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Power Conditioner Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kleinenenten, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Sorry if this is in the wrong spot, but I'm not sure where it should go. Feel free to move this, moderators!

    Anyway, here goes. I'm thinking of getting a power conditioner. Yes, I realize that many people here think of them only as a glorified power strip and a waste of money, but my rack is coming together and I want to simplify setup. Also, I have a power issue.

    Here's the issue. I live in an apartment building built in the 1960's. I don't even have grounded plugs! So, to make sure my amp was grounded, I bought a grounding adapter and have it going to a power strip that indicates whether or not it is grounded (thus far, it always has been). Here's the problem. When I have everything plugged into my power strip, the sound of my amp noticeably degrades. Is it terrible? No, it's just a hissing noise, but if I disconnect the other stuff (only one thing: a 1 Spot Pedal Power Adapter powering 6 pedals) the hissing is easily cut in half.

    So I guess here's the question. Which power conditioner would you recommend? I'm not looking to spend a whole lot of money (hopefully $50-60 tops) and am all for used gear. I just want to make sure it filters out "bad" power and potentially emi/rfi stuff if possible. In the end, I plan on using this power conditioner to power my amp, rack tuner, pedals, and a wireless system.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Sorry, but you wont find a "good" power conditioner for that kind of money, only rack-mounted power strips. A decent Furman, or something comparable will start around $250.
  3. A real power conditioner isn't just a MOBI which the WalMart-types are.

    A MOBI will die and you won't know it since the cheap-o strip keeps right on passing power all the while you're not protected and are oblivious to it's failure.

    MOBI units impress some ignorant people who think they got away cheap. They are only fooling themselves. In the end, buy what you want and believe what you want to.

    BTW: are you sure that the adapter you got is really grounded via the small wire on the faceplate screw? That screw may not be electrically connected to anything but the box, which prolly isn't grounded either.

    I've opened wall boxes and found a piece of 22AWG as a 'ground' when really it's just a drain and can't carry any current at all and 1960 wiring is right there for the same time period of that ignorance.

    Get a Wiggy and make sure.
  4. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I very much doubt that "conditioning" the AC line will help eliminate noise that's being generated in, or picked up by, the pedals and cabling.
  5. So there isn't one that can just clean it up a bit? I feel that should be reasonable...but maybe not. And wouldn't it make sure the power everything gets is what it needs, i.e. not degrade the signal?
  6. I would start by replacing the one spot - those are notorious for noise! Secondly, a power conditioner wont help with "bad power" and may only slightly help with line noise. A voltage regulator is the only thing that will help with bad power such as sags and brown outs but are very expensive. I have a Furman AR 1215 in my rack to protect my equipment from faulty wiring and overloaded circuits but it does little to filter noise. Because you live in an apartment, who knows what kind of interference is going on in that buiding! I would start with the weak link which is the one spot for sure.
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 forget about the power conditioner, and get an isolated power supply for your fx. that's all you need. Look at the Voodoo Labs PP+, it's around $169, but well worth it, and the answer to your problem.
  8. +1
  9. I know you're saying to get rid of the 1 Spot, but would adding a noise suppressor to the end of the effects chain matter? I'm trying to do this on a budget, and I really want the convenience of the power conditioner (regardless of what it can and can't do). The Voodoo Labs PP2+ looks great, but also strains my budget more than I'd like...
  10. Im not trying to sway you away from the power conditioner - just dont be surprised if the noise reduction is minimal. I would look for what is causing the noise instead of how to mask it. ...its like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound ;) ... well, not exactly :)
  11. Honestly, I don't have a LOT of hiss. It's just that when I'm practicing by myself, I can still hear it. I have no doubt that when I turn up, the hiss will not be an issue. So maybe the power conditioner will do enough for me. Guess I'll have to find out the hard way.
  12. If you have a rack of any kind and more than an amp and a couple of components - you will need a power conditioner just to tidy things up and provide outlets - they do that task just fine. Ive just never heard anyone rant about how quiet they make their rig is all...
  13. Fair enough. Any input on the noise suppressor route? I know the guitarists in my group swear by theirs, but they're also using high gain distortion pedals, and I'm going in pretty clean.
  14. My guitarist uses a noise gate to suppress his high gain hiss.
  15. So is that a yes or no for the suppressor?
  16. I guess the answer is yes and no :). No harm in going with a power conditioner. As I stated, they can be very useful. But as already pointed out, your best bet is to solve what is causing the noise instead of adding another pc to try and "suppress" it. Many things can cause line noise - the outlet, cords, one spot, eq settings, stomp box gain staging etc... If you are playing alone in a quiet room it will always be more noticeable than in a bar or at band practice. Have you tried just the amp, cab, and bass alone? ...or tried another outlet or tried your rig in another environment all together?
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No on the noise suppressor. It's trading one bad sound for another.
  18. BKuettel


    Apr 8, 2011
    Oneonta, NY
  19. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I got one of These from work thinking it would help with the power in my apartment. My amp is only noisy at my apartment. It did nothing to help but it is a very nice power strip.
  20. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Instead of adding a noise suppressor, replace the onespot with an isolated power supply. Why mask the problem when you can eliminate it? How many effects are you powering?

    If it's 5 or less, a Pedal Power ISO 5 is less than the PP2, as is the T Rex Fuel Tank. Both of which are isolated PSU's

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