Power Conditioner Necessary?

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

  1. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

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    I use power surge protectors on all of my gear......just a little insurance.
     
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  2. Westy56

    Westy56 A symphony of paradox

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    I think my furman ar-pro manual says that if one hits close it probably won't be able to protect.
    Maybe some other types might, but I don't know of any.
     
  3. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    I believe from living in the upper NE. end of FL.`s "Lightning Alley" for over 50 years that starting with a very good low resistance ground and "high quality" protection devices, starting at the power meter & every other wire(cable, sat., TV ant.,land line, etc.) that enters the dwelling + one installed at the load center(circuit breaker panel), with protectors at each outlet that equipment is plugged into and any cables feeding all TV`s signal..

    This method has worked perfectly for me since I was struck by lightning in the summer of 1997..
    All my electronic devices that were plugged into protectors had no failures, and some are still in use.

    Even when lightning struck and killed a 75 ft. pine tree 25 ft. from my house in 2002, there was no damage to any electrical device in my house, of which there are many and remain plugged in and some run 24/7/365 for decades.

    There is an very informative IEEE paper titled "how to lightning proof your house" that can be found on the web.

    I operate 10`s of thousands $ worth of HT electronics during the most intense thunder storms with no concern about damage.
    But I have implemented all the IEEE guidelines to the letter..

    IMHO/E It can be done successfully, but it has to be done absolutely correct, with zero omissions of the procedures.

    But this is what I do, and for you to do so, do at your own risk.


    Good luck, OKB
     
  4. try1256

    try1256 Super Member

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    That's curious since they have a pretty pricey one in their product line.
     
  5. jayvis

    jayvis Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that Engineering and Sales/Marketing are completely different animals. They aren't always in agreement.
     
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  6. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This was always my understanding but never personally tested thank goodness. I was always “told” when purchasing them that they “take the bullet”.
     

     

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  7. runnin17

    runnin17 Member

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    Well they are a business. People tend to purchase things even if they have a placebo effect. Who wouldn't make something if people are going to buy it? :D
     
  8. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Do you necessarily need a 1200wpc amplifier? Perhaps not, but McIntosh would be more than happy to sell you one.
     
  9. try1256

    try1256 Super Member

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    I am sure they want to sell all of them that they can, so it seems rather counter Intuitive that they would say that they are unnecessary. Power conditioners are not required. Any system will work plugged directly into the wall. I have just found that my system sounds much better when the power is cleaner. YMMV.
     
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  10. MAC TED

    MAC TED Addicted Member

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    I've been using a PS Audio Quintet for the last 8 years. Unfortunately, they've apparently been discontinued for quite a while.
     
  11. Mike Gibson

    Mike Gibson Modulator Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    Years ago I bought a APC H-15 because of the voltage swings where I live. It varies from 111v to 127v. I use a original 275 on horns and was told it doesn't like swings that wild. It holds the voltage steady @ 117v. Any other conditioning it might do is a bonus to me.
     
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  12. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Hands Off The Stereo Subscriber

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    Mine saved my rig years ago. The main supply wire broke loose from the mast on the roof in a storm. The wire landed on the steel pole, Shorting. A Monster 3500 MK I went into alarm, And shut everything down. Been a believer every since. Not so sure of sound improvement, But for safety, Definitely
     
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  13. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    Same has happened here, many times.
    From multiple high wind power line blips/dropouts, to the time my pole mounted drop transformer blew up in the mid 2000`s one cold morning & scores of lightning hits on the local main power grid for decades.
    Quality protection is cheap insurance, but like I said before: a very good low resistance ground is paramount to drain off to ground the spikes/surges/noise, for the protective/conditioner devices to do their job.

    Kind regards, OKB
     
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  14. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Hands Off The Stereo Subscriber

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    Agree. I have twin copper rods, And 2 dedicated rig grounded outlets. Not taking anymore chances
     
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  15. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    As far as switching and timed outlets on a conditioner is concerned, I just-tonight- had a reminder of why delay and switching features are paramount with older tube gear (besides older Mcamps not having power switches).
    I just got a Berning TF-10 preamp that has sat for a little while (and has 10- 35 year old massive 100uf 350v Mallory caps in the power supply) . I cleaned the sockets and pots, tested it and it seemed to work perfectly. Eager as I am, I put it into my Urei/ 2205 system (Mc relevance), and went to listening.

    After about 20 minutes I wanted to roll the tubes and hit the power button on my Rotel conditioner (which has only 2 delayed outlets as opposed to my HTS5000 which is fully programmable) and the power amp was not going off immedialty...and I realized in my haste I hadn’t plugged the amp into one of the delayed outlets (10 second delay on and instant off with button while the preamp stays on for another 10 seconds) and the preamp kicked off with the power amp and I got the worst pop I have ever heard. Luckily each speaker has 4 fuses so I wasn’t panicked (and neither fuse blew), but moving the amp over to the timed outlet where it should have been has negated any noises the preamp makes on startup or shutdown.

    My PSAudio doesn’t have the switching or delay features (always on), so I have found it useless for my needs other than as a filtered wall outlet- and I never use it.

    I think moral of the story is that power conditioner = good ergonomics for switching, good insurance for surges, and delay features are a necessity with older tube preamps that like to make terrifying noises.

    Oh, and never listen to anyone who tells you to bypass the fuses in speakers because the fuse degrades the sound- they should place their order for replacement factory tweeters now before the manufacturer discontinued them.
     
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  16. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    Good for you, well done Sir.

    It is best to have a single point ground though, referenced to the house`s main electrical ground to avoid the possibility of ground conductivity difference between the two ground systems during a surge or spike, especially very large ones.
    From all I`ve read..

    In my case, with over 20(I originally had a lot of HF, scanner antenna poles) 8 ft. copper clad earthing rods spaced around 3/4ths of the outside of my house, they are all connected back to the original house`s meter rod via a unbroken run of # 8 copper that`s looped to each rods cast bronze clamp.
    Plus 4 that I drove into the soil below my living room`s HT rack before the pre-existing planter was filled with concrete, and they where all tied together with # 8, which was brought out protected with fish tank hose(because lime can corrode copper) to a aluminum1"X1"X17" tapped for wire attachment ground buss bar and tied into the 10 ga. 20 amp breaker dedicated 120 volt outlet feed for my HT rack, all installed since 1995..

    That`s why my insurance company and I are not concerned about electrical damage to many 10`s of thousands of dollars worth of operating electronics, though everybody else might not have the same level of protection. so go with what you feel is best for you folks..

    Take care.

    Kind regards, OKB
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  17. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Jeeez, you aren’t messing around!
     
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  18. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    Nope, no messing are around here, that kind of mind set got me the handle OKB( Over Kill Bill) many years ago, even by county building inspectors !! :)

    "Lightning Alley" isn`t forgiving, nor does it have any sense of humor !!

    Take care jwrosenthal.
    Kind regards, OKB
     
  19. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Hands Off The Stereo Subscriber

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    Think there tied together. Going to check on that, Thanks
     
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  20. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    Very good Sir. and your most welcome.

    It seems to make sense to me from all the but load of research I`ve read since I got hit in 97.

    It`s the split second spike/surge voltage rise that eats electronics while trying to drain to ground, and the longer that takes, the more likely damage will happen, and possibly two non bonded electrical ground reference points might allow sustained high current drain with higher damaging voltages developed.
    Take care.
    OKB
     
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