power conditioner?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by erikwhitton, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    can someone please xplain exactly what the purpose of this is?

    do most of you fell it is necessary?

    in what situations?

  2. Secksay

    Secksay Guest

    Sep 6, 2002
    New York, NY
    in laymen's terms, its a fancy surge protector that keeps your gear safe from any fluctuations in the power line.

    in my opinion it's worth spending 100 bucks on something to protect hundreds of dollars worth of stuff.
  3. CtheOp


    Oct 11, 2001
    Toronto, Canada
    It's not absolutely necessary, but I like the peace of mind it gives me. I'm currently using an APC SurgeArrest power bar. It will protect my amp from any surges that may come via a lightning strike, and EMI/RFI filtering. APC has a lifetime warranty on their unit and their warranty states that they will repair/replace any connected equipment damaged by surges (up to $25,000).

    I scored the one I am using for free about 2 years ago, but I think this model is worth about $90. If you want one, don't get a cheap model (i.e. below $20) that claims to do surge protection. I work in power protection in the computer industry and those cheapy power bars have a poor reputation. Stick with a good quality, brand-name unit and it will perform as it should. APC and Powerware are 2 of the best-known brands in the power protection industry.

    If you do find another unit, it should perform according to the IEEE standard for surge protection, as well as UL1499 for transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS).

    Hope this helps...
  4. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    I would have said it was somewhat necessary and that a surge protector would do the job...until our band rehearsal last night.
    We were using a new building for practice and I looked over at my power conditioner after about an hour of playing and noticed the "overpower" light on. My P/C has the digital read-out so it tells you the voltage, and that looked ok, but apparently the plug I was in was unsafe. In my opinion, the $100 I spent on it may have saved me some serious damage to my amp.
    It only takes one incident of faulty wiring/voltage to burn up an investment. So, I suppose you can use a surge protector, but IMO it's worth the cost to know what's really going on when you plug in.

    good luck!
  5. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Yeah, they're worth the piece of mind for the price -- and you can find them for as little as around $70.

    At the very least, use one of those cheap power strips with the surge protector in them.
  6. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I've got a surge protector RFI one which cost £30. I've also got a RCB (residual circuit breaker) plug with an earth tester for dodgey venues.
  7. I always use a UPS when I'm recording or mixing - that way, the recording equipment is protected against spikes or outages on the power coming in.

    When we're doing the sound for a gig, we put the main mixing board and the effects on a UPS. I suppose we could also do the same for the power-amps and gear on the stage. That would require one UPS per amp, but it would mean that the system would be totally protected.

    - Wil
  8. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
  9. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    My band uses an 1800 watt Tripp Lite regulator/noise filter/surge suppressor. It's a box about 5x6x8" and it weighs about 30 pounds, but it's nice knowing your power is clean, filtered, and regulated. Most of those furman power things are a crock; just a rack mountable power strip.
  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    At our drummers house, I have problems with my amp switching on and off because of what I assume is a problem with the outlet Im plugged into.

    Could a power conditioner solve this?

  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    from the mouths of babes.

    do some research, and you'll see they are much more than a PS.

  12. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Easy fella. Note I said MOST. The only one with voltage regulation (the most important thing!) is the AR-1215 which is $$$.
  13. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    don't you be reading inflection into my posts now big guy.

    the Furman LP-Pro is $289, hardly a power strip.

    with the amount of money i have invested in my rack, i want something that will cover my ass electrically.

    plus i want those little slideout lights.

    with a QSC 2402, an Aggie DB659 and a Roland V-Bass, the LP-Pro is the most cost effective solution i've found.

  14. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    I'm not trying to get snippy. However your comment of "do some research" did irk me a bit. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

    The LP-pro doesn't have a regulator, and as I said above, the only one I know of that does is the 1215. My tripp lite cost me $63. Granted, it's not rackmountable and doesn't have the cool lights, but it's cheap, has 3 levels of EMI/RFI noise filtering, surge suppression, AND it will regulate 87-140 VAC to 120 VAC. No offense, but I sure wouldn't pay that much money for a furman with no regulator. Brownouts are not cool.
  15. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    My power conditioner is a surge protector fundamentally, but it also allows you to plug all your other rackmounted units into it, and has a great tuner on it. The Tuner itself is worth the money.
  16. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    well, ok, i don't blame ya.

    so here's a question,

    weighing the 20 amp capacity of the LP-Pro against the AR1215 with regulation...

    you'd go with the 1215 and 15 amps?

    and, shhhhh....i just found a 1215 for $49.00 at GC.

    don't tell anyone.

  17. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    YES! Most definately! Hell, most house current breakers are 15 amps. Have you ever kicked a 15 amp breaker with your QSC? It will only pull 20 amps if it's dimed and a constant input source is run into it, IF your cabs can handle all that power. I'd be surprised if you're pulling more than 10 amps, even at LOUD volumes. This is just my take though, we should really get Bob from QSC in on this, he's the man.

    Try it! Find a 15A breaker circuit where your rig is, plug in and crank it! See what happens...
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As I repeatedly say, I'm a tech-moron. But I get the feeling it ain't a pretty picture when you're playing a dive where either the ice machines start up, the A/C kicks on, and/or the full rows of stagelight cans come on, and the house lights momentarily dim or get brighter causing the LED's on the amps protectors to fluctuate.

    The word that occurs to me is "melt."

    A nice guy who was running our desk at one time told me that "Joules" rating often doesn't mean squat. He said don't always believe what's on the box - there are no standards for measuring Joules. It really isn't a measurement of protection, according to him. He advised going with the rep of the manufacturer.

    Plus, the good protectors often have several grounded outlets on the back of the units, which I find very nice to have instead of miles of cords.
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Fortunately, most music is very dynamic, so even when you're pushing an amp to the max on peaks, the average power tends to be fairly low. For example, if you have peaks hitting 2000 watts, your average power is actually probably down around 150 to 300 watts. In most speakers, that's pretty damn loud.

    But that also explains why you can run a 2000-watt amp, preamp, FX, et al, off a 15A 120VAC outlet. The PLX 2402, for example, into 4 ohms/channel or 8 ohms bridged mono will probably draw no more than about 8 amperes. Into 2 ohms/channel or 4 ohms bridged, around 12 amperes.

    FWIW, I don't use any power conditioning or regulation beyond the surge protection and EMI/RFI filtering in my outlet strip, and I don't see any immediate need to do so. My amp and pre have very good power supplies and can handle a fair amount of AC line voltage variation and line noise anyway. YMMV!
  20. Why not just get a cheapo surge protector with connected equipment insurance? For as little as $10, some have 75k warranties... Why do they offer this? Because they know the odds of someone blowing out their gear due to the outlet is very unlikely.

    IMHO, surge protection's biggest plus is peace of mind.

    That being said, when I can afford it, I'll get a bigger rack and a power conditioner just for the peace of mind factor.