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Power conditioners- really necessary?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Robin Ruscio, Nov 17, 2004.


  1. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    I got talked into buying a Furman power conditioner when buying a new rack, and after using it for 6 weeks, I can’t really say for sure I think it’s necessary. I was hoping it would clean up hum that I sometimes pickup from lights but I doesn’t seem to make any difference. I’ve never heard of anybody having an amp blown by a power surge, and after playing 1200 gig or so I’ve never had it happen to me. I usually use a surge protector/extension cord anyway. Those of you that use them, why do you think they’re necessary? Anyone really had equipment damaged?

    I think i'd rather go back to a smaller rack and save my back some actual "surges".
     
  2. Coming from a computer/networking background I'll tell you they are a necessity. You may not need it for years on end, but that one time you do, it could save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. As far as the hum goes... your conditioner, depending on the make and/or model, may or may not really be equiped to help.

    Good luck, but I personally wouldn't be without one.
     
  3. NV43345

    NV43345

    Apr 1, 2003
    I use the Furman PL Plus. It has the built in Volt Meter and
    the twin pull out lights with dimmer.I like the fact everything
    in my rack and my amp plugs into it,so I only have one line
    to plug in. This makes set-up & tear down faster.I also like
    the pull out lights,they do come in handy sometimes.The Volt
    meter is a good thing to have also.I have lost more gear
    over the years from Low Voltage.
     
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Any "power-strip" type surge suppressor will do the job much more cheaply than a standard $120 Furman, just make sure it has RF filtering. The one time I took mine out of my rack, I picked up LOUD CB radios coming through the powerline, as well as static when someone behind the bar ran a blender. Terrible power there, and the Furman could have filtered out those headaches. When it does its job, is when you don't notice that its doing its job . . .

    If you REALLY want good "conditioning", get the Furman power REGULATOR, which is more expensive at around $300+ or so. AR1215, I believe. It actually gives you steady perfect power whether the line is a bit too hot, or is a bit "brown"/too low. Those are worth their weight in gold if you run off of power generators at outside festivals . . .
     
  5. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    does the ar1225 do a better job of cleaning up hum as well? I use a mic/pu combo on my URB that tends to get noisy easily.
     
  6. Bassart1

    Bassart1 Guest

    Jun 26, 2003
    Yes. At least "electrical" hum. It will not clean up preamp circuit noise.
     
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    It might or it might not. Hum doesn't necessarily come through the power line. If the hum is originating from the power line, then yes, the AR1225 will do a much better job of eliminating the hum.

    You could pick one up from Guitar Center. Then carefully use it for one gig and see how it works. If you save the packaging and are careful not to scratch it, then you can return it for a refund if it doesn't do the job.
     
  8. cgworkman

    cgworkman

    May 14, 2004
    Ohio
    I agree and for the same reasons.
     
  9. jnightmare

    jnightmare

    May 12, 2004
    Carson, CA
    whats wrong with getting a regular surge protector? most of them seem good to me, thats what i use. especially the ones you can get at like staples or office max or something they provide coverage under there warrenties usually for any equipment damgaed by a power surge that there product failed to protect you from. usually you can get em for like 50 bucks. i use them on my computers at home as well.
     
  10. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    If the hum i experience seems to be dependent on where i'm playing (it's quiet when i use it most situations, but then really bad in others) does this suggest that the hum is caused by the power? I have less hum for sure when i don't use this particular preamp, but then other times it's fine.
     
  11. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Nope, hum will always behave like that. Hum can be picked up anywhere in your system. It can be picked up at the bass, on your instrument cable, in your preamp, in your power amp, ...

    So, there is no way to know without some experimentation.
     
  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Nothing, but the Furman power regulator does more than just surge protection. It is simply a matter of how much power line conditioning that you need.
     
  13. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Sorry, no longer effect related. Onto miscellaneous.
     
  14. cgworkman

    cgworkman

    May 14, 2004
    Ohio
    The main reason with Furman's newer models is SMP.
    http://www.furmansound.com/tech corner/SMP/SMP.htm

    If you read up on this feature, you'll see it's advantages over a $20 RadioShack surge protector.
     
  15. 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
    For power amps, in general, you don't need power conditioning. For well-engineered preamps or processing gear, you generally don't either.

    The cheap MOV-type surge suppressors may make the system noiser because they often shunt noise onto the ground of the equipment; if the equipment has what's called a "pin 1 problem," that will tend to increase buzz in the system.

    The best type of surge suppressor is the series-type, as made by SurgeX.
     
  16. cgworkman

    cgworkman

    May 14, 2004
    Ohio
    Furman's new line, the Series II, all have series protection. :)
     
  17. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Re: Furman PL Plus

    Does it mean anything if the line voltage meter stops working? Mine is out. Just curious. It's not really worth fixing I guess.
     
  18. 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
    Cool! I'm glad to see the series-mode approach becoming more widespread.
     
  19. cgworkman

    cgworkman

    May 14, 2004
    Ohio
    I'd like your professional opinion here...

    Do you think Furman lives up to it's reputation, series or not? Or should we be looking at someone else?
     
  20. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I've got the cheapest Furman. I love the thing. Makes set-up and tear down a piece of cake. Also comes in handy when there aren't enough outlets for the guitars (Jammers League shows tend to have WAY too many Fender combo amps on-stage at once).