UltraLink may not be as well known (yet) as Monster Cable or Audioquest, but there's no denying they make some of the finest audio cables, connectors and power products available today and, unlike their notable competition, you can actually afford an UltraLink product. Take for instance the UltraLink PGX-500 reviewed here; at $499 retail, the PGX-500 is one of the more (maybe most) affordable, full-featured power conditioners you can buy today. The PGX-500 has an attractive design finished in black aluminum with a silver accent panel that houses its display. The PGX-500's display shows incoming voltage and amperage, as well as status lights that let you know that your system is properly connected and safe.
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• Look for an AV receiver to plug in.
The PGX-500 has 12 rear panel outlets, two of which have programmable delay, four are switched and six are un-switched or always on. The PGX-500 utilizes ASP Microprocessors, with over/under-voltage shut-down circuitry. What this means is, unlike other power products, when the PGX-500 is faced with a surge or a spat of "dirty" power, it will sacrifice itself by placing itself between your gear and the problem. This is more than a simple shut-down feature that many power products say will protect your system, when the fact is that, after shut-down, your products are still vulnerable. When the PGX-500 takes the hit for the betterment of your system, no power, zilch, will travel to your system until you replace the PGX-500 or re-plug your equipment into an outlet or other power product. I know that may seem a bit extreme, but would you rather pay $500 to replace a PGX-500 or ten times that amount if you're rockin' even a modest home theater full of gear? Beyond truly protecting your gear, the PGX-500 filters and cleans up noisy AC, ensuring the best audio and video performance from your gear.
• The compact size and understated, modern look of the PGX-500 is an absolute revelation when you compare it to other, flashier power products.
• The PGX-500 is one of the easiest products to integrate into even the most complex of home theater systems.
• Absolutely, without a doubt, the PGX-500 will protect your gear in ways the competition can only dream of.
• The PGX-500 lowers AC line noise and helps with ground loop hums if they are present.
• If the PGX-500 does take a dirt nap on behalf of your gear, you will have to purchase a new one. However, I truly believe the cost is well worth the security and the likelihood of blowing a PGX-500 is rather low.
• The included power cable is a tad short if you're installing the PGX-500 into a rack-mounted, pull-out system.
The PGX-500 from UltraLink is one of those products that takes the norm and stands it on its head. For years, power isolators and/or stabilizers have been plagued with large displays, noisy internal electronics and frankly more style than substance; the PGX-500 suffers from none of these shortcomings. The PGX-500 is simple, straightforward and useful. It will protect your equipment like few other products can, while reducing AC noise, all the while costing but a fraction of what the other guys charge. Highly recommended.