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Power conditioners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davidoc, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. I have an 1100 watt (i'm running 850w) power amp. I want to get a preamp too. Should I get a power conditioner as well?

    I'd really like to avoid one (the price, and i'd need a rack case--too much to carry around seperately)

    Do I really need one?

    What about a surge protector? will that work? Can I just plug the pre and power amps into a socket without problems?

  2. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    Personally, I wouldn't be caught without one. , especially if you play in different locations. For some good reasons why, check out www.furmansound.com
  3. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    as soon as I get my preamp in, i'm going to order a rackrider..
  4. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    The cheaper power conditioners like the rackrider's and Furman PL-8 and PL-Plus are basically glorified power strips. They protect against surges and filter out some EM/RF interference (at least that's what Furman says).

    Voltage regulators, on the other hand, take an input voltage within a certain capture range and produce a constant output voltage, along with the surge protection and filtering. These are more expensive though.

    Personally I would go ahead and get a rack case for your power amp and preamp. A case will not only protect your stuff, but it makes transporting them and setup/strike a lot easier.
  5. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    The real question is, how much and what kind of protection do you need? And does the box actually do what it claims to do?

    EMI/RFI protection is a good thing, but your gear should be relatively immune to RFI to start with, and some EMI (e.g. fluorescent light/dimmer buzz) can come in through your bass's pickups.

    Most surge protectors use MOV varistors; these are great for transient spikes well above normal line voltage, but MOVs can't prevent undervoltage.

    For most applications, a voltage regulator will be overkill. Plus a real regulator will be heavy and expensive!

    One thing I don't see often, and wish I did, is ground fault interruption. GFI can literally save your life, yet I can't remember seeing a reasonably priced power conditioner that incorporates it.

    I bought a used "power conditioner" that was in fact nothing more than a glorified power strip - but that's not what it said on the front panel! Fortunately I found a real RFI filter for cheap at the local surplus house, and there's plenty of room inside the case for it... soon it WILL live up to its billing. Maybe I'll slap in a GFI while I'm at it.
  6. jburtonca


    Nov 25, 2000
    Ottawa, Canada
  7. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    I have never felt like needing a power conditioner. And I have never seen one in person. No-one uses them around here. And I haven't heard of any (at least major) problems caused by bad voltage. Maybe the voltage regulations are different here in europe and you really need those in US?

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