I was approached by a customer who wanted me to send a unit to Amirm (Audio Science Review forum moderator) to review. As with any reviewer, I ask of their credentials to test for surge protection. I was told there was no ability to test our product’s surge protection. If someone cannot test our product for surges, we decline the offer to review because stopping surges is our primary function.
An ancillary benefit of our products is that they will filter out EMI/RFI noise. The noise filtering must start after 400 Hz because our products must work in military applications. As some of you know, the US military (and some IT services) powers some systems with 400 Hz, not 60Hz power. Also, as some of you know, filtering is exponential, not linear. We start filtering 3 dB at 7KHz then 25dB at 100 kHz, and 38dB at 300kHz and on down the spectrum.
Where we disagree is the statement, “It doesn’t “clean” the AC in any way that I can measure.” Your testing is showing that we do not clean up something that is already clean. You never tested our ability to take a power line that has surge energy flowing through it. You never tested our ability to clean up a dirty power line. We never claim to reduce the baseline noise of a clean power output to zero. We claim that we can improve the performance of the connected equipment. That means that by cleaning up the surges without shunting and without sending them to the groundline, we are improving the quality of performance of your equipment. Did you show that a traditional surge protector (any model not made by SurgeX, Brickwall or Zero Surge) interrupts power for the time that it shunts the surges to the ground line?
Showing that we do not impede power and yet still can protect from surges is the headline here. Not, that we cannot clean up further a clean power line.
The amplifier industry does like our approach as we are the OEM part inside some of their equipment. I am sure SurgeX is also built into other components as they are more aggressive in their marketing to AV companies. You may already have Zero Surge protection and not know it!
This is my take on this thread. Below is more detailed information for those that are interested. It addresses some of the other comments I read. I did not read every single comment and will not follow this up on this forum. If you have other specific questions, we are happy to engage with you one on one.
Traditional surge protection (both plug in strips and whole building surge protectors) uses metal oxide varistors (MOV). This component sits in parallel waiting for the voltage to rise to as low as 330 volts for plug in strip to up to 1000 volts for whole building surge protectors. They cannot react to changes in current. They cannot react to in-rush current which happens every time you turn on a device. The MOV itself cannot filter out noise and in fact creates noise when it does open up a path to ground. This method was fine when power supplies were linear and sensitive to voltage changes.
But since Apple started using them in 1980’s, most modern electronics use a switch mode power supply. That is because they are energy efficient and have a couple other benefits. Switch mode power supplies are more sensitive to changes to current, not voltage. In fact, most electronics power supplies can operate from 85 to 265 volts (to accommodate the various line voltages around the world). Until we came around in 1989, this was how all other surge protection was made.
Zero Surge technology is called “Series Mode Filter Technology”. Our founder, Rudy Harford patented his approach and has since licensed it to Price Wheeler and SurgeX. Some SurgeX models currently use a slightly improved version of our technology. But up to 2000 volts, it is identical. Between 2000 and 6000 volts (the max defined surge voltage according to IEEE), there is about a 5% improvement depending on some other factors. We use an inductor / capacity bank that is wired in series with the incoming power. We are not in parallel. We do not “shunt” as the reviewer notes. We use magnetics to filter out incoming surges and store any excess energy in capacitors. We then bleed that energy back to the power company via the neutral line at a much safer level. We are always working and never waiting for something to happen. And because we use an air core inductor (this is unique in the surge protection world), our inductor does not saturate. There are many other references and papers that you find throughout our website that explains other details and benefits of the technology.
We attenuate the noise that is strong enough to kill your equipment. It can be one big surge or death by a hundred smaller surges. We have over 30 years of field experience in the most mission critical of applications from military to medical to commercial security to home use. That is what our products do. It is the reason you purchase it. BTW, power surges occur in the audible range so if the reviewer was able to use a surge generator, he would have seen the filtering in action. We have many oscillographs on our site showing the difference of our filtering versus traditional MOV technology.
Yes, ultrasonic noise (vibrations with frequencies higher than the human audible range) can affect sound reproduction. Ultrasonic noise can interfere with audio equipment and cause audible artifacts, such as buzzing, humming, or distortion in the audio signal. This can result in a degradation of the audio quality and a reduction in sound clarity. As the reviewer noted, we do filter out noise further up the frequency range. We only use that as a marketing feature because it does help to “improve performance” of any equipment that is not being subjected to noise coming from high frequency sources. We are careful to not say that sound per se is improved.
On his point about not affecting the performance of his amplifier, we do agree with that. That is because we do not limit the current.
As for having an independent test of our surge protection goes, we have two Nationally Recognized Test Laboratories who have tested our products – UL and Intertek. Both confirm that our products protect at the lowest Voltage Protection Rating (which is <330 volts per the standard). UL also tested our product for endurance and sent 1000 surges of 6000 volts/ 3000 amps as a simulation of 10 years of surge damage and we passed that test (without degradation or failure). NO OTHER COMPANY has passed that test.
We have our inductor tested annually and our facility is inspected on a random date every quarter.
In our 30+ years of existence, our products have never been the cause of a fire, nor do they fail to protect from surges. We know it can cost more than other surge protectors but that is because we use much heavier duty components that are custom made for us. We do only source parts from US suppliers, and we do all of the testing and assembly in our Frenchtown, NJ facility.
I wish I could go through the many pages and answer each comment individually, but it is just not possible. Thank you for reading this and thank you to the many Zero Surge fans who pointed out this forum to us.