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Power surge protection

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rhythm, Sep 4, 2008.


  1. rhythm

    rhythm

    Dec 4, 2005
    Hiya,

    I've just ordered a new Ashdown ABM 500 2 x 10 Evo III combo, which will be my first professional grade amp :hyper::hyper:! I'm just wondering if it's worth getting a power surge protector or anything, or is this not necessary? After all, power conditioners are used in rack systems, that's what made me think some protection may be necessary.

    What do you think?

    TIA!
    .
     
  2. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    YES> IMHO & IME>>>> If you're playing in places with dirty power or outdoors with generators, the cost of a decent power conditioner is much less than replacing your transformer or other circuitry....
     
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Well designed amps have all the protection they need built in. My Superfly does, I can't say about the ABM. Power conditioners are a waste of money.
     
  4. spode master

    spode master

    Jan 21, 2007
    The only place a power conditioners belong is in studios, and other critical applications that require very low noise typically in the processing equipment not amplifiers. And not in PA or instrument rigs.

    If your power supply isn't filtering out noise, there is something wrong with it Or your loading it down beyond its ability to perform optimally (No power conditioner will fix that). The filter Caps are normally HUGE on any amplifier.

    I guess if you have generator problems its a toss up hopefully the amp has some protection for over current on the Primary side, and same for your conditioner. A conditioner that can handle high current for an amplier isn't cheap either and may be at risk for damage also.

    I had the Triacs on a furman blow out when my 220 circuit took a surge one evening. Not a cheap conditioner to repair.
     
  5. spode master

    spode master

    Jan 21, 2007
    Do any of those cheapo musician Furman conditioners, actually act as surge suppressors, or voltage regulators? I thought their main job is to filter line noise.

    I think the expensive ones show you voltage in VS voltage out, but I'm pretty sure the voltage fluctuates with the change in voltage with the AC source.

    Oh yah don't forget the Varistors. I would hope most amps have one.
     
  6. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    They are basically surge protectors with more cosmetic extras added as you go upline. But none of them provide essential protection or filtering beyond what is typically available in a surge bar that's much cheaper. And has been stated, no decent amp needs them, arguably only finicky effects with some chip smarts or DSP-driven stuff might.

    You only get into true voltage regulation at a higher price point from these companies that market at the uninformed muso - though some non-muso-oriented companies actually offer true voltage regulation for not much more than some of the spendy "conditioners" for musos - and sometimes for even less than the "premium" suckerbait conditioners, which are incredibly poor ways for musos to spend their hard-earned gig money ; }
     
  7. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    The "But they have lights and a bunch of plug in sockets and screw right into my oversized rack's rails" rebuttal should be along shortly ; }
     
  8. spode master

    spode master

    Jan 21, 2007
    Interesting, as far as I know the Cheap power strips just have a current sensitive, relay fuse deal.

    I wonder what the Furman Muso boxes use??? A bunch of Varistors, and some relays?

    My big Furman Conditioner, Used a bunch of Triacs, and some timer circuits I think to reconstruct the wave form. I haven't lookd at it in a while, I think the voltage was rectified and filtered at the secondary, then basically reconstructed using the timer circuits. I guess its something like a big high current 60Hz Sine wave generator.

    Probably would be helpful on unstable generators for things like Hammond organs, and other circuits that rely on the stability of the AC frequency.

    Its nice because it gave you 2 15 amp breakers and auto switched between 220 and 110, but it got hit by a surge one night. The breaker on it popped. I tried turning it on, but the thing started shooting out a fountain of sparks from fried TRIACS. I have replacement parts but I'm afraid to actually put them in and see If I can fix it.
     
  9. Red Planet

    Red Planet Banned SUSPENDED

    May 29, 2005
    Atlanta
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    I like to use these.


    http://www.intermatic.com/Default.asp?action=prod&pid=337


    http://www.intermatic.com/images/misc/IG-F20_Series_Spec.pdf

    Been using them for years with very good results.

    Takes a little more elbow grease and they arent cheap but they get the job done with flying colors.

    The elbow grease involves mounting one of these (120 volt version) up in a four gang box with outlets in it. You run a heavy duty 10 gage SO cable into it, take the hot, ground, and neutral to it, then go out to the outlets. There is a green LED that stays on when the device is powered up and working properly.

    They will take up to a 500 volt spike and continue to function with no interuption of service. They also will take anything over 500 volts and release to ground but if the voltage is higher than 500 volts the unit sacrifices itself but does not interupt service still.

    They also work mounted into an electrical panel. For that purpose I recomend the 240 volt unit hard wired into your panel. These are industrial grade units that are way more robust than the garden variety Booteek bull crap.

    For true voltage regualtion you will not get that without spending some coin in "real world" environments.

    The Intermatic units also of noise supression built in. It filters out EMI and RFI.
     
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet Banned SUSPENDED

    May 29, 2005
    Atlanta
    I'm cranky in my old age.
  11. rhythm

    rhythm

    Dec 4, 2005
    Hey,

    Sorry, I don't think I really made my question clear - it's a combo amp I'm getting, do I need any kind of 'external' power protection?

    TIA
     
  12. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    You do if the amp manufacturer recommends it. AFAIK none do.
     
  13. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    The 60Hz/50Hz power-line frequency is far, far more stable than its voltage. True, frequency varies slightly during the day, but the power companies adjust late at night so clocks (which use synchronous motors) run correctly.

    If the power line frequency were an issue, we'd see plenty of devices being sold to correct it. Those would, of course, be large and expensive.

    EDIT: Oops, I see you said "generators," meaning off the main power grid. Even then, if you're not getting a normal frequency from the portable generator, everything in the system will suffer. Things will overheat.
     

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