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Thread: Protecting Hifi from Mains problems

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 285
    I'm Mike.

    Default Protecting Hifi from Mains problems

    I live in a rented flat, and I ;ve had 3 amps go bang on me in 3 years. Lucky not crazy expensive. My Naim amps have always been fine. I've just bought a Nak ca-5 and I'm too scared to plug it in (don't have a power amp yet anyway!). Waste of time speaking to landlord, is there an extension lead with protection I can buy to stop this happening again? Its already cost me 300 in wasted amps (possibly more). I had a JVX ax-4 and a Roksan Kandy that I never got to hear, the Kandys' power output stage was frazzled, and it defo happened in my flat, as seller demo ed it to me. It was mint too, boo hoo. I also get light bulbs blowing every month or so, when turned on.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 30,188
    I'm Geoff.

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    Yes. I get light bulbs blowing a lot and had a mains transfomer in an amp need replacing. It could be highish voltage locally or surges and spikes. I'm also wary of DC content in mains and I'm planning to use a DC blocker. Useful surge and spike protectors are used with professional computers. I have one or two of these.
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Croydon

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    I'm Bob.

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    Maplin's (And most electrical suppliers) sell surge protectors or you could buy a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) and that way you can still listen to your music if the power goes off (amount of time dependant on size of UPS).

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 38,590
    I'm Grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    I live in a rented flat, and I ;ve had 3 amps go bang on me in 3 years. Lucky not crazy expensive. My Naim amps have always been fine. I've just bought a Nak ca-5 and I'm too scared to plug it in (don't have a power amp yet anyway!). Waste of time speaking to landlord, is there an extension lead with protection I can buy to stop this happening again? Its already cost me 300 in wasted amps (possibly more). I had a JVX ax-4 and a Roksan Kandy that I never got to hear, the Kandys' power output stage was frazzled, and it defo happened in my flat, as seller demo ed it to me. It was mint too, boo hoo. I also get light bulbs blowing every month or so, when turned on.
    a mains regenerator would do it
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 18,322
    I'm Martin.

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    Doesn't explain why the Naim is seemingly immune from the problem.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



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  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 866
    I'm Paul.

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    Surge protectors could potentially work to protect against over voltage problems but with the amount that you suggest the problem happens you would have to replace the surge protector regularly as the devices inside can tend to degrade a little each time they operate. Be wary of the claims that the manufacturers make about the financial level of compensation available if the protector was to fail. There are so many caveats in the T&Cs that you will have more chance of a unicorn flying through your living room, shitting chocolate rainbows on a Thursday between the hours of 9 and 10 pm than getting a payout.

    A mains regeneration device would probably protect your gear, but they are not cheap. Sounds like the real cure would be to sort the electrics out but this could be either a problem with the building electrics or a national grid problem.
    ~Paul~

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,793
    I'm Shaun.

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    Mmm... strange one this as back in 2012 I bought a Tacima surge protected block via Amazon and about a year later my then CD player went 'pop'. A year after that my Pioneer SACD player went 'pop' via the same block.
    For the last three years I have used a bog standard plain old block and not had a problem. I still don't understand what the hell could have happened there.

    Oh yes, both occurred in different houses.
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  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 18,322
    I'm Martin.

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    Could just be random equipment failure and absolutely nothing to do with the mains, or mains surges. In fact I'd put money on it. Stuff does just go pop sometimes, even well respected hi-fi brands.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



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  9. #9
    Join Date: Dec 2008

    Location: Lincolnshire, Home by the Sea

    Posts: 3,793
    I'm Shaun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Could just be random equipment failure and absolutely nothing to do with the mains, or mains surges. In fact I'd put money on it. Stuff does just go pop sometimes, even well respected hi-fi brands.
    Yep, neither of them were particularly expensive items.
    Among the many: Ozric Tentacles early years - Genesis early years - Pink Floyd - Brand X - Camel - Shpongle - Younger Brother - The Peaking Goddess Collective - Deadmau5 - Trentemoller - Kiasmos - Acoustic Alchemy - John Coltraine - Hank Mobley - Lee Morgan - And Oasis...!

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 16,465
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Could just be random equipment failure and absolutely nothing to do with the mains, or mains surges. In fact I'd put money on it. Stuff does just go pop sometimes, even well respected hi-fi brands.
    Agreed - though it might be useful to know if the mains voltage is consitently high (> 250V).
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