Review (May 2005) – Panamax
MAX® 5510-PRO ACRegenerator® A/V Line Conditioner
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
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.
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.
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 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.
– Kevin Nakano
Projector: Optoma H77 High-Definition HD2+ DLP™ Projector
at a glance
— Kevin Nakano
Reprinted with permission from the L.A. Audio File