Product Review (October 2003) - Panamax
MAX® 4400 A/V Line Conditioner

Panamax offers a wide range of products to serve the needs of consumers seeking reliable power conditioning for their A/V components. The company has recently introduced a new product that handles more current than conventional power conditioners. The new MAX® 4400 is designed to work with a 20-amp power outlet and provide up to nine receptacles with the same current rating. One nice advantage is the unit accepts standard AC plugs while still accommodating the higher current 20-amp components. The same SurgeGate Plus™ circuitry is used with the MAX® 4400 that is found in the more expensive MAX® products. Front panel indicators show status for Switched Outlets, Voltage Trigger, Ground OK and Unsafe Voltage. A convenient 3-prong outlet (20-amp compatible) is also provided on the front panel for temporary AC power connections. The Switched Outlets button is used to manually switch the outlets on the rear panel. If a black faceplate is not you're first preference, Panamax offers an optional silver faceplate that matches many of the today's new A/V products.

The rear panel has eight outlets available that work with either 15 or 20-amp AC plugs. A separate ground terminal is provided on the unit as an option for connecting the chassis to a solid earth ground. There's also a 20-amp resetable circuit breaker. The delay switch (0 or 10 seconds) determines the time from the trigger to the activation of the switched outlets. The 3.5mm DC sense input connection allows the unit to be remotely triggered from another device. We connected the MAX® 4400 to our Parasound AVC-2500u A/V controller for testing purposes. One item to note is the unit does require a 20-amp receptacle at the end of the 11.5 foot power cord.

Inside
The inside of the MAX® 4400 is not as complicated as some of the other Panamax MAX® products we've seen. Two relays are built into the main board; one for the SurgeGate Plus™ circuitry and the other for the switched outlets. The noise filtration circuit design does not use inductors to ensure high current demands can be met. This is particularly important for high current components such as multi-channel power amplifiers and subwoofers.

MOVs (Metal Oxide Varistors) are used in several places inside of the MAX® 4400 to clamp transient voltages that can damage electronics. These devices are commonly used in the industry for surge suppression. The build quality of the MAX® 4400 interior is consistent with other Panamax products we've seen.

While we didn't observe or hear any improvement in our system using this product, we certainly felt better about having our expensive components protected with the MAX® 4400. Products such as this offer consumers insurance on their costly A/V systems. Benefits vary depending on where one lives. However, it's a small price to pay ($299 retail) and you can certainly sleep better at night.

Conclusion
The Panamax MAX® 4400 is unique in that it handles 20-amp circuits compared to the standard 15-amp used throughout the industry. The MAX® 4400 looks simple, yet still provides excellent protection from the elements. The SurgeGate Plus™ circuitry constantly monitors the incoming voltage and shuts down the outputs in the event of a voltage problem.
The MAX® 4400 is backed by the impressive $5,000,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee that insures your equipment will be protected. The 3-year product warranty covers repair or replacement of any defective product.
- Kevin Nakano


Review System

Display - Mitsubishi - PD-5010 50" High-Definition Plasma Display (ISF calibrated)
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 #1: Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
Set-top Box #2: RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
DVI Cable: Monster Cable M Series M500DVI DVI-D Cable
Video Generator: Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Video Signal Analyzer: Sencore VSA794 NTSC Video Signal Analyzer
Color Analyzer: Sencore CP5000 Multi-Display Color Analyzer


Review at a glance

Panamax MAX® 4400

AC Specifications
Protect or Disconnect Circuitry Yes
Thermal Fusing Yes
Catastrophic Surge Circuit Yes
Single Pulse Energy Dissipation 1650 Joules
Spike Capacity 52,000A
EMI/RFI Noise Filtration 50dB (99.7%)
Line Voltage 120VAC, 50/60 Hz
Clamping Level (TVSS Voltage) 330V
Initial Clamping Level 141V RMS/200V Peak
SurgeGate Plus Yes
Overvoltage Shutoff 147±8VAC
Undervoltage Shutoff 84±6VAC
Protection Modes L-N, N-G, L-G
Maximum Current Rating 20A (2400W)
Response Time <1ns

Product Features
Number of Outlets 8
Always On Outlets 4
Switched Outlets 4
Cord Length 10 ft.
Connectors Straight
Depth 7.31"
Width 17"
Height 1.94"
Weight 5.87 lbs.

DC Trigger
Connection 3.5mm mini-plug
Voltage and Polarity 5-30VDC, bi-directional
Curent Requirement >10mA

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


COMPANY INFORMATION
Panamax, Inc.
1690 Corporate Circle
Petaluma, CA. 94952

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

Source: Manufacture Supplied
MSRP: $299

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