Radial Power-1 - yay or nay?

Radial Engineering Power-1 Surge Suppressor and R800 5000 00 B&H

Excuse me if this is not a new product but just got email from Radial on this - looks great for rackmount. Currently running a Juice Goose that is a bit too primitive. Anyone have this one, and if you do, thoughts?

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Looks amazing! I’m really impressed with the outlet layout on that one. And the fact that they put 3 on the front vs just one. Very clever design. I suspect the quality is good. Radial makes some decent stuff. Thumbs up from me!

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It’s a standard rack mount power distribution unit that uses a MOV for surge suppression.
Their marketing edge is that the MOV (metal oxide varistor) is made in the USA.

MOVs are destructive devices, meaning that with each over voltage surge they block, physical damage occurs inside the device. They do not protect against long term over voltage/current surges or inrush situations, but are effective for short term events. It appears to have basic EMI/RF filtering inside.
Specifications are:
Load Rating: 15 Amps
Max Continuous Operating Voltage: 130V-rms
Energy Dissipation: 210 Joules
Peak Impulse Current: 20,000 Amps
Noise Attenuation: Differential-mode = 19 dB at 100 kHz, 41 dB at 1 MHz, and 42 dB at 10 MHz
Common-mode = 10 dB at 100 kHz, 41 dB at 1 MHz, and 50 dB at 10 MHz
Surge Protection Method: Single mode, line to neutral

It’s a good price and Radial has a good reputation for building solid devices.

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Seems like a handy layout. I would guess there isn’t any real “power conditioning” going on, if that’s the sort of thing you care about.

I like the fact that the front plugs aren’t tied to the switch. Better than the “power conditioners” I have on my setups (aka rack mounted power strips).

@bozmillar …how can you tell if it’s real ‘power conditioning’ or not? Like… what do you look for in the specs?

Is power conditioning different than surge suppression?

Honestly, I can’t, other than the price and the fact aside from the product name, nowhere in the description does it mention anything beyond surge protection.

“Power conditioner” has a fuzzy definition and can range anywhere from “might protect your gear in a lightning strike” to “keeps power steady and noise free.”

I have a couple “power conditioners” that are nothing more than a rack mounted power strip with a fuse. They are useful, but they certainly aren’t cleaning up any power issues I might have.

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This spec tells us that it is filtering out high frequency content which helps with RF interference.
Unfortunately, most people have problems with 50 and 60hz hum, mostly due to ground loops, but one wouldn’t want to filter out 60hz in a power conditioner.

Surge suppression just uses a MOV to send short term over voltage spikes back onto the neutral line before it reaches the device plugged into it.
Power conditioning usually means performing EMI, RF filtering and can also entail the use of power regeneration where the incoming AC is converted into DC and then back into a 50 or 60hz AC sine wave.
Regenerators are more expensive due to the additional complexity.

There are a lot of unfounded claims in regard to power conditioners, but they are popular among audiophiles who swear that it “lifts a veil” or “blackens the background” when used.

Power conditioning and surge suppression are supposed to be different functions, but manufacturers are pretty lenient with their descriptions, as Boz pointed out.
The specs on this one don’t really tell you much about either. 210 joules dissipation, if they are using that for surge suppression, is very modest.
As to power conditioning, a high end power conditioner will typically take what comes from the wall, filter it for noise and power inconsistencies, and send it to the output minus the junk. They will often include large caps to store the power for a very short period n the filtering phase.
Radial builds great stuff, and I’m sure it does what it is supposed to do, but the specs aren’t conclusive.

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considering your assessment it seems you know more than I do on this topic. It kinda sounds like it is pretty much a hyped up power strip with not much happening.

Are the Monster strips better? Maybe I need to invest in something like this live as for example on one of my last gigs my tube amp ran at what seemed like half power because of dirty electricity at the venue. My amp was essentially half distorting live a mosquito :slight_smile:
The venue was bad though - sound man was working with isolating glove to decouple himself from the stage :woozy_face:. Thankfully, I lived.

Well, based on my limited knowledge of the Radial piece, I would just suggest looking into Furman, Monster Cable, Panamax, and do some comparisons as far as specs are concerned. In general, true power conditioning is expensive, at least in high end home audio, where you’re trying to squeeze the last drop of sound quality out of a $10,000 power amp. All amps have filters in their power supplies, although this would be an afterthought in most guitar amps. When the venue has crappy power, there’s only so much you can do beyond verifying all your grounds are good, and trying to isolate what is causing the most noise.
Surge protection is less expensive, but designed to prevent catastrophic failures due to a rapid jump in power, Cheap ones use components that blow up when a fast pulse above their limit occurs. Unfortunately, they still allow power to pass through after the event, turning your surge suppressor into an extension cord. A good surge device will tell you how many joules it can dissipate, and importantly, how quickly. I have both Monster Cable and Panamax throughout my home in Florida, the lightning capitol of the world, and they’ve saved me a lot of grief.
Check out Furman and Monster in their music line. Also, if you play outdoor gigs, find out if that’s covered by their warranty. They sometimes ask for a very detailed description of your setup if you need to make a claim. In short every part of your setup relies on every other piece to be protected and connected through the same suppressor.

Working in IT - those warranties always have an out, really bad experience with all the major manufacturers, no one would cover anything, it is so vague and so many lawyer loopholes that I’ve had several claims where the owner of the gear just gave up. Just want to mention that I wouldn’t really rely on that.

That’s true. Manufacturers are generally pretty good about replacing the piece itself, but getting them to pay for the connected equipment can be a challenge. They often require documentation of how everything was hooked up to verify that every input and output was covered by their piece, which is next to impossible in a complex system.
I will say that they have been reliable in terms of protecting my home stuff, but if my house took a direct hit I’d be negotiating with my insurance company.
A touring band is at the mercy of the venues they play, so any protection you can get helps. As far as big acts go, they’re using outside companies for the PA whom I’m sure have taken conditioning and protection into account. It’s more difficult for the weekend warriors to do much more than have enough juice to make it work and try not to get shocked.