Component Reviews

Panamax MAX 5510-PRO ACRegenerator AV Line Conditioner

A power protection product specifically for audio and home theater systems, and geared for custom installers

Published on May 31, 2005

Panamax MAX 5510-PRO ACRegenerator AV Line Conditioner
Product
Review (May 2005) – Panamax
MAX® 5510-PRO ACRegenerator® A/V Line Conditioner
 
Panamax
offers a comprehensive line of power protection products including the
MAX® line, which is specifically designed for audio and home theater systems.
The MAX® product line has been around for more than a decade and continues
to provide customers with quality power products at reasonable prices.
The latest MAX® 5510-PRO builds on the original MAX® 5500 design, yet
offers capabilities geared for custom installers. Featuring an RS232 interface
that can work with home automation and control systems, the MAX® 5510-PRO
continues to offer users Tri-Power Filtration System that includes
transformer isolated or balanced power for digital sources,
separate Balanced Double L
filtration circuits for reduced EMI/RFI
on analog components and two inductorless, high-current outlets for power
amplifiers or powered subwoofers. The MAX® 5510-PRO comes with a 10-foot
heavy-duty detachable power cord, convenience light and a pair of rack
mount ears. A pair of RG-6 patch cables, a telephone cable and an ethernet
cable is also included.

Panamax’s Isolated Power uses the secondary windings of the internal 750VA
toroidal transformer so that the output power is completely isolated from
the input power. Balanced Power makes use of a center tap on the
secondary windings that is connected to chassis ground. This creates a
balanced output with each power signal (hot and neutral) equal yet opposite
in polarity with respect to earth ground. This type of power isolation
can be beneficial, resulting in lower noise in some components.
  

Front
Panel 

 
The front panel of the MAX® 5510-PRO has a stylish look similar to the original
MAX® 5510, but does not include the bulky XLR-style lamp connector. Instead,
the area has been streamlined and replaced with a power/status LED. We
like the cleaner look, but users will no longer have access to the detachable
light on the front of the unit.
The
MAX® 5510-PRO has solid build quality that results in a unit that weighs
about 31 pounds. The Power Switch button on the front panel is
one of two ways to activate a turn-on or shutdown sequence for the Isolated and High Current outlets. Status indicators are provided for Switched
Outlets, DC Voltage Trigger, Unsafe Voltage, Isolated Power
and Balanced
Power
status. Panamax has kept the convenient front panel outlet for
temporary devices needing AC power and we made good use of it.
 
 
Blue
Glow
 
Panamax has also improved the backlight on the two front panel meters
used for current and voltage monitoring. They now have selectable colors
(blue or amber) and light intensity (low and high). We preferred the blue
backlight set at the lower intensity level for our home theater viewing.
The backlighting looks great and is evenly distributed over the panel
without any hot spots. The blue backlight certainly gives the
MAX® 5510-PRO a more modern look found on most of today’s components.
Both meters can be manually zeroed using the slotted trim
on the lower front of each meter. The accuracy was good when we compared
it to our bench meters. We used a Powerstat Variable Autotransformer to check the under-voltager and over-voltage shutoff. The unit detected
an unsafe voltage when the utility power dropped below 94 VAC or went
above 139 VAC.
 
 
Inside
 
The
guts of the
MAX®
5510-PRO have been completely reorganized from the earlier MAX® 5510 we
reviewed. However, many of the same protection and design features are
still part of the new PRO version. The center of the unit is occupied
by a large 720VA toriodal isolation transformer along with several modular
circuit boards. The layout is well organized and divided into functional
blocks with the details silkscreened on the top of each circuit board.
The main power supply board also contains the microprocessor used to provide
the intelligence and communication via the RS232 interface. Several smaller
boards hold the display and control electronics, coaxial protection circuits,
and protected LAN/telephone circuits. Three separate heavy-duty relays
are used to engage power to the rear outlets as long as the utility voltage
levels are within acceptable limits. The analog meters are mounted to
a separate circuit card and also include the blue and amber LEDs. The
dual “balanced, double L” filtration circuits are clearly seen on the
output boards that utilize the large chokes and output relays. Heavy gauge
wire is used throughout the output stages for the power outlets.

Rear
Panel

The
rear panel of the MAX® 5510-PRO is densely populated with connectors.
The detachable power cord can be held in place with a locking clip that
screws into the back of the unit. This prevents the power cord from being
accidentally pulled out from the unit. A ground lug is also available
for connecting a solid ground wire to the unit. A total of ten power outlets
grouped into three functional blocks are available. Two High-current
Outlets
are specifically designed for power amplifiers and powered
subwoofers to provide noise filtration without limiting current. These
outlets can be configured to either turn-on instantly or provide a 10-second
delay to prevent “speaker thump”. Four Isolated Outlets provide isolated/balanced power from the secondary windings of the internal
720VA toroidal transformer. This completely isolates the incoming power
from the secondary output. These outlet are current limited to a total
of six amps. The Isolated Outlets Delay Switch configures these
outlets to be “No Delay”, “Always On” or “10-second
delay”. The four Always On Outlets are designed to provide
power to analog components such as preamplifiers, receivers, VCRs and
tape decks. These outputs are always powered on as long as the unit is
connected to wall power and fall within the allowable voltage range. Each
of the two banks has indepenent Balanced Double L filtration circuits.

The
MAX® 5510-PRO has a 15 amp main circuit breaker for the input power. There’s
also a secondary 6 amp circuit breaker specifically designed to protect
the isolation transformer in case of an overload. However, the majority
of digital components draw little current, so this should not be a problem.
The unit has both 12V input and output triggers allowing it to be easily
daisy-chained into a system. We used our Parasound AVC-2500u A/V Controller
to drive the trigger input on the MAX® 5510-PRO and it worked perfectly.
The Trigger Delay switch allows the unit to insert a delay between
the time it receives a trigger and the time it sends out a trigger. The
user has the option of selecting zero or 10-seconds. This can be useful
when connecting multiple power conditioning units together or as in our
case for providing a delayed trigger to our five-channel Parasound (HCA-2205AT)
power amplifier.

