Power cutting out with Amp on


New member
Username: Jshultz

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-07
I have had a recurrent problem with my Panamax 5300 Power conditioner randomly cutting out only while my Sony 555ES amp is on. It can occur several times within an hour or it may go a couple days between incidents. It never occurs when the plasma TV is on independent of the amp. I watched the voltage output display on the Panamax unit once when it cut out and there was no detectable voltage spike. I have replaced the Panamax unit once to no avail. I am beginning to wonder if this isn't a problem with the amp itself. Even though the amp has tended to run hot since I bought it several years ago (common, I'm told with this model) it doesn't seem to be any warmer during these episodes of cutting out than any other time. I'm at a loss. Anyone have any ideas?

Bronze Member
Username: Leonski

Post Number: 88
Registered: Jan-07
Panamax meters are not that FAST to catch a spike.
The rest of the circuitry IS.
I had a Carver M400t which at full blast would not make the amp meter move.....But changing to a more conventionally designed Rotel of 130/side makes the amp meter now work.
I suspect you might have a thermal switch kicking in. Other than this, I'm at a loss......
Does other stuff flicker as well when the amp cuts out or just the amp?
When the amp flickers AND the plasma is on, does the 'tube' flicker / cut out as well?

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10499
Registered: May-04

What you haven't told us is whether this is a problem that has existed since you first combined the Panamax and the Sony or whether this problem has just recently begun. This is a very important distinction that would alter the possible reasons for the situation and change the resolution of the problem.

Two bad units from Panamax would be highly unlikely, even more so to have the same problem in both units. I'm going to guess this problem has just recently shown itself after the pair have worked together for a period of time without any ill effects. If so, your suspicions of problems in the amplifier are well founded. This amp is, what, almost twenty years old now? Problems arise as components age and, ES line or not, this was not a truly well built amplifier.

Am I correct when I read that the Panamax unit is the one cutting out? Not the amplifier while the surge protector remains on? If that's the case, I can't off hand see why a thermal protection device in the Sony might affect the AC line and not the amplifier itself. However, the amplifier does run hot and that would lead me to suspect power supply problems developing due to thermal stress over the years. Assuming, of course, this is a recent development.

Can I also assume the amp has adequate ventilation for a unit that runs hot?

My advice would be to run the amplifier directly from the wall outlet and see whether the amp displays any signs of thermal "displeasure" or whether the amplifier shuts down without the surge protector in the line. If there are no problems with the amplifier plugged directly into the AC outlet, you can decide whether you can continue to run the amp without the Panamax in front of it. My best guess would be the amplifier is drawing more current than the Panamx can pass without tripping its own internal protection devices. This could be a problem of an aging amplifier or a surge protector that isn't heavy duty enough for the application. If this is a problem that has recently developed, it would indicate it is time for service on the Sony.


Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 7449
Registered: Dec-04
Has the Sony ever been opened and cleaned?

Silver Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 116
Registered: Feb-07
See Nuck's PSA vis-a-vis spring cleaning

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