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Stacking Power Conditioners on top of an unshielded Sub - asking for trouble?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Running out of space in my av rack and was wondering if I could put the two Belkin PF-60 Power Conditioners I just ordered on top of my BIC VK-12 Subwoofer (which already sits on top of a SubDude).

Considering that the Sub is not magnetically shielded, is this just asking for trouble? Will the huge magnet affect the power or filters in the PF60's?
post #2 of 35
I don't think it'd be an issue. Try it.
post #3 of 35
I would not worry too much about the magnet, but over time the sub's vibration may reduce the life of the power conditioners. Using some rubber feet from Wal-Mart (or Home Depot, or other equally fine shopping center) should help and you'll be golden.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I've got some rubber feet from previous installs/mods I can use.
post #5 of 35
Buying the snake oil conditioners are only going to hurt your wallet.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Actually didn't drink the "magically sounds better koolaide". Unlike the super expensive power cable replacement snake oil, a good power conditioner helps protect the life of expensive components and speakers by smoothing out dirty power, especially when the voltages tend to wide swings on the upside in your house or the neighborhood since they don't really help much on the downswings when volts hit brownout thresholds (which is where UPS units help more). My outlet voltage usually is on the high side of 120, sometimes up to 127+ but can take a dip whenever all the appliances are on. That can stress out power supplies and lead to wear and tear on capacitors. Regular surge protectors aren't enough in this case.

Besides, the PF60's are really cheap on Amazon (under 200), have 13 outlets that can be switched or delayed based on other components (start amp, sub and Martin Logans a controllable amount of seconds after the receiver and tv go on so minimizing "pop"), and shows me how much power is being used by all my components in individual groupings or all together. Those alone are worth the relatively cheap cost.
post #7 of 35
Speco! LTNS! How've you been?

Jedimstr, just how is the PF60 able to regulate 127V down? You do understand that electrical power is a product. Variations in that product are to be expected and different utilities have their own guidelines as to what are acceptable variations - +/- 5% being considered typical. Assuming you're measuring the power with a half decent RMS multimeter, the 127V you sometimes measure seems that it falls into the acceptable range.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimstr View Post

Actually didn't drink the "magically sounds better koolaide". Unlike the super expensive power cable replacement snake oil, a good power conditioner helps protect the life of expensive components and speakers by smoothing out dirty power, especially when the voltages tend to wide swings on the upside in your house or the neighborhood since they don't really help much on the downswings when volts hit brownout thresholds (which is where UPS units help more). My outlet voltage usually is on the high side of 120, sometimes up to 127+ but can take a dip whenever all the appliances are on. That can stress out power supplies and lead to wear and tear on capacitors. Regular surge protectors aren't enough in this case.

Besides, the PF60's are really cheap on Amazon (under 200), have 13 outlets that can be switched or delayed based on other components (start amp, sub and Martin Logans a controllable amount of seconds after the receiver and tv go on so minimizing "pop"), and shows me how much power is being used by all my components in individual groupings or all together. Those alone are worth the relatively cheap cost.

You could have got a better one at best buy that does everything you just mentioned for $120. Its their Rocketfish brand and actually has better specs than the $300 Monsters sitting right next to it.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

You could have got a better one at best buy that does everything you just mentioned for $120. Its their Rocketfish brand and actually has better specs than the $300 Monsters sitting right next to it.

Very wary of Best buy anything. That and there aren't much reviews or testimonials for the rocket fish branded stuff.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Speco! LTNS! How've you been?

Jedimstr, just how is the PF60 able to regulate 127V down? You do understand that electrical power is a product. Variations in that product are to be expected and different utilities have their own guidelines as to what are acceptable variations - +/- 5% being considered typical. Assuming you're measuring the power with a half decent RMS multimeter, the 127V you sometimes measure seems that it falls into the acceptable range.

So do you plug all your stuff straight into the wall?

That's what power conditioners and regulators are for. Other than reducing crosstalk (that hum you may hear when some equipment are on the same circuit)... Breaking out the Wikipedia: "Conditioners specifically work to smooth the sinusoidal A.C. wave form and maintain a constant voltage over varying loads."

127v and wild fluctuations may be in "acceptable range" for the city power, and isn't enough to trigger surge protection (hence why a surge protector isn't enough), but over long durations can tax equipment and specifically capacitors. Power conditioners smooth the sine wave and removes these mini spikes. And a "halfway decent multimeter" only captures a snapshot. You'd need something like an oscilloscope with sampling over time and a good data aquisition software suite to get a good picture of your home's power roller coaster. A good UPS unit can do similar things by providing a tiered power source where it generates it's own AC curve but you typically don't get the same amount of outlets.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimstr View Post


So do you plug all your stuff straight into the wall?

