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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My apologies --tried to find something about this by searching, but nada.


Am setting up a new home theater system and just had the push to buy a "line conditioner" or what appears to be a gussied up power center.


Are these necessary -- and if so, what brand do you guys recommend? ( Needless to say, I think $500 for a Monster Component Power Center is a bit much...)


Thanks!


-Holly
 

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It depends on the power in your home. You certainly need surge protection for all of those valuable electronics, and nearly all line conditioners provide that, but the power to your house is 'messy'. You are certainly not getting a true 120V 60Hz signal to your outlets; RF noise, brownouts, and other factors cause lots of voltage and frequency irregularities to come out of your outlets. Line conditioners filter out this noise and voltage issues. I always had a tiny, audible 'hum' that came from my subwoofer until I got a line conditioner. Now nothing, zilch, nada. That sub is dead quiet (unless it's supposed to be loud ;) ). While Monster Cable is good, I find them to be a little pricey. You can get well designed line conditioners from Panamax, Furman, Adcom (what I've got) and others which are certainly worth a few hundred dollar investment (you may notice your system sounds better and notice things you never heard before).

There are also 'power line conditioners' which utilize an isolation transformer to incoming power and output true, balanced 120V 60Hz power on the output, but these cost in the thousands of dollars range (Tice Audio, Richard Grey and Furman to name a few).
 

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Before investing in costly conditioners, always start with a dedicated electrical circuit for your system. This means the system will be isolated from noise generated by your refrigerator, air conditioner, lights, etc. The cost is usually under a few hundred dollars and well worth it. With that in place, then check the system for ground noise or interference and try some power conditioners at home. Does the difference they make justify the cost? Only you can decide, but most are glorified power strips in fancy boxes.
 
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