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Power Conditioning / Surge Protection - Page 2

post #16 of 44
I use a Tice Solo A/V Power Conditioner and to be honest, I don't know if it uses MOVs. I've been afraid to open it for fear of the warranty but I'm thinking about getting out the screwdriver as I type. I'll attack it tomorrow and let everyone know what's going on inside waranty or no waranty. That Brickwall site seems to be very informative unlike the other manufactorers so they get points for being honest.

I will say I have felt better about plugging my gear into the Tice but now I'm not sure. Also, I just bought a Naim Cd player that wasn't so cheap so I want to be very careful with it plugged in, it thunderstorms non-stop here.

post #17 of 44
Thread Starter 

I know there are no guarantees, but this Brick Wall gives me more confidence than any other reasonably priced surge protection device I've read about.

Check out these links:

How it works

No failures

Also interesting is this from the manual:
On February 6, 1996, our product passed to Grade A, Class 1, Mode 1 performance, upon initial testing at UL (no redesign, no failures). The test was 1,000 surges of 6,000 volts, and 3,000 amperes with a measured supressed voltage not exceeding 290 volts. Our product was the first product in the USA to pass the tests to Grade A, Class 1, Mode 1 performance level.
post #18 of 44
jude: Oh, don't misunderstand me - that Brick Wall sure looks like a serious product. And, of course, the probability that a lightning will strike your house or the direct neighbourhood is less than that a lightning strike will happen a little farther away, because it's a wider area, too. So a surge protector isn't a bad idea.

But some people might believe, they'd be totally safe with a surge protector, even when the lightning strikes very close - and this usually isn't true. I probably should have said "way better than nothing" instead of just "better than nothing"... Nevertheless I get very nervous when a thunderstorm comes closer than one mile: I usually unplug my antenna and isdn, switch off almost everything but the fridge and - if it looks like lots of lightning, I also disconnect the power plugs. I once lost a modem due to a thunderstorm, so I try to avoid any more victims.

Manfred / lini
post #19 of 44
Thread Starter 

Usually, the moment I hear thunder, I start unplugging my audio equipment. I'll likely wait until it sounds real close with the new surge protector before I start unplugging my stereo equipment.

Another improvement I'm finding a bit unexpectedly is an immediate sonic improvement with the Brick Wall. Could be because my power here seems a bit dirty and the unit is cleaning it up a bit. I'll post a quick follow-up post regarding what I'm finding.
post #20 of 44

Plugging your XcanV2 into an apc UPS will do next to NOTHING. I tried it, I have an apc UPS for my computer, they are surge protectors and battery back up units. They also help smooth out big spikes but outside of that the power they deliver is not much different than a wall outlet or your typical surge protector. It doesnt deliver power, it just passes it along. The xpsu delivers refined and stable power.
post #21 of 44
xpsu is not easy to find here in USA tho ........................

Otherwise I would have pick one up long ago!

Too bad MF does not sell directly *sigh*

post #22 of 44
jude: Yes, that seems to be a good plan. It's similar to what I do: You probably know the old method - one second between lighning and thunder translates to ~ 2 miles. That's when I start to watch the situation...

And do you have an oscilloscope? You could try to compare between the wall outlet and the Brick Wall, then. Maybe it's even visible...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #23 of 44
Jude, sorry bud... forgot this thread.

Brick wall looks like it'll do exactly what it's supposed to. Could you get the same protection for less? Hmm. Yea, probably. But not by much. You didn't get ripped off. A nice device.

re: lightning storms, heh I wouldn't. things that hit close, I mean a bolt in your front yard... I dunno man, I've seen smoked UPSs. (there's a site if I can find it that'll curl your hair - photos of destroyed gear supposedly protected) Considering 10kV will jump a few inches, how about several million? no joy. turn it off. unplug it if you're paranoid.

re: those Minuteman UPSs, they work fine. I've deployed them, their shutdown software isn't as cool as APCs but we're not talking about protecting a server pit here.

standby and line interactive types work very well, they switch in milliseconds.. but if you want a true online (continually running on batteries)... the catch being the batteries are freakin expensive and need replacing much sooner being on constantly. So if the unit costs ya $1000, but new batteries every 2 years costs $350, you better WANT this protection.

Some companies like APC and TrippLite everyone's heard of... some that make excellent units that you'll never see outside of the IT world are worth checkin out for you non-computer geeks.. like MGE and Exide (err, Powerware).
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
Apheared, thanks for the response and advice. As it turns out, there was the threat of thunderstorms here yesterday, and since I was leaving for most of the day, I took your advice (and lini's) and unplugged the whole dang thing since I wasn't going to be there.
post #25 of 44
Thread Starter 

Initial impressions of Brick Wall

Well now this is getting interesting, this Brick Wall surge protector.

