Power Conditioner Necessary?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by drillher, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. drillher

    drillher AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have a vintage Mc275 that I have plugged into a power bar.Should I consider a power conditioner,and if so,what are some good options that are not super expensive?Thanks,
    Dave
     

     

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  2. samurai7595

    samurai7595 Member

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  3. jayvis

    jayvis Well-Known Member

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    Check out the PS Audio Dectet for all of your components except your power amp. The amp is better off being plugged directly into your wall receptacle.
     
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  4. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    When at an audio event at a McIntosh dealer, this is what a McIntosh engineer stated - the above. Power conditioning can be used for all but the amp, the amp needs none.
     
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  5. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Power Conditioner Necessary?

    No, it's your choice

    Mac recommends plugging in straight into the wall.
    I have also seen many cases where it presented problems in the system. I try and stay away from new mass market strips.

    Maybe, but I have also seen many cases where it presented problems in the system. Cheap would not be the goal here IMHO
     
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  6. Snappahead

    Snappahead AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have one. Honestly I don't hear a difference and I doubt anyone could. That said, it makes me feel better that my equipment is protected even though I rarely have power surges in my home. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on one. I have a Monster and it was a couple hundred bucks. I think that's plenty to spend on one.
     

     

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  7. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have always used them. There is a big difference between power conditioners, regenerators UPS, etc and there are as many options as there are opinions on the matter.

    I have run MC30’s for years and the lack of a power switch has always been an issue (I don’t use the switched outlets on preamps-have has problems). I use the older Monster HTS line of conditioners (which are basically glorified power strips with some filtering) which have one button on one button off for the whole systems The best of the bunch are the HTS3500 or HTS5000, either MkI or MKII on either (they has slightly different options) and have switched and unswitched outlets. These are long discontinued so eBay is pretty much the only option. Below is the 3500mkII
    C290B8CF-F8E8-4E55-948B-E0396631E6EE.jpeg

    The 5000 is my favorite as it has programmable delay for each pair of outlet for either 6 or 20 seconds (the 3500 only has the 6 second delay) and for tube preamps without muting circuits- this is an imperative. Also outlets are programmable for switched or I switched (programmable on these are just dipswitches-very low tech and nothing to fail). The HTS line have 2 high current outlets which are designed for power amps.
    Below is the 5000mkII
    90625792-862E-47AB-8FD9-0DE4A5BFD4FD.jpeg

    Also if your house gets hit with a surge after a summer brown-out or bolt of lightening, the conditioner takes the hit. Cheap insurance from my perspective.
     
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  8. a_retent

    a_retent Daddy's little shadow Subscriber

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    Audio Research also recommends plugging their amps directly into the wall receptacle. I do however have all the rest of my stuff plugged into TrippLite or Panamax units, the AC grid sux here.
     
  9. PabloX

    PabloX AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you're really worried about it, get an APC UPS, specifically a line interactive type. I'm pretty dubious of any sound improvements but protection is another factor.
     
  10. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This and the single push button start is why I do it. I trust that ARC and Mc have full confidence in their transformers being able to filter DC, but I don’t trust BG&E to not dip my power to104v then spike it with 127v in the peak of summer- I’ve watched the meter on my PC dance before.
    I know a guy who lost his 2105 & c28 while listening to music during a thunderstorm-
    Blew every light bulb that was on and fried the Mc gear leaving scorch marks on the outlet. a hit that hard and fast blew right past the internal fuses.
     
  11. drillher

    drillher AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for the information.I talked to a dealer last Saturday that told be that I was nuts to be plugging my Mc275 directly into the wall.It shows how much he knows!
     

     

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  12. motorstereo

    motorstereo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    ^^^^^Perhaps he was looking to sell you a conditioner? FWIW I've been running all my Mac amps plugged into the wall for several years now with no problems. The rest of the electronics with less current draw go through a Belkin conditioner.
     
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  13. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Again my only concern is the unforeseen electrical events to which I have been witnes. Rather my Monster Conditiner explode than my
    stack of gear. Just remember to unplug it at the first sign of real weather.
     
  14. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    Taking the "sounds better or not" out of the equation, a good quality power conditioner...emphasis on the "good quality" is cheap insurance against any crazy fluctuations. A much more expensive power conditioner will also ensure the longest possible life of your electronic components by feeding them a clean sine wave. But real power conditioners are expensive and often noisy. And expensive. Did I mention expensive?

    http://www.furmanpower.com/

    To answer the question, IMO it is not necessary. Most electronics have a power supply that handles slight power fluctuations. If lightning strikes your house, that's a different story.

    But to be completely transparent... despite what I just said... I have a LOT of power conditioners. :)
     
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  15. LotusFool

    LotusFool Active Member

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    I original plugged my MC 225 into the back of my C33 pre-amp. It seemed logical. One button push turns everything on or off. Then somebody explained to me the outlets on the back of the C33 should only be used for low amperage things like CD player or a TT. So I made a dedicated circuit for the amp, and it improved the sound a lot.
    It also helps a LOT to keep light dimmers and florescent lights off when the amp is on. Phone chargers and modems too. I've read that no power conditioner will remove the "noise" these devises will put into the AC. I can't afford a power conditioner anyway, so for me I just keep these things off when listening to music.
     
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  16. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have always plugged my power amp into the wall directly. I haven't heard any sound improvement plugging into an AC conditioner. And McIntosh has said not to bother.
     
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  17. Westy56

    Westy56 A symphony of paradox

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    AC power regulation has been very beneficial on my tube stuff. The benefit is steady bias from an extremely swinging incoming AC source.
    The conditioner part has helped with switching noise from my swamp cooler.
     
  18. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

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    I learned a valuable lesson some years ago after losing most of my gear during a lightning storm. I also had to replace the main breaker panel. I'm lucky the damn house didn't burn down.

    Now, all my gear is plugged into power centers (Furman) to protect it from voltage spikes and to remove the voltage fluctuations.

    The two units are plugged into their own dedicated 30 amp circuits. I've also installed a whole house voltage protection regulator.
     
  19. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    Like MannyE, I too, have lots of power conditioners/surge/spike protection.
    I special ordered (2) 20 amp 240 volt Panamax ones to protect/filter my (2) 240 volt wired MC 1201`s that are re -fused at 10 amps per factory that are used in my living room system.
    They are marked for high current 240 volt industrial laser printers that are prolific power line noise generators, with 12ga in and out pigtails, on which I installed 20 amp/240 volt male and female Hubble plugs and inline female sockets for each amp.

    They are very heavy duty devices, and were not inexpensive, and weigh probably close to 5 lbs. ea...
    But with the price of the 2 purchased new Mac MC 1201`s @ over $13,000.00, I felt they are very cheap insurance, and do not starve those amps at all..
    I can put my ear up to the 2 12" speakers in the Mac XRT-30`s bass cabinets with nothing actively playing, but powered up with my HVAC, air compressor, water heater elements cycling, or 25 kw whole house generator running and hear zero clicks or other noises..
    When I e-mail conversed with Mac in late 2003 about their global stance about plugging amps straight into outlets, the gentleman confessed after I pressed him, that the main reason, is a lot of people don`t purchase a high enough current rated, or in my case, over current rated conditioner/surge/spike protector, so the under sized units will starve the amps mains under dynamic and loud music passages.
    Not in my case..

    YMMD.

    Kind regards, OKB
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  20. mnmmt

    mnmmt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Does anyone know if these types of conditioners will protect against a massive surge caused by a storm or a power line transformer failing? It is my understanding that a lightning surge will blow right through a conditioner or surge protector and hit whatever is plugged into it, whether it is on or off.
     

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