That's what power conditioners and regulators are for. Other than reducing crosstalk (that hum you may hear when some equipment are on the same circuit)... Breaking out the Wikipedia: "Conditioners specifically work to smooth the sinusoidal A.C. wave form and maintain a constant voltage over varying loads."

127v and wild fluctuations may be in "acceptable range" for the city power, and isn't enough to trigger surge protection (hence why a surge protector isn't enough), but over long durations can tax equipment and specifically capacitors. Power conditioners smooth the sine wave and removes these mini spikes. And a "halfway decent multimeter" only captures a snapshot. You'd need something like an oscilloscope with sampling over time and a good data aquisition software suite to get a good picture of your home's power roller coaster. A good UPS unit can do similar things by providing a tiered power source where it generates it's own AC curve but you typically don't get the same amount of outlets.

So called "power conditioners" are useless things. If you have problems with quality of AC power, get high quality double conversion UPS. But be ready to spend grand or two for a good one. Subwoofer is a least sensitive to power disruption device. It has switching power supply and is not affected by sudden loss of power or voltage fluctuations within reasonable limits. If your power is badly out of specs, call electric supply company and demand for a fix.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimstr View Post

So do you plug all your stuff straight into the wall?

I have a whole house system and also sundry point of use devices.

Quote:


That's what power conditioners and regulators are for. Other than reducing crosstalk (that hum you may hear when some equipment are on the same circuit)... Breaking out the Wikipedia: "Conditioners specifically work to smooth the sinusoidal A.C. wave form and maintain a constant voltage over varying loads."

It's not called crosstalk. Those are groundloops and there's no guarantee they'll solve such problems.

And what device do you have in mind that's going to give you a rock steady 120V?

Quote:


127v and wild fluctuations may be in "acceptable range" for the city power, and isn't enough to trigger surge protection (hence why a surge protector isn't enough), but over long durations can tax equipment and specifically capacitors.

Of course they're not going to trigger surge protectors because they're not surges. If you've got wild fluctuations, which you haven't demonstrated, then start by calling your local utility company because maybe there's a problem on the line. Otherwise, you might need to increase your capacity.

Quote:


Power conditioners smooth the sine wave and removes these mini spikes. And a "halfway decent multimeter" only captures a snapshot. You'd need something like an oscilloscope with sampling over time and a good data aquisition software suite to get a good picture of your home's power roller coaster. A good UPS unit can do similar things by providing a tiered power source where it generates it's own AC curve but you typically don't get the same amount of outlets.

So you don't know if you've got a problem and you're just paranoid?
post #13 of 35
Wait 'till he finds out his AC fluctuates from 0 to 180V 120 times every second.....
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

Wait 'till he finds out his AC fluctuates from 0 to 180V 120 times every second.....

But..but...I thought that A stood for absolute!

/joke

I wouldn't worry about putting a component with no moving parts on your subwoofer, but I would consider vibration (can the subwoofer move enough to "launch" the device onto the floor? That's a bad thing.).

That said, such conditioners will do little-to-nothing in terms of sound quality; they can be useful for staggering turn-on or similar aesthetic needs (which could be a huge upgrade, if it lets components turn on and off more easily).
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Speco! LTNS! How've you been?

Jedimstr, just how is the PF60 able to regulate 127V down? You do understand that electrical power is a product. Variations in that product are to be expected and different utilities have their own guidelines as to what are acceptable variations - +/- 5% being considered typical. Assuming you're measuring the power with a half decent RMS multimeter, the 127V you sometimes measure seems that it falls into the acceptable range.

Hey Chu. I have been lurking for a long time. I had to get back into though because this crap just seems to never end.
post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Jeez. A lot of venom for a little question that search results didn't answer.

Ok, forget the power conditioner. Substitute the original question for:

Will stacking ANY AV equipment on a magnetically unshielded subwoofer potentially cause any issues (electrical, audio, visual - with either analog or digital AV equipment). Not talking about any potential damage from vibration.

Btw - I AM a newbie in the Home AV realm, so please be gentle this time. My a$$ hurts from the last time you guys jumped in with guns blazing.

BTW2 - my experience with power conditioners and UPS systems comes from working on Broadcast Television Data and Render farms for a cable network. Quite a few switched power supplies and motherboards have fried due to AC power that ran outside equipment spec even though was fine for utility spec (yes I know what AC means and I meant fluctuations beyond the nominal sine wave in a given cycle). So forgive me if I thought home AV equipment could be as sensitive as we see in the server closet.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimstr View Post

Jeez. A lot of venom for a little question that search results didn't answer.

