Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist
There is absolutely no reason why anyone should have to buy a "power conditioner" for most of today's modern electronic components. They can handle basic fluctuations, and most homes built in the last 5-10 years don't need this silly nonsense. Please!
If your home power was regulated and protected by your utility company, 100% at all times, then sure there would be no need for purchasing a power protection unit. That would be nice!
Your local utility company does not protect you against:
1. brownouts / low voltages
2. spikes, surges and over-voltage conditions
Your internal house wiring and circuits do not protect against:
1. over-use of a circuit (low voltage, fluctuating voltage)
2. line noise introduced by motor-driven appliances, LED lighting, powerline home automation systems, etc.
Anything that you've invested a lot of money in that plugs in to your AC line should at very least have a decent surge protection unit. It's cheap insurance in it's most basic form. It only takes one time for your gear to get fried from a surge / spike.
You only need an AVR type of protection unit if you are also concerned about possible over-voltage conditions, which are rare but do happen. This would be your next level of 'insurance', and is typically what I recommend for any AV system. As an example, the line voltage in my neighborhood surged to well over 130v for an entire day, and at times up to almost 140v. If I did not have my gear behind a $300 AVR that does over voltage protection (e.g. shuts down if the line voltage exceeds 122v), I would be looking at $50k worth of gear replacement, including my prized new Elite. AV equipment warranties do not cover inadequate AC protection. A basic surge strip would not have provided any protection here.
The more expensive "audiophile" or "commercial" AVRs will also help provide boost if your line voltages are low, and will provide substantial filtering if you have a lot of noise on the line that is being picked up / re-introduced by your equipment. These units can get real expensive real fast depending on their designed capacity, might be overkill for most AV systems, and the only way to determine if you need to spend the extra money here is by tracking a specific problem related to noise or low voltages.
In my particular home, I have 100% LED lighting (noisy) and everything is controlled by a powerline automation system (more noisy). Even with dedicated circuits, I need the extra level of noise filtering as it was being picked up by one of my amplifiers.
I do have some experience in this area and background in electrical, and I've seen 1st hand what can happen to AV / computer gear that does not at least have a basic level of protection. There is no special new technology on homes built in the last 5-10 years that automatically stabilizes / protects your house line voltages and your plugged in equipment. If anything, power protection these days is even more important considering the increasing complexity and sensitivity of modern computers / AV gear. Internal power supplies are now designed more for compactness / energy efficiency vs robustness.
In my humble opinion, if you have a good investment in AV gear you should at least have a surge protection unit that also does over voltage protection. I've made a suggestion in previous posts on a very cost effective unit that does all of the above, and at a fraction of the price typically associated with audiophile grade units.