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Old 08-07-2014, 02:55 PM   #1
Visionist Visionist is offline
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Default Do subs need power protection?

If you have a surge protector, should you make every effort to ensure the sub is also connected to it?

It'll save me some hassle if I don't need to...
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:27 PM   #2
Tom V. Tom V. is offline
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Originally Posted by Visionist View Post
If you have a surge protector, should you make every effort to ensure the sub is also connected to it?

It'll save me some hassle if I don't need to...

Almost all modern electronics have built in "surge" protection these days. If anyone is seriously about home protection have a "whole house" surge protector installed at the main fuse box. These are surprisingly affordable too.

Also, some "surge" protectors/power conditioners can actually shorten the life span of electronics if they limit the available current. This is particularly true with power amplifiers(sub amps too).

Going straight to the wall AC output is fine 99.9% of the time.

Tom V.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom V. View Post
Almost all modern electronics have built in "surge" protection these days.

Also, some "surge" protectors/power conditioners can actually shorten the life span of electronics if they limit the available current. This is particularly true with power amplifiers(sub amps too).

Going straight to the wall AC output is fine 99.9% of the time.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Didn't know that.
Thanks Tom, as I was about to pickup some surge protectors.

However, if there are thunderstorms in the weather forecast, I have a habit of unplugging
all my electronic gear from the wall AC outlets.

Is that a good idea or totally unnecessary?
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:48 PM   #4
Blu-Dog Blu-Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcat4843 View Post
Didn't know that.
Thanks Tom, as I was about to pickup some surge protectors.

However, if there are thunderstorms in the weather forecast, I have a habit of unplugging
all my electronic gear from the wall AC outlets.

Is that a good idea or totally unnecessary?

I've heard it both ways, but I like surge protection. Especially if your sub amp rests in "standby" mode a lot.


It doesn't have to be fancy, just something that stops lightning from frying your amp.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
Tom V. Tom V. is offline
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Didn't know that.
Thanks Tom, as I was about to pickup some surge protectors.

However, if there are thunderstorms in the weather forecast, I have a habit of unplugging
all my electronic gear from the wall AC outlets.

Is that a good idea or totally unnecessary?
I've been in homes hit by lightning a couple times. If something catastrophic like this happens, your surge protection is going to be worthless imo. Unplugging can't hurt but remember all of the phone, lan, and sat/cable co-ax will also kill anything connected.

Also, if the power ever goes off, try to turn everything off/disconnect the AC. The in-rush when the power comes back on can cause problems too.

That isn't to say a VERY close strike couldn't introduce a surge into your AC though. A Basic "sacrificial" surge unit is fine. Just stay away from the "conditioners" or ANYTHING that could limit the current to device.

IMO, the cheaper surge protectors are fine the $10-$20 Belkins for example.

Paying $200-$300(and more) for those big "conditioners" is a waste of money and can actually do more harm than good.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio

Last edited by Tom V.; 08-12-2014 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:31 PM   #6
Tom V. Tom V. is offline
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Originally Posted by Blu-Dog View Post
I've heard it both ways, but I like surge protection. Especially if your sub amp rests in "standby" mode a lot.


It doesn't have to be fancy, just something that stops lightning from frying your amp.
Just remember if the home takes a direct lightning strike you're going to have ridiculously large amounts of energy there. Something like 100,000 amperes and a million to a billion volts arcing all over your home looking for the paths of least resitance. All the Sat/Cable box stuff is doomed and anything connected to them. Phone lines, Lan lines, Co-ax, etc. I guess having a surge protector in line can't hurt...I'm just not sure if we can really do much to counter a direct hit.

IMO, the "whole home" application (mounted directly into the main fuse box with HUGE grounds applied just a few feet away into the yard outside) is the way to go. I had one installed maybe 10(?) years ago and it was only a couple hundred IIRC.

Tom V.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:41 PM   #7
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Surge protection, or no serge protection can prevent an act of God.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:58 PM   #8
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Surge protection, or no serge protection can prevent an act of God.
Best thing to do IMO during a storm, UNPLUG ALL GEAR.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:36 AM   #9
Blu-Dog Blu-Dog is offline
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Quote:
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Best thing to do IMO during a storm, UNPLUG ALL GEAR.

If you're home...


But let's say you're in. And you hear that rumbling, and say, "Thank Goodness! Glad I'm here!" Then you run over to snatch the cord out of the wall, then....


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Old 08-13-2014, 01:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blu-Dog View Post
If you're home...


But let's say you're in. And you hear that rumbling, and say, "Thank Goodness! Glad I'm here!" Then you run over to snatch the cord out of the wall, then....