Ok, forget the power conditioner. Substitute the original question for:

Will stacking ANY AV equipment on a magnetically unshielded subwoofer potentially cause any issues (electrical, audio, visual - with either analog or digital AV equipment). Not talking about any potential damage from vibration.

May, may not. "Any AV equipment" is pretty broad. Some of that equipment uses magnetic tape, some of that equipment uses mechanical disks or other vibration sensitive components - it's highly variable. I think the overall answer is that no, you will not have issues with putting your PF60 or something else that lacks moving parts on top of your sub.


Quote:


BTW2 - my experience with power conditioners and UPS systems comes from working on Broadcast Television Data and Render farms for a cable network. Quite a few switched power supplies and motherboards have fried due to AC power that ran outside equipment spec even though was fine for utility spec (yes I know what AC means and I meant fluctuations beyond the nominal sine wave in a given cycle). So forgive me if I thought home AV equipment could be as sensitive as we see in the server closet.

Not to divert the thread, but this is probably NOT the result of the power utility, and is probably the exclusive result of cheap power supplies. A good SMPS can run on a range of something like 87-137VAC before it blows up (and it should just shut down when it under/overvolts, not blow up); if it's taking hardware out with it that's assuredly a flaw of the SMPS itself (it means the thing isn't properly rejecting surges or voltage fluctuations, and is running its output rails out of spec - that's very naughty).

This is all too common with OEM hardware - power supplies are the lowest common denominator, even if we're talking about "expensive" computers.

There's also an expected fail rate due to heat and MTBF.

We'll also ignore that you're comparing apples to watermelons.
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks all
post #19 of 35
Quote:


Will stacking ANY AV equipment on a magnetically unshielded subwoofer potentially cause any issues (electrical, audio, visual - with either analog or digital AV equipment). Not talking about any potential damage from vibration.

No, static magnetic fields, such as the huge, unavoidable one emanating from the center of this planet, will not damage your equipment.
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

No, static magnetic fields, such as the huge, unavoidable one emanating from the center of this planet, will not damage your equipment.

Ha very funny... Actually the Earth's magnetic field is not static since it is generated by the molton iron alloys in the outer core and fluctuates and varies by region and speed of spin, typically stronger towards the poles. It is also relatively weak though it has a large throw, enough to divert the solar Wind. It can vary from 0.25 - 0.65 gauss while your average refrigerator has a 100 gauss field.

Plus note I said issues not damage. Like if you put an old CRT tv next to an unshielded subwoofer, you get distortion on the screen temporarily (like you're degaussing the screen). What is any equivalent for other equipment. Anything with any transistor circuitry could theoretically flip a bit here or there in a field that strong.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

Wait 'till he finds out his AC fluctuates from 0 to 180V 120 times every second.....

Wait until he finds out that using a conditioner on some of his equipment voids his manufacturer's warranty (like some power amps etc).

Good times.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goros View Post

Wait until he finds out that using a conditioner on some of his equipment voids his manufacturer's warranty (like some power amps etc).

I am not aware of those restrictions. If you would/could provide a link from a manufacturer, I'd appreciate it.
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goros View Post


Wait until he finds out that using a conditioner on some of his equipment voids his manufacturer's warranty (like some power amps etc).

Good times.

Ok I'll bite.

That's what the AMP/hi-power labelled non-filtered outlet banks are for. They pass through unfiltered power for high powered items like power amps and only provide surge protection. just like you'll find surge only outlets on any UPS.

BTW - power amp manuals state not to filter the power through a conditioner for power amps due to reduced dynamic range and NONE (that I know of) say it violates warranty. Care to share examples?

So anymore juvenile retorts, flamebait or high and mighty non-answers from any more "senior" members or can we start discussing like adults again? You guys must really be bored.
post #24 of 35
Jedimster,

Welcome to AVS Seriously, welcome. There is an incredible amount of technical knowledge availed to all who care to find it here. Many contributors are industry professionals, and warts and all, it is what it is. As I'm sure you've read in other threads, there are thousands of very congenial exchanges of quality information, on and endless variety of topics. All of us bring a variety of strengths/skill-sets, and I'm sure you have a great deal to offer to all of us as well.