The Brick Wall appear to successfully block noise generated by my sump pump and refrigerator even after I removed the ferrite loops and clips that I needed before the Brick Wall (I had my SCD-C333ES and HeadRoom Max plugged into an Isotel 4 surge protector, and the sump and fridge noise would still get through without the ferrite loops and clips).

What's most interesting, though, is that I think that this device is starting to convince me that there's definitely something to power conditioning. Though it isn't a power regenerator like online UPS units and the PS Audio series of Power Plants, the Brick Wall does provide significant filtering of EMI/RFI line contamination. This filtering, the well-isolated outlets and the unit's snubber, which is designed to quell fast in-building surges -- in combination with my careful routing of my cables -- seems to have yielded instant sonic improvements. Long story short (for now), whatever the Brick Wall is doing, it has so far (to my ears) resulted in enhanced clarity and low-level detail (particularly noticeable with Thelonius Monk's Straight, No Chaser SACD, Patricia Barber's Nightclub and my Marc-Andre Hamelin piano CD's). I'm going to do more comparisons with the system as it was previously set up (with the Isotel) so that I might be able to better describe the differences I'm hearing.

Regarding the outlet isolation of the unit: With my Isotel, when I'd plug certain devices into it (along with my audio rig), I could hear switching noises through my headphones when these other devices were turned on and off. This does not happen with the Brick Wall -- the outlet isolation seems far more effective with it than the Isotel.

I should note, by the way, that the power in my house appears to be anything but audiophile ideal, so improvements may come easier here than in some homes.

Again, I've not really been one to buy into the sonic benefits of power conditioning, and now this...

What's next? One of those fancy shmancy power cords? Oy....probably.

More to come....
post #26 of 44
Thread Starter 
I saw a unit on Audiogon called the Niles IPC-12 that I thought some of you might be interested in. It's a power conditioner / surge protector that looks functionally more complex than the Brick Wall. Here is a nice pic of it:

It's on auction, and the current price is very reasonable.

My only concern with the unit, based on the information in this auction listing, is that there appears to be no mention of isolated outlets. They may very well be isolated, but I don't believe it says that anywhere. If they were isolated outlets, then this could be a very interesting find indeed.
post #27 of 44
Here is the pdf of the owner's manual:
post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 
bootman, thanks for posting that link to the manual. I read the whole thing, but it doesn't mention anything about the outlets being isolated. Nevertheless, it looks like a pretty cool device.
post #29 of 44


I think I might pick one of those Brick Wall units....it's still on for $249.

Jude, any new revelations since you bought it? Its' been a while...

- pearle
post #30 of 44
Thread Starter 

Re: hmm....

Originally posted by pearle
I think I might pick one of those Brick Wall units....it's still on for $249.

Jude, any new revelations since you bought it? Its' been a while...

- pearle


Please understand that my answers may be largely based on the fact that the electrical circuit my rig is on seems to be susceptible to line noise from things like my air conditioning, sump pump, and refrigerator (your line might be better already). I bought it more for its surge protection ability (Brick Wall units seem to be among those held in the highest regard for its ability to suppress surges), but was very pleasantly surprised to get more low level detail from my rig with the Brick Wall in place. I think there are a couple of reasons for this:
  • The Brick Wall has well-isolated isolated receptacles. A halogen lamp that (prior to acquiring the Brick Wall) would cause an audible electrical click through my headphones when switched on -- when plugged into the same wall receptacle my rig was plugged into -- no longer causes any noise even when plugged into the Brick Wall with the rig.
  • Related to the above point, the unit's EMI/RFI filtering is, I'm assuming, pretty good, because my refrigerator -- and especially my sump pump -- would put audible noise in the line when they'd switch on and off. I had to use ferrite cores to tame the noise (which worked pretty well). With the Brick Wall, I was able to remove all the ferrite cores, and the line noises are still gone.

Because of these things, my system's noise floor has been lowered noticeably, and, as a result, details and subtle nuances are coming through clearly better with it than without it. The surge protection is very reassuring, and worth the $250 I paid for it (considering the value of my rig). The sonic benefits are gravy, and I'll take 'em.

The next step I'm looking at is balanced power. I'm seriously looking into it now (been asking questions on Audio Asylum too).
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