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Monster Power Conditioner?

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sleepysurf

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FYI... buy.com is offering what looks to be a pretty good deal on the Monster
Power HTS3500 MKII ($120 after $50 rebate). I've read mixed reviews in various audio forums debating *REAL* benefits of adding a power conditioner, and know that Monster products tend to be overhyped/overpriced. However, at this price, the deal is tempting. What are y'alls opinions on Power Conditioners in general, and this Monster product in particular?

P.S. I'm talking about using it for my Sunfire Amp, Squeezebox, and (back-ordered) Benchmark DAC1, *NOT* for my ML's.
 
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DTB300

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Jeff Z. just picked up one by APC (H15?) and found it to make a nice difference to his sound. I have the Monster and thought it made a slight change when hooked up (Pre, CD, etc - not power amps).

I have great respect for APC due to using their products on our computers at work, and now that they make one for home video/audio, when I get the $$$, I may pick up the same model that Jeff got.

Dan
 
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dyazdani

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I have the Monster HTS5000 (next step up) - I like it, it makes a difference in the noise level for sure. Not a bad price for a decent set-up.

I have heard good things about the APC unit Dan speaks of. I will probably try one of them next time if I don't build my own.
 

Joey_V

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I have the Monster 3500mk2 power center that I got for 119 after the $50 rebate... I havent done some real nitpicky listening with or without it... however, with it, my Vantages have almost zero pinknoise when nothing is playing. I hear nothing... I heard more at the dealer when they were powering their Vantages with $10K worth of equipment and no power center.

When I get my new Vantages (again), I will do a comparison with and without the power center.

The main reason why I got one was due to the good deal and because my apartment has power-swings..... and little surges that blow half my lights on a regular/bi-weekly basis.

Joey
 

sleepysurf

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As if on cue, I just got a "you haven't ordered from us in a while, so here's a 10% off any purchase" coupon from buy.com today! Figured it was an omen, so went ahead and ordered the HTS3500 MKII. Now gotta make some room for that baby!
 

Joey_V

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I must admit... it does look cool with its analog volt meter in the front!

Have fun with your new power center! :)
 

Reverb

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I have a Monster HTPS-7000 in my system, before it I had a HTS-5000. I did notice a decent change in over system performance with the 5000 and I saw the same jump again when I changed to the 7000. The 7000 has duel balanced transformers on the digital and analog power ports, that help step up the power conditioning over the filters.

The monster Power products are good but there are better products like the PS audio power plants that will give you up to 70 db in noise reduction compared to Monsters 20 to 25 db.
 

sleepysurf

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Well, the PS Audio products range from $500 on up to thousands. I'd rather put those $$ towards an eventual pair of Vantages (maybe even Summits). However, I don't mind shelling out ~$110 for the Monster unit, as it provides $100k in surge protection coverage to boot (I know, I know, gotta read the fine print!).
 

Reverb

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sleepysurf said:
Well, the PS Audio products range from $500 on up to thousands. I'd rather put those $$ towards an eventual pair of Vantages (maybe even Summits). However, I don't mind shelling out ~$110 for the Monster unit, as it provides $100k in surge protection coverage to boot (I know, I know, gotta read the fine print!).
Buy what makes YOU happy sleepysurf, that’s what it is all about. You can get good deals on PS audio products off of Audiogon and AudioAdvisor from time to time.
 

tonyc

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I agree with Zip on this issue. I own a HTPS 7000 which I use in the big rig and an HTS 5100 which I use in my ML based HT system. I do hear a difference in the sound, especially with the HTPS 7000. Certainly the noise floor is lower but there is a small loss in tranparency. Everything played through the Monster is a bit more distant and very slightly "mellower" (for lack of a better adjective) than with no power conditioner at all. That said I live in Texas where every spring brings thunderstorms and the occasional tornado which wreaks havoc with the electrical grid. My electricity service is "iffy" even in noninclement weather and I have observed huge swings in voltage as measured by the HTPS 7000 so I feel more secure with it in the system. I am sure there are better (but probably more costly) solutions out there, however I feel the Monster equipment is fairly priced. Whether it improves the sound is dependent of course on the state of your local electrical service and on your associated electronics. I felt the Monster slightly squashed the dynamics of my Rowland amp so I still run it naked (with fingers crossed). The PS Audio stuff can sound really good in systems which do not overwhelm its capacity. Even the 500 watt version I tried in my sytem went totally nuts trying to power my arc ref 3 preamp (which uses a 20 amp cord)that is a fairly current hungry component. So try BEFORE you buy. I plan to try a Shunyata soon and will let you know what I think.
 
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Jeff Zaret

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The model I bought was the APC H15. I felt for the money and what it offered compared to the Monster it was a better buy. Yes, it did improve the noise floor and I did notice a difference. That is just my opinion. Are there better conditioners, yes but nothing I can afford or would spend my money on.

Jeff :cool:
 

Cherian

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I am an engineer for a power conditioner company. The only thing I suggest is get a power conditioner with a very low impedance (large) Isolation transformer and good filtering on the secondary of the transformer. Something from Oneac, Teal or Powervar is best. I have done testing 10 ways to Sunday on Power conditioners and noting beats an Isolation transformer with good matched filtering. A good power conditioner will have a filter curve as follows: At 1 kHZ roll off starts 90 kHz –70 to –80 db of attenuation. This is measured between line and neutral of the secondary. Because of the isolation transformer the secondary neutral of the transformer should be bonded to ground making a virtual Kelvin bond. This means –100 db of attenuation between neutral and ground from 60 Hz to over 5 MHz.
 

