Tripp-Lite Spike Cube

I was recently left without a Power Conditioner/Surge Protector for my main system and looked through my stash to see what I could put together. Found the Furman AC-215A which is a very good unit with SMP protection and LIFT linear filtering. Unfortunately, it only has two outlets which I ending up using for the FM Tuner and CD Player. Having nothing else available, I plugged my Integrated Amp into the same duplex outlet as the Furman and plugged the Subwoofer into a separate outlet.

As configured, this left the Integrated and Sub with NO protection. From past experience I know that inexpensive conditioners (especially those with series inductors) can “current-starve” amps and subs with an adverse effect on sound quality. There are power conditioners available (AQ Niagra 3000, etc.) that employ Power Factor (energy reserve) technology to address this problem but they’re simply outside my budget.

I was looking for a low-cost solution and remembered that I had a Tripp-Lite Spike Cube that I had used in another application. The 600 joules of surge protection that it offers is provided by “sacrificial” MOVs with a small capacitor added for noise suppression. I like the fact that it’s plugged directly into the outlet and the equipment to be protected is plugged into the Spike Cube. There is no power cable, On-Off switch, fuse/circuit breaker or any component in series with the AC supply.

I grabbed the Spike Cube I had and checked the resistance with a DMM from the male plug to the female receptacle and found only 0.1 ohms on the Hot, Common (Low) and Ground. Wirecutter did a teardown of the Spike Cube (see link below) with impressive results.

I then did some critical listening with and without the Spike Cube on the Integrated and found absolutely NO sound degradation. In fact, the sound was slightly better with the Spike Cube, which may be attributed to the line filter capacitor. For those who plug their power amps (or integrateds) directly into an outlet because of dissatisfaction with power conditioners in general, this might be a low-cost ($10) way of providing some protection without taking a hit in sound quality. If nothing else, you’ll sleep better knowing that your equipment is protected.

I use a Trip-lite Cube and 3 of there 2400. Different places different systems.. I actually like the 600 over the 2400 unless you quiet the 2400 down. They are noisy (transformer to case hum)

The 600 I use is running a Mx110z and MC225. That system is 60 years old and it sounds like heaven. The system sounds BETTER plugged into the cube vs not plugged in..  No idea why, don't care why.

I like Tripp-Lite products and I came from Topaz 12-3 years ago..

Thanks for the information.. Good to know..
I really like Tripp Lite. I bought one of their power strips about 8 years ago and it was sonically a marked improvement over the Home Depot power strip that I was using. All of the outlets are star grounded, and it is built very well. I think that it was about $260.00 at the time. 

Since I only had one Spike Cube which was used for the Integrated Amp, I got another one for the Subwoofer. A pleasant surprise was the elimination of a loud thump coming from the sub when the ceiling fan in the next room was turned off. The fan and sub outlet appear to be on the same circuit.

I did some additional testing with the Integrated and found that the Spike Cube also took care of a thump in the main speakers when the ceiling fan in the room was turned off. The small filter capacitor in the Spike Cube seems to take care of any spikes/transients on the line.

I feel much better knowing that all the equipment is now protected with NO penalty in sound quality. The line filtering provided by the Spike Cube is an added plus.
For those who prefer plugging the amp or sub directly into an outlet, the Spike Cube can be plugged into the other outlet of the duplex and still retain the benefits of surge protection and line filtering. The surge components (MOVs) and filter capacitor are connected in parallel across the line and do NOT restrict current flow in any way.
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I have a ps audio juice bar power strip. If I buy one of these spikecube and plug it into the juice bar, but without plugging anything into the spikecube on the juice bar, will it still work to protect all my gear that are plugged into the juice bar?? I don't want to degrade my audio at all, but still looking for solutions to protect my gear. I have look into many things. I may do a whole house surge eventually.