So Much More than Surge Protection Power, it's the most fundamental component of any system.

But spikes, surges, line noise, brownouts and countless other power-related problems can do more than just damage your equipment: they prevent them from performing to their full potential. As John Benz, Director of Power for Panamax/Furman, told us, “When people are shopping at Magnolia, they’re looking for an upgraded home theater or audiophile-grade experience. To achieve this, you first need to get the power right. That’s why we make these power conditioners; they maximize the potential of the components they protect, allowing them to perform the way they were designed, bringing out the full characteristics of the audio and video.” And while that starts with protection, Panamax and Furman products deliver so much more.


As most of us know, surges and spikes can wreak havoc on equipment, impacting their longevity as well as their performance. That’s why every Panamax and Furman product takes surge protection to another level.

“When you think about typical surge protectors, they can be a good front line of defense, but when it comes to certain types of anomalies that can come with power, our products protect against much more than spikes and surges,” John told us. “We have very specific technologies to assist with wiring faults, different voltage conditions, brownouts, and other power situations that we’ve been seeing occur more and more frequently with power being as stretched and unreliable as it is today. It’s these conditions that can be detrimental and have a long-term impact on your A/V system. And it’s not just lightning; most surges happen right within the home itself. For example, every time your refrigerator turns on, if you ever see the lights dim for a moment, that’s a surge, and over time it has a cumulative effect, wearing down the components and shortening their lifespan and functionality.”


Typically when we talk about power filtration, the conversation is around AC line noise and how to make that as clean as possible. But many people feel that unless they hear hums, pops and clicks, they don’t need a power conditioner. But you might be surprised to learn that AC line noise is everywhere - varying in degrees - but it has a detrimental effect on your equipment. This is especially true these days with all the high bandwidth content in the form of high-resolution audio and ultra high-definition video. “Line noise masks the signal content that creates the ambiance, the harmonics and the overtones and undertones that we pay extra for when we upgrade our speakers and components,” John said. “It masks the richness of the black levels, the details, and the resolution and clarity. It’s one thing to hear a hiss, but when you’re not hearing the really low dynamic overtones, it’s the difference between listening to a Stradivarius violin and a regular violin.” And why invest more for a Stradivarius, or in Magnolia’s case, premium products, if you can’t hear the elements that make them premium?

John went on to say, “We have specific filters in our products that are tuned to maximize performance in the audio and video frequencies. These filters eliminate noise in these frequencies at the source, so once the power gets to your components, the power quality is not compromising performance. We’re able to allow those components to work the way they were meant to work in the first place. Most A/V components are designed to work in laboratory conditions, because manufacturers can’t design these products to work in all the varying power situations that exist today. We’re here to fix that, make it right from the beginning, so that everything will work the way it was designed to work.”

BlueBOLTTM: Mobile monitoring and management

Panamax and Furman have continually been at the cutting edge of technology when it comes to the products they offer. Their latest innovation is called BlueBOLT, a technology built into select models that allows both monitoring and management of your components’ energy usage over the Internet. One of the great benefits of this is for those times when something isn’t working and the only solution is to unplug it from the wall then plug it back in again. With BlueBOLT, you can hard-reboot these components right from your smartphone, no more need to physically get behind your system or go into your rack.

While that’s convenient, BlueBOLT also helps you save energy and money by allowing you to schedule conservation commands for your products. As John told us, “Standby power is a waste of power; when you turn something off, it’s not actually turning off all the way, it’s still drawing a certain amount of power. So to turn something off completely, you have to unplug it.” By using BlueBOLT, you can completely turn on and off these components at will, or schedule them to be turned off throughout the day or when you don’t need them. BlueBOLT can even be used for family management. For example, when the kids should be doing homework and they’re playing video games instead, you can turn the power off at the source - game over, no further discussion.

The BlueBOLTTM web app not only keeps you up to date on your gear’s power usage, but it allows you to restart or turn off products from anywhere.

Great or great, take your pick

With Panamax and Furman, it’s not a good-versus-better solution, it’s all about your system and what you want to get out of it. With Panamax, you get a very “protection first” mindset: with great filtration and protection for just about any kind of system need. Furman gets more into the performance aspects of very high-end audio/video gear, like audiophile two-channel performance-based systems. For these systems, Furman offers specific technologies for noise filtration and lowering the noise floor. But it all comes down to what your system needs, and Magnolia will match you up with the Panamax or Furman solution that best fits that need, your system and your goals.

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