Good luck
post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Jedimster,

Welcome to AVS Seriously, welcome. There is an incredible amount of technical knowledge availed to all who care to find it here. Many contributors are industry professionals, and warts and all, it is what it is. As I'm sure you've read in other threads, there are thousands of very congenial exchanges of quality information, on and endless variety of topics. All of us bring a variety of strengths/skill-sets, and I'm sure you have a great deal to offer to all of us as well.

Good luck

Thanks for the welcome!

All forums have their share of *senior* members and i know it reflects more on them than the other 95% positive members and comments. Just wish there was a "Digital Noise" reduction setting for AVS.
post #26 of 35
Seriously, it's all good in my opinion. Even contributions one finds as crass or dismissive, actually give you additional contextual perspective.

It's all good.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimstr View Post

So anymore juvenile retorts, flamebait or high and mighty non-answers from any more "senior" members or can we start discussing like adults again? You guys must really be bored.

Slow down Hoss...
IMO, that was a little "over the top". GIve him/her a chance to respond.
post #28 of 35
Sorry for the delay, weekend chores call.

Anyway, no manufacturer I can find specifically states "using a power conditioner will void your warranty".


Some say "we haven't found a power conditioner made that meets our requirements", or "we recommend not using a power conditioner or ups system":

Krell specifically says to call before using one, Fischer and Rowland say similar things.

And then, at the rear of the manual under "warranty" it says "failure to follow directions (recommendations and/or instructions depending on the brand) in this manual will void the warranty", or as a bullet point of voided warranty circuimstances above.

So you can use one, and not void your warranty, as long as it doesn't have the recommendation not to use one, and the clause at the end saying "failure to follow..." yadda yadda.

Krell it specifically states you have to call first and DOES have the clause about installing outside recommendations in the book.

Emotiva has nothing about power conditioner use in their manual, but they recommend against it on their website. Their clause only voids warranties from unfollowed recommendations in their manual (specifically),not on their website.

Technically, if you stack your emo components without 2 powered fans, your warranty is void by the terms in the manual because you need 6" overhead clearance over the top of the case.

Manufacturers can find any number of loopholes to void your warranty at will, pretty much.

That clause at the end of most warranties ("failure to comply with the recommendations or instructions in this manual on installation, setup etc. of this unit will void the warranty"):

All it takes is that one clause, and a recommendation under setup or installation instuctions.

Or in Krells case, failure to call first.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goros View Post

Sorry for the delay, weekend chores call.

Anyway, no manufacturer I can find specifically states "using a power conditioner will void your warranty".


Some say "we haven't found a power conditioner made that meets our requirements", or "we recommend not using a power conditioner or ups system":

Krell specifically says to call before using one, Fischer and Rowland say similar things.

And then, at the rear of the manual under "warranty" it says "failure to follow directions (recommendations and/or instructions depending on the brand) in this manual will void the warranty", or as a bullet point of voided warranty circuimstances above.

So you can use one, and not void your warranty, as long as it doesn't have the recommendation not to use one, and the clause at the end saying "failure to follow..." yadda yadda.

Krell it specifically states you have to call first and DOES have the clause about installing outside recommendations in the book.

Emotiva has nothing about power conditioner use in their manual, but they recommend against it on their website. Their clause only voids warranties from unfollowed recommendations in their manual (specifically),not on their website.

Technically, if you stack your emo components without 2 powered fans, your warranty is void by the terms in the manual because you need 6" overhead clearance over the top of the case.

Manufacturers can find any number of loopholes to void your warranty at will, pretty much.

That clause at the end of most warranties ("failure to comply with the recommendations or instructions in this manual on installation, setup etc. of this unit will void the warranty"):

All it takes is that one clause, and a recommendation under setup or installation instuctions.

Or in Krells case, failure to call first.

Boulder makes similar statements - they explicitly state you shall not use a power cable other than the one they supply and that if you need replacements or change in voltage support or other accommodations to contact them. They also state the the amplifier should be connected directly to "a live mains outlet." Yamaha, Marantz, and Sherwood make similar statements along the lines of "Power Connector to AC outlet" or "Plug into a household AC outlet" - even RCA agrees with these suggestions in their manuals, and encourages users to connect directly to an AC outlet and all have similar statements about their warranty terms ("misuse, neglect, improper installation" type clauses that void the warranty).

I'm not saying that a power conditioner will explicitly void your warranty, but I've yet to see a product, even from hoity-toity audiophile companies (like Boulder), that explicitly says to go out and buy a power conditioner or similar device.
post #30 of 35
It is just a shame that all the CE companies are unable to find qualified power supply engineers forcing us to go out and buy power conditioners.
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