I doubt it's a bottleneck, but here's my advice on the latest crop of surge protectors:
Protecting with a re-setable fuse/relay is one thing, but I encourage you to consider a unit like this Furman (PFR version)
A key feature:
"Furman’s exclusive Power Factor provides a 45A peak current reservoir to minimize the detrimental effects of line impedance on high-current gear such as amplifiers and powered monitors."
I plug it into my separate circuit, and then nearly everything into it. One switch all on; all off.
Surge protectors are evil. Your active speakers are probably class D and much less current sensitive. But still, putting a surge protector downstream of your new circuit is like buliding a new road and leaving your driveway gravel. Sure protectors are all about limiting current, not providing a nice full flow of electrons.
Replace the cords on your speakers with longer and heavier ones.
Really don't know how you get to that conclusion. Most surge protectors do nothing until a surge hits. I’ve been in a couple of situations where not having my Furman in the system made the sound hazy. Probably due to the proximity of neighbors in apartment complexes.
Here in SC, there’s no way I run my gear without one.
@erik_squires First, I'm jealous of you living in South Carolina.
Second, I realize I don't have to deal with lightning and I don't know what I would do if I did. so I should temper my comments.
I use a PS Audio PP10. I'm not sure if that would provide lightning protection or not....it costs as much as many amps but so long as lightning didn't kill one more often than every few years I could afford to replace it.
Heh, that’s just it. I really don’t want to replace my amp, either because of cost or because of weight. At just over 50 lbs the idea of physically taking it to be repaired or going out to shop for a replacement is really a lot of work for me. :)
If lightning made it through my network, I’d probably lose most of my audio components. Call me lightning averse or paranoid, I know, but this is the stuff I really don't want to have to replace.
Thanks folks, I appreciate your thoughtful responses.
Getting back to the original question, I'm wondering if our plain vanilla surge protector is limiting the amount of current from our dedicated 20 amp circuit to music system?
Another way of saying this is, do I need to buy a specially designed (rated) surge protector to get the most out of the dedicated circuit?
@erik_squires Please explain why you no longer recommend Zero Surge, Brickwall, etc., as a good choice. I’ve been using a Brickwall 8 outlet audio model for years, in addition to a whole house surge protector, and have never had an issue. I am a big proponent of series mode versus MOV, and am puzzled by your position.
@rlb61 If you already own them and have used them for years there’s no reason to change. They’ve already delivered their value to you and will continue to do so, but in terms of new purchases I think they’ve been dethroned as the best buy.
I tried to make my reasoning clear in my blog post but here is the summary:
Of course ZeroSurge, Furman and TrippLite offer many different models but a straight up comparison between a ZeroSurge and a Furman with SMP and Lift makes the Furman a better buy.
The answer is "both".
I've invested a tidy sum on my system, and I feel incredibly lucky to finally be able enjoy listening without constantly thinking about tweaks or upgrades. I simply wish to protect my investment. Whether that means installing a whole house surge protector or a plug-in wall unit really doesn't matter so long as I'm not going backwards by introducing any deleterious effects.
If the whole house option is the way to go then I'd simply buy a longer power cable to reach the outlet. I'm not using anything super exotic or expensive (AudioQuest NRG X3).
If there are added benefits to the plug-in wall option (ie. noise filtering) well that's just an added bonus, but not something I really need.
Being a 20amp circuit I just don't know which option is the best in terms of protection and fidelity.
My audio guru recommended this and I had it professionally installed.
Something to consider. And no, I've not had it trigger......yet.
I, too, had an EP2000 installed around 15 years ago. I also added a plug-in fixed cord unit, EP2450, in audio rack for additional noise abatement from internal home sources. My area had been experiencing power interruption with new housing and healthcare construction along with seasonal electrical storms. Prior to install, an expensive motherboard for a hot tub had to be replaced, which I believe was due to surge. Fortunately, I have not had any further issues with any of my electronics since. I do shut down and unplug my electronics during local lightning activity or when I have been away for extended period. I would not expect any device to provide sufficient protection from intensity of direct or very close lightning strike.
@ 69zoso69 well I had the Furman ref 15i for many years. I felt it did a pretty good job, however there was an ever so slight transformer hum if you put your ear near the top of the unit. I subsequently upgraded to the Puritan PMS 156 which I feel gave me an audible improvement as well as protection.
I’m sorry but there’s a whole lot of misinformation here. Yes, whole house surge protectors are a good thing and everyone should get them.
As I explain in my blog, consistent with the 2020 NEC and all whole house surge protector documentation, this is simply not correct. Unfortunately, in some cases you need to read the find print to get to the full disclosure. They are "whole house," but not "every device." The technical issue is the high let-through voltages of whole house suppressors vs. the best-in-class outlet surge protectors. Around 600V for whole house but < 200V for the best in-class strips. These include:
How important any of this is depends a lot on where you live and the propensity to lightning strikes and power problems in your experience.
Every whole-house surge protectors I’ve seen from Siemens, Eaton and Square D absolutely rely on MOV’s and do wear out over repeated use. There may be some that are based on gas discharge tubes though I haven’t seen those in ages and I think they used to go on the outside meter.
Whole-house protectors are meant to protect the wiring in the walls and things which are permanently connected, now including fire alarms, automated controls, and major appliances. They don't have the fast or fine voltage clamp downs needed to ensure delicate electronics need.
That’s expensive. Usually they don’t charge the install fee. Figure an electrician can install one in your panel for around $350 including parts, and no monthly fee. In many cases a homeowner can install one themselves, especially if it's a plug-on unit that fits in place of breakers.
I wrote much more about this here:
Two different things. What the utility is installing is a Type 1 SPD, which is installed in the meter panel housing. Not all utilities offer this protection (mine doesn’t) and most utilities won't allow your electrician to install the equipment in its meter housing.
I absolutely use and encourage the use of a whole house surge suppressor, but here is a page and video that help clarify how they work and why you still need point-of-use protection as well.
The written documentation makes it clear:
That’s 100% consistent with the 2020 NEC and the docs from Siemens, Square D and Eaton.
Further, watch the video where the MOV that are used is discussed.
Also, note it's $5 / month with a waived $30 installation fee. Far better deal!