
Full load runtime (minutes) 3.5 min. (900w)
Half load runtime (minutes) 13 min. (450w)
DC system voltage 24V DC
Battery recharge rate (included batteries) Less than 4.5 hours from 10% to 90%
VOLTAGE REGULATION
Voltage regulation description Automatic voltage regulation (AVR) maintains line power operation with an input voltage range of 75 to 147
Overvoltage correction Input voltages between 128 and 147 are reduced by 12%
Undervoltage correction Input voltages between 93 and 107 are boosted by 14%
Severe undervoltage correction Input voltages between 75 and 92 are boosted by 30%
LEDS ALARMS & SWITCHES
LED Indicators Front panel LCD display
Front panel LCD display Backlighted LCD screen indicates input voltage, 5-bar battery charge level, overload, AVR, on battery and replace battery status; LCD screen rotates for rack/tower viewing
Alarms Audible alarm indicates power-failure and low-battery conditions
Alarm cancel operation Power-fail alarm can be silenced using alarm-cancel switch; once silenced, alarm will re-sound to indicate low-battery status
Switches 2 Switches control off/on power status and alarm-cancel/self-test operation
SURGE / NOISE SUPPRESSION
UPS AC suppression joule rating 480
UPS AC suppression response time Instantaneous
UPS Dataline suppression 1 line TEL / DSL or 10Base T Ethernet protection
EMI / RFI AC noise suppression Yes
PHYSICAL
Installation form factors supported with included accessories 4 post 19 inch rackmount (mounting rail kit included); 2 post 19 inch rackmount (mounting rail kit included); Tower
Included mounting accessory description Pair of mounting ears enable tower and 2-4 post rackmount installation
Primary form factor Rackmount
UPS / Power Module dimensions in primary form factor (height x width x depth / inches) 3.5 x 17.2 x 10.5
UPS / Power Module dimensions in primary form factor (height x width x depth / cm) 8.9 x 43.8 x 26.7
Installed whole system maximum rack depth (inches) 10.5
Installed whole system maximum rack depth (cm) 26.7
Installed whole system total rack space height (rack spaces) 2U
Secondary form factor Tower
Installed whole system dimensions in secondary form factor (height x width x depth / inches) 17.2 x 3.5 x 10.5
UPS dimensions in secondary form factor (height x width x depth / cm) 43.8 x 8.9 x 26.7
UPS / Power Module weight (lbs) 29.4
UPS / Power Module weight (kg) 13.3
UPS Shipping dimensions (height x width x depth / inches) 7.5 x 15 x 21.5
UPS Shipping dimensions (height x width x depth / cm) 19 x 38.1 x 54.6
Shipping weight (lbs) 33.4
Shipping weight (kg) 15.2
UPS housing material ABS
Cooling method Fan
ENVIRONMENTAL
Operating Temperature Range +32 to +104 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 to +40 degrees Celsius
Storage Temperature Range +5 to +122 degrees Fahrenheit / -15 to +50 degrees Celsius
Relative Humidity 0 to 95%, non-condensing
AC mode BTU / hr. (full load) 266.1
Battery mode BTU / hr. (full load) 626.7
COMMUNICATIONS
Communications interface USB (HID enabled); DB9 Serial
Network monitoring port description Supports detailed monitoring of UPS and site power conditions
PowerAlert software Free download from www.tripplite.com
Communications cable USB and DB9 Serial cabling included
WatchDog compatibility Supports Watchdog application, OS and hard-reboot restart options for remote applications
LINE / BATTERY TRANSFER
Transfer time 2-4 milliseconds
Low voltage transfer to battery power (setpoint) 75
High voltage transfer to battery power (setpoint) 147
SPECIAL FEATURES
Cold Start (startup in battery mode during a power failure) Cold-start operation supported
CERTIFICATIONS
UPS Certifications Tested to UL1778 (USA); Tested to CSA (Canada); Tested to NOM (Mexico); Meets FCC Part 15 Category B (EMI); Meets FCC Part 68 / Industrie Canada (telecommunications); ROHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances)
WARRANTY
Standard warranty period 3 years
Connected equipment insurance (USA, Canada, Puerto Rico) $250,000 connected equipment insurance


There is a huge difference in products that do something and products that do nothing.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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So.. to summarize what I'm hearing from the group:

you aren't necessarily saying that this Transparent product is bad compared to the Panamax, but rather that all power conditioning products are gimmicks and APCs will produce better results.

