|Originally posted by gotapex|
Is the Tripp Lite IsoMax series able to pass more than 15 amps? I'd love to be able to save some money.
|Originally posted by nw_avphile|
Well if you're talking about musical peaks, the 1000 watt version might be OK, but it will likely restrict the peak output of a power amp as will most such devices. There are industrial 2 kva versions available that will handle 15 amps continuous without a problem but not a $200 IsoMax.
Generally, they're good for smaller receivers and all equipment besides power amps and big powered subwoofers.
PlasmaSquid: I was trying to say that even an isolation transformer won't make an audible (or visible) difference in the majority of systems out there as they don't have AC power problems to begin with. Beyond the surge protection and filtering you you get with a $40 device, most people don't need anything else and can't tell the difference if you do a blind test with and without an expensive line conditioner of any type.
There are a very few folks who have AC power that's bad enough to cause problems that can be cured with an isolation transformer or other conditioner. They're the 2% I was referring to. If you're worried you might be one of the 2%, do the blind test I outlined above. If your conditioner makes a difference, keep it. If it doesn't, take it back. That's all I'm suggesting.
Very very few people, however, ever bother with a blind test. They spend $300 (or more) on a conditioner, install it, and believe they hear and/or see all sorts of benefits. All those ads they've read, the tweak audio reviews, things they've read on forums, their salesperson at the local dealer, etc., conspire to set their expectations and they usually hear and experience something like what they expect to. Books have been written on the psychology behind this. What they think they see/hear doesn't mean the device is really making any meaningful difference in their system. A blind test proves if the differences are real or imagined.
I'm not being critical of anyone for having bought a line conditioner--you're in very good company. I bought one a long time ago and figured out it didn't do anything long after my chance to return it. I've since done a lot more research and some blind testing with a number of people and systems. In every case, people can't tell if the conditioner is sitting on the sidelines or doing its job. I'm just trying to share my advice with those who *haven't* bought one yet.
You don't read about this stuff in magazines because they sell lots of ads to the people selling line conditioners. Likewise, your dealer makes a tidy profit selling them as well. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy or anything, but it's not much different than herbal supplements, gas additives for your car, or countless other things that rarely provide any real benefits but have the power of marketing behind them and sell well anyway.
When it comes to AV systems, blind testing shows what makes a difference and what doesn't. There are still plenty of areas where spending more money gets you better sound and a better image, but line conditioners usually aren't one of them.