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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Watch on eBay for a Tripplite Line Conditioner. Don't get caught up in the Panamax and Monter Cable hype...
 

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What's the best bang-for-the-buck in power-line conditioners?


I'd need surge suppression too, of course, and wouldn't mind having some protection against blackouts, but my main concern is getting a pretty good sine wave into my prospective equipment:


TiVo (currently with digital cable input)

Marantz SR-8000

NEC LT150 (maybe)

HTPC (later, after 48-bit-wide IDE disk access is available)


I've posted this on the HDTV and HTPC forums; I'm expecting slightly different responses from these two overlapping populations.



------------------

Frank (TiVo evangelist since Aug 1999)
 

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I would have to say, without a doubt, that the Belkin F5C980 "ISOLATOR" is perhaps the best price/performance power conditioner available.


It's large, it's metal, it has isolated outlets. 3000 joules of surge protection. Unlimited device replacement warranty. 8 isolated outlets.


These can be had for $70 at CompUSA.


I have two of them. One for my PC (the outlets are HUGE and have plenty of space for bulky AC adapters) and one for the HT system.

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...%2Eotection%2F


Enjoy!


-- Robert
 

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Monster HTS-5000 Refrence PowerCenter on Ebay

for around $350 to $385
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Porter
Monster HTS-5000 Refrence PowerCenter on Ebay

for around $350 to $385
Yeah that's good, but I think the idea was "value" as in "inexpensive"... $350-$400 is a tad on the "high side" for such a simple electrical component.


The Belkin unit I mentioned above has superior protection to the HTS-5000.


-- Robert
 

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The Belkin sounds and looks good but the only problem I see with it is that is does not have any coax protection. I think the coax protection is important because you can fry your system thru it if you get hit by lighting.
 

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My vote for the best power line conditioner is any online UPS. APC is a good brand.


I have a 450VA unit running my system and it works great. Has the added benefit of keeping the PVR501 running even if the power blips.


You wouldn't run your monitor through it, but you can run IRD's; VCR's; DVD's; audio equipment; etc.


Make sure that, if you do get an UPS, you do not plug any kind of line conditioner or surge surpressor into it. Some of them will make the UPS oscillate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by kippjones
When it comes to conditioners, you get what you pay for.
That's now always the case!


I looked into both Panamax and MonsterCable units, and both are way over-hyped and over-priced. Yes they do fine, but don't believe their marketing hype. On the other hand, one can usually find a very good deal on a used (or even new) Tripplite Line Conditioner on eBay and spend A LOT less $$ and get as good or even BETTER protection than those heavily marketed units! For instance, I was looking at one of the popular Panamax units and the were "bragging" that their units do 50dB of noise filtering, but that doesn't look so great when you find out some of the Tripplite units offer 85dB of noise filtering! In addition, the Tripplite units have large transformers that allow them to really do line conditioning whereas the Panamax units claimed to do line conditioning but the unit seemed far too small to contain a large enough transformer to actually do line conditioning.


Yes, you can find MonsterCable and Panamax stuff on eBay too, but it's still way too expensive compared to Tripplite stuff there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Have you? Did they test a Tripplite Line Conditioner? How about some details -- or better yet a link?
 

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Here in Chicago, our electrical supplier is ComEd. In Oakbrook, Il they have a training facility where line conditioners and power surge protectors are discussed in classes. I attended a "Power Quality" class there where we studied grounding and line conditioners. We found that a great majority of the products that claim superior protection and a low price, only provided protection in their theory. We did in fact test the Monster Cable line conditioners and a few other brands. Based on price, The more expensive the conditioner, the better the performance. Also we found that some of the less expensive conditioners, failed after numerous strains on the devices. Generally, the more expensive conditioners held up consistently. We also studied why this was and found the platforms on which the devices were built on as well as the quality of the components used were the major factor in handling of the power correctly. This is why I made my previous statement about you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess you don't happen to remember if a Tripplite Line Conditioner was tested?


Tripplite Line Conditioners aren't cheap units when purchased new from a retail store, but since they don't have all the marketing hype behind them (and they are marketed more towards companies with 'delicate' test equipment rather than the A/V consumer) they tend to sell for very reasonable prices on eBay.
 

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Brickwall / Price Wheeler Corp. makes some very solid, serious surge protectors for audiophile use. Probably a more reliable product than most of the MOV-oriented surge supressors mentioned in this thread.

Brickwall / Price Wheeler Corp.


M
 

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STL,


My experience with Tripp-Lite is that they are very good. I have been using them to protect electronic equipment for years and they are well made.


I still think an online UPS is better protection though. With an online UPS, you filter the AC through the UPS and it compensates for any sags or spikes in the voltage.


This is a very good way to protect the equipment and the backup feature is a bonus.


But, for something that draws a lot of voltage, you would not be going wrong with a Tripp-Lite conditioner in my opinion.
 

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As I said, the best value, IMO, is this:

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...2Eotection%2F#


1500w continuous duty, 3000 joules, 80db of filtering, metal chassis, 12-foot HUGE and very flexible cord, eight isolatedoutlets.


The thing is built like a tank and doesn't cost much ($70).


-- Robert
 

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When I was on the market for a good UPS for my new PC, I did a bit of research and chose the Belkin ( http://www.belkin.com/support/tech/goldupsts.html ). If I am not mistaken, it is the only one with protection & regulation for over- & under-voltage. Sounds like some sort of line conditioner to me. I don't think other UPS does this. Correct me if I am wrong.


But for A/V use, I just bought the HTS-5000 Monster Cable from eBay.



Edward
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Mongo
My experience with Tripp-Lite is that they are very good. I have been using them to protect electronic equipment for years and they are well made.


I still think an online UPS is better protection though. With an online UPS, you filter the AC through the UPS and it compensates for any sags or spikes in the voltage.


This is a very good way to protect the equipment and the backup feature is a bonus.
Have you used the Tripplite line conditioners our just their surge protectors? Their line conditioners have large transformers that do a good job of filtering out spikes/sags. I really don't think the batteries in a UPS are meant to handle the quick transient that music/movies produce. I think these units will likely not react well to sudden power draws and thus will likely negatively affect sound quality and probably won't compensate for power sags/spikes near as good as you think they might. I know from my days in car audio that batteries have problems with sudden power draws (since they cannot discharge quick enough) and that's one reason why stiffening caps are used in high-end car audio systems. Every UPS I've seen is designed for computers/copiers and those devices don't require large, sudden power draws that Audio/Video components do. I still think using a well built line conditioner (like the Tripplite LC1800) would be superior to using any UPS.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by STL
I guess you don't happen to remember if a Tripplite Line Conditioner was tested?


Tripplite Line Conditioners aren't cheap units when purchased new from a retail store, but since they don't have all the marketing hype behind them (and they are marketed more towards companies with 'delicate' test equipment rather than the A/V consumer) they tend to sell for very reasonable prices on eBay.
STL,

no, we did not do any testing on a Tripplite conditioner.
 
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