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Electronics Experts: Is This True?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sufenta, Mar 16, 2009.


  1. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Found this thread on the UK forum. Any validity to this claim?

    "I have to say that this need for a power conditioner REALLY bothers me! Do you realise why the power conditioner 'fixes' the problem? Because it doesn't have enough current capacity for the amp, so the current flow is choked at the power conditioner. I agree with Ken, Aguilar should really get some stick for this.

    This way that power conditioners choke the mains supply is exactly why they should never be used for high power amps!"
     
  2. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    That looks familiar. Whoever wrote it obviously talks a lot of sense!

    Alex
     
  3. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
  4. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Been said here many times too.
     
  5. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    yeah, but is there any truth to it?
     
  6. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yep.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes. Depending on the design and construction, a power conditioner can act like a "power bottleneck". It can only allow so much current through at one moment, and traditional high-powered amps require a ton of current. It's like downgrading the heavy-duty wiring and power circuitry built into the amp by sticking some too-thin wires and inadequate-valued components between the amp and the wall socket.
     
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. Recommendations for using power conditioners come from those who make them and those who sell them. I've never seen one recommendation from any amp manufacturer.
     
  9. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
  10. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    When using a high-draw power amp I bypass surge protectors in either a bass rig or a PA amp rack.
     
  11. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Can a real power surge make it past the fuse box that is between pretty much any normal outlet and the city power source? In other words, does your home, studio, or venue's fuse box regulate the power in any way and protect from surges that may come from the street?

    PS: This whole thing caught my eye because I'm demoing a DB750 at the moment and if it might have issues tripping circuit breakers because of its power draw that just might be a deal breaker. If that potential issue can be dealt with by using a power conditioner, but the power conditioner might decrease the performance of the amp, then that won't work either.
     
  12. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Thanks for the respones on the surge protection.
    I'm just concerned if a surge protector can "choke" the power going to my DB750 ???

    Mostly I like to use these units because both my PA and Bass Rig have multiple plugs to plug in. Many/most wall sockets are at a premium and many times one or more are defective cutting down the number even more. I at least like to plug my expensive gear into a nice useable socket so the Isobar acts as a nice power strip of sorts too.


    Also.. none of the DB750's (three) I've owned ever tripped a breaker. Once though :rolleyes: I was a/b'ing two amps to see which I like better with a cab I was using. While switching amps I accidently plugged my DB750 into the back of the another amp... The DB750 tripped instantly when I took it off mute. Nice safety feature, it didn't hurt any of the gear :D.
     
  13. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Can you explain why? Sorry if it's obvious.
     
  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Aguilar has had this issue resolved for a long time now. I actually just picked up a used DB750 that predates the remedy to the problem. I emailed Dave Boonshoft at Aguilar and he sent me a new thermistor and instruction for a tech to install it. I haven't gotten around to doing it yet, but the solution is easy and Aguilar didn't charge me anything for the part or the instructions.

    Also of note, the problem only exists during the in-rush at startup. If it doesn't trip a breaker at startup you'll be fine. There's only been one location for it to trip the breaker out of all the places I've played and as such I think the problem is blown out of proportion a bit.
     
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Just a few months ago my modem and router were fried by a surge during a lightning storm. No lightning touched down anywhere near our house (AFAIK) but it hit somewhere that resulted in a big surge that did some expensive (to me) damage.
     
  16. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    Atlanta
    I have been playing music and working on amps longer than some of you have been alive.
    This comes up on occasion.

    The following statements are what I do for my very sensitive electronic equipment at work. Your mileage may vary.

    First off Surge Protection and Power Conditioners should not be talked about in the same thread.

    To have any real true voltage regulation you better be prepaired to spend some real money. I mean big money. Thus to me a power conditioner is pretty much useless.

    Second off most Surge Protectors do not limit the amount of Potential Current (within reasonable limitts) going to the device it is hooked to. Most of your inexpsesive Surge Protectors are just a simple MOV which bleeds off excess voltage. Increased draw on a circuit by an amp or any other device dosnt affect the amount of voltage as much as it does the amount of amperage. Now that is not to say a good Supression Unit will not stop a massive increase in current.

    If a good sized power amp rapidly increases the amount of elctrons it needs to deliver a transient produced in the audio signal it is producing the 120 volt circuit does not change much in voltage but the amperage draw increases and actually the voltage will decrease.

    Throw a volt meter on it and look at it, then throw an amp meter on it watch and learn. For those that come running back with this, yes as Current Increases Voltage Decreases and as Voltage Increases Current Decreases, though the Trasnformer at the road is determining how much swing there actually can be. If the Current is exceeded the Breaker/Fuse will blow, if there is no protection between unit and source wires will burn. Imagine how much volt amps can pass throught that little wire in the fuse/breaker of many amps.

    Here is something I dug up quickly on the net.


    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/surge-protector1.htm


    For me Surge Protection/Supression is a must have. As long as the Surge device you have is rated for the maximum amount of Current draw, it can not affect your electronic equipment negatively and it will improve such devices lifespan.

    Dont make me get out the Burnt 208 volt Transfomer Pictures and go back through all that first hand proof of how well good Surge Protection actually will do.

    Think of it as insurance
     
  17. Jazzman

    Jazzman

    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    And I have had amp manufacturers specifically tell me not to use one. ;)
     
  18. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Most of those "conditioners" don't have enough in them to choke current.......

    The issue is inrush current, charging the power supply. It can be cured with any of a number of means.

    In some cases a certain type (negative temperature coefficient) thermistor does it. That has potential to 'choke power" also, but is normally rated so that its effect is very small.

    It takes relatively little added resistance to limit the inrush. Unfortumately, the cost of the components to do a loss-free fix is way out of proportion, so a fix is rarely done. We actually did use an inrush reducer on some amps, but not most. I the US it is rarely an issue. In the EU, the wiring is a lot lighter, and regulations will be requiring low inrush on new equipment soon.

    The average current when playing is a LOT less than the inrush, so "choking" is generally not an issue, although it can happen.

    I just think most conditioners are a flaming waste of money. But if a conditioner fixes your issue, go right ahead and use it.
     
  19. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    now we have to bring a honda, gas powered generator on stage too?
     
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I recommend one of these:
     

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