Is that accurate?
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDoW View Post

So.. to summarize what I'm hearing from the group:

you aren't necessarily saying that this Transparent product is bad compared to the Panamax, but rather that all power conditioning products are gimmicks and APCs will produce better results.

Is that accurate?

No, first off do you need a power conditioner, have you tested you power? Transparent much like everyother high end cable company is based on lies and products that do not do anything. Crack open that transparent power "conditioner" and you will probably find nothing more then $20 worth of parts inside.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralarcon View Post

May I add something constructive ? Take back the power conditioner, and get a relatively inexpensive computer power conditioner with battery back up.
Use it , I think you will thank us for the advice.

Cheers.

I'm going to try this and run some a/b tests:

- direct to wall
- no battery backup, but with PowerBank in-line
- Battery Backup plugged into wall, then PowerBank plugged into this.
- Battery Backup in-line, no PowerBank

will let you guys know what results are.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nascar_984 View Post

No, first off do you need a power conditioner, have you tested you power? Transparent much like everyother high end cable company is based on lies and products that do not do anything. Crack open that transparent power "conditioner" and you will probably find nothing more then $20 worth of parts inside.

without looking at the grade of components in their equipment, I cannot address whether this is true.

I can tell you that based on objective results in the past (RTA analysis), shielded cables in most environments have produced much MUCH better results than unshielded. Now - that's for signal cables .. power ... who knows. I agree- I have a healthy dose of skepticism.

That being said there is a distinct subjective difference that I notice with the powerbank vs. without.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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The Transparent, like with any power conditioner, to my knowledge is supposed to filter out "noise" generated by other products in the home electrical circuit. It should help to smooth out voltage spikes.

What is your power supply doing? Filters the 120 volts AC. Then converts that AC to DC. Increases the voltage to maybe 330 volts. Then filter it again. Then convert that DC to radio waves. Then convert the 330 volts to low voltage AC while doing more filtering. Then convert it again to DC. The filter it again.

What is the source of most 'noise'? The radio waves created inside the power supply. What is a filter in the Transparent going to do? Nothing. But they got your to believe otherwise only because the salesman told you what to believe. It works.

Where are manufacturer numbers that claim any 'filtering'? Those numbers must be massive to improve on what all power supplies must already accomplish.

What is some of the largest noise your sound will have with or without that Transparent? See where it converts DC to radio waves? The resulting ripple voltage makes more noise no matter what you put on its AC power cord.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:42 PM
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Aside from the fact that I think Tom is a kook and he thinks I am a shill for surge suppressor makers, he is very much correct here. As I have been saying for years, modern components with switching power supplies do not pass noise from the a.c. line, they make far more themselves. Power line filters generally DO filter noise, but that noise is irrelevant for most video equipment. Conventional power supplies in many audio components may be another matter, but I have yet to be able to find any line noise in the secondaries of those units either. There is far more noise generated by poor grounding than ever gets through a power supply from line noise.

I have looked for line noise in audio and video circuits many times and it just is not there. I can see it easily on the a.c. line on my bench, where there are lots of sources creating it. I use a rather crude filter on the bench and it cleans it up nicely, but it is really irrelevant, as that noise never gets into the audio or video. What can is ground noise or more commonly EMI. Good grounding and shielding solve that in most all cases.

Yes, calibration is important...every user should be calibrated.

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaDoW View Post

without looking at the grade of components in their equipment, I cannot address whether this is true.

I can tell you that based on objective results in the past (RTA analysis), shielded cables in most environments have produced much MUCH better results than unshielded. Now - that's for signal cables .. power ... who knows. I agree- I have a healthy dose of skepticism.

That being said there is a distinct subjective difference that I notice with the powerbank vs. without.

The only cables the need or should have shielding are interconnects, to have shielded speaker cables is pointless. Transparent has about $20 worth of parts in their $30,000 speaker cables so why would their power products be any different?
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:46 PM
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Actually I wouldn't buy either. Pick up an Elite 15PFI from Furman instead. Or if you have the extra cash the 20PFI. Not quite the quality of their Reference lineup, but for the money nothing matches the performance increase these pieces offer.

And I'll explain the 2 reasons why no other brands can claim this and why it makes a difference.

