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outlets/conditioners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by monroe55, Nov 22, 2010.


  1. monroe55

    monroe55

    Mar 17, 2009
    What exactly is a "power conditioner?" I keep seeing discussions about these but I have no idea what they are for. I have a rack mount set up (1900watt QSC power amp, Ampeg pre-amp). Should I get a power conditioner to protect my gear from "power surges?" What causes these power surges? I play in a lot of old bars in old, old buildings and I often wonder about the outlets and effect a full band has on the electricity in such a place.

    Another question: Does it affect my sound/amp in any way if someone else is plugged into my power strip? i.e., I plug my power amp and pre amp into a 6outlet powerstrip which plugs into the wall outlet. Sometimes my guitar player wants to plug some of his effects pedals & stuff into my "available" outlets on my power strip. I hate this and I don't know why. Does this affect my sound at all? Does it drain power away from or affect my amp/sound/tone? I dont want to have any "availabe" outlets on my rig for anyone to use. Let him get his own power strip or does it not matter?
    __________________
     
  2. Hi.

    No location means US, right?

    Chances are that You only have a single phase of 120V XX amperes available. If that's the case, it makes absolutely no difference where everyone connects their small draw devices. On high draw ones, it may be the strips wire that can act as a bottle neck, but that's rather rare.

    Power conditioners are fine if You're willing to buy quality, otherwise it's just BS & smoke and mirrors.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  3. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Snake oil aimed towards the uneducated, with the goal of separating them from their money...



    - georgestrings
     
  4. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    But I thought using the right conditioner would leave your power shiny and silky smooth?

    There's another big thread on this topic - lots of information, although there's also lots of misinformation. A fun read, though.
     
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Power doesn't need to be conditioned, so power conditioners are a waste of money.
    Whether your guitar player can safely plug in to your strip is a matter of the current capacity of the strip.
     
  6. monroe55

    monroe55

    Mar 17, 2009
    So forget the strip. I only need 2 receptors anyway. One for my power amp and one for my preamp. I'll just buy a small extention chord with a double end receptor which I'll then plug into the wall. There'll be no more room for anyone on my line and I wont be using a strip anymore because now Im scared of them after reading your responses..
    Power Conditioners, huh. Sounds like BS to me too. Im a minimalist (with quality)when it gomes to gear. One less thing/knob/light/receptor/problem to worry about.

    T-Bird. Lol. No location does mean The United States of America.. The U.S. is so badasz and cool that it needs no location ID.:)
     
  7. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    only reason i can think a "power conditioner" like a furman would be useful... if you're using a bunch of crap that all requires power in a rack, a power conditioner is a convenient, rack mounted power strip that can save the hassle of plugging/unplugging a bunch of stuff, and can be used to turn them all on or off at once. non-sensitive studio rack gear might benefit from this setup.

    either way they're just glorified power strips w/ rack ears. generally speaking they weighh more than they need to, don't offer any additional protection over a $6 plastic power strip, and unless you really need telescoping lights to see your knobs onstage, you probably don't need one of these.

    a voltage regulator is a different story, but they also cost far, far more. you still probably don't need one, but if you're up against an especially terrible power source and using delicate gear, it could be something to look into.

    for normal use, i say buy a couple cheap power strips and use those.
     
  8. With all due respect to Bill and the others I beg to offer a differing opinion. While there is no need to go whole hog with a Juice Goose or Furman unless you are a touring pro with thousands to protect, using a decent power strip surge/noise supressor with ground/fault fault indicator is a prudent precaution. In most cases a computer grade power strip will likely provide what protection is necessary. There are a number of situations that can cause noise, lack of performance and in some cases a shock hazard; it is in your best interest to get some information and develop sound practices to protect yourself, others and your equipment.
    Electricity can be a cruel beast if you don't respect it even a 120 can kill.
     
  9. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    +1 on the Furman.

    It is surprising that on a forum where people are presumably using computers that they think power conditioners are smoke and mirrors. :rolleyes:
     
  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That's not a power conditioner. Rule of thumb, don't pay more than $50 for anything that goes between your rig and the outlet.

    It's even more surprising that said persons would not recognize snake oil for what it is. Or know the difference between useful tools and useless doo-dads. But for those who don't, recommended reading:
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/10-01-06#feature
     
  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    What Bill said.
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, except the Tara Labs power cable, which will really tighten up the sound of your amp. I use Furman power strips for the convenience.
     
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    This has been a fun conversation. What do you all say we do it again...maybe sometime next week or the week after?
     
  14. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Good to see that powerful minds have been hard at work in the intervening few days since last time.
     
  15. 3506string

    3506string

    Nov 18, 2004
    Lawton, OK
    If you really want to know, get your drink of choice, and an advil and read through this.

    Im pretty sure nearly every aspect of power conditioning, surge protectors, power strips, etc were explored in this 17 page masterpiece.
     
  16. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    :D
     
  17. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Hey Bill, I am not picking on you per se, but you seem to be one of the "big boys" here, so I figure you can take a few body shots.

    Calling power conditioners "snake oil" is, well, irresponsible. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is probably the largest professional organization for electrical engineers. Within their membership, a lot of people spend a lot of money developing and spill a lot of ink discussing conditioning and other power related issues in a wide variety of situations and industries. An example paper:
    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...FwbYm8&sig=AHIEtbQ1TPuccUAGBFm5kWx-0ri4Gab9cw

    I understand that a garden variety bass amplifier may not be as sensitive to ESD, voltage spikes, etc. as a computer or medical equipment for example, but that doesn't mean that the technology is "snake oil."
     
  18. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The application can be snake oil, though.
     
  19. MikeGee

    MikeGee

    Nov 7, 2009
    So at a church I was using a Ibanez combo, zoom pedal w/di out 2 different heads. Everything at home worked as it should but at this church... usta be a machine shop. All of the mentioned equipment failed with the same symptoms. Brought in a cheap power conditioner (Furman M8Dx). Not sure how to explain it but all equipment worked. Plugged something right back in the wall and got those symptoms. Plugged into something else same thing. Tried an outlet on the other side of the building and failure again. Go back to the power conditioner and works fine.
     
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Did you try it with a basic power strip to see if it did the same thing as the Furman? ;)

    For real, to get real 'power conditioning' you need way more hardware than what a "cheap" furman can provide. You better ratchet your cash up in the the upper 3 digits even to begin shopping, Otherwise you're not getting anything than a decent strip in a fancy box.

    My first test is a basic outlet tester that I carry in my gigbag to make sure everything is wired correctly. If it ain't, you can't fix it and you just might get killed if multiple outlets are wired wrongly or just not the same.
     

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