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Old 08-17-2014, 01:48 AM   #11
Steve Steve is offline
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Tom what are your thoughts on a UPS for an HT system? The reason I ask is because where I live afternoon thunderstorms are very common and often pop up with little or no warning. This often knocks out the power from a few seconds to several hours. A couple of days ago I was streaming something through the PS3 when a storm blew up and caused the power to flicker just enough to shut down the TV and PS3 but not the AV receiver. When I restarted the PS3 I get a warning message that it didn't shut down correctly and that it has to now go through a process to scan some file and this can take up to a few hours. Luckily it only took a few minutes. I'm not looking for anything to keep the system running so I can finish the last hour of a movie, but maybe something to keep things running long enough to shut everything down properly.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:29 PM   #12
Tom V. Tom V. is offline
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Tom what are your thoughts on a UPS for an HT system? The reason I ask is because where I live afternoon thunderstorms are very common and often pop up with little or no warning. This often knocks out the power from a few seconds to several hours. A couple of days ago I was streaming something through the PS3 when a storm blew up and caused the power to flicker just enough to shut down the TV and PS3 but not the AV receiver. When I restarted the PS3 I get a warning message that it didn't shut down correctly and that it has to now go through a process to scan some file and this can take up to a few hours. Luckily it only took a few minutes. I'm not looking for anything to keep the system running so I can finish the last hour of a movie, but maybe something to keep things running long enough to shut everything down properly.
Anything that needs to go through some sort of "shutdown sequence" like a PC, PS, XBox, etc...some sort of battery backup is fine. Anything that can draw a LOT of current(audio amps)...I would avoid putting anything in their AC path that could limit their draw.

Tom V.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom V. View Post
Anything that needs to go through some sort of "shutdown sequence" like a PC, PS, XBox, etc...some sort of battery backup is fine. Anything that can draw a LOT of current(audio amps)...I would avoid putting anything in their AC path that could limit their draw.

Tom V.
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Thanks. I might look into putting a UPS on my Xbox360 and PS3.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:41 PM   #14
Tom V. Tom V. is offline
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FYI,

Here is a decent "whole house" unit for about $80

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z9S974?psc=1

Tom V.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom V. View Post
FYI,

Here is a decent "whole house" unit for about $80

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z9S974?psc=1

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Thanks. I'll look into that.
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:18 AM   #16
mdetrick mdetrick is offline
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From my understanding surge protection comes in 2 flavors, sacrificial elements (generic Walmart) or non sacrificial elements (Furman etc.). I've been told the sacrificial element protectors only last about 5-7 years depending on the region you live in, before they are no better than an extension cord. I lost an amp on a cheap surge protector but have never had any issues with my Furman's. I'm not sure if it's luck or if they really make a difference.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:57 PM   #17
westom westom is offline
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Thanks. I might look into putting a UPS on my Xbox360 and PS3.
A UPS does not claim to protect from surge. Define the anomaly before choosing a solution.

For example, a blackout might delete unsaved data. So a UPS provides temporary and 'dirty' power so that data can be saved. 'Dirty' because all electronics already contain protection that makes that 'dirty' power irrelevant.

Some know a 2 centimeter part inside some protectors will stop what three miles of sky could not. Nopnsense.

Some know hundreds of joules inside a protector will absorb destructive surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules. Nonsense.

Some believe a protector is sacrificial. What really happens is protector parts disconnect from a surge fast enough to avert a house fire. Leaving that surge connected to adjacent appliances. Due to superior protection inside appliances, that surge does not do damage. But undersizing protectors get many to wildly speculate, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my ...". Nonsense. Electronics protected itself while that tiny surge destroyed an undersized plug-in protectors. It gets naive consumers to recommend it.

A 'whole house' solution was recommended. No protector does protection. That 'whole house' protector is effective if and because it connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to what harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. Protection is always about what dissipates that energy. Protector is a simple connecting device to what actually does protection - single point earth ground. If a 'whole house' protector does not connect low impedance to earth, then it remains ineffective as plug-in protectors.

Protection means even direct lightning strikes connect harmlessly to earth. A protector must not fail - and never be sacrificial. Lightning is typically 20,000 amps. So that Sycom protector is 100,000 amps - will harmlessly connect lightning to earth. Properly sized protectors do not fail. Any surge earthed before entering the building will not go hunting for earth destructively via household appliances.

So, separate mythical protectors from an effective one. Again, where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate? Facilities that cannot have damage always implement the 'whole house' solution. And worry most about what actually does protection. 'Art' of protection is not a protector - it is single point earth ground.

