Why does the word "conditioner" immediately bring out my inner skeptic? Perhaps the fault lies with the haircare industry. I use shampoo, and I like the way my hair feels when I'm done using shampoo. Does it really need further "conditioning?" I doubt it. Sure, some people benefit from the use of a conditioner and some people will even swear by them, but for the average Joe, chances are shampoo is all you need. OK, but what about power conditioners?
Opinions on the value of power-line conditioners vary greatly depending on who you talk to. I won't lie and tell you that I'm one of their lifelong proponents. The truth is, until recently I have not had a system I felt was worth protecting. I can tell you that in the very least, you owe it to yourself and to your equipment to learn about what power conditioners do, and what advantages they offer. You're certainly not going to find them next to the shampoo at your local supermarket. As a matter of fact, the Max5510 ACRegenerator from Panamax sounds like it would be more at home in the Bat Cave. And after spending a few weeks with the Max5510, I can safely say that if Batman needed a power conditioner and surge protector, odds are this is the one he'd use.
Before you decide which power conditioner you need, it helps to know why you need one. When talking about home theater systems, especially interconnects, you're liable to hear about the "weakest link" theory. That theory, which is not a new one, simply states that the overall performance of your system "chain" is only as strong as its weakest link. You can buy state-of-the-art equipment and connect them with the finest cables, but your performance chain actually starts before you push PLAY on your DVD player. It starts at the wall receptacle from which your DVD player draws its power.
AC power coming out of the average wall receptacle is contaminated with loads of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). This contaminated or "dirty" power can greatly affect the performance of your gear, causing distracting pops, hisses and even hums from your audio section as well visual artifacts in your display devices. In addition, digital components, such as DVD and CD players, can also produce noise on their AC power lines, which in turn can interfere with the performance of your analog equipment. Power-line conditioners, such as the Max5510, filter out this EMI and RFI and provide steady, clean power to your connected components.
Unique Features - With the Max5510, Panamax is offering what they call their "Tri-Power Filtration System." This boils down to three sets or "banks" of outlets,
which serve different types of components, offering different "levels" of protection. Level One offers true isolation of digital source components from contaminated power sources. Thanks to a large isolation transformer, none of the aforementioned EMI or RFI contamination reaches your digital components, and the AC noise that digital components commonly generate is completely isolated from reaching your analog devices. The Max5510 provides four outlets on its back panel for digital components.
Read more about the Max5510 on Page 2.