Power Conditioners???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
  2. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    yup, Voltage and Current Meter is good thing. You can always stop the show when voltage drops... and continue when stabilised :p
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    They are really just expensive power strips with a bit of EMI/RF filtering so you don't get buzz from a blender in use at the bar. The Furman REGULATORS, on the the other hand, really do a great job at normalizing the power levels.

    And also, the lights look cool in a bass rack. That's really why I have one . . . .
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I have the Furman PL-Plus (not sure if it's still available). I like the red-yellow-green LED ladder used as voltage indicator... it does look cool!

    I never use the pop-out lights. The only time it's that dark onstage is when we blow a circuit, and the lights don't function when that happens. :p
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Same reason I bought one. If you are into the lights, you should check out the ones from Odyssey. They have a cool bar across the front that glows cool colors. They even have one that changes colors!

  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    interesting. care to expound?

    how's this one?

  7. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
  8. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    the furman ar1215 is a good voltage regulator, that actually regulates, and not just protects against surges. the only downside is that it's heavy/heavier and pricier, but if you play in places where the power isnt up to par then its the one to get.

    personally i use a Samson PowerBrite Pro7, that has meters (yes i checked them to make sure they're calibrated reasonably accurately) and i've never played in a place where the voltage has dropped below 117v, since i mostly play in places like school buildings, churches, conference halls and hotels.

    power strips like these are useful to always keep a outlet checker plugged in to check that the outlet is wired correctly also, althought again, i've never been in a palce where it wasnt but there are people in the usenet group that say that theyve been to bars and other places that werent wired correctly
  9. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    THAT's the one to get, if you can afford it. About triple the price of a "regular" Furman PL series, but worth every penny. It will keep a constant correct voltage if the wall power is under the norm (which is usually the case in my experience, based on the meters on my PM-8).

    I've got my eye on one of these, since lately I can HEAR the difference in my tone if the wall power is low.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    thx for all the info guys,

    just to keep the info clear, a power conditioner isnt really "conditioning" the power perse? but just sorta a glorified power strip? while the AC regulator is what i really want, right?

    also, any other AC regulator products similar to the Furman AR1215 and the Samson that JK mentioned?
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    FWIW - I don't care about the "light shows" and all that cool stuff. I play for a living and just wanted something that does the job.

    So, I've been using a Powerwerks PowerPro for over a year. In spite of typical Midwest lightning storms, bar ice machines draining house current, and club A/C kicking in, it has done it's job for $68, incl. shipping, from - http://www.musiciansdiscountwarehouse.com/racmounpowco.html

    Also, you might do a search on this subject and look for posts by Bob Lee and see what he has said. Besides being a bassist, Bob is one of the tech gurus at QSC Amps and has a wealth of expertise and info.
  12. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Do any of these products help reduce 'buzz' that I suspect is caused by the electrical environment in my home studio?

    Here's what I mean: sometimes I'll hear much more noise coming from my basses while in my home studio than anywhere else. E.g. my Turner Electroline & Lakland 55-94 are very well-shielded, and are usually dead-quiet in the home studio (and always dead quiet everywhere else) though there's a distinct buzzing noise at times... seems to happen moreso at night (maybe due to more lights being on?).

    Anyways... it doesn't have the symptoms of a shielding issue, since there's no change when I touch/remove my hands from the strings. It DOES change depending on my orientation relative to the bass amp (which is usually sitting in front of the power outlet)... it seems that the buzz diminishes when the bass is facing approx 90-degrees away from the amp. FWIW, the amps (+ effects + some lamps, etc) are plugged into a cheapo power strip.