The first is it greatly reduces the resistance to everything that is plugged into it. So whether it's a large amp, Plasma/LCD display, Blu Ray player, and so on, by reducing the resistance on the power supplies of each component, the extremely delicate and precise electronics that are in each of those components work far more efficiently. Think of it is as SAE high grade Engine Oil. Used predominately to increase engine performance by reducing height in an engine reducing resistance to a power supply is the same thing. What is one of the first components higher end electronics use over cheaper economy pieces? Larger, heavier power supplies like Toroids. These build up a lot of resistance from the various crap that flows from our circuit panels. Reduce this and it'll not only improve performance, but longevity.

The 2nd reason is in regards to delivering a large reserve of amperage when your electronics require it. The 20PFI delivers a total of 45 amps to anything plugged in when it's required at the precise time it's needed. Now image listening to a piece of music or watching a film and all of a sudden a car slams into a wall or Neil Peart pounds on his kick peddles during YYZ, that added amperage available increases dynamics and imaging 10 fold. Actually I would believe even higher. I have demoed a Pioneer Elite SC07 and a BDP09FD plugged into an 20PFI beside a Parasound Halo A21 plugged straight into the wall and the Receiver won every time. This is a $2000 140 watts Class A/B Receiver compared to a $3000 250 watts dedicated amplifier. Now plug the Parasound into the Furman, and now that amp if comparable to amps 2-3 times its price.

I used to own a Richard Gray RGPC1200 before this and will never go back. I've tested pieces from Isotek, Transparent, Panamax, Exactpower, Monster (worst of the bunch), and a few other well known brands and the Furman beat them everytime in every blind test.

I'm not an electrical engineer but I do understand the essentials of how electronics work and how important power is to everything operates in the end.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesker View Post

I'm not an electrical engineer but I do understand the essentials of how electronics work and how important power is to everything operates in the end.

Explain what no electrical engineer can explain. How do those internal components create negative resistance? What is this magic device that creates negative resistance so that resistance is reduced? It does not exist. And manufacturer specifications make no such claim.

Somehow you know what the manufacturer does not? Somehow you know things that no electricial engineer has ever seen? Somehow you should be believed when zero electrical reasons are provided, no electrical knowledge is demonstrated - and no numbers? Demonstrated is how junk science gets promoted. You make a claim. Then use parable to explain your knowledge. You want to believe. You never learned. So you just declare it a fact.

Those 'delicate and precise electronics' are required to be some of the most robust devices in the building. Nothing in that post is electrically valid.

It the post had credibility, it comes with numbers. Not even manufacturer specs were provided. Even the manufacturer does not make those claims.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:56 AM
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Wesker, are you a sales person in the AV industry? The fact that you mentioned doing demos of gear leads me to believe this.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:11 AM
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Also, the SC-07 is Class D, not A/B.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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The first is it greatly reduces the resistance to everything that is plugged into it.

WTF?

Quote:


I'm not an electrical engineer

Oh, nevermind...thanks for qualifying your post
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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I used to own a Richard Gray RGPC1200 before this and will never go back.

Richards products are along the same line as every other high end products that has no measurements to back up their claims.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:19 PM
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Not sure what all the fuss is over a "power conditioner". If you want a good steady supply of power to your equipment then run a dedicated line or two to your gear. It's cheap, it's easy. Never could understand the term "clean" power.

"Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right"
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudda View Post

Also, the SC-07 is Class D, not A/B.

Yep you're right. The ICEpower amp is a Class D.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by westom View Post

Explain what no electrical engineer can explain. How do those internal components create negative resistance? What is this magic device that creates negative resistance so that resistance is reduced? It does not exist. And manufacturer specifications make no such claim.

Somehow you know what the manufacturer does not? Somehow you know things that no electricial engineer has ever seen? Somehow you should be believed when zero electrical reasons are provided, no electrical knowledge is demonstrated - and no numbers? Demonstrated is how junk science gets promoted. You make a claim. Then use parable to explain your knowledge. You want to believe. You never learned. So you just declare it a fact.

Those 'delicate and precise electronics' are required to be some of the most robust devices in the building. Nothing in that post is electrically valid.

It the post had credibility, it comes with numbers. Not even manufacturer specs were provided. Even the manufacturer does not make those claims.

Some one has some anger issues. Audition one for yourself if you're such a firm non believer. I don't need to convince you.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:06 PM
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Wesker, are you a sales person in the AV industry? The fact that you mentioned doing demos of gear leads me to believe this.

I manage a custom electronics boutique and have had various manufacturer's send me samples of their products for me to test against ones I currently sell. Great way to compare and not be too biased towards one brand over the other because it's the only one you currently sell.
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