SuperClamps improve the sound of your Hi-Fi or Home Cinema by reducing the effects of mains voltage spikes. SuperClamp kits are DIY products and should be installed in equipment (typically connected to the IEC power input) or behind power sockets.
Two components are used together; one a fast solid-state device and the other a varistor to absorb the spike energy. The devices are soldered together in series and then connected in parallel across live and neutral and so do not interrupt the mains connection or introduce any impedance changes. Their presence is undetectable in the absence of high voltage spikes.
There's more information on SuperClamps on the SuperClamp product page here.
Maintaining their effectiveness
SuperClamps wear out over time and become less effective: we recommend replacing SuperClamp components every five years.
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Available in kit form to allow DIY installation in equipment or behind mains sockets
Components must be soldered together - Wonder Solder included
A spike is a very brief over-voltage 'event' ranging from a few tens of volts above the highest legal peak voltage (360V for 230V), up to several thousand volts. They are typically under 1 millisecond in duration, are very common and often (though not always) the energy involved is small. Longer duration events are called surges and have the potential to do more damage, but mercifully these are less common.
Spikes are caused by things such as lightning strikes, power outages, tripped circuit breakers, fluorescent lights, refrigerators and washing machines switching on and off. The quality and severity of spike activity varies during the day, and from day to day. Even with well-designed equipment, spikes or transients – if regular – can and will prematurely stress and wear out critical mains-connected parts and their insulation.
In our opinion, high voltage spikes can also cause audible degradation of Hi-Fi sound by their effect on a Hi-Fi system's power supply and by raising the background noise level in amplification circuits. The spikes saturate the core of the mains transformer, preventing normal transformer operation during the period of each spike and causing distortion to the waveform. Mains spikes reduce the capacity of the power supply by 'strangling' the transformer operation producing subjective effects on an amplifier like softened bass and increased high frequency distortion.
I had a problem with a microwave oven scrambling the timer on the central heating system. The timer is mounted next to the microwave on the ring main. I bought a Superclamp in 2008 for my HiFi but could not detect any difference so I tried it in the unused socket next to the microwave. It worked: no more problems until this year when the timer was scrambled twice since the New Year. Then I remembered that you recommend factory replacement of parts after five years so I bought a new one. Once again: it works. Incidentally, I bought a Megaclamp Ultra for the Hi-Fi and the increased definition and tunefulness to base notes is easily audible.