    So... I haven't experimented much with using other outlets, or different power strips, etc... just curious if a power conditioner and/or regulator might help here. I suppose I could always buy one at Best Buy, try it out and return it if it doesn't...
  13. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    sorry joker, i wasnt clear, samson doesnt make a regulator...mine is just a 'conditioner' like the ones you linked to in the first post, the furman ar1215 is the most popular rackmount i know of, but there are others that make non-regulating surge protectors that dont die from age/surges, which are even more expensive with isolated transformers like:

    (check out their webpage on the 'truth about MOV's for an interesting read)

    there is another company simliar to zerosurge but i dont remember it right now, if you read their section on MOV's you'll read up on what 'power conditioners' really do, which basically have MOV's that act as a unrenewable buffer that protects the outlets when there are voltage spikes. someone in the usenet groups once guessed that under normal circumstances, with the spikes that occur in the average house, MOV's in surge protectors will last around 5 years i think.

    i think the primary difference between a cheapo- surge protector and a power conditioner, is that all 3 lines are protected individually, (usually) someone correct me if i'm wrong anywhere, i'm no expert.

    Edit: I found two other recommended companies from a quick usenet query: brickwall.com and surgex.com that seem simliar to zerosurge in selling expensive non-MOV surge protectors.

    hehe seems a bit much for the likes of myself and my rig though d: those things cost more than my components.

    Edit #2: http://tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=211
    there's a big tripplite unit with a nice $25,000 gaurantee that also regulates (i justr realized i evner mentioned other regulators, only surge protectors
  14. 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
    Power conditioners are okay for preamps and processors, but I wouldn't spend a lot of money just for that. Many pres, procs, and other AC-powered electronic gear already have pretty good immunity to RFI, EMI, and surges built in. (Or at least they should, IMHO.)

    Power amps generally don't really benefit from power conditioning, and that's helpful because you then don't have to pay for a lot of extra current capacity. ;)

    Voltage-regulating power conditioners are pricey but useful if you play in a place where the AC voltages fluctuate wildly, and I mean wildly. Most clubs and venues in North America, Western Europe, and other developed areas aren't so bad that you would absolutely need one. Chances are pretty good that you can survive perfectly well without one.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    thx again guys! another reason why this forum rawks. :cool:

    and Bob,

    i thought so, only cause i've been gigging with a corny Belkin powerstrip, and havent had the circuit breaker trip on yet. but have an extra slot above my Stewart, and thought i'd fill it with something useful.

    BTW, anyone know of a 1 rack cooling unit to go in that spare slot? ;)
  16. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Curse you and your logic and knowledge, Bob Lee, stopping us from spending money needlessly ;)
  17. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Tripplite is very well known in the computer biz. They make small AC regulators (yes, regulators, not conditioners) that have enough capacity to run preamps and processors for about $100. It's not rackmount, though. They have a rackmount unit that's good for 2400 watts, runs about $290.

    No need for a regulator on a power amp, although surge protection ain't a bad idea. Preamps and processors (especially digital processors) can do very strange things in voltage sags, so line regulation is a good idea. I have been in plenty of bars that have questionable electrical systems....lights dimming, strange rumbling noises coming out of the PA, etc. A lot of these joints operate on the verge of bankruptcy, so it's not surprising that they might throw together a sub-standard electrical system rather than pay a licensed electrician to come out and do it right. Hell, look at the bathrooms in most of the places you play.....you think they're spending anything on the wiring?

    So you could get a rackmount conditioner for 80 bucks or so, and a regulator for 100; then plug your power amp directly into the conditioner, and everything else into the regulator.

    If you want to keep things neater, you could just get the Tripplite rackmount, but if you've got a rig that is more than 2400 watts total, you'll have to feed your power amp(s) separately.
  18. I'm probably going to get a RP-8D, but I dont see them on the Furman Website, and I find that a little odd. Are they discontinued?

    Anyways, I was wondering what those two big knobs on the front of the power conditioners do, and what that meter is good for.
    Thanks for your time.
  19. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    those two 'knobs' are the pull-out lights, they hold a small incandescent lightbulb that you can use to light up the spaces below the power conditioner, with adjustable brithness knob.