DTB300

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Cherian said:
I am an engineer for a power conditioner company.
Cherian....Thanks for the insightfull post on Power Conditioners. BTW, have you seen or heard anything on the Felicia DIY Balanced Power Conditioner that is getting a lot of talk and discussion over at Audio Circles? Here is the thread:

http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=18443

Here is the thread on the schematics for the unit:

http://www.audiocircle.com./circles/viewtopic.php?t=18441&sid=8fde56b5616010155d6f2364fe935806

Then this link was from someone who actually did a build of the unit with all his trials and tribulations that he ran into:

http://www.geocities.com/ghaunadaur99/audio/felicia.html

I would be curious on your take, if you have the time to read through the thread on these units. Being an electronics idiot when it comes to resistors, filters, transformers etc. I would not know if what I am reading is spoof or reality.

Thanks,
Dan
 

Cherian

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We have evaluated the EquiTech balanced power conditioner. This uses an isolation transformer and secondary is center tapped making 60VAC between Hot and ground, 60 VAC between Neutral and Ground and 120 VAC between Line and neutral. I feel this approach is just OK for an amplifier. It will cancel any low frequency hum produced by the amplifier power supply by the way of common mode canceling. However this will do very little if anything to protect the amp, pre-amp, and any other associated electronics from damage from the outside world. The EquiTech (balanced power conditioner) unit did have basic surge suppression and some EMI filtering. Most surge suppressors do not clamp voltage below 350 V Peak. So if a 6000 V positive going spike were to come into an EquiTech (balanced power conditioner) unit on the negative part of the sine-wave this unit would let through over 600 volts. If you are building a recording studio the I say go with a isolation transformer based power conditioner on the front end and the EquiTech on the back end. For High-end home audio nothing will beat a good well matched low impedance isolation transformer and filter.

The design of the Felicia Power conditioner is very good. However one would need some very very low impedance transformers, because placing two transformers in serise would add the impedance of the transformers together. The only two things I would add is add a TVSS circuit (transient voltage surge suppressor) to the primary of the first transformer and I would also add a neutral to ground bond on the secondary of the first transformer. If you do these two things you have a formidable power conditioner.

Again great care must be made in the transformer design. Once the transformer is designed one can use the leakage inductance of the transformer to design a very nice L-C filter.
 
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abhijit

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DTB300 said:
Cherian....Thanks for the insightfull post on Power Conditioners. BTW, have you seen or heard anything on the Felicia DIY Balanced Power Conditioner that is getting a lot of talk and discussion over at Audio Circles? Here is the thread:

http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=18443

Here is the thread on the schematics for the unit:

http://www.audiocircle.com./circles/viewtopic.php?t=18441&sid=8fde56b5616010155d6f2364fe935806

Then this link was from someone who actually did a build of the unit with all his trials and tribulations that he ran into:

http://www.geocities.com/ghaunadaur99/audio/felicia.html

I would be curious on your take, if you have the time to read through the thread on these units. Being an electronics idiot when it comes to resistors, filters, transformers etc. I would not know if what I am reading is spoof or reality.

Thanks,
Dan

Hi, I am using MIT Zcenter for my Pre-amp, CD player, Tuner and SL3s. I have connected SA-102 directly to a dedicaetd 20 Amp AC line. What's your opinion?
 

as350_b3

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I employ 2 APC H15s in my system and can speak positively of them.

The main reasons I purchased the H15s were
1) overvoltage in my new neighborhood (sometimes up to 128 VAC),
2) the summer thunderstorms in Central FL wreak havoc on the power grid, and
3) i don't approve of some of the predatory business practices exhibited by Monster Cable, Inc.

The H15s are definitely worth the $$$. The only thing I would do different is I'd only buy one H15 instead of 2. It turns out that a single H15 is more than capable of handling all the power requirements of a 5.1/2.0 system. Even at high volume levels listening to my Odysseys and Krell equipment, a single H15 can keep up no problem. I never see it at more than approximately 30% rated capacity.

I can also speak highly of APC's customer service/Tech Support. The first H15 was not functioning properly (it consistently reduced output voltage to 112 VAC, even when input voltage was acceptable) and the techs at APC were extremely helpful in troubleshooting and eventually replacing one of my H15s.
 

Jeff Zaret

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as350_b3,
I too have a H15 and think it is great. I felt for the money it was better than Monster. I have two small Monster"floor models" I forgot which model numbers but I them as extensions to the H15 where some of my components can not reach. Basicall everything ends at the H15 and so far no issuesand am extremely pleased!

Jeff :cool:
 

Craig

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I have a Chang Litespeed and a Monster Pro 3500 that bought in a local guitar store. I don't care for the company in general but I think the Monster does a fine job for the dollar. More importantly surge protection is very important here in Florida especially with all the sudden summer thunderstorms we get here. The Monsters have a relatively high Joules rating which gives me a better comfort factor. Why not plug your MLs into it as well? However, nothing works better than unplugging your gear when lightning is threatning but the Monster stuff is at least pretty good protection.

Speaking of surge protection, I recommend having a ZAP CAP installed from Tampa Electric (TECO). That does a great job of protecting your household from major surges. FL power is said to be very dirty.

Also, the local Sound Advice now carries the Panamax line which may be comparable if not better.

By the way, when you get a free minute bring your DAC over so we can do some evaluating with the Slim Designs SB3 direct into my amps and Summits.
 

LaserMark4

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Belkin launched a new unit last year called PureAV Power Consoles, specifically designed for HT. They provide filter circuitry, surge and spike protection for over voltage, triggering by banks and type of device, etc.

I picked up this Model PF 60 which I think exceeds the Monster specs and have been very pleased with.

Althought they list for $750 USD, you can find them online for under $300. Here's a review on LA Audiofile of the unit: Review.

I agree that Panamax is also a great unit.....for a bit more $$.

Finally, here's the manual if you want to dig deeper--
 

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