Last edited by westom; 08-25-2014 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:29 PM   #18
Steve Steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post
A UPS does not claim to protect from surge. Define the anomaly before choosing a solution.

For example, a blackout might delete unsaved data. So a UPS provides temporary and 'dirty' power so that data can be saved. 'Dirty' because all electronics already contain protection that makes that 'dirty' power irrelevant.

Some know a 2 centimeter part inside some protectors will stop what three miles of sky could not. Nopnsense.

Some know hundreds of joules inside a protector will absorb destructive surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules. Nonsense.

Some believe a protector is sacrificial. What really happens is protector parts disconnect from a surge fast enough to avert a house fire. Leaving that surge connected to adjacent appliances. Due to superior protection inside appliances, that surge does not do damage. But undersizing protectors get many to wildly speculate, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my ...". Nonsense. Electronics protected itself while that tiny surge destroyed an undersized plug-in protectors. It gets naive consumers to recommend it.

A 'whole house' solution was recommended. No protector does protection. That 'whole house' protector is effective if and because it connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to what harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. Protection is always about what dissipates that energy. Protector is a simple connecting device to what actually does protection - single point earth ground. If a 'whole house' protector does not connect low impedance to earth, then it remains ineffective as plug-in protectors.

Protection means even direct lightning strikes connect harmlessly to earth. A protector must not fail - and never be sacrificial. Lightning is typically 20,000 amps. So that Sycom protector is 100,000 amps - will harmlessly connect lightning to earth. Properly sized protectors do not fail. Any surge earthed before entering the building will not go hunting for earth destructively via household appliances.

So, separate mythical protectors from an effective one. Again, where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate? Facilities that cannot have damage always implement the 'whole house' solution. And worry most about what actually does protection. 'Art' of protection is not a protector - it is single point earth ground.
I understand what you're saying and it makes perfect sense. I'm considering adding a UPS (power, not protection) so I can have a couple of minutes to shut down my components properly if the power goes out.

Last edited by Steve; 08-27-2014 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tom V. View Post

Also, if the power ever goes off, try to turn everything off/disconnect the AC. The in-rush when the power comes back on can cause problems too.
Iíve had a pair of F112 Fathoms for over a decade, and theyíve just both been killed for the second time since Iíve had them. Iím pretty sure we didnít have a lightning storm and I suspect it was the power coming back on after a power outage, like you mentioned. I was asleep so couldnít unplug them.

They were both connected to a fairly new Belkin surge protector and were, yet again, the only product in our entire household that suffered...including a BK sub in the bedroom.

The capacitors were replaced with decent ones last time they were fried six years ago, as apparently JL Audio used cheapo capacitors in the first iteration of the Fathoms, but Iím not sure what the problem is this time.

Itís just really bloody annoying as now Iíve got to somehow find boxes for them and move them both down two flights of stairs, at over 52kg each(!), and get them shipped to the UK repair centre, then try and get them back up the stairs again afterwards. I donít just dread the cost of it all, I dread my back being permanently buggered in the process!!

Itís seriously made me question buying heavy, expensive subs ever again as even surge protection isnít a guarantee that they will survive.

Gutted.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by THE_FORCE View Post
Iíve had a pair of F112 Fathoms for over a decade, and theyíve just both been killed for the second time since Iíve had them. Iím pretty sure we didnít have a lightning storm and I suspect it was the power coming back on after a power outage, like you mentioned. I was asleep so couldnít unplug them.

They were both connected to a fairly new Belkin surge protector and were, yet again, the only product in our entire household that suffered...including a BK sub in the bedroom.

The capacitors were replaced with decent ones last time they were fried six years ago, as apparently JL Audio used cheapo capacitors in the first iteration of the Fathoms, but Iím not sure what the problem is this time.

Itís just really bloody annoying as now Iíve got to somehow find boxes for them and move them both down two flights of stairs, at over 52kg each(!), and get them shipped to the UK repair centre, then try and get them back up the stairs again afterwards. I donít just dread the cost of it all, I dread my back being permanently buggered in the process!!

Itís seriously made me question buying heavy, expensive subs ever again as even surge protection isnít a guarantee that they will survive.

Gutted.
That sucks to hear about your Fathoms. Personally, I unplug my subs when not in use, as that is the best way to prevent spikes and such. I also donít want to limit any current going to them and a lot of surge protectors will do exactly that. Never downgrade your subs unless absolutely necessary, as you will miss the effect if you do settle.
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