Niagara 1200, worth it?

B

Bob257

Audioholic Intern
I currently (punny!) have a simple "conditioner/surge protector", which I think is also an Audioquest product. It's the 300? Anyway, I was thinking about whether or not the Niagara 1200 would be worthwhile or would it just be a very expensive surge protector? I saw some videos where no difference could be detected. I'm running a Luxman 507uxii integrated and to my ears I can't hear noise. Of course I'm 70 so....
what are your thoughts?
 
B

Bob257

Audioholic Intern
Interesting video. Okay, then what good surge protector would you suggest if I don't need to "condition"?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Interesting video. Okay, then what good surge protector would you suggest if I don't need to "condition"?
It helps to have an electronic background to understand the need for power conditioning. Take a look at the inside of your Luxman amp here. That is a very high end amp with quality engineering and components. It contains a large, very well regulated power supply. Your line voltage in your house could fluctuate by +/- 5 volts or more and your amp would not even blink an eye. Do you believe that Luxman would charge $10k for an amp that can not handle minor line voltage fluctuations? ... Me neither. All modern electronics can handle voltage fluctuations at the line and power conditioners and protectors make no audible difference.

Expensive power conditioning for home audio is usually wasted money. If you are concerned about surges damaging your equipment, the APC and Tripp-lite brands get the job done, but you need to match the rated power output to your equipment. Downside is that those UPS brands don't look great. For home audio power conditioning you are paying a lot of money for aesthetics, but that can be an important consideration for some if you can't hide the UPS somewhere.

Most UPS models offer surge protection and battery backup power for power failures. The better ones also offer power conditioning as well. This should be a consideration in rural areas or in large cities where brown outs can occur as it will boost the voltage back up to standard levels.

The Niagara 1200 only has surge protection and noise filtering. There is no battery backup power, hence limited line conditioning, and how noise filtering on an AC line improves the output on an amp is rather questionable. It's basically a $1000 surge protector. A UPS with line conditioning offers more benefits for a lot less money.

If you are only concerned about surges, there are surge protectors that wire directly into your breaker panel with the benefit of protecting the entire house.
 
B

Bob257

Audioholic Intern
What would your thoughts be about power regenerators, like the ones made by PS audio? A better alternative?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
What would your thoughts be about power regenerators, like the ones made by PS audio? A better alternative?
I look at this logically. The power supply built into all audio gear already does a great job supplying clean DC voltage to the internals. That's all the power supply does. Convert the AC line voltage to DC, and that is already filtered and regulated within the power supply. Few people really need power conditioning of any sort. It really depends upon how reliable the power is in your area.

If you are subjected to brown outs or low line voltage, I would consider power conditioning. If the supply is consistent quality, then I would just worry about surges, and a whole home surge protector will safe guard the whole house. They have shown those on This Old House and require a licensed electrician.

As to the PS Audio Regenerators, it's certainly beautiful gear and well engineered, but it's way overkill, not to mention that the Power Plant 12 is around $5k. A $500 Smart-UPS from APC would achieve the same thing as far as your Luxman amp goes. You won't hear the difference. It comes down to whether you can hide that black box or not, as a UPS is utilitarian. If you want something to match the looks of your Luxman, then you'll have to spend the big bucks for a nice design. The old issue of form over function.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
What would your thoughts be about power regenerators, like the ones made by PS audio? A better alternative?
Why do you think you need one? Do you have some extraordinarily bad power or just reading about how "audiophiles" battle such a generally non-existent problem?
 
B

Bob257

Audioholic Intern
More from reading I'm afraid! LOL! Has anyone heard of the Paramax m5400? I saw that on Crutchfield and could buy one for $500 through Amazon. I THINK the power is relatively consistent here though not entirely sure. No brown outs.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Just get yourself a good UPS that will take your gear off the main line if there's any surge or brownout. You don't need anything else, and frankly, it really sounds like you don't even need that! But if you are worried, it will give you time to shut things down properly and unplug them if necessary.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
More from reading I'm afraid! LOL! Has anyone heard of the Paramax m5400? I saw that on Crutchfield and could buy one for $500 through Amazon. I THINK the power is relatively consistent here though not entirely sure. No brown outs.
Best way, if you own your home, is a whole house surge protector. Panamax I've heard of but no experience with. I've not used anything but simple power strips with surge protection in many many years of use of audio (and video) gear at home....I'm not in a lightning prone area or one with power issues so no whole home surge protection installed either. Power supplies in much audio gear can take care of reasonable fluctuations/issues. YMMV.

ps Further thoughts in these threads
 
K

Kleinst

Senior Audioholic
More from reading I'm afraid! LOL! Has anyone heard of the Paramax m5400? I saw that on Crutchfield and could buy one for $500 through Amazon. I THINK the power is relatively consistent here though not entirely sure. No brown outs.
No but I have bought 2 5300s for ~50-100 each and for that, they are great surge protectors. People realize they don't need them and sell them cheap at times. I'd wait to find one of those cheap

In the meantime a Trip Lite Isobar probably will do the trick just fine

Oh also, since I like spending money on things I might not need, I did get a whole home for ~$450 installed. Has it helped? I have no idea but it's not a bad idea if you are going to stay in your home for a long long time as I hope to
 
B

Bob257

Audioholic Intern
I'm thinking of putting in a whole house surge protector. A "regular" power strip after that would/should be okay I imagine?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
I'm thinking of putting in a whole house surge protector. A "regular" power strip after that would/should be okay I imagine?
Yes, if you go whole home then you won't need surge protection on the power strip and a regular one will be fine. The Paramax at $500 would be a good deal as they retail for over $1k and it looks nice, but again, no battery backup in the case of brown outs or power failures. Not needed with "whole home" protector but you can't take those with you if you move. Having surge protection on the power strip won't be detrimental if you want double protection. The Trip Lite Isobar with 4 outlets is only $70 (and go up from there with more outlets).
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Samurai
What would your thoughts be about power regenerators, like the ones made by PS audio? A better alternative?
The audiophile equipment suppliers never fail to amaze with the things they invent. Save your money for something that matters.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Speaking of the BS Audio power thingie, here's some measurements and tests recently done by audiosciencereview
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
I had been checking out those reviews recently. Love seeing the scoop later out so blatantly clear…
Does nothing but suck up some power.

And your cash.
 
newsletter

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top