As we evaluate the wide world of surge protectors and isolation transformers, we have a couple of different ways to view the category.
For $100-300 you can get devices from Panamax that work very well for surge protection. For $100 you get an 8 outlet bar that will save you from brown outs and electrical belches. Every system should have one of these, at the very least. For $300 you can get a component sized product that will monitor your AC line more accurately and provide more protection. If your gear is an audio rack, this is a smart investment.
If you want to go upstream and get something that will improve your audio performance, then we strongly recommend Bryston Isolation Transformers (BITs).
The BITs use one, massive transformer that also acts as a filter. Bryston’s competitors use multiple smaller transformers (less expensive than a monster) and numerous filters. Because Bryston’s transformer is so robust, additional filters are not necessary or beneficial.
Bryston’s BIT 20 runs $4000. Its competition runs up to $6k. Bryston provides 20amp continuous service and supports instantaneous current of 80-200amps! Bryston provides this level of performance from ALL TEN outlets. The competition is limited to 80amps of service from six of its twelve outlets.
Getting a Bryston BIT-20 will improve the sound of the best audio systems out there. It will do so at half the price of the competition. It provides this level for performance from all ten outlets as opposed to six. The warranty is 20 years as opposed to three!