Something
new to this product is the RS232 interface that allows an external controller
to command and request status from the unit. The baud rate is a modest
9600 bps with one start bit and one stop bit. The interface uses three
wires (TX, RX and Ground) to send and receive data with no flow control.
There are ten commands and five status requests that can be sent to the
unit.

Two
sets of satellite connections and a set of cable connections provide protection
from potential voltage spikes. Satellite connections work over a range
from 950 MHz to 2.2 GHz with a loss of less than 1dB in signal level.
The clamping circuitry for the satellite connections is set at 27V to
handle the 13 and 18 volt control voltages used for the LNBs. The cable/antenna
connections are designed to operate over a range of 5 to 950 MHz with
a clamping threshold set at 0.7V, well above the level of the modulated
video signal. All F-connectors used for both are gold-plated to ensure
long-term contact reliability. A pair of protected LAN/telephone line
(RJ-45) connections is also provided for set-top boxes and media servers,
as are protected line level A/V jacks for audio and video signals.

The Panamax
MAX® 5510-PRO ACRegenerator® continues to offer their lifetime $5,000,000
Connected Equipment Protection Policy along with a three year parts and
labor warranty. This is one of the best warranties we’ve seen in the industry
and provides consumers with the confidence they need to maximize performance
while protecting their costly components. The MAX® 5510-PRO is the company’s
flagship power product that meets the needs of both high-end consumers
as well as custom installation professionals.

- Kevin Nakano

Review
System

Projector: Optoma H77 High-Definition HD2+ DLP™ Projector
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100″ FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
Video Processor/Scaler: Anchor Bay Technologies DVDO iScan HD A/V Processor
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management
Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC
(Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround
Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull
Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
DVD/CD/SACD
Player:
Sony
DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD
Changer
D-VHS VCR #1: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater
VCR
D-VHS VCR #2: Marantz MV8300 D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series
Cables
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 20m DVI-D Cable
DVI Extender: Gefen HDTV Extender
HDMI Cables: Accel Corporation HDMI Adapter and Cables
Video Generator: Sencore VP403 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer #1: Sencore CP5000 ISF Certified All-Display Color
Analyzer
Color Analyzer #2: Milori ColorFacts Professional with GretagMacbeth
Eye-One Pro

Review
at a glance

Panamax
MAX® 5510-PRO ACRegenerator®

AC Specifications

Protect
or Disconnect Circuitry
Yes
Thermal
Fusing
Yes
Catastrophic
Surge Circuit
Yes
Single
Pulse Energy Dissipation
2100
Joules
Spike
Capacity
90,000A
EMI/RFI
Noise Filtration
60dB
- 120dB
Line
Voltage
120VAC,
50/60 Hz
Clamping
Level (TVSS Voltage)
330V
Initial
Clamping Level
200V
SurgeGate
Plus
Yes
Overvoltage
Shutoff
134VAC
Undervoltage
Shutoff
95VAC
Protection
Modes
L-N,
N-G, L-G
Maximum
Current Rating
15A
(1800W)
Response
Time
<1ns

Product
Features

Number
of Outlets
11
Always
On Outlets
up
to 9
Switched
Outlets
up
to 4
Delayed
Outlets
2
Cord
Length
10
ft.
Connectors Straight
Length 12″
Width 17.25″
Height 3.5″
Weight 31
lbs.

Coax Specifications

Antenna/Cable
Lines Protected
1
Antenna/Cable
Clamping
1.4v
Antenna/Cable
Attenuation
<1dB
up to 950 MHz
Satellite
Lines Protected
2
Satellite
Clamping
27v
Satellite
Attenuation
<1dB
(950MHz-2.20GHz)
Coax
Connectors
Female

Telco Specifications

SignalPerfect
Circuitry
Yes
Fuseless
/ Auto Resettable
Yes
Clamping
Level
260V
Telco / 8V LAN
Capacitance 30pf
(approx.)
Suppression
Modes
Metallic
& Longitudinal
Wires
Protected
Telco:
pins 4 & 5
LAN: pins 1,2,3 & 6
Connectors RJ-11/45

RCA Specifications

RCA
Clamping
6.5v
RCA
Protection Modes
Signal/Sheath
to Ground
RCA
Wires Protected
5
wires
RCA
Attenuation
<0.06dB
RCA
Connectors
Audio
(phono) Jacks

DC Trigger

Connection 3.5mm
mini-plug
Voltage
and Polarity
5-30VDC,
bi-directional
Curent
Requirement
>25mA

Warranty

Agency
Approval
cULus
Product
Warranty Length
3
Years
Connected
Equipment Policy Length
Lifetime
Connected
Equipment Policy Amount
$5,000,000
Lightning
Protection
Yes

Includes

2 -
Rack ears with screws for rack mounting option
1 -
IEC 320, 120V/15A detachable 10 foot power cord
1 -
USB LED Convenience Lamp
2 -
RG6 Coax Cables for Satellite, Cable and/or Antenna
1 -
RJ11 Telephone Cable
1 -
CAT-5 Ethernet Cable


Company
Information

Panamax, Inc.
1690 Corporate Circle
Petaluma, CA 94952

Phone: 800-472-5555
Website: http://www.panamax.com/

Model: M5510-Pro
Source: Manufacture Supplied
MSRP: $1499

– Kevin Nakano
 
Reprinted with permission from the L.A. Audio File

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