surges are a problem, then a tiered, multi-point approach may be the best advice.
It's just so difficult to determine if one's been protected, or actually relatively immune to said issues.
I've got the ubiquitous and over-rated/over priced Monster PowerCenter HTS 1000, the big 8 outlet gold color piece. It was thrown in 10 years ago or so in a big purchase at my local Ovation Audio retailer. Does it protect my gear? Who knows, but I've used it in various capacities ever since I brought it home. Surprisingly, it actually seems to filter some noise when present.
I've experimented with balanced power, also built a custom power isolation system, with multiple inter-isolated, RFI/EMI filtered circuits. It should be of no surprise to anyone that some simple steps taken to isolate one's gear from potential powerline garbage, can be quite beneficial. My interest and additional experimentation led me to seek out even more knowledge and experience. Living in the pro audio world for some time, and being in and out of studios illustrated to me than there is considerable benefit to a prudent approach, and considerable mis-information,...even at the highest levels of the trade. Over the past couple years, I've been in email contact, and then in person, spending some time discussing these issues with Art Kelm. This guy, who very likely knows more about power quality for audio systems than anyone I'm aware of, is the ideal combo of hands on and theoretical smarts.
Art offers Plitron based iso products, quite similar to the sister company Torus offerings. I got a quote for his gear, but wow the big toroids are expensive,...even when purchased and executed in DIY fashion. I opted to continue rolling my own for now.
The electronic aspect of audio playback, stripped to it's core, is merely manipulation and modulation of the wall voltage your gear is supplied with. There is merit to addressing power quality issues, from surges as we're discussing here, to isolation, conditioning (whatever that means), re-generation, etc.
Originally Posted by Nethawk
Not true. Living in a bad area for thunderstorms and power surges I've been protected by "absolutely nothing" multiple times.
I didn't intend any disrespect, and I'm glad you've been happy with their use.
Originally Posted by Colm
You might have been protected by absolutely nothing just as well as by an "absolutely nothing" surge protective device. The need for surge protection is extremely over-hyped. CE equipment has a certain inherent level of immunity to surges. And the prevalance of damaging surges isn't nearly what the manufacturers would have you believe. How did our gear every survive before surge protective devices became common?
I am guessing FOH is poo-pooing those "absolute nothing" surge protective devices because they have relatively small MOVs in them. Well, the maximum energy a type 3 (point-of-use) device is likely to be exposed to is around 90J. And it doesn't take a very big MOV to handle that, even repeatedly.
Interesting, I wouldn't know. Are you saying (within the MOV genre) the cheapos are as good as it gets?
I prefer series mode, SurgeX etc. Being in a position to spec elements of large project (~700mil), with a significant amount of pro A/V, I wanted all series mode SurgeX or equivalent, protection on critical items,...they went for it.
Not an enormous amount, but maybe a couple hundred units. However, against my advice they went with the smallest, cheapo "brick style" battery back up/surge protectors, made by APC. Junk,... so many failures. They were employed in hundreds of HVAC control cabinets, we had hundreds of failures, ... even prior to commishioning! Oh well. Live and learn.
Sorry for the OT
My take, surge protection may or may not be important. But the easiet way is simply both employing it within one's isolation solution, and globally at the service. Whatever you do, don't cause more issues, ie, current limiting in some manner.