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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of rebuilding my home theater which will consist of a Mits 73" TV, Lexicon Mc-12, amps, two subs, 2-DVDs, 3-sat receivers, etc, etc.


I'm having a dedicated 220V line run to the main area as well as two 20 amp 120V dedicated circuits.


I have read and reread every line conditioning thread on the forum regarding power conditioning and now know enough to feel confused as well as stupid. The power where I live is far from perfect.


It appears that the Power Company's (Richard Gray) RGPC systems are highly regarded by many formum members as is Equi=tech's products specifically their model 5Q.


The impression that I have (again I know enough to be stupid) is that these two companys make products that do different things and inorder to optimize the quality and periodic heavy amp requirements that my system will require, that both systems should be installed. Is this correct?


If it is, is there a right and wrong way to do this?


Any advice would be appreciated.


Thanks


Ron
 

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Unless you need 50 million outlets I would scratch the power conditioner idea. What you need is to enhance common mode rejection with what you already have. I suggest you try the following...Use either 12ga stranded or 10ga. Twist 1 ground wire around the first hot conductor. Next twist another ground wire around the other hot conductor. Tie the ground wires together at each end. You just created the perfect balanced power cable. The interaction between the hot and ground will enhance common mode rejection. Now you don't need a power conditioner.


NOTE: This is an excellent upgrade for 110v as well. Gives the impression you just installed a Synergistic Research AC Master Coupler from the service panel to the wall outlet. This is a 2 thumbs up cheap tweak.
 

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Nice "cheap tweak" for a power cable and (partial) 60 hz. noise rejection, but it does NOTHING for high-frequency noise filtration, which imo, is the far worse culprit in most systems, nor does this tweak offer any surge/spike protection.


While far short of "50 million outlets", Ronald is showing *at least* eleven pieces of equipment needing a high-quality line conditioner. And not all line conditioners are created equal. While beneficial in many systems (both sonically and visually), the Richard Gray is less a line conditioner and more a line "enhancer", and I don't believe offers any surge/spike protection. The Equi-tech is a balanced design, as is the Cine-pro and some other highly-regarded brands. I have no direct experience with these products so I cannot comment further on them. Many people are very satisfied with their performance. Keep in mind that every environment (sometimes) has unique power requirements, and what may work very well in one may be so-so in another. I realize this doesn't help nail things down, but it is always best to try before you buy, and find the "right" equipment for your setup.



Food for thought.


alan m. kafton

audio excellence az
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your comments and suggestions.


I think the main problem I am having in trying to get a grasp on what a proper set-up would consist of, centers on the many different terms that are used by the forum members and product manufacturers in describing various power problems and their solutions.


As an example, is a line conditioner the same as a power conditioner. For someone with the expertise its probably a stupid question but from my perspective, I have no clue. I read about the importance of providing a constant voltage with a proper sine wave (no flat spots on the top or bottom), but when reading product literature its difficult for me to determine whether the product corrects a bad sine wave or not.


It seems like their are 20 or so problems that can occur with a power supply and each problem has one or more "terms" that are used to describe it. When reading product literature it is difficult for me to determine which problems a particullar product corrects.


Thus the original question about Richard Gray's RGPC versus Equi=tech's products. It appears that they correct different problems. Is this true? Are their problems that they don't correct?


Things become even more difficult when you read comments that some devices actually end up limiting the amount of power that your system is getting when one product is used in conjuntion with another.


Alan Mahers tweak my be the greatest thing since sliced bread but quite frankly I don't know what common mode rejection is and why its important any more than why analog devices should be separated from digital.


I'm taking my home theater from what was a pretty good system to one that approachs the best. Its easy picking out the best components and putting them together. I know the best components in the world are not going to function as good as they should when they are connected to a bad power supply.


Is there a list of say the top 10 or so things that I should be concerned about and which products on the market or system tweaks that can be used to correct them and is there a proper way to connect them together?


Thanks again.


Ron
 

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Ok AK lets go head to head.


1. First of all his service panel will offer better surge and spike protection by a wide margin compared to what these little boxes use. Any qualified electrician can help him with that for a couple extra bucks.


2. As for noise rejection all he needs to do is run 220v from his service panel to the outlet. He can use a variac to step the power down to match his equipment (I think anyone who understands power requirements and quality will agree with me). If at the end of the day he still thinks he needs component isolation to reduce the internal spikes or noise from the switching power supplies he can always buy a isolation filter.


AK it's always good to see you in a conversation :) Off the subject...how is the new Jena Labs Power Strip/Power Conditioner coming along. Have you seen any demo models?



Ron,


Talk to your electrican about what he can do about spike protection. Next I suggest you take a look at a couple professional businesses that deal with designing and manufacturing of medical and lab grade power products. One suggestion would be for you look at www.elect-spec.com to see what they offer. I use the tabletop variac and the ISO-21 in most of my HT systems I design (I haven't found much better at any price). Frank also supplies some good literature to read that explains about lightning surges and what you need to do to protect yourself. You will be rather surprised when you read the literature.
 

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To answer your question...power conditioners are designed to deal with certain frequency bands. Not all handle the same issues...sorry to say. Balanced power conditioners perform common mode rejection...they don't do anything else. Common mode happens when power goes up stream to the component via the hot conductor. In the case of 60/60 that would be both the hot and neutral (2nd hot conductor in balanced power). The shield or ground (pending cord design) in the power cord is tied at the components chassis. All transformers leak current via the center tap to the chassis. This small amount of energy travels down the ground wire in your power cord. the magnetic reaction between the energy going up the hot and down the ground creates common mode rejection. Some power cords will deal with this better than others...it's all in the design.


The problem you run into with 60/60 power conditioners is the fact they are still effected by voltage sags. When the voltage drops or increases over the components accepted power rating (110v to 117v) this reaction creates excessive noise in the component. Each components power supply will react differently. This is the area where power regeneration might play a role. The idea of this type of product is very good. I don't know how good it is at the Monster and PSAudio level, but the professional units made for the medical industry are designed to handle long periods of voltage drops. But understand these units cost several thousands of dollars. I have yet to see a regenerator product work for extended periods of time under that price. This is the main reason why I suggested the variac. If you input 220/240v (from the service panel to the outlet) into the unit you can regulate the output. These units are exceptionally good at maintaining the proper output.


Another issue power conditioners CAN do is component isolation. This is a good way to reduce the noise interaction caused by your standard switching power supply in dvd player as an example. The frequency bandwidth (level of isolation) of a/v units are in question. I suggested the ISO-21 because it's bandwidth is from 10KHz to 250MHz. Any filter in the 10KHz range is designed for switching power supplies. The bandwidth of the filters on the commercial market (Corcom, Kleen Line, etc) will range from 10KHz-30MHZ to 10KHz-250MHz with the later offering superior performance. In most consumer a/v units you don't see this level of performance unless you pay upwards to $3500. But every once in awhile you do find a couple maximum bang for the buck products out there. Word of advise...power enhancement products are not one of them.
 

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Hey Alan......now *that's* a great explanation of things (above). Lots of good information. And your first name ain't bad either.


Thanks for asking about the Jena Labs power conditioner. The production prototypes are being built as we speak, and I should have one in my hands by the end of next week for break-in and auditioning. If you want to know the skinny on things, send me a private e-mail.


alan m. kafton

audio